Finding My Hidden Competitive Mentality
(Clearwisdom.net) Not long ago when I rented an apartment, the landlord told me that water and electricity were free of charge. Later, since more people stayed in the apartment, the cost of water and electricity was quite high and the landlord regretted his statement and asked me to pay part of the cost. Although, I felt that the landlord should have kept his word, I agreed. However, the landlord later requested that I pay all the cost with no bargain at all. I was a little annoyed and started to argue with him. I knew something was wrong with me when I started the argument. I felt very bad after the argument and realized it had touched upon my competitive mentality. However, I still felt I was not wrong; I was defending my legal rights.
That evening when I watched the video "Fa-Teaching Given to the Australian Falun Dafa Practitioners," it triggered something in me. However, I still thought the landlord was not reasonable. After watching the latter part of the video, I finally understood. It seemed to be specifically targeting my issue and my attachment.
When mentioning the issue that some practitioners did not like to be criticized, Master said,
"It's because Dafa disciples needed a little human courage as they were going about validating the Fa today. That is why I didn't talk about it. I wanted to save that discussion for the final time--I wanted to talk about it later on, when the time was more ripe."
"When you were validating the Fa and exposing the evil earlier on, I didn't want you to be too soft when doing things; in that case as you clarified the truth you would have been apt to do so at less than full strength. It would be a problem if, when others commented [negatively] as you clarified the truth, you just stopped right there, without giving any explanation. Now that you have become mature and rational, and know how to handle things, and now that [discussing this matter] will not affect your truth clarification, I am talking about what I had saved for today." ("Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles")
Master left us with a little human mindset so that we can clarify the facts. However, because of the old forces' persecution and their taking advantage of everything, sometimes it is not easy for us to know whether it is the persecution of the old forces or a test for us. Of course, we should completely deny the persecution with our righteous thoughts. If our property and money were taken away by evil persons who persecute practitioners, we should stop them or seek legal ways to protect our rights. However, if we go to extremes while in this state of mind, it can become a competitive mentality. Since the persecution is still going on, such a mentality is hard to detect.
Some practitioners mentioned the issue of price bargaining in their articles. Some believed we should bargain when purchasing materials for Fa-clarification. Some believed we should not bargain when purchasing daily items, fruit and so on. I think the issue is not on whether we should bargain or not. It is about what state of mind we hold. When we bargain, we should check whether we have a competitive mentality. When we don't want to bargain, we should check whether it is because we are merely doing so out of the fear of the attachment to self-interest. Find them and get rid of them. The form is not important in how we deal with these issues in detail. Some practitioners believe that if we let others take advantage, it encourages those people to commit crimes. That's true. However, we should look inward and find out what we base this on. Do we treat the issue out of compassion, or use it as an excuse to cover up our attachment? Dig deep! If we truly do as Master said, "Cultivate, my disciples, 'til no single omission is found" ("Cultivating Amidst the Delusion," Hong Yin, Translation Version A), then this issue will not exist any more.
There is not much time left and we practitioners have become more and more mature. However, the requirements for us also become more and more strict. Many attachments come to the surface, but also become more and more subtle. Only if we truly rectify ourselves with every thought, can we truly do well and improve ourselves.
This is just my personal understanding. Please point out anything improper.