My Cultivation Experience Distributing the English Epoch Times

A Western Practitioner from Toronto

PureInsight | June 18, 2006

[] For the past 14 months I have been volunteering with The English Epoch Times.
I have encountered many tribulations during this time and hope that by
sharing some of these experiences, others will be encouraged to

1. Delivering the Newspaper by Hand

 Standing outside the subway entrance and handing out newspapers
seems like a mundane task to an ordinary person. In fact, my coworkers
find it inexplicable and somewhat amusing that a middle-aged woman with
a respectable job gets up at 5:00 am every Thursday in order to deliver
papers before coming to work.

How can I explain to them that I am a Fa-rectification Dafa disciple
and that what I am doing is fulfilling my mission on earth? How can I
demonstrate the enormous compassion of our most benevolent Teacher, who
devised yet another way to offer salvation to people lost in the maze?
How can I tell them that every single person on the planet has
reincarnated lifetime after lifetime, all in preparation for this most
precious moment?

My understanding is that every word in the paper that is written by a
practitioner carries gong and the gong is cleansing people and opening
up their hearts and minds so that they can receive the Fa. It is such
an amazing process to see how the paper is saving beings.

When I first started handing out the paper, most people just ignored me
and as they walked by, I began to observe them. My compassionate heart
opened and I could see clearly how ordinary people are so blocked and
so lost in the maze as Master tells us. So I decided that I needed to
do more than have a righteous mind. I started looking into people's
eyes as they walked by and said something like "Epoch Times"
or "free paper". This seemed to wake them up, and many took the paper
or stopped to ask questions. I was then able to talk about the paper,
its purpose, etc. and ask
people to try it. I could see how stuck they are, how terrified they
are to try something new and how they are creatures of habit. It is
very difficult for them to break away from that. These reflections
mirrored some of my notions and I saw my attachment to fear and my
reluctance to let go of it, simply because it was a habit.

I continued to stand at the same place every week, and so the same
people would see my smiling face. After they became familiar with me,
many started to take the paper. Then many began reading it and now
there are regular customers. As one of the editors of the Epoch Times
stated, "We don't have customers, we have fans!" Some of those people
who used to ignore me now comment "I love this paper" or "This is my
favorite paper" or "This is the only paper worth reading." As Teacher
wrote in the article, "A Cultivator is Naturally Part of It," "For a
cultivator, all the frustrations he comes across are trials, and all
the compliments he receives are tests". (Essentials for Further Advancement).
Hearing these positive comments were indeed tests. I realized that I
was taking the credit for these comments, as if I had produced the
paper. I was validating myself, and not the Fa. My show-off mentality,
which was so deeply hidden, was shown to me so that I could eliminate

Another attachment that revealed was my competitive mentality. For the
first year of hand delivery, a popular mainstream newspaper shared the
same location. Sometimes 2 or 3 distributors from that other paper
stood beside me. The coordinator would often comment on how many
distributors I had or didn't have on that day. I found myself counting
how many volunteers we had compared to them! My competitive mentality
was exposed and I needed to let it go constantly. Once I did that, I
was able to hand out the paper beside them without any unrighteous
thoughts and I used the opportunity to talk about The Epoch Times, "The Nine Commentaries," and the persecution of Falun Gong.

Delivering the paper was very difficult at times. Sometimes I was up
very late doing Dafa work, and I needed to break through my attachment
to comfort and sleep.  Sometimes I was going through mental or
physical tribulations, and had to force myself to get up and go, even
though my body felt like lead and my mind was foggy. Sometimes it was
extremely windy, pouring rain, bitterly cold or snowing heavily. It was
on these days that Master was giving me the opportunity to cultivate
forbearance. In the article "What Is Forbearance" in Essentials for Further Advancement, Master Li says, "Forbearance is the key to improving one's xinxing.
To endure with anger, grievance, or tears is the forbearance of an
everyday person who is attached to his concerns. To endure completely
without anger or grievance is a cultivator's forbearance".

I have always had a very strong aversion to being cold and, as an
ordinary person, always had cold hands and feet. During the first
winter of practicing, I was unable to do the exercises outside without
several layers of thermal clothing. I had a severe reaction and almost
passed out from the cold. One day while delivering the paper my fingers
felt frozen. I really wanted to go inside and warm up, but then I
thought of Master's words in Zhuan Falun,
"When it is difficult to endure, try to endure it. When it looks
impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is
possible. If you can actually do it, you will indeed find after passing
the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another
village ahead." Because I endured, my aversion to cold has been
significantly reduced. I am continuing the process of letting it go.

2. Coordinating Distribution

I began the work of helping to coordinate distribution at the same time
as I was hand-delivering the paper. The coordinating skills were
natural for me since I have experience from my work as an ordinary
person. However, I have encountered several challenges along the way.

Coordinating circulation of the paper is very task oriented and there
are many things to do. Sometimes I became so involved doing that I
neglected to treat myself as a practitioner. I became caught up in the
work and was like an ordinary person doing Dafa things, not a Dafa
disciple saving sentient beings. Because I was not righteous, I caused
losses for the paper. One day, a practitioner who had found many
locations for the paper phoned me to suggest something. Since I was
feeling stressed and overwhelmed, I responded to her in a rude manner.
She told me that she wanted to help with the paper but that she didn't
like dealing with me. Unfortunately, I did not listen to her words and
look inside, but only looked at my surface attachments. If I would have
looked deeper, I would have found anger, resentment, and the inability
to accept criticism. In "Teaching The Fa in the City of Los Angeles
2006," Master tells us that it is crucial let go of the attachment to
not accepting criticism.

There were many obstacles to finding locations for the newspaper.
Because we were not able to put our newspaper boxes on city property,
it was difficult finding private sites. I approached many businesses,
and was continually refused. I remember spending an entire day
approaching people and getting no as an answer. I became very
discouraged because I was not looking at things from the perspective of
the Fa. I later realized that it was the attachment of pursuit that was
blocking me. When I saw it clearly and let it go, the situation
changed. For example, I had tried many times to apply for a newspaper
rack in a grocery store. I knew that it was a very important location.
My phone calls and in-person visits over a period of 6 months all ended
in failure. Finally, when I cleared the attachment, I effortlessly was
able to connect with the manager of the store. After he read the paper,
he enthusiastically said he was very impressed with our paper and
wanted it in his store.

Master tells us in the 2006 Fa Teaching in Los Angeles. "Everything on
your life's journey is directly related to your improvement and
cultivation". Volunteering with The Epoch Times
has tempered me and given me the opportunity to do the three things
that is required of me in order to fulfill my mission as a
Fa-rectification Dafa disciple.

I give thanks to Master Li for this wondrous privilege and vow to try
my best. I thank all my fellow practitioners who have kindly pointed
out my attachments and helped me to enlighten to the truth.

(Selected paper from 2006 Canada Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference in Toronto, May 28, 2006)

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