Learning to Listen
(Minghui.org) I was suffering from sickness karma one day when I ran into practitioner A. I told her about my sickness karma, hoping that she could help me find the root cause.
“I've been having pain in my arm for several days and can hardly do the second exercise. I have not figured out my problem yet, and you want me to help you,” responded practitioner A.
The next day I met up with practitioner B and asked her to help me. She replied, “My cultivation state is not good lately, I was going to ask you to help me.”
I was disappointed that they couldn't help me, but at the same time, I thought, “Why did they ignore my questions and talk about themselves instead? But didn't I do the same thing? Isn't that a sign of selfishness?”
Reasoning Out Shortcomings
I recall that when practitioners encountered xinxing tests and wanted to share with me, I didn't listen, put myself in their shoes and share with them based on the Fa so that they could overcome the tribulation. Instead, I interrupted them before they could finish, said what I wanted to say first, and ignored their questions.
When practitioners suffered from sickness karma and asked me to help them, I said, “I've been going through the same tests for several days and have not been able to break through the situation either.” And they ended up helping me instead.
Sometimes when my cultivation state was good, I wasn't being understanding and didn't sympathize with practitioners who were going through tribulations. Instead, I was somewhat condescending and criticized them loudly. I questioned them while trying to bring them up to par with Fa principles.
I said, “You have been practicing for a long time. How can you make such mistakes? That is not acceptable.” I didn't help them and probably made things worse for them. I realized that in the process of helping practitioners, we are cultivating ourselves as well. Are we truly thinking of others? Or are we merely using the opportunity to talk about ourselves and neglecting their problems? A life in the new universe should not behave the way I did.
Let Go Of Selfishness
A practitioner told me a story, “There was an elderly practitioner in our Fa study group. Everyone thought that she cultivated well. She had a fair complexion and looked very young. A while ago, after group Fa study, she said that her eyesight was blurry. She asked everyone to help her find her shortcoming. She asked for help many times, but we just ignored her and kept talking about ourselves. Sometimes we would argue loudly. Because the elderly practitioner spoke very slowly, everyone kind of ignored her. Eventually, she stopped talking and sat alone in a corner. Sometimes, she would leave without telling anyone. One day, we heard she was hospitalized. A few days later, we heard that she had stopped practicing.”
It wasn't until then that we realized how selfishly we had acted. The elderly practitioner mentioned her blurry eyesight many times, but who was truly concerned about her? Who truly helped and shared with her based on the Fa principles? After Fa study, everyone wanted to talk. The elderly practitioner was not good at expressing herself. When others ignored her, she thought she was not cultivating well because she couldn't break through the sickness karma. The evil elements clearly saw the situation, intensified the persecution and dragged her out of the group.
Whether we are sharing with one another or within a group, we should not place great importance on ourselves, or just think of ourselves and ignore others. That is being selfish. When practitioners raise issues about Dafa projects or sickness karma, and ask for help, we should listen quietly, think calmly, and not interrupt or rush to speak. If we can truly achieve that, no matter how much or little help we can offer, we are being less selfish.