Cultivation Experience: Working in the Media
Greetings to revered Master! Greeting to fellow practitioners!
It is the 25th anniversary since Master taught Dafa to the public. First, I want to express my sincere gratitude to our Master. I am also honored to be able to share with you my cultivation experience at this grand conference. I am a South Korean practitioner, working as a producer and host at NTD Television in New York.
In 2005, when I was studying in China, my mother gave me the book Zhuan Falun. I thus got to know Dafa.
In 2007, Shen Yun came to South Korea for the first time. I was the translator accompanying them. It was then that I became more diligent in my cultivation.
In the summer of 2008, I came to NTDTV in New York, working as translator, editor, and gradually as coordinating assistant, producer, and host. In the past nine years, I never left NTDTV, no matter how hard it has been. I spent my twenties in this dramatic period, diligent in studying the Fa, and trying to keep up.
It was a very difficult period. Without Master’s blessing and guidance from Dafa, perhaps I couldn’t hang on for a minute. From 2014, I started hosting an entertainment program about Korean pop culture and celebrities.
Today, I’d like to share my cultivation experience from doing this program.
1. Constantly Giving Up Oneself and Walking the Path Arranged by Master
The beginning of 2014 saw many changes in NTDTV. At that time, I was doing a fashion program introducing high-end brands. The new CEO gave new directions to all the existing programs. There were many conflicts and different opinions. To make things worse, my host couldn’t do the job due to personal reasons.
The supervisor asked if I could be the host, saying that it could be interesting for a Korean host to introduce Korean culture in Chinese. I immediately refused. I was willing to do anything but to stand in front of a camera. I am shy and find it hard to communicate with people who are not my type. It seemed impossible for me to perform in public.
No matter how the supervisor persuaded me, I just wouldn’t change my mind. My mother, who is also a practitioner, said: "Nothing is coincidental. Don’t just say ‘I don’t like it.’ or 'I can’t do it.’ Why don’t you give it a try? What if it is Master's arrangement?" The supervisor asked me to do a short demo video. If it was not good, they would drop the idea.
So I spent three weeks preparing the introduction of a popular K-drama from my own perspective and made it into a YouTube video. I am a careful person, attending to every detail from the filming location to the script. I practiced reading the 8-minute script with the help of my supervisor every day and memorized every word. Because my computer was slow, I had to edit the video often till midnight.
I believed that it was my first and last video that I would host. So I had no expectation of the result.
Contrary to what I thought, many viewers clicked it on the first day. In less than a month, over 300,000 people watched it on YouTube. The supervisor was quite happy. People at the station also gave me positive feedback. But I couldn’t feel happy.
The supervisor wanted to start planning the program, but I was not ready. Meanwhile, another supervisor thought my looks and my Chinese were not good enough to be a TV host. People around me had different opinions. They reached out for new talent and asked four hosts to try my part.
I didn’t want to do it in the first place. And now people randomly criticized and commented on me. It was a good xinxing test.
Although I wanted to treat it as a chance to cultivate, it wasn‘t easy. After thinking for a long time, I thought about leaving NTDTV for the time being to finish college and focus more on personal cultivation.
But had I left, no one would do the production in the team, the company didn’t want me to leave. I asked for Master's blessing and hoped to find right path. Because I was “so unwilling to do it”, I couldn’t find the direction and felt at loss. Meanwhile, the team was set up and the new program began. They found a new host, but the response was not as good compared to the test program with my mediocre Chinese.
Now everyone wanted me to be the host. I was very confused. I talked with a practitioner who knew me well. The sharing we had was still clear in my memory. He said: "Your cultivation is not arranged by yourself, but by Master." Those words awakened me. Although I kept saying “to walk the path arranged by Master," I wasn’t too sure all the time. Maybe it was for me to get rid of the attachment of “dislike” and “fear.” Now that I enlightened to it, I could never turn away.
2. Working Hard to Meet Master’s Requirements and Saving Sentient Beings Through Interviews
Currently, the most distinctive aspect of our program is the interview of Korean celebrities. People assumed that we’ve put in a significant amount of manpower. But actually we have only three or four full time members. We do have support from the local Korea office in filming and inviting the stars. In addition, we outsourced some tasks.
Many of us are multi-tasked. Apart from hosting, I do planning and script writing. I have to do all the video editing and help with matters related to sales. Our team members are busy from day to night, inviting guests, editing, translating, and managing the website.
Our viewers are surprised: "Wow! How did you manage to interview so many popular stars? What you are doing is really interesting."
We have interviewed over 30 celebrities from Korea and overseas. Many are the A-list stars that even Korean mainstream media find difficult to invite. Among the top four in 2014, three appeared on our program.
