Venerable Master, dear practitioners.
I am a government official and 3 years ago I was transferred from my main position where I was working as a labour inspector in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security for the Greek parliament. Last year I was fired from the parliament and transferred back to my previous job. On the one hand, I felt it was a good thing since I wanted a change in my professional career. On the other hand, I never expected that I would be fired. That was a heavy blow to my ego.
I was looking within to find my own attachments, while looking to be transferred to a new position.
I soon realized that the quality of my work in the last three months had dropped significantly. I didn’t pay attention to small details and I made many mistakes, obvious to others but not to me. And I mean not only mistakes concerning my work, but also my behaviour to others.
Many times I spread flyers and other Dafa material in the parliament and most of my working time I did truth clarification work. Many of these times I didn’t think about other people’s feelings – if they were able to accept Falun Dafa. It was more like validating myself and being “ok” with my so-called mission. I remember one day a colleague came to me saying that I only pay attention to my “own interests” and not my job. Implying that I was using my working hours to do Dafa things. I got really angry. And I raised my voice. As soon as I raised my voice I felt that my level dropped immediately.
This colleague was not the only one I had frictions with. In the last three months there was a new colleague who came to sit next to me in the office. He wanted absolute quiet and he continually asked me to stop being so loud. I looked down on him and disrespected his wish, thinking I had a sacred mission more important than his “peace and quiet”.
One night I went to an ancient Greek theatre performance. One ancient song there said that for those who are proud and jealous it is fair to be punished by the Gods. I knew that this was a hint for me. I was angry with my colleagues, because I had developed pride in myself. People in my work praised me and my boss thought highly of me. As time went by, I created the notion that I am very important and people ought to respect me. When I was criticized by someone I did not think highly of, like these two colleagues, I got angry. I held the idea that I was better than them so they were not entitled to make comments. Master said:
“In the workplace, a person may feel that others are not as capable as he is. Whatever he does, he does it well. He finds himself indeed remarkable. He thinks to himself, “I’m qualified to be a factory director or manager, or in an even higher position. I think that I could even be Prime Minister.” Zhuan Falun, Lecture Seven
Although I went back to my previous position, I kept looking for a new job.
One day I called a diplomat I met during truth clarification projects. I told him that I had been transferred from the parliament to an inferior job and that I was sorry we could not cooperate so closely any more on the organ harvesting issue. He laughed and said: “The present job you look down upon, is exactly the job where I need to have a trustworthy person. Are you interested to be my contact person?” I said yes.
Then the diplomat introduced me to the Deputy Minister who was my official manager. I asked him if I could be transferred to another position. I gave him a truth clarification leaflet and asked for a position similar to the job I had in the parliament. He said: “Alright, I will transfer you to a new position.”
Ten days later the Deputy Minister called me to say that I would be transferred to another position as I wished, and that he hoped I would be satisfied with my new job and would not consider it inferior to my capabilities. I wondered if I was aggressive to him when I asked for the change of position. I recalled our meeting and I remembered that I was demanding and I had showed contempt for the job I had back then.
He, on the contrary, was modest and kind. I should have cultivated these traits inside me. Despite my not so good behaviour, the job I was given was even higher than my job in the parliament.
The Deputy Minister ordered my transfer before legal procedures were completed and met personally with my managers to notify them that I would be given “special treatment” and be sent to the new position immediately. Even though on the surface I actually asked for the position and pulled some strings to have it, I felt that my transfer had been arranged by Master.
I realized that I should not be complacent about myself and that I should cultivate my xinxing. I realized that there are no positions more important than others. And even if it’s a high or low position, I should keep a light heart and accept whatever is given to me. Holding a low or a high position is not important. Abandoning the attachment to my high position or the high idea about myself is what is important. Master said:
“So don’t always think of yourselves too highly. There is no fame, self-interest, or official titles in Dafa, but only cultivation practice.” A Heavy Blow, Essentials for Further Advancement I
Clarifying the truth to politicians in my work environment
When I first started working in the Greek parliament three years ago, I felt as if beings from another dimension were obstructing my way. I increased my Fa study and started doing exercises inside my office. I also started handing out flyers.
One day, I gave a lotus flower to an MP. He said with a little contempt: “What is this?” I said: “This is Zhen-Shan-Ren, the law of the universe!” As soon as I spoke those words, I felt that the beings in other dimensions that were ready to interfere immediately left to hide. And the MP himself shook his head with respect and said: “Thank you, I will put it on my desk.”
Another time, there was a discussion in the parliament about my country possibly leaving the EU. One political advisor was completely discouraged by a possible exit. I handed him a flyer and a lotus flower. He started reading the words "Zhen-Shan-Ren" aloud and burst into laughter. "Zhen, who does that? Politicians lie all the time." "However much they lie,” I said, “Zhen-Shan-Ren is the law of the universe. You must believe that righteous people will prevail." Later on, when I happened to visit his office, I saw the lotus flower on his desk. "You still have the lotus flower," I said. "Yes", he replied, "it makes me feel good every time I see it."
My first boss in the parliament said that the term "crime against humanity" we use about the persecution of Falun Dafa is a term that was used for the first time by the UN to condemn Hitler. I was not sure how he felt about Falun Dafa by saying this. We shared the same office and when he was not there he allowed me to sit at his desk. He did not come to the office until 12:30 pm. So I could send righteous thoughts at 11:55 with the door closed and no interruption.
After two weeks of intensive righteous thoughts at my boss‘s desk, he came to me and said: “My head is killing me. Could we do Falun Dafa?” We performed exercise 1 until we were interrupted. His secretary told me later that many times he wanted to do Falun Dafa again, but could not find the time.
