Be Understanding and Kind Toward Fellow Practitioners
(Clearwisdom.net) In the article, "Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York," Master talked a few times about how to correctly deal with conflicts between practitioners:
"If you were all one big harmonious group, everything was really calm and just fine with all of you, no one upset anyone else, and everyone was making others happy, then that would be bad, (audience laughs) it really would be, for you couldn't cultivate then. If nobody's antagonism came to the surface and you couldn't help each other improve, then it wouldn't be a cultivation group. What differentiates us most from ordinary people is, when conflicts and tensions arise, we are able to examine ourselves. (Applause) It's absolutely not that we don't have conflicts come up."
After reading this, I recalled the conflicts I have encountered in my own cultivation. I dealt with some situations well, and not so well with others. I found that if I can always conduct myself as a practitioner in all conflicts, then I can improve myself. If I truly conduct myself as a practitioner, then a conflict automatically resolves itself because I am above the conflict and it therefore has no effect on me.
Some practitioners, for example, noted that others were not careful about their behavior in front of the Chinese Consulate. In discussing the situation, they sounded really upset and so the practitioners who were being blamed could not accept the criticism. I realized that this situation had already become a conflict among practitioners on both sides of the issue. Practitioners witnessing others not behaving well should strictly uphold their own behavior, try to understand the other practitioners, and use kind words. Practitioners should act without emotion or attachment, and should consider how much hardship others may have gone through in order to be able to come to the Consulate. Practitioners endure the weather extremes of winter and summer, lack of convenient restrooms, and some are elderly or have young children to take care of. If a practitioner does not do well in certain areas, others should talk to him with respect. When pointing out areas for improvement, acknowledge their difficulties and efforts, and offer to help solve their problems. If we can do this, we are trying to help everyone do better in validating the Fa and not just expressing our opinions. If we can look at the problem from this point of view and improve on this issue, the conflict has been resolved.
When we think about how we can improve in the face of conflict, we have followed Master's arrangements to cultivate ourselves. If we cannot solve the issue properly, then it is due to our attachments. If we cannot be strict with ourselves in the face of conflict, we would just be ordinary people "doing work" and solving problems for other people. But on this issue, have we really improved ourselves? Thinking back, I see where I have failed many times. However, I realize there is no use in "crying over spilt milk" and we must go on without regret, and do well in the future.
Actually, the conflicts and shortcomings of all practitioners are clearly seen by Master, yet Master has always been patient and understanding towards us. We must remember Master's teachings every minute, no matter what conflict comes up. If we look within ourselves, we can always reach a state of benevolence, understand others, and speak with kindness to them. Then we can truly improve as a practitioner in everything we do. If we can each improve in Fa-rectification, step by step, then improvement as a group will not be difficult.