Be Magnanimous towards Fellow Practitioners
(Minghui.org) Fellow practitioners often talk about being magnanimous. I would like to share a bit of my understanding on this issue.
I feel that through constant Fa-study and cultivation of xinxing (or character), my heart capacity is also enlarging. For example, I can take a magnanimous and tolerant attitude no matter how others treat me or what they do. This involves letting go of oneself. If one cannot let go of oneself, he will find it hard to be tolerant towards others and it's also hard for him to enlarge his heart capacity.
I used to care a lot about self-esteem and fame. If anyone pointed out my shortcomings, I would argue or refuse to accept what they said, regardless of whether they were right or wrong. If someone criticized me, complained about me or was unfair to me, I would reject him, or quarrel with him, or feel furious inside even though I might appear calm on the surface. I was very intolerant of other people's shortcomings and mistakes. I would either accuse them to their face or talk about them behind their backs. All these showed that I lacked tolerance and was rather narrow-minded. I feel I have improved a lot in this respect through cultivation.
I feel I became more and more tolerant during my contact with a fellow practitioner who has been suffering sickness karma. At the beginning, I went to help him by sending righteous thoughts and sharing with him, with a mentality of trying to change him: “See, you have such serious sickness karma. You must have some loopholes that were taken advantage of by the evil.” I commented on his shortcomings here and there. He felt antagonized and I also felt that I was not handling the situation properly. So I immediately started to look within, but I didn't really mean to cultivate myself, but to show him: “See, I'm looking inward; you should look within as well.” I was still trying to change others.
This fellow practitioner didn't feel comfortable around me in the beginning, but I kept visiting him whenever I had time. During the process, I gradually began to change. First, I corrected my mindset. I realized that I shouldn't try to change others, but to cultivate myself so that I would have more compassion and tolerance. I began to study the Fa and share understandings with him instead of just me talking about my views. He couldn't let go of medicine and on certain issues he couldn't view them on the basis of the Fa and sometimes he failed to have enough faith in Master and Dafa. I kept looking within myself. Due to his cultivation state, other practitioners were not very keen to go to his place for Fa-study. One group came and went; another group came and went, and they never came back. But I kept visiting him.
He told me that he didn't feel comfortable with me coming at the beginning, but he was now quite happy to see me. From what he said I could see I was improving. He accepted me because I was becoming more magnanimous.
Indeed, when a fellow practitioner is going through tribulations, he is already struggling to pass a test. We mustn't be impatient. He is also studying the Fa and we must allow him a process for improvement. We need to be magnanimous and patient, allowing him to rectify himself with the guidance of Dafa instead of making imprudent remarks or criticisms, telling him to correct this or rectify that. We mustn't always try to change others, but should cultivate ourselves while interacting with others. As for fellow practitioners' shortcomings we need to be magnanimous and tolerant and trust them that they will be able to rectify themselves in Dafa, and at the same time look within and see if we also have similar shortcomings.
Once he told me he didn't think highly of me. I felt a bit offended, thinking “I wouldn't have been able to keep visiting you if I wasn't any good. Others stopped visiting you because of your state of mind.” I was moved in my heart, thinking, “Since you don't think well of me, I won't bother to come any more. What's the point?” Then I thought: “No, this thought is wrong. Yes, what he said was a bit hurtful. But whether he is right or wrong I must be tolerant and look within. It's true that I've always enjoyed hearing flattery and resented derogatory remarks. Isn't this an opportunity arranged by Master for me to let go of my attachment?” With this thought my heart calmed down. During the few years of my contact with this practitioner, my heart capacity has been constantly enlarging. Maybe this is the environment Master arranged for me to improve myself, which I must cherish.
I've also realized that one can only be more compassionate by having a broad mind and magnanimity. For example, when I was less tolerant and less magnanimous I would feel people were ignorant when they refused to listen to me clarifying the facts. When they still refused to listen after I tried a few times, I would think: “All right, you can just be eliminated if that's what you want!” When I came across those involved in persecuting Dafa, I would hold even more resentment if they refused to listen: “I'm here to save you. If you don't want to be saved then be destroyed!” Now I have a bigger heart and feel more compassionate towards people. When people accept the truth I feel happy for them. When they refuse to listen, I don't blame them either because they have been deceived by the lies told by the evil CCP. They might be eliminated for not knowing the truth. I only feel pity and mercy towards them, hoping they will learn the truth next time when they have an opportunity to listen to the facts so that they can be saved.
Some people don't accept the truth at first, so I would talk to them again and again, and at the same time look within and see if I have enough compassion or if my heart is pure. As for those who participate in the persecution of Dafa practitioners, I used to hold enormous hatred towards them, hoping they would suffer retribution straight away because I treated the persecution as a human affair, blaming the people involved instead of the evil factors behind them. Now my heart is much more peaceful and I feel sorry for them as they have been deceived by the evil CCP and done bad things for personal gain. They are very pitiable as they will be eliminated along side the evil Party. We should still try to save them.
“I said that if you can’t love your enemy then you can’t become a Buddha.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Houston”)
In the eyes of an enlightened being, there is no enemy because an enlightened being has such breadth of mind, such immense capacity and such great compassion.
I understand that only by us being magnanimous and tolerant towards fellow practitioners can we cooperate well and if we can all act this way, we can cooperate well as one body and will do better in validating the Fa and saving sentient beings. We would be able to remove divisions between practitioners and form a indestructible one body, and the evil will not be able to interfere with us.
I realize that being magnanimous is an important aspect of “Zhen-Shan-Ren”(Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance), and one will not be able to show magnanimity without being truthful, compassionate and tolerant. Being magnanimous is part of practicing forbearance. Some of our fellow practitioners (including myself) have made big mistakes, and they would never have been able to get another chance in cultivation in the past, but Master didn't give up on us. We'll never be able to repay Master's boundless mercy and grace, but do well the three things and fulfill our mission and responsibility.
Master has been helping us enlarge the capacity of our hearts step by step. I now understand why Master requires us to “attain the right enlightenment of selflessness and altruism” (from Essentials for Further Advancement). The old cosmos was based on selfishness, and is therefore bound to go through the process of formation, stasis, degeneration, and destruction. However, beings in the new cosmos are based on selflessness and therefore are more beautiful and will remain eternal. Space is broad and vast when there is no selfishness in one's heart. Think about it, how can a selfish person be tolerant of others?
This is a bit of my personal understanding. Please kindly point out anything improper.