角色的轉變 -- 做協調人的一點體會
A Change in the Role – My Experience of Being a Coordinator
Lilian Fan, Sydney
Reverend Master and fellow practitioners!
I have obtained the Fa for 14 years but have never shared my experience at a Fa conference. This year, several fellow practitioners encouraged me to pick up my pen and summarize my cultivation experience. I want to thank Master and fellow practitioners for the opportunity given to me in the past year to face my attachment and improve. I would like to share some of my experiences of being a coordinator with everyone. Please kindly point out anything that is inappropriate.
“When disciples have ample righteous thoughts, Master has the power to turn back the tide”
Last year, I was appointed to be one of the coordinators for the Epoch Times newspaper, and I passively accepted this arrangement. The main coordinator of the project requested us to cover the printing costs within 3 months, because we were quite behind (in having enough ads in the paper). Master then asked us to improve on the Fa in a short time, and He was waiting for the good news from us (not original words). Several fellow practitioners realised that studying the Fa well is the prerequisite for us to run the newspaper well, so they took the initiative and organized the morning and evening Fa study groups.
Those days, I joined the sales team Fa study group almost every day, and often participated in the training and sharing arranged by the DJY headquarters, in order to learn experiences from others. When I found out that we were quite behind compared with other daily newspaper offices, I felt quite bad and really wanted to catch up, so to not to lag behind. During those days, everyone's mind was very pure, righteous thoughts were very strong, our cooperation was also very harmonious, and the salespersons worked their hardest to sell the ads. In particular, the two salespersons that who left us came back. When I asked them what would the other project coordinator think of them coming back to help, one of them told me that it was the other project coordinator that who told them to come back, telling them that The Epoch Times needed them, and they should place the work for The Epoch Times as the first priority. I was deeply moved by that.
One month later, a miracle happened. The target which was required to be reached in 3 months was met after 1 month. Not only were the printing costs covered, the costs of daily operations and rent was also covered, and we still managed to have a small surplus, everyone was really encouraged. I remember one day at noon, a fellow practitioners left the office but came back 5 minutes later, and I asked her: aren’t you supposed to go out selling ad space, why are you back so soon? She showed me a booking order. She told me that she had met an old customer as soon as she walked on the street. After a short chat, the customer signed the advertising booking order. We felt that as long as we did things with our hearts and our hearts were together, Buddhas, Gods and Daos will all help.
How to face the conflicts and difficulties
Three months later, I was appointed to be the main coordinator of The Epoch Times. I was quite afraid at the beginning, because the circumstances at that time was kind of complex, the conflicts among practitioners were also quite intense. When sharing with some veteran practitioners, they told me that being a coordinator only means that you need to contribute more, and think of ways to bring everyone together, it shouldn’t be too difficult. They encouraged me not to worry, and said they would help me. After careful consideration, I made up my mind to take the challenge.
Perhaps my life was too comfortable in the past, and there were not many things that could affect my state of mind, thus my cultivation was improving really slowly. However, as a coordinator, I needed to take all aspects of the matter into account and considering all aspects, while being able to spend a lot of time and putting in a lot of efforts. On top of that, there are many unexpected conflicts that I needed to face, sometimes conflicts felt like they were cutting into my heart. There were so many opportunities for me to improve my xinxing, but I was not prepared, sometimes when I didn’t do well, I would react with my human mentality.
When deciding on a major business direction for The Epoch Times, I had different opinions with several other coordinators: In view of the economic financial conditions at that time, there were practitioners who suggested reducing the number of editions in a week. Their opinion was to take a step back in order to fly higher while I knew that the vast majority of fellow practitioners hoped that we could continue on with the daily paper. We had worked so hard to reach the current stage of the daily paper; The Epoch Times is playing a role which cannot be underestimated in exposing the evil and saving sentient beings. Everyone wished to see us moving forward instead of going backwards. As the main coordinator, I finally decided to continue with our daily paper, yet the biggest problem we faced for publishing daily papers was the finance issue.
