我在自己的联邦议员第一次当选前就开始跟進他，至今他已在第二个任期，因此已经建立了相当的信任度。但与省议员的联络不多，最近正好借媒体讲真相的机会补上。有了突破工作中弱点的经验，我在西人同修的帮助下，对与议员的会面做了准备，包括：她会问什么问题？ 如果她说这事归联邦管，如何应对? 她的职责范围是什么? 她能够做什么? 在正式会谈前，我们怎样取得她的好感和信任？我尽可能地搜索了她和她的助理在社交媒体上的内容，网络上对于她的报道，她在议会的发言，在社区为民众做的事情，等等，找到了关键的两个契合点，并和参与开会的同修事先做了发言的分工。
 李洪志师父著作: 《精進要旨三》<也棒喝>
 李洪志师父著作: 《正法时期大法弟子》
 李洪志师父著作: 《转法轮》
 李洪志师父著作: 《二零零二年波士顿法会讲法》
 李洪志师父诗词: 《洪吟》〈缘归圣果〉
English translation of the sharing:
Cultivating and Clarifying the Truth in Mainstream Society
Greetings respected Master!
Greetings fellow practitioners!
I work in a well-known multi-national company. In the middle of the year the company requested all employees to update their personal profile and career development plan in the HR system. I will take this opportunity to share the improvement in my cultivation throughout this process, and my new experience and understanding of clarifying the truth to the mainstream society, including politicians.
Before Updating My Profile
My job duties are mainly around project evaluation, which involves working with the team to propose the best plan and obtain approval from the relevant stakeholders. I had always regarded myself as someone merely playing a supporting role because of the following reasons: 1) Lack of experience. I had only 1-year experience in this position; 2) The technical part isn’t my specialized area, I could leave it to the project manager and didn’t have to be very much involved; 3) Most of my colleagues are Westerners. I still struggle with not being able to understand the whole of their conversations from time to time.
Although the proposals are made as a result of team effort with months of analysis and discussions, it is my responsibility to seek approval from the stakeholders. I experienced challenges in several proposals that I was involved. Instead of giving a smooth greenlight, they raised all sorts of queries by either calling me or listing them in an email.
In my view, some of the queries were indeed important, whilst some were minor and not detrimental to the business case. However, if I can’t come up with good explanations, they won’t approve it, which will delay the project. I had to spend more time addressing those queries, which on a few occasions only triggered more queries. It made myself busier, while my team kept following me up, “When will it be approved?” In the end my manager had to intervene and handle it directly.
My manager would normally book a 1-hour meeting with the other party. In the meeting she would explain the background and key elements of the project, and then address those queries. The doubts were clarified with ease during their small chats and laughter. I admired their communication skills, and felt I would never be able to do as well as her. I will never understand all their jokes no matter how hard I study English, as my time is limited.
I always preferred communicating via email with the stakeholders. I was afraid of talking over the phone, afraid of not being able to understand the other party. Thus, an issue that could be resolved with a simple phone call would take me several exchanges of emails, wasting much time.
Challenge of Writing My Profile
In the middle of the year the company requested everyone to update the personal profile, by outlining one’s career development plan, detailing how to achieve it, and how one will add value to the business. The company regarded it as a high priority and stressed its importance on many occasions.
This was really hard because I did not have such a plan in my mind. I had the attachment to time since 1997 when Master published the lecture “A Dialogue with Time”. Many major events during the past 21 years of Fa rectification kept hitting on this attachment. This year with the outbreak of the pandemic and the CCP’s being on the brink of collapse, I felt that great changes were taking place in the cosmos. Even here in the human world things are changing so rapidly. I had no desire to advance my career, hence no idea what to write about.
I did a Google search to see what other people had written but found nothing helpful. At a total loss I decided to call a friend. She was very straight forward telling me that my attitude was one of laziness. She asked me if I was worthy of my salary. I felt so ashamed of myself. This friend had known for many years that I was a cultivator and that I had been exposing the evilness of the CCP, and kept telling people that Falun Dafa is good.
