PureInsight | September 9, 2011
[PureInsight.org] Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
In Zhuan Falun, Master said, “It will treat itself as a practitioner and balance well relations with others, always maintaining and upgrading xinxing. It will not be moved by the temptations of different benefits among everyday people. After many years, it will return from wandering around.” Here I would like to share my experience of promoting Shen Yun in everyday society.
I worked in a large company and the reason I applied for a position in that large company was to save sentient beings. Within a year of joining the company, I was given the position of communications leader for an Asian association within the company. Each month, I compile an electronic newsletter and distribute it to more than 1000 association members. I have since begun to clarify the truth using my relationship with the association.
My connection with the association gave me numerous opportunities to meet many people. Although it was voluntary, I nonetheless worked diligently. Because of activities related to the association, I had to spend extra hours at work to complete the duties related to my regular job, but it was still worthwhile due to the truth-clarification opportunities. In the past few years, there were moments of disappointment and frustration, but when I thought of the reason I joined the company in the first place, I realized everything I had was from Master and I should let go of my attachments to save sentient beings.
Promoting Shen Yun within the employee benefits program
When local practitioners began to host Shen Yun performances several years ago, I was planning on promoting it within my company. My company has many employees and, in order to ensure a fair working environment, the company policy prohibits employees from using email to promote products. One day I found a company webpage that listed discounts provided to employees as part of an employee benefits program. I wrote an email to the person-in-charge and recommended the Shen Yun performance. He visited the Shen Yun website after reading the email and replied to me, saying such an internal referral was highly appreciated. Soon after, he added Shen Yun performance tickets to the employee benefit program. Later I heard that other practitioners had hired a firm specializing in group ticket sales to approach the company I worked for in the past, but they were turned down. Not long after that, we read the following paragraph in Master’s lecture: “In some other cases, people felt that they didn’t have enough people, and so they sought out help from ordinary people or found an ordinary company to serve as an agent for them. That’s a problem. Those who did that experienced failure with that approach, and suffered financial losses. The reason is, validating the Fa and clarifying the truth are things that Dafa disciples are to do, and are not the tasks of ordinary people. They don’t have such mighty virtue, and it still won’t work no matter how big the company is. If you’re not sure how to do things, you can ask these companies to provide you with some professional advice, or to do some advertising. That’s fine. Things will only work out when you are the ones playing the lead role.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference”)
Being added to the employee benefit program was only the first step. Even after that happened, things still proceeded very slowly. When introducing the Shen Yun performance to my coworkers later, I often referred to the employee benefit program. In addition, I printed some paper slips, attached them to Shen Yun flyers or pamphlets, and distributed these materials within the company.
Working together with people in mainstream society
I shared information about Shen Yun with everyone I knew, either face-to-face or via email. One year, I emailed a customer about Shen Yun. He was a department head in his company. After some time, we had a meeting and I needed to update him as well as his management with the progress of a particular project. After the meeting started, in front of all his supervisors and the other attendees, the department head thanked me for the information about Shen Yun. He said his family of four went to watch the performance and liked it very much. The other people in attendance at the meeting immediately asked him what performance it was and he began to explain to everybody.
This experience of seeing mainstream society people telling others about Shen Yun encouraged me. Several coworkers also talked with me and shared their excitement after watching the performance. I was wondering if that positive feedback could have a large impact. So I invited each of them to write one paragraph and they happily agreed. I then wrote an email to the person in charge of employee benefits, telling him how much other employees and I liked the performance. I thanked him for including the performance in the employee benefits program and attached my coworkers' feedback to the email. I also mailed him two books containing Shen Yun performance photos and audience comments. Encouraged by the information I sent, he wrote back to me and copied the email to his boss. He decided to include Shen Yun performance tickets in the employee benefit program at other branches of the company.