Last year, during the period of promoting Shenyun, due to the shortage of manpower, we suffered a loss of tens of thousands of dollars. The Epoch Times office had no extra money to make up for the shortfall. Under such pressure, I suggested that all members of the coordination team to help out with selling ads, as it was money that we needed the most. But I never imagined that one practitioner said bluntly to me that I absolutely knew nothing about business, was not qualified as the CEO, and told me to step down quickly. As a person that who cares about my reputation, and after being treated like this, I couldn’t help it and but started to cry; I was not able to maintain my xinxing and answered back: I thought: even if I am not qualified as the CEO, there is still no chance for you. I thought to myself: you have only been here for a few days, and don’t know much about this office, who gives you the right to ordering around? Just when I was looking outwards, another practitioner also commented by saying that my body language was not good, and I was not able to listen to different opinions and was not modest enough. I became even sadder, and at the same time blamed fellow practitioners: since we have no money, why not try to make more money, but instead just think going backwards? Now looking back, I understand that fellow practitioners’ suggestions were also for the good of the paper, yet I had no courage to share my thoughts with these practitioners.
According to my character, in the past, I would have already quit if someone spoke to me like this: where can’t I cultivate? Aren’t other projects also Dafa projects? Why should I insist on doing one project or staying in one certain position? In fact, most of the practitioners would never imagine for me to be appointed to this position, yet I took the challenge to take this position. There were more than a few who were skeptical in my ability. I myself also didn’t think that I was a capable person; all that I have is the wish to do The Epoch Times newspaper well.
During that time, I heard a story which deeply moved my heart: A few years ago a newspaper office was short of money, and the coordinator tried many ways to bring money back, he even tried to sell shoes on the street. He used the money he saved bit by bit, to print the paper.
Compared to that office, our situation was quite relaxed. Our sales manager and I secretly made up our mind that no matter how difficult it was, the Epoch Times will no longer taking money from practitioners, and we will try our best to make breakthroughs in the advertising sales area, and change the current situation. Only by doing that, would we not let down those practitioners who deliver newspapers no matter whether it was windy or raining, and those who worked for DJY for a long time, and those who work quietly for a long time behind the scenes.
I didn’t deal properly with that tribulation, but things needed to be done and couldn’t be delayed. This time I didn’t choose to escape, rather I was thinking of possible ways under pressure. For a period of time, I personally visited businesses and met customers with fellow practitioners, and almost every time we managed to take some booking. Some practitioners told me that when seeing me work on sales, they felt that they should work even harder. A year later, with the hard work and cooperation of fellow practitioners, our advertising income doubled the previous year, the newspaper was thicker than before. For the first time, we have managed to achieve self-financing. Of course, this kind of self-financing was on the basis that many practitioners were contributing voluntarily, and that it is still a bit far from what Master expected from us.
There are sometimes conflicts with fellow practitioners. Once, a fellow practitioner was not quite happy with some of the decisions that I made, and didn’t work as hard as before. I didn’t know how to deal with this practitioner as my attempts for sharing with her were rejected. Once a practitioner shared with us about what Master said in a recent lecture, something like this (not original words): when doing things, if we only cooperate on the surface yet with contradicting feelings it in our hearts, we cannot achieve the goal of saving sentient beings. I thought to myself, if practitioners who working for DJY had separate hearts, then our paper wouldn’t carry clean and pure energy, and the paper’s power of saving people would be weakened or lost. One day, I finally took the courage to visit that practitioner, and I asked another fellow practitioner to come with me. I prepared to admit my mistake to her. But this fellow practitioner who used to always take the lead in things hesitated: what if that practitioner doesn’t allow me enter her home? I assured her: we all are fellow practitioners, as long as we are sincere no such thing will happen. In fact, I wasn’t too sure myself; I was only trying to encourage her. The result was that the fellow practitioner politely let us in, and told me: I have waited for you for half a year already, how can you be a CEO if you are so timid? That fellow practitioner had actually been very concerned about the Epoch Times, and was really worried for our paper. We had a good chat that night. I realized that as a coordinator, I had to learn to let go of myself, let go of the attachment of fear, and treat fellow practitioners with a sincere heart. We are practitioners, any attachment is obstacle on our cultivation path, no matter what conflicts we had before, we must reconcile in the end.