Master talks about the issue of pursuit for comfort many times in the lectures:
“Do you think a Dafa disciple’s cultivation path is supposed to accommodate your fear, your pursuit of comfort and ease, and all your desires?” (“My Version of a ‘Stick Wake-up’”, The Essentials of Diligent Progress, Vol. III)
“If you are still unclear about what a Fa-rectification disciple is, you won’t be able to step forward in the current tribulation, and you will be led by the human world’s pursuit of comfort to “enlighten” along an evil path. ”(“Fa-Rectification Period Dafa Disciples”, Essentials for Further Advancement II)
My attachment to comfort was always there. I was lazy in practicing the exercises and sending forth righteous thoughts. I always wish to memorize the Fa, but had never disciplined myself to do this. The three reasons that I used to justify that I play a supporting role in my work are actually excuses. Once when I shared with my manager my first two reasons, she told me that there was no supporting role in the team, and that everyone was expected to take the equal level of responsibility and cooperate with each other. In addition, I was expected to make a breakthrough in making phone calls. She said that I shouldn’t rely on her or others to communicate with the approvers. I should have the capability to explain the case to any department and succeed in convincing them. Of course, I did not dare to mention the third excuse, that my English was not good enough. The company has staff members from all over the world. No one gets any special consideration just because English is not their native language.
I felt it was really difficult. How much time and effort should I put in? I had no idea what I should write in the career development plan. I felt like there were thorns all over my body and that a layer of the skin would come off. How should I face it? Where is the answer? I didn’t know what to do. I got into bed, hoping to fall asleep so that I could run away from the thorny feeling. I couldn’t fall asleep. I asked myself, “is there really a place for me to hide? ” No! Then get up and face it!
Getting rid of attachments of laziness and escaping
Following the career development plans of others that I managed to find on the internet, I finally came up with the first draft, and sent it to my manager. After reading it, she said that the document simply gave the reader an impression that I just wanted to keep my job, other than much development. My goodness! My true thoughts were exposed in broad daylight! Thankfully, she analyzed my weaknesses for me. She said the development plan was actually to address my weaknesses with detailed solutions.
It was true. I was afraid of making phone calls because I worried about not being able to communicate clearly. Was there any solution for this? I couldn’t say no. Previously my solution was to send an email and then wait for the reply. Now I have to write down what to communicate beforehand and practise it in my mind before making a call. I need to figure out what to say first, what to follow next, and not to pick up the phone until all these are clear. When listening to others, be diligent in taking notes. If there’s something I really struggle to understand, I must let go of the attachment of “saving face” and tell the other party that I don’t understand. This approach means that I have to put more effort in doing my homework before picking up the phone. To put it in a candid way, I shouldn’t be lazy anymore!
Why wasn’t I able to convince the stakeholders to approve our proposal? Because I didn’t want to spend more time on understanding the technical issues. There was lots of new knowledge and new English words for me to learn, and I took the excuse that it was not my area to specialize in. That’s the attachment to laziness again!
My manager said the reason that I couldn’t achieve the expected result over the phone was that I didn’t ask good questions. In fact, I didn’t really think carefully of what I should ask. Laziness!
I was very much aware that my job was given by Master. When I applied for the role I didn’t expect the company would give me an interview, but it turned out to be quite smooth to secure the position. The challenge right in front of me was a process of cultivation that I must face. Being afraid of hardship and slacking off? Then cultivate and let go of them! My manager was willing to help me again and again. Wasn’t this arranged by Master?
