My Cultivation Experience About Losing and Finding a Job
Experience sharing from the 2009 Canada Fa Conference
[PureInsight.org] I come from Toronto. I heard about Dafa in 1998. Unfortunately, I did not start cultivating until 2002. I have changed from being an ordinary person full of karma to a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple. With Master’s benevolent care and saving grace, I have walked steadily through seven years of cultivation. No words can express the happiness and thankfulness I feel for a life reborn. No words can describe the process of a life being saved, and no paragraph can depict the honor of following Master in Fa-rectification. I am so fortunate to have this opportunity to talk about some of the cultivation experiences that I have had during my recent experience of losing and finding a job. Please kindly point it out if I have said anything improper. Thank you.
1. Promoting Dafa and Clarifying the Truth When My Company Was Shut Down
Last November, the company I had worked for for over ten years announced that they would shut down in half a year. It was during the busiest time of ticket-sales effort for the Shen Yun shows in Toronto. I was one of the ticket booth coordinators. We had over thirty ticket booths open during the peak of the sales. Eighty percent of the tickets were sold at the booths during the latter period of promotion. I was completely devoted to the ticket booths. In facing the situation of losing their job, every colleague of mine in the company was very frustrated and some of them even fell sick. When they saw that I acted like nothing had happened, and seemed to be happily busy with what I was doing (actually they knew what I was busy with), they really admired me. When I had just obtained the Fa, I promoted the Fa in my company and many people read the book and learned the exercises from me. Now that they saw that I was both physically healthy and spiritually fit, they mentioned again that they were interested in Falun Gong. I used this opportunity to further promote the Fa and clarify the truth to them.
I used to promote the Fa and clarify the truth only to those departments that were related to me, and I dared not do so in the company-wide email list. I was afraid that the Human Resources Department would disapprove. This time, I thought if I did not do it company-wide, it would be difficult to have another opportunity in the future. This company was founded over thirty years ago and many colleagues sounded hopeless and sad in their farewell emails. I used this opportunity to post on the email list my experiences of how my body and mind had improved after I started to practice Falun Gong. I also included links to the Dafa website and the Minghui website in the email. Because it was my own experience and I did it for the benefit of others, my emails really touched my colleagues. They came to my office one after anther to shake hands with me and hugged me. Many of them expressed their thanks with tears in their eyes. My manager had to stand at the door to keep order.
Some of them asked how they could buy the book. Some of them asked where they could find the practice sites. Some of them wanted to buy the exercise DVD. Some others asked about the persecution happening in China.
One of them said, “You gave me the best lay-off package.” One of them held my hand and said, “In this company, the biggest reward for me is to know you.” Another one hugged me excitedly, “I know you are very busy, but no matter how busy you are, please don’t forget about us. In the future make sure to come and see us.”
I said, “I will. If you go to the park to do the exercises, you will see me every week.”
She asked, “Is it true? Then I will go.”
I thank Master very much for giving me this opportunity to clarify the truth about Dafa to everyone in my company before it was shut down.
2. I Found the Best Job in the World
About half a year ago, one of our media was urgently in need of a full-time reporter. I discussed it with my husband and we decided that he would quit his job and become a full-time reporter. Since that time, I had been doing a fairly professional job in my company. My manager had told me, “Your job is very special. If we have to lay off people, you won’t lose your job unless the company shuts down.” Unexpectedly, it was shut down.
By the time I really faced being laid off, the Shen Yun shows in Toronto had ended. When I was busy, I had forgotten that I had lost my job. Now that I was free, many human attachments suddenly appeared. “I am out of a job now. How should I walk my path? What should I do with my life? How about my child who is attending university?”
One day when I was studying the Fa, Master mentioned in “Fa Teaching at the 2007 New York Fa Conference,” “It depends on you. I've talked about these things many times, but there will always be a need for people to do things like visiting potential clients and doing sales and marketing. As you are Dafa disciples, whatever it is you are asked to do—be it writing articles, distributing materials, or going out to the streets—you can do it well. But it seems that if you are asked to visit potential clients and do sales and marketing, you don't want to.”
I was thinking that I have been the community reporter and I speak Cantonese. For the past few years, I had been coordinating ticket booths in the Chinese community, so it dawned on me: “Yes, I am going to do sales for the Epoch Times and focus on the Chinese market.” Once I made up my mind, I went to apply for the job. Luckily, I was hired. After one week of doing this job, I saw that I have the best job in this world.
In the office, we start doing the exercises at 6:30 am, and we study the Zhuan Falun in English at 7:30 am. Then we recite Hong Yin before sending forth righteous thoughts. Then each of us starts to work at our own task.
