When One Practitioner is the Employer and Another the Employee

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Every practitioner who is an employer would love to have fellow practitioners working for him as his staff members. Not only do fellow practitioners have a down-to-earth attitude towards what they do, it would also be easier to form an environment for sharing and improving together. Such an environment is very important for saving sentient beings and furthering practitioners' one body improvement.

However, I find the reality is not quite so. As soon as fellow practitioners come to work under the "employer practitioner," conflicts arise, with some situations becoming more and more intense. In the end, many practitioners leave the job and both sides feel rather awkward and heavy-hearted. The key reason for this problem is that both sides focus on the shortcomings of the other person, instead of unconditionally looking within themselves and treating work as a cultivation environment so that the whole body can improve through genuine sharing. When practitioners do not do well, their behaviour can sometimes be even worse than that of non-practitioners and may even leave a very bad impression on others.

One practitioner was working in an enterprise in which a fellow practitioner was the boss. The boss regarded him highly. Soon after he started working there, all his fellow staff members praised him for his down-to-earth work ethic and his ability, as well as the fact that he always voluntarily worked overtime. He was quickly promoted to the position of unit manager. However, he did not feel comfortable with the way the "boss practitioner" ran the enterprise, so he often presented opposing viewpoints to those of the boss practitioner. Each time he raised these issues, the boss practitioner would listen and consider them carefully, for he believed that this fellow practitioner had good intentions, even though the issues and suggestions he put forward were not that applicable. Running an enterprise is like driving a car on a commercial highway: the boss has a clearer picture of how to assess the situation and is better able to decide where to speed up and where to slow down. Therefore, even though the boss practitioner would listen attentively to the suggestions raised by this staff practitioner (sometimes in a very intense matter) he did not choose to adopt all of his suggestions. When this happened, the employee practitioner became very displeased and said, "I made suggestions for your sake and for the benefit of the enterprise. Why didn't you adopt them?"

After a few times when his suggestions were not accepted, the employee practitioner said he would resign. Later, even though they had talked and shared a few times, both stuck to their strong viewpoints. If the practitioner who was the boss had adopted the fellow practitioner's suggestions, it would have affected the overall arrangement of the entire enterprise. The good "suggestions" were based on localized situations and the fellow practitioner was not clear about the overall development strategies and plans. From this point of view, the employee practitioner didn't show enough understanding of his boss and failed to look at the issues from a more comprehensive perspective. When putting forward his suggestions, he was also overly attached to his ego and to validating himself: "If you don't adopt my suggestions, I'll leave!" This caused the boss to feel very sad: "It's really difficult! He (the employee practitioner) is outstanding at work, but when he is at odds with me, he acts worse than anyone else. No other staff members would dare to treat me this way."

The key thing here is that the " employee practitioner" treated the "boss practitioner" as someone from his "parental home," that is, with too much familiarity, and even placed himself above him, acting as though he were the "boss." When he spoke, he did not maintain a sense of propriety and did not even think about the negative impact his behaviour might have on the other staff members. He over-emphasized himself and tried to show off instead of looking at things from the perspective of the practitioner who was the boss. He did not present his suggestions calmly. When we over-emphasize ourselves, even in a deeply hidden way, there is bound to be a strong "ego" sitting out there behind us. As practitioners we need to cultivate our hearts, that is, to sincerely look within and find those human attachments that are being exposed in the conflicts and let go of them. If we fail to do this, then we are wasting a precious cultivation opportunity that Master has arranged for us. At the very least it shows that we are still not mature yet in terms of being able look within.

Another fellow practitioner worked under a "boss practitioner" who was not as capable as this staff practitioner. At this workplace, staff members often talked behind the boss's back, commenting on the loopholes in management and the way he spoke and did things. Normally, this would be a good opportunity for the fellow practitioner to help the boss practitioner to harmonize the work environment and improve himself as a practitioner. However, the fellow practitioner not only failed to quietly help harmonize the situation, but also joined the others in talking about the boss behind his back. After a few times, the boss realized the problem, but he found it very hard to resolve it and both practitioners found it hard to come to a common understanding. In the end, the boss criticized the fellow practitioner for what he had been doing at a general meeting. The fellow practitioner felt that he had "lost face" and resigned soon after.

In fact, whether you are a boss or a staff member in this lifetime, everything is arranged according to how much de (virtue) you have or other historical reasons. You may think: This person is good at nothing, and yet he is the boss, while I can only be a staff member. In fact, isn't this a good opportunity to let go of one's human attachments? If you do not let go of your attachments, then even if you resign from this job, seeking to get away
from the situation, you will still face the same tribulation wherever you go.

There is another boss practitioner. When he heard that a fellow practitioner did not have a job, he warmly offered him a job in his own company. However, he found that he and the fellow practitioner were incompatible in many ways. For example, in clarifying the facts to people, the boss thought they needed to be calm and steady and pay attention to safety so as to not allow any loopholes for the evil to take advantage of, while the fellow practitioner thought that in truth-clarification and saving people, they needed to be bold and resolute and dare to speak out and encourage people to quit the CCP (Chinese communist party). In the fellow practitioner's opinion, every customer had a pre-destined relationship and no opportunities to save them should be overlooked. In the end, the two of them started having conflicts and arguments, and neither could persuade the other to look at things from their perspective. Unfortunately, the final result was the same: the fellow practitioner resigned and left.

I feel that no matter what position we hold in this lifetime, we made the same vow and we share the same basic starting point, which is to save sentient beings. Then how do we do it? First of all we need to have a discussion and work out a strategy: Whether to have one person clarify the facts while others send forth righteous thoughts, or to have a few practitioners speak so that they can complement each other, with a smaller number of practitioners sending forth righteous thoughts. We need to cooperate with the whole body, and only then can we be more powerful in saving sentient beings. As a cultivator, the key issue is whether or not one can let go of his/her self, or attachment to ego, and cooperate with the whole body. If one fails to do so, one will not reach consummation, no matter what position a practitioner holds in ordinary society.

I believe that both the "staff practitioner" and the "boss practitioner" should maintain the principles within an everyday people's level in terms of management. It is not right that, because you are a fellow practitioner, you can "take over" on behalf of the boss practitioner and "throw your weight around." Both sides should sincerely and honestly share their thoughts with each other. Of course, the boss practitioner should not "put on airs" and should also respect fellow practitioners' suggestions and the impact they may be having on them. On the other hand, the staff practitioner should not resign lightly in an immature manner. Instead, both sides should try to sincerely cooperate with each other and do their best to develop a good environment, both for work and saving sentient beings.

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