On How to Look Inward
(Minghui.org) Seeing practitioners around me not look inward correctly has led to tribulations. Some practitioners even say that they do not know how to look inward. I feel very bad. I myself have finally learned how to look inward after going through so many troubles. I would like to describe my experiences in hopes that it will be beneficial to fellow practitioners.
1. Looking inward to examine one’s xinxing
First, one “shouldn’t hit back when attacked, or talk back when insulted.” (Zhuan Falun) Not only does one need to achieve this on the surface, but one must be entirely unaffected. Some practitioners have had tribulations caused by interactions with their families that they could not overcome, and the reason is often because they only looked inward superficially. One should check to see if one’s heart is affected when things happen, rather than entangling oneself in the matter itself.
For example, our family members may blame us for not mopping the floor well enough, not cooking delicious food, not keeping the refrigerator door shut, wasting fuel, or not making enough money, or they may even berate us for no apparent reason at all. If we focus on the matter itself, we will see no end of it. For example, a family member of mine once exploded when I only cooked one dish in the morning. He slammed the door after he had berated me. Some fellow practitioners suggested that I cook more dishes. But that was not truly the issue. My family's finances were not that great. One dish was good enough to feed everyone. It all depended upon whether I was affected. I wasn’t, and I did what I had always done as usual and remained benevolent toward him. Things turned out okay.
I saw many practitioners arguing with their family members, trying to explain things. Some were upset, and some believed that they were interfered with by old forces. As a matter of fact, whether or not the problems arose from one’s own tribulations in cultivation or from interference by the old forces, all we need to do is to regard them as good opportunities for us to elevate our xinxing when they appear. As long as we are unaffected, we will be considered as having met the requirement.
Some practitioners have looked inward and have found many attachments, but their minds remained quite unsettled. This is not cultivation. If one’s heart is like a floating lily, no matter how many attachments one finds, it will not mean that one has cultivated. If one can be truly unaffected, then one will pass the test.
“When a tribulation arrives, if you, a disciple, can truly maintain an unshakable calm or be determined to meet different requirements at different levels, this should be sufficient for you to pass the test.” (“Expounding the Fa” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
2. Being unaffected should manifest in every aspect
In looking inward, we are to look for the attachments that we still have. With these attachments remaining in us, we are sure to be affected when things happen. Once they are all removed, then we will not be affected. For example, are we affected when we are faced with sentimentality, affection, friendship, or personal interests? When we are getting close to reaching consummation, are we truly calm and unmoved? Some practitioners say that they have hatred, sentimentality, or this and that attachment. This means that they are affected. Teacher said that only when one lets go of the attachment to sentimentality can one develop a heart of benevolence.
One will not be affected by anything in the ordinary people’s world when one reaches the Arhat fruit status. We are affected because our attachments have manifested. I enlightened to the fact that if we can remain unaffected when we are faced with anything, our xinxing will have met the requirement. When an attachment shows up, first we need to recognize it and then eliminate it. In the meantime, one needs to study the Fa more during cultivation. For example, if we have a problem somewhere, as long as we have the desire to improve and be focused when studying the Fa, the Fa will tell us where the problem is. Studying the Fa itself is a process of elevating, and it is the most important.
3. If we are truly unaffected and the tribulations persist, we should then look to see if a loophole of ours is being taken advantage of somewhere, if one is confused somewhere on the Fa principles, or if one’s notions are somewhere mistaken. One should examine oneself to see if one has problems somewhere. Teacher has taught us the Fa on this.
Above is my realization at my limited level. Please point out my deficiencies.