Be Strict with Ourselves According to the Requirements of Dafa and Search Internally
(Clearwisdom.net) Having practiced cultivation for more than three years, I always felt ashamed every time I saw other practitioners' articles on the Internet. Numerous excuses (being busy, bad writing skills, fear, etc.) had prevented me from writing down my cultivation experiences. Nevertheless, I still feel the need to make a breakthrough by writing down my experiences and at the same time examining myself. The following is a bit of my shallow understanding. Please point out inappropriate points if you find any.
Examinations and Time
Starting last year, my company required that all employees who hoped to be promoted to the director's position would first need to pass the first and second qualification exams. At that time, I believed I had taken the issue of promotion or bonus very lightly and that it certainly was not important to me whether or not I got a bonus or promoted. When Dafa and Dafa disciples in Mainland China are still under such evil persecution, I felt even more obliged to fully commit myself to Dafa. Although I signed up for the first exam, I did not read any books to prepare.
In May, I planned to protest Jiang Zemin's visit to Hong Kong, but as it happened, I needed to fly the same day as the test. I did not start preparing for the test until 3 days before it was scheduled. In those short two days, I studied the Fa and practiced the exercises first, and then read for over 12 hours a day with a tranquil mind free of anxiety. Surprisingly, I finished the books and took the test on the morning before I took the afternoon flight to Hong Kong. When the exam results came out, I actually passed it. That I passed the test is simply unbelievable and it enabled me to further experience Teacher's benevolence. In November, I took the second test. I also only spent a short time reading the books and eventually passed the exam. The result was achieved with the wisdom bestowed by Dafa. And, at the same time, it also validated Dafa.
During those two exams, I had some thoughts:
"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." ("Zhuan Falun"). Cultivating within Dafa is actually a blessing. What belongs to you is yours and will not be lost because of practicing Dafa. In fact, none of the things that we encounter are accidental; they are meant to test the practitioners' hearts. When there are conflicts between everyday people's affairs and Dafa, how will we choose? Should we give priority to Dafa work or to everyday people's affairs? When we decide to give the priority to Dafa work, we will be able to feel the delight and sense of fulfillment that comes from doing Dafa work. When our hearts are firm and steadfast, all disturbances can be easily resolved. When reading the books in preparation for the exam, I felt I had broken through the restriction that "time" imposed on me. After doing a large amount of reading with high concentration, I no longer felt that time was quickly slipping away. It was as if I had jumped out of time's restrictions. When we jump out of human notions, we are able to free ourselves from the restrictions of this time space.
"That's why every student can feel that upon arriving at the practice site he has entered into a pure land and has stepped into a place that's most sacred. People all care about each other in a way that 'you care for me and I care for you.' This can't be found in any other environment of mankind. Why can it be this way? It's simply that every Dafa disciple is cultivating himself. Once a problem or a conflict emerges, everyone searches for his own shortcomings, looking to see whether it's caused by his own wrongdoing." (Falun Buddha Law--Lecture at the Western United States Fa Conference).
Teacher also said:
"I often tell you about situations like this: When two people have a conflict both should look for the causes within themselves, 'What problem do I have here?' Each should search for his own problem. If a third person witnesses the conflict between the two, I would say that it's not accidental for this third person to see it, and he should also think it over: 'Why did I see their conflict? Is it because I still have some shortcomings?' Only in this way can it be good. ... I said that I would try my best not to leave one disciple who's obtained the Fa behind. Even I can do this --why can't you treat everyone with kindness? (Applause) If you can all search deep within yourselves whenever you encounter conflicts, 'Is it because I have a problem?' I'd say that everything will be easy to deal with, and the speed of your cultivation will be very, very fast. (Falun Buddha Law--Lecture at the Western United States Fa Conference).
Teacher said in Falun Buddha Fa--Lecture at the Conference in Europe,
"Whenever you encounter problems, you should each look inward to search for the cause within yourself, regardless of whether you're accountable for the matter or not. Remember my words: Regardless of whether the matter is your fault or not, you should look within yourself, and you will find a problem. If the matter has absolutely nothing to do with you or doesn't involve any of the attachments you should break, then this incident would rarely happen to you. If you didn't have an attachment, the problem wouldn't have been brought about. I have to be responsible for your cultivation. Any problem that happens to you, around you, or among you is most likely related to you, and there's something for you to get rid of. Regardless of whether it's your fault or not, when my Law Bodies are having you remove your attachment, they don't care whether it's your fault or another person's."
In the article "Clearheadedness" from "Essentials for Further Advancement," Teacher said: "I often say that if all a person wants is the well-being of others and if this is without the slightest personal motivation or personal understanding, what he says will move the listener to tears."
When different opinions arise among other practitioners and me, I see several of the following scenarios:
Phenomenon I: "I've already examined myself and did not find any attachments to get rid of. The conflict is due to the other party's attachments." Oftentimes when we do the internal search, we only examine the surface but not the deep-rooted causes. Sometimes in the name of examining ourselves, we even find excuses for ourselves or search externally.
Phenomenon II: "Sticking to one's own opinion; believing that one's own ideas are right and imposing them on others; only acting upon one's own opinions while believing that other people's understanding is not based on Dafa." When one is at odds with other practitioners, he should express it with good will. He should first calm down and listen to others' opinions to see if his own understanding is mixed with his own human notions and attachments and is not completely based on Dafa. He should ask whether other practitioners' opinions are truly not based on Dafa, or are they simply different from his own?
Phenomenon III: "In any case, they will not listen to me. Since my opinion serves no use, I will not say it anyway and keep it to myself." By doing this, we are not honest with and open to each other. Is this correct? I think we should be kind to others from the bottom of our benevolent hearts. Dafa practitioners should be honest with each other, mutually encourage each other and strike forward together in cultivation.
So what are the reasons that prevent us from searching internally or not finding the source of the problem? What prevents us from being honest with other practitioners? The key lies in our hearts; that is, we should not make excuses for ourselves to cover up our own attachments. We have read Master's teachings on this issue many times and this topic is also frequently brought up among practitioners. But knowing the principle does not mean that one is cultivating. Only when the principle is acted upon can it be said that one is cultivating.