Some Thoughts on Improving Our Local Cultivation Environments
When some practitioners raised the issue about the problems in our local environment, I looked for other practitioners' mistakes. Specifically, I decided after my own evaluation that it was due to the mistakes of a few practitioners in charge. But when I gradually realized that my way of thinking had gaps, Master began to give me hints and inspiration.
Through repeated Fa-study, I realized the following:
- When one has the intention of helping another practitioner, this has a positive side, since practitioners need to hold themselves to a practitioner's standard and help and remind each other so we can elevate together. But if one relies on this to improve the environment, it may be an attachment of looking outward. If this becomes a common habit, then practitioners will tend not to look inward.
- If one is attached to finding other people's faults, it is probably due to the show-off mentality. Especially if a person's tone of voice turns from one that is well intentioned to one that is not, it may be that his desire to compete has emerged, or that he is feeling that his own level is superior. If a person's good intentions turn into criticisms toward others, then it might be that the old forces are influencing him, because the nature of the old forces is to blame and criticize. The old forces only want to maintain and accomplish, for themselves, what they want. That is, they are selfish.
- If indeed the other practitioner has problems, it might be due to his attachments, karma, his level of cultivation, or his habits. In the Fa-Rectification period, it might also be due to the old forces' interference, or due to the old forces using the practitioner's attachments and karma to persecute him. But if the practitioner in question does not look inward, does not cultivate himself, then other practitioners' efforts to help him may turn into a way of forcing things. In the end, this may cause distrust among practitioners and interfere with Fa-rectification. On the other hand, it may be that nothing is wrong at all with the practitioner in question and the whole thing is due to a misunderstanding, or is entirely the observer's own problem.
- If a practitioner has problems but is unwilling to elevate himself, then he becomes the problem himself. The harder he tries, the worse it gets. It can even affect other people's cultivation and affect the whole environment. Through studying the Fa, I realized that elevation, as a whole, not only depends on practitioners' reminding each other, but more importantly, on each individual elevating himself again and again. In the meantime, we need to try to understand and trust other practitioners from a positive viewpoint and treat each other with a benevolent heart. Those who are reminded need to handle other people's reminders properly. Both sides need to look at reminding and being reminded as their own cultivation, and not look upon them as other peoples' cultivation or as orders from others.
With this understanding, I will start by looking at myself when I encounter any problem. I will look inward thoroughly. I will cultivate myself with the deep sincerity required to rid myself of a fundamental attachment. Also, I will check the tone of voice, mentality, intention, and tolerance that I have when I am dealing with fellow practitioners. I will take into consideration the impact that my actions and speech have on the whole Fa-rectification and the overall local environment. When it is necessary to make suggestions to a practitioner, we should do our best to maintain the state of reminding him with pure intentions. If he can take it and is willing to discuss it further, then we can talk more thoroughly and with less reservations. By doing this, we will often find that we have to cultivate away our "stubbornness," and distrust is quite frequently caused by our own misunderstandings.
Finally, please let me refer to Master's words in the section, "A Person with Great Spiritual Inclination" in "The Ninth Talk" of Zhuan Falun to finish this article. Master said: "And we've said, too, that if every one of us cultivates inward, if every one of us examines his own character for causes, if when we don't do well we look inside ourselves for the cause, and we try to do better next time, and if we think about other people first any time we do something, then the world will change for the better, morals will go back up, people's civility will improve, and crime will go down. Maybe we won't even need policemen."
The above is based on my own understanding. Please kindly point out my deficiencies.