Greetings Great and Benevolent Master, greetings fellow practitioners:
1. Cultivate and improve myself while designing advertisements for the Epoch Times
When I was in
Later my daughter and I decided to go to The Epoch Times. I rang the coordinator of the editing department on my way to the office and she said, “Come over, let’s see what you can do.” I didn’t feel welcome, so I told my daughter, “Let’s go back home, I don’t want to go.” When we got home, I searched within myself as to why did I feel wronged. I was too attached to being respected. We went to The Epoch Times again later, and a practitioner said, “You don’t have an appointment.” I could only go back home. I was thinking that the road to happiness really is full of hardships. My daughter told me that appointments are necessary in other countries. Later on I went to The Epoch times again and a practitioner in the advertisement department said, “How about you do some typing and data entry for the classifieds.” I thought doing anything was good. Since I told Master in my mind that I wanted to work for The Epoch Times, I had to fulfil my word.
While working for The Epoch times, I discovered a lot of human attachments, like the attachment to happiness, showing off, fear of criticism, and jealousy that made me look down on other people. Thank you Master for giving me so many opportunities again and again so that I can improve. Master told us: “For a cultivator, all the frustrations he comes across among everyday people are trials, and all the compliments he receives are tests”. - A Cultivator is Naturally Part of It (Essentials for further advancement.)
Very soon I learned to do Classifieds and advertising design, and I learned to arrange the newspaper layout. Fellow practitioners praised me for being such a fast learner. My attachment to happiness came out. I didn’t turn off my computer monitor after finishing the design, waiting for other people’s praise. However, when this kind of attachment came out, I attracted criticism instead. When I thought I had composed a good advertisement image, and had the attachment of happiness and showing off the next day, the customer would ask me to change that image. Whenever I said that other people’s designs were not as good as mine, the next day, my client would asked me to fix my design according to the one that I didn’t think was very good. My cultivation status was also reflected in my advertising design. Any human notion would influence the result of the advertisement.
Once in a sales meeting, the sales staff criticized the advertising design staff. I argued: “I would sign on the design form for the advertisement I did, indicating that I didn’t make the mistake.” But in my mind I thought about quitting, and didn’t go in to office for several days. I felt that the practitioner was nit-picking and wasn’t behaving look like a practitioner. I didn’t realize that I had also fallen to the level of ordinary people.
From time to time I would hear about criticism and accusations. When it was raised face to face, sometimes I would defend myself or explain. When it was spread behind my back, I would feel very disgusted. Mater said in Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting: “‘Cultivate yourself’ and ‘search within’ are words that I have said in a very straightforward and clear manner. (Laughing) But, there aren’t that many people who give these words due weight.”
I thought: I am here to assist Master to rectify the Fa, so why do I feel unjustified? Why do I always consider other practitioners picking at my faults while they criticise me? Sometimes I fancied that the practitioner who picked at my faults was an enemy in my previous life. If the practitioners’ criticism is responsible for helping the project to save sentient beings, why should I care about her attitude to me? I have to eliminate the attachment of self-esteem and vanity from the root.
Thirty years ago, I suffered many diseases: low blood sugar, lumbar disease, stomach disease, leg disease etc. After practicing cultivation, the diseases disappeared, and my whole body became very light. While doing the advertisement design, I can sit for over 12 hours in front of the computer without feeling hungry and tired. I don’t get a headache my eyes are not blurred.
Later two other practitioners in the advertisement department left, and all the tasks of advertising design fell to me. I had a human notion of complaining. When we had more advertisements, I thought whether I should also shrink back in the face of difficulties. Every time I had the thought of leaving, I always unconsciously reviewed Master’s Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting, Master said: “You really need to be clear on this, handle yourself well, and get rid of that human sense of unfairness.”
Sometimes I studied once at night and once in the morning. This helped to strengthen my righteous thoughts. It was not an accident for me to do advertising design. Since going to school, writing and painting have been inseparable from me, and these skills are helping to prepare for today’s Fa-rectification.
