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Looking Within, Seeing the Strengths in Fellow Practitioners and Giving Up Validating Self

September 23, 2006 |   By a Falun Dafa practitioner outside of China


Looking Within at My Shortcomings, Looking at Others’ Strong Points

I often hear fellow practitioners talking about where others fall short, instead of behaving like practitioners. While they are talking, they get worked up. The more they talk, the more they feel that what they think is accurate. When other practitioners express agreement with their viewpoint, they become very happy. They also think they have a better understanding about certain issues than others.

A year ago, I mentioned something to a western practitioner about another practitioner. I do not agree with this practitioner’s approach to some issues, so I couldn’t help talking about some of that practitioner’s negative behavior. After he finished listening to me, he said, "When you look at other practitioners, you should only look at the things that they do well." I was shocked. Immediately I was able to see how narrow-minded I was, and I felt embarrassed. Later I thought it over: Why do I not have more of a sense of my improvement? I realized that it was because I always look at others, without cultivating myself. When looking at fellow practitioners, we should look at their strengths, look at the side which they have cultivated well. When looking at myself, I should look at what my shortcomings are, look at where I fall short in order to do better. This will produce a righteous outlook. I realized that I should learn to be more and more compassionate toward others, and when I come across something, I should try to remain calm, so that I can make progress continuously.

As a matter of fact, Teacher saved us from hell. We are all beings saved by Teacher, so there is no such thing as determining who is ‘higher’ or ‘lower’ in terms of level. We cultivate the same Fa. As true practitioners we must do what Teacher requires of us, as opposed to doing whatever we feel like. When we are faced with a problem, we shouldn’t look outside to question how well our fellow practitioners cultivate; only Teacher knows that. The parts that fellow practitioners have cultivated well have already assimilated to the Fa. What remains is the part that hasn’t been cultivated well, and that part stands out. No matter what we see, we should look inside, even if the incident itself does not have much to do with us on the surface. Even if we are the third party, when we see a problem, we should look inside. As practitioners, when confronted with a problem, if we don’t look within, are we still cultivating ourselves?

When we spend a lot of time and effort in commenting on others, who is happy? Demons. When we are willing to look within and get rid of our attachments, we are eliminating evil, but when we look outside, suspect others, and complain about others, we are breeding demons. If we spend this time on studying the Fa and doing the exercises, we will be free from problems, and will be able to work very diligently. Our overall environment will be harmonized better and better.

Letting Go of Pursuit When Discussing Issues with Fellow Practitioners

When fellow practitioners have different ideas about something, many of them try to validate their own opinion, hoping to be treated with importance and be accepted by others. I was one of them. Every time we came across a problem, we would behave like that. I realized that we were being taken advantage of, so that eventually nothing was resolved. We didn’t see any overall improvement..

Later, I thought: What is a true enlightened being like? He is someone who is able to let go of selfish pride. So when we hear a fellow practitioner's idea, as long as it is beneficial to Dafa and to our one body, we should give them our support, and harmonize their ideas unconditionally, instead of tirelessly expressing our own idea on the issue. If his approach can reach the goal, and my approach can reach the same goal as well, what is there to argue about? If when we come across a problem, at that moment, we can let go of selfishness, and harmonize what other practitioners want to do, then our one body will be harmonized and supplemented continuously. How much loss will we incur in our one body if we refuse to give up selfishness? Actually, we set up all the true obstacles, which result from not wanting to let go of our self-interest during conflicts. When a fellow practitioner puts a suggestion forward, if we all can supplement it and try to harmonize it, this is a way of resolving things, as opposed to discussing back and forth, wasting everyone's time. If we can take solid action on everything we do, we will be continuously rectified and elevated. Isn't this what we want?

When I enlightened to this, I was very happy. I was finally able to let go of my pursuit. When I returned to our group environment, I became much happier. The burden I had regarding the attachment of validating myself was so heavy. I had always gone to our group study and discussion with this heavy burden unnoticed. Now that I am able to let it go, I feel very light-hearted.

Originally posted on September 8, 2006