PureInsight | September 11, 2013
Greetings revered Master! Greetings fellow practitioners!
My name is CY, and I am now living in Sweden. I obtained the Fa in 1998 in Beijing and immigrated to Sweden in 2001 from Mainland China.
In order for the Epoch Times to play a greater role in helping Master's Fa rectification, Master again offered another precious cultivation opportunity — the Epoch Times Nordic Office was moved from Gothenburg to Stockholm last July. Soon after this, the Epoch Times Chinese Version Nordic Office was formally established. Thanks to Master's and fellow practitioners' trust, I was promoted from a general staff member to the Director of the Nordic Office. At this European Fa-conference, I would like to share my experience and progress during the Fa-rectification period.
Master's Wish Is My Command
When I was first nominated to become a coordinator, I felt very confused because I saw various complicated relationships among fellow practitioners that had exhausted many Dafa coordinators, and I was afraid that my cultivation would be affected if I were involved in such a situation. In addition, the Nordic Epoch Times consists of four countries: Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland, each of which has its own local coordinator and Dafa Association, which was complicated to coordinate. At that time, each country's Epoch Times was funded by practitioners' donations. It was hard to fund the business simply by sales. In addition, I still had my job along with many family responsibilities, which left little spare time to do Dafa work. With all kinds of difficulties, I was not able to assume such responsibility. However as a Dafa disciple, I was very clear that somebody needed to bear this responsibility; otherwise, it would be hard for the Epoch Times Nordic Version to move on.
I realized that those concerns stemmed from selfish perspectives. If this were not overcome, it would be hard for me to step forward and make a decision. Our compassionate great Master really pushed me forward. In a dream, Master came to me and spoke with me. He then took me and other disciples I was familiar with to climb many mountains and pass many streets. We were following Master to look for sentient beings to save... After waking up, I shed tears, and my heart felt as if it were having an electric shock. In this instance, I realized whatever Fa-rectification needed was what I should do. Since then, I no longer thought about whether my ability was good enough to meet challenges, and I also no longer thought too much about the results.
Some key coordinators in the Epoch Times Headquarters suffered a lot in their personal and family lives. Every day, everybody worked hard to coordinate different branches all around the world. The workload for them was too heavy. They moved me deeply. In contrast, why could I not eliminate selfishness and assume a few more responsibilities?
I then accepted the promotion to become the Director of the Epoch Times Nordic Office, and fellow practitioners also encouraged and supported me with their righteous thoughts. We had a common goal of working towards a better newspaper and saving more sentient beings. I also realized this was my responsibility. Master's wish is our command. Dafa disciples should coordinate well unconditionally. Master always gives us the best.
Advertisement Sale Is Telling the Truth and Saving People
I started to learn office management from scratch and attained a reasonably competent level. During the process, there were many opportunities to temper and improve my character. I realized that in running the Epoch Times, we should learn from what Master did for Shen Yun with an aim to make the Epoch Times the biggest in the world. If our path is righteous, our prospects should become brighter and brighter.
Our office should be run in a virtuous circle. The newspaper funded by practitioners’ donations does not have mighty virtue. This issue served as the biggest challenge for disciples in Nordic countries because practitioners funded all newspapers. However, to run the business properly is never a single day's job, there are relatively smaller Chinese communities in the four Nordic countries. The four countries all have different languages and different currencies, which make the Nordic Epoch Times harder to run both in terms of personal coordination and management. Our team as a whole needed to improve quickly in cultivation to reach our goals.
In order to strengthen the newspaper sales, we developed a unified marketing plan in accordance with a newspaper editorial plan. In order to increase the circulation and to expand the influence in the local Chinese community, we opened up 21 newspaper pick-up points in Stockholm, including six Swedish supermarkets. During the process, we broke through the mindset of the lack of time, language skills and professional experience. With the support of the Netherlands and Belgium office, a joint version was applied to our newspaper, and a Nordic colour advertisement page was also inserted.
Different progress was then made in marketing in Denmark, Finland and Sweden, where first page colour and mono-advertisement orders hit our office. The market was progressively opening up for us, and our incomes increased substantially. More than six months later, Epoch Times in Sweden started to operate normally without practitioners' funding.
It was very clear that the result flowed from team coordination. In reality, Master, who encouraged us to go ahead, arranged everything. Just as what is written in Master-Disciple Grace, “When disciples’ righteous thoughts are strong, Master has the power to turn the tide”.
Whenever I sent an invoice to a client, I felt our sales team's arduous efforts, and I felt the joy of saving sentient beings. I felt that our coordination was moving on the right track.
Fellow practitioners who had left the Epoch Times came back to join us again to save sentient beings. Our editorial team coordinated better and better. When a practitioner did not have time to write an article, another practitioner would help to write one. When we missed an interview for an event, others managed to write an article to make it up. Meanwhile, newly trained practitioners also joined our design team. Overall, all practitioners were working together to improve the newspaper, trying their best and cooperating with each other.