For such an interesting and fancy show, it’s hard to imagine how difficult the production is, and how it helps in saving sentient beings.
For example, when all was ready for the filming, the guest suddenly fell ill and had to be rushed to the hospital.
Sometimes, because of the changes on the guest’s side, we had to look for filming venues one day before the scheduled interview.
Sometimes, a typhoon was coming and the interview might be canceled.
Some Korean companies have close ties to China. They might request us to cancel the broadcast without any explanation a few days before we air the program.
Along the way, it is full of tests. But I keep in mind that "Nothing is coincidental. No matter how bad it appears, as long as we disciples look within and improve xinxing, everything will turn good following Master’s arrangements."
Ultimately, we scheduled another interview with the star who was rushed to hospital. And the filming place changed from a casino to a beautiful traditional Korean house.
The typhoon came and was gone by the day of the interview, leaving behind a clear and sunny day.
The chaos of the entertainment circle is beyond our imagination. When we start doing the program, Master let me see their "Three Evils" in my dream, i.e. drug abuse, gambling, and sexual service. It was a horrible dream, hard to forget. However, many young people are crazy about those bad shows, hence deeply affected.
As Dafa disciples in the Fa-rectification period, our mission is to cleanse this place and save them. So our show is different from that of everyday people. There is no fake news or gossip or distorted contents. We try our best to present the bright stories and traditional culture. From the beginning until now, we put clarifying the truth as priority. To all the companies that we get in touch with, we clarified the truth about Dafa and NTD. We also told them about Shen Yun, and invite the celebrities to the show.
Once, before our meeting with a large company, our local reporter in South Korea had a dream. In the dream, a person who looked like a gang member kidnapped two practitioners going to the meeting and drove away. The atmosphere was tense in the truck. Then that gang member turned on music. Surprisingly, it was the Dafa music "Pudu" and "Jishi."
The practitioner told us about the dream. We decided not to be baffled by the surface phenomenon. As long as Dafa disciples have strong righteous thoughts, anyone could get assimilated to the Buddha nature. We went to the meeting.
During the meeting the director was unable to concentrate. His two cell phones were ringing one after another. So we started to look within and send forth righteous thoughts. When the practitioner clarified the truth about Falun Gong, the director was fascinated. He put down his phone and listened with the look of an innocent child.
After the meeting, he arranged for us to interview by then one of the most influential Korean stars in Asia.
Here I’d like to express my gratitude to all the practitioners, who, in all kinds of interference, formed one body and clarified the truth with righteous thoughts and compassion.
3. Only Improving Oneself Can Save More Sentient Beings
Facing all kinds of difficulties, we kept on interviewing the stars. Usually, I go to South Korea every three months. After the interview, I returned to New York to do editing and post-production. The show has become more and more popular, but people have different opinions about my hosting. I was somehow discouraged.
In the show, the audience only see me talking to the celebrities. Actually, the filming site is quite crowded with staff from both sides. Especially for top stars, they usually take dozens of people, including assistants and stylists. Surrounded by so many, it is never easy to get them to talk about a lot of things in 20 to 30 minutes. Each interview is huge pressure to me.
The day before filming I couldn’t sleep because of anxiety. I became short tempered. After the filming, I blamed myself for not doing well. The mistakes I made haunted me like a nightmare. Since there isn’t enough manpower, I have to edit the video by myself. Looking at the footage, I don’t like myself at all. I really want to find a place to hide.
That’s because I care too much about how others think of me. I am too attached to myself. At times like that I would read Zhuan Falun and look for things to get rid of. But some thoughts would often recur, such as “I don’t look like a host at all. Why would Master arrange such a role for me? It’s been a while but I didn’t make much progress. Is it really Master's arrangement?" Because of such doubts and a complaining heart, I couldn’t calm down. But all the team members are putting their efforts in it, so I would feel guilty if I quit. So I cried every night.
In situations like this, Master would make me see in my dreams the Korean stars who have predestined relationship with me. Seeing their longing hearts to be saved, I dare not think about quitting. I usually prepare the interview script in tears, or doing the editing late at night crying.
I worked hard to get over the fear and anxiety when doing the interview. But when I do not have strong righteous thoughts, I did no better than everyday people.
Exhausted, I had a dream one night. I was climbing along the framework of an unfinished building. I climbed and climbed, with my T-shirt soaked in sweat.
I was thinking of taking a break, only to find myself in a hotel. Two producers showed up and told me, “The star is coming. Go get changed, fast.” I was stunned and asked: "What are you talking about? What on earth is this place?" I had no idea of the circumstances. That star was one of the most famous actors in South Korea. Soon, I was sitting there in a new dress. I kept asking: "I don’t even have a script. I have no preparation. What is going on?" Before I finished these words, the actor showed up. I was panicked and refused to acknowledge what was happening.
