Looking Inward and Cultivating Amidst Conflicts
(Minghui.org) I am a 44 year old Dafa disciple from a rural area. I began to cultivate Falun Dafa in 2005 and now my entire family is practicing. I'd like to write down my cultivation experiences over the past few years to share with fellow practitioners and to report to our great Master.
I will describe an incident that stirred my human emotions. In our area, the material sites are not common yet. There are only 3 practitioners preparing materials and burning DVDs. All the equipment and material costs are paid by fellow practitioners. Over the past year, we have had a new coordinator and most practitioners have supported him. I, however, had a low opinion of this coordinator. I thought he had offensive behavior, condescension, and lacked cultivation of speech. He also turned a deaf ear to different opinions. He often carried his cell phone during our experience sharing meetings. He did not pay sufficient attention to security issues, which jeopardized the safety of fellow practitioners. Since we did not look inward ourselves, we have been taken advantage of by the evil forces. Gradually, a gap formed between us. I cooperated very little with him on tasks we needed to carry out. More often than not, I looked down upon this coordinator.
My home is a materials production site, providing truth-clarification materials, Minghui Weekly and Teacher's lectures to over 50 practitioners, using two printers to accomplish the jobs. At one time, my internet card was exhausted. I bought a new card, but it did not work. I took the new card to a fellow practitioner's home for a trial where it worked fine, but it refused to work at my home. I thought to myself: “Does my xinxing have problems,” as the card worked fine at the fellow practitioner's home but failed at my home. I should really search inward. After searching I found a lot of attachments, but my card still did not work.
One week after, I mentioned this problem to another practitioner who also handled a material site. This practitioner felt strange about this incident, so he came to my home to test the card. He turned on my computer, inserted my internet card and saw an indicator on the screen. He pointed to the indicator and said to me: “Look, the signal quality is zero--how could we connect to the Internet at zero signal.” I talked to the card vendor who gave me another card and said: “What you used was a mobile card and the signal coverage was poor. I exchanged it for a DSL card for you, which has a wider coverage.” After I came back home, I installed the DSL card software in my computer, but the card failed to be recognized. I went back to the vendor with my computer. The vendor ran some tests and asked me how long it had been since my last installation of the operating system software. I said it was 2 years. The vendor suggested re-installing the operating system on my computer, because some programs in my computer were either lost or corrupted, which caused the malfunction of the internet card.
I did not know how to install the operating system, so I asked the coordinator to help contact practitioners who provided technical support to reinstall the operating system for me. The coordinator said he would call me when the operating system had been re-installed. I waited at home for two weeks. During this time, I called the coordinator 4 times. On the last call, the coordinator said the computer was ready and asked me to pick it up.
When I came to pick up my computer, the coordinator said: “You will no longer work on materials production. You should spend more time studying the Fa. One can cultivate by doing anything.” Upon hearing this, I was shocked: “Where did you see that I fell short, which caused you to remove me from working on the materials? I do not understand. Could you point it out to me?”
With an angry tone, the coordinator said: “Since you asked, let me tell you that several packs of the materials you made contained pages with errors. You missed printing two issues of Minghui Weekly . Moreover, you drew some practitioners to your side to act independently of the entire body.” The coordinator worried that I could not understand what he said, so he further suggested I study more the portion of Teacher's lecture to Australian practitioners, where two project leaders in the Epoch Times were dismissed due to an alleged spy suspicion. It happened that another practitioner who was also involved in coordination was with us. He said: “In addition, you do not submit yourself to the coordinator, and more. Go home, study the Fa more and search within yourself.”
The coordinator had pointed out many of my shortcomings. He got more and more angry as he went on, with his body shivering. It was clear he had reached his limit of forbearance with me, while I had not noticed his feelings. In the end, I requested to see my computer, but the coordinator said the computer was with another practitioner.
