Looking Inward is a Key Requirement of Cultivation Practice
(Clearwisdom.net) Master has often talked about importance of looking inward, most recently in the "Lecture to Australian Dafa Practitioners." However, I have discovered that many practitioners around me, and even me too, have not yet learned to look inward. I always criticized others, or glossed it over when it came to looking at myself. It would appear I had looked inward but was actually fostering my ego, unwilling to change, and did not truly calm my mind and identify my attachments.
Several days ago I listened to Master's lectures on a newly bought MP4 player. Suddenly it stopped. The power was low. I was a little upset and immediately began to recharge it. Surprisingly, although the battery image appeared on the screen, indicating the equipment is recharging, when I unplugged it from the charger after sufficient time had elapsed and tried to turn it on it was still dead. My wife was angry and complained that I should not have saved so much Dafa-related content on the MP4 player. "Now that it's broken, we cannot take it to a repair shop, lest they find out we practice Falun Gong [and report us to the police]" were her words.
I grew anxious but forced myself to be calm and said to myself, "This little MP4 player has Dafa songs and is my Fa instrument. How can it malfunction? It must be that I have attachments." I sent righteous thoughts while inspecting my mind.
My wife continued to say this and that. First, I got rid of fear and decided even if it's truly broken, I would take it tomorrow and have it fixed. If anyone discovers that I'm a Falun Gong practitioner, it would be a perfect opportunity for me to explain things about the persecution and the practice. Also, I banished fear of troubles and of complaint. In the end, I also identified a most important issue: I often causally fast-forwarded or rewound the Fa-lectures in the MP4 player, and that is very disrespectful. Occasionally in summer, I even watched Dafa lectures with my upper body naked because of the sweltering heat and did not show due respect toward Master and Dafa. My behavior was unrighteous!
After some self-reflection I turned on the computer and finished reading a Fa passage I began studying a while ago. Each time I read the Fa I learn so much that it is beyond words. It feels almost as if I've never read it before, although I have. Every word strikes the very depth of my being. As I approached the end of the passage, something flashed across the MP4 player's screen, and it returned normal! I truly believe that looking inward is the key to improvement.
This made me realize I should form a habit of looking inward. Whenever I encounter any problems or troubles, I should examine myself, to see if I am doing something wrong that goes against the law of the universe. When my heart is stirred and I am irritated, rejoiced, worried, or afraid of something; when it impacts my notions so my mind is no longer serene and compassionate, I must examine my mindset because an attachment or notion is affecting me. Nothing should move a cultivator! Failing to look inward is a characteristic of the old universe; a manifestation of selfishness. We cultivators should rid ourselves of attachments to fame, fortune and emotions and assimilate to Truth-Compassion-Forbearance. We should judge everything with the Fa and do well with the three things, to be worthy of Master's arduous salvation.
Above is my personal understanding. Please point out anything inappropriate.