I Learned How to Look Inward
(Minghui.org) I decided to visit Amy [alias], a practitioner who was my roommate and who now lives in a neighboring country while between jobs. Amy practices the exercises, studies the Fa, and does truth clarification activities on a daily basis.
My last job was demanding, so I had little time or energy to focus on cultivation practice. By visiting Amy, I hoped to improve my cultivation state by doing what Amy has been doing every day.
Using Master’s Teachings to Evaluate Others Instead of Myself
I had not seen Amy for more than a year, yet soon after our reunion, I realized that she was still the same outspoken, arrogant, and impatient person as before. I felt uncomfortable just listening to her and wanted nothing more than to avoid all conversation with her. However, I felt that as Dafa practitioners, we needed to share our cultivation experiences. Hence, the following day I suggested we sit down and have some sharing.
I asked Amy to be more patient at the start of our sharing, and not interrupt others mid-speech. Amy did not take my suggestion kindly and accused me of lecturing to others while deliberately turning a blind eye to my own flaws. She further criticized me for refusing to search inward or accept advice from others when they pointed out my errors.
I rebutted, “If you are able to recognize this flaw in me, it must mean you need to cultivate this aspect as well.”
In this way, we stopped our experience sharing. Throughout my stay I felt a constant undercurrent of conflict, but managed to get through by constantly reminding myself to practice tolerance.
After I returned home, I saw that what Amy said was true. Through experience sharing with other practitioners, I realized that not only did I like harping on the personal flaws of others, but I also held disdain for them in my heart. In the past while clarifying the truth, non-practitioners sometimes asked me, “Are you a teacher?” I was often happy about it as I felt my speaking skills were good. Other practitioners had previously highlighted my problem, but I justified my criticism of others as important in helping others to improve. I finally realized I needed to overcome this serious attachment.
Improving Through Overcoming Adversity
Amy’s living conditions were not ideal. Household pests were a frequent sight in her simple home, and it lacked simple basic amenities like adequate lighting and a heater for the shower. The first floor, for instance, had only one electric light located in the bathroom As I was constantly surrounded by some form of light at home, even at night, I forgot to turn off the bathroom light at night after use.
I realized later through our conversation that my forgetfulness bothered her a lot. She was a careful person who used her resources sparingly. For example, the only time she allowed herself to turn on all three small lights in her room was when we studied the Fa; at other times, only one light would be used. Similarly, whenever we had to leave the room for a while, Amy would turn off the electric fan. Additionally, I was unable to match Amy’s usual Fa study and exercise schedule.
My careless living habits and inconsiderate actions irked Amy, and she was forced to adjust her living habits and schedules around me. She told me I lacked the mindfulness of a guest.
Upon hearing her feedback, I felt that she was being unreasonable. Her living condition and schedule were so different from mine that she should have given me more time to adjust.
I later realized from this experience that I had to learn to be more considerate toward others. People's thinking, habits, and ways of life often differ. Letting go of our individual needs would go a long way toward achieving the goal of being more considerate of others.
Due to her limited budget, Amy asked if I could bring some formal clothes and shoes for her—some clothes that I didn’t need or want anymore. The formal clothes would be used whenever she needed to visit shopping centers for truth clarification.
Unable to find suitable old clothes, I decided to buy four pairs of shoes and two sets of new clothes for her. Amy delightedly accepted the new clothes, but told me she was unable to wear the shoes as they slipped off her feet and were not suitable for walking on the beach. She repeated her comments about the shoes a few times.
Although I remained silent throughout, I was fuming inside. I spent time and effort to choose these formal shoe designs, even ensuring they would fit her, only to receive repeated complaints. So as to not waste these new shoes, I decided to bring them home and wear them myself. However, I was embarrassed to broach the idea with her.
Unsettled, I continued to think about this incident and realized this situation was caused by my arrogant assumption. I thought I knew what was best for her, acted without consideration, and bought the shoes without consulting her on the exact type she wanted. The day after I realized my shortcomings, Amy asked if I could take the shoes back for my own use.
According to our planned schedule, we went out every afternoon to various tourist attractions for truth clarification. Because we did not decide on a specific time to go, I started the preparations only after Amy told me she was getting ready to go. Although I did my best to pack and prepare as quickly as possible, I was still slower than Amy, who had to wait for me each time.
Back home, while sharing my experiences with practitioner Betty, I wondered aloud, “Why didn’t Amy think of informing me in advance? I would have had more time to prepare.”
Betty asked me, “Did you ask her to inform you in advance?”
I was stunned into a sudden realization: Why had it not crossed my mind to ask Amy? I realized that this was due to my hidden attachment to pride, and I resolved to let it go.
Letting Go of Human Emotions
I had not expected the trip to be so fraught with interpersonal conflicts. Even after discovering my problems and understanding the tribulation was arranged for me to overcome my attachments, I was unable to let go of my hurt resentment toward Amy.
This was another hurdle that I had yet to overcome. Amy helped me realize my shortcomings. I should feel grateful towards her!
With continued effort, I hope I can eventually improve.