We have a sales meeting once a week. Everything we discuss is related to our cultivation. We talk about issues such as being unselfish and thinking about others before ourselves and also about how to get rid of different attachments. Every one of us shares how we cultivate and elevate ourselves while doing our job. Then we set our sales quotas for the next week. I work in an environment, which I believe I can never find anywhere else. This is why the sales in Toronto has become the strongest of our global teams. I thank Master for giving me this opportunity to become a member of this team.
3. Every First Is a Test
A. The First Day at Work: I Said I Am Quitting
When some fellow practitioners were aware that I was going to do sales, they gave me a lot of feedback. Some said, “Now is the most difficult time to do sales, since many clients have withdrawn advertising from us. You are new, that is even more difficult.” Some others said, “Look at your character: you are impatient and so sensitive about your reputation. Can you really get advertisements?” Some others said, “When you were a reporter, it was always others who made concessions for you. Now if you are doing sales, you have to give in to others. Can you really do that?”
I went to work the first day with a very unsteady mood. The first thing I said to our director was, “I am quitting sales. I want to go back to being a reporter.”
She said, “You have been a reporter for many years, and I do not see that you have made any progress. You’d better do sales.” Hearing that, I looked very pained, but she encouraged me by saying, “We are currently lacking people who can do sales in the Chinese community. You have accumulated lots of experience selling tickets the past few years, so it really makes sense for you to do sales in the Chinese community. Because of your optimistic nature, I think you are the best candidate.” With her encouragement, I started my first day as a sales person.
B: My First Sales Meeting: My Sales Quota Was No Quota
When I joined the weekly sales meeting, I mostly wanted to listen to fellow practitioners’ sharing about how they cultivate themselves in securing advertisements. But when it came to the point where everyone had to set a sales quota for the next week, I was nervous. I recall my first sales meeting and how every practitioner set their monthly quota at ten thousand or even more than that. When the sales manager asked me, I said, “I have no quota.”
The sales manager said, “How can you have no quota? I will set you a quota of six hundred a week. If you cannot make it, you should ask fellow practitioners to help you achieve it.” I looked at this serious sales manager, who is always gentle and refined, and I felt she was very admirable.
So I made up my mind. “Ok, I’ll take it.”
C. My First Time Meeting a Client: My Client Refused to Meet Me
Once the quota was set, I started to look for clients. One practitioner told me, “The Chinese market is very difficult to start with. When I just started to do sales, I could not find one client, even after I made two hundred phone calls a day. Then I changed to the non-Chinese market. You should start by making phone calls.”
I was thinking, “That is because you don’t have the proper skills to make phone calls. I don’t think I need to make so many phone calls.” On my second phone call, I succeeded in making an appointment with a client. I was very happy. The fellow practitioner reminded me that I should not have the attachment of zealotry.
The practitioner said, “Master is encouraging you.” However, I could hardly control my attachments of zealotry and showing off. I thought that it did not seem that difficult for me to get advertisements.
Several days later, I was fully prepared to go with a fellow practitioner to see my first client. However, when we got there, his secretary told us that he went to attend another meeting and could not see us. When the fellow practitioner saw me so disheartened, he said, “This happens very often. You will get used to it.”
After this rebuff, I started to make phone calls more carefully. Whenever I met a refusal or impoliteness, I could endure it much better than before.
D. My First Client: You Are Talking Business in the Same Seat as the Prime Minister
When the fellow practitioner noticed that I had almost made enough phone calls, he told me, “You should start to do sales in person.” The first and second day, this fellow practitioner asked me to go, but I used all kinds of excuses not to go. On the third day, I felt that I had no more excuses, and I asked the other practitioner to go with me. We went out but only received rejections. When the fellow practitioner got in the vehicle, he said to himself, “Dafa practitioners are so great. We are starting the future of human beings.” Hearing this, I suddenly felt much more clear-minded. I felt Master’s encouragement.
Since then, I started to go door-to-door to do sales at places like Chinese restaurants, supermarkets and stores. I take our newspaper, the order form, and have righteous thoughts. I have the mindset that if you listen to me, I won’t have regrets. Many people got to know the truth and many people got to know about our newspaper. At the same time, I also improved my sales skills.
Master said in “Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital:”
“So it's exactly because right now there are many things that need to be done and many people are still not aware [of what's really going on] that we have the situation we are seeing today and there is a need for you to do things. And the changes to this state are in turn inseparable from everything that Dafa disciples are contributing as they clarify the truth and save sentient beings. Of course, the effect of the Fa-rectification's situation is part of it too, but if the Dafa disciples don't all clarify the truth to individual people, or clarify the truth to society, then as for the process of ordinary people's minds being transformed at the surface level, that's not something gods will do for them on an individual basis. So things that involve the surface level of human beings have to be done by Dafa disciples.”
