Keep Xinxing in Mind when Interacting with Fellow Practitioners
(Clearwisdom.net) During a sharing among practitioners at our study group today, Practitioner A brought up an issue, that we should not use our human heart to meddle with our fellow practitioners' "personal business," because this is due to a lack of cultivating our xinxing. I have the same feelings with regards to this.
I had been deeply tangled up in fellow practitioners' conflicts, and I finally got out of it only after much difficulty. Of course, as we are all fellow practitioners, we should help each other out and improve together. What kind of problems is it appropriate for us to help other practitioners with? For instance, forming a study group with practitioners and sharing our cultivation experiences based on the Fa helps us to do better and remember the Fa when we encounter problems. When practitioners cannot break through hardships caused by the evil, we can help them to send righteous thoughts. Also, we should help rescue fellow practitioners when they are being persecuted. When practitioners have temporary difficulties, such as financial and employment problems, if we have the means, we can supply the help they need. There is no problem with helping fellow practitioners in these ways.
But under certain circumstances, we should not get involved with other practitioners' issues. There is a practitioner ("Practitioner B") close to me, who, because of heavy human attachments, often encounters problems. Some of those problems were caused by being treated unfairly by others, and others were caused by financial strain. She likes to vent her sorrow to me, to let out her anger. Since I have a very easygoing personality, I would not refuse her, and at the same time, I believed listening to fellow practitioners' hardship is a kind of compassion. After practitioner B encountered problems, besides comforting her, I also always pointed out her shortcomings.
However, I later realized that this is not right. Practitioner B would vent to me every time she had problems. All she talked about were the wrongs of the other parties; some of whom were other practitioners, and some were ordinary people. Practitioner B looked for me, only cared that I listened to her, and she did not take to heart anything I pointed out. As time went by, she often told me how some practitioners were not nice to her, and some others did not treat her fairly. After listening to a lot of such complaints, I discovered that I too had become entangled in similar conflicts, and my heart too was filled with rage and dissatisfaction. My brain became chaotic, and I felt that I was not able to clearly see the Fa when I studied the Fa. I then immediately became alert, and according to Teacher's plan, I became acquainted with the practitioners that Practitioner B had complained about. I discovered those practitioners were not like what Practitioner B had described. I started to think this problem through calmly. I realized it was because I wanted to help my fellow practitioners, but I did not help them according to the Fa, and this eventually got me into trouble.
Later, through Fa study, I gradually understood how to interact with other practitioners. It is actually very simple. During group interactions among practitioners, a practitioner would talk about the problem he has encountered. If he had the intention of elevating his level, or really cannot find what he had done wrong, then we might listen to his problem and help look for the possible cause, and help our fellow practitioner to elevate his understanding of the Fa. This form of interaction allows us to elevate ourselves as a whole. If a practitioner just wants other practitioners to comfort her, to show her sympathy, and to look for a "safe haven" among practitioners, to relieve anger, or look for a soulmate among practitioners who might have similar viewpoints, under those circumstances, we should not get involved in other practitioners' "personal business." Getting involved in these kinds of personal affairs is actually no different from helping ordinary people feel good. It would only make us sink down into the specifics of those problems and make it difficult for us get out. At the same time, our own cultivation and doing the three things well would also be interfered with.
After realizing all of this, I separated myself from Practitioner B and had no contact with her for about two months. During that time, she called me and invited me over, but I refused to meet with her. A couple of days ago, I needed to ask Practitioner B for help with something. After I entered her home, she was very happy to see me, and again started to talk about things that had happened at work and home. As the conversation went on, her topics again drifted to how she felt that others didn't treat her fairly. I soon excused myself and left. The next day, I interacted with Practitioner B again, and she suddenly said, "You see, yesterday, I still mentioned that other people were not nice to me. It must have been my own imperfections that caused others to criticize me. In addition, I complained about them. Isn't all of this due to my human attachments? It was clearly my fault, and I regret it very much." I was very happy after hearing this, because Practitioner B had never before admitted to doing anything wrong. I was very happy to see my fellow practitioner's level elevate.
At the same time, I recognized a problem. Because I continued to listen to Practitioner B's endless complaining, this made her unable to see her own problems. It was because her safe harbor was gone, and she had no other choice but to face her own problems, that she then elevated her level through Master's guidance. Actually, maintaining appropriate interactions among practitioners is not only being responsible to oneself, but at the same time, it is being responsible to our fellow practitioners.
I recognized that when interacting with practitioners, we have to keep firm on two points to avoid becoming sidetracked. One, during group study and sharing, do not get involved with irrelevant matters. Two, try not to get involved with anything that's not related to doing the three things. Then, we can basically prevent the forming of small groups among practitioners, or becoming what Master has described as "brothers, best buddies." If we follow these fundamental guidelines as we interact with each other, we will naturally not pay attention to irrelevant things. For instance, having a meal at a practitioners' home, using practitioners' time for chatting, taking advantage of fellow practitioners, or asking practitioners to do match-making for their children, etc. -- these are ordinary people's affairs that should naturally be avoided.
Having simple interactions with fellow practitioners is also an important part of being on the right track. I sincerely hope that my fellow practitioners and I can improve together.