Cultivating at the Workplace
(Minghui.org) Esteemed Master and fellow practitioners:
Master Li Hongzhi said,
“I have said that our school of practice directly targets one’s mind. It does not make you actually lose anything in terms of material benefits. Instead, you are to temper your xinxing amidst the material benefits of everyday people. What is truly upgraded is your xinxing.” (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)
During this sharing, I want to talk about cultivation at my workplace, including elevation of my xinxing, and Fa validation.
When completing my doctoral dissertation, the global economy was at a low point. It was very difficult to find a job. But, with Master's help, I needed to submit only two resumes to garner a job in an international consulting firm, and was offered the position of chairman of a committee.
Then, my manager asked me to represent my company at a European Special Counsel task force, as I was one of the few experts in this specialty field. However, the task needed to be done without any impact on my current work. I thought that would benefit our company, and I accepted the assignment.
The council commanded a technical committee of around 50 members. They represented different countries and companies. The committee planned to publish a technical white-paper. I was quite familiar with the topic and so actively supported the task, allotting time for discussion. The white-paper was successfully published after the planning stage. I represented the committee and gave a speech during a panel discussion.
I performed without any second thought, and as a result was appointed as vice-chair of the committee. After one year, the chairman asked to resign for personal reasons, so I was made the president. The duty of the committee chair included coordinating the committee, editing the technical book, organizing the specialty conferences, and so on, however without affecting my regular job tasks. This was quite demanding. But, with the wisdom granted by Dafa I was able to balance my needs well. This was certainly no coincidence.
It was an excellent opportunity for Dafa truth clarification. Some of the members learned about Dafa and especially heard about the organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners in China. After holding the position for a while I resigned as the chairman in favor of others and cooperated for another five to six years with them.
As a result, I understood Master's Fa in greater depth. Master said,
“From now on, whatever you do, you should consider others first, so as to attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism.” (“Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
“You are not really asked to lose anything materially. It does not matter how high your position ranks or how much wealth you own. The key is whether you can abandon that attachment.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
During the interview, my company did not offer me a compatible salary as other consulting firms. At the time I thought that “gold will shine forever.” If I would be diligent, my salary would be adjusted upwards. Come to think of this, this thought held a deep attachment – pursuit and wealth. I did accept this thought in my heart but did not verbalize it openly.
Given my work, my company was satisfied and raised my salary accordingly every two to three years. However, the thought of my compensation appeared in my mind on and off. I thought, “My starting salary was low, which is the reason for my actual salary to be lower than that of my colleagues with the same background.
“But normally when a problem arises, if it does not irritate a person psychologically, it does not count or is useless and cannot make him or her improve.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
As a result, a colleague sent an unsolicited salary overview of different career levels. My salary was well below the average salary on the same level. Whenever I thought about this I felt rather uncomfortable and believed that I was treated unfairly.
My supervisor was replaced twice. I was unable to maintain my xinxing and asked both for a raise, but without success. Then, I looked within and found my attachments – pursuit of wealth, envy, and selfishness.
Master said, “If jealousy is not abolished, everything that you have cultivated will become fragile.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)
I could not let go of these attachments as an ordinary person, so I decided to get rid of them. Then, I no longer thought about these issues.
Shortly after, I got a new supervisor. By chance, my new supervisor happened to notice that my salary was far below the average, and began talks with our personnel.
I remember that it was winter, the Saturday before Christmas, when I was at a tourist site clarifying the truth. Suddenly, my supervisor called, something that was a first for him to call me during a weekend. I suspected something urgent. He excitedly told me that personnel approved his request for a raise for me. I thanked him and said that this was a great Christmas present.
It was clear to me that this happened because I let go of an attachment, and I focused on saving sentient beings. This is how Master motivated me.
Practice Site at My Workplace
Due to my work, I was often on a national or international business trip, so I could not participate in the local Fa study and look after my family. Therefore, I was thinking about looking for a new job and was asked for an interview. On the surface it looked fine, but I was not offered the job. I thought that this was not a coincidence. It meant that I had not yet taken care of a responsibility and thus could not quit this job.
Shortly after, I received an e-mail from my workplace, announcing an internal health fair. At the fair, every employee was allowed to present a sport. If several employees were interested in a sport, a sports group could be established, which information would be published on the company website. I knew that some of my colleagues played golf, were involved in sailing, or played football or basketball, and so on. I thought that Falun Dafa was a good sport for health improvement. I went to the responsible person. I introduced to him the exercises, told him about the persecution, and handed him a Minghui International brochure.
The health fair took place in the company's building. I was wearing the yellow Falun Dafa suit. Behind me you could see the poster with the five exercises. I could introduce Falun Dafa to a lot of my colleagues. I thanked Master for this arrangement.