With a fellow practitioner’s introduction, I came to a restaurant in Chinatown. When I sat down with the boss, I introduced our newspaper and discussed business. He then pointed to my seat and said, “Do you know that you are sitting in the same seat where Prime Minister Steven Harper sat when he came to our restaurant?”
I asked, “Is that true? So I am very lucky then.”
He said, “Since you sit in the same seat as the Prime Minister and want an advertisement from me, you do whatever you need to do.” That is how he became my first client.
4. Any Environment Can Be a Chance to Elevate Oneself in Cultivation
After I did sales for two weeks and I still did not get any orders, I started to give up. At the sales meeting, I complained that I had not received any training and that no one had showed me how to do sales. It seemed to me that I had come here just to perish. When fellow practitioners noticed my attachments, they said to me, “Do you know why you cannot get any advertisements? Because you have too strong of an attachment to validate yourself.”
I felt I was totally wronged and thought, “If I get an order, that means I have validated myself. But now I have no advertisements, how can this show that I am validating myself?” When I calmed myself down to study the Fa, I understood what the fellow practitioners had said to me.
When I looked deep inside myself, I found that I had had a very strong attachment to validating myself for a long period of time. I am a person that is very warm-hearted and optimistic. Therefore, I became the coordinator for some projects. Gradually, I formed some attachments that I was not even aware of. I liked to hear people say good things about me and cannot tolerate anything that is not in my favor. I show off everywhere and look down upon others. Now that I was new on this team, I felt that no one was helping me. My attachment of feeling unbalanced was more obvious. So when I could not get any advertisements, I felt that I was losing face and was no good and that I was inferior to others.
Actually, the fundamental attachment was selfishness, and it was hidden very deep. This selfishness formed a field that had enveloped me. I have been cultivating so many years and believed that I really thought about others first and that I was pretty good. Actually, deep in my consciousness, the word “selfishness” was hiding. I cared about being healthy, having a good feeling, my own consummation, and how many things I have been doing. Many attachments originated from this “selfishness.” However, we are the lives in the new universe and should conform to the criteria of the new universe; that is doing things for others. I should genuinely realize that the purpose of my being in this human world is to save sentient beings instead of worrying about my own consummation. At this very last stage of saving sentient beings, I should not follow my own feelings, since there are still lots of predestined people waiting to be saved.
Master mentioned in “Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students:”
“There's something you must pay attention to: you are validating the Fa, not validating yourselves. A Dafa disciple's responsibility is to validate the Fa. Validating the Fa is cultivation, and what you remove in the cultivation process is none other than the attachment to self; you can't, instead, go and exacerbate the problem of validating oneself, even if you do it unwittingly. When you're validating the Fa and cultivating, that is a process of removing self, and only when you do that are you really validating yourself. That's because ultimately you have to let go of all your human things, and only after you've let go of all your human attachments can you step out from the throngs of everyday people.”
I am a cultivator, so I need to have mighty-virtue. And where does my mighty-virtue come from? Doesn't it come from letting go of self and being selfless in this grueling environment, and being completely responsible to the Fa as a Dafa disciple? Isn't that, in itself, mighty-virtue? And what's more, I did it in a grueling environment. The more I put me first or mix in factors of self, the less mighty-virtue I will have. And that's why it is less likely that I will succeed or do things well. Dafa's things should be the most sacred, and that's why the less of my own notions I have and the less I involve my own factors, the better I can handle things and the more likely I am to succeed.
When I realized that I had this huge attachment, I tried hard to eliminate it. I started to purify myself. With a heart that wants to save sentient beings, I made phone calls, made appointments with clients and went to see them in person and talked to them. I feel that when I have a light heart, the clients I meet also look happy. I realized that my mission is to sell advertisements and thereby save sentient beings.
I really cherish the current environment I have where I can both work and cultivate. Fellow practitioners’ diligence motivates me; their unselfish help encourages me, and their skills also give me the strength to go forward.
No matter what path Master arranges for me, I will follow Master home.
Lastly, let us encourage each other with Master’s poem from Hong Yin Vol. II:
You may talk cultivation
But you have to discard the attachments
that you hold deep inside
What’s given up is not oneself
But instead the folly of delusion
April 16, 2001
Twenty-third day of the third month, the lunar year of Xin Si
Thank you most compassionate and greatest Master! Thank you everyone!