Image: by Laura Davidson via unsplash
English translation of the article:
My cultivation experience working at the newspaper project
By Melbourne Practitioner
Greetings Fellow Practitioners!
I am a young Dafa practitioner and I obtained the Fa at the same time as my parents in 1999. I came to Australia to study my Master’s degree in early 2014. After completing my degree, I was lucky enough to join the Melbourne newspaper project in May 2015. The general manager of the newspaper arranged for me to work at the front desk and told me that this was a very important position.
I was a new graduate and I didn’t have any experience working as a front desk receptionist. I only knew that the newspaper project was a very powerful project to clarify the truth and save people. Master also lectured a few times specifically to Epoch Times staff. In one of Master’s lectures, Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting,
Master said: “So, if clarifying the truth and the task of running a Dafa-disciple media entity could be rolled into one, wouldn’t that help resolve the time constraints that you face? And it would also be resolving the issue of making a living and having a job in ordinary society. What’s not to like about it? I think that this is now imperative.”
Therefore, I have always felt that it is an honour for Dafa disciples to work for the newspaper project .
- Being a novice receptionist and cultivating away my human attachments
As soon as I began my front desk receptionist job, I found that it was a tedious job. In addition to answering all kinds of phone calls, dealing with visitors, etc., I also had to process contracts and invoices, help with newspaper editing, proofreading, newspaper packaging and mailing, and some simple accounting tasks etc. After working at The Epoch Times for a while, I felt that the receptionist position was a go-for job and was not at all challenging and that my position was not important.
Because I didn’t have a correct understanding of the importance of the receptionist position, I didn’t have a good mentality when going about my job. As soon as I got busy, I would get impatient with my colleagues. I remember that for a few times when a sales staff member signed off contracts at a price that was too low. I would become upset and would say in an aggressive tone, “Your contract doesn’t meet our standard, the price is too low. I can’t process this.” The sales colleague was speechless and looked very frustrated. I should have known that she had worked so hard to sign off on this contract, however, she still had to endure the added pressure from me at the front desk.
After that, the general manager told me that those of us working in the office should be more considerate to the salespeople who have been working hard outside of the office. He also said that this is a media that clarifying the truth and a project to save people. The evil had always been watching us, and every contract is acquired with difficultly.
Later, I told the general manager: “I wasn’t feeling it right. I think that everyone can do this receptionist job, and I have to handle lots of unexpected tasks. I felt this position was not rewarding and I haven’t been able to show my abilities to others.” After hearing this, the coordinator kindly told me, “In fact, this position is very important. It is a central hub of our newspaper. You shouldn’t feel unhappy because of the increased workload. You should know that you have mastered lots of things and that you can help everyone.”
The general manager’s words have gradually changed my mindset. Yes, my job is a job that helps saving people. Why do I always feel unhappy if I have to do more work? Or do I slack off when I feel that my job isn’t important?
Master said in Zhuan Falun, at lecture seven: “The more the junior monk suffers, the easier it is for him to achieve the Unlocking of Gong. The more comfortable the senior monks’ lives are, the harder it is for them to reach the state of Unlocking Gong since there is the issue of transforming karma. The junior monk is always suffering and tired. He will repay his karma and become enlightened more quickly. Perhaps one day he achieves the Unlocking of Gong all of a sudden.”
Master has always been reminding us that hardship is a good thing for practitioners. However, I had been using ordinary people’s notions to measure it, and seeing hardship as something uncomfortable and unpleasant. So when I measured my situation with Master’s Fa, I realised that the suffering was really a good thing.
Now, when I work with fellow sales staff, I try to stand by their side and think of them more. I also realised that our work process, details and our attitude in Epoch Times are all related to saving people. Regardless of one’s personal abilities or skillset, it is all part of our cultivation. As I became friendlier towards my colleagues, they felt relieved and easier after a hard day’s work.
Recently, our office started to promote an English newspaper project . In addition to delivering newspapers, I also had to prepare maps and distribution forms for fellow practitioners. This work required great attention to detail when doing the verification and proofreading. We can’t have any errors. Although my workload had increased, I happily accepted the task. I did the verification and proofreading very carefully each time, and I was very motivated. We know that sentient beings in mainstream society are waiting for this truth-clarification newspaper. And this is also our mission and responsibility as practitioners.
I am the only child in my family. My parents and my husband are all practitioners. They have always taken good care of me. Therefore, I have always been living a life without any worries. Since I started working at the front desk, with the work getting busier every day, I gradually developed jealousy and a competitive mentality.
The receptionist job requires me to arrive at the office on time, but also stay at the desk the entire time. Usually, I come to the office early. I discovered that only the general manager and some senior colleagues would arrive early. Colleagues around my age came later than me and were often late (I later learned that they often stayed back and went home late). After a while, I felt upset and developed strong jealousy, “Why can they come to work so late? Why do I have to work so hard? I don’t get a cent more than them!”
I remember that one day I had a lot of work to do. Even though I’d normally work quickly and efficiently, that day I felt overwhelmed. At lunchtime, I was eating and working simultaneously in front of the computer. Suddenly I heard a burst of laughter. I saw that my fellow young colleagues were all gathering for lunch and happily chatting. I suddenly felt anguished and thought, “I’m so busy that I don’t even have time to eat, yet they are so happy.”
That happened on a Friday when we meant to have our weekly meeting. In the evening, my husband also came to the weekly meeting. He saw that I was in a bad mood, so he asked me, “What happened?” So I cried and told him what happened. I said: “I’m angry and I’m going home. I’m not going to attend the meeting.” My husband pointed out that I was jealous and encouraged me, “You have to let go of this attachment and listen to the sharing of fellow practitioners, that would help.”
