Learning to Look Inward
(Clearwisdom.net) We all know to look inward in our cultivation, but many times we look outward instead, or simply do not find the attachment we are looking for. I recently developed a new understanding of looking inward through things that happened between myself and a fellow practitioner.
Just before the New Year, fellow practitioner A asked me to help him set up a new operating system in his computer and to install a cellular networking card. Practitioner A used his nephew's cellular network card. Several days later, practitioner A came to me, "I cannot get online." I asked, "Is it possible that your network card is not compatible with your computer?" He replied, "It is not possible, my nephew uses it fine on his computer, but not on mine. This is the problem. We might have a loophole as a group...." I suggested he try again when he returned to his computer.
He came back again few days later, "It is still not working, there has to be a loophole in our group, otherwise things would not be this way." I felt the resentment in his words. I felt that he was telling me that I had a loophole since I was not agreeing with him. I remembered that several months ago, I had learned to set up an operating system, install software and other technical support computer procedures. I told practitioner A, "As soon as I learn the procedures, I will teach you." In the following few days, practitioner A came to my home or asked me to go to his house to teach him every day. Since he has no basic computer knowledge, it took him a long time to learn and he kept forgetting. I spent several days with him.
My time is very tight, my home is also a material center and I felt I spent too much time on him just to have him learn a procedure. He also sensed that. However, he continued coming at least one hour each time. I felt this could not go on any longer. I printed him some basic computer information, how to install software and said, "It is impossible to obtain all this knowledge right away. You can learn these basic procedures on your own." He replied, "I know that I use too much of your time, but I learn quicker when you teach me." I developed resentment toward him. I was reading between the lines when he said, "There's a loophole in our group."
He asked me several days later to purchase a cellular adaptor for him. I bought one and he was able to get online right away. I began to think, "He does not understand the procedure, used an incompatible network card and insisted a loophole existed in the group..." "I was right to begin with." I felt a little uneasy with the thought. Why did I always look for his fault, Master asked us to look inward, so did I really have nothing wrong myself?
I began looking inward and finally discovered that even though on the surface I was not wrong, I was very attached to my fellow practitioner's shortcoming, I could not tolerate his fault, thus my heart does not have a large capacity. Isn't this a loophole? Even though he has a shortcoming, why could I not kindly and patiently point it out?
I found my shortcoming and in the meantime understood a truth: even if it is someone else's shortcoming, as long as I feel it's unfair, I still need to look inward and I still have things to cultivate away.
There was another similar event: a fellow practitioner purchased an incompatible ink cartridge for my printer, so it was not aligned when I printed. I asked the practitioner who handles technical questions and he replied, "It was because the cartridge did not match the printer." I told the coordinator and he said, "It was my fault. Maybe I have a loophole somewhere." I told him that it had nothing to do with him. It was because the cartridge and printer did not match. After I changed it, it worked fine. I admired the coordinator's habit of looking inward whenever there is a problem. There is always something for us to cultivate.