A few days ago, I asked a practitioner to bring some truth-clarification materials for me. I got to our meeting place late, and she had already left with the materials. It turns out she needed to take care of her child and the cooking, so she had no choice but to take all the materials back home since I did not show up on time. She sternly criticized me on my tardiness. After I calmed down, I recognized that this problem of mine was far more serious than I had thought.
I examined myself, and was shocked to find that I had broken my promises time after time. Worse yet, I did not even feel culpable and apologetic afterwards. For example, I once promised to deliver something to another practitioner, and asked her to wait for me on her way to work. Instead, I had a meeting with another practitioner and never showed up. I let her down. I once made an appointment to meet with a practitioner, and that practitioner promised me our meeting would take place, "rain or shine." Again, I did not make it to the meeting--not because it rained, but simply because I had guests at home. I once told a store clerk that I would be back the next day to buy a down jacket, yet the next day on my way there I saw and bought a different jacket from another store. When I visited my mom I obligingly promised her that I would buy medicine for her, yet I forgot about it completely. During the trip back home I clarified the truth to my sister-in-law, and I promised her that I would bring her a Dafa book the next time I visited her. Although I went back twice since, I never took her the book.
How could I go back on my promise? I always thought that I was a very trustworthy and dependable person. Once my colleague told me not to mention to anyone that he was trying to pass an examination to get a research position, and I kept the secret until it was no longer a secret. I went to appeal for Falun Gong in Beijing and was interrogated as to who told me to go there. I never uttered a word, even after another practitioner admitted that she was the one who asked me to go. How could I be so untrustworthy?
I finally realized that I had been steadfast, but I was not always that trustworthy. Put another way, there was degenerated "undependable" matter in me. For a long time I was unable to see my undependable side and bad acts because they were masked behind the righteous things that I did. I became sloppy and careless while still feeling good about myself.
I judged myself with Dafa: If I did not deliver on my promise, then I was not "Truthful." It would be the same as deceiving people, let alone being compassionate. Tracking it down to its root cause, it was selfishness. I was being considerate to myself, and inconsiderate to others, giving priority to myself. I definitely did not consider and care for others. If only I could have felt the anxiety of the practitioner who waited an hour for me at the appointed place, if only I could have felt my mother's worry about her medicine, if only I could have felt the trouble that my fellow practitioner must have endured to carry both her child and the truth clarifying materials back home--I would never have done what I did if I could have felt all that. Teacher told us earnestly to think of others in everything that we did, but did I pay serious attention to others at all?
I had a dream the other night. I was carefully washing a pile of soybeans mixed with some dark and sticky broth. I rinsed them with clean water. A small pile of soybeans had been cleaned, but there were still a lot more remaining to be rinsed. I looked at myself again, and found that even though I appear to be humble, my attachment of showing off pops up from time to time. Even though I consider myself an easy going person, I have scolded my child with very harsh words. I could give away my portion of our home to my sister-in-law, yet I could not let go of even one dime of change from a street merchant. In that situation, I was unable to fully utilize the time to clarify the truth to the merchant. One day, my child complained that I had been away from home for a very long time. I asked my child if he missed me, and he replied no, which made me really agitated.
After I identified these shortcomings, I had a clear and complete picture of myself. I calmly told myself, "Correct yourself and follow the righteous path. To start with, you will arrive on time to your appointments."
These are just my own cultivation experiences that I would like to share with the whole group.
April 26 2005