Cultivation Experience Working for New Tang Dynasty Television

A Dafa Disciple from Germany

PureInsight | December 18, 2018

[] I obtained the Fa towards the end of 2001 in Germany. At the beginning, I always looked inward even over trivial things. I did it so happily too as I felt I was the luckiest being in the entire world. As long as I had Dafa, I didn’t need anything else.

I remember during the first week of me obtaining the Fa, Master published the article Foretelling the Fa’s Rectification of the Human World. At that moment, I thought to myself, “Oh dear, I came to the Fa too late.” I was so disappointed as I felt that I couldn’t become a Dafa disciple of the Fa Rectification period. Around that time, another city was holding activities for three days. Because there weren’t any practitioners there, they needed support. Two practitioners from my city decided to go. I of course wanted to join too. But the fellow practitioners said that they’d got enough helpers so I was not needed. I thought to myself, “Well, I need to look inward. Why didn’t they want me to go? It must because I haven’t reached the standard of a Dafa disciple. That’s why they don’t want me, I need to cultivate better.” I was quite disappointed, but I didn’t moan about the practitioners. However, the next day, the fellow practitioner said to me, “If you want to go, of course it’s OK, but it’s really cold there.” I was so pleased! It was winter and indeed very cold. The snow was so thick on the ground. As soon as we got out of the car, the chilly air blew on our face like a knife, and my face was painful because of the cold. We were giving out leaflets to the passers-by, we couldn’t feel our hands and after a short while, my whole body was shaking. I repeatedly told myself in my heart, “It’s not cold; it’s not cold”.

At the beginning, no one seemed to be willing to stop, they all walked past me very quickly. I was thinking: How could they be like this? Such a good Dafa is here and they don’t even want to look at it, so rude! But then I thought: That was not right, I should look inward. Was it because all I could think of was how “cold” I was, therefore they all appeared to be very “cold” and unconcerned; so, don’t think about it anymore, as it won’t change the situation. So, I started to recite, “When it’s difficult to endure, you can endure it. When it’s impossible to do, you can do it” (from Lecture 9, Zhuan Falun).To my amusement, very soon, people started to change gradually. Some accepted the materials, some stopped to watch us doing the exercises. They were very curious about what we were doing there and asked me lots of questions.

The 3-day event finished quite quickly in a world of ice and snow. My experience there made me realise for the first time that as a cultivator, as long as my heart changes, the ordinary people will change with me and I can influence them.

Compared to the joyfulness and diligence when I first obtained the Fa, I’m really ashamed of myself nowadays. When I encountered issues in the past, I used to take it as an opportunity to improve and felt happy about it. Although I still look inward today, the “feel-good” mood has gone. These days, I’m looking inward rather passively and most of the time it stops at the surface level. Only when I realise that the situation is very serious and I have nowhere else to go, then it is almost like a “stick wake up” for me – I won’t pass the test without looking inward, only then do I start to genuinely look inward unconditionally.

Cultivation in a Project

In 2004, I joined New Tang Dynasty Television (NTD) by chance. Before taking up cultivation, I was very introverted. I didn’t like to be around people, nor did I like talking to others or joining gatherings. I had no friends. I only liked to be by myself. Soon after I joined NTD, I was coincidentally selected to be the anchor for one programme. I had no confidence in my appearance, and didn’t want to stand in front of the camera from the bottom of my heart. I rather preferred to work behind the scenes. Being an anchor means everyone would see me and judge me, and this is what I’m most afraid of. However, since the person in charge had made the decision, I knew I must let go of myself.

At the beginning, I knew nothing, so fellow practitioners always gave me feedback, such as, this was no good or that should be improved. Because I didn’t have any experience, I was very modest and accepted their views. However, after a while, I became rather confused. For example, for the same clothes, one practitioner would tell me how pretty it was whereas another practitioner would ask me not to wear it again as it was too ugly. Or, for the same feature I edited, someone would say that one special effect I used was very good as it highlighted the focal point; however, another one would comment that effect I used was too fancy, not serious enough. At first, I felt wronged and at a loss I just didn’t know what to do. As time passed and with these incidents becoming more and more common, I started to complain about it. I thought they were not professionals themselves, why did they have so many opinions. My husband often joked with me that only professionals were allowed to make suggestions to me.

As these things happened all the time, I felt maybe it was not a coincidence. Looking inward, I could see my heart was not big enough. Someone likes a sour flavour while others like a sweet taste, there is no right or wrong. Why couldn’t I accept different opinions? Why was I only happy when everything went according to my will? Wasn’t being happy or unhappy sentimentality? I should increase the capacity of my heart to calmly face it and accept it.  

Looking deeper inward, I could tell that I hadn’t let go of self. When I was too attached to self, I would think and worry too much, and appeared to have no confidence. In fact, I knew what I was doing and what the standard was. I should just try my best to follow the standard. The purpose (of what we do) is to save sentient beings rather than for my own reputation or anything selfish. Whatever others’ comments, it was just a test for my xinxing to see whether my heart was moved.

After I realised this, slowly, I was no longer moved by these things, and it didn’t happen as often as before either. Of course, for myself, it was a long cultivation process. Whenever I felt that I’d got rid of my attachment to self, after a while, I’d found out that I still had it – and it was still at large. It was back and forth all the time, but I’d always remind myself to let go of self.

Stand up When You Fall

Once, I read someone’s name wrong during recording and didn’t realise it until it was broadcast. When I noticed it, I couldn’t believe I made such a big mistake. Would the audience think that NTD was lacking in standard? What should I do? My heart just got stuck there and I couldn’t come out of self-blame. Afterwards, I shared with the video editor on duty. To my surprise, she didn’t criticise me as I expected at all, but rather looked inward herself, even though I felt this mistake had nothing to do with her. I was really amazed at her kindness and I could see the gap between us straight away. I thought if I had come across similar situations, I’d definitely blame others first, then look inward for convenience.

The sharing with her made me realise a very negative part within myself – self-blame, which I was not aware of before. What I found out was, it was not like I was too afraid to admit my mistake or the fact that I wasn’t good enough, it was because I couldn’t face myself that I made a mistake. Quite often, I was drawn into a negative state of mind for a long time if I made a small mistake, like when I used a wrong subtitle or inappropriate footage. I just couldn’t get over it. I always thought that this was my character, I’m such a perfectionist that I can’t accept anything with even a tiny flaw. But the fact is this is not true – this so-called character was something forced upon me. Once I realised it I felt a bit lighter, I no longer felt like I was being pressed out of breath. As long as I can feel it, I intentionally try to get rid of it, and it is being eliminated bit by bit.

Master said in Explaining the Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference, “It's not a big deal if you haven't done well. Just do things well next time and try to find out where the problem was. There's a prominent phenomenon in you folks' cultivation, which is, after you haven't done something well, you're only overwhelmed with regret, and you don't do it over. If you regret it too much then that's another attachment. Once you've done something wrong, seen where it was wrong, and recognized it, then do it well next time, do it over. If you trip and fall, and just keep lying there instead of getting up, (audience laughs) then that's no good.”

Letting Go of the Attachment to Gain and Loss

Some of the Chinese news I work on takes a lot of time and effort to edit, as the station is very specific and usually doesn’t have much footage available to use. The team members are from all over the world, and it can be such a hassle to communicate to and cooperate with everyone. Also, it’s quite hard to see audience feedback and the real click rate on the website. So sometimes I’d think: Is it worth me spending so much time on it? A few times, when the programme encountered big difficulties, I seriously thought about leaving this team. I was envious of those who work on feature programmes, although it does take a lot of time and total attention, the end result is a very good product. Unlike the news team where we just work around the clock all the time. However, after so many years of involvement, I was actually quite reluctant to leave. In fact, my thought at that time was quite similar to Pigsy from Journey to the West. Whenever they encountered any danger, Pigsy would want to separate from others and go back to the village where he was from. Did I want to become like Pigsy? I knew my thought was not right, but my attachment to loss and gain was very strong. Although I realised it, it wasn’t very easy to let go of it. Until after a test came, did I choose to get rid of it.

One time, a fellow practitioner I work with was on leave and asked me to do the recording during her absence. Because we agreed this long ago, I didn’t check with her again on the day. Just after I finished all my recording and was uploading the files, I suddenly saw this practitioner sent a message on the platform saying she’d already uploaded the files. I felt it was very strange so I asked her: Are you not on leave? Didn’t you ask me to stand in for you? She suddenly remembered and apologised to me, saying she was actually free that day but forgot to inform me about it.

