Other Practitioners Serve as Mirrors into Our Own Cultivation
(Clearwisdom.net) Practitioner A in our study group was always diligent in doing the three things. She and another practitioner began to print Falun Gong messages on paper currency in the fall of 2008. She supplied them to other practitioners. It was a time-consuming and difficult job, and is hard on the printer. Not too many practitioners wanted to do this. They came to exchange unmarked bills with the ones with Falun Gong messages printed by practitioner A. As a result, practitioner A had to work overtime to meet the demand. Despite her long hours of work she never complained and always had a smile. Other practitioners really admired her.
However, last fall, practitioner A told me, "The two of us are the only ones in this county who print messages on paper currency, I can't leave this place." I felt somewhat uneasy about her words. Isn't this an attachment to herself? She is a mature practitioner who has demonstrated good cultivation qualities in many respects. How could she become attached to her accomplishments?
People making a significant contribution tend to develop human attachments. I recalled my own tribulation in the second half of 2005. I was making an effort to validate the Fa and offer people in our town salvation, but became self absorbed and careless. The evil took advantage of my loophole. I was arrested in March 2006. Fortunately, Master's teaching gave me directions, and I realized my problem. A few days later I managed to escape from detention. I could never forget this hard lesson.
As a responsible practitioner, I brought up this issue with her and pointed out that she might have an attachment. She agreed with my opinion. But, she continued speaking that way and emphasized her notion in conversations with others when I was around, as if she wanted me to hear.
I told myself, now that I have told her, it's up to her to accept or reject my opinion. I should not become attached to her attachment. But regrettably, I did not use her as a mirror to reflect upon my own issues. Now I have realized that her behavior was a test to my own mindset. I was supposed to relinquish my own attachment at that moment.
For last year's May 13 World Falun Dafa Day, I organized an experience sharing conference in my hometown. It was a celebration of Master's 58th birthday and the tenth World Falun Dafa Day. The conference was a success. Participants became more confident regarding personal cultivation and offering people salvation. But before long, I began to hear negative comments; they came from our main coordinator. I was a little disturbed. But I quickly calmed down and began to look inside for my own problems. What attachments do I still have? I found showing off, zealotry, seeking recognition, ... Although I discovered these issues, they lingered.
Negative feedback escalated. Not long ago our main coordinator criticized me by name when speaking with another practitioner. He believed that the conference I organized messed up another conference he planned; that it was interference in Fa-rectification, and that I caused harm to Dafa. Soon I found out the facts. Last year I organized the conference and scheduled it to commence at 1:00 pm on May 13. That day at 12:30 pm, a practitioner told me that the coordinator was planning to use the same room for another conference in two days and asked me to immediately change locations. I could not find another place with such short notice, and the conference was held as scheduled.
Is this harming the Fa? I did not argue, nor did I talk to the coordinator. But I was a little upset. Several days ago another coordinator came to share cultivation experiences. I took the opportunity to explain my situation on this controversy. But no sooner had I finished speaking than another practitioner criticized me for my ego. I realized suddenly that all the negative feedback about me in the past months was for me to find my attachment to self.
Indeed, after I found this attachment all negative comments stopped. Practitioner A has never again spoken of "The two of us are the only ones in this county who print messages on paper currency."
I now realized that practitioner A's attachment to self contained Master's hint to me as well. It was a call to discover my own problems. But I completely missed the hint. I was unaware I could use Practitioner A as a mirror, and look at myself. I missed an opportunity to cultivate myself and did not meet Master's expectation.
Master had to arrange other opportunities, using cultivation sharing to remind me again. I feel sorry to have disappointed Master. By writing what I learned from this lesson I want to tell others that fellow practitioners are often mirrors into our own cultivation. If we understand this and take the opportunity to cultivate ourselves, then nothing can stop us, and no barriers will exist among practitioners.