Promoting Shen Yun through associations
I am acquainted with less than 100 people at work, which is a small number considering there are tens of thousands of employees in my company. Since many of them may not visit the employee benefits web page, and the company policy prohibits broadcasting the information, I had to find other ways. So from the following year, I began to promote Shen Yun using various associations, starting from the one I am affiliated with. I hoped to include Shen Yun information in the monthly newsletter, so it could be distributed to over 1000 members of this Asian association. This may seem simple, but there was a lot of resistance due to various company policies. I decided to clarify the truth in detail again to the president and vice-president of the association. In “Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference,” Master said, “Putting on [Shen Yun] performances is also cultivation, and you need to cooperate with one another well. You should clarify the truth to the people you interact with, as all sentient beings are waiting to be saved.” Plus, the newsletter had to be reviewed by the association committee before sent out. Therefore, they have to know the newsletter content and be responsible for it. In “Fa Teaching at the U.S. Capital,” Master said, “Even though the gods who have descended to the Three Realms come from different levels, it was only upon having steadfast faith in Dafa and the Fa-rectification that each came to the human world. They wanted to come here to obtain the Fa and, along with this, give their aid to Dafa while it was spread.” It was no accident that they held those positions, and I had to help them with righteous thoughts; otherwise, when they encountered some tests—especially when the tests related to their personal gain, their reaction could be negative. So I explained to them in detail what Shen Yun was, what Dafa was, how Dafa was persecuted in China, and how Shen Yun was welcomed in western society. After that discussion, both of them were very supportive and had confidence in it. After I sent out the newsletter containing information about the Shen Yun performance and the employee benefit program, one association member wrote to the president and me, claiming the Shen Yun performance was related to Falun Gong. She also used insulting language towards Falun Gong and said the newsletter violated the company policy of not involving in politics or religion. Because the president knew the truth already, he replied to the member saying that the topic had been thoroughly discussed by the association committee and Shen Yun was totally appropriate to be recommended to company employees. Since then, I not only promoted Shen Yun in this association, but also reached out to other organizations from my position as the communications leader of this association.
Working together with other practitioners
After the employee benefits group helped to introduce Shen Yun information to other branches within my company, there was a massive layoff in the company as a result of the economic recession. All people in the employee benefits group were laid off except for the two who had helped promote Shen Yun. The Asian association president was on the layoff list twice, but nonetheless survived both times. From these incidents, we can see that people’s fate can be changed by helping promote Shen Yun. By then, I was also trying to find more practitioners to work on this together—ideally practitioners who were not only aware of the importance, but were also familiar with corporate culture. Later I did find such a practitioner from another state. She began to coordinate this project and contact my company from the outside while I continued to work internally.
At that time, Master had not told us about promoting Shen Yun in mainstream society. This practitioner, however, already considered this a good opportunity. After discussions with other practitioners, she flew to my city and met with the employee benefits group of my company. They discussed China’s culture, Shen Yun performance’s inner meaning, and the truth of Falun Dafa. Not only was the meeting very successful, we also identified other ways of promoting Shen Yun through various associations or programs in the company. Within six months after this meeting, cities in three other states also launched similar campaigns to promote Shen Yun through their employee benefits program, although the results varied from one place to another. Before Shen Yun promotions began this year in my city, we talked about whether to renew the contract with my company. After all, it is not a trivial amount of expense to maintain the contract. This coordinator asked the IT support practitioner to provide a summarized table showing how many clicks to the web pages came from employees at my company. She forwarded the data to us and shared her understanding of this based on the Fa. Through this discussion, practitioners understood the importance of selling tickets through employee benefit programs in order to save sentient beings. We thus decided to renew the contract.
After working with several practitioners in other states, we updated the link so that when employees from my company clicked on it, they would be redirected to a new page that contained basic information about Shen Yun, as well as the employee benefit offer specifically for them. Several practitioners participated in this and we posted Shen Yun performance information throughout the two biggest buildings here. Some of my coworkers also came to help and distributed the posters to other buildings. Although the time was very limited—only several weeks, we did our best and were able to cover about 50% of my company. This was the most comprehensive effort in the past few years.
Then, I began wondering if there were additional ways to promote Shen Yun other than face-to-face talking, the newsletter to association members, and web links specific to my company. A practitioner’s husband also works in my company and he helped to collect information about various interest groups in my company. We found the interest groups to be very diverse, ranging from material arts to automobiles etc., and they operated independent of the Human Resources Department. Plus, many retirees were affiliated with these groups, which expanded the population we were able to reach. The coordinator drafted a brief and informative email, and forwarded it to the leaders of the various groups, asking them to forward the email to their members. Later, during the ticket selling process, we saw many inquiries from employees and retirees from my company, indicating these approaches worked well.
Then, we thought about how to promote Shen Yun at the managerial level in other departments. Those people may not join associations or pay attention to the employee benefit program. I decided to use inter-office mail. I wrote a letter about traditional Chinese culture and its diversity, and sent it to those people together with a high quality Shen Yun pamphlet. This method might be relatively inefficient compared to email, but the personal touch of sending the information to each recipient using this method could have some added value in achieving our goal.
