My Cultivation Experience Working in the Media
Greetings, venerable Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I’m grateful to Master for arranging this Fa Sharing Conference, which provides us with a platform for collective cultivation and sharing. It allows me to take a moment of true tranquillity amidst my bustling daily life, to carefully recollect and contemplate my shortcomings in cultivation.
During the process of writing this paper, I’ve discovered a trace of attachment to personal gain. I was afraid that if I didn’t write well, my paper wouldn’t be selected, and this would be a waste of my time. Actually, during everyday life, I’ve wasted precious time on trivial matters. Not wanting to write this sharing paper is simply an excuse for seeking comfort. I feel that as particles within Dafa, writing an annual sharing paper is just like students taking an annual final exam. Regardless of whether I can answer each question or perform well, I must use the “exam” to help me recognize my own shortcomings and make up for them. In the limited time left, I will diligently improve myself and keep pace with the progress of Fa-rectification.
Next, I would like to share my experiences regarding my cultivation in media work.
Part1. Striving to get rid of Selflessness in Media Work
As a lifestyle editor for Vision China Times newspaper in Melbourne, I am responsible for various tasks, including external communication, reader submissions, content organization, article writing, data compilation, event planning, and more. I don’t consider myself an exceptionally capable person, but throughout this process, I have always tried to give my best effort.
Because I am someone who is not particularly sociable and prefers independent work, I tend to handle certain tasks on my own if I believe I can do them well enough without inconveniencing others. I recognize some of my attachments behind this habit. Firstly, there’s a lack of trust in others. Due to my preconceived notions that have formed over time, I have my own rigid standards when it comes to work, and deep down, I expect others to complete tasks according to my preferences. If the results don’t align with my expectations, I tend to feel a sense of disappointment. These preconceived notions and my attachment to personal preferences have gradually led me to develop a habit of trying to do everything by myself. If I find a translated article isn’t up to par, I’ll do the translation myself. If I’m concerned about others’ ability to organize activities, I’ll take care of all the preliminary work before handing it over. This sense of “concern “and “distrust” has led me to tackle on my own many tasks that could be done collaboratively, and this has gradually exhausted me both mentally and physically.
Due to prolonged work in front of a computer screen, there was a time when I would often leave work with a headache, only for it to return to normal the next morning, and then the cycle would repeat. There was even a period of time when I had symptoms of what people commonly refer to as “floaters” in my eyes, where one eye would constantly see flashes and contain a dark spot within the line of sight. Over time, it felt like a dark veil had enveloped my eyes.
Due to weak righteous thoughts, my initial reaction wasn’t to look within but rather to search online for reasons behind the eye condition I was experiencing. However, there was a lot of different information on the internet and, out of fear, the more I read, the more anxious I became. In the end, I decided to visit the eye and ear hospital. At the hospital, after conducting an examination, the doctor told me there was nothing to worry about. It was simply the normal degeneration of the fluid in the eye, and this degeneration was irreversible.
Master said in Zhuan Falun: “It occurs when the spiritual practice that you do works on both your mind as well as your physical body, such that your body changes from its core. With this process your cells will be gradually replaced by high-energy matter, and the aging process slowed. Your body will show signs of changing and reverting to a more youthful state, incrementally, until in the end the material of your body will have been replaced entirely by high-energy matter, and your body will no longer consist of the same material it once did.”
A practitioner’s body is undergoing a transformation into high-energy matter. So, how could my body be aging and degenerating? Superficially, it may seem like I was straining my eyes, but as a Dafa practitioner I should view this issue from a higher level. In my busy daily work, I have to interact with everyday people, produce content that appeals to them, and sometimes, in pursuit of attention and click rates, adopt the sensationalism commonly used by everyday media outlets. I had set aside the standards of a practitioner and took doing things as cultivation instead. When my eyes hurt or I had a headache, I didn’t think of strengthening myself by studying the Fa and doing the exercises; I simply believed a good night’s sleep would be enough. I was treating myself as an everyday person.
Master offered guidance in Zhuan Falun, “But if you always regard yourself as an ordinary person and mistake such things for health issues, you are going to have a hard time practicing. If you still take yourself to be an ordinary person when you meet with challenges in your practice, then your character has dropped to the human level, at least in those instances.”
I realized that when tests come, our initial reactions reveal our true state of cultivation. My doubts and fears exposed my lack of unwavering faith in Master and the Fa. I was afraid that what ordinary people call “floaters” in my eye would persist throughout my life. I tried to eliminate these stray thoughts and fears, and I regarded all incorrect states as illusions and what Master is using to test me. When I earnestly looked within and no longer took the illusion seriously, one day I suddenly found that the incorrect state in my eyes had somehow disappeared. It was as if it had never happened.
