PureInsight | August 6, 2006
[PureInsight.org] (Washington, D.C., Fa Conference, 2006)
Thank you for letting me share my experiences with you. I would like to
talk mainly about respecting and treasuring each other and the time
that we have here together.
Right after the D.C. conference two years ago, I left and went to New
Zealand. It was largely a mistake, possibly the worst mistake of my
life, and I came back almost a year later, the day before last year's
D.C. conference. A full year had passed, filled with tribulations and
shortcomings. It was a long painful year, but Master said in his recent
article "To the Chicago Fa Conference:" "Whatever you experience during
your cultivation--whether good or bad--is good, for it comes about only
because you are cultivating. A cultivator cannot achieve Consummation
when laden with human thoughts, laden with karmic debts, or laden with
attachments. Gold's luster increases as it is refined over time."
I was very isolated in New Zealand and became quite withdrawn from
Dafa, not even able to study or exercise much at times, but I always
remembered that I was a Dafa Disciple no matter how poorly I was doing,
and Master never gave up on me.
I know sometimes we have a very difficult time cooperating and
coordinating with one another. We think highly of our ideas and lowly
of other people's ideas. Oftentimes our emotions and opinions hide
within our desire to do what is best, and we hurt the people and the
projects we are trying to help. I have done this too many times, and
today I would like to apologize to every one of you out there for every
time that I have not treated you with the utmost respect. Because you
deserve it. You are a cultivator of Dafa, a jewel of the universe, and
I am sorry for not treasuring you as the precious jewel that you are.
Master says, "The truth is, I treasure you more than you treasure yourselves."
Well, I can tell you that after a year of not having the opportunity to
share with other practitioners, after not having the opportunity to
contribute to projects and events that truly impact the progress of Fa
rectification and the salvation of countless beings, after not having
the opportunity to work in conjunction with the most righteous and
powerful group of people ever in the immense history of the universe, I
absolutely fundamentally treasure every single one of you, every single
moment that we spend together, and every single thing (whether
seemingly miniscule or seemingly great, seemingly pleasant or seemingly
painful) that you have ever done for me. It is an honor to be here with
I'm sure some people out there are thinking, "Those are pretty words,
Jared, now try showing it." It is so true; I still have heaps to
cultivate away from my human heart, but I do treasure you. Even when my
thoughts, words and actions betray my conscience and fight with you, my
heart is always full of compassion and respect for you. Master says he
only looks at people's hearts, but, unfortunately, in the mess of our
opinions, attachments and notions, we often forget to do the same.
I remember that right after I came back from New Zealand and all this
love and respect for my fellow cultivators was fresh in my mind, I got
into a fight with a practitioner who is close to me. Actually I really
respect him, and had been looking forward to being with him again, but
one day he got mad at something I considered very insignificant, and do
you know how I reacted? I got mad at him. I got angry with him for
being angry. How ridiculous, how unlike a cultivator, how contradictory
to my true feelings for him, right? I didn't really understand my
reaction until I spoke with him about it later that night, and he told
me that it was because I thought I was better than him. I was floored.
It was true. Arrogant Jared.
Soon after that, probably with that arrogance in mind, Master presented
me with two wonderful opportunities in my cultivation, and they are
what I would like to focus on for the rest of this paper. One was
becoming an editor for the English Epoch Times
and the other was hosting many of the New Tang Dynasty Television
Chinese New Year Global Galas. You might think that being bestowed with
the honor of contributing to such magnificent projects might have made
me more arrogant, but that is not the case; it actually had an amazing
impact on my ability to work with others and more deeply appreciate the
value of their thoughts and skills.
First let me talk about being an editor. I like to write, and I must
admit that sometimes I think quite highly of my skills (meager as they
are), but as an editor, I don't get to write very many articles
anymore; instead I am always taking other people's articles and just
polishing them, finding photos that complement them, and rarely
actually producing something of my own. As an editor, it is important
to recognize that every writer has his or her own voice and not try to
change everything into my voice. The way I write might be good, but it
is not the only way to write. I am there to help other writers have
better articles. It is not my article; it is theirs; that is why their
name is at the top of it instead of mine. So the role of an editor is,
surprisingly, much more of a supporting role rather than a leading
role, and it has taught me to be more respectful of others' work.
Coming to that realization gave me greater insight into what Master
said in his lecture at the "2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia:"
"Actually, did you know that those Great Enlightened Beings have a lot
of things in the heavens that they too need to coordinate and discuss
with each other.... So what's their state of mind? It's tolerance, an
extremely immense tolerance, being able to accept other beings, and
being able to truly think from other beings' perspectives. This is
something a lot of you haven't achieved yet in your cultivation, but
you're gradually catching on and achieving it. When another God
proposes an idea, they aren't eager to reject it, and they aren't eager
to express their own ideas and they don't believe that their own ideas
are good. Instead, they look at what the end result of the other God's
proposed approach will be. The paths are different - everyone's path is
different - and the truths that beings validate and enlighten to in the
Fa are different, too, but the results might very well be the same.
That's why they look at the results, and if the result of a God's idea
can achieve the goal, if it can truly achieve it, then all of them will
go along with it. That's how Gods think. Also, if there's something
lacking in it they'll unconditionally and quietly supplement it to make
things more complete and perfect. That's how they handle things."
