(Clearwisdom.net) In the past, when I ran into a problem, I would look within and find my attachments. I would then think that I had done what Teacher asked us to do and that I was a cultivator. It was only a few months ago, when I ran into an incident that greatly irritated my heart, that I realized that I was still far from reaching Teacher's requirements. I then understood what it truly means to unconditionally look within.

The incident was quite simple. A customer came to my company to ask for a receipt. Before I gave her the receipt, I asked her to verify the numbers. She said, "It is all correct," so I gave her the receipt. However, the next day she came back and said that the receipt was wrong. She was in a very bad mood. Being blamed for a mistake that I felt was not my fault, I was all of a sudden very angry. I said to her, "Didn't you say that it was all correct when I asked you to check it yesterday?" She was further irritated, "Ha, you gave me the wrong receipt, and now you are arguing with me!" There were a lot of people there at that time and they all started looking at us. Some then came over and said to her, "Don't blame her. It's not her fault. It's written here, 'Please verify the information carefully.'" But the customer continued yelling loudly, "You made a mistake on this receipt. I could forgive you if it was a mistake in Arabic numbers. But how could you write wrong Chinese characters there! And you said it's my fault! The original receipts that I gave you were all correct!" I calmed myself down and said, "We are both responsible for the mistake. Let's just fix it." She heard that I said she was also responsible for the mistake, and she got madder. She gestured and yelled at me. Then my manager came over. After he listened to the story, he asked me to fix the receipt and told her, "We do expect you to verify the receipt."

I was truly angry when she blamed me. I felt anger rush to my head and my right hand even became numb. I wanted to yell at her, but I managed to hold myself back. I reminded myself with Teacher's Fa that a cultivator needs to endure. I said to myself again and again, "I am a cultivator, I can't be like her. I must forbear!" But actually, I was just holding myself back, not meeting Teacher's requirements. Teacher said, "Forbearance is the key to improving one's xinxing. To endure with anger, grievance, or tears is the forbearance of an everyday person who is attached to his concerns. To endure completely without anger or grievance is the forbearance of a cultivator." ("What is Forbearance (Ren)?" Essentials for Further Advancement) Though I held myself back and didn't continue to argue with her, I still felt that I was wronged. Especially when people watching our conversation said it was her fault, I felt so wronged that tears came to my eyes.

I told my parents about this incident after I got home from work. My father started criticizing me after he heard the story. At work, since I was dealing with other people, I could manage to hold myself back. But when I was at home, I was expecting my family to understand and support me. But I was criticized there, too. I could no longer endure it and started crying and yelling. I hid in my room and didn't eat dinner. I felt I was so wronged.

Teacher said, "But normally when a problem arises, if it does not irritate a person psychologically, it does not count or is useless and cannot make him or her improve." (Zhuan Falun). Because I didn't truly pass the test, it continued. A few days later, the CEO of my company mentioned my mistake at the all-hands meeting and said I was responsible for it. Since I rarely made a mistake, I had never been referred to in public before. I felt unfairly wronged and hurt. But I didn't realize that I felt sad because of my strong attachments to saving face and to fame.

When I got home, my father started criticizing me again after he heard what happened. I felt sadder and wronged. I laid on my bed and didn't want to eat or drink. I just kept crying, as if it was the only way to release my enormous grief.

Then my mother said to me, "Don't cry anymore. Think about why you feel so upset. Is it worth it?" Mother's question awakened me. I thought that maybe Teacher was using her words to give me a hint. I was upset because I felt wronged. But why did I feel wronged? I started looking within myself, just liking peeling the skin off bamboo shoots, one layer after another.

Teacher has said that whenever a cultivator has a conflict with everyday people, it's always the cultivator's fault. Not to mention that it was my job, so why didn't I verify the receipt myself? Why did I want other people to speak for me? Wasn't that an attachment to depending on others? I had realized that it was my fault, so then why did I feel I was wronged when being blamed? I found a deeply hidden attachment - I didn't want others to criticize me! This attachment also included saving face, or fame, a concern of ruined reputation after being criticized by the company's CEO. But I didn't think about what damage my mistake created for the customer. Teacher told us to cultivate to a selfless, altruist, righteous enlightened being. But I was still a selfish being of the old universe. I was still attached to such a trivial thing. How could I have the great benevolence needed to assist Teacher to rectify the Fa and save sentient beings?

After finding my attachments, I thought of Teacher's Fa and I suddenly found my strong feeling of being wronged suddenly disappear completely. Then looking at the incident again, it was no longer a big deal. Thinking about what my father had said, it also made sense.

Compared to Teacher's and the Fa's requirements, compared to diligent practitioners, I knew that this time is "precious beyond measure" ("Teaching the Fa in the City of Chicago") and I should not relax my cultivation. I must study the Fa diligently, look within, get rid of attachments, and do well the three things to raise up in the Fa.

Original Article: March 25, 2010