It's All about Improving the Heart and Mind
(Minghui.org) I've been practicing Falun Dafa for ten years now. I often think that I've gone through a lot, but recently have enlightened to a deeper understanding of improving xinxing. I've come to believe that each and every thing we do is for us to improve our xinxing.
The Workplace as an Environment to Improve Xinxing
I run an accommodation business. The business has been growing each year, and I thought it would grow even faster if I teamed up with a business partner. My company rents flats from other people, renovates them and then offers short-term stays to tourists. The person I planned to team up with is one of the flat owners. I mentioned my idea to him about opening a mini hotel in a particular space near my office and he said that he was willing to invest in my project.
I had already clarified the truth both to him and his wife. They seemed like nice people so I felt that there was no reason not to trust them. However, as preparations went on, he started to change his behavior and constantly avoided signing an agreement with my company.
He said that he was not giving up on our deal, but in practice he was doing things behind my back. He formed his own company and leased the space in its name. I could see the space from my office window, and one day I noticed that construction work had started. I felt bad about it, but I didn’t say anything to him – how could I save him or his wife if I was in a dispute with them? A non-practitioner would sue them, or start a fight, but as a practitioner, I decided to let it go. That was not enough however. Master said in Zhuan Falun: “You should thank him in your heart and thank him sincerely.”
I could not thank them though. As time passed and my business vision was emerging, my frustration equally grew. And naturally, the tribulation continued.
By the time the renovations were completed, they still hadn't contacted me to offer any kind of deal, or to even thank me or offer an explanation. On the contrary – one day he called to ask for a favor. My instant reaction was refusal, but later I realized that I was just protecting myself so I sent him a text message to offer to help. But it was too late.
Some more time passed before he called me again. And again he had nothing good for me – he wanted me to move out of his flat! I noticed that he felt insulted by my previous refusal to help him and that he seemed disappointed. The situation was so unreal that I immediately remembered what Master said about the criteria for salvation that high level beings have. It is not that they will be grateful to us.
“As they see it: 'If you are to save me, you have to reach my level first, and you must have this measure of mighty virtue before you can save me.'” (“Be More Diligent”)
After I understood, I made an apology to him. I admitted that I had not been very nice to him and his wife and that I would make it up. As for the deal we were supposed to have, I said he owed me nothing and whatever help he might need in the future, he could count on me.
A couple of days later I paid visit to his wife and I apologized to her too. What did I apologize for? It was for my wrong, human thoughts.
Master said in Zhuan Falun, Lecture 7:
“Sometimes, you think that something should be yours, and others also tell you that it is yours. Actually, it is not. You may believe that it is yours, but in the end it is not yours. Through this, it can be seen whether you can give it up. If you cannot let it go, it is an attachment.”
They were helping me get rid of my attachment to self-interest. At the same time, they were probably giving me de in exchange for the money I was supposed to earn as a shareholder. How could I not be grateful to them? I became grateful once I understood.
Improving Xinxing at Dafa Activities
Whenever we have Dafa activities, I tend to measure their success with my xinxing improvement. If we prepare to hold an event to bring awareness about Falun Gong and the persecution, for example, as a coordinator, I remind fellow practitioners that our immediate goal is not to distribute flyers, or to clarify the truth, or even to save people. Our goal is to improve our xinxing in interactions with the public and in our cooperation with each other. If we can do that, everything else will follow naturally.
One afternoon we were supposed to have an outdoor event in another city. It was raining in the morning, so Practitioner A called me to suggest we cancel the activity. I didn’t see any reason to cancel, so we went ahead as planned.
We had to drive for three hours through constant rain to get there. Practitioner A was unhappy with my decision, but I maintained that if our goal is to improve xinxing, then no time is wasted, whether it is raining or not.
Once there, we parked and started to set up the equipment. The square was wet from rain and ghostly empty. But once the Dafa music started, the environment changed instantly. The rain stopped and people started to enter the square from all sides, as if they'd been waiting in the nearby streets. Just like a movie set, when they shout “Action!” everything suddenly came to life.
Practitioner A was shocked. “So all of this was for me to enlighten,” she asked. She finally realized why we went there.
