The Need to Cultivate Myself
(Clearwisdom.net) Recently I came across practitioner A, whom I had not seen for a while. She looked paler than I remembered. She wanted me to stay with her for a while and help her out. For over a year she had been experiencing illness symptoms that she didn't understand and was not able to overcome. I suggested that she go see practitioner B, but A said that B's family was out of town. Just then B showed up to visit A. Practitioner A was apparently not telling the truth.
B told me that A was planning to go to the hospital for a physical exam, would not listen to local fellow practitioners, and was reluctant to let go of her own ideas. However, A is very critical of other practitioners' shortcomings and is enthusiastic about discussing Fa principles with and listening to out-of-town practitioners. Upon hearing that, I came to a better understanding of the matter.
About being critical of others and failing to listen, how many of us have not cultivated ourselves well for the past decade, and are not willing to look inward? What struck me is that I have that problem, too. I don't know how well I have cultivated for the past eight years. There are times when I have righteous thoughts, but not too often. For the past few years I have treated practitioner C terribly. Both of us were left homeless from the persecution and we were thrown together for a few years. When we were together, I didn't even want to look at her. Even though I did, it was not with compassion. I was like this for a few years.
What thoughts did I have in my mind? It was hatred, reinforced by notions and demons. Looking at practitioner A and reflecting on myself, I know that this is not a minor issue. It was no accident that I heard about A's situation. When I read Zhuan Falun again, it was like learning about the teachings for the first time. Cultivation is about cultivating our heart. We have to be compassionate. When people do not treat me well, why do I feel wronged and angry and treat them badly in return? It was my thought karma. I was being controlled by thought karma when I didn't truly regard myself as a cultivator. For the next few days, I tried to follow Master's teachings, to look at things with compassion and kindness. When people did not treat me well, I would not fight back. It was really as Teacher says in Zhuan Falun, "...when you take a step back in a conflict, you will find the seas and the skies boundless..." (Zhuan Falun, "Lecture 9")
On one occasion I asked practitioner C a question but she just ignored me and continued talking to other people. I felt terrible as usual. Then I asked myself, had I not treated her like that? I found the cause and calmed down. I even felt very apologetic for my past behavior. I told myself that I would start to correct the situation, beginning with myself.
I once read an article in Issue No. 283 of the "Minghui Weekly." It pointed out that some practitioners validate themselves when they are clarifying the truth. I immediately thought about practitioner D. Every time I saw her, she would tell me in great detail how many people she had talked to. She was so excited, but I felt she was showing off. Then I realized, why did I want to give her that article? Why did I want to focus on her? It was clear that when she talked about her truth-clarification activities, I didn't like it. I realized that this was my jealousy coming to the surface. I found that I also have an attachment to proving myself. Our intention was good; we wanted to save people. When we did a good job, we were so excited wanted to share with fellow practitioners, yet it sounded like we were validating ourselves. When we have such attachments and are faced with people who do not want to listen, we feel frustrated. This indicates that we are unclear about Fa principles and we are not being rational. Everything is arranged by Master and Master is assisting us in everything we do. We need to be more mature and persistent.
While working with other practitioners, more attachments are exposed, such as laziness, passive attitude, and only doing what I want and not what is delegated to me. This is sentimentality (qing)--the thing that we should eliminate. Sometimes, I detested what others were trying to tell me, but later, when I realized it was good advice, I was able to change my mind. If only I could have such righteous thoughts all the time.
I just realized that looking inward is what Teacher requires of us. It is a treasure. When we truly look inward, more and more our human mentalities will diminish and will be eliminated by the power of Dafa. We will have more energy to do the three things well. We will elevate as a whole body, eliminate more evil and save more people.
Having overcome interference and my low self-esteem, I was able to write about this. Kindly point out anything inappropriate.
October 22, 2007