PureInsight | December 22, 2019
Greetings, Master. Greetings, fellow practitioners.
I am a Falun Dafa practitioner from Taiwan. I started cultivating Falun Dafa in 2001. I am honored to share three of my cultivation experiences with everyone.
1. Enlightening to the preciousness of sentient beings through guilt
I have been working as a children’s television program producer at NTD for 17 years. During the first six years, I produced six types of programs, from storytelling to games and lifestyle programs. I could not come up with any ideas for the seventh program. To get some inspiration, I referred to other practitioners’ programs.
I discovered a program that started around the same time as mine, which had produced more than 100 episodes. I was surprised by the number of episodes that one show could produce. I could not wait to start developing a new program when my current show had reached 20 episodes. I asked myself why I was so different from the others. The truth was that after I had acquired the knowhow of developing a new program, I started to lose interest in the daily repetitive routine of producing the current program I was working on and eventually my motivation faded away.
My own child never liked watching the children’s television program that my team and I had made for the past six years, but I never seemed to care. I continued creating one new program every year and was quite happy with that. After looking within, I realized that I was only being curious and novel. To me, creating children’s television programs was never about the audience, but instead to feed my own attachment(s). I felt that I had irresponsibly wasted Dafa’s resources and had over ten employees to satisfy my personal desires. I discovered my selfishness through guilt. I began to understand how to respect and treasure other people.
Maybe only regret could make me realize where I had erred and what I should do in the future. The seventh program was going to be a program that children could truly enjoy. A market survey was conducted focusing on elementary school children aged seven to twelve. The survey determined that I should make cartoons in the future, which gave me a huge headache. Neither my team members nor I knew anything about cartoons. If we decided to do it, the current team would have to be disbanded, throwing away years of resources and experiences, and we would have to learn something new from scratch. Building a new team is not easy. If cartoons are what children in that age group can accept as a method of clarifying the truth, I should not give up before trying. I decisively let go of the former team and started taking classes on animation alone at a tutoring center.
2. Animation series created by a miracle
In order to understand and memorize what the teacher taught (in the animation class), I videotaped the classes. For each three-hour class, it took me four hours to review the video and take notes. I noticed non-practitioners are far superior professionally, but I did not know how to catch up to them. I felt sad and often secretly wiped away tears in class. Although I was knocked down every time I went to class, the Fa made me stronger and indestructible. Every time I was knocked down, I was still able to stand back up again.
I was an amateur. I had never even heard of the world-renowned animation company Pixar until I was almost 50-years-old. I stayed up late watching many cartoons, reading the history of different countries and development trends, attending seminars, making friends with everyday people who worked at animation companies, and trying to understand the industrial ecosystem so that I could make up for what I was lacking.
The more I learned about animation, the further I felt from reaching my goal because I gradually realized that this is an enormous project. I needed 1.7 million dollars, more than 30 professionals in various fields, and three to four years to complete this project. It was already a difficult undertaking for an everyday company, not to mention for an amateur like me who had only studied cartoons for three months. I struggled to make a decision to either give up or see it through.
I thought that if I really understood this industry, I should be able to find a solution. I remembered an animation teacher with 20 years of experience that I knew who could work with me to produce the cartoon demo. We could then apply for funding assistance from the Taiwan Government. Since I could not afford to pay him but still hoped he could help, I felt that I was in the wrong. For that reason, I never had the courage to ask the teacher.
While studying the Fa, I realized that it was the so-called “courage” that prevented me from taking the next step, and it is a type of selfishness. If there is no “I,” then there is no “courage”; if there is no “human” factor, there is no “human” substance. If I do not consider “myself,” there would be no obstruction. I am the only one who can truly stop myself.
I explained my intention to do the animation series as an objective third party to the teacher. I told him that I am not doing this for financial gain or out of interest. In this society filled with greed, I wanted to pass on the message “Virtue outweighs wealth and knowledge” to children through a beloved cartoon. I told him if the application for the government funding assistance is granted, then I would pay him; if not, I would not be able to pay him. The teacher smiled and agreed to help me under the following two conditions: One was to have 33,000 dollars of funding for the animation company to produce the demo; the other condition was to have an experienced animation director.
