Creating an Environment in Which Everyone Looks Inward
(Clearwisdom.net) Recently, I have noticed some cultivation issues among practitioners. I want to point them out for my fellow practitioners' reference.
I have noticed many fellow practitioners with the strong attachment of fear. While clarifying the truth, oftentimes they are perfunctory. The attachments of zealotry and showing off appear to be very strong. They like to talk about how great they are, emphasizing that their understanding is absolute. They can be very jealous, with stubborn hearts and never consider other's opinions.
I think that behind these behaviors is the issue of whether cultivation practice is based on validating the Fa or based on validating oneself. Teacher said in "Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature" in Essentials for Further Advancement:
"I also want to tell you that your nature in the past was actually based on egotism and selfishness. From now on, whatever you do, you should consider others first, so as to attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism. So from now on, whatever you do or whatever you say, you must consider others--or even future generations--along with Dafa's eternal stability."
Teacher also said,
"As for selfishness, I mentioned a principle to you earlier and you all applauded with much delight. I spoke about the future universe's not becoming extinct, and all of you were happy about it. Do you know why it can be that way? Some people say, 'If a person is not out for himself, he'll be damned by the heavens.' Some people have taken this as their motto. Actually, you don't yet know that this selfishness reaches all the way up to very high levels. As a matter of fact, for cultivators in the past to say, 'I'm doing such and such,' 'I want to do such and such,' 'I want to obtain such and such,' 'I'm cultivating,' 'I want to become a Buddha,' or 'I wish to attain such and such,' none of that was outside of selfishness. But what I want you to do is to truly, purely, and unselfishly Consummate with the real righteous Fa and righteous Enlightenment--only then can you achieve eternal non-extinction. So I'm telling you that you have to consider others first in everything you do. Some people are happy if others give them money. When someone gives them money they don't consider whether it will bring the other person trouble, whether his financial situation will become tight, and so on. 'As long as others give me something, I'm happy, but I don't consider others. As long as others are nice to me, I'm glad, but I'm not concerned about others.' Sometimes, even when some people are extremely distressed and have no choice but to say something to please you, you aren't understanding of them. There are all kinds of situations. In other words, from now on in your cultivation, in everything you do, you have to think of others." ("Lecture at the Conference in Switzerland" September 4th and 5th, 1998, Geneva)
I feel that what Teacher said above exactly points out our biggest shortcomings. Even while validating the Fa, some practitioners still emphasize things on the basis of "I," like in the concept: "I want to validate Fa." As soon as something affects "me," the following thought emerges: "Why do I have to look inward to find my shortcomings while I am validating the Fa?" However, the future cosmos will be unselfish and not attached to selfishness. Why can't we regard the Fa first, regard others first, and regard other fellow practitioners validating the Fa and understanding the Fa first? In fact, attaining "selflessness and altruism" itself is validating the Fa, because it assimilates the universe's characteristic of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance."
Actually, only Teacher can rectify the Fa and has been able to rectify Fa. We practitioners who are Teacher's disciples only validate the Fa. Fa-rectification and Fa-validation are two entirely different concepts. We cannot compare ourselves with our Teacher because we are cultivators and we are cultivating in our practice. Nevertheless, we are cultivating while validating the Fa and during the period of Fa-rectification. Cultivation practice is the process of eliminating human attachments; it is the process of purifying ourselves; it is the process of looking inward to find shortcomings; and it is the process of letting go of selfishnesses.