Cultivating While Maximally Conforming to Human Society

A Practitioner from Virginia

PureInsight | August 6, 2006

[] (Washington, D.C. Fa Conference, 2006)
Greetings fellow cultivators! My name is Erik and I'm a practitioner
from Virginia in the United States. I would like to share my
experiences that helped me enlighten to the path that Master arranged
for me to walk, and the tests I have faced and am still facing today.

I recently graduated from a university in Boston and have earned my
degree in journalism. My studies were basically about how to make
television news programming. I began my job search last winter, and was
very nervous about where I would move after graduation. I do a lot of
work with New Tang Dynasty Television and desperately wanted to move to
Manhattan so I could work at NTD-TV, as well as an ordinary media to
make a living. I was planning on doing this for many, many months and
was confident that I had figured out my path of cultivation. On the
surface, I thought that I wasn't pursuing moving to Manhattan, but deep
down I was very attached wanted to move there so much that it clouded
my mind. I used my human brain to try to enlighten to what path I am to
walk, instead of judging what I should do with the standard of the Fa.

In "Teaching the Fa in Canada, 2006," Master said, "Many people think
it's about being lenient with and making things convenient for our
cultivation, but diligent students don't see it that way. It is,
rather, the path that Dafa disciples must take as they cultivate. So
everything that you do, be it your balancing well your family
relationships while you live among ordinary people, balancing well your
relationships in society, how you perform at your workplace, how you
conduct yourself in society, etc., none of these are things you can
just go through the motions on. All of these are part of your
cultivation format, and are serious matters." Later in the year I had
an interview at a station in Manhattan and was convinced that I would
get a job there. I expected that I would get called back for a second
interview ...but that call never came.

Before that interview I attended a large journalism conference in Las
Vegas for job searching. I learned a lot of lessons while I was there.
At the conference, there were many heads of American and international
media, and I wanted to make sure to talk to them about the White House
incident that happened the prior week, and give them the "Nine
Commentaries". When I ran into these people, I sent forth righteous
thoughts to clear the path for me to clarify the truth about Dafa and
the CCP to these people face to face. I asked Master to help me reach
these people so they could be saved. In the end, I clarified the truth
to the presidents of the Associated Press and ABC News, as well as the
head of Google news, and several veteran news anchors. The responses
from them were largely positive. When I talked to the head of Google
news, I told her about the White House incident and tried to dispel any
misconceptions about it. This person actually supported the Epoch Times
and believed in what the paper stands for. I then told this person that
I just want her to know the truth about the CCP for herself and handed
her the "Nine Commentaries." These experiences taught me that when our
hearts and minds are aligned with the Fa and we have strong righteous
thoughts, Master's arrangements manifest and are absolutely perfect.

On my last day at the conference, I received a call from the head of a
news station in the middle of Virginia, located several hours from any
major U.S. city. When I first heard the message on my phone, I laughed,
saying there's no way I will go to some small town that I never even
heard of. I met this person for an interview that night, which went
well. I was asked to come down and check out the station and agreed on
the spot. I thought, "There isn't any way I will take this job, but I
will go there to clarify the truth to the people there and let them
know about my work at NTD-TV and Dafa."

As time passed I got a few job offers across the country, but nothing
in Manhattan. I was running out of places to work and was thinking
about moving to Manhattan to work for NTD-TV and make money on the side
doing odd jobs. However, this decision doesn't conform to ordinary
society. It may have given my friends and family a bad impression of
Dafa because I would have turned down several paying jobs in my

Along the way I was really muddle-headed about what I should do and
went to extremes in my thinking. For one, I thought too much about what
to do, when in reality, we do not need to think in our cultivation.
Master said in Zhuan Falun,
"I do not teach mind activities here; there is no mind activity in our
Falun Dafa. Thus, no one should add to it any thought. Be sure to keep
this in mind: There is virtually no mind activity. The Buddha School
requires emptiness, and the Tao School teaches nothingness." I was not
in line with the Fa at this time and went in my own direction, which in
turn distracted me and weighed me down. I was afraid to make this big
life changing decision myself. However, after sharing with
practitioners, I gained some enlightenment. I decided that I will only
accept Master's arrangements and no one else's, and that I will do my
best to walk the path that Master arranged for me. Master said in Zhuan Falun,
"The entire life of a practitioner has been rearranged." I forgot this
key point in cultivation and wasn't regarding myself as Master's
disciple. I didn't have the steadfast, righteous thoughts gained from
Dafa cultivation and my human notions seemed to get more and more

In the end I accepted the job in Virginia and do not have any regrets
about it. I have been looking inside about why I moved to Virginia. For
one, my understanding is that everything Dafa disciples do now during
Fa-rectification, is setting a precedent for the future. If I were to
go to Manhattan I wouldn't have taken into account the example it
leaves for the future,  that is, not conforming to how humans of
the future should act. I would have turned down having a stable
financial situation, which would leave a negative reference for the
future. It is my understanding that we need to put the Fa first in
everything we do, but this does not mean dropping everything in our
ordinary lives and going to extremes with Dafa work. Rather, it means
being responsible to the Fa at this level, leaving upright references
for the beings of the future. The other fear I had about moving to a
small town is that I wouldn't have many opportunities to clarify the
truth. I now realize that I need to clarify the truth wherever I am,
and it doesn't matter what city I live in. Dafa disciples clarify the
truth wherever they are, and save sentient beings from all places on
the earth.

Now that I work in an ordinary media, I have to clarify the truth
differently from when I was a college practitioner. Since I am supposed
to be an unbiased member of the media, I don't tell my co-workers that
I practice. I tell them about my past work at NTD-TV, how we are
reporting on the imminent collapse of the CCP, and that we are the only
media who reports on Falun Gong truthfully. I also say that Falun Gong
coverage from other ordinary media isn't the real story of what Falun
Gong is really about. Talking from this perspective makes it easier for
my co-workers to accept the truth. If I told them all that I am a
practitioner, they may think I am propagandizing them and that it is
not appropriate for someone in the media to be so open about his or her
spirituality. But I am clarifying the truth nonetheless, and do it
according to the current environment I live in.

My understanding has shifted towards trusting Master and that I need to
melt into the Fa as much as possible. Now I am facing a completely
different set of tribulations and attachments. I think that Master
arranged for me to be in this environment to point out my attachments.
The community I live in is located in the mountains and is very green
and lush. There is little crime and the quality of life is very high
and almost carefree. I haven't lived such a seemingly "comfortable"
human life before. However, this "comfort" is an attachment, which
wastes precious time for doing Dafa work. I keep beating myself up that
I keep giving in to laziness and sleepiness. I choose them instead of
breaking free of the elements that are restricting me from walking the
path that Master arranged. I often forget that there are only two paths
that a cultivator can choose to walk: Master's or the old forces. Our
lives have been re-arranged and are not what they used to be before
cultivation. Sometimes I say I'm not doing well because I'm not at a
large group Fa-study every week and my physical contact with
practitioners is minimal. However I must do better to remember Master's
words: "Wherever you are, you are a Dafa disciple" (which are not the
original words). Master also pointed out in the 2005 Chicago Fa
Lecture, "So that problems won't arise for you, Dafa disciples, I have
often told you to study the Fa a lot and keep up your righteous
thoughts. When you do these things, it is then possible for you to walk
correctly on your own path and to do well at what a Dafa disciple is
supposed to do. No matter how busy you get, you need to study the Fa,
no matter what."

This has been my experience of cultivation over the last several
months. When I look back I am really happy to know that Master has
always been watching over me, wherever I am, and continues to give me
hints on what I need to improve upon. I want to cherish Dafa and Master
more, and become more diligent so I never have regrets about what I did
in the human world during this historical time. I would like to
conclude with a few words from Master's greeting to this year's Atlanta
Fa Conference: "Dafa disciples, you are golden light in the mortal
world, the hope of the world's people, Fa-disciples who help Master,
and future Fa-Kings. Keep diligent, Awakened Ones that walk the earth:
Everything of today will be the glory of the future."

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