Greetings Master Li and my fellow practitioners. During the past year, Master has arranged for my cultivation in three very different work environments to point out various attachments. The first environment was helping troubled teenage children as a therapeutic youth care provider, the second was as a carpenter, and the third was as a fisheries scientist. My work has come full circle, and I am again working as a social worker. I would like to share the insights I have gained in my cultivation at these various positions.
My main responsibility as a therapeutic youth care provider was to be a good role model in a home type setting. Unfortunately, the shelter was closed a week after beginning this position due to a fuel oil leak, and all of the staff were laid off. I became very depressed after this because I felt that I had lost a secure position where I could tell others about the Fa and would provide me with many xinxing tests. I was even more despondent about looking for another job. After a short time I came to understand that I must think of myself as a cultivator and that by losing this position Master was showing me my attachments to sentimentality and material benefits. A practitioner can cultivate in any environment and with that thought the phone rang with information about a carpentry position.
I had been a construction worker previously, and had always been very angry when I was working. I felt that much of the work was beneath me or was just unnecessarily blaming all of my ill thoughts on others. I think that Master arranged this position for me to face those issues. Sometimes I would be very dirty and tired, but I tried very hard to keep my mind clear and clean. When I worked, I reminded myself that as a cultivator anything one does is an opportunity to improve oneself and be a good person. I was also able to tell my coworkers about Falun Dafa. I overcame my previous attachments with these pure thoughts, and when the project finished, was able to leave on good terms with my coworkers.
Shortly after finishing being a carpenter I began work as a fisheries scientist. Again an unexpected phone call telling me about this temporary position started my looking within at different attachments. I studied fisheries science in college and received a Bachelor’s Degree, but while working on a Masters came to some vague awareness that what I was doing was wrong. I worked at a fish hatchery about four years previously with much resentment, jealousy, and a competitive heart. I had not dealt with many of my feelings so of course Master arranged this for me to rid myself of more impure thoughts.
My study site was in a wilderness where I was to observe Chinook salmon spawning behavior. I needed to move away from my wife and home for about a month and a half. This brought up attachments of sentimentality and lust, but the first attachment that I noticed was resentment towards my bosses. This came up early and often when I was suffering physically from being tired, cold, or not knowing exactly what was going on. At these times my mind would focus in and think very defensive thoughts, cutting me off from the truth. I overcame these feelings by reminding myself that I was paying off my own karma when I was suffering from being cold and tired and by repeating Lunyu over and over again as I walked.
In this unique cultivation environment I encountered very few people, and my nostalgia and sentimentality for my wife and home came up often. Lustful thoughts then appeared in my mind and a dark mistrust of my wife’s actions in my absence. These later attachments were the most forceful thoughts, but were easily brushed off by reminding myself that I was a practitioner and that I could not control other people’s hearts. Of course, thought karma created all kinds of lies to distract me but the sentimentality and nostalgia would settle on my mind very subtly. They could become very powerful if I did not stop them by just being in the present and trying to see the beauty surrounding me.
Jealousy presented itself when I was told that some of my coworkers were getting paid a lot more money for doing the same job as I was even though I was more capable. I laughed about this when I remembered what Master told us that one’s life is arranged according to one’s karma not his abilities. I am sure that from a higher level all things were as they were supposed to be, and I thanked Master for this lesson. By doing the best job that I could my competitive mentality was left behind. I was able to see my own shortcomings and strengths instead of worrying about others.
I believe the attachments I let go of during this past year made me better prepared to work at the youth shelter. The kids and staff constantly point out attachments that have not been completely let go, but due to my experience in the past year I am able to recognize that fact. I try to tell all the kids who come to the shelter about Falun Dafa and Truth, Compassion, Forbearance, planting a seed for their future cultivation. Most of the kids have poor enlightenment quality, but I remind myself that they are sentient beings caught in delusion. These beings come from high levels and can be saved.
I always smile when I see how things come full circle to where it began. I now hold more kindness and compassion in my heart after these journeys and have become a better disciple who can clarify the truth to many people in different environments. Thank you Master for teaching me these lessons in so many unique environments.