I have worked on so many projects that got stuck in a deadlock because
practitioners could not agree on whose idea was best, even stating
their opinions as facts. Other times we got stuck in an endless cycle
of improving something that was fine to begin with. Being an editor, I
have a deadline to meet, and when I get an article that is pretty good,
I put my trust it, supplementing where I can, and then moving on. We
have got to have that trust for each other in working together, because
the Fa rectification has a deadline too.
The other great experience I had in learning to work as a particle of
one body was hosting the NTD-TV New Year Gala Tour this year. I was the
English host in 11 out of the 13 cities in North America. It was
amazing, inspiring, life-changing.
The first show we did was in Boston. It was even before the New York
shows. We had been working on our hosting script for quite a while with
a good team and we were pleased with it, but when it came time for the
dress rehearsal the night before the show, we bombed. Everything that
looked good on paper and sounded good in rehearsal just did not work on
stage or as a part of the whole show, and I'm not just being
self-critical here. It was bad. I was terrified. Here were all these
world-class performers in the most beautiful show you have ever seen,
and the hosts were about to ruin the whole thing. That was when I began
to understand how humbling of an experience it was going to be.
What amazed me, though, was that no one said a single harsh word to us.
A few people gave us some suggestions, but everyone trusted us to pull
ourselves together and fix it up by the next day. One practitioner even
stayed up the whole night with us revising the script. We got a few
hours of sleep and the next day we actually weren't that bad.
That was the first show, and the adventure had just begun. The shows
went on for more than a month, and during all of that I came to better
and deeper understandings about the role of the host in the show. In
English there is a common phrase that goes "The host with the most,"
but I realized that actually what our show needed was "The host with
the least." The least attachments, the least notions and the least
thoughts of myself, because my whole reason for being there was just to
help people enjoy the other performers. Nobody came to the show to see
me (well, except my parents). But, honestly, I was there to make the
transitions between the real performances go smoothly. Of course the
hosts are performers too and we are just as important to the overall
success of the show as the solo dancers, (as was made evident when we
did so poorly at the Boston dress rehearsal), but our performance was
not our own artistic expression. We are there just to support others,
and whenever I stayed cognizant of that, I was a much better host.
A major part of the host's job is to build up the audience's excitement
and to do that well, I had to be excited myself. No faking. I had to go
out there genuinely believing that what the audience was about to see
was the most spectacular show it had ever experienced. Of course, that
wasn't hard to do because it really was the greatest show ever produced
in human history, but to have that same excitement resonating from deep
down show after show required me to really concentrate on how good the
Sometimes when something aggravates us, we will sit there and just pine
over all the details that infuriate us until we work ourselves into a
frenzy. But how often do you do that where you instead focus on how
good something is?
I began to watch the performances without my opinions of what I liked
more or less, letting all my notions fade away, and I absolutely fell
in love with all of them. Really in love. The performances were
beautiful and intelligent and righteous, and then all I had to do as a
host was convey that love to the audience. Of course at times we had
our lover's quarrels, and occasionally I got upset or frustrated, but I
was always in love, and with that love grew a deep respect for everyone
working on the show.
Whenever I would think that I had some good suggestions for the
performers, choreographers or stage managers, I would always stop and
really look at it and ask myself whether my suggestion was needed and
if it would actually help. If I did feel that it would help (which
wasn't that often) I would then wait for a good time to talk to the
person about it. Because sometimes even a good suggestion, if it is
timed poorly or given without enough thought, can make things worse.
You have to be considerate of others and think about things from their
perspective, especially when you are trying to help them.
When Master is teaching us about "People with Great Inborn Quality" in Zhuan Falun,
he says, "In trying to accumulate de, you may think that something is a
good deed, but if you do it, it may turn out to be a wrong deed. If you
interfere with something that you regard as a bad thing, it may turn
out to have been a good thing."
I always try to consider that quote before I go and attempt to improve
someone else's work or help someone through a conflict. We cannot see
everything and all the levels of impact that something may have, and
even if we could, it would still only be from our own isolated
None of us are here for ourselves. All of us are just trying to save
sentient beings, and when we create something or criticize creations of
others, it is hardly ever from any kind of selfish intent, we are just
trying to safeguard the Fa and make sure that our projects have the
best effect. However, oftentimes there is selfishness woven into what
we do or stuck onto it like tar because we could not separate ourselves
from our acquired notions and what we think is good.
In Los Angeles this year Master said, "Cultivation is about looking
inside yourself. Whether you are right or wrong, you should examine
yourself. Cultivation is about getting rid of human attachments. If you
always reject reproaches and criticism, always point your fingers at
others, and always refute others' disapproval and criticism, is that
cultivating? How is that cultivating? You have grown used to focusing
on other people's shortcomings, and never take examining your own self
What is it that makes us critical of others and blocks us from
accepting others' criticism? It is that we think of ourselves as being
right and good, when in fact we live in the delusion of the human world
with muddy human minds.
But despite our muddy minds and many faults, Master treasures each one of us, and I trust his judgment.
You are all amazing. Let us work together in harmony, striving towards magnificent consummation and the salvation of all beings.