During the following months, the coordinator of this project received many inquiries from my company on buying tickets. At that time, she had just delivered a baby. After overcoming physical and mental stress, she was able to provide the best and most professional service to those customers as well as continue to coordinate ticket selling at the various sites of my company.
In total 160 tickets were sold at this site in my company and more than 10 tickets were sold at another small site three hours away. After analyzing the distribution of ticket prices and geographic location, we held meetings and discussed how to do better in the future.
Then we began to promote Shen Yun in my company branches in other cities. There were few practitioners in those cities, but we did find some. One lesson we learned in the past was that practitioners each worked on their own when promoting ticket sales in companies. This time, we worked together, encouraged each other, and actively contacted the employee benefit group at each company. After hearing about an employee magazine in another city, we quickly contacted them through the employee benefit department and were able to run a full page advertisement in the magazine for free.
Now I would like to share some xinxing tests encountered during this process. When promoting Shen Yin in the workplace, especially to those people outside my department, I came across the issue of personal interest and every step was a test. Many of my problems were exposed and I had to overcome them in a timely manner; otherwise, things would not shift.
When promoting Shen Yun in one particular city, I used up all the Shen Yun pamphlets I had and decided to make contact at the managerial level via email instead of inter-office mail. A Vice President at the Human Resource Division replied saying my action violated such and such company policy which prohibited employees from exploiting company resources for profit. I looked inward and realized I did not take the best approach available to me. In addition, I had the attachment of fear. As a result, I received that email which made me even more worried. What if this incident was reported in the company news? Seeing that I worried about this now and then, a fellow practitioner said to me, “We cannot acknowledge the old forces’ insult toward Dafa.” This sentence dispersed my thought karma. Gradually I realized that those fears were not righteous or compassionate, but rather self-protection. In Zhuan Falun, Master said, “I am rooted in the universe. If anyone can harm you, he or she would be able to harm me. Put simply, that person would be able to harm this universe.” I asked myself how much I believed that sentence and how much I believed in the Fa. If I am a particle of Dafa, then the old forces are nothing. How can I be scared of them? My negative thoughts soon disappeared.
During the past several years working at this company, the biggest obstacle came from the responsibilities associated with my regular job. It was a difficult experience, and yet, I learned a lot from it. Sometimes I wondered why I had so many tribulations. One time, I remembered Master’s words, “I was talking about the concept of a ‘Great Way without form,’ which led to this discussion. Have you thought about the fact that, if the many occupations and the many fields seen today were brought here from those distant systems of beings, and Dafa disciples are cultivating in this setting, with Dafa disciples cultivating in different occupations, then isn't it just like rectifying [those systems] with the Fa? Isn't that acknowledging their existence? Isn't that saving them?” (“Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles”) I came to understand that, while I was cultivating myself in the workplace over the past few years, I was also rectifying the environment, establishing a foundation for truth-clarification and Shen Yun promotion at a later time.
I have worked at my company for six years, and for three and a half of those six years, I was able to promote Shen Yun. As a result, my biggest impression is that, we need to maximally conform to everyday society and the corporate culture. We need to be considerate of the perspectives of sentient beings and help them to be saved. When encountering difficulty, we should look inward and focus on the positive sides of others so as not to abandon them. The opening of every door is accompanied with additional opportunities and it is up to us how to utilize them well. If we are able to make good use of them, the situation will change and, gradually more doors will be opened one by one, making our path broader and broader. That is, we should not be hasty and reach conclusions too soon. We have to place some effort on familiarizing ourselves with these things and trying them out. My understanding from the above experience is that, we do not necessarily need to maintain a high profile and be in the spotlight. Instead our path may just be a “Great Way without form.” Our efforts may look low-profile on the surface, but our steps are actually steady. From other practitioners in the team, I learned to promote Shen Yun based on people’s interest and acceptance level, and to utilize existing mechanisms within the corporate environment. I also learned to maintain a professional, respectful, positive, and tolerant manner. Of course, we also have conflicts between practitioners. Once during a discussion, a practitioner said we came to work together not because of friendship, but because of a common, sacred goal. I agree with that thought. We are able to let go of ourselves and rise above the conflicts between us, so as to work together toward this sacred goal.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2011/6/29/75545.html