Seeing that many practitioners were putting more effort into the newspaper, I was moved and found that the Fa and Master could make our seemingly ordinary disciples become sacred. In reality, the process of coordination was a cultivation process of trusting and being wholehearted about fellow practitioners. As a coordinator, whenever I saw fellow practitioners putting in more effort, whenever I witnessed their shining and good points, I cherished every practitioner in the Epoch Times more and more. I also felt Master's mercy and the profoundness of the Fa.
Cultivating Myself Solidly in the Coordination Work
During the year of coordination work, I felt that a coordinator should put in more effort, assume more responsibilities with endless things to think about and plan in one’s mind. In fact, shouldn’t we regard all these things as excellent cultivation opportunities offered by Master? While we put in effort, Master is helping us to expand our capacities.
For six months before Shen Yun came to Sweden, we focused on promoting Shen Yun, and I was responsible for the kitchen and restaurant work. I was too busy to attend the Epoch Times weekly meetings, let alone spend time on Epoch Times sales. During this period, I managed to maintain a few old customers' long-term contracts. After the Shen Yun show, I received a half-year printing invoice for the Nordic Epoch Times from Germany, while the other three Nordic countries did not do well on sales except Sweden. I felt sad and shed tears. I felt that I did not live up to Master's trust and the significance of a coordinator's responsibility. If we deviate from the Fa a little bit, the old forces can find various excuses to interfere with us. For example, some competent practitioners had to work to make a living, while others left because they were under too much job pressure. Various reasons underpinned our poor sales performance. Facing the situation, I felt anxious. I realized that we should not be interfered with by the evil forces. Behind the complicated phenomenon, something was arranged by the old forces and the evil. We should deny them with our pure righteous thoughts.
At this year's New York Conference, the Epoch Times Headquarters raised the standard for each branch by asking all the branches to eliminate sponsorships and move towards standardization, professional management and full-time staff.
I spent much time and energy exchanging ideas with coordinators from different countries and wished that the three other countries could join Sweden to form an Epoch Times Nordic together and that the coordinators and sales could all pay more attention to the market. If we are united as one body and look after the market well in each country, then our four Nordic countries could form a real body. This is what Master wants.
Master said in Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference: “With any project or any task, if you decide not to do it, then don’t do it; and if you do decide to do it, then you definitely have to do it well and carry it through to the end. If you do otherwise, how shall the time you wasted go down in the annals of history? Whatever is not brought to completion amounts to a failure. That is not to say, however, that a certain task has to be carried out according to your own ideas and only if it succeeds, will you build up mighty virtue. Rather, it is in the act of your cooperating and the thoughts that follow, and in how you go about things in the process of collaborating, that count as the cultivation process.”
I realized it was time for me to improve. I needed to eliminate ego, expand my capacity, be compassionate towards fellow practitioners, look at fellow practitioners’ good points and reflect upon myself when discerning others’ weak points. I started to communicate with the practitioners around me. A practitioner pointed out my working method and attitude. My boss was very satisfied with me, but my team members were just like pawns in my hands. In fact, thinking from other people's perspectives allowed me to understand what I had never understood before. I always behaved in my own ways and rarely thought about other people. Sometimes I was very anxious and talked fast, and many of them were unwilling to accept what I said. I understood that through Dafa coordinator work, my mind was upgraded and my wisdom increased.
If we want to coordinate fellow practitioners well, cultivating ourselves well is the key. Digging further into my thoughts, I found my selfishness during my coordinator work period. For instance, in order to encourage and include fellow practitioners, I thought about establishing my mighty virtue rather than making myself a single commander on my own. I understood that, as a Dafa disciple, I must step forward from the old universe’s law of looking after myself and reach the new universe’s standard of being selfless. I realized that these other practitioners were working towards helping me to become a better manager and teaching me to always put other people's needs first.
Each fellow practitioner must have his or her own way, and regardless of whether it is flat or rugged, they all have their own reasons. As such, understanding fellow practitioners’ statuses, situations and paths and having mutual tolerance are the requirements for our coordinators. I often reminded myself not to neglect my own cultivation while looking after the whole team. When I see everyone working hard to improve their cultivation, I no longer feel that the responsibility of being a coordinator is a burden, and I no longer push everyone. Instead, I try to help each practitioner to maximize his or her potential. I feel it is very important to understand each team member and work with them to survive the hardest situation.
During the collective cultivation process and constant adjustment with fellow practitioners, I have become familiar with my work even though I started out knowing nothing. I can always feel Master's compassionate care. I no longer feel happy when I achieve something; instead, I am focused on my limitations and the higher standard that the Fa imposes upon me.
The Epoch Times will become the first media in the world, and we all understand how lucky we are to be able to work here. We are now cultivating during the Fa-rectification period and saving sentient beings by working in the Epoch Times under Master's guidance. There will be many things for us to overcome in order to achieve what we must achieve. I understand that the path ahead is not smooth, but nothing will stop me. Master’s huge bearing has extended our path. Any opportunity will no longer repeat itself. Let us cherish this opportunity. Our Master’s wish is my unconditional command.
Thanks to Master! Thanks to fellow practitioners!
(Speech at the 2013 European Falun Dafa Experience-Sharing Conference in Copenhagen)