It is hard work to sell advertisements; I always take the trouble to make changes and adjustments promptly according to the requirements of the sales staff and the clients. With the growing of the sale staffs and the quantity of advertisements, , I often work till midnight. There is a benefit to this in that I won’t miss the midnight sending righteous thoughts. During all this time of working at The Epoch times, no matter how late at night I finish, I always do the five sets of exercises and then go to The Epoch times. I always study the Fa as soon as I get home at night.
Soon after, two other practitioners and I worked on the Mid-Autumn special edition. When this special edition was printed, unsatisfactory things happened again. The messages to the readers on the second page couldn’t be read clearly. On another page, the moon background came out over the top of the fairy image, covering the head and upper body of the fairy. It wasn’t me who checked the final layout, so I didn’t think too much about it.
One day, I overheard a phone conversation between practitioners talking about the issues tht had affected the Shen Yun Chinese flyers and the Mid-Autumn special edition. The tone was very harsh and they were saying that they should stop Susan from doing the job, she’s no good at all. I didn’t say anything, but felt so wronged in my heart, because I didn’t think that those problems were my fault. I thought, “You said that I wasn’t good, but I tried my best. You nitpicked and blamed me and said things behind my back. You don’t have the final say in whether I’m good or not.” I even tried to find out who was talking about me behind my back. I didn’t pass the test well.
Later, the same thing happened again, I overheard another practitione’rs conversation on the phone, regarding the same issues. This time I thought, “Nothing a practitioner encounters is accidental.” Master said: “Many gods are whispering in my ear. Your Dafa disciples won’t stand for anyone being critical of them. Just one word and they explode. Could it work if others aren’t allowed to criticize them? How are they supposed to cultivate if they can’t take criticism? What kind of cultivator does that amount to?” “I will remove that material substance, but the associated habits and traits that you’ve formed have to be eliminated by you. And as for the habits that you’ve formed over time, those stem from your various attachments. Those who are attached to saving face will be made to hear things that are embarrassing, hitting upon that attachment that causes you not to be able to stand hearing others’ critical remarks. There are also some people who think that since they are project coordinators, they should be immune to criticism. And then some people who have special talents in some regard or other won’t take criticism from people. Another group won’t hear anyone out on account of having a negative opinion about the other person. It comes in all shapes and sizes. Being unwilling to listen to others’ remarks stems from a range of attachments.”（Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan）Looking within, I found a lot of attachments: fame, competitive mentality, complaining, refusing criticism, attachment to praise etc.
Examining myself, although I don’t have the habit of talking about other practitioners behind their backs, but during casual conversations with fellow practitioners at home, I would talk about who’s status is good, who doesn’t behave like a cultivator, etc.. Master said: “Karma is produced by a person’s doing wrong in this life or in past lives. For instance, killing, taking advantage of others, infringing upon others’ interests, gossiping about someone behind his or her back, being unfriendly to someone, and so on can all create karma.”（FALUN GONG）I think that maybe I need to cultivate my own speech.
2. Harmonize and cooperate with other Dafa Activities,
After coming to
During the Shen Yun promotion period, I participated in letterbox drops, putting up posters, making DVDs, stuffing envelopes, distributing flyers, selling tickets in shopping centres, sending righteous thoughts, setting up Facebook pages and doing whatever the coordinators asked me to do.
