How to Correctly Look at Fellow Practitioners Shortcomings and the Issue of Talking about Others Behind Their Backs
(Clearwisdom.net) Upon seeing the shortcomings of a fellow practitioner, I often got confused about what I should do. On this issue I had gone to two extremes.
At the beginning, when I saw the shortcomings of a fellow practitioner, I directly pointed them out without showing any politeness. Due to my lack of compassion and with my own human notions, the other practitioner had a hard time accepting my criticism. As a result, the two of us had friction. At that time, I just realized that I should search within myself instead. With the help of other practitioners, I found my attachment, which was feeling too self-important. I then talked with the practitioner with whom I had had friction and told him of my attachment. So on the surface, this friction seemed to be over. However, I developed another attachment, which was a fear of causing conflicts and wanting to evade them. As a result, even though I saw that this practitioners actions were not in accordance with the Fa, I did not directly point out his shortcoming. I was afraid of causing conflicts. I wanted this practitioner to realize his own shortcomings and elevate by himself. This problem of evading conflict existed between the two of us. What was different was that I rarely talked with others about the shortcomings of this fellow practitioner, while this practitioner often mentioned my shortcomings to others and hoped that others could help me improve. With things going on like this, the two of us lacked opportunities to exchange our views. Our superficial politeness caused both of us to miss the opportunity of improving ourselves together. This problem also caused other practitioners to divert their attention to our issue.
Similar issues have also happened to other practitioners. When one practitioner developed some opinions about another practitioner, he did not directly talk to that practitioner. Instead, he went to talk with other practitioners about the party involved in the friction. In this way, the evil found the loophole to take advantage, causing estrangement between the practitioners and hurting the cooperation among Dafa practitioners as a whole. Now I have come to understand that this was because, on this issue, we had not based our actions on the Fa. Master said,
"This characteristic, Zhen-Shan-Ren, is the criterion for measuring good and bad in the universe." (Lecture One in "Zhuan Falun)")
When seeing the shortcomings of another, I should kindly point them out, since I, by doing this, am responsible for the fellow practitioner and for myself as well. However, because of my mentality of seeking superficial harmony, I failed to act according to the Fa. After stumbling, I have realized that upon seeing anothers shortcomings, I should first search within myself to see what attachments I have. After my mind is correctly positioned, I can then go to point out, in a kind way, the shortcomings of the other party so that we can improve together.
On the other hand, when you hear one practitioner talking about a specific person or issue, are you going to have a biased view about the person or issue? Are you going to be moved by that practitioners account and thus generate some opinions about the specific person or issue? Will you develop sympathy or indignation? If you judge things with the Fa, you will not generate human notions, and the evil will not be able to take advantage of the loopholes. When you are centered on the Fa and responsible for others, you can really achieve a very good effect. Master has said,
"I have often said that when two people have friction between each other, each one should examine him or herself. Not only should the two people with the friction examine themselves, but also the bystanders who happen to observe the incident should. Thats when youll really improve by leaps and bounds." (Falun Buddha Fa: Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Singapore in 1998)
My understanding is that when one encounters this kind of issue, one should first search for ones own attachments. One should then kindly tell the practitioner who talked about the other that he should also search within himself. Discussing others behind their backs will not produce a good effect, and one should pay attention to the cultivation of speech. I would then suggest that he find the practitioner in question and talk with him or her directly. If you have something to say, talk directly to the concerned practitioner. Let us truly achieve the state of being responsible for the Fa, for others, and for oneself. We should cooperate as a whole and do the three things well, without leaving loopholes for the evil to take advantage of.
This is my personal understanding at my realm. If there is something improper, fellow practitioners should kindly point it out. Heshi.