After that, a Dafa exercise group that met every second Friday during lunch was formed at my workplace. With time, more colleagues came to learn the exercises and learned the facts about Dafa.
This activity helped me find my attachment to selfishness. I should not only think about myself but also the people around me, so they could also attain Dafa's benefits.
“Dafa disciples, don’t forsake the magnificent responsibility that has been bestowed upon you in Fa-rectification, and even less should you disappoint those beings, as you are now their only hope for entering the future.” (“Let Go of Human Attachments and Save the World's People”, The Essentials of Diligent Progress, Vol. III)
Then, after two years, I accepted a job interview with a firm I had contacted some time ago. Nothing untoward happened this time and I was offered the job.
Weekly Meeting Time Problem
After moving to the new company, everything appeared to be in order. However, I was faced with another problem. An important weekly company meeting was held every Tuesday from late afternoon to evening and has been for years. But, early on Tuesday evening our local Fa study group would study the Fa. For this, I could not read a full chapter in Zhuan Falun, as it took me more than an hour to get to the Fa study place. Besides, as I was new to the company I had to participate in this meeting. Master taught us to be a good person, no matter what, and always think of others' needs first. I mulled over the problem for a long time, but could not find an answer.
My first step was to discuss it with my fellow practitioners. They shared their understanding based on the Fa, which helped me gain a better understanding of participating in the group Fa study. They suggested that I should send righteous thoughts. Then, I decided to discuss the matter with my supervisor. Before I talked to my supervisor, he sent an e-mail informing all employees that participation in the meeting was optional. However, after two weeks I received another directive, indicating who had to participate in the meeting. My name was not on the list.
Given this latest directive, I gained a deeper understanding of Master's Fa.
“When disciples have ample righteous thoughtsMaster has the power to turn back the tide” (“The Master-Disciple Bond”, Hong Yin, Volume II, Translation Version A)
At the same time, I felt the importance of studying the Fa in a group environment, and sharing our understanding. Besides, the discussion would have a positive effect on our cultivation.
Not everything went smoothly at work. There were many opportunities for raising my xinxing.
As far as I remember, I was at the new consulting firm for about two weeks, when I overheard a conversation between a team leader and my supervisor. I did not want to listen, as this is rude. As the team leader spoke quite loudly I heard that I wasn't that competent, and thus was not suitable for a new project.
Since my childhood, I was almost always praised and was awarded scholarships and awards for my studies. Not even once did anyone judge me like this. Besides, I just had assumed this new position. I could barely listen to what I just heard. Actually, I had only spoken with this team leader briefly and therefore could not fathom his remarks concerning me.
I wondered about the fact that I had cultivated for a number of years, and attachments, such as saving face, should have been eliminated. But it did not seem to be the case. After looking inside, I realized that I had very strong attachments, including wanting fame and not wanting to hear criticism. It was time to let these attachments go. I held no feeling of being treated unfairly and no complaint in my heart. I assumed that the team leader would have a reason for his assessment. When I saw him later, I was polite, as if nothing had happened.
However, the test was over. I took part in a project abroad about two or three years later. The client was very tough. For about two to three months I analyzed the problem and suggested solutions, but without satisfying the client. At this time the project manager thought about replacing me. That meant that I would leave the project and would be replaced.
This was the first time I faced such a situation. I thought about losing face if I returned to the company without completing the project. Besides, there was supposed to be an opportunity for a promotion in the next year. If I returned now, everyone would hear about it, which would make any promotion impossible. My heart was not calm, and I could not simmer down.
“Cultivation practice itself is not difficult, and neither is upgrading one’s level itself difficult. It is because they cannot give up the human mind that they call it difficult. This is because it is very difficult to relinquish something in the face of practical gain.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
I looked inside and discovered more attachments, including selfishness, fear of losing face, pursuit of fame and wealth. It appeared that the attachments I had discovered when I first joined this company had not been completely eliminated. As a cultivator, I should follow Master's requirements and eliminate any attachment before I could elevate.
After the head of the headquarters found another colleague for the job, the project manager discussed the situation with me. I calmly and honestly said that I would abide by his decision and that a change was necessary. He looked very surprised by my attitude, and had not counted on my agreement. Of course he knew that I was a Dafa practitioner.
On my return to headquarters, my manager stopped by the office and noticed that the relationship between me and the project manager was very professional, because it allowed the company to win the trust of the client. I was promoted a few months later, indicating that the issue did not have a negative impact on my career.
During the past 21 years of my cultivation I experienced many xinxing tests not only at work but also in my daily life and my cultivation among fellow practitioners.
Master said, “For a cultivator, looking within is a magical tool.” (Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference”, Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IX)
Thus, I could raise my xinxing. I felt the encompassing and profound Dafa wholeheartedly, and am very grateful for Master's compassion and help. At the same time, I thank fellow practitioners for their help.