However, cultivation should be free of omissions, and we must root out even the deeply hidden attachments one by one. Afterwards, I encountered a test that struck me to the core. China Vision Times was part of a promotional event, and I worried that my colleague in Sydney (who was not a practitioner) had no experience organizing such an event. So, I did everything myself, including communicating with the organizer, preparing articles about the event, and even arranging the layout with the graphic designer. After all that, I sent everything that was ready to my Sydney colleague and told her how to promote the event and when to publish it. I thought I had been very considerate and saved others a lot of trouble. I even felt a bit proud of my competence. However, things did not unfold as I had anticipated.
When I learned that an event that needed promotion in all four major cities in Australia had not been published in the Sydney newspaper as scheduled, I immediately contacted my colleague in Sydney to inquire about the delay. When she explained that the graphic designer had forgotten, a sense of resentment welled up in me. I began to inquire in detail about their workflow, trying to pinpoint where the problem had occurred. I discovered that this colleague was working part-time and responsible for arranging content. However, because she wasn’t working on the day of proofreading, the proof-reader didn’t know which articles needed to be published in that issue. Additionally, the graphic designer’s workload was overwhelming, and the email about this arrangement got lost in the sea of emails.
I knew clearly that this was another xinxing test! I tried hard to control my emotions, but my suppressed feelings of grievance, disappointment, and anger inadvertently surfaced in our conversation. I pointed out that their workflow had issues and needed to be resolved, while also sharing the workflow that I thought was better and more efficient. However, she didn’t accept it and believed that the current workflow suited her best. I stubbornly insisted that this workflow had flaws and problems. Subconsciously, I thought that she didn’t value the newspaper as much as I did because she wasn’t a practitioner. With the intention of problem-solving, I suggested, “If there is no better solution, let’s ask the chief editor during the weekly meeting!” I believed I was acting in the best interest of the newspaper. However, in the eyes of the other person, it seemed like I was deliberately making things difficult for her and publicly pointing out her shortcomings. In an instant, my sense of injustice, unfairness, disappointment, and indignation all welled up. I felt that I had put in so much effort, done so many things beyond my responsibilities, all for the good of the newspaper, yet my efforts were not being appreciated, and I was being unfairly treated.
I understand that as a practitioner, the first step should be looking within when encountering conflicts. Moreover, I don’t want to create a negative impression of Dafa disciples in the eyes of others. Therefore, I continued to explain, but because of my attachment to validating myself, no matter how much I explained, her opinion about me didn’t change.
Master wrote in (“Don’t Argue,” Hong Yin III)：
“Don’t argue when people argue with you
Cultivation is looking within for the cause
Wanting to explain just feeds the attachment
Breadth of mind, unattached, brings true insight”
As a practitioner, I knew that nothing we encounter is coincidental. So, I stopped explaining. I realized that it was time to do some deep introspection.
I believed that, given the effort I put in, I should receive corresponding rewards, such as recognition, gratitude, praise, or cooperation from others. However, the results didn’t align with my expectations, and I found myself being wrongly accused, which made me feel indignant. This is all a matter of measuring things with human notions. On the surface, it may seem like I’m considering others and helping them, but deep down, there’s a hidden attachment to avoiding trouble caused by others and elevating myself, as if to be a mentor, because of a lack of trust in others. Seeking affirmation from others, seeking rewards, and seeking specific outcomes are all self-centered pursuits.
However, as long as these attachments persist, the more I seek, the less I obtain. Trying to avoid trouble only brings more trouble. Wanting to hear pleasant words, only invites unpleasant ones. I was pursuing my desired outcomes, yet the results didn’t align with my wishes. I know this was clearly just a small matter, but it kept churning in my heart. On the one hand, I felt that I didn’t have a problem and that it was the other person’s fault. But on the other hand, I understood that, as a practitioner, I should look within and eliminate all those attachments. I made an effort to let go of my stubborn self and various human notions, even though I still felt reluctant. I left a message apologising to her, acknowledging that I had overstepped and hadn’t considered things from her perspective. However she, in turn, changed her attitude and replied that it was okay, understanding that my reaction may have been due to my inability to explain to the organiser. She didn’t want to make the matter public because the graphic designer had just been criticised for a work mistake, and she didn’t want to burden her colleague further.
After I read this message, I felt ashamed of myself. I’ve always believed that cultivators should be better than everyday people, but in many respects, I feel I’m not even on par with everyday people. Even in the process of looking within, I still find cunning hidden thoughts, thinking that just looking within will solve my problems with Master’s help. It’s an impure thought to use the Fa for personal gain. I’m troubled by these attachments, but fortunately, I can continually cultivate myself within the Fa. I’m thankful for Master’s arrangements, which allow me to see my inadequacies in the process of cultivation!
