Some Thoughts on How to Deal With Conflicts With Fellow Practitioners
It is very difficult to settle everything amicably and without conflicts. When conflicts arise, it does not mean that a bad relationship has developed, or abusive words have been exchanged. Conflicts can come about from looking at an issue from different perspectives, having a different understanding of the Fa, or when there is a gap between levels of understanding.
A fellow practitioner and I had some conflicts. They came about because we lacked mutual agreement. After some time and to prevent further conflicts, we tried to avoid each other. According to the universal principle, whenever a conflict exists, the parties involved must be lacking in certain areas that require upgrading. Selecting the path of avoidance is not the root solution, as areas where one should upgrade oneself will not simply go away by simply avoiding each other. One practitioner even moved to a few different practice sites and Fa study locations just to avoid having conflicts with others. However, the problem was not solved.
To get to the root, one should face the cause of the conflict. It is better for the parties involved to sit down and talk with each other. The following is my personal experience, which I would like to share with you.
Practitioners in our Fa-study group had some disagreements, which led to conflicts. Hence, at one stage, the group Fa-study stopped for a while. After sharing our thoughts, the Fa-study resumed but not all members attended. Among them one new practitioner, who may not have recognized the problem, refused to come.
The conflicts involved three members in our group, and I was one of them. Up until now, I have felt that there is still a knot within us. I have been practicing Falun Dafa for quite some time, and I did not take the matter seriously. But the new practitioner seemed to have taken the matter very seriously. I felt that I had a responsibility to give him a hand.
The thought of helping him was there, but somehow, the knot was still there too. Deep within my heart, I still blamed him for listening to rumors and stirring up the other members. Besides, I felt that he should not involve himself in something that did not concern him. I also blamed the other practitioner for listening to something unfounded. Of course, I did try to look into myself as well. Somehow, I still felt that the issues were of no concern to them, and they should not be involved in something that I knew how to settle myself.
It would not be possible to reassemble all the members of the Fa-study group if I still retained this thought. If my personal knot was not untied, how could I expect the others to change? As there was so much Dafa work to be done, I put aside the matter and tried to avoid solving it. Now that I have some time on my hands, I want to bring it out and investigate further the cause of our problem.
After giving the matter some thought, I have found out that the problem still lies within myself. Regardless of what condition my fellow practitioners are in, I cannot judge them with preconceived notions and at the same time tell myself to help them. I have to accommodate them first. Whether or not the practitioner comes back to our Fa-study group is not the issue; he has a right to choose. Besides, he is still a very new practitioner. The fact that I still cling to my preconceived opinion about him is the actual issue.
"I often say that if a person is free of any personal notions, isn't motivated by self-interest, and is truly looking to benefit others, then when he points out another person's shortcoming or tells the other person what's right, that person will be moved to tears." (Teaching The Fa At The Conference In Singapore.)
On the one hand, I wanted to help our fellow practitioner and on the other hand, I did not want to let go of my personal opinion about him. It indicated that I was not totally doing it for his good. My action would not move one's heart. To get rid of this negative element, one has to be totally righteous. Now that I have understood the principle, I will not harbor judgment of others if I want others to be good.
Thank you, Teacher, for giving us such a wonderful universal principle. Thank you, my fellow practitioners for giving me an opportunity to learn together. I want to add that conflicts are not in themselves that terrible. The key is how to face conflicts correctly, and how to redirect them to upgrade our xinxing.
Please point out anything incorrect.