“As long as you improve your xinxing, you can overcome them. Unless you, yourself do not want to do so, you can make it, provided you want to overcome them.” (Lecture Four, “Loss and Gain”, Zhuan Falun)
Once I became determined to face my attachment, I was able to come up with the second draft. My manager spent over an hour with me discussing it, then asked me to revise it. After I made the changes, she again reviewed and commented, and asked me to keep improving it. We did this in several rounds, and in the following 5 weeks I edited this file more than a dozen times. All together I spent over 10 hours discussing about it with my manager and friends. I had to put my weakness in writing, and observe those attachments that I had tried to hide to get exposed. My proposed solutions to tackle those weaknesses were again and again rejected. I was told they were too vague, not specific, I should use better words to rephrase, restructure the paragraphs, bold the key points, etc. I had to think about it over and over, edit it again and again. I felt I would in no way be able to complete the task. After several rounds of editing, still it wasn’t approved. Before this experience, I wasn’t aware those attachments were not me. I felt I had nowhere to escape. I felt it so challenging that I was restless. After rewriting it so many times including writing this sharing, I finally came to see clearly that because it was me who had chosen the cultivation path, these bad substances that are attached to me were being exposed. It’s them, not me who, felt so uncomfortable!
In the process of editing again and again, my manager even helped me to correct my punctuation, fonts and grammar. I was very grateful and knew this was an opportunity arranged by Master. Finally, I was able to submit it. My manager’s manager had a read and said to me, “Yours is a cracker!” What was shown in the final version was a person who was proactive, willing to take the initiative, with plans and ideas. This was so different from what was presented in the first draft, a person who only wanted to keep the job.
The experience of rewriting over a dozen times and taking in-depth discussions with others changed my mindset. The process was as painful as if a layer of my skin was peeled off. Since then, when submitting a new project proposal to stakeholders for their approval, I no longer wait passively for their queries. I spent more time on thinking what questions they might ask, which part of details might trigger their inquiries, and how to pre-empt them. I am willing to use translation tools and put more effort in learning the technical knowledge that I hadn’t been willing to invest time in. To prepare for the approval, I learned to create a slides pack illustrating the business case with charts, numbers and texts, and book a time with the stakeholders to go though it over the phone. Just like how I rehearsed for Shen Yun presentations, I prepared the talk before the meeting, planned what to say first and what to follow up with next, and tried to think what questions they might ask. I no longer troubled my manager for her help, and was able to independently meet the other parties and talk the case through. Such preparation is tedious and time consuming, and when I came across technical issues that I didn’t know, I called the relevant people and asked them for help.
With all the preparations done I met with those concerned for a 30-minute appointment. When I finished my presentation of the project in about 15 minutes, the other party said straight away that he did not have any questions and would approve it. Previously it would take at least two weeks for the approval, and sometimes even longer, because I had wasted several days waiting passively for a reply.
In addition, since I now know what to prepare before making a phone call, I decided to let go of my attachment of laziness. I am not afraid of making phone calls any more. When I work on complex cases, I am able to confidently make an appointment with either my team members or senior leaders and discuss with them over a conference call. I am no longer a name that hides behind emails, instead, a real person who can be heard and seen. My work efficiency has improved as well.
What is more pleasant is that I am much more confident. That old “me” who was afraid of phone calls no longer exists.
Trust is the Key to Open up the Door
The difference between information and communication is that the former is one-way but the latter is two-way communication. Giving information is only the first step of truth clarification, whilst communication requires more effort. One needs to think carefully how to let the other party accept the information from the bottom of their hearts, and establishing the trust is an essential step.
A few months ago I proposed a process improvement idea to my manager which requires cooperation of other departments. She responded, “You haven’t established your credibility and trust in the eyes of others. It’s not good timing yet.” I realized this was a good reminder that my words wouldn’t be taken seriously when credibility is not yet built.
Master says in “Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Boston”:
“If we don’t pay attention to our own behavior in our daily lives, everyday people will see our actions and, since they can’t get to know you at a deep level such as by studying the Fa, they will just look at how you act. “
I decided to take my time and effort to gain people’s trust. Credibility comes from personal cultivation and constant breakthroughs.
Master says in Lecture Four of Zhuan Falun: “… that truly resembles an iron gate, and it has numerous layers of iron gates. It is known that a human body has many layers. Our physical cells are one layer, and the molecules inside are another. There is a gate placed at each layer of atoms, protons, electrons, the very microscopic particles, the infinitesimal microscopic particles, and from the infinitely microscopic particles down to the extremely infinite microscopic particles.”
