Genuine Unselfishness Is the Basis for Understanding and Forgiveness
Extreme words and thoughts of dissatisfaction are often the direct causes of conflict among people and are the basis of the problems that commonly occur following a conflict. Similarly, the manifestation of negative human thoughts that practitioners have not yet eliminated also occurs during conflicts.
Sometimes, although one may recognize that extreme words and thoughts of dissatisfaction are not right, they seem insufficiently severe to warrant immediate correction, or they may rationalize that they have a busy schedule and much to do, so they postpone dealing with these issues until after finishing what they feel are more important things.
Actually, once they are postponed, they will remain unresolved. Even if one tries to discover the causes of the conflict after the fact, they may still remain unresolved, either because of an impure mind or because of an inability to discover the true root of the conflict, due to insufficient time spent studying the Fa.
All in all, the conflicts caused by extreme words and dissatisfied thoughts are so frequently experienced that a notion is formed in the minds of parties involved in the conflict and in the minds of witnesses. While the conflicts are certainly not appreciated, they are not surprising because they are so frequently seen. Under the influence of this notion, many people live within the vicious cycle of conflict and are powerless to break out of the cycle. For practitioners who genuinely want to cultivate, however, this should not be too difficult because exploring the Buddha Fa requires one to "make a fundamental change in his conventional mentality" (From "Lunyu" in Zhuan Falun, English Version, 2nd Edition, Third Printing, April 1999) and thus eradicate the fundamental causes of conflicts.
Thoughts of dissatisfaction arise because our notions are being challenged. The stronger the notion that is affected, the more painful and dissatisfied one's thoughts become. Humans acquire many notions after birth, such as "this thing should be done this way and that thing should be done that way," and "I like this way and think that way is not good."
Moreover, humans always perceive problems from a fixed perspective. When somebody does something that one thinks is good, then the person will be judged as being good. "They should do things consistent with my own notions."
Conversely, if somebody does something that is perceived as wrong, then that person will be judged as being bad. Likewise, one will feel uncomfortable whenever one thinks of that person because that person has already been categorized into the group that is considered bad.
Actually, a genuine practitioner's body and soul are upgrading everyday and thus it is inappropriate and inaccurate to judge from a fixed perspective. Humans unconsciously use these notions as the criteria for their judgments. When these notions are affected, one will feel dissatisfied. Those who have strong attachments to their own self-imposed criteria will display more extreme reactions, use more extreme words and commit more extreme deeds.
Notions produce thought karma. When thought karma accumulates it will act on that person. Therefore, the active manifestations of emotion and notions are due to thought karma that wants to reflect itself as controlling that person.
In the process of cultivation, Falun Gong practitioners will continuously assimilate to Dafa, "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" and will reach the purity standard of the new cosmos. All the impurities in one's body or mind acquired from the old cosmos must be discarded; otherwise, one cannot enter the new, pure and sacred cosmos. From this level of reasoning, whenever a thought of dissatisfaction appears, Falun Dafa practitioners must seize the opportunity to eliminate, through cultivation, the attachment to an old notion that is acting upon them.
It is inappropriate or futile for practitioners who have not yet completed their own cultivation to impose their notions or standards upon others. Why is it inappropriate? Why is it futile? It is only Dafa that can truly transform people.
Practitioners can only remind each other and help each other progress, but they are unable to change each other, particularly by making demands. Even if one were to change their outlook or behavior after being reminded by another practitioner, it is only because they returned to the Fa and acted according the Fa principles that the changes occurred.
Teacher set a good example for us while introducing the Fa and saving people. Teacher explained the principles, taught us to be good and encouraged us, completely for our own benefit. He shows us the preciousness of Falun Dafa and lets us willingly remove our own incorrect thoughts, rather than demanding that we upgrade ourselves or criticizing our mistakes. Without Teacher's unselfishness, compassion and immense forgiveness, many practitioners would never be able to survive their tribulations or gradually perform the duty of saving people amidst tribulations.
I felt helpless and victimized when personally facing a situation in which the notion of "I am right; others are wrong" played a role. For example, some practitioners persisted in words and actions that were inconsistent with the requirements of Falun Dafa. If the party that opposed me had been clear on the Fa principles, they would not have behaved so poorly. When the conflict occurred, it could not be recognized immediately or resolved through cultivation. I always focused on the losses this conflict brought to Falun Dafa and the negative influences that it brought to the cultivation environment. I was worried that I could not maintain a peaceful mind or play a positive role in the conflict no matter how I tried to cultivate myself.
Later, a realization came to me. I always seemed to encounter the kind of situations that were mentally troubling. This meant there was something that I should have eliminated through cultivation or a Fa-principle I should have learned but was still ignoring. I needed to surpass it through cultivation, so I asked Teacher to help me and then set stricter demands upon myself.
A few days later, a glimpse of truth came to mind during Fa-study. Without Teacher's Fa-rectification, we wouldn't even have our lives today. The lives of all worldly people are saved from the ultimate annihilation of the old universe by Teacher's immense suffering and forbearance. Our Teacher wants to save those lives, including those of Falun Dafa practitioners. According to the requirements of the Fa, how should we treat one another?
In "Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference," Teacher says,
"So for the beings of the old cosmos, and this includes all the elements of beings, when it comes to the Fa-rectification and what I choose, all beings' harmonizing and completing things according to my choices and contributing their best ideas and approaches--not to change what I want, but to harmonize and complete things according to what I've said--is the best thought a being in the cosmos could have."
Our own notions, human feelings, and attachments are no excuse for creating obstacles to Teacher's saving other lives. As lives in the old cosmos, no matter how good our criteria for judgment, as long as our cultivation remains incomplete, the criteria cannot be pure. Thus, we cannot judge and treat others or ourselves from an absolute and fixed perspective.
Cultivation of Dafa requires the simultaneous cultivation of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance." A cultivator must cultivate compassion, must be unselfish, kind, treat others with understanding, and be strict with himself while lenient with others. The most compassionate thing we can do during our cultivation and correction of ourselves is to continually adjust ourselves at every moment to meet the requirements of Teacher's Fa-rectification. In our cultivation and doing Dafa work, we should always help each other and treat each other with compassion and understanding. Thus, we can all walk the right path according to our Teacher's expectations, right up to the last step of our cultivation.
Of course, understanding one another and being lenient with others is not to accommodate mistakes or to condone bad deeds. Please allow me to elaborate on this issue in a future article.
The above discussion is my current understanding. With compassion, please point out anything that is inappropriate.