Do Not Exaggerate and Compare an Inch to a Yard
(Minghui.org) Recently, I realized that I habitually exaggerate many things. I have a tendency to “say a yard when I only have an inch.”
One time when we were sharing our experiences, a fellow practitioner asked me to talk about my recent cultivation state. Although I claimed that I had many inadequacies, I still talked and talked about how I spent my days and arranged my time doing the three things well. I feared that others didn’t know how “diligent” I was, though I had not described my true cultivation state. I actually was not consistent; some days I did well and other days, I did not. Yet, I always wanted others to know how good I was. I didn’t talk about, or talked very little, about my shortcomings. Even when I did talk about my shortcomings, I always told others that those were my old ways and that I was doing better now.
Master said in Zhuan Falun,
“I have a habit: If I have a yard and I say only an inch of it, you may still claim that I am boasting, ...”
(Zhuan Falun, Lecture Eight: Whoever Practices Cultivation Will Attain Gong)
Master’s manner is a reference for us, but how did I do? I dressed up my not-so-good cultivation state, only told others the things I thought they could understand, and thus still maintained my image. Because of that, I always covered up my postnatal notions and human attachments, and only very little of them were exposed. Thus, when I had a yard of attachments, only an inch of them were being eliminated.
With such vanity, show-off mentality, attachment to self and to validating myself, I was not in the Fa 100 percent. This false ego was being protected and became deeply rooted inside of me. I couldn’t help but comparing myself with fellow practitioners when they were not in a good state, comparing myself with how I was before, and even comparing myself with ordinary people; I was as good as “a flower,” or so I thought.
As a result, when I saw fellow practitioners and ordinary people being selfish, I assessed them according to the Fa and wondered how they could be so selfish. I forced myself to tolerate them or not let them move me, and believed that I had met the standard of the Fa. I didn’t use them as a mirror to reflect back upon myself, nor did I use those opportunities to completely expose and eliminate my own attachments.
Master has told us over and over that we need to look inward unconditionally. Did I do that? No wonder, I often observed ordinary people around me being extremely selfish. No matter how kindly I tried to persuade them to be otherwise, they kept doing the same things. I have been so stubborn and thus have not seen my own problems.
Due to my pompous and vain habits, which I had developed among ordinary people, I would think, “I would never do that,” when I noticed the attachments of other practitioners or thought that they were not cultivating well. This occurred because of my attachments to showing off and looking down on others, when in fact I should have carefully examined myself. When a fellow practitioner cultivated well and was praised by others, and later, I or other practitioners discovered her shortcomings, I thought, “See, others only saw the side of her that cultivated well.” Through these thoughts I counterbalanced my jealousy.
Cultivation is a serious matter. Master said:
“In the workplace or in society, some people may say that you are bad, yet you may not necessarily be bad. Some people may say that you are good, but you may not really be good. As a practitioner, if you assimilate yourself to this characteristic you are one that has attained the Tao—it’s just such a simple principle.”
(Zhuan Falun, Lecture One: Zhen-Shan-Ren is the Sole Criterion to Discern Good and Bad People)
Through studying the Fa, I finally understood that one does not need to pay attention to praise or criticism, because what others say may not be right. However, it is most important to use every opportunity to examine oneself and thus improve. Cultivation does not allow the slightest pretense; deceiving others is in fact deceiving oneself.
From the most macroscopic to the most microscopic, I need to eliminate all degenerated matter and corrupted elements, which interfere with me and obstruct me from assimilating into Dafa 100 percent at every level. I have to unconditionally search within in order to rectify myself and let my true nature take charge.