A bittersweet feeling overwhelmed me. The teacher wanted to help me! I then encountered the next difficulty - I did not know any practitioner who had directing experience. I had no personal savings left after years of working in the media as a volunteer. My supervisor at NTD did not encourage me to give up all my previous knowledge and experiences to start an unfamiliar and difficult program. When the supervisor saw my determination however, they introduced a new recruit at NTD to me who just happened to be an animation director. Moreover, a practitioner whom I have known for years agreed to provide the 33,000 dollars in just five minutes.
The new team could finally be established. We applied for the Taiwan Government’s funding assistance after a prolonged series of efforts and were denied funding assistance twice. Just when everyone was disappointed with the first denial of funding assistance, an overseas animation company miraculously offered to do the demo. When all team members were disheartened by the second denial for funding assistance from the Taiwan Government, the overseas animation company received the full amount of funding assistance from their own Government! That suggested a foreign Government was funding our cartoon project. Not only did the overseas animation company not need to be paid, but practitioners also played the leading role in this project and owned the copyright of the completed animated series. The whole team believed it was a miracle given by Master. Master helped us resolve the issues of lacking manpower and funding. Master has given His disciples much more than we realized.
I did not know any of the practitioners before establishment of the new team. Five key members who were team leaders had knowledge in specific fields of expertise. We were geographically separated and rarely met in person. Furthermore, some of us had never even met before. All team members had everyday jobs and were working on this project part time. I worked on the project full time from home, ensuring steady progress by organizing a weekly online group Fa study, experience sharing and distributing the workload to the team. Disappointment, desperation, depression, and irritation were unavoidable feelings while coordinating with everyday people and practitioners. However, I felt very fulfilled during those days. The more hardships and difficulties that occurred, the more I was able to improve.
The collaboration with the overseas animation company did not go well. The company could not finish the demo due to insufficient funding. As a result, the demo was delayed for two years. The foreign Government started to intervene to try to find a solution. The Government suggested that we provide a demo completion document so that they can grant the (remaining) funds to the animation company and therefore complete the demo.
The fact was the animation company did not complete the demo. If I provided a falsified completion document, then I would be lying to produce this animated series, which did not align with the standards of a Dafa practitioner. On the other hand, this was our only hope. If I did not do this right, the demo would be thrown out, and six years of effort would go down the drain. A choice between the completed demo and cultivation had to be made. If I chose the demo, I had to give up the principles of a practitioner; if I chose the latter, I had to give up the demo.
I believe practitioners are the purest. If Dafa is not involved then what we do will not have energy, and sentient beings cannot be saved. I also thought about other people’s losses if I decided to give up on the demo. The foreign government had already disbursed the funding, and I had to be responsible to my team members and compensate them for what they had done. The team reached an agreement after sharing that we would rather lose this demo than provide a falsified document.
I informed the foreign Government of our decision; however, I did not feel relieved. The more I thought about it, the more I did not understand. I looked within, asking myself if I did this project for myself and if I sincerely wanted to save sentient beings. I was certain my motivation did not come from selfishness. I looked within further to see if the requirements of the Fa were met during the process. Though I admit I had made bad decisions and mistakes, I corrected what I did wrong and did not slack off in my cultivation. If what I did was in line with the Fa, why couldn’t we accomplish the demo? The Fa is all encompassing, so we should be able to have the cake and eat it too. Practitioners can definitely have both.
I denied my previous thoughts. I no longer believed that we should have nothing. We should have everything we deserve. We should save sentient beings with our original intent and validate the Fa by producing the demo, which everyday people would like and cherish. A few days later, the boss of the overseas animation company suddenly called. He told us that a God appeared in a dream that he had, and asked him to complete the demo. The animation company changed their attitude and with a huge effort, finished the demo.
