Look Inward When Meeting with Problems to Break Through the Barriers Imposed by the Old Forces
(Clearwisdom.net) Master said in his new article “Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa,”
“For a Dafa disciple, cultivation is first priority. That’s because if you fail to cultivate well, you will not be able to accomplish what you are to do; and if you fail to cultivate well, your power to save sentient beings will not be that great.”
In order to help local practitioners quickly form a whole body, I frequently share my understandings of the Fa with others. I encouraged them to look inward when they meet with problems so that together we can do well the three things required by Master. However, at times there has been tension and barriers between practitioners due to misunderstandings. Some misunderstandings are difficult to clear away and sometimes I felt wronged. The accusations and gossiping behind my back made me feel terribly uncomfortable.
The Fa principle of looking inward when encountering problems is a precious tool that has helped me come out of this tribulation. I was able to identify the attachments of mine that were deeply hidden, and I purified myself and resolved the tension. I would like to share my experience of how I looked inward during the past year.
Letting Go of Selfishness and Looking Inward
Master taught us, in “To the European Fa Conference,”
“Some students have, throughout the course of their cultivation, always looked outward, sought external solutions, and looked for things outwardly, focusing on things such as how others are not treating them well, saying displeasing things, acting too much like ordinary people, always being hard on them, or never accepting their ideas.”
Using Master’s teachings as a mirror, why was it that when I pointed out the shortcoming of another practitioner, no one in our Fa study group supported me? I thought that I was being responsible to the whole body and thought that I was within the Fa. I did it for the good of the practitioner. But in fact after I examined myself, I saw that it was because I felt that I was better than others.
For example, practitioner A felt a lot of pressure when she worked with me in talking to people about Falun Gong. Practitioner B said that she was jealous of me. She wondered how I had managed to help so many sentient beings have a clear understanding of Falun Gong. She didn't believe that I was able to urge so many people to renounce their CCP membership each time. When I heard all her suspicions, I felt very uncomfortable. I told her about an article posted on Minghui Weekly, where one elderly lady was able to help more than sixty people in a single day to renounce their CCP memberships, and I was only able to help half that number of people. As for the quality of how I clarify the facts about Falun Gong, Master is watching over me and the divine beings are watching, so why should you worry?
Through Fa study, I understood that this was the evil making use of the practitioner’s mouth to create barriers between us. This was causing interference to our saving of sentient beings. But I also realized that I didn't really know how to look inward. I wouldn't allow my fundamental attachment to be touched. The moment it was touched, I would explode.
The second time I met with practitioner B was after two practitioners had been taken away by CCP personnel while talking to others about Falun Gong. Practitioner B said, “See how good this practitioner was when clarifying the truth about Falun Gong, yet when she was arrested she divulged everything and now she is not even cultivating.” Actually even though practitioner B was talking about the situation she saw, I felt that she was actually indirectly criticizing me. I felt that what she meant was that if I didn’t cultivate myself, I was an everyday person doing Dafa things, even though I managed to urge so many people to renounce their CCP membership.
I thought to myself, “But it is better than you who have the capability but did not try your best.” As a Dafa practitioner, shouldn’t we treat fellow practitioners with the standards of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance? Especially regarding forbearance, why wasn't I able to do that?
Even if what the fellow practitioner said was not totally consistent with the facts, I must also look inward to see if I have any shortcomings in this aspect. In some matters, perhaps it was Master making use of her mouth to test me and see if I was able to tolerate and forgive fellow practitioners. Although I was able to do the three things required by Master, what was my motivation for doing them? Master said, “Ordinary people can do Dafa work too.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York”) When I realized this, I took the initiative to approach practitioner B for a chat. She also realized that what she said was not right. I also talked about the various shortcomings I had in cultivation and asked her to help me identify them, and in this way we could work together to cultivate ourselves and save sentient beings.
“Cultivation is about looking inside yourself. Whether you are right or wrong, you should examine yourself. Cultivation is about getting rid of human attachments.” (“Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles”)
Through this incident, I realized that all the unpleasant situations you meet with and all the unpleasant words that you hear are opportunities to look inward to search for hidden human attachments, and cultivate them away. In this way you will continually purify yourself. This is assimilating to the Fa.
When you Cultivate Yourself You Will Be Able to Resolve Conflicts
Recently an elderly practitioner in our Fa study group said that she had run out of truth clarifying materials, so I went to my hometown, more than one hundred kilometers away, to get some materials. The materials I brought back included "Heavens endow good fortune," "How to survive the tribulations and disasters safely," as well as the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. The practitioner said that the materials were outdated and the figure showing the number of people who had renounced their CCP membership was not up to date. I explained to her that there was a date listed for the figure and that the practitioners in my hometown said these materials were very effective. The practitioner didn't say anything else and took the materials home. For the next three weeks, this elderly practitioner didn't come to my house for Fa study and I worried if something had happened to her. Thus I asked another practitioner about her. I was told that the elderly practitioner did not understand the materials I had given her, and she didn't want to come to my house in case I gave her more materials. After hearing this, I was perplexed. The elderly practitioner said that she was willing to distribute the materials and that I had not given her that many.
While I was still confused, another practitioner told me about something that had happened between this elderly practitioner and myself. As I listened I thought that the facts were not accurate. I just smiled and quietly sent righteous thoughts. Practitioners are a whole body. When conflicts happen between practitioners, we must look inward. I knew I should not bear any grudges and I must treasure the sacred predestined relationships between practitioners that were arranged by Master. I must not let barriers between practitioners continue and I must eliminate all the interference that is unfavorable to the cultivation of Dafa practitioners. I must not be moved by these conflicts.
I thought that if there were any problems, we should open our hearts and exchange experiences and understandings. I made a phone call to the elderly practitioner and invited her to go shopping (to talk to others about Falun Gong) with me. She agreed happily. After we met, the practitioner was very emotional. She said, “You spent money on printing the truth clarifying materials and let me distribute them. I did not spend a single cent, yet I was resentful. I was wrong.” She said that she would return to group Fa study, and if there were materials to distribute I should give them to her. The practitioner said that she had been studying Master’s new article “What is a Dafa Disciple” repeatedly and she now understood many Fa principles. She said that her criticism and misunderstanding of me was not appropriate.
I believe that the misunderstanding between this elderly practitioner and me was interference caused by the evil to create barriers between us. If I had listened to her words and argued with her, then I would have fallen for the evil's trick, and then the elderly practitioner's misunderstanding of me would have been even deeper. This would have caused unpleasant consequences.
I feel that practitioners will not meet with situations that are unrelated to cultivation. Through continually looking inward, I have noticed that I frequently impose my views on others. I believed that if I am capable of doing a task, the other practitioner should be able to do the same. I didn't consider the ability of the person to withstand the same pressure. I didn't consider that there might be serious consequences for those practitioners who did not have a steady attitude when they tried to save sentient beings. This year there were some materials preparation sites that were destroyed by the evil. Some practitioners were arrested and sent to forced labor camps. But this elderly practitioner maintained a righteous mindset and has been walking with steady steps every step of her cultivation.
We are all particles of Dafa. The only difference is that we are at different cultivation and enlightenment levels. We should never use the Fa principles that we understand at our levels to measure other people, and we should not impose our views on others. We should be considerate of others in all situations. We should also make use of each conflict and every word that makes us feel uncomfortable, as well as every thought that is not righteous, to look inward and to continually improve ourselves, while treating the practitioners around us with a selfless attitude. We should sincerely assimilate our every word and action to the Fa, fulfill our vows on the path to godhood, and fulfill our historic mission to follow Master home.
Please compassionately point out anything inappropriate.