Some Understandings of the Meaning of "Looking Inward"
(Clearwisdom.net) It is very important for Fa-rectification Dafa disciples to constantly look inward during cultivation so that we can quickly find problems in our characters and eliminate them. Only when we truly and rapidly improve our characters and reach the standard required at different levels, can we walk our path more righteously while saving sentient beings and reduce unnecessary losses.
During my cultivation before 1999, I thought that it had progressed well and that I had improved very rapidly. Despite all conflicts I encountered, I remained unfazed. Nevertheless, looking back now, I discovered that my improvement was very slow. Indeed, I did endure conflicts, did not get angry and stayed inwardly totally calm. However, my problems were not fundamentally solved. I merely considered conflicts to be convenient ways of eliminating karma and expanding my abilities, but I didn't really look inward, causing many conflicts to arise over and over again. At the time I was a little confused too. How come I had this much trouble in my cultivation? Hadn't I already stopped caring about my losses and gains when dealing with ordinary people? Then, why did my troubles never end?
Through the evil persecution I have become more clearheaded and rational. Fa-rectification has progressed to this stage; everything that happens today in ordinary society is the result of Dafa disciples' thoughts. Although we absolutely cannot acknowledge the evil's persecution, the evil still makes its moves because of the loopholes in our states of minds.
There was one incident that became the turning point when I started to truly look inward. One time when I was having a small gathering with my college classmates, my father-in-law was also present. To my surprise, he said to my classmates, "This son-in-law of mine is a waste. His future not promising and he won't ever make a lot of money." All my classmates could do was to smile. Most of them knew the truth and had great respect for me.
Indeed I used to enjoy a very high social status. After having been persecuted for my beliefs, I have none of that left. When I heard what he said, I bore it with a grin and considered his remarks as an ordinary person's understanding. But then I had second thoughts: Why did he choose to say something like that? Did I perhaps still hold on to some attachment? I really stopped and thought hard about it. I discovered that I indeed had a sense of uneasiness and regret. Due to the loss of my previous social status, I felt that my mind was somehow not so well grounded. I could feel clearly that the old forces and their manipulators were using this as an excuse to control my father-in-law to attack me and even talk disrespectfully about Dafa.
Therefore, I immediately eliminated that attachment with strong righteous thoughts. In addition, I sent righteous thoughts to eliminate evil elements that were controlling my father-in-law. He has not made similar remarks since then, almost as if he no longer remembers that incident. This incident had a big effect on me. I came to understand Teacher's words:
"As I've said, everything that happens today in the ordinary society is the result of Dafa disciples' thoughts."
(From Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A.)
Our righteous thoughts are indeed very important.
Later in my cultivation, when I encountered a conflict, I no longer just took it with a grin. Instead, I stopped and thought about why this was happening to me. The issue of paying off one's karma for the sake of paying off karma no longer exists, implying that we must have left loopholes. To my surprise, after I searched inward, I discovered a lot of problems.
I used to think that my cultivation state was quite good, but now that I measured myself with the standards of the Fa, I discovered that I had really fallen far behind. When I searched inward after my child lost his temper, I found that I was often annoyed myself by my own parents' nagging.
Through my wife's complaints, I realized that I often do things sloppily and not carefully enough. When my wife became too close to a male coworker, I reflected inward and found that my own conduct towards female colleagues and practitioners was not pure and righteous enough, and I needed to draw a line between a man and a woman.
When I experienced difficulties in my work, I discovered that I was attached to my career. When I experienced big interference in my Fa-study, I discovered that my righteous thoughts about studying the Fa were not strong enough, and so on.
When I was able to truly look within myself and eliminate those attachments with the help of Fa-study and strong righteous thoughts, I found myself genuinely striving forward and making improvements ever so rapidly. Sometimes I was able to resolve a dozen problems or more within a single day. My righteous thoughts grew stronger and stronger.
As my cultivation progressed further, I felt as if looking inward seemed to have become an independent mechanism. In other words, I constantly discovered where I had deviated from the Fa and made adjustments according to the Fa's requirements. It is my opinion that this is a fundamental difference between the new and the old cosmos's beings.
The old cosmos's beings have deviated from the Fa and have stubbornly failed to look at their existing problems, and therefore they interfered with Fa-rectification and headed toward destruction. However, the new cosmos's beings can automatically replenish themselves. Of course, the Fa indeed has this mechanism. Whether we are able to assimilate to this Fa and generate a constantly self-replenishing mechanism requires us to put these principles into actual practice.
In "Lecture at the Conference in Singapore," Teacher says:
"Seen in another light, as our Fa is spread in everyday people's society, when we encounter irresponsible attacks from people and certain [governmental] departments that don't know what we're about, or when they label us arbitrarily or treat us in a really unreasonable manner, I think we should also examine ourselves on these issues by asking: "Why do these things happen? Is it because we ourselves, our assistance centers, our practice sites, or some of our students aren't conducting themselves properly?" If you can examine yourselves on every matter you come across, I'd say that you're really remarkable and that nothing can impede you on your path to Consummation. Yet when we run into problems, we often look outwards--"Why are you treating me this way?"--and feel that we've been treated unfairly, instead of examining ourselves. This is the greatest and most fatal obstacle for all living beings. In the past, some people said that it was impossible to succeed in cultivation. How could one succeed in cultivation? [They couldn't succeed in it] because this was the biggest obstacle and nobody was willing to find faults in himself amid problems. When a person feels hurt, or when he encounters misfortune, it's really difficult for him to still examine himself to see if he's done something wrong. If a person can do that, I'd say that on this path--on this path of cultivation--and for the eternity of his existence, nothing can stop him. It's truly the case. Sometimes we still fail tests, even though deep down inside we're aware."
Now I thought hard and carefully about what Teacher said here. How a being can truly become eternal, and the requirements of the new cosmos are for all beings has already been stated in the Fa. The key is that we have not studied the Fa well and we have not lived up to the requirements of the Fa.
As my cultivation deepened further, recently I had yet another understanding. As Fa-rectification Dafa disciples, we should also be responsible for Dafa, in addition to forming a mechanism of truly looking inward when encountering a problem.
Consequently, as I look inward, I am at the same time also concerned whether my conflicts will bring losses to the Fa, because much evil interference has brought losses to the Fa. We should absolutely reject this kind of arrangement and consider how to avoid bringing losses to the Fa and save more sentient beings while solving our own problems.
I think that as Fa-rectification Dafa disciples and as beings forged by Dafa, we cannot overlook any one of these two aspects. Therefore, now when I run into any problem or conflict, I always automatically take these two issues into consideration. The first is to ask myself why I am running into this problem or conflict and if there is anything wrong with me. The second is, whether the problem or conflict might lead to losses for Dafa, and how I can act responsibly to avoid or reduce losses for the Fa. I truly realize that this is a golden path. I also understand that all this is given by Teacher and the Fa, and can be accomplished when we truly calm our minds to study the Fa and assimilate to the Fa.
Fa-study is indeed very important.
The above is my personal understanding. Please correct me if there's anything improper.