Unconditionally Looking Inward
(Minghui.org) A practitioner should look inward and cultivate regardless of the situation. But sometimes when we run into problems due to our human notions, and the Fa's requirements are forgotten. When we forget to look inward, this has a negative impact on our cultivation and our ability to save sentient beings.
The Power of Silence
I had a thought right before I went to our group Fa study, “It would be really nice if the Fa study site were at my house.” I thought about how I wouldn't need to go out twice each week and I could attend to my husband who was paralyzed and bedridden. My other family members would not complain.
After the group study, I brought it up, saying, “You all know my situation at home. Let's have our group study at my home every week!” No one said a word. I was stunned by their reaction and did not know what to say.
On the way home I kept asking myself, “Did I say anything wrong?” They all knew I needed to care for my husband, so why didn't any of them show me sympathy? Where was their compassion? I couldn't stop feeling disgruntled.
When I got home I was shocked to find my husband lying on the floor. He was drooling and in despair. I was so sad to see this and went over to help him up.
The Magical Tool
I kept asking myself, “Why did the practitioners treat me like that? What was I lacking?” There are no coincidences in cultivation. There must be something I needed to improve. I studied the Fa and reflected inward. Master taught us, “For a cultivator, looking within is a magical tool.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference”) However, I did the opposite. I was looking outward and complaining about other practitioners not understanding me. Was this looking inward? Was this behavior in accordance with Master's requirement?
I examined myself carefully and found that I was looking inward conditionally. When things were agreeable to me, I looked inward. When things did not align with my thoughts, I complained about others. This was not looking inward, but looking outward. As long as I kept doing this, my situation seemed unfair and I felt mistreated. Was I walking on an evil path? I was scared when I thought about it. I have cultivated for so many years, but I was unable to act according to a practitioners' basic requirement of looking inward. I felt ashamed because Master is saving us with so much compassion.
Recognizing the Problem
Cultivation is a serious matter. If we are unable to strictly follow the Fa requirements, and think that we can follow them sometimes and not other times, we are deceiving ourselves. We will find ourselves lost even though we thought we were on our cultivation path. We will fall and act like everyday persons.
After realizing the seriousness of my problem, I put myself in the other practitioners' shoes. I wanted to see how they viewed me. I was then able to really understand them.
My husband needs my attention at home. Sometimes he needs water, sometimes he needs help to roll over, and sometimes he needs help to use the restroom. I have to help him. During Fa study, we need a quiet environment. How would we be able study the Fa quietly in these conditions? It would take up the time for Fa study. Fellow practitioners' time is precious, “This instant is precious beyond measure.” (“Teaching the Fa in the City of Chicago”)
Practitioners are working hard to save sentient beings. I should not take up their time. After thinking about it this way, I became cheerful. Other practitioners were not showing a lack of compassion; it was I who was being selfish. Master said,
“From now on, whatever you do, you should consider others first, so as to attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism.” (“Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
After thinking about Master's requirement, I felt ashamed.
Every practitioner shoulders the responsibility of helping Master with Fa rectification and saving sentient beings. Why did my husband become paralyzed and bedridden and is now a burden to me? It is interference. Master told us earlier,
“Whenever there is interference of one kind or another in qigong practice, you should look for reasons within yourself and determine what you still have not let go.” (Zhuan Falun)
I really should look inward unconditionally according to Master's Fa. Then I will know the reason.
This is my personal understanding. Please point out anything inappropriate. I thank Master for his compassion in saving sentient beings, and I thank my fellow practitioners for their unselfish help.