PureInsight | September 12, 2005
[PureInsight.org] Because of recent budget cuts in my company, I have been laid off and am in the process of looking for a new job.
There is a Chinese idiom, "An overfed man cannot relate to the feeling of a starving man." It means that it is difficult to imagine other people's sufferings unless you have personally experienced them.
When I had a job, I did not know the feeling of being unemployed. Now that I have lost my job and have to spend a lot of time and effort looking for a new one, I realize that it is a luxury to have a job. The longer I stay unemployed, the more I desire a job…
I begin to envy those fellow practitioners with stable jobs. I also regret not having appreciated it enough when I had my old job.
Actually, many fellow practitioners don't know to cherish what they have either. I know a fellow practitioner whose entire family does not cultivate Falun Gong. She also faces many other things that constantly obstruct her from doing Falun Gong's truth-clarification work. Consequently, she has to grasp every minute she has and she has to do other things very efficiently in order to squeeze out time to do truth-clarification work. She once told me, "Sometimes those couples who are both Falun Gong practitioners do not know to cherish their time. I feel really sorry for them…"
When I first learned I was on the layoff list, I felt peaceful because I know in my heart that Teacher and the Fa would look after me. Losing a job is no big deal.
After some time, my wife started complaining. "Look at you. You cannot even find a job. Can you find anyone we know who does not have a job? You cannot be a furniture mover because you are not strong enough. You cannot be a waiter because you are clumsy and likely to break all dishes in the restaurant."
It is very difficult to listen to those words without feeling insulted.
I have been cultivating for a few years, so I didn't say anything equally insulting back at my wife but, from time to time, I would nonetheless feel offended.
After I sent out my resume to many companies, some of them called and asked for a phone interview. Sometimes before the day of the scheduled telephone interview, I had already started to imagine a new life with the new company, e.g. "This is a nice area. There are many Falun Gong practitioners in this area. It will make Fa-promotion activities much easier." When another company contacted me to schedule for an interview, I started another fantasy, e.g. "This area is also very nice. It is a big city…"
Sometimes I felt the telephone interview went very well, so I became very excited and started fantasizing about the new job. But a few days went by and I heard nothing back. I knew they didn't choose me, so my enthusiasm diminished. But when another company contacted me, I couldn't help fantasizing again…
I have also noticed that people around me, cultivator or not, exhibited more severe symptoms of zealotry when they found a nice job. They would jump to the roof when a company contacted them. When hope has forsaken them, they became very distraught. The job-hunting process was a roller coaster ride for them as each day went by.
Teacher said, "[…] just by having your heart unaffected you will be able to handle all situations." (From "Eliminate Your Last Attachment(s)")
That's a realm one can only attain via cultivation!
"Your body lies in prison – don't be sorrowful, don't be sad
With righteous thoughts and righteous actions, Fa is here
Calmly reflect on how many attachments you have
As you get rid of human mentality, evil naturally disappears"
(From "Do Not Be Sad" in Hongyin II, provisional translation)
Gradually I found many of my attachments.
At my previous job, I rarely spent time chatting with my colleagues because I considered it a waste of my time. I realize that it was because I lacked sufficient understanding of conforming to everyday people's society to the best extent while cultivating.
I did whatever my boss at my previous work assigned me, but I never volunteered to do more than what I was asked. On the surface, I had been a very good employee because I followed orders. But in actual fact, I was lazy and I failed to follow Teacher's words.
Teacher said, "In terms of conducting scientific research projects or carrying out assignments from our supervisors or other duties, we are very clear-minded and perform them very well." (From "Enlightenment" in Lecture Nine of Zhuan Falun.)
I thought it would suffice to do what I was told to do, but I failed to think about productivity from my boss's or my employer's perspective. I also failed to communicate well with my colleagues and my boss. When I tried to express an idea, what I said or did often made others think I had meant something else. Such discrepancies resulted in misunderstandings. As time went on, I caused needless troubles for myself and caused some people at work to have a bad impression of Falun Gong.
When I had a personal or telephone interview, I often went on and on about my previous work experience before I found out what specific skills and experiences my prospective employer was looking for. My approach often didn't work well. The prospective employer might think there is a mismatch because I have skills they don't need while lacking the skills they are looking for.
I also fail to give people the impression that I am enthusiastic, energetic, active or diligent.
There are numerous things I need to improve, but I won't waste time listing them all.
Sometimes I felt I did very well in the interview, but it was not until the prospective employer stopped contacting me that I began to reflect upon the interview and discovered many imperfections I had exhibited and had wanted to improve for a long time. I could have told myself that I had tried my best, but after a few times I realized that it was not enough to do my best. I have to meet the company's hiring standards. For example, a student will not be admitted to any college simply because he said he has done its best. I have to make improvements to meet the standards.
The same logic applies to our truth-clarification work. It is important that we try to communicate well with people and undo their misunderstandings about Falun Gong. It is not enough to say what we want to say and do what we want to do and then claim that we have done our best. We must pay attention to the end result as well.
Over time, I realized that it is not enough to make a little improvement here and there in my cultivation practice. I must upgrade my cultivation level holistically.
Teacher said, "In qigong practice, those of you whose qi cannot go through a pass or come down should look for reasons within your xinxing to determine if you are stuck at that level for too long and whether you should upgrade your xinxing! Once you truly upgrade your xinxing, you will find that qi coming down. You cannot only pursue transformation of gong in the physical body without emphasizing improvement of your xinxing. It is waiting for you to upgrade your xinxing—only then will you make a holistic change." (From "Cultivation Insanity" in Lecture Six of Zhuan Falun.)
Sometimes when I am not at ease, I have trouble expressing myself well in the interview. I also need to learn to improve the way I interact with people. I have read some books about job hunting. Later I realized that if a cultivator truly assimilates himself to the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance and elevates his health and morality, many situations will be improved as well.
Teacher said, "The higher the level, the more youthful and beautiful the appearance of those beings. The lower the realm, the less beautiful. As one goes higher, not only is the appearance more beautiful, but also the thoughts have to be more pure and refined. One's way of existence, speech, demeanor, and movement will all undergo a change. Their speech is like poetry, and this is but the way of things in one certain level. Higher levels are even more splendid." (From "Lecture at the Conference in Switzerland")
Naturally, I must also reinforce my righteous thoughts and repel all interference.
"When a disciple has sufficient righteous thoughts,
Teacher has the power to bring him back to heaven."
(From "The Grace between Teacher and Disciples" in Hongyin II, provisional translation)
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2005/8/19/33521.html