When he and his secretary left parliament to work for a political leader, his secretary called me to say that maybe I should come to their new office and teach Falun Dafa to their political leader, as he is a very nervous and negative person.
I realized that this secretary, due to interacting with me on a daily basis, came to understand the good effects of cultivation practice and even suggested the practice to their political leader. It was exactly like the situation described in Zhuan Falun:
“Your practice is so powerful. When is your teacher coming? I’d also like to attend his lectures”. The main purpose of our Falun Dafa cultivation is to guide people to high levels. While it does not intend to do such a thing, it can nonetheless assume a great constructive role by promoting spiritual civilization in society. If everyone searches internally and considers how to conduct himself or herself well, I would say that society will stabilize and the human moral standard will move up to where it once was.” Zhuan Falun, Lecture Four
Last year, we Greek practitioners tried to organize two hearings regarding organ harvesting inside the parliament. The first one was stopped by the Minister of Health. The second one we did manage to hold. We invited David Matas and we were given permission for him to speak at a hearing inside the parliament.
Although we thought that everything was fixed, one week before the event the president of the hearing called and said that maybe the hearing would be cancelled. He did not explain any further, but he advised me to call on his behalf the Minister of Foreign Affairs and ask for his approval.
We increased sending righteous thoughts as a group and we made all the necessary phone calls to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. We finally got his approval.
One day before the hearing, however, the president called me again and told me that the hearing would be cancelled, but for another reason: an urgent law should be passed by the parliament. According to the rules of the parliament, the social affairs committee that was responsible for our hearing would have to cancel all the hearings arranged the same day with the urgent law passing.
The Falun Dafa Association's coordinator in Greece insisted we could still have the hearing. He asked me for permission to enter the parliament so we could go together to talk to the committee president and find a solution.
I told our coordinator that it is impossible to have the hearing the same day as the urgent law. It was against the rules of the parliament. All people in the parliament knew that.
Our coordinator insisted. We went to the president together and asked for the hearing to be held. The president repeated that this was impossible. Our coordinator appeared peaceful and not influenced by the denial. He was sure that we could find a solution. Although the president kept saying “no”, suddenly, a phone call was made to the president. The urgent law would be passed later so we could have the hearing.
I realized by my fellow practitioner’s attitude that righteous thoughts is not only sending righteous thoughts. It is a state of mind that is peaceful and pure, not letting any interference block the way. It is the emptiness of mind based on unshakeable belief in Master's arrangements that creates certainty and stability inside a practitioner. A state of full confidence that Master is always with us, no matter what, and no matter how difficult or strange the things around us seem. Master said:
“During the Fa-rectification, while I eradicate the old forces’ influence on Fa-rectification I am also making arrangements for you. Things appear to be evil and chaotic, when in fact they’re all really well-ordered. The old forces made well-ordered arrangements, but I too have done things with much order. No matter which angle you look at it from, there’s a way to ultimately resolve these problems. During this period [we should focus on] how we can seize this opportunity to truly demonstrate the extraordinariness and the great mighty virtue of a cultivator. This is also a precious opportunity.” Teaching the Fa at the Washington, D.C. International Fa Conference
The official hearings are mandatory to be attended by the whole committee of 30 MPs. Unfortunately our hearing was unofficial and only 3 MPs attended together with the committee president and 2 NGO representatives. They were all shocked about the evidence of organ harvesting in China and one of them in particular was really glad to help further. We had a meeting with him after a few days where we talked further about the persecution of Falun Gong and interference we faced when we brought Shen Yun to Athens in 2010. He seemed to deeply understand the evil nature of the CCP and he expressed once more the willingness to help. Although the hearing had not the impact we all wished, it was a good push to those who attended, as they all said that they would further inform their parties after we gave them the information. Also they all expressed the wish that more MPs should be there to hear the facts. That give us the chance to hold another one in the future. Another very good point was that the hearing was broadcast live from the parliament’s TV channel to the whole country. A fellow practitioner saw it live, and said our presentation was very powerful. Everything is arranged so we hope many people saw it.
Leaving the job in the parliament was the hardest test I encountered during my cultivation. Holding a position as a political advisor inside the parliament was the best job I could possibly have to let politicians know about Falun Dafa. That is what I thought. And that is the reason that at first I considered my firing to be interference by the old forces.
I realized that this understanding was only an understanding at my own limited level. Behind my “high mission” to save politicians, there was a hidden attachment to prestige. I enjoyed the privilege of being among a few people that had been chosen by politicians to work for them as advisors. I thought I was very smart for achieving that and that I hold the high mission to save VIPs because I am so special. I had developed complacency and enjoyed my good reputation. I could not free myself from the attachment to complacency, although I had spotted it inside me.
One day a friend of mine said: “You have to realize that a higher being is protecting you. This firing is a blessing for you. You are well protected by a higher being.”
I realized that validation of self diminished my faith in Master. And Master was giving me a hint through my best friend’s mouth that He arranges everything and I have to trust Him completely.
Complacency is an obstacle to reach consummation. And I have to let it go. Master said:
“A demon can also praise you, and tell you how high your level is, what a great Buddha or a great Tao you are, and that it thinks that you are terrific—these are all phony. As one who truly practices cultivation toward high levels, you should give up various attachments. When encountering these issues, you should all be on your guard!” Zhuan Falun, Lecture Six
These are my recent understandings at my own limited level.
Please kindly point out anything inappropriate.
Thank you, Master.
Thank you, fellow practitioners.
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