Treating Fellow Practitioners and All Beings with Compassion
(Minghui.org) I would like to share some thoughts about the issue of compassion.
Maintaining Compassion Among Practitioners
I recently witnessed some practitioners disagreeing over a number of issues related to truth clarification. My impression was that they were not interested in gaining a better understanding of a particular subject so much as having their topic the focus of discussion. Not that they were competing, but I noticed an absence of having a compassionate heart.
The person in charge of the practice site where I live was born and raised in China and seems to have Party culture influence in some of her understandings. She has for years diligently kept up our practice site and organized projects for truth clarification.
Overcoming some of those deviant Party notions and raising her xinxing is her challenge. Unfortunately, some of her behaviors upset certain Westerners, with the result that some truth-clarification projects ended up falling short. It’s not that she didn’t listen or try to correct her actions. It seemed it was a problem of everyone not taking a step back and removing the barriers of human emotion that prevented them from speaking heart to heart and with compassion.
An example in another region was a practitioner who was stirring up the hearts of some practitioners because they were not doing a certain project diligently. When she tried to communicate her understanding to these practitioners, most of them opposed her. Instead of looking within and trying to resolve the conflict, each side pointed out the faults of the other. Since everyone insisted they were right, the conflict seemed unresolvable.
Using Compassion When Clarifying the Truth
This same practitioner also complained about using the word “meditation” when describing Falun Dafa to Westerners. She thought that calling it “qigong” was more appropriate. However, most Westerners don’t know what qigong is, but they do understand what meditation is, and they know that it comes from the East.
Master has said:
“Since qigong serves such a purpose, why do we call it qigong? It is, as a matter of fact, not called ‘qigong.’ What’s it called then? It is called ‘cultivation practice,’ and it is just cultivation practice. Of course it has other specific names, too, but generally speaking it is called cultivation. Then, why is it called qigong? It is known that qigong has been popular in society for over twenty years. It first appeared in the middle of the Cultural Revolution, by the end of which it reached its peak of popularity. Think about it, everyone: The leftist ideology was quite prevalent at that time.”
“Some people even focus their research on qigong terminology. There is nothing there to study. In the past, it was just called cultivation. ‘Qigong’ is just a newly crafted term intended to conform to the sensibility of modern people. (“Qigong is Cultivation Practice” from Zhuan Falun)
It seems to me that adjusting information about Falun Dafa to the level of the person you’re talking to so that he can easily understand what the practice and the persecution are about is what is meant by “having a heart of compassion.”
Showing Compassion with Regard to the Situation of Individual Practitioners
Master had said:
“Don't argue when people argue with youCultivation is looking within for the causeWanting to explain just feeds the attachmentBreadth of mind, unattached, brings true insight”(“Don't Argue” from Hong Yin III)
In some projects, practitioners study the Fa as a project group. Those who fail to participate daily are asked to withdraw. Studying the Fa in a group has its benefits and is something Master has asked us to do.
But I ask myself if some practitioners have considered why Master asks us to study in a group. I have noticed that, when studying the Fa in a group, each person may view the Fa from a different angle. I also understand that righteous thoughts are also strengthened. But is group reading the same as cultivating?
“How can you increase gong simply by practicing the exercises a bit longer while your arms are sore from being raised and your legs are tired from standing? How can you increase gong with only a few more hours of exercise? That only serves to transform one’s benti, but it still needs to be reinforced with energy. The exercises do not help raise your level. Tempering the will is the key to truly raising your level. If one could improve just by working the body, I would say that Chinese peasants suffer the most. Shouldn’t they all become qigong masters, then? No matter how much you work the body, you do not suffer as much as they do, who work both hard and painstakingly in the field every day under the baking sun. It is not that simple a matter. Therefore, we have said that to truly improve yourself, you should genuinely elevate your mind. Only then can you truly improve.” (“Transformation of Karma” from Zhuan Falun)
In my understanding, studying the Fa as a group isn't cultivation in and of itself and doesn't guarantee the success of a project, but it helps us to stand firm while doing the three things. If a group of cultivators went through a tribulation that would prevent them from coming together to study the Fa, would their project be doomed to fail? How can that be?
As a specific example, let's say a practitioner’s job demands hours of his day. He works very well, not complaining about his fate. In addition, he's a good father and a good husband, always striving to balance family life with cultivation. To achieve that, he has abandoned leisure and reduced his time to rest. Even following that strenuous routine, he doesn't let his mind wander through negative states and strives to act benevolently toward those that hurt and take advantage of him. Has he not cultivated his xinxing? However, he may want to help in a Dafa project but may not have time to participate in daily group Fa study. Should he be denied the opportunity to help? Is the project group truly exhibiting the heart of compassion?
I believe that clinging to a specific form is the reason for the many conflicts. Each case should be analyzed individually with a heart of compassion. I feel that enforcing hard and fast rules without considering another practitioner’s path is not working together as one body.
Let's Not Cling to Form
“The absolute egalitarianism practiced in the past claimed that everyone is born equal, and that it is a person's post-natal life that changes him or her. I find this statement too absolute. When anything is made absolute, it becomes incorrect.” (“Jealousy” from Zhuan Falun)
I think it's important to remember Master's words.
“Since the future’s needs are the determining factor, think about it, if Master were to have you cultivate within the framework of society’s politics, would that work? (Applause) Yes! It would for sure, it definitely would. As long as it had the Fa’s standards and requirements, as long as lives could elevate, and as long as lives were able to reach high realms, then it would definitely work...”
“It is merely that Master didn’t choose to have you take that path, to walk the path of cultivation in that way. I have imparted to you a broader, most ideal form of cultivation, for, “the Great Way has no form”! (Applause) Each of you is a part of society, belonging to different social strata, each having your own job or profession in society, and having your own skills that you have acquired. In each respective setting, under the guidance of Dafa and free of form, all are able to cultivate; there are no rules or regulations, no religious formalities, and no commandments.” (“Teaching the Fa in San Francisco 2005”)
Master also said:
“Your cultivation does not take any particular form. In the past, cultivators had temples or monasteries and were limited to some specific forms. But you will return to your various jobs when you go back home. During this special period when the persecution is going on, Dafa Disciples have, of course, established media companies and projects to counter the persecution, but those are merely companies that conform to ordinary people's ways; those companies themselves are not part of our cultivation. I've always said that they are not some specific part of Dafa, but rather companies run by Dafa disciples. Dafa disciples are able to cultivate in a variety of professions, so of course they can launch their own companies. Those are not some set forms that Dafa cultivation specifically takes. There are no companies in Dafa. That applies to Shen Yun as well, which is also a project established by Dafa disciples to save people, and not some specific cultivation method or environment that requires Dafa disciples to cultivate in that specific way. That's not the case.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2015 New York Fa Conference”)
I’m sharing my understanding because I ask myself, “In the future, will Master's Falun Dafa be passed on to future generations, or will some other path that we have altered be passed on?” Master has already warned us about what happened to Buddhism in India. The Arhats altered Shakyamuni's Dharma, leading to the end of the transmission of that Fa among that group of people.
“Instead of using Shakyamuni’s original words, some monks preached what they enlightened to as the words of Shakyamuni; this made the Buddhist Dharma distorted beyond recognition, and it was no longer the Dharma taught by Shakyamuni. In the end, this caused the Buddhist Dharma to disappear in India. This is a serious lesson in history.” (“The Buddha School Qigong and Buddhism” from Zhuan Falun)
Let’s not cling to form! Let's cultivate righteously, so that we don't damage Falun Dafa.
Category: Improving Oneself