I was enlightened. I always think that
I am a Dafa Disciple, keeping a pure mind and strong
righteous thoughts. Once my daughter and I went to distribute
Shen Yun flyers. We
saw over 100 mail boxes in a building, but we needed to swipe a key card to
enter the building, I closed my eyes and asked for Master’s help. After a few seconds,
I opened my eyes and saw a man opening the door from inside. We asked the
audiences coming out of the theatre after seeing Shen
Yun, “How did you know about the performance?” Some
said that their friends told them and some said that they saw it advertised in
the newspaper or on posters. There were some people from remote places who said
that they received Shen Yun
flyers in their letterboxes. I enlightened that everything that we do in Shen Yun promotion is sacred and
important. Master said: “But, precisely because you are in this place of
delusion, and cannot see the reality of things, nor the holiness of all that
you have done, and since you each have a human side, it is hard to establish
such righteous thoughts and you thus don’t experience a sense of excitement,
and must manage to do well amidst hard times. Only by coming through under
these conditions does it count as extraordinary. If people could know the
magnificence, or extraordinariness of what they are doing, nobody would
hesitate to do these things. If everyone could see a divine being right before
them, in full, living color, then nothing else would
matter and they would put everything on
the line in order to follow whatever that divine being said. Everyone would do
the same, and there would be no mighty virtue to be had, for it would not be
cultivation. The spell of delusion would have been broken, and so nothing would
count. But, precisely because one is amidst the setting of delusion, one cannot
perceive the truth of things, and thus it can be seen whether you can manage to
cultivate, whether you can manage to make it through to the finish, and whether
you can succeed at cultivation. It is immensely difficult for a human being on
this earth to become a god, and it is every bit as difficult for him to ascend
to the heavens.”（Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa
time that I delivered the Shen Yun
material to a letter box, I would talk to the family in my heart, “Go to see Shen Yun, this is what you’ve
been waiting for for thousands of years.” It’s like
when I was distributing Dafa materials in mainland
Once when I was selling tickets in a shopping centre, a westerner who bought a ticket didn’t want to leave and kept on saying, “I want to see Shen Yun, I can’t wait.” Another westerner said, “Put up your posters earlier and we will go to buy tickets by ourselves.” A Chinese person asked me: “Is Shen Yun performed in the Sydney Opera House?”. Seeing sentient beings longing for Shen Yun further reminds us of our responsibility as Dafa disciples.
Once when I gave some truth clarification material to an ordinary person, he said: “Are you retired with nothing to do?” Looking inward, I realized that when I saw less than 20 practitioners come out for this Dafa activity, and most of them were older practitioners, complaints came into my mind, “The coordinator had said that this is a large Dafa activity. How come only a few people turned out? And they are all old people.” This unrighteous thought gave the sentient beings an excuse not to take the materials; every single thought from a Dafa disciple will have an impact on saving sentient beings. Although fewer people showed up, the energy field was still very strong. A western lady came up to my daughter asking: “What exercise are you practising? I can feel the strong energy.” A Chinese person also came to me saying that he wanted to know more about Falun Gong.
Another time, we sent righteous thoughts at the Chinese consulate with only three practitioners. My human notion came out, “How come only three people came?” Suddenly I changed my thinking, “Wrong, three cultivators are three gods.” Once this thought came out, I felt very high and strong, One thought really distinguished a God from a human being.
I have been doing the three things to assist Master in rectifying the Fa every day. I improve myself through Xinxing tests every day, and every day is fulfilling.
In the end, let us remember Master’s teaching: “The cultivation environment and the perceptions people have are both undergoing changes on a fundamental level. This phenomenon indicates that Fa-rectification and Dafa disciples' cultivation are in their final stages. And yet a small number of students--veteran students, even--have to differing degrees exhibited a despondent state and slackened in their resolve to be diligent. They haven't realized that this is an attachment to the duration of Fa-rectification, or is caused by interference from incorrect, acquired notions, which results in their gaps being exploited by interfering factors that the old forces left behind early on in the surface of the human dimension, wicked specters, or rotten demons--things that have magnified and strengthened those attachments and human notions--all of which has brought about this despondent state. Actually, if you think about it, the cultivators of the past didn't dare to slack off for even a second, and that was when it took an entire lifetime to complete the journey. So how can Dafa disciples--who are to achieve the Attainment Status of a being who is saved by Dafa and who have the most convenient cultivation way--not be even more diligent when they are given this most glorious honor of Fa-validating cultivation in a brief cultivation period that passes in the blink of an eye?” (The Closer to the End, the More Diligent You Should Be) On the road of cultivation ahead, I need to be more diligent, eliminate my human notions, let go of myself, harmonize the whole body, fulfill my prehistoric vow and come back home with master.
Please correct me if I have said anything inappropriate.
Thank you Master, Thank you fellow practitioners.