Deep down in my heart, I was quite angry. I thought: What is this about? Both of us spent so much time doing the same thing, isn’t this a waste of time? My time is also very precious. The video editor was a bit confused so asked the coordinator what to do. The coordinator then came to ask both of us: Whose recording should we use now? The second I saw the question I felt like time had been slowed down. I pondered a lot. I could sense very strongly that this was a test, as it makes no difference to the programme which recording to use. I knew very clearly if I said to use hers, they’d use it without further hesitation, which meant I’d just wasted a few hours of my time. But wasn’t this the attachment to loss and gain? Hadn’t I said that I wanted to get rid of it? So, I said: just use hers. I meant it from the bottom of my heart, and wasn’t just being polite. I knew the attachment was being eliminated, but the process was very uncomfortable.

Keeping Righteous Thoughts, Eliminating Interference

In fact, before something actually happens, we often receive hints about it, but such a hint could be a tiny thought that flashes through our mind. At the beginning, I thought that was just a coincidence, but nothing is a coincidence. When such a thought first appears, I must seize it and send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the interference and check what I am doing very carefully. For example, I may suddenly have the thought to check a piece of news again. If I do it then, I would be bound to find some issues with it. Or a thought that the equipment might have problems today would flash through my mind. If I could FZN then to deny all the interference, it’d be fine. But if I let it slip through and took a chance on it, I’d have problems all the time. Also, when a problem does happen, FZN really makes a difference. I’ve come across so many times that the programme was about to be broadcast but I had issues with the Internet. I couldn’t do anything except be anxious about it. If I could strengthen my righteous thoughts and have the will to meet the deadline for broadcasting, and deny any interference, it would be cleared away very quickly when I did FZN.

The news team is in a hurry all the times, especially those few hours before broadcasting. The time was counted in minutes and seconds. As I operate all the equipment myself, except the lighting, I couldn’t see any issue during recording. If I find out that something has gone wrong with the equipment after I finish recording, it would be quite late and it could directly impact the broadcasting of the programme. Therefore, my heart was always hanging in there and I constantly worried about things, I was so tired. After a while, I felt my state didn’t seem to be right. Once I was sharing with a fellow practitioner, I said inadvertently that every recording was like a battle for me, I was so scared of experiencing issues. I can only relax once everything was finished and thought to myself, “Fortunately, today has passed safely!” She then asked me, “Were you scared of the programme making a mistake or yourself making a mistake?” Her unexpected question stunned me.

Of course, I was worrying about the programme making mistakes – that was the basic responsibility we should have towards the project. But besides that, I seemed to have more fear of myself making mistakes. In the past, I never thought about the difference between the two. But actually, they are different, very different indeed. As for the same type of mistakes, if it was not made by me, I felt it didn’t matter much, I just needed to be more careful in the future. However, if it was my own mistake, it would be such a big deal. Why did I think differently? When I thought about it, I was frightened by my own thought, I didn’t realise such a deep attachment was hidden behind the thought of being responsible. So, what was it exactly?

I looked inward and I felt that there were two of me: one is the real me who doesn’t have many notions and is watching the other me in this human world. Then I could see the thought activity of this “human me”, as soon as a thought was developed, I could seize it.

The “human me” always has excuses: the equipment or the software was not working, the Internet was down, there was interference, and it was not my fault. It was right on the surface that it had nothing to do with me. But how did I get interfered with? Wasn’t it because I had loopholes? I relied heavily on techniques, as they are tangible things that can be controlled. I didn’t believe in anything that I couldn’t see. Have I really treated myself as a cultivator?

Also, when I see others’ faults or shortcomings, although I try my best to harmonise, that’s only because I know I must do so as a Dafa disciple. I still complain about it and would think why is she like this and why can’t she be like that. Through Fa study, I enlightened that others’ shortcomings are my shortcomings, otherwise they wouldn’t be shown to me. True compassion and mercy is unconditional, it’s a natural state. I’m clearly not at that standard yet.

Working in the media means I’m very busy on a daily basis. What I have to watch and be concerned with are all ordinary people’s stuff. If I forget about why I do it, I could easily get sucked into it and become an ordinary person doing ordinary things. When I was writing this sharing, I could see so many attachments that were developed because I still haven’t let go of myself. I am so ashamed.

For 13 years, I have felt deeply that it is Master’s arrangement for me to see my attachments and cultivate myself while working on the projects.

Thank you Master!

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