Being Strict with Oneself
(Clearwisdom.net) I began the path of cultivation in 1998, so one might consider me a veteran practitioner. I had always thought of myself as the employee who was strictest with himself in my workplace, and it would upset me whenever I saw colleagues who would get by without meticulously following the company's requirements. I had put more effort into my job only to get the same recognition, and so I felt that I was losing out.
After I began practicing Falun Dafa, I continued to believe that I was strict with myself. I felt that there was some leeway in how closely one had to follow the requirements at work. I used this same approach in my cultivation. I felt that I was stricter with myself than everyday people were with themselves, but that did not mean I had no leeway in how closely I had to follow the requirements of the Fa.
I practiced cultivation with the mentality of "just getting by" for a long time. For example, if I did not pass a test well, I would rationalize that I had passed it anyway, and that I couldn't possibly pass every test well. I told myself that it was okay if I did not do something as well as I could have and that I would do better next time. I even felt that I was raising my cultivation level this way. When I did better than others in a certain area, I would think that so-and-so could not keep up with me and that perhaps my cultivation in this area was better than his. When I saw someone who was not as strict with himself as I was with myself, I would think that he did not hold himself to as a high standard as I did, and so my cultivation was better than his. I was content to do a little better than others, yet I considered myself to be a lot better. In reality, the opposite was true: I was failing to measure up to Dafa's requirements at different levels. I was content to cultivate in this confused state for a long time.
One day, however, after another practitioner and I had spent thousands of yuan in a business deal, we wound up losing our entire investment. On the surface, it was because the items we had manufactured were one-to-two millimeters larger than the requirement. While we were making the items, I realized that the size was too big. But when I saw that my products were better than the others, I rationalized that a larger product would do the job too. This one thought wound up costing us several thousand yuan. I would not have lost the money had I been strict with myself during the manufacturing process.
When we learned of our loss, the other practitioner burst into tears. I too was very upset, but not because of the money. I realized that while people were being so strict with a product, I was unable to hold myself to a high standard while cultivating in sacred Dafa, and that I had the mentality of "just getting by." When the time comes for others to reach consummation, we will not be able to bring back what we have lost, nor will we be able to make up for it. By that time it will be too late for regrets, and it will be the most heartbreaking thing we could imagine.
Deep in my heart, I realized that the cultivation of Dafa is not a casual matter and that we should not approach it with the mentality of getting by. It is not good enough simply to do better than others. When we fail to meet Dafa's requirements for us at different levels, simply doing better than someone else will be inadequate, and it will not enable us to move upwards in cultivation. We must be strict with ourselves.
Kindly point out anything that is incorrect.
Written on November 14, 2007