Every Little Thing Is for Upgrading Our Moral Character
(Minghui.org) Fa-rectification is fast approaching its final stage. I am becoming more aware that every little thing that happens to us is all for the cultivation of our xinxing.
If we are negligent and are not strict with ourselves in our every thought and action, then little things will breed into big obstacles in our personal cultivation and in our efforts to save sentient beings.
I wish to share a minor incident I encountered a few days ago, and talk about how I looked inward. If you find anything inappropriate, please kindly point it out.
Our region has begun to promote Shen Yun with door-to-door distribution of flyers. I decided to participate in this worthwhile project one Monday when I was able to find some free time. A non-driving male practitioner who had just arrived from Mainland China asked to go along.
Since my schedule was tight, I thought the job would go faster when there were two people sharing the flyers to distribute in the areas we wanted to cover. Perhaps, together, we could even distribute more flyers and cover more areas, and in this way, we would save more people. So, I gladly agreed.
When we arrived at our first designated location, I parked my car, and we went our separate ways. When I finished my share of the flyers, I returned to my car and waited but the male practitioner didn’t show up after quite a while.
I called to find out where he was and discovered he had almost a quarter of the route unfinished, so I decided to help him out. But I was getting rather impatient and annoyed.
“Why is he taking so much time and taking it so easy?” I complained to myself. “Can’t he pick up his speed? Can’t he walk faster, like me? Time is precious. We need to do as much as we can and as quickly as we can so we can cover more areas and save more people. Besides, I’ve got to make sure I pick up my daughter on time. Then, I have to cook dinner, do chores, and attend to other business…”
I decided, “I must talk to him. I must point out his erring ways. He can’t dillydally like that. I must make him realize how much he is delaying the whole process, and how slowly he’s moving. I must let him know he’s holding me up.”
Then, I thought, “I should talk to him in a way that will not make him think badly of me. I must remember to smile. I must talk to him kindly. I mustn’t let him think I’m blaming him…"
Then, another thought flashed into my mind. All of a sudden, I realized how bad my thinking had been, how cunning and manipulative. I pretended to be kind, considerate, and understanding whereas I was really critical, accusatory, and hurtful. I felt very ashamed!
I remembered that was exactly the style of talking that I had found so very offensive in the past when it had happened to me. It was disguised as concern. You are all smiles but your smiles are daggers. The real, perhaps subconscious and hidden, intent is nothing but condescending selfishness. You think the other person is inadequate. You hope to change the other person to the way you think the other should think and behave.
Isn’t this looking outward?
Our Dafa practice tells us to look inward. Shouldn’t I be asking myself why I was unhappy? Why I was upset? What kind of attachments has been brought to the surface? I must get rid of these attachments one by one.
Master must have arranged for me to have this encounter, not so that I could jump all over another person in order to change him, but as a chance for me to elevate and change myself.
I started to look at myself with more truthfulness and think with more compassion and forbearance, “As far as the practitioner goes, he may be slow, but his heart is pure and his righteous thoughts strong. As for myself, am I hanging flyers on each doorknob and only thinking how many households that I’ve visited? Will that thought and action truly bring salvation to people? Am I not merely being concerned with what is superficial? What the gods see is our heart.”
In every project, the role everyone plays is different, and the amount of responsibility is different. Each person’s personality is different. It’s not a matter of equality, of doing the exact amount of work. If you are fast, just do a bit more. What is there to fuss about? Where is there grounds for me to think of fairness or unfairness? Who am I to judge?”
My heart suddenly felt light and spacious when I finally realized Master was trying to make me seize this opportunity to look at my own shortcomings.
Master wants us to “...attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism.” (“Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature” from Essentials For Further Advancement)
I knew then that I still had a long way to go on my cultivation path, that there is lots to work and improve on.
With having my thinking straightened out, when the fellow practitioner and I were ready to work on another area, I was able to take into consideration his speed so we could each do our share according to our individual capability.
For the rest of the day, everything was working well. My heart was especially at peace and not full of intolerance over someone else’s perceived inadequacy.
The entirety of my thought process took but a few minutes. If I didn’t share what went on in my head, nobody would have known. But I want to share this so I can eliminate it from my being.
I realized if I had considered this incident just a small matter like I had always done before, it might not lead to any big conflict but it is still not in accordance with Dafa. It was looking outward, not looking inward.
If I didn’t expose it, I might be sharing my complaint with other practitioners and induce them to think inappropriate thoughts, and then we will all fall prey to the evil forces.
When we are faced with big tribulations, we cannot help but be aware of them and try our best to overcome them, but we are really in a passive position.
For little things we might not pay much attention to, but if we can learn to recognize them and eliminate them, we are placing ourselves in an active position. Then we will be cultivating to a state of “non-omission”.
When we have an erroneous thought, we need not be terrified or ashamed. If it is exposed, it’s really a good thing, because we may not be aware of its existence until something happens to trigger it to the surface. Then, we can cultivate it away. The important thing is are we following what Master tells us to look inside, to eliminate it unconditionally.
Master said: “The old cosmos has ended and the new one has begun. This is not a simple concept.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2015 West Coast Fa Conference”)
We should ask ourselves: Are we meeting the criteria of the new universe? The new universe’s mechanism is self-correcting and harmonizing. If we still look outward at all things, no matter big or small, and only look inward conditionally, isn’t it in contradiction with the mechanism of the new universe? How can we assimilate into the new universe?
I hope we will all truly cultivate ourselves diligently in this last moment, to reach the requirements and expectations Master has set for us.