Cultivators Truly Need to Look Inward When Encountering Conflicts
(Minghui.org) I recently became entangled in a conflict at work. Suddenly, I overheard people saying that I had forced two of my employees into taking actions that violated sound procedures. The reality was that I had witnessed their involvement in some undesirable situations at work. I inquired about their reasons and discussed with them ways to improve. However, after a few rounds of gossip had circulated, people were saying that I had forced them into acting badly.
I immediately thought about finding them and clearing up the misunderstanding. How could I allow facts to be distorted like this? However, during the course of trying to explain what actually happened, the harder I tried, the worse the situation became. I discovered that a new rumor had started among my colleagues that I had forced two other employees act against proper procedure. In fact, I had asked them to correct themselves when they failed to follow work unit protocols.
I felt uncomfortable. I wondered why so many people couldn't be truthful. How could facts become distorted so easily? Going forward, perhaps I should not care so much about being wronged. Would it be better if everyone is just pleasant to one another? Of course, I eventually realized that I must look within to see why this had happened to me. I also had to improve in the way I handled these situations.
Being a cultivator, I was also sure that there were other reasons behind this incident. During this time, there were many cultivation sharing articles on the Minghui website about how to look inward. The articles discussed how other practitioners could mirror our own attachments, and that we should look within even when observing conflicts or shortcomings with other people.
I understood that regardless of what others do, I must examine myself and look for my own attachments. Another Falun Dafa cultivator said to me, “Whether you are in contact with everyday people or with cultivators, you will encounter a variety of tests. On many occasions, we tend to get stuck in a problem and look for who is right or wrong. In fact, it has nothing to do with whether the other party is at fault or not. We encounter tests because we have attachments that we need to cultivate away. Nothing is accidental on our cultivation paths.”
Before I ran into the gossip about me, I thought that I understood Master Li's teachings about conflict. However, when the real test arrived, I still had attachments. I quickly started thinking and speaking about who was right or wrong, and I forget to look inside for the attachments that I needed to eliminate.
I shared my thoughts on this issue with another Falun Dafa cultivator, who is also a colleague of mine, and asked how he viewed this incident. I asked him to help me look for the attachments that I need to cultivate away. I mentioned that he also often encountered situations like mine in which it seemed like he was wronged without a reason.
He said he just regarded himself as the old monk who shouldered the blame for others and raised the child (referring to a traditional Chinese story about monk who took in and raised the child of an unwed mother. He was blamed for the pregnancy even though he was not at fault). He said he just cultivated his endurance, meaning he endured the humiliation for the sake of a higher goal.
However, I thought over what he had said and felt that my problem was somewhat different than what he had described. I had experienced tests of being wronged by others in the past. My heart had not been moved by those tests. What moved my heart in this situation was that the facts were distorted.
A few days later, I again read sharing articles on the Minghui website. One cultivator wrote that when people talk, they sometimes exaggerate beyond the bounds of truthfulness. To exaggerate or understate can distort the truth.
I then understood which of my attachments the conflict was targeting. It was my own shortcoming regarding truthfulness. I recalled some mistakes I had made in the past. I often exaggerated or understated issues because of my own moods and notions. Thus, I ended up distorting the facts because I had not cultivated my speech well. The conflict at work revolved around the same problem. I had taken my own similar behavior for granted. The part of the conflict that moved my heart was precisely the same problem that I needed to rid myself of through cultivation.
The behavior I saw in my colleagues was pointing out my shortcomings in regards to truthfulness. The purpose of this incident was to make me realize how harmful my own lack of truth was to the people around me. The incident also made me realize how important “Truthfulness” is within the universal characteristics of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
After I enlightened to my own problem, I felt that a huge burden was removed from my heart. When I recalled how my colleagues had behaved, I felt they were all innocent and that they had been part of an arrangement to help me upgrade my xinxing.
I also better understood why Master said we should thank those people who create conflicts for us. Thinking back about the strong reaction I had when I was going through the tribulation, I realized that I had still had attachments of jealousy and hatred that had not been completely eliminated. I felt deeply ashamed. I have cultivated for over 20 years, and yet I still had so many human thoughts and attachments. I cannot slack off like this anymore and must truly cultivate.
Human thoughts and attachments in our cultivation are truly harmful to others and ourselves, especially during this special historic stage in Fa rectification. The old forces will utilize our attachments to sabotage us and create negative elements to interfere with saving lives. Therefore, cultivators need to be very vigilant and not provide any loopholes that the old forces can exploit.
I wanted to share this cultivation experience, and I hope to advance with fellow cultivators.