Understandings I Gained After Studying "Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles"
(Clearwisdom.net) I was fortunate to attend the Fa-experience sharing conference in Los Angeles and listen to Master's lecture in person. After Master's lecture in Los Angeles was published on the Minghui website, I read this Fa three times in a row, and I have gained much understanding from doing so. I have written down my understandings to share with fellow practitioners.
The Attachment of Feeling Offended When Criticized by Others
During this Fa lecture, Master mentioned three times that Dafa practitioners must let go of the attachment of being unable to accept criticism. Master also seriously pointed out that
"...this is something that attests on a fundamental level to whether someone is in essence a cultivator." ("Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles")
This Fa has deeply jolted and also awakened me. Because this phenomenon is widespread among practitioners who live outside China, I sometimes cannot even see this attachment in myself. When others have criticized me or pointed out the things that I failed to do well, I always felt unhappy. Although I could control my response, I felt offended in my heart, and I often thought of how to organize my words and argue with my critics so as to prove that I had done nothing wrong. What a strong attachment to personal fame and reputation!
After I started cultivation, I no longer cared much about ordinary social status and fame, and I therefore assumed that I had already given up my attachment to fame. In fact, it is just the case that this attachment of mine has been transferred into my cultivation. For example, I was very concerned about how others commented about my cultivation and Fa-validation work. After the others pointed out my shortcomings, I knew that I should look within myself, but I still made arguments on my behalf to keep my good reputation. Sometimes, on the surface, I appeared to be able to control my emotions, but that was because I was attached to my image of being a cultivator, so I was still trying to save face. As a matter of fact, the attachment to reputation can cause many bad attachments, such as showing off, complacency, attachment to vanity, etc.
"Those who are attached to their reputations practice an evil way, full of intention. Once they gain renown in this world, they are bound to say good but mean evil, thereby misleading the public and undermining the Fa." ("Cultivators' Avoidances" in Essentials for Further Advancement)
This is something that has to be eliminated during our cultivation. Furthermore, Master said in this Fa lecture,
"But you need to correct the tendency you have formed--you must. Be sure to pay heed! From this point on, whoever can't take criticism is not being diligent, whoever can't take criticism is not displaying the state of a cultivator, or at least on this issue. (Applause) If someone still can't pass this test, I'll tell you, he is in a very dangerous situation, because for a cultivator this is the most fundamental thing, it's at the top of the list of things to eliminate, and it has to be eliminated." ("Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles")
Therefore, we not only have to eliminate this attachment, but also do it right away.
Pay Attention to Our Use of the Fa Principles to "Defend" Ourselves
"If you always reject reproaches and criticism, always point your fingers at others, and always refute others' disapproval and criticism, is that cultivating?" ("Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles").
I felt very ashamed. Wasn't Master talking about me? When someone criticized me, if what he said was not right, I would certainly cite some evidence and make an argument, and I would continue until he acknowledged his mistakes. If what the other said was right, I, as a cultivator, would certainly accept the criticism, but I often could not keep myself from giving some explanation. Moreover, I often cited Master's Fa to support it.
For example, when one fellow practitioner pointed out that I had a strong human mentality in the way I treated my children, I responded, "Master said that if we do not have any human things, we would not be able to stay in the human world and neither would we be able to continue our cultivation." This, in fact, was my trying to use Master's Fa as an excuse. I also heard about similar situations. One practitioner got angry with another. The latter said, "Who wants you to get angry at Master's disciple?" We all laughed when we heard this story. The practitioner who got angry was of course not right. However, the other practitioner who used Master's Fa to back up his argument was, in fact, dodging the tribulation that he should endure; that is, the tribulation that he should remain calm despite the other's criticism.
The Tone of Voice that Master Used During the Lecture Moved Me
Master said in "Clearheadedness" in Essentials for Further Advancement:
"I often say that if all a person wants is the well-being of others and if this is without the slightest personal motivation or personal understanding, what he says will move the listener to tears. I have not only taught you Dafa, but have also left you my demeanor. While working, your tone of voice, your kindheartedness, and your reasoning can change a person's heart, whereas commands never could!"
I have read this Fa many times, but I have rarely been able to act accordingly. This time I was fortunate to see Master, and my level of excitement and happiness were beyond description. But what touched me most was Master's tone of voice when he answered the questions from the disciples. Whatever the questions were, Master's tone of voice was always kind and compassionate, even when he mentioned the areas that practitioners have not done well in. He also did it in a very forgiving and humorous way.
What I felt from Master's tone of voice was his boundless compassion. I also came to enlighten to the principle that the magnificence of Dafa is manifested through the Fa principles rather than a stern tone of voice. Master still treats practitioners this way. So how should we treat our fellow practitioners? How should we treat the sentient beings that we should save?
Many days have passed, but Master's voice and face are still in my mind. I really feel that having become Master's disciple is the most fortunate thing as well as the highest honor in the whole universe. It is no wonder that the old cosmic forces envy us and have tried very hard to pull us down through so-called "tests." We have to do well and let the high-level beings admire us and know that we are worthy of being Master's disciples.