Cooperation and harmony among fellow practitioners
When I just first took my role, due to sentimentality, some practitioners from different departments were not happy with the change of the personnel, thus took a negative attitude. Some works were their responsibilities, but they managed to avoid it with excuses, so we had to do it. Some practitioners advised me not to do the jobs for them. But I understood that these practitioners still couldn’t loosen the knot in their heart, and they need some time to ponder on this issue. Master said in “Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference”, “Then as Dafa disciples, of course you should validate the Fa, that goes without saying… all of it is establishing mighty virtue for yourselves, and all of it is the path that leads to the final Consummation. In other words, all the things you're doing, including the small and insignificant things, all of them are done for yourselves, and not a single thing is done for Dafa, nor is a single thing done for me, your master.” When I thought of these words, I no longer complained about other practitioners.
Master mentioned to us several times that one Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple equates ten ordinary people or a hundred ordinary people. I thought to myself: What kind of concept is this? How could we reach Master’s requirement? I even couldn’t manage to do two people’s job. There is no short cut in cultivation. Master always reminded us to do more Fa study and to study the Fa well. If we could always looking within unconditionally when conflicts arise, constantly guiding our thinking with divine thoughts, and cooperate well, then the power we have would be indestructible.
家庭關 Tribulation in my family environment
When my husband found out that I decided to take on the role of CEO, he was not supportive in the beginning. Occasionally he would say that he should support me. But his attitude would change at times. He was afraid that such vital task couldn’t be handled by a woman like me, but more importantly, he was worried that I would no longer have time to take care of my family and children. I used to criticize him on that, now he is the one who criticizes me.
Master said in "Teaching the Fa in Canada, 2006", " So everything that you do, be it your balancing well your family relationships while you live among ordinary people, balancing well your relationships in society, how you perform at your workplace, how you conduct yourself in society, etc., none of these are things you can just go through the motions on. All of these are part of your cultivation format, and are serious matters.” I regret that I didn’t fulfill the responsibilities to my family, being a coordinator doesn’t give me the excuse to neglect other responsibilities in life. It is not easy for my husband to work away from home for a long period of time, and because of his support, I was able to fully concentrate on my work at DJY. And I believe his support brought him the blessing from Dafa, he was able to get new contracts all the time.
There were also people who advised me not to take such huge pressure on my shoulder. Let men worry about this kind of work, why tire yourself, they said. I have mentioned several times to the chief coordinator to have other people replacing me due to various pressures. But the chief coordinator always encouraged me, telling me this is no ordinary job, you are fulfilling a Dafa disciple’s responsibility of saving sentient beings, you should not consider things from your own perspective, the Fa-rectification pace is very fast, there is no time to train another coordinator from the beginning again, you need to have the courage to face difficulties, communicate more with fellow practitioners, this is a cultivation chance which your should cherish.
There were pressures from all aspects. Fortunately, the Fa-study environment we had could always calm me down when in face of difficulties and pressures. Those days, I slept little and ate little; quickly I lost 4-5 kgs. Although I lost weight, but I was never hungry or sleepy, and was always full of energy. Now when I look back, it was merely a cultivation process. When I could think clear-headedly, I would ask myself: why wouldn’t I want to take the responsibility since we risked everything just to come down here, to fulfill our historical vow to assist Master with the Fa-rectification? Master has arranged the best path for each of us, it is up to us whether we could complete our journey.
We are still short of full-time staff at DJY; I think this is directly related to my own cultivation. Recently I found that I have myself slackened off, and was not diligent in studying the Fa either. After this Fa conference, I hope that I will put more action into my cultivation and cultivate more diligently, and expand the capacity of my heart. I wish practitioners could also keep reminding each other and helping each other.
I sincerely thank Master for your compassion, and I am also very grateful to some veteran practitioners around me. They always reminded and helped me to make judgment according to the the Fa, and encouraged me when I have difficulties.
When I run into problems, I always like to recite Master’s "True Cultivation” in my heart to encourage myself. Here I would like to share a paragraph with fellow practitioners:
“You fell here from a holy, pure, and incomparably splendid world because you had developed attachments at that level. After falling into a world that is, by comparison, most filthy, instead of cultivating yourself to go back in a hurry, you don’t let go of those filthy things that you cling to in this filthy world, and you even agonize over the most trivial losses. Did you know that in order to save you the Buddha once begged for food among everyday people? Today, I once again make the door wide open, and teach this Dafa to save you. I have never felt bitter for the numerous hardships I have suffered. Then what do you have that still can’t be abandoned? Can you bring to heaven the things deep down inside that you cannot let go of?”
Once again, thank Master, thank fellow practitioners.