Improving Xinxing While Promoting Shen Yun
I recently drove 900 km to help with Shen Yun promotion, and this also turned out to be an opportunity for improving xinxing. For Shen Yun promotion, the standards can get really high and the tests can become quite intensive. But improving includes sharing, because through sharing we enlighten to the tests we encounter and at the same time help others enlighten to their own understandings. That’s why I think sharing on a regular basis is crucial.
For example, one day I was appointed by a coordinator to visit various companies. A local practitioner I was teamed up with was young and inexperienced, so it seemed natural that I should take the lead. He felt otherwise, however, so I followed him instead.
He made plans and proposed ideas and even criticized me. While I was having a conversation with one company person, I held my arms crossed; the young practitioner pointed out that it didn’t look good. Another time, I made a joke with someone and he called that quite inappropriate.
In the evening, when I shared my daily experience, I realized how ridiculous the situation was: I had practiced for nine years and he had practiced for nine months, but he was lecturing me – and I didn’t mind that at all. While sharing with others about the experience, I enlightened that in actuality he was there to help me get rid of my ego, while I helped him get a firm ground in cultivation.
My advice to all coordinators and moderators is: help practitioners present their sharing, ask them questions if necessary. Some practitioners are shy and some think their experience is not worth speaking about. But we cultivate our main consciousness; if we miss the opportunity to rationally explain what is going on with us – is that true cultivation?
Fa Conferences Are Also for Improving Xinxing
I have been to the New York Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference three times. The first was in 2010 and it was a very special time for me – the first time I saw Master Li in person. I felt that he was so happy, solemn and cheerful, and for a long time after the conference I continued to feel his radiance.
I developed a human thought though: “It’s so easy to reach Master – you just have to buy plane tickets, which aren’t so expensive after all. I will never miss a New York Fahui again.”
The next year, in 2011, I arrived in New York on the last flight before all flights were canceled due to a hurricane. Public transport was also closed and there was no way to reach the other side of the river, Manhattan. I stayed with friends, non-practitioners, and I felt disconnected to Dafa practitioners on the other bank. On the day of the conference, the trains were still not running and the wait for the bus was getting longer and longer.
In the past, wherever I traveled for Dafa activities, I’d stumble upon practitioners – but this time there were no practitioners around me. In the end I teamed up with some everyday people to share a taxi. I knew I’d be late, but after all, who knows how others would manage to reach the conference venue in a faraway New York suburb.
When I entered the venue, I was surprised to see that everyone else had actually made it on time. Everyone but me. What is more, Master was already on stage, lecturing.
I felt like a boy coming late to a class because he overslept. I felt so confused and guilty that I couldn’t grasp any of Masters words. I just felt that Master was sad, unhappy and dissatisfied.
Later I asked others how they saw Master. He was happy, I was told. So he was unhappy only with me – I got it. The practitioner who thought that seeing Master in person was a matter of simply buying an airline ticket and crossing a drop of the ocean was wrong.
Friends Also Provide Opportunity for Improving Xinxing
We cultivate in ordinary society, so we are not supposed to cut all ties with ordinary people. We all have non-practitioner friends and they shouldn’t consider us “strange,” otherwise we won’t be able to save them. What is more, social activities are not at all a waste of time – according to my understanding they are arranged by Master to help us improve our xinxing.
Once in a while my wife and I go mountain trekking with friends. One time, we walked along a mountain river with icy cold water that seemed to burn your fingers if you dipped them in. Yet my friend took off his shoes and started walking through the frigid water. Knowing that he was not some kind of “tough guy,” I was shocked. “Come on,” he said to me. “Once you overcome the initial pain, it's OK.” I was reluctant. “How do you expect your own people to follow you if can’t walk through the water?” he added.
Those words struck me. I took off my shoes and stood in the cold water. It was extremely painful, but I tried not to mind. And after one minute or less, there was magic: the pain disappeared and I didn’t feel my feet at all. I could walk up the stream normally.
This taught me that in cultivation, sometimes we have to “get into cold water” and suffer a bit. But as we are not here to suffer but to lose attachments, once the attachment is gone (like the fear of pain in this example), the pain becomes unnecessary and it goes away too. It is all about improving xinxing.
That’s my understanding at my present level. Please point it out if anything is inappropriate.
Category: Improving Oneself