Looking Within Unconditionally Whilst Working in the Media

By a practitioner from Germany

I started working on the Epoch Times in April, 2004. My first task was doing the editorial work. This was an easy job for me, as I have a lot of knowledge about traditional Chinese language, ancient Chinese stories and poetry. I am also well trained in simplified Chinese and modern Chinese grammar.

I soon received a lot of praise from my manager and colleagues and this lead me to unknowingly develop attachments of complacency and conceit. One day, a colleague and I argued about something related to Chinese grammar. I thought the language she used wasn’t correct but she insisted it was right. I edited the sentence but she said it changed the original meaning and we couldn’t agree. I felt displeased and went to study the Fa.

I studied the article “Explaining the Fa for Falun Dafa Assistants in Changchun”. One student asked: “Is there anything in the cosmos that’s completely the same as something else?” Master answered: “There might exist two things that are the same, but that’s extremely rare. I haven’t seen them.” I thought if Master hasn’t seen it, it must not exist. However, Master answered “might exist”, but “haven’t seen them”. Master knows everything but is so humble.

I found my attachment of pride and impetuousness. Chinese language is so broad, how much do I really know? I was being stubborn and holding on to my own opinions. I examined my colleague’s sentences again and realised that although this style of writing is rare, it is not wrong. So in the end we used her original words.

I reminded myself to be humble and prudent, especially if I think I’m good at something. It is easier to make a wrong judgement casually if you have too high an opinion of your own abilities.

At the beginning of 2005, I started to work as an editor of the Epoch Times global website. The website needs people to work on it 24 hours a day. At that time, we lacked manpower and there were so many things to handle, the heavy workload was like a mountain. We couldn’t take any days off all year round. I often had to sit in front of the computer for 8 or 9 hours to get things done. My previous regular daily routine was completely upended. Gradually, I spent less time studying the Fa, doing exercises and sending forth righteous thoughts.

The stick warning came from sending forth righteous thoughts. As my job required me to meet deadlines, I often took this as an excuse to miss the global sending forth righteous thoughts. However, I gradually noticed that all the work I did during the 15 minutes righteous thoughts time had to be done again afterwards. Sometimes the editing system got a problem or disconnected from the Internet, so I had to do the work again. Although it was disappointing, I thought it was just a coincidence.

One day, my alarm sounded for sending forth righteous thoughts. I switched it off and carried on my work. Suddenly the computer screen turned black as the power supply went off. All my unsaved work was lost.

I finally realized I should pay attention to my cultivation. I picked up Master’s teachings and the first article I saw was “Towards Consummation” in which Master told us the following:

“Even now some people still can’t concentrate when it comes to reading the books. Those of you who do work for Dafa, especially, shouldn’t use any pretexts to conceal your not reading the books or studying the Fa. Even if you do work for me, your Master, you still need to study the Fa every day with a calm mind and cultivate yourself solidly. When your mind wanders all over the place as you read, the countless Buddhas, Daos, and Gods in the book see your laughable and pitiable mind, and see the karma in your thoughts controlling you, which is detestable. And yet you cling to delusion and fail to wake up. Some volunteers go long periods of time without reading or studying the Fa. How could they do Dafa work well? You have unwittingly incurred many losses that are hard to recover. Past lessons should have made you more mature. The only way to prevent the old, evil forces from taking advantage of the gaps in your mind is to make good use of your time to study the Fa.”

I adjusted my timetable so that every morning before I turn on my computer I study the Fa and do the five sets of exercises. I stopped intentionally missing the time of global sending forth righteous thoughts. Since then, my computer has never had a problem. After a while, my efficiency improved significantly. The workload is the same, but my mind is clear and quick.

In September 2007, I started work in an office with fellow practitioners. I worked a lot with practitioner A. The way she thought was obviously different from me, and sometimes even completely the opposite. The things she found important were not important to me; what I found important didn’t matter to her either. Although I followed her suggestions in the spirit of cooperation, I was often unhappy and felt aggrieved. I accumulated more and more of these negative thoughts about her and they slowly became an obstacle.

In “Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Switzerland”, Master said: “I can give up to the greatest extent possible everything of mine, and that is why I can resolve all of it.”

I suddenly enlightened that I was too attached to my own way of thinking. My dislike of Practitioner A was because when she did things differently from how I’d do them, I would regard it as her shortcoming.

Once this obstacle was identified, I changed my way of thinking. I no longer used my own opinions to judge practitioner A. Soon I noticed that all the shortcomings I had thought practitioner A had problems with, were exactly the shortcomings I had problems with and needed to make up for.

For example, previously when I encountered difficulty at work, I used to step back. However, practitioner A stepped forward because the only goal is completing the task at hand, no matter how difficult it may be. I used to think she was too extreme, working with her made me feel a lot of pressure. Now I think the reason I stepped back when I encountered difficulties was because I was too worried about my own feelings, and valued them more than completing the work. As a practitioner, my priority is to constantly let go of attachments. After correcting myself, my work efficiency improved and I achieved better and better results.

