(Minghui.org) I once wrote an article and asked another practitioner to help me edit it. This practitioner said that my article had wording that was a reflection of Party culture.

She suggested that I read the two books entitled Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party and Disintegrating Communism.

I shot back, “How about both of us look inward first?” She stopped right there.

When I came home and calmed down, I thought that I should take the practitioner’s suggestion to read the two books. It turned out that I did, in fact, have quite a bit of Party culture.

I found that I had a competitive mentality and I enjoyed being sneaky and telling lies. I truly appreciated the other practitioner for the recommendations, but why did I reply to her so harshly?

I realized that whenever someone pointed out my problems, I did not acknowledge the problem at all, and instead I rejected their suggestions.

Though I wouldn't get upset or try to find an excuse to defend myself, I would push the question back to the other person. It came down to the deeply rooted attachment of not wanting to be criticized.

I asked myself: “Why don't I want to be criticized by others? What's the problem?” The reason other practitioners make suggestions is so that I can improve myself. That's also how one cultivates oneself.

If I won't even acknowledge the problem, how can I cultivate? If I don't cultivate myself solidly and don't want to face the problem, doesn't it mean that I refuse to improve, elevate myself and return home with Teacher?

If I don't look inward and let go of attachments, my level will not make progress and I will be held back by my own notions.

In addition, where did the attachment of not wanting to be criticized come from? One's nature is tolerant and compassionate. In cultivation, one needs to return to one's original, true self and fully display this nature.

Therefore, a cultivator needs to be able to take criticism. We need to eliminate such post-natal notions as being sensitive, not wanting to be criticized, being obstinate and looking outward.

Dafa cultivation directly targets one's heart. When others pointed out my problems during sharing, it could very well be that the enlightenment came from Teacher. If I didn't want to accept it, what else could happen? Or if I didn't want to listen to Teacher and eliminate my problems, who would be happy in the end?

The old forces could use this as an opportunity to have me drift away from the Fa more and more. The old forces only want to change others, not themselves. If I didn't want to change myself either, what's the difference between me and the old forces?

Teacher said:

“Be sure to pay heed! From this point on, whoever can't take criticism is not being diligent, whoever can't take criticism is not displaying the state of a cultivator, or at least on this issue. (Applause) If someone still can't pass this test, I'll tell you, he is in a very dangerous situation, because for a cultivator this is the most fundamental thing, it's at the top of the list of things to eliminate, and it has to be eliminated. If you don't get rid of it, you won't achieve Consummation. Don't let it become that it's ordinary people doing the work of Dafa disciples. You want to achieve Consummation, not good fortune.”

“Some people have become like matches--one stroke and they ignite. They're like land mines--one step and they detonate. [They are acting like,] "You can't criticize me. I can't take any criticism." They no longer listen to any expression of disapproval or disagreement, whether it was meant out of good or ill will, was intentional or unintentional; they reject everything flat out, and even less do they examine themselves. It has gotten quite severe. I'm not blaming you, but from now on you all must pay attention to this. You must get to the point where you are able to take criticism, regardless of who it's from. If there is truth to it you correct yourself, and if not, you are mindful of it. If you can stay unruffled while being criticized or chided, you are improving.” (“Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles”)

The attachment of not wanting to be criticized can manifest in all different forms, such as: getting upset easily, challenging others by saying “You'd better look inward yourself,” finding excuses, and ignoring others’ suggestions.

In our cultivation, we need to eliminate the habit of becoming upset and instead look inward at a deeper level.

Sometimes, an innocent sentence can expose our hidden attachments and sneaky notions. We must seriously and unconditionally look inward, dig out the cause and solve the problem from the root. Only by seriously eliminating it, can it be removed completely.