Looking Inward When Encountering Conflicts
(Minghui.org) Master said: “Without conflicts there won’t be improvement.” (Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference)
Although I have read this sentence in Master’s teachings numerous times, I never really applied it to myself. After something happened in our Fa-study group last year, I suddenly better understood some Fa principles.
Our Fa-study group did not have any confrontation since we first started. However, last October when we were studying the Fa, a veteran practitioner became angry with me for no apparent reason.
Although I did not say anything, my mind was seething. I kept looking for an opportunity to ask her why she treated me like that.
A few days later we studied the Fa together and then sent righteous thoughts. This practitioner said, “Don’t face me.”
After I returned home, I asked myself, “What have I done wrong to make this fellow practitioner so disgusted with me?” Although I examined my behavior to see what I had done to cause her to act that way, I still protected my attachments. In the end I failed to find the root cause.
Yet the matter was not over. We later studied the Fa together and then we started to exchange our views.
“I didn’t do well in many respects last year,” I said. “This year I must listen to what Master has told us to do and eliminate my attachments, I must especially cultivate my speech. I will try my best to identify and remove my attachments. Otherwise I may intentionally or unintentionally hurt fellow practitioners.”
She responded, “It's good that you are aware of your attachments. Last year whenever we talked about our cultivation experiences, you kept mentioning yourself. You are too attached to validating yourself.”
Attached to Self
At that moment, I was very calm. I searched inward to see where I had not cultivated well. I thought, “What a good and compassionate fellow practitioner she is! She pointed out my serious problem, which I had not been aware of.”
When I thought about it, I realized that what she said was true! From childhood, I always competed for first place, was sensitive about my reputation and protected my self-esteem. I could never put up with the slightest whisper of criticism from others. I am attached to myself and have a strong mentality of validating myself.
When I looked back over my cultivation journey, I realized that I had gone through lots of tribulations which were arranged to remove those attachments. However, even though on the surface it looked as if I was tolerant, I was enduring with tears in my eyes because I failed to look inward.
When the fellow practitioner pointed out my attachment to validating myself, I was able to remain calm. I also immediately saw many other attachments I'd been hanging on to, such as showing off, zealotry, looking down on other practitioners, impulsiveness, insisting that I'm always right and not cultivating my speech – all these attachments were thoroughly exposed. This time I knew I must eliminate them so that I could truly cultivate myself.
Gratitude and Insight
As soon as I started to write this article I identified many other attachments I'd been protecting. I am so very grateful to this veteran practitioner! From this experience, I now have a deeper understanding of Master’s teaching “Without conflicts there won’t be improvement.” (Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference)
Conflicts are not a bad thing. They expose our attachments so that we can get rid of them. They allow us to improve our xinxing and cultivate ourselves. Only by looking within can we stop being selfish.
In today's society, can ordinary people compassionately point out others weak points? Only Falun Dafa practitioners can truly help each other.
I will follow Master's teachings, cultivate myself and do the three things well.