Just like what my husband said, in the meeting, that day fellow practitioners shared about jealousy. Our sales team talked about the various contradictions, conflicts, and improvements in their Xinxing that occurred when several sales collaborated on one contract. Say several sales staff secured a contract; some made more contribution and others made less, yet each got the same share of the commission. In their situation, the salespeople who made the greater efforts had to get rid of jealously and the feeling of it being unfair, by studying the Fa more. The first thing they thought was, “This is a project to save people, and they could bring in income for the newspaper.” By thinking it this way, they were able to sign off contracts one after another. I was very touched after listening to their sharing and realised that it was the Master that inspired me, and Master arranged it in such a special way for me to cultivate away my jealousy.
I now realise that everything I encountered while working at The Epoch Times was a good thing. It helped me to cultivate and improve, and it is Master who helped me to get rid of the attachments that I harboured within me.
I remember Master said in Fa Teaching at the 2015 West Coast Fa Conference, “What are you cultivating for? For your reputation? Out of resentment? For the attachments you harbor? For your loved ones? For the things you’re attached to? For the things you can’t let go of? Aren’t all of these exactly the things that you should be getting rid of?”
- Cultivating away the attachment of comfort during the pandemic
This year’s sudden outbreak of the CCP virus brought the entire society to a standstill. However, Dafa disciples’ projects in saving people did not stop, and neither did our newspaper. According to government restrictions, company employees who could work from home must work from home. I was really happy about this policy, hoping that I could enjoy the comfort of working from home. It sounded so pleasant.
However, the general manager told us that everyone needed to decide whether to come to the office based on their own situation. I disregarded the nature of my work, and reduced my working hours in the office using the excuse of the pandemic. I even thought that I was better than others because I still spent lots of time working in the office.
But in reality, because I was away more often than before, other colleagues needed to answer the phone for me. When they called me for help, I couldn’t reply and handle the issue in time, and that brought inconveniences to the whole team.
When I came to the office, I brought my attachment to comfort. Looking at the empty office, I wasn’t able to concentrate with my work, and always wanted to finish the work quickly and go home early. Unconsciously, I made more errors in my work. Eventually, a really big mistake occurred. During the pandemic we reduced the number of pages in the newspapers, but I still mailed the newspapers with the same mailing fee that was for the original weight. It was only discovered a few weeks later, which directly resulted in the company’s financial loss.
The general manager sent me a text message with a serious tone, expressing his unhappiness with me slacking off at work. He said that if I didn’t improve, he would replace me with someone else.
The moment I received the message, I immediately woke up to myself and start self-reflecting. “What am I doing?! What kind of working attitude I have been having? My attitude to work at The Epoch Times is too perfunctory. My attitude seems to be worse than an ordinary person!” I couldn’t help asking myself, “I am a disciple since I was a child, and it has not been easy to come to this state. Why have I become more and more slack in the project that saves people?”
I suddenly thought of the Fa taught by Master,
“What I am ultimately trying to convey to you is that it was all for this affair that you came here! So you have no choice [but to do all of this well]; there is really no other way! That’s the case for Dafa disciples. For ordinary people it’s fine to reincarnate however they may. But that’s not an option for you, as you are here for Dafa and its great undertaking. So if you don’t do well you will be left with regrets. And I especially want to remind our veteran Dafa disciples not to slack off. You have gone through so many long and grueling years to make it to this day, and it really hasn’t been easy! Do you not know to value and cherish yourselves? I certainly cherish you! And divine beings do too! (Applause.) So all the more so should you value and cherish yourselves.” (2018 Fa Teaching Given in Washington, D.C.)
I only noticed when other people were relaxing, but I didn’t know how hard my colleagues worked when I couldn’t see them. Sales staff worked so hard out of the office to get contracts. In the office, I should do a better job in helping them. I should provide them with useful and accurate information. I was reluctant to double-checking my work on other simpler tasks, such as invoicing and editing, due to the attachment of comfort. This resulted in me making more errors. As long as I am willing to do everything, pay more attention and check things twice, I can reduce a lot of such mistakes. Although my work cannot bring income to The Epoch Times, nor produce news, my work can bring convenience to the whole team.
Master said in the 2018 Fa Teaching Given in Washington, D.C.: “People usually want to do things that are more visible, and where others can see what they have accomplished. They’d like it to be seen by others, if not Master. Otherwise it might bother them on some level. But actually, there are so many eyes in the cosmos intently watching you that the number is simply unimaginable. Even a single particle of matter is packed full of these eyes—even the tiniest of particles are. All of the lives in the cosmos are intently watching all that Dafa disciples do. And divine beings are among these. Your every thought and action are being recorded, and more vividly than video recording—everything is recorded multi-dimensionally. So what you are doing is for the divine to see, not man.”
After the painful experience, I affirmed to myself that I must get rid of my attachment to comfort and devote myself to the newspaper project as a way to clarify the truth and save sentient beings. So now I go to work on time every day, and I have been carefully going through my work again before leaving. I realised that this is my job, my responsibility, my position in order to fulfill my mission of saving beings.
That’s my sharing about the little things that happened to me. In fact, every aspect of work in the newspaper project is cultivation. We need to collaborate with each other and work as a whole body. In this process, we will cultivate away our various human attachments and improve our own Xinxing, following Master to return home and achieve consummation.
My understanding is limited. Please point out anything improper.
Thank you Master!
Thank you fellow practitioners.