Meeting the Standard for True Cultivation
(Minghui.org) Since childhood I have always stressed the importance of being a person of principle. This notion is rooted deeply within me.
Ever since I started practicing Falun Dafa in 1996, I realized that it was my attachments that held me back from making progress in cultivation. Whenever I saw Dafa practitioners behaving incorrectly, I thought: Teacher [the founder of Falun Dafa] is really compassionate. He even saves these kinds of people! If it were me, I wouldn't do it.
I recently saw my own problems displayed when I was in the middle of conflicts with other practitioners. That got my attention, and I've gradually learned how to let go of my ego and discard my human notions.
I would like to share my understandings to help me further cleanse myself. I hope I will achieve the high standard for true cultivation.
Learning to Look Within
I began working on a new truth clarification project in the latter part of 2015. A coordinator saw that I learned quickly and invited me to join the project to send text messages on cell phones to let people know about Dafa and the persecution.
I accepted her invitation. However, practitioner Wang [alias], who was working on another area of phone calling, tried to stop me from participating in this activity. She put aside her tasks and spent all her time on this cell phone project. When practitioners shared their experiences, she often told them how much she had done and how good she was.
Thus, conflicts arose. The coordinator of the project had high expectations for me, but when he saw my attitude, he got angry and embarrassed me in front of many practitioners. I was extremely upset.
I thought about leaving the project, but the coordinator insisted that I remain and that Wang stick to her own project. Wang, however, didn't agree.
Every time I saw Wang I got upset. Even when she wasn't there, I thought of her negatively.
When I told another practitioner about my situation, she said, “You talk about her problems, but what about yours? You don't say anything about what you have done wrong or how you can improve.”
“Going through hardship and suffering is an outstanding opportunity to remove karma, be cleansed of sin, purify the body, elevate your plane of thought, and rise in level—it’s an extraordinarily good thing. This is a correct and upright Fa-truth.” (“The Closer to the End, the More Diligent You Should Be” from The Essentials of Diligent Progress, Vol III)
This was indeed a good opportunity to improve myself. The key was how well I could look within.
When I dug deep, I saw many problems, such as resentment, jealousy, and a competitive mentality. I appeared to be able to forbear many things, but in reality I was hiding cowardice and the desire to preserve my dignity.
I tried hard to deny these attachments and sent righteous thoughts to discard them. Gradually, I managed to improve.
Discarding Negative Thoughts
For a practitioner to expand his or her capacity and show greater understanding for people is merely the beginning of cultivation. I have a stubborn human mindset, and my thinking is still repeatedly being corrected.
I joined a project to rescue practitioners earlier this year and, once again, I met with challenges that made me more determined to face up to my problems.
When practitioner Dong [alias] was being persecuted, we immediately got his family's approval to hire a lawyer from out-of-town. Dong's lawyer was never allowed to meet with Dong, and we didn't know anything about Dong's situation.
The lawyer was busy with other cases and had traveled a long way to get to us, so we weren't able to communicate much. He wasn't motivated to push the case forward, and I wasn't pleased with him. Later I thought about changing lawyers, but other practitioners were reluctant to do so because of financial constraints.
Dong's wife worked out-of-town and couldn't participate in the rescue effort directly. In the initial stage, she seemed to appreciate our assistance. She was a Dafa practitioner before 1999, but she gave up the practice after the Chinese Communist Party started the persecution of Falun Dafa.
Once when Dong was detained, his wife tried to get him out by using her connections, bribing officials, and writing a guarantee statement that she would ensure her husband stopped practicing Falun Dafa. She only resumed cultivation two years ago.
When Dong was persecuted this time, she contacted the policeman in charge of her husband's case and tried to tell him about Falun Dafa. The officer listened to her, so she thought that he would be willing to help. But the officer never arranged for Dong's parents or his lawyer to meet with him.
We compiled a list of things that this police officer had done in persecuting practitioners, with the intention of sending it to be published on the Minghui website.
When the officer found out, he was angry and complained to Dong's wife that we'd lied. We had investigated and verified every single thing on the list that we submitted. The wife said that we were unkind and sided with the officer. I formed a negative opinion about her.
Dong was transferred to a detention center in another area. When we found out, we complained to the authorities about the police officer. As a result, he was put under investigation and asked Dong's wife to withdraw the complaints against him. The detention center staff started treating Dong well and agreed to release him.
We didn't know if the police were being truthful or not, so we didn't withdraw the complaint. However, Dong's wife insisted that we do. She was outraged and cut off all contact with us. My mind was moved, but I thought: Just let it be and calm down!
I asked myself why Dong's wife would side with the police and not practitioners? I just couldn't understand it.
One morning, a sentence came to mind: “She didn't change because you haven't reached that level.” I repeatedly pondered this sentence. What did I need to improve?
Teacher compassionately arranged for me to hear what I needed to hear to improve. A practitioner told me about a rescue project that she was involved with. She said, “In the process of rescuing practitioners, I gradually lowered my expectations of practitioners' family members and the lawyers. I came to an understanding of using compassion and righteous thoughts to save sentient beings.”
These words had a great impact on me.
I couldn’t stand it when people didn’t meet my standards, and I looked at others negatively. Now I saw that it was me that needed to discard the negative thoughts, put others first, and not to demand anything from anyone.
From that point on, I no longer thought negatively of the lawyer. When he later submitted some materials to the Procuratorate, we noticed that some of the wording was inappropriate and asked the lawyer to remove the words. He thought that we were questioning his ability and insisted on not changing anything.
I sent righteous thoughts for the lawyer to clear away all interference in other dimensions. At the same time, I tried to talk to him using a different approach. The lawyer then agreed to remove the inappropriate text.
Since the lawyer was an everyday person, using principles that he could understand was more acceptable to him. I spoke with the lawyer with a calm mind so that my words were compassionate and righteous. So naturally he agreed to do as we asked.
I wanted to contact Dong's family, but his wife’s hot temper made me hesitate. As soon as this negative thought popped up, I realized that it was wrong.
That night, a practitioner said Dong's wife wanted to contact me. Dong's wife was very polite, and we both spoke openly. She agreed to continue with the complaint against the policeman. In just a few days, Dong was released and returned home.
I have been practicing Falun Dafa for many years, but it is only recently that I've truly felt that I am walking on the path of cultivation.
When I looked outward, each step in cultivation was slow and difficult. But since I've looked inward, each step on the road has been easy to take.
If I kept burying my head in the things I did, my problems were never resolved. Only when I was able to take a step back to examine which attachment I needed to pay attention to was I able to see clearly.
Thank you, Teacher! Thank you, fellow practitioners!