(Clearwisdom.net) I've felt that I am a kind person since I was a kid. After I began cultivation, I thought that I would have more hardships in other aspects, but should not have any issues in cultivating compassion or shan. Then I studied Teacher's “Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference.” Teacher said,
“I have talked with you about what shan is. Some will say that shan is when you smile at someone and come across as kind and genial. Yet that only amounts to a human being displaying friendliness. True shan is what a cultivator attains in the process of cultivation and cultivating goodness, and this is a genuine shan that is achieved by cultivation. When you interact with sentient beings, it's not possible for you to display your successfully-cultivated divine side in full, since you still have a human side that has yet to complete cultivation. When required, you must be rational and clearheaded like a cultivator, allowing your responsibilities and righteous thoughts to direct you, and only then will your true shan be displayed. That is what's different about a cultivator and a divine being. And that is what compassion means--not some intentional display, show of human preference for this or that, or an instantiation of, "If you're good to me, then I will be shan toward you." It is offered unconditionally and has no thought of reward--it is fully for the sake of sentient beings. When this compassionate goodness emerges, its strength is without equal, and it will disintegrate any bad factors.”
I thought about things that I did in the past and I was shocked. What I've always shown before was merely friendliness, not the genuine shan. Measuring myself with Teacher's Fa, I asked myself, “Am I really compassionate?” I always give small favors to ordinary people in order to save them and I often talk about things following their topics and what they like to hear, in order to make them believe what I say. I therefore seem to be a very kind person in front of ordinary people, and of course this has had some positive effects in saving them. But really that is just ordinary people's little tricks. I realized what shan really is after studying Teacher's Fa.
A cultivator's shan is something of great power and energy. I was able to experience the fact that shan can disintegrate all the bad factors in the process of taking care of my elderly mother. In the past, no matter how kind I appeared to be with her, she just would not accept it and often picked on me. This time I searched within and found one of my dirty human notions: none of the kindness I showed toward my mother was really from my heart; it was mostly so that I could be seen as a good person by others. I then really used my heart to care for her, with true shan, and soon she accepted it, and our relationship completely changed. Soon she began cultivation. Now she studies the Fa for 6-8 hours every day and her xinxing improves daily. Her health is also improving quickly. She was not able to take care of herself two weeks ago, and now she can.
I'm very thankful to Teacher for letting me experience the power of shan, and more importantly I realized the importance of studying the Fa. We need to listen to Teacher's words and cultivate ourselves well. Once we are able to cultivate to that level with great shan in our hearts, then when we face sentient beings, we will have the ability to save them. With this compassion, we will be capable of saving people and we will be able to fulfill our historical vows.
Fellow practitioners, let us work hard on our cultivation! Let us study the Fa a lot, do the three things well, and use an enlightened being's compassion to save people.