It Is Time to Thoroughly Get Rid of Our Deeply Embedded Character Defects
Since the beginning of Dafa cultivation practice until today, there have been many shortcomings that we have become aware of but have still not removed. Many of these shortcomings are deeply embedded in our characters that have been formed postnatally from acquired notions and are not our true selves. The purpose of cultivation is to get rid of our demon nature and strengthen our Buddha nature to return to our true selves. In regards to our characters, Teacher once said that if one has a bad temper, then one should get rid of it. A genuine practitioner must always be able to meet the standard of Truth, Compassion, and Forbearance set forth at every level.
Good and evil coexist in everything within the human world. Likewise, the character of a person formed in this world also consists of both good and bad elements. For example, a practitioner who possesses good organizational skills is often strong-headed and likes to give commands, but lacks good listening skills. On the contrary, practitioners who can listen well and are good at carrying out instructions are often too dependent on the practitioner who give commands and have difficulty managing their own affairs. Practitioners who are short-tempered often confuse everyday people with their actions when carrying out Hongfa activities. Practitioners whose personalities are more eccentric and unusual sometimes lack warmth when they socialize with others. Practitioners who are prudent are usually overly cautious and afraid of making mistakes, while those who are outgoing fail to pay attention to details and lack caution when dealing with important matters. Practitioners with strong egos have difficulty tolerating other people's criticism, while those who lack self-confidence have difficulty being surefooted and steadfast, etc.
The phrase "a person's character" does not refer to a person's inborn nature, but rather to his or her postnatally formed mentality made up of all kinds of attachments that need to be eliminated. The source of all of these attachments comes from three things: the pursuit of fame, the pursuit of gain, and emotions. These lead to cravings for reputation, wealth and human affection. The fact that our character defects have been deeply buried for such a long time makes it difficult for us to perceive them and to get rid of them.
Constantly keeping an eye on our characters and correcting our shortcomings as they appear may have an effect, but if we do not base our thinking on the Fa, the effect will only be temporary. The only effective method of refining ourselves and changing our characters is to study the Fa and improve xinxing. When the xinxing (moral quality; heart/mind nature) of a practitioner reaches the standard required by the Fa at that level, the bad portion of their character will be removed instantaneously, leaving the good portion behind. In cultivation, when practitioners can genuinely point out each other's shortcomings with compassion, the power of their compassion will neutralize any abnormalities, thus uniting all Dafa practitioners into a lasting, indestructible unit. Our righteous thoughts will then have the great power needed to destroy all evils, thus making way for a bright future for all sentient beings.
The Fa can destroy all attachments and can reconcile everything. It is time for us to get rid of these shortcomings that are deeply embedded within our characters, and return to our true selves.