Letting Go of Self, Melting Into the Fa
Shared at the 2005 Australia Falun Dafa Conference
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings Respected Master! Greetings fellow practitioners!
In the beginning, I had difficulty writing this experience sharing because, although I had many ideas in mind, I always felt as though I was trying to avoid writing them down because I blanked out in front of pen and paper. It was as if my uncultivated side was afraid to be exposed, and I feared what others might think of me. I knew I could write pages and pages about the projects I worked on, but I also understood my sharing ought not to be simply about these, but rather on my Fa rectification cultivation. Cleary Dafa work is cultivation and nothing else, and this eventually convinced me to share my cultivation experiences as openly as possible.
During the past two years, I traveled so much that whenever I returned to Queesnsland, I always joined ongoing Dafa projects without having to worry about the responsibilities associated with actually being in charge of anything. But this year, after I came back from DC with similar plans of only remaining for a few months, I read Master's speech in "Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. International Fa Conference,"
"...A person who has a position of responsibility is actually a coordinator, and getting more capable people involved is what's key. How big of a role can any one individual play? Only when the group as a whole plays its role has the coordinator done well. When a coordinator does well himself, well, if you're the only one doing well, then you should just be an average student in that case. The key is that you have got to play the role of and fulfill the duties of a coordinator...."
I then looked within and asked myself, "Am I taking on this role seriously as a coordinator in Queensland?" Moreover, I realized that most of the time when things went wrong in Australia, fingers were pointed at the coordinators. Being selfish, I had previously avoided this ongoing xinxing test so as to protect my fragile ego, so I decided finally to stay and take on my responsibilities seriously. Indeed, I am fortunate to already be in a much better position than many others, because whereas most practitioners have to work, I can devote all of my time to Dafa.
As the pace and the intensity of Fa rectification accelerated, the amount of Dafa work also increased considerably, constantly requiring immediate action, and sometimes we simply did not have time to discuss and share our understandings in each of the activities in a large group setting. Moreover, because Queensland is so spread out, getting together often took immense effort, and there never seemed to be a mutually agreeable time for everyone. Many practitioners were too busy supporting other projects, so communication often broke down, and sometimes we even found it hard to find time to talk to each other at all. Often when a suggestion was posed to do something, an urgent decision on the matter was required, and yet in some cases no one responded for various reasons. Because of this lack of communication and sharing and our overall inadequacies in coordination, oftentimes practitioners held different understandings and opinions about the activities we organized, and occasionally the differences were so vast that some practitioners did not even want to support the particular activity. In these instances, we obviously could not exert ourselves as one body, and so I personally would lose my tolerance and compassion for those practitioners. Finally, one day a practitioner called me to specifically tell me of this shortcoming of mine.
I seemed to have compassion and tolerance when things were going well, but once the pressure built up and I was being question by many others at the last minute, my tolerance would be tested to the limit. At that stage, I was never able to maintain a benevolent mind and a kind heart, yet I seemed to be able to tolerate my own gaps. But when others did things I did not like, I would always lose my patience, and in general I seemed to notice more the attachments that others held. Thus this recurring tribulation lasted for a while, and I became bothered by my inability to pass the same repeated test. Master had arranged this for me to upgrade my xinxing. Instead, I was so focused on other people's attachments that I forgot to look within myself. What stronger lesson do I need in order to let go of this attachment? Why is it taking so long? I am only comforted by the fact that it no longer takes me days to see this same attachment. Now as soon as I fail the test, I can see where my shortcoming was, but sadly most of the time I still do not look deeply inside enough to see the core of the attachment.
As I was writing this experience sharing, I listed all the activities that take place in Brisbane, and I also browsed through my email. In my emails I saw the draft of an experience sharing from another practitioner. He had also listed all the activities in Queensland in his sharing, and I felt really upset about this. I immediately sent an email to him questioning him on how he could write about something he had merely observed online and never participated in. I was in the middle of writing sharings on some of those same activities, many of which I felt I could give a better picture of since I had coordinated, planned and participated in them from start to finish. I believed my sharings would be based on practical experience, which would truly inspire others at a Fa conference, and I thought that his superficial summary would not be good enough to do those who were involved justice. Furthermore, I was upset that he did not speak to me before he wrote about the overall situation in Queensland, because I felt my contributions went unacknowledged. For a moment, I hesitated to even continue writing my experience sharing, but after calming down, I thought to myself, "I must look within to see why I am so upset." I then remembered how once a practitioner had said to me that writing an experience sharing was like going through a major surgery without anesthetic. I looked within myself, only to see the hidden selfishness behind my Dafa work. I saw my attachments to seeking reward, achievement and approval, all of which contributed solely to the validation of myself. The fact is that Dafa is all encompassing, and hence Dafa does not need anything or anyone. But I cannot live without Dafa. Yet it had seemed more important to me to write my experience sharing as if I were attending an award winning ceremony in which we were judged by how much we had to say at the Fa conference, and so I thought this practitioner had taken away my glory. I was so ashamed when I saw my attachment to fame and the mentality of showing-off. Is this not exactly what I needed to let go of? So I rewrote part of my experience sharing, concentrating on my own cultivation instead of repeating what another practitioner had already written. I realized that what mattered was not what we did, but instead how well we could coordinate and harmonize with one another as one body. In order to reach that state, I must see myself as part of that one body and continue to let go of my self so as to unite with the Fa.
When I enlightened to this principle, I felt so much lighter and more peaceful, and my heart instantly opened up. I was once bothered whenever I saw others' attachments. Now I laugh at my previous attachment to others' attachments while struggling to defend my "righteousness" in the midst of otherwise unnecessary self-inflicted misery. I felt sad that I had missed so many opportunities arranged by Master for me to upgrade myself, but I am clearheaded in knowing that I am still cultivating and working hard to break away from humanness. Master has taught us the universal principles and given us the Fa wisdom to save sentient beings during this special historic period. I must try my utmost to do better in fulfilling my promise by cultivating well, and together with fellow practitioners, better walking the path of validating the Fa. During trials and tribulations, I must always remind myself that it is also a chance for me to cultivate myself.
It is my understanding that when we can truly see each other as part of one body, then we will be able to come together and act as one body. Master has told us the importance of cooperating well with each other. If we all just think about our own personal cultivation and achievements in cultivation, how can we become one magnificent body?
I know that we have to cultivate "...a compassion that can melt steel..." ("Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference") and I know that I am not there yet, but I will be even more diligent in assimilating to the all-encompassing and indestructible Fa principles of the cosmos.
The above is my current understanding. Please point out anything improper.
Thank you Master! Thank fellow practitioners!