Giving up the Stubborn Attachment of Refusing to Accept Criticism
(Clearwisdom.com) As soon as I opened up the Minghui website the other day, I saw Master's "Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan" in 2006. I read it twice in one sitting. It was as if much of what was said there was addressed directly to me. I looked within after Fa study. Why is it that I cannot stand being criticized? Master said, "Being unwilling to listen to others' remarks stems from a range of attachments." What is behind my unwillingness to listen to others? So I dug deeper within myself and I eventually found my most stubborn attachment: "self!"
The attachment of "self" manifests in many ways. It can manifest at work, at home, in front of adults, in front of kids and in front of fellow practitioners. At home, I am always concerned about what everyone else is doing. I have to be in control of everything, big or small because I always think my approach is the best. My husband often says, "What's the point of discussion? Regardless of anything that we discuss, we always have to do it your way!" This shows that I am so attached to myself that I cannot take anyone else's opinion or suggestion.
I am an accountant. When the supervisor gives directions for me to do something in a certain way, I think to myself: You do not understand the accounting work, why should I do it your way? I am the one who has to take responsibility when there is a problem, so sometimes an unpleasant atmosphere develops between us. If I can give up the attachment to self and clearly explain the accounting rules, regulations and their implications or consequences, perhaps he would understand and reconsider so there would not be problems. This will also show that we, as cultivators, are genuinely acting for the benefit of others, therefore, laying a good foundation for further truth clarification.
"And as for the habits that you've formed over time, those stem from your various attachments. Those who are attached to saving face will be made to hear things that are embarrassing, hitting upon that attachment that causes you not to be able to stand hearing others' critical remarks. There are also some people who think that since they are project coordinators, they should be immune to criticism. And then some people who have special talents in some regard or other won't take criticism from people. Another group won't hear anyone out on account of having a negative opinion about the other person. It comes in all shapes and sizes." ("Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan" 2006)
Comparing myself against this paragraph, I definitely see this attachment - "won't hear anyone out on account of having a negative opinion about the other person." There was a fellow practitioner who often shares experiences with me while we were working together at a materials production site. I did not like the fact that she talked endlessly. For a while, I did not even want to see her and thought that it was a waste of time talking to her. Unconsciously, I even formed a negative opinion about her. Once this happened, I did not even want to listen to anything she had to say. Anything she said would make me explode. My reasoning was that she did not know anything because she was not initially involved and that my way was the right way and everyone else should mind their own business. The attachment of self had expanded so greatly. Less than two days later, the production site was discovered by the police. This was a hard lesson for me.
"But you need to correct the tendency you have formed--you must. Be sure to pay heed! From this point on, whoever can't take criticism is not being diligent, whoever can't take criticism is not displaying the state of a cultivator, or at least on this issue. (Applause) If someone still can't pass this test, I'll tell you, he is in a very dangerous situation, because for a cultivator this is the most fundamental thing, it's at the top of the list of things to eliminate, and it has to be eliminated." ("Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles" 2006)
Master pointed this out even at that time, but I have not studied well nor did I cultivated well. It has been four years since this lecture was given. I still have not completely given up the attachment of "can't take criticism". From now on, I shall diligently and genuinely cultivate myself and relinquish attachments.
These are my personal understandings. Please point out any inappropriateness.