The size of our team increased and the issues I dealt with became more and more complicated. New team members brought different ways of thinking and work styles. Everyone had a strong personality. It was very difficult to put down my own feelings and coordinate with others, so the Xinxing tests slowly increased.

Master said in “Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Europe”:

“Remember my words: Regardless of whether the problem is your fault or not, you should look inside yourself, and you will find a problem. If the matter has absolutely nothing to do with you or doesn’t involve any of the attachments you should break, then that thing would rarely happen to you. If you didn’t have an attachment the problem wouldn’t have come about. I have to be responsible for your cultivation. Any problem that happens to you, around you, or among you is most likely related to you, and there is something for you to get rid of.”

When the team atmosphere became too intense, I calmed down to search within. I thought that my work in the office was like doing the work of an assistant. If I do my job well, fellow practitioners in the frontline can focus on the battlefield. But I need to let go of myself further. I patiently started to make an effort to understand each team member’s thinking and work style, then I tried my best to give them support. Soon, my contribution was recognised by all of them.

In August 2015, I moved to another department. The job requirements, the environment and the people all changed a lot. I moved from a professionally-trained team to a new team with insufficient skills. At the beginning, I was very uncomfortable. I gradually got complaints.

Master taught us in the article “Correction” from Essentials for Further Advancement: "When a problem arises, do not try to find out who should be held accountable." I realized that if you see problems in your situation and have time to complain, you should instead use that time to change the situation. You cannot just expect to benefit from things without doing something to make them better.

Soon after I started working with the new team, a problem emerged. It wasn’t my fault but the supervisor blamed me. I was very angry at that moment and wanted to find a way to prove that it was not my fault. In the past, when I was in trouble, I insisted on clarifying who was to blame. If I was wrong, I would bear the responsibility. If it were not my fault, I would not take the blame.

After calming down, I noticed two issues I had that did not conform to the Fa. One was my competitive mentality. I originally thought that I didn't have this mentality but I actually had a very strong competitive mentality. The other issue was that I did not practise "forbearance" well.

The next time I had a xinxing conflict with fellow practitioners, I was about to erupt. Although I forced myself to hold back and took a step back without saying a word, deep down my anger was building. In the article “What is Forbearance (Ren)?” from Essentials for Further Advancement, Master said that “To endure with anger, grievance, or tears is the forbearance of an everyday person who is attached to his concerns. To endure completely without anger or grievance is the forbearance of a cultivator.” I just realised, the forbearance I used was exactly “to endure with anger and grievance”. I thought if I stepped back and did not intensify the conflict, the test should be over, but this is not the right mentality to pass a test. The right mentality of passing a test of “forbearance” should be to have a calm and bright mind without anger or grievance.

I asked myself whether I thought about the problem from the perspective of fellow practitioners? I realised that I only cared about my own standpoint and wasn’t properly understanding or tolerating the other person involved. A genuine cultivator should not consider their own feelings and should only think of other's feelings. I should search inside for my own shortcomings and find ways to overcome them so as to not cause harms to others. When I think of this, I have no complaints about fellow practitioners in my heart. Instead, I feel sorry for hurting fellow practitioners’ feelings unintentionally.

The head of my new team hoped I could help with management, but management wasn’t my thing. For a long time, I used to work quietly behind the scenes, and I didn't want to lead. I always considered myself to be the kind of person who goes with the flow and I was comfortable being like that. But the boss kept giving me management tasks. For a while, my heart was uneasy and I found it hard.

When sharing this with fellow practitioners, I was reminded that this was a manifestation of my pursuing comfort. I rationally agreed, but emotionally I refused to admit it and responded, "I won't do well if I don't like it. If I cannot do it well, I would rather not do it. It's better to go with flow." One practitioner asked: "How do you know that you can’t do it well if you haven’t tried it? How could you say that going with the flow with no ambitions is a right state? How can we go with flow if the old forces are always using various methods to interfere with us saving people? How many lives are waiting for us to save them? How could we have no ambition?"

I was speechless. Looking at my own thoughts, I had been pursuing comfort and was unwilling to take responsibility. Ordinary people naturally pursue a warm and comfortable life. But I am not an everyday person. My purpose in life is the opposite. Management work involves facing and dealing with a lot of complicated problems and having to contribute more. However, we do whatever we can to help our media generate a better result so that more sentient beings can be saved. So all the hard work is worthwhile. As a disciple of Master, the meaning of our life is to save more sentient beings. How can we reluctant to contribute our energy and time wherever it’s needed?

After having been through so many things, I discovered that, as a cultivator, answers can be found in ourselves whenever problems arise. In the article “A Cultivator is Naturally Part of It” from Essentials for Further Advancement, Master taught us “For a cultivator, all the frustrations he comes across among everyday people are trials, and all the compliments he receives are tests.”

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