I had used this computer for 4 years to make a great deal of Falun Dafa related materials. It has been a marvelous life. I often shared and exchanged with the computer and had formed a harmonious relationship with it. I could not bear the thought of its leaving me. Since I sent it to the fellow practitioner for repair, I missed it quite a bit. Now that the repair was done, I could not wait to see it and touch its keyboard with my fingers. However, at this moment, the coordinator denied this to me and wanted me to search inward. My strength faded all over my body. I felt pain in my heart. My feet failed me when I tried to leave. I almost fell down as the fellow practitioner came out to see me off.
After coming back home, I shared this incident with my wife, who is also a practitioner. She said: “Since we are asked not to do the materials anymore, probably fellow practitioners have noticed that we deviated from Fa somewhere. Please send the printers to fellow practitioners tomorrow, so that the cause of saving sentient beings will not be delayed. Let's follow their suggestion and study the Fa more, searching inward to find our own shortcomings.”
“In any case, a cultivator must look at things as a cultivator should and with the mind of a cultivator, and absolutely cannot look at things with the mind of an ordinary person. Nothing you encounter is simple, accidental, or an ordinary thing. It must have to do with your cultivation and your improvement. Because you are a cultivator, your life path has been changed, and you have been given a new cultivation path; nothing on your path happens by chance.” (Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles )
Teacher had seen my attachments and reminded me through the mouth of a fellow practitioner. I understood that I really needed to calm down and study the Fa more, seriously searching inwards. The things that I had been accused of truly reflected my attachments. Thinking back, I found sometimes I was not attentive enough while making the materials. My heart was not pure and earnest. I was too careless and insensitive when mistakes occurred in the materials. I missed two issues of Minghui Weekly and did not take it seriously. Such behavior has been irresponsible to our one-body, to the sentient beings, and to my own cultivation, which is a serious matter. Making Dafa materials aims at saving sentient beings, which is sacred. The materials we make carry our personal messages. If the quality is good, it helps in validating the Fa. If the first impression of the sentient beings after seeing our materials is favorable, their feeling towards Dafa may be better. Otherwise, the effect may be adverse. The fellow practitioners pointed out my problems on the basis of being responsible for the Fa. When the coordinator said that I drew a batch of practitioners to my side and interfered with the whole body, there must have been something wrong with me that needed rectifying.
Why did he blame me and not the others? The copies of Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party in our area came from outside practitioners. I had made copies of Nine Commentaries before. In order to reduce the burden on outside practitioners, I asked the coordinator for approval to make the books myself. However, the coordinator worried about the quality of my books, so he denied my request. I said I could meet the quality standard of the outside practitioners, but the coordinator still did not agree with my proposal. I rebelled strongly in my mind, thinking that what I did was on the Fa and I did not have to listen to what the coordinator said. I contacted two fellow practitioners and worked with them to make the Nine Commentaries books. We made the first batch of the books. Then the coordinator found out about it, and prevented us from making any more.
“You are Dafa disciples, so you should make a point of working with each other better. Even when your idea is not used, no matter how good the idea is, [you should think,] "Whatever idea you think is good I'll work with, and I will help do things, and do them well. And I will try my best to do a good job with what I'm supposed to do, because I am cultivating." It's not as if only when your technology is adopted will you improve in cultivation. Working well with and cooperating with others, and working together to do a good job with the tasks at hand, that is how a cultivator should be, and that is first and foremost.” (Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles )
Teacher has also said:
“When you are working together and you feel wronged or get angry, it's hard at that moment to reflect on your role in the matter or look within and realize what your state is or what attachment triggered that event. The majority of the time it's that [you are upset about] your suggestion not being adopted or that you looked down on someone. The manifestation of these two attachments tends to be the most intense. I can see that even now these things still exist.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference”)
I often felt that I cultivated better than anybody else and knew how to do almost everything related to Dafa, so I developed a mentality that I was superior to fellow practitioners. I have forced my notions upon other practitioners. I often thought that I was right, so I insisted on my own opinions and showed off, which is nothing but an attachment to validating myself.