Part2. Digging Deep Again After reading the new scriptures
Over the past decade working in the media, I gradually developed a sense of weariness. With colleagues leaving one after the other, my workload was getting heavier and heavier. The repetitive tasks every week, the complexity of the work, along with my involvement in various truth-clarification projects, my everyday life and managing our family business all combined to frequently make my inner state quite agitated. Sometimes, I’d find myself troubled by the sheer number of trivial tasks I had to handle, and there were moments when it felt like every cell in my body was resisting. On the rational side, I understood my responsibility, but the pressure weighed heavily on me. Many times, thoughts of giving up crossed my mind, and I thought that maybe someone else might do a better job than me in this position. During times when my righteous thoughts were lacking, I even questioned whether all the things I was doing had any meaning.
Master published two new scriptures, “Stay Away from Peril” and ” Cultivation in Dafa Is Serious,” At first I thought Master was addressing specific issues related to certain individuals who had deviated from the Fa, I didn’t feel particularly shocked when reading these two new scriptures. I thought it had nothing to do with me, as it wasn’t about me. Master mentioned complaints about Master, actions that undermined Dafa, and I absolutely wouldn’t do such things, and I couldn’t understand why such phenomena existed. However, after repeatedly studying the new scriptures and reading sharing articles on Minghui, I realized I was wrong. Even though I didn’t have those extreme thoughts and behaviors, I found impure thoughts lurking deep within me. For example, when I believed I had put a lot of effort into a project, but my eye problems surfaced, or when I thought I had helped someone, but I was accused and treated unfairly, or on the day of participating in a parade, I experienced symptoms resembling those of the CCP virus… in these situations, occasional doubts, misunderstanding and complaints would surface in my mind. I felt I had devoted a lot to Dafa, so why were the results like this?
Master’s words in “Stay Away from the Peril” resonated for me:
“Don’t think that just because you’ve clarified the truth, attended some Dafa activities, or participated in Dafa projects that you’ve done something for Dafa or for Master. That’s Master telling you to mutually save and help each other, to save others while saving yourself—this is sentient beings saving each other at the end times. This is not done for Dafa’s sake.”
“The purpose of Dafa disciples spreading the truth is to be able to temper themselves amid tribulations and thus shed karma while consummating themselves, and this makes practicing cultivation even more meaningful and magnificent. This isn’t done for Dafa, either; it’s done for the cultivators themselves. The ill-treatment and injustice you suffer in the persecution are also eliminating your own sins, not eliminating anything for Dafa, and certainly not eliminating anything for Master! Dafa is here to save sentient beings, and that includes you! ”
I realized that Master has pointed out the most direct and righteous path for our cultivation. In this process, if we deviate even slightly, we must continually rectify ourselves. If an impure thought is not corrected and instead is allowed to develop, it can lead us further away from the Fa, ultimately being exploited by the old forces to commit crimes against Dafa. Master has borne tremendous karma and suffered for us – we can never know just how much – while I have only encountered some minor xinxing tests in my cultivation, which I needed to endure in order to eliminate my karmic debts. Yet, I was still seeking to gain from Dafa, using human reasoning to measure how things “should be.” This kind of notion is very dangerous. These long-standing attachments that are not let go of can be infinitely magnified and reinforced by the evil, satisfying human desires and turning practitioners into tools that undermine the Fa. Cultivation is about unconditionally letting go of all human attachments. If we continue to cling to human desires and seek satisfaction from Dafa in our cultivation, how are we any different from monks who are attached to their begging bowl?
I also realize that we descended to this world to assist Master in Fa-rectification, and each person has their own path to follow. Some are on the front lines clarifying the truth, some use artistic forms to save people, and others use the media to spread the truth. We have signed contracts with Master to come to this human realm and play different roles in different ways to fulfill our missions. Fellow practitioners in mainland China face an extremely wicked and challenging environment yet continue to clarify the truth face-to-face. In contrast, I am in a safe cultivation environment overseas and can effectively participate in truth clarification with just a little thought, and the movement of my fingers. There’s no reason for me not to persist. As Dafa disciples during the Fa-rectification period, Master has bestowed upon us infinite honor, and I must shoulder my responsibilities as a Dafa disciple.
Reflecting on these years of cultivation, with its ups and downs, I feel that Master is constantly by my side, watching over me, and often guiding me in my dreams. For example, I had a dream of an enormous character of zhen (truthfulness) 真 appearing in the sky, another dream about gods manifesting and ascending, and a dream about Dafa stories from this historic period being displayed in somewhere like a museum, where everyday people come to admire them. When my cultivation state isn’t good, I dream of falling into a perilous situation or facing an exam with many questions that cannot be solved. I dream of all Dafa disciples lining up, but there’s no place for me and so on. I’m grateful that Master has arranged a cultivation environment in a Dafa project, allowing me to always remain alert and not get caught up in the whirlpool of ordinary people. This is one of the reasons I have persisted to this day in not leaving the media environment.
I think that being involved with the media might be the best path arranged for me by Master. I will not let Master’s compassionate salvation go to waste and will be more diligent in my actual cultivation, fulfilling my prehistoric vows. This way, when I return to the heavenly world, I won’t have any regrets when I look back on the path I’ve traveled.
The above is my personal understanding. Please point out anything that is incorrect.
Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners!