PureInsight | March 8, 2009
Experience sharing at the 2009 Los Angeles Fa Conference
[PureInsight.org] I joined the Dajiyuan (the Epoch Times, Chinese language edition) sales department in April of 2001, and I have managed to stay on the whole time since. In the process, I have had many experiences, some bitter, some sweet. Many practitioners often ask me how I could endure to this date. If I have to answer, I must say my perseverance only comes from “believing in Master and Dafa.” There were times when I encountered tribulations when I did think about giving up. It was only through studying the Fa that my will was strengthened to continue. I could feel that Master’s presence is always there patiently encouraging and carrying me. Here, I would like also to thank those practitioners who lent me help and support during the most difficult time of my life.
It was seemingly a “coincidence” for me to become a Dajiyuan salesman. In a casual conversion with someone years back, I learned that Dajiyuan was urgently in need of funding and people who could help out with sales. Without giving it any deeper thought, I decided to give it try and to take on this sales job. I knew that our media wouldn’t be able to gain a foothold and to expand without a good financial foundation. Relying on practitioner’s donations is not a long-term solution.
During the early days of publishing Dajiyuan, we were very immature both in terms of putting out good quality articles and having an attractive layout. At the time, many ordinary people generally had a negative impression about Falun Gong due to the influence of the slanderous propaganda from the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) media. It was a common occurrence to run into people who were angry at me, cold, or even yelled at me when I approached them about an advertisement. It would take a tremendous amount of courage just to walk into a business’s door, not to mention to open my mouth to ask for an advertisement. Needless to say, it was extremely difficult. There were times when Master’s words would echo in my ears, “When it’s difficult to endure, you can endure it. When it’s impossible to do, you can do 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!’” (“People with Great Inborn Quality,” Lecture 9, Zhuan Falun). I said to myself, even if at the end I couldn’t sign a single contract, it would be still worth it if I could let the ordinary people know about the truth of Falun Gong. I began to put selling ads aside and solely focus on clarifying the truth to business owners. Gradually, businesses started to change their negative view on Dajiyuan. Their attitudes towards us also changed. Over the years, some business owners and I even became good friends. Little by little, advertising contracts were signed one after another.
The biggest test of being a salesperson is to have perseverance in the face of challenges; it is definitely not about moments of enthusiasm. When my righteous thoughts are not strong, even just the slightest wavering, tests are sure to follow. One business owner was quite touched seeing my persistence in following up with him; he frankly told me that I should just quit Dajiyuan and come to work for him; he promised me a good income. Another business owner wanted to pay me a high salary to hire me as their sales director. The offer was tempting; I asked myself if I should continue or just give up my sales work all together with Dajiyuan. After studying the Fa, I came to realize that what I was doing wasn’t a simple sales job; it was fulfilling the vow I made long ago; my cultivation and everything I will have after consummation all come from it. I said to myself that no matter how many difficulties or tests I run into, I must firmly carry on. Strangely enough, once my mind was determined, I never encountered those types of situations again. I knew it was a test for me.
Another test I have to overcome is to not only learn how to do well in my job, but also take the opportunity to cultivate myself. In the first few years, there weren’t that many practitioners involved in the sales, so I basically was by myself. There wasn’t an issue of forming a whole body or dealing with xinxing tests of coordinating well with others. As more and more practitioners join the sales force, there are also more and more tests in this regard. As a senior member and the manager of the sales department, it was clearly my responsibility to work with other new members of the team to let them quickly develop the skills and become self-sufficient. However, my selfishness started to surface when I was overwhelmed with workloads. I was reluctant to sacrifice even more time to train the new sales people. Consequently, the sales department seemed to always have a revolving door; people came but didn’t stay very long, and quickly left. For a long period of time, we were constantly short of hands; nobody seemed to want to help out with sales anymore. This situation went on for a few years without any improvement. It, of course, took a toll on the overall newspaper operation as well. Some practitioners had raised the issue with me in the past, but I was too tied up with day-to-day tasks, didn’t take their suggestion too seriously, or just verbally expressed my acknowledgement but didn’t do anything towards looking inside of myself and making a positive change. Unknowingly, I was turning down the opportunity to improve myself over and over. Then recently in a regular Dajiyuan staff meeting, one practitioner angrily berated me for all the problems I had for a long time, and I was caught by surprise. At first, I didn’t agree with what he was saying, thinking that person was new and he didn’t know how things really were and that what he said wasn’t true. When I calmed down, I cleared my mind a little, and I discovered that I indeed had those shortcomings he listed. It was my hypocrisy and attachment that prevented me from accepting them. This xinxing conflict awakened me; it made me realize the urgency and the seriousness of cultivation. As Master said in Zhuan Falun (Lecture 4, “Loss and Gain”), “For example, everyday people have all kinds of bad thoughts. For self-interest, they commit various wrong deeds and will acquire this black substance, karma. This directly involves our own minds. In order to eliminate this negative thing, you must first change your mind.”
Yes, if I want to eliminate the bad substance that is within me, I must first change my mind, otherwise there is no way to get rid of the karma or to assimilate to the characteristics of the universe. After I enlightened to this Fa truth, the burden on my heart immediately lightened, and I experienced once again the feeling of joy after passing a test. However, enlightening to the truth is not enough; I must also do according to what the Fa requires, otherwise it still doesn’t count as true cultivation. But to truly relinquish the selfishness that is buried deep inside is no trivial task, it is a hard and painful process. I began to better understand what Master wrote in the poem, “Tempering One’s Heart and Will” in Hong Yin, it says: “Toiling the body does not count as bitterness, Cultivating the heart is most agonizing.” Nonetheless, after I made up my mind to remove this attachment, everything around me started to change as well. Some practitioners who didn’t want to talk to me before began to share experiences with me; those who seemed to have psychological barrier in working with me before started to open up themselves; newly joined sales staff could also feel that the working environment was becoming more and more harmonious; we get along with each other very well as if we all belong to a big family. Now, there are more practitioners who want to voluntarily join the sales team. As a result, newspaper operation is also starting to improve quickly.
After passing this test, I deeply feel that we must not get attached to just doing a Dafa project for the sake of doing a project, and overlooking individual cultivation. Otherwise, we are not being responsible to the cultivation path arranged for us, and in the meantime, we could unknowingly even damage the Dafa project, which is hurting ourselves and others.
In retrospect, there was no coincidence—it was Master’s arrangement for me to be a sales person. It wasn’t because of how great my ability was; it was that Master was using this opportunity to give me a chance to cultivate and eliminate my attachments. I am grateful for Master’s compassionate salvation, I will strive to live up to Master’s expectation, do better in my duty as the Dajiyuan sales manager, and cultivate myself well. It is my wish that Dajiyuan San Francisco edition will soon get into a positive cycle and play a greater role in Fa rectification and saving more sentient beings.
Thank you revered Master! And thank you my fellow practitioners!
February 14, 2009
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2009/2/28/58046.html