(Clearwisdom.net) I recently learned a story from traditional Chinese culture on the Shen Yun Performing Arts website. The article was entitled “The Monk Who Endured.” It told the story of a woman whose lover ran out on her. She was left with child and declared that it was the son of the village’s well-respected Buddhist abbot. A Buddhist monk fathering a child was considered the ultimate shame. But the abbot raised the child as his own, which was considered proof of his wrongdoing by the townspeople, and he was ostracized. He endured scorn from the entire village for years until one day the boy’s real father returned for him. The villagers realized their mistake and were awed by the monk’s compassion and forbearance.

Reading this story made me feel very ashamed, because I saw how far from this standard of compassion and forbearance I had fallen. It was such the case that several practitioners started some false rumors about me along similar lines, and I lost face with many whom I work with on a project. Though I improved my cultivation in many ways through this experience, I fell terribly short in one major regard – I harbored a lot of resentment towards those who started the rumors. I improved so much, yet I still didn’t reach the standard of thanking them from the bottom of my heart. In Essentials for Further Advancement, Master taught,

“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)?")

I had only reached the level of forbearance of an everyday person. The monk in the story had reached the level of a true cultivator. If ever again I feel misunderstood or scorned, I’ll remember the story of that monk and this Fa that our Master has taught.