Look Inward Actively—Not Passively
(Minghui.org) “Looking inward” is a term Falun Dafa practitioners are familiar with. Still, many of us may not fully understand its importance. When we are amid tests and tribulations, we need to look inward to find and eliminate our attachments, enlarge our capacities, elevate our levels, affirm our Buddha nature and eliminate our demon nature. These are Master’s requirements for us.
In my personal experience, I have found that taking the initiative to truly look inward is related to passing tests well. Looking within passively has a much weaker effect.
The following are two of my experiences that illustrate the contrast between the two states.
Truly Grasping the Fa
In June 2014, our Divine Land Marching Band went to Queenstown to join a parade for the first time. Before I left, I told my husband that I would be away for the day. When he asked where I was going, I said in a joking tone, “I am not going to tell you.”
I had been maintaining a good relationship with my husband. Many times in the past, I had taken a flight to another city to join a parade and then flew back in the evening. He never became upset. However, as soon as I returned home, I sensed that he was upset. Since I was tired, I went to sleep without discussing with him.
The next day he was still unhappy, and I should have looked inward. Instead, I had complaining thoughts about him. I was thinking thoughts like, “I just went out for one day—what's the big deal? Is it worthwhile to react like this?” I paid little attention to him since I was treating him with an ordinary state of mind.
On the third day, he did not change his attitude, and he was still very unhappy. He simply ignored me. Sentimentality arose within me, and I felt wronged.
During the morning on the fourth day, I cried and called a fellow practitioner. Instead of going to work, I went to her home and stayed there for the entire day. After discussing the situation with the other practitioner, my unbalanced mind calmed down a little bit. To be in such a state, I had no other choice but to look inward. I found sentimentality for my husband and selfishness. I had not considered his feelings.
I shared my thoughts with my husband that evening. The conflict and tension between us dissolved.
Conflicts disappeared after each time I looked inward, but this time, it took me several days before I looked inward for my own shortcomings and attachments. As a result, I hurt my husband and inconvenienced another practitioner. I also missed a day of work and possible opportunities to save others. From this situation, I was reminded to always actively look within and not to cultivate passively.
The Divine Land Marching Band went to Wellington for a Christmas parade this year. I informed my husband in advance. We had to leave early and come home late. When I arrived home, I felt that my husband was in the same hurt mood as the last time.
This time I was alert, and I actively looked inward the next day. I still found that I had sentimentality for my husband. Why was I so moved by his attitude toward me? Why did I feel uncomfortable? My own sentimentality was interfering with our relationship.
I thought to myself: I should let go of my sentimentality. When I let it go completely, compassion will fill my heart, and I will always think of others first, reaching Master’s standard for selflessness and altruism. When I treat all people with compassion, selfishness and sentimentality will have no effect on me. After I developed these thoughts, my husband stopped by my workplace and was kidding around with me, just as if the tension and hurt had never happened. Since I looked inward actively, I did not incur any losses.
Time really flies. Many Dafa disciples are using every single minute and second to save sentient beings, and we really shoulder great responsibilities. If we cannot actively look inward with a cultivator’s standards when we are in the middle of tribulations, we will lose many opportunities to elevate ourselves. This will in turn hinder our cultivation and efforts to save others.
I hope that the lesson I learned will remind practitioners that no matter what tests you face, physically or mentally, what kind of situation it is, regardless of who you think is right, let us unconditionally and actively look inward. For sure, we will find our shortcomings and attachments.
For us to really actively look inward, we need to understand Master’s Fa:
“Why do you run into these problems? It’s all caused by your own karmic debts. We’ve already decreased it by countless portions for you, and there’s only a little bit left, which is distributed across different levels so that you can improve your character. The tribulations are set up to temper your mind and get rid of your different attachments. They’re your own tribulations, and we use them to improve your character. You should be able to overcome all of them. As long as you improve your character, you will be able to overcome them—it’s only that you might not want to overcome them. If you want to overcome them you can. So from here on out, when you run into a conflict you shouldn’t think that it’s just by chance. That’s because when a conflict comes along, maybe it just pops up out of nowhere, but it doesn’t happen by chance. It’s to improve your character. As long as you see yourself as a practitioner you will be able to handle it well.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
My understanding is that if we understand and keep in our hearts Master's words—“Why do you run into these problems? It’s all caused by your own karmic debts”—looking inward will become our natural state of cultivation.
“If you do not have karma, as you walk on the street, everyone will smile when they see you. People you do not know will all offer to serve you, and you will be just too comfortable! ” (“Lecture in Sydney”)
So when we experience anything that makes us uncomfortable, physically or psychologically, regardless if the conflict is with practitioners, family members, or the people to whom we are clarifying the truth, is it not because of our own karma? Yes. One hundred percent it is because of our own karma.
When we are in the middle of passing a test, if we believe in Master and the Fa, we will not find excuses to cover up our own shortcomings or look outward to find fault with others, particularly non-practitioners.
If we lose our temper because of another's attitude, gods will look down on us. As righteous cultivators, in coming across the opportunity to elevate ourselves, we should feel happy. How can we still get mad? In the end, are we truly cultivating? This is the principle to which I enlightened.
Although the old forces create interference, we should never use this as an excuse to not elevate ourselves. I understand that if there are any sickness symptoms that stop us from going out to clarify the truth, it is likely interference, and we should diligently eliminate it.
Practitioners have endured countless tribulations while reincarnating throughout history. Today, we are Dafa disciples who are envied by gods throughout the cosmos. This is our glory. We should live up to the title of Dafa Disciple and constantly cultivate ourselves and pass the tests Master has arranged for us. Then, we will elevate and expand our capacity to save others.
Thank you Master for continually saving us!