As of now, the animation series has won 56 international awards throughout the world and has been nominated in 40 countries’ film festivals across five continents including Hong Kong. To my surprise, many jurors do not categorize this animation series as a children’s program, but rather as a film that can influence nations. I know this animated series has been strengthened to become a Fa tool. The power of the Fa allows sentient beings to understand that Zhen-Shan-Ren is what beings need most.
A juror from Venezuela, one of the most violent countries in the world, described his country as a pressure cooker that could explode at any time. He did not want a civil war to happen there. He believed that this animated series could calm down his fellow citizens and advocate peaceful dialogue. A Ukrainian audience member claimed that his country needs this animated series badly, as his country was going through armed conflict and things were very tense there – if people in Ukraine could watch the animated series, perhaps they may see things differently and the country could stabilize and life return to normal.
A juror from India said there is too much conflict, racial discrimination, anger and struggle happening around the world and that this animated series can heal the world. A juror from the UK said our animated series is as excellent as the ones produced by Pixar Animation Studios, The Walt Disney Company, and Dreamworks Studios. A founder of a U.S. film festival was shocked that we did not get an award during a year that we were nominated. He invited us to Hollywood the following year to accept the highest honor of his film festival. He wanted to award this honor to someone that could change the world.
In some instances, various film festivals took the initiative to award us without any submission from us; in addition, the categories that we did not enter also awarded us. It seems like sentient beings’ knowing sides are honoring Dafa through this medium. I am grateful that this animated series is having such a good effect around the world.
3. Have the courage to take responsibility and achieve the best
Master said in Fa Teaching at the 2013 Greater New York Fa Conference, “By leading you all in doing Shen Yun, Master is in fact giving you a model. I have made Shen Yun the best show in the world. At the very least, in the performing arts, in the field of the arts, it’s playing the lead role.”
My understanding of the “lead role” is having maximum persuasion and influence, thereby effectively saving sentient beings on a large scale. If every truth clarification project becomes the lead role in its field, think about it everyone, what would that be like? Wouldn’t everyone’s wish come true?
Take practitioners involved in the media for example. The goal of every program is to be the best in the world. All employees, supervisors and managers should try to enrich themselves and achieve the goal by researching the very best of everyday people’s programs, improve themselves in order to catch up to them, break out of comfort, study further to create personal breakthroughs, keep gaining knowledge in response to the constant changes in society, and eventually become top-notch professionals like the Shen Yun artists. If we work hard towards that goal, we will then be able to save more sentient beings with the greatest influence before the large-scale process of weeding out of sentient beings begins.
Maybe some practitioners do not have enough confidence or think the goal of taking the “lead role” is unachievable. Our confidence comes from the Fa. We are neither alone nor fighting the battle alone. On the contrary, we are fortunate to have the greatest support in the universe. Master, Buddhas, Taos, and Gods are all looking after us under the premise that we truly cultivate. We will not be able to play the lead role if we do not truly cultivate. Without the Fa, we cannot do it.
Master said in Zhuan Falun, “Can you do that by yourself? You cannot. These things are arranged by the Master and performed by the Master. Therefore, it is said that cultivation depends on one’s own efforts, while transforming gong is done by one’s Master. You can only have such a wish and think about it like that, but it is the Master who actually does these things.”
We need to have the wish, be brave to think of new ideas, and take responsibility in order to meet Master’s expectations. “Believing comes before seeing”; after believing in Dafa and taking action, we will be able to see what Master has given to sentient beings. What Master has given us has always exceeded our expectations.
Finally, I would like to encourage practitioners by sharing a very familiar paragraph from Zhuan Falun, “‘When it’s difficult to endure, you can endure it. When it’s impossible to do, you can do it’. In fact, that is how it is. Why don’t you give it a try when you return home? When you are overcoming a real hardship or tribulation, you try it. When it is difficult to endure, try to endure 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!’”
Please kindly point out any misunderstandings of the Fa.
Chinese version: http://www.zhengjian.org/node/245179