When my opinions were not adopted, I felt unbalanced and began to resist cooperating with the coordinator to better carry out Dafa related projects. I insisted on doing things my way and developed a mentality of looking down upon fellow practitioners. When I saw other practitioners praised, I did not feel happy for them, but developed jealousy. I did not examine the difference between fellow practitioners and me, so that I could catch up with them. Instead, I thought in my heart that their cultivation was inferior to mine and in some areas, they were far behind. These are selfish party culture ideas based on the principles of the old universe, which use the Fa to measure others' shortcomings instead of oneself.
The coordinator constantly and unconditionally provided a sharing and exchange environment to fellow practitioners, without the slightest complaint. He organized the group Fa study for fellow practitioners and purchased supplies, with painstaking efforts. The coordinator has done all these things quietly, sacrificing a great deal for the entire group.
I feel ashamed and inferior to him. I feel this fellow practitioner is great. Appreciating the merits of the fellow practitioner and searching inward for my own shortcomings, the gap between us seemed to disappear and my heart was filled with compassion and respect for the coordinator. It is Teacher who took away bad substances from other dimensions. If Dafa disciples carry a human mentality and go their own way, their strength will diminish and the old forces can easily defeat them one by one.
If Dafa disciples do not look inward but stick to their own stance in the face of conflicts, a gap will be formed among practitioners, which becomes an environment in which the factors of the old forces can survive and create gaps between fellow practitioners. The old forces fear the one-body of Dafa disciples, because they know the one-body strength of Dafa disciples is invincible and can destroy any evil beings and evil factors.
At one point, the coordinator asked me to burn DVDs, but I declined by saying that I already had enough things to do and I did not have time to do it. In fact, I did not want to do it, because I did not want to be controlled by anybody, so I used an excuse to hide my attachment. Now thinking back, my disobedience to the coordinator and my feeling that I cultivated better than him all stemmed from my attachment of contempt. The root cause is nothing but jealousy.
“"You’re a model worker. You can do it. You should come to work early in the morning and go home late at night. You can do all this work since you’re good at it. We aren’t good enough." People will be sarcastic and cynical, and so it is not easy even to be a good person." (Zhuan Falun)
In fact, a well-cultivated person is broad-minded and would be more likely to submit to the coordinator. This indicated that I actually did not cultivate well and I developed jealousy.
In the sharing and exchange meetings, I usually talked about my merits and refrained from talking about my shortcomings. When I looked inward, I did this from my own standpoint, hoping to receive approval from fellow practitioners. This is nothing but my show-off mentality and my pursuit for fame on display.
I have enlightened that during the time when my Internet card did not work, Teacher saw my strong attachment and wanted me to notice it and understand that I had fallen behind. I should have cooperated with the coordinator to do Dafa related things well, so that each project for Fa-rectification and saving sentient beings could maximize its power as a whole and save more people.
So, I was determined to look inward for any human mentalities coming out during this period of time. I had an MP3 player. When I used it to listen to the Fa, the battery usually lasted for one and a half hours. However, when I looked inward for shortcomings using the Fa, my battery miraculously lasted for 10 hours. I understand that it is our compassionate Master who strengthened me to look inside and achieve better cultivation. I could not help bursting into tears and could not express the gratitude that I felt for our Master. Teacher, I have let you worry too much. I will not fail to live up to your compassionate salvation. Genuine cultivation lies in being ever-diligent, unconditionally searching inward, and not superficially looking inside.
Fellow practitioners are mirrors that reflect my shortcomings. Teacher said:
“For a cultivator, looking within is a magical tool.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference”)
I followed Master's teaching and found my attachments after I elevated my xinxing. I wanted to share with the coordinator, who has also advanced in his cultivation. He came to my home and said: “At that time, my attitude was poor and my tone towards you was bad. I apologize to you and hope you will forgive me.” I said: “I would like to thank you for reminding me to study the Fa more and look inward, for pointing out my shortcomings in a timely manner, and helping me raise my xinxing. You have been very responsible for the cultivation of your fellow practitioners by pointing out my shortcomings. In this period of time, I have dug out many attachments. In fact, in the face of conflicts, whoever can unconditionally look inward and cultivate himself, is bound to elevate.” The coordinator and I both smiled.