The nature of my work requires me to meet a lot of people. Generally, I could be warm and friendly towards the people I met. When I came across something unpleasant or met someone who spoke in an unfriendly manner, I could still amicably display my capacity to tolerate, even though I was reluctant. I knew that reluctance is also a form of attachment and if I could not accept others with kindness, I had not yet reached the required level of compassion. Hence, when something popped up unexpectedly, I often felt disturbed, even though I pretended that nothing had happened. When I tried to find out the root cause of why I lacked the required Shan (compassion), I noticed that I was not being Zhen (truthful). I often tried to cover up the side where I did not do so well and just showed off the side that I felt I did better. Hence, I sometimes lied as well. My consideration for others was more of a sense of duty than genuine concern, and the kindness I displayed was only superficial. When I dug deeper, I found out why I lacked Truthfulness. It was because I did not have sufficient "Ren",(patience and tolerance) towards the people I met. As I held things I could not let go and did not want to let go, when I sensed that someone was trying to take them away from me, I could not bear losing them. Hence, how could I be truthful towards others? When I dug deeper again to find out why I lacked the Tolerance, I discovered that I did not have the compassion, the genuine concern for others and the capacity to accept and embrace. How could I ever let go of all the things I am attached to?
Even on the surface, I had not achieved the state of Compassion, nor had I achieved the state of Truthfulness and Forbearance. Coming to this point, I was reminded of what Teacher said in Zhuan Falun,
"The cultivation practice of our Falun Dafa follows the highest standard in the universe and cultivates Zhen-Shan-Ren simultaneously. The gong that we cultivate is quite enormous."
Teacher also said in "A Brief Explanation of Shan" (Essentials for Further Advancement),
"Shan is the manifestation of the nature of the universe at different levels and in different dimensions. It is also the fundamental nature of Great Enlightened Beings. Therefore, a cultivator must cultivate Shan and assimilate to the nature of the universe, Zhen-Shan-Ren. The vast cosmic body was born of the universe's nature, Zhen-Shan-Ren. Dafa's being taught in public demonstrates again the original nature of the universe's living beings. Dafa is in perfect harmony: If one separates the three characters of "Zhen-Shan-Ren," each still fully contains Zhen-Shan-Ren. This is because matter is composed of microscopic matter, which is in turn made up of even more microscopic matter--this goes on and on until the end. Therefore, Zhen consists of Zhen-Shan-Ren, Shan consists of Zhen-Shan-Ren, and Ren also consists of Zhen-Shan-Ren. Isn't the Dao School's cultivating Zhen the cultivation of Zhen-Shan-Ren? Isn't the Buddha School's cultivating Shan also the cultivation of Zhen-Shan-Ren? In fact, they only differ in their superficial forms."
By passing to us the Dafa, Teacher wants us to assimilate to the characteristic of the universe. To measure ourselves against the requirements of "Zhen-Shan-Ren," we have to correct ourselves constantly, not occasionally.
I remember an incident that happened to me a few days ago. While I was distributing Dafa materials, a security guard suddenly appeared. Instinctively, I sent forth righteous thoughts in front of her. However, I felt that the self-protective instinct from my human side was actually using the power bestowed on me by the Fa to drive away the evil. On the outside, I remained calm and smiling at the guard, but in my heart, I was reciting the formula, seeking shelter for my own safety.
From this incident, the weaknesses in my cultivation practice were exposed. First, I had not achieved the state of Truthfulness. One who truly builds his faith upon Dafa always considers things from Dafa's perspective. Righteous thoughts carry a sacred and majestic supremacy not to be violated, "with an air of supremacy and of destroying all evil in the cosmos." ("Righteous Thoughts") How could I consider my personal safety first and use my seemingly calm appearance as a tool, instead of righteous thoughts, to overcome the suspicion of the guard?
Second, I hadn't reached the required level of Compassion. If the prime purpose of distributing truth clarifying Dafa materials was to help save sentient beings, then the righteous thoughts should have the intention of saving the security guard, and be directed at eliminating the evil controlling her from behind. The smile towards her should also be filled with Compassion.
Similarly, I hadn't reached the required level of Tolerance. When one lets go of all attachments, including selfishness, the manifested state would be of a life completely integrated within Dafa, ready to accept the responsibility of saving all sentient beings. How could righteous thoughts be generated from a foundation of concern for one's personal safety?
Cultivation is a serious matter. Any attachment or omission we have could lead us to unknowingly deviate from our cultivation path. The profound principles behind the "Righteous Thoughts and Righteous Actions" spoken of by Teacher are in fact the characteristic of the universe - Truth-Compassion-Forbearance, which Teacher would like us to take as the guideline in our mission of defending Dafa and saving all sentient beings. Teacher said,
"...in history's present, Dafa has bestowed upon you the mission of saving all sentient beings; in history's future, everything of yours that is pure and righteous will be what ensures that the colossal firmament has formation and stasis, but not destruction." ("Congratulatory Statement to the New York Fa Conference" in Essentials for Further Advancement II)