(Clearwisdom.net) Last week I passed a xinxing test, but I didn't pass it with flying colors. Now, when I recall the whole experience, I have a better understanding of what cultivation is really about.
On Friday morning, the personnel manager at my company told me that I hadn't swiped my badge when arriving or leaving work for two consecutive days. He said he didn't know how to explain this incident to the upper managerial staff. However, for the two days in question, I was not late and I had passed over my badge, but there was no record of my doing so. The personnel manager wasn't using a pleasant tone while speaking with me and I was getting angry. I felt a little bit angry and thought, "What do you want me to do about it?" or, "Why don't you just write me down as absent those days!" He said no more to me about it after that.
After going on lunch break and reconsidering my angry reaction, I thought, "A cultivator should not burst out in a temper and be so affected by everyday people!" So, I recited all of Teacher's articles that I could remember, and read Teacher's article entitled, "Pass the Deadly Test." I told myself again and again,
"In cultivation you need to eliminate karma, and eliminating karma is painful--how on earth could you increase gong in total comfort!" (Zhuan Falun)
"A wicked person is born of jealousy. Out of selfishness and anger he complains about unfairness towards himself." ("Realm" from Essentials for Further Advancement)
I said to myself, "Isn't what you have demonstrated wicked? Do you still think you can become enlightened when you do not even have any compassion as a benevolent person should?" I kept reciting and reminding myself that I must not be angry. So when it reached lunch time, I could basically face this issue calmly. At that time, I thought I passed this test.
But right after the lunch break the personnel manager said to me that it was not possible to have no physical record for those two consecutive days and insisted that I apply for a one-hour business holiday, meaning that I would be recorded late those days. This way he thought he could give an explanation to the upper managerial staff. I didn't expect him to say that and was suddenly very angry, thinking it ridiculous to handle the matter in such a way! Even then, I didn't say no to him, but applied for the business holiday as he requested. But I found that I couldn't let go and forgive, so I asked for another leave that afternoon and reported the whole thing to my direct supervisor. It's exactly like what is said in "Transforming Karma" in Chapter Four of Zhuan Falun:
"but usually when a conflict comes along, if it doesn't provoke you, it doesn't count, it doesn't work, and you won't be able to improve from it."
Later, I talked with a few of my fellow practitioners and did some self-examination. I remembered that Teacher said in Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Europe:
"Whenever you encounter problems you should each look inward to search for the cause within, regardless of whether you're to blame or not. Remember my words: Regardless of whether the problem is your fault or not, you should look inside yourself, and you will find a problem. If the matter has absolutely nothing to do with you or doesn't involve any of the attachments you should break, then that thing would rarely happen to you."
So I recalled the whole incident again from the very beginning. I found I still have so many attachments! I felt wronged, angry, and unfairly treated; I don't like to be misunderstood by others, etc. Aren't all of these attachments? Though I never said anything to the personnel manager, I reported this incident to my supervisor. That's my competitiveness revealing itself. My latent consciousness had hoped that someone could fight for me. What a terrible attachment it is!
Finding my attachments, I felt much calmer, thinking that I will sure be able to face this conflict calmly the next Monday when I went to work again However, the next day, which was a Saturday, I felt my temper rising again while on my way to group Fa-study. This time my temper was even worse than the previous two times. I could not even control it. I kept asking myself "Why? I have already exposed my attachments and felt calm! Why did I suddenly feel so uncontrollably angry? What on earth are my other problems?" When I got to the group Fa-study site, I saw one of my fellow practitioners. I couldn't wait to tell him everything. I wanted to know his thoughts. But he told me: "I didn't really want to listen to you from the very beginning!" I didn't expect him to say that and it was like a hit by a heavy hammer: "Yes! I had never asked him whether he had time, or even whether he wanted to listen to my problems." I had just pushed my burden on to him. That's so selfish!
Later, he said that maybe I still have some attachments that I haven't found yet., and suggested that I think about it again and study Fa more. At that time, I really couldn't figure it out and group Fa study was going to start soon After studying some Fa, all my negative moods and thoughts disappeared completely and I almost forgot about the whole conflict.
Now I recognized the real issues Although it was not a huge realization, it truly provoked my heart. In the past I used to think that I cultivated pretty well. When I spoke, I excluded myself, as if I didn't have those attachments and everybody else still did. Now I realize that I also have these same attachments I just didn't want to face them, so I always tried to hide and conceal them. Thinking over the so-called "Blue and Green" issue, I didn't think that I had problems with that in the past. But actually, I did. Although I don't support the Democratic Progressive Party, whenever I saw some the Nationalist Party member visiting Mainland China and wanting to establish some cooperative relationship, I couldn't help being angry. Now I reflect on this again and find that these people are seriously bewildered. Aren't these people also those who are the most dangerous and most pitiful? I should remind myself to hurry to save sentient beings, not to be affected and angry. On Sunday, one of my fellow practitioners said during an experience sharing: "Concerning the issue of which sentient being we should save, can we have a choice on that? Hasn't our Teacher said 'I told you a long time ago that a Dafa disciple, or a cultivator, has no enemies. The only thing you have a role in is saving people.' (Teaching the Fa in the City of Chicago)" So does our compassion choose? We are compassionate to this person, so we can be uncompassionate to another one?
There was also an issue with my indifference. Whenever something happened, I would actively participate and do something, and then I would think that things were okay, when in fact they were not. The job isn't finished yet, so we should keep caring about what is happening. I remember our Teacher once said:
"But it has never let up in its means of oppressive persecution. These are the persecutory means of a gangster regime, the likes of which have never been seen before." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2005 Canada Fa Conference").
Then why did I let up so quickly? Isn't this the manifestation of indifference and apathy?
The more I thought about the whole thing, the more shameful I felt. Actually, I have so many attachments. Yet I used to think that I was doing pretty well and kept covering up my various attachments. Every time I studied Teacher's recent lectures, I always felt that Teacher kept reminding us to cultivate ourselves. I also felt deeply that these past years I was only doing things, but forgetting the true nature of cultivation and how to cultivate myself. When conflicts came, I always blamed others and felt personally wronged. It's exactly like what Teacher has said:
"A wicked person is born of jealousy. Out of selfishness and anger he complains about unfairness towards himself." (Essentials for Further Advancement).
The number of fellow practitioners whose situation is similar to mine is not small, but I never felt that I was one of them. How could this be possible? If I didn't have any problems, I wouldn't have met with all these conflicts. At this point, I felt I kind of began to understand what cultivation is really about. Teacher said at "Teaching the Fa in Canada, 2006:"
"That's why I say that when it comes to cultivation, you must truly grasp what cultivation is, be truly and rationally responsible to your own cultivation, truly handle everything you encounter with righteous thoughts, and have strong righteous thoughts."
I saw many fellow practitioners doing lots of work for Dafa but they let up in their individual cultivation. I think that none of us want to have "blessings" at the end! I do hope that we remember all the time that "to practice cultivation" means both "to cultivate" and "to practice." "To cultivate" is always the first. When we study Fa, we must study with our hearts, because
"The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa can shatter all lies, and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts." ("Drive Out Interference" from Essentials for Further Advancement II)