Essays on Cultivating Xinxing (1): Attitude Toward Other Practitioners' Attachments
(Clearwisdom.net) Other practitioners' attachments used to bother me, especially when they were obvious, such as the competitive mentality, big egos, not being considerate of the overall situation, and even, under certain circumstances, lying. I regarded all of this as bad behavior even before I started cultivation. When I saw it in some practitioners from time to time, my heart was always moved. I knew that cultivators should sincerely following the principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance." I also understood that they were not perfect embodiments of those principles. Each and every one of the practitioners, including myself, has to go through a process of constant improvement and make breakthroughs from their different starting points. Still, I was obsessed with their attachments and seriously disturbed. How could practitioners behave like that? It was unbearable for me.
In studying the Fa and in everyday life, I got some hints that I should let go and open my mind to see what Fa-rectification disciples are doing in the world, and what they are going to accomplish in the future. Seeing that, how can I not let go of what was bothering me? For quite some time when I encountered similar problems I would think, "Yes. I should let it go, but..." On second thought, I turned back to the usual way of looking externally, "It's somebody else's attachments... What is there that I should let go of?"
I saw that some other practitioners had the same confusion. With continued Fa-study and self-reflection, one day I came to some understandings. First, other people's attachments are their deficiency. If I could kindly point it out to them and help them do things better, I should do it. It is a reflection of treating others with benevolence.
Secondly, it is not benevolent to have an opinion, or a conclusion about someone just because he has held onto his attachments for a long time. Dafa teaches us to deal with the matter without holding anything against the people involved in it. In other words, in any situation, we ought to support each other, be tolerant, and improve together, rather than having bad thoughts about others because of what happened in the past.
Thirdly, other people's attachments cannot be excuses for us to have attachments or to not cultivate ourselves. When our hearts were moved by their attachments, isn't it through our own attachments and emotions? Why didn't I cultivate myself, rather than looking for faults in others? I didn't cultivate my own heart when something happened. I was still blaming others. Isn't it obvious that I have an attachment I haven't let go of? Shouldn't I let go of it and make progress in assimilating to Dafa? Master says in "Lunyu",
"In order to explore this domain, humankind must fundamentally change its conventional thinking. Otherwise, the truth of the universe will forever remain a mystery to humankind, and everyday people will forever crawl within the boundary delimited by their own ignorance."
At the Fa-conference in Singapore in August 1998, a practitioner asked a question, "I don't understand why certain Dafa cultivators do not assimilate to the Fa and lie." Master answered,
"Letting you expose your weaknesses during frictions among one another is how I enable you to improve most rapidly. Nonetheless, as soon as you encounter a problem, you push it aside and point out others' shortcomings instead of examining yourselves. How can you cultivate, then? This is precisely the best way that I enable you to improve. So you must turn your mindset around. As to our students telling lies, there are indeed some people who exhibit poor xinxing. If you can help people like this, then point out [the problems] to them. But I think that it's still up to them to make real improvements. If they don't study the Fa themselves, no problem will be resolved. Put another way, however, improving themselves is their own business. If they fall behind and don't want to improve, it's they themselves who won't make it in cultivation."
Here, the phrase "you must turn your mindset around" was repeated. Conflicts cannot be used as excuses not to cultivate ourselves, or to justify not being kind to other people.
Understanding all this, my heart became more peaceful, tolerant, and patient. With Master's benevolence and tolerance I am able to keep on cultivating and improving. In the future, I will try to be more benevolent, open hearted, and more like a Dafa disciple in the Fa-rectification period.
March 18, 2003