There are numerous iron gates in cultivation. Upon the breaking through of each layer, a new world is opened up for us.
Throughout the many years of contact with my Federal MP I gradually built a relationship of trust. Sometimes he would ring us for an opinion over a controversial report in regard to the CCP, and he would not automatically accept what was reported in the media. Because of the long-established relationship, when there is a need for support from him he acts promptly. For instance, on 20th July this year, when we asked the politicians to voice their support of Falun Dafa he sent me a text message saying, “I receive hundreds of emails each day. Sorry I wasn’t able to read your email in time. Next time with important matters like this, please text me directly on my mobile.”
Approaching my state MP
I started to contact and maintain the connection with my federal MP since his first election campaign, and now he is in his second term. Accordingly trust has been established. However, I haven’t had much contact with my State MP. A recent biased media report on Falun Gong gave me an opportunity to approach her. With the experience of breaking through my attachments in my work meetings, I worked with an experienced western practitioner. We discussed what questions she might ask? How should we respond if she says that this is the responsibility of the federal government instead? What is her expertise and how can it be related to our case? What can she do? How shall we obtain her trust? We searched as much as we could on both social media and other internet pages about her and her staff, trying to understand her speeches in parliament and what she has done for her community, and found two relevant points. We then agreed on the roles of each practitioner who will attend the meeting about the content and order of the talk from each of us.
As an old Chinese saying goes: “one minute of performance on stage, ten years of hard work off stage.” Our preparations paid off. During our meeting she said that she would write to the Minister of Communications herself. Later she wrote to inform me that she had sent the letter. Recently the Communication Minister replied to her, and she forwarded that letter to me and indicated she would continue to keep us informed. The friendly communications with her staff before the meeting have also laid a good foundation for the future contacts. At the same time a dinner with my Federal MP was confirmed.
Invitation from a Rotary Club
A Western friend who hasn’t contacted me for two or three years recently called me advising that he was setting up a new rotary club, different from traditional ones, and invited me to the meeting. I overcame my reluctance and laziness and attended it. When I got there, I realized this was another opportunity arranged by Master. Participants at the meeting included entrepreneurs, OAM winners and a coordinator who advocates for organ donation. I stood up and talked about the connection between the campaign for organ donation and ending of the stated sanctioned forced organ harvesting under the CCP’s regime, and expressed my support to the coordinator. One of the audience members said that she had heard about the forced organ harvesting for years, but was always skeptical. Through this opportunity her doubts were eliminated to a large extent. The coordinator was pleased with the discussion, and indicated the willingness to work together in the future.
Good News about My Manager
Soon after helping me with editing my profile, my manager received good news that she received the UN Young Leader awards, and was invited to attend the award ceremony to be held in Europe next year. The experience has drawn us closer and we encourage each other. She introduced me to a senior manager with whom I wouldn’t normally get chance to meet, and I was given 30 minutes to talk with her. Once again, my manager helped me with the preparation for the meeting, including what I should say, how I should say it, what to follow up on after the meeting, and helped me polish the follow up email. I felt very touched for her attentiveness.
I still have the attachment of laziness. Because of laziness I am not willing to face my numerous attachments. I am deeply grateful for Master’s careful arrangements. Master sees that I indeed want to cultivate, so He granted me the opportunities to improve. Master showed me how beautiful it is after I break through an attachment rooted deeply within me, and allowed me to feel the joy of solid cultivation.
Destined Return for the Holy Fruition
“Oh how many the years, looking for the master,
Finally the day has arrived to meet him.
Cultivate and return, the Fa now gained,
And follow your master to return, consummated.”
(Quote from Hong Yin)
The Fa rectification is not over yet. This is because of Master’s enormous sacrifices, which has extended the time for us to continue our cultivation and saving sentient beings. I will never be able to thank Master for his grand benevolence. I will just have to keep making breakthroughs in letting go of attachments, and be worthy of Master’s compassionate waiting.
Once again, thank you Master!
Thank you fellow practitioners!