Always Maintain Compassion and Have Good Thoughts
(Clearwisdom.net) One day when I was doing the fifth exercise, I was surprised when I heard Teacher's words "Compassion should arise in the heart, and the facial expression should be peaceful." I thought: "Compassion should arise in the heart. How could I have compassion in my heart?" Thinking of recent minor disputes between the coordinators near me, I thought that the coordinators were working so hard, but people did not recognize it. I decided in my mind that I would take the initiative to help with their heavy loads. As I was thinking this, a burst of compassionate energy rushed and circulated throughout my whole body. The sound of music suddenly became so meaningful in my ears, and inspired me, causing tears in my eyes. Teacher untied the knot in my mind, and let me see the inner content of "Compassion should arise in the heart" at my level.
Teacher has said:
"Shan is the manifestation of the nature of the universe at different levels and in different dimensions. It is also the fundamental nature of Great Enlightened Beings. Therefore, a cultivator must cultivate Shan and assimilate to the nature of the universe, Zhen-Shan-Ren." (In "A Brief Explanation of Shan" in Essentials for Further Advancement)
In my cultivation in the past years, I have always tried to be kind to fellow practitioners, sentient beings, and all lives. I now appreciate more and more from my heart Teacher's deep thoughts when asking me to cultivate Shan. Teacher wants us to cultivate our Shan to save more sentient beings, and use it to resolve all obstacles and attachments on our path of cultivation.
"If man wants to become divine and transcend the human state, then he must forsake that frame of mind and use compassion to resolve things." ("Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference."
From the Fa I enlightened that to cultivate Shan is to cultivate compassion, which is to assimilate oneself with Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance, the nature of the universe. When we have kind thoughts, the compassion arises from our heart. Enforced by the energy of compassion, the problems encountered in cultivation can all be resolved. The improper factor in one's thought will be disintegrated and one's own space will be purified. Shan manifests itself in a cultivator as being able to forgive, being considerate, tolerant, able to endure hardship, yielding to others, overlooking others' mistakes, and having no resentment. Below are my own experiences:
1. Looking Inward Is to Have Compassion in Your Heart
Teacher told us in every lecture that we should look inward. No matter whether you are right or wrong you need to look at yourself. Teacher also said that looking inward is supernormal. I myself enlightened that looking inward and having compassion is a practitioner's supernormal ability.
"Nobody was willing to find faults in himself amidst problems. When a person feels hurt, or when he encounters misfortune, it's really difficult for him to still examine himself and see if he's done something wrong. If a person can do that, then I'd say that on this path, on this path of cultivation, and for the eternity of his existence, nothing can stop him. It's truly the case." (In "Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Singapore")
From this lecture I enlightened that if a being can honestly look inward to find his own deficiencies in whatever tribulation he encounters, it is a manifestation of his compassion, and it is guaranteed that his life will never cease. As a cultivator, when you are faced with conflicts, you can automatically look inward and have the thought that it must be something that I did not do right or was not in line with the Fa, then it is compassion. As soon as compassion arises, your dimension will be filled with righteous energy, which can dissolve all improper factors that cause conflicts and division. This is why the evil will automatically be destroyed if one looks inward.
2. Look at Other People's Good Points
In past years I always bore in mind Master's teachings to pay more attention to others' good points and pay less attention to their shortcomings. I did not truly appreciate the content of this teaching at the time, but just did it following Master's directions. When I worked with fellow practitioners, I saw and appreciated their strengths. When I had these types of thoughts, a warm current would arise in my mind and I would feel grateful. Sometimes when I thought of a practitioner's good points, it would bring tears to my eyes. Now I understand that compassion is generated when you look at other people's good points. Sometimes in a conflict, I would feel upset when a fellow practitioner criticized me. At that time I would immediately think positively: "The criticism that they made was valid. They are helping me with my cultivation. I should thank them." When I often thought this way, I usually could dissolve the factors that upset me and resolve the conflicts. As a matter of fact, as long as one can pay attention to others' good qualities, one is looking to find one's own shortcomings. The behavior at this time is compassion toward others, as well as compassion toward oneself. Dafa will quickly reveal to you its deeper content and broader scope.
3. To Harmonize One's Family Is to Be Compassionate to Our Family Members
Many practitioners are not very patient toward their family members. They cannot tolerate it when their non-practitioner family members are drinking, smoking, playing mah-jong, or being lazy. Thus they frequently fight, speak with a tone of complaining, criticize, and exhibit their displeasures. This is not being compassionate. Cultivators carry energy. When one has uncompassionate thoughts, and of speech, it will only exacerbate their family members' negative factors. A cultivator needs to be considerate of their family members and not be affected by their faults. Practitioners should not complain, blame, criticize, and should avoid meddling in other people's lives. Aside from encouraging good behavior in a positive way, one needs to be tolerant toward others' shortcomings. It is difficult for a practitioner to correct his or her own bad habits, let alone an ordinary person.
When you truly feel that ordinary people are experiencing more pain and faced with more difficulties, you are being compassionate. When compassion fills your being, your family members will naturally benefit. The power of compassion will correct all indecent factors. This might be the manifestation of "with one person practicing, the whole family benefits." What a cultivator encounters in the home are all within the domain of cultivation. Every word and action of family members would be a test to see how you treat it. If you can keep compassion towards them all the time, your family environment will change from manifesting negative elements to serene and peaceful.
4. Compassion Is the Key to Saving Sentient Beings
Practitioners endured many hardships and tribulations in the process of saving sentient beings in past years, but their confidence and courage never wavered. The perseverance came from their compassion. When they met those who rejected the truth, showed a bad attitude, made bad comments, or reported them to the police, practitioners always treated them with compassion. They had no resentment, and were not affected by the bad factors of sentient beings. Practitioners can do this because our great Teacher has made the Fa principles clear. Practitioners deeply appreciate and understand the difficulty of sentient beings' accepting the truth, and sympathize with their state of confusion. Feeling sorry for them, practitioners' diamond like will of saving sentient beings are even stronger. A local practitioner in my area did very well. She said in an experience sharing: "Whenever I met with someone who does not listen to the facts of Falun Gong that I told him, I would look inward immediately. I know it must be that somehow or somewhere I did not do well. It may be that my tone was not good, my mind was not peaceful and was rushed, or I do not have sufficient righteous thoughts, which hampered sentient beings from being saved. Once I find my shortcoming, I will apologize sincerely to the person." This thought of a fellow practitioner is true compassion. With compassion, the human attachments that prevent the sentient beings from being saved will be dissolved, and accepting the truth becomes easy.
We should have compassion in the heart at all times, and be kind to people wherever we go. When buying produce, it is compassionate if we appreciate the hard work of farmers and do not pick and choose. When walking, we don't rush people or run a red light. When seeing people carrying heavy loads, we go and help them, and when family members come home from work, we pour him or her a cup of tea. When fellow practitioners say something wrong or misunderstand us, we forgive them, and when we encounter someone who did not listen when we told him the facts about Dafa, we do not harbor resentment and still treat them with kindness. All these seemingly trivial, unwitting, and not earth-shattering behaviors represent a state of a truly high level. They are the superficial manifestation of the solid accumulation of a cultivator's hard work. Paying attention everywhere and striving to do well always, rather than achieving some premeditated good deed, is a practitioner's true character.