Suddenly, many well dressed people came in. The place was quickly occupied. In the crowd I found a prominent figure and his daughter whom I knew well. The place now looked like a full house talk show theater.
I was startled and woke up in a sweat. "What does this dream mean?" I have never imagined such a scene. One team member said: "Looks like you’ve always had great difficulties in your work." Another said: “Perhaps our show will be like that in the future."
No matter what, I am enlightened to one thing. It is just like climbing the stairs. I can only save more people by constantly improving myself. From then on, every time when I felt not too sure, I would send forth a thought, "These stars are the sentient beings I have to save." When I have such righteous thoughts, the celebrities would say something quite unique.
Such as: ”I hope when I leave this world, and look down from above, I can have a clear conscience and say: 'My whole life was upright.'"
"The biggest poison in my life is jealousy."
“When I remember that I can take nothing with me when I leave this world, I feel sad.”
“I started to believe that divine beings do exist.”
They said these things during the interviews, as if their Buddha nature had emerged.
Some of our viewers even say "The interview is so touching", "I cried.” which is rare in entertainment programs.
At the end of 2015, when I interviewed one of the A-list Korean stars who made a sensation in China, I had a strong wish to save him. Before I even asked the question, he started to talk about his religion, belief, and his attitude towards life.
When we stopped filming to adjust the camera, I said in China, the Communist government forbid people to believe in divinity or to do religious activities. I asked if he knew about it. He looked sorry and nodded. I gave him a book and told him about the suppression of human rights in China. He thanked me many times.
That interview became a turning point, giving me confidence in the direction of our program and our mission.
4. Meeting Master’s Requirements for Media
As we are getting more experience, the standard of the show keeps rising. So do the requirements for every team member. Although the quality of the show keeps improving, we haven’t made a breakthrough on sales, bearing heavy cost.
In Master's lectures to media, he emphasized on making breakthroughs in running media like a business, clarifying the truth, and reviving traditional culture. Master also said we should learn from Shen Yun. I think if we don’t meet the Master’s requirements, there is no point making the program. I think we should reset our starting point.
Last summer, we should have gone to Busan to cover the film festival. But because of the typhoon, the boycott of the festival, the THAAD system and the consequent ban of South Korean stars in Chinese market, it was quite difficult to interview the celebrities. The producer who went to South Korea could not get to any of them to come to our program for several months.
I shared my understanding with the producer and talked about resetting our starting point. I said: "Even if we can not get any stars at all, we should never forget the mission of clarifying the truth and save sentient beings. We should pay more attention to our cultivation and at the same time meet Master's requirements.
Regardless of whether we have celebrities on the program, our team is focusing more than ever on clarifying the truth. Consequently, we saw some positive results in sales. For the first time, we got sponsor for a celebrity interview.
We also ran a small scale fan meeting and did the interview in the format of a talk show, which is similar to the scene in my dream years ago.
I am determined to make the best use of my time for cultivation, and save as many sentient beings as possible.
5. Saving More Sentient Beings in the Remaining Time
A lot of things might happen in 2017. One’s attitude towards Dafa will decide his or her future. Now things are moving faster and are more and more clear.
Last year, after the cancellation of Shen Yun in Seoul, crisis and disasters appeared in Korea’s economic and political arena. The Korean president was impeached this year. On the day when the judge announced the ruling of the impeachment, I felt that the Last Judgment had begun. In order not to regret when the Judgment comes, I am determined to be more diligent and accomplish my mission.
So, what should I do from now on? I sat in meditation and asked Master: “What is the next step? What shall I do?" At this time, the scene of Shen Yun keeps coming to my mind. Several days later, I dreamed of a lot of young people being sucked into darkness, calling out for help.
In "Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference", Master said:
"When I was born, many Gods came down with me. From then on, this happened every year and Gods have been coming down. By the time I started to teach the Fa, those Gods came down like snowflakes—it was just that many. I calculated their ages now, and from when I started to spread the Fa till now, they would be young people around twenty-five years old, many of whom really have not been saved. They were all Gods, coming down to Earth, and they scattered to all areas of the world."
The viewers of our program are mainly young people from all over the world. I feel that if the celebrities saved by us could have a positive attitude to our media, to Shen Yun, and Dafa, then their fans could get to know our media and the truth about Dafa. I believe that day would come very soon.
There are many things that need to be done. I will keep doing my best on the three things, looking within under all circumstances, cultivate myself, and accomplish my mission.
Above are my understandings. Please kindly point out the deficiencies.
Thank you, Master!Thank you, fellow practitioners.
Presented at the 2017 New York Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference