Learning to Think More of Others
Greetings Master, Greetings fellow practitioners,
For the 2013 performances of Shen Yun in the Netherlands, I coordinated the door-to-door leaflet mailing, like I did in previous years. I searched for wealthy areas, drew maps and divided them among practitioners. On weekends I took practitioners to those areas in my car to deliver flyers. When they were finished with that area, they would call me and I would pick them up and take them to another area.
One morning when I gave a new map to a practitioner, he took it. I suddenly remembered that he hadn't finished covering the area of the map that I'd given him the last time. I then told him to go and finish the previous map first, but he said he hadn't brought it with him. I turned around and asked another practitioner. He had also left his previous map at home and hadn't finished it, so he also took a new map. I began to complain: “Why don’t you tell me that the previous map is not done before taking the new map? If nobody reports back to me, how can I have an overview of what is done or not? It will be a big mess.”
When it was time to send righteous thoughts, I couldn’t let go of this negative thought about these practitioners. I knew this was an attachment. I tried to reject it, but could not get rid of it completely. After sending righteous thoughts, we went to the car to deliver the flyers. When I was pulling out of my parking place, another car came and could not get by, because I was in the middle of the road. I quickly reversed then suddenly heard a big bang. I realized I'd hit an object behind me. When I went out to see the damage, strangely enough there was no damage although the bang had been quite loud. To me this was a stick warning that I should stop complaining. After I realized it, all the bad thoughts vanished right away.
This reminds me of an accident last year that showed me how important it is not to complain. During last year’s Shen Yun season, another practitioner who coordinated the Shen Yun promotion in shopping malls asked me to send him all the maps for the areas we had delivered flyers to so he could arrange shopping mall promotions in the same areas. It appeared that this coordinator printed all the maps and gave them to another practitioner without letting me know. When I talked with him about it, I felt my anger rising. I started to complain in my mind: “Why don’t you coordinate your own department and let me coordinate my department.” I totally failed to look within and didn’t recognize my bad thoughts towards him; the old forces now had an excuse to persecute me.
One morning when I woke up and went into the kitchen, I suddenly felt dizzy and passed out. After a few hours I woke up on the cold floor. When I tried to get up, I was shocked when I saw blood all over the ground. I must have fallen down and hit the back of my head on the floor. Then, I quickly realized that I am a practitioner and everything should be fine. I only had the strength to lie down in bed the whole day. I listened to Master’s lectures and sent righteous thoughts. During these days, many bad thoughts came up including a lot of lustful thoughts. It was like a big fight in another dimension. The whole leaflet mailing project was delayed because I was at home and could not give new maps to practitioners. One practitioner even called me and wondered when I would come back to the project. I started to complain again: “I’m so weak I cannot walk and yet you still ask me to come!”
The next day my mother suddenly visited me. She was shocked when she saw me. “What happened to you, you look like you are dying,” she said. I didn’t tell her about the accident and just said I was sick, and would recover in a few days. She insisted that I go to the doctor, but I refused.
If it wasn’t for compassionate Master who saved me, I would have lain there and not gotten up. After one week, I recovered. I strictly told myself not to complain, no matter what. This was a grave lesson for me.
I tried my best to drive practitioners around to deliver flyers wherever they needed to go. Sometimes they called me to pick them up and take them to a nearby station so that they could get home. A thought flashed in my mind and I wanted to complain: “If you go by yourself to the station, it will be very quick. Now I am on the other side of the city, it takes me twice the effort and time to come to pick you up.” I corrected my thoughts immediately and reminded myself that I must think of others first. I still went to pick them up and took them wherever they wanted to go. They were very happy to see me and I could feel the happiness from deep down inside when I made others happy. We were harmonious, like one big family.
Since we do not have many cars available during the Shen Yun season, the shopping mall coordinator also asked me to help with the transportation of materials for the shopping malls. Sometimes it seems difficult when it’s about time to go back to pick up the shopping mall materials while practitioners are still busy with delivering flyers and could call me at any moment. Strangely enough when that was about to happen, practitioners called me and said that they would go back by themselves or didn’t need me anymore. This way, I could go back on time to pick up the shopping mall materials. Master has really arranged everything perfectly.
We often had three or four shopping mall events per day. The shops close at 5 o’clock; I had to pick up two different sets of shopping mall materials at the same time. Some shopping malls are outside and very cold. I tried to get it all done as fast as I could so that practitioners didn’t have to wait for me too long in the cold. When I was at the first shopping mall, one practitioner was very slow with packing up. He probably didn’t realize that there were more shopping malls waiting for me. The faster I wanted to pack things up, the slower he got. I began to get irritated, complaining that he should hurry up. I realized that this is also an attachment; I cannot force anybody to do something and can only do my best, with a calm mind. After I finished this one, I got to the other shopping mall one hour late. I thought they would complain, but to my surprise, they were very happy to see me and greeted me like an old friend whom they hadn’t seen for a long time. Again I was in this harmonious field; Falun Dafa is indeed a pure land.
During the Shen Yun season, we realized how important it is to have group Fa study regularly. So the Netherlands Dafa Association arranged a national Fa study every Sunday morning. We had tried before on Saturday evening, but most practitioners did not have a car, and it would be too late to get home on public transport. There were two groups that had different opinions having the Fa Study on Sunday morning. The first group thought that time is precious; they only came to pick the materials to go out to do Shen Yun promotion activities and would not join the group Fa Study. Other practitioners from the same group would join the Fa Study to finish reading one chapter of Zhuan Falun and rush out afterwards. They didn’t want to stay a bit longer to discuss and share. The second group thought that group Fa Study was really important and would stay the whole Sunday to study the Fa and share instead of going out to do things. I belonged to the second group, thinking that if we don’t do group Fa study well, the things that we do will not be so good. Soon I realized this is also wrong, since I only have time on the weekend to go out doing things for Shen Yun. Staying inside the whole Sunday meant half of my weekend was gone, and a lot of actual work needed to be done.
The first group suggested that we have the Fa Study earlier, so that they would have more time to stay longer to share about things. The second group did not agree. Some came from far away and they would be late for the Fa Study, while other practitioners have family to take care of, which makes it inconvenient for them to come so early. Both groups complained to each other without resolving the issue for a while.
I regularly go to my parent’s home for dinner and they often have arguments with each other. They always push their ideas on each other and always think that they are right. They complain to each other and try to convince me to join their side so that they can prove that they are right. Since I am a practitioner, I try to let them know about the Fa principles that I have learned. I told them, “If both of you think you are right, who is then right? If none of you can take a step back, you will never be able to resolve it.”
The next morning when I did the standing exercises, suddenly this arguing thing with my parents and the issue with our Fa Study group flashed through my mind. I started to compare the two. Isn’t this the same issue? How come we as practitioners are acting the same way as my parents, who are ordinary people, fighting over who is right or wrong? Tears ran down my face for almost an hour and it really pained my heart that we practitioners could not get over such a petty matter. I decide to send an email to certain practitioners and share my understanding. Later, the Fa study changed to an earlier time.
Master said, “I also want to tell you that your nature in the past was actually based on egotism and selfishness. 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)
Some practitioners in Holland, including myself, are also in the European Divine Land Marching Band. When a parade is coming, we need to register on the Internet in advance so that the coordinators of the band know how many people will need a hotel, food, etc. Because some practitioners are somewhat older and don’t know how to register on the Internet, they often ask me to do it for them. They are difficult to reach by phone, and sometimes I have to call back and forth to ask for more details. Most of the time I am unhappy when they ask me to do it for them. It’s easy to do and I think their children can also help them, so why always ask me? They shouldn’t depend on other practitioners all the time.
Master said: “Some people are unhappy when they meet with unpleasant things. Then aren’t you a human being? How are you any different? When you encounter unpleasant things, it is precisely time to cultivate yourself, to cultivate your mind.” (“Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa - Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference”)
I knew I was unhappy and should be considerate of others, so I tried to help them anyway. One time the coordinators of the marching band announced that we all needed to order new hats. At first I hesitated to ask these older practitioners, because I know they also received the announcement via email so they could arrange it by themselves. But in the past, somehow they did not read the email or did not understand and often relied on other practitioners to do it for them. I thought I should not be selfish and should let them know, otherwise if they missed the order, they would still be wearing the old hat and this might bring losses to Dafa. After I asked them and explained about the sizes of the hat, they asked me to order for them. I immediately placed the order for them that evening.
The next day, they called me up, telling me they want to change the size of the hat because they had just read the email and had a different understanding about the hat size. I became annoyed but tried to suppress it and told them I would send another email to change the order for them. All my complaining thoughts showed up: “Why do you always make trouble for others? If you had read the email earlier, you could have arranged it yourself. Now I have to change the order, which brings a lot of trouble for the coordinators who arrange this.” I realized I had a problem and started to look within. I let go of all the negative thoughts about them and only thought from their perspective. Tears ran down my face and all of the bad thoughts just vanished. I became very happy and really wanted to help them from the bottom of my heart.
Master said: “We require you to be a completely extraordinary person, to completely give up your own interests and to be entirely for others. What do those Great Enlightened Beings live for? They’re entirely for others.”(“Explaining the Fa for Falun Dafa Assistants in Changchun” in Explaining the Content of Falun Dafa)
Oftentimes on the surface, it seems that we are right. But when look we deeper, we see that it is still for ourselves instead of for the other person. I hope that we all can resolve our conflicts with our fellow practitioners, since it is precious to have fellow practitioners around you. We are all Master’s disciples.
Thank you all.
(Presented at the 2013 European Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference in Copenhagen)