Cultivators Should Face Criticism Positively
(Minghui.org) I was browsing the Minghui website one evening when the title of an article made me uneasy. I felt the article was pointing fingers at me. Reading it reminded me of some of my experiences where practitioners criticized me during our work on a Dafa project. Reading the article, I felt irritated and nervous, even somewhat hateful. I suspected the author of the article was a local practitioner.
I didn't know what to do with my negative thoughts, which made me want to quit the project. I had a moment of calmness, followed by a feeling of downheartedness. I became alert, realizing that it's not the correct cultivation state for a Falun Dafa practitioner. Lacking righteous thoughts and clear judgment seemed to be the beginning of depression and self-indulgence. I reminded myself that the old forces were able to persecute Dafa practitioners by wearing away at their determination.
Master told us,
“The outside pressures that Dafa disciples face are tests as well as opportunities to be more diligent, while the internal conflicts and pressures among Dafa disciples are, likewise, tests and opportunities to be more diligent.” (A Congratulatory Letter to the Fa Conference of Europe)
My main consciousness began to play its role, and righteous thoughts arose. I gradually separated myself from the negative thoughts, and was able to realize that the hateful reaction wasn't my true self.
I asked myself, “Why have other people's negative opinions of you disturbed you so much? Aren't you a cultivator? Isn't a cultivator's goal to eliminate attachments and shortcomings? Isn't it a great opportunity to make improvement and have a new starting point? Why have you failed to face the blame and criticism positively?” Asking myself these questions, my mind calmed down and I became peaceful. My thoughts entered a spacious and remote field of matter, though I couldn't see clearly what this matter was.
I decided to eliminate my problems by sending forth righteous thoughts. I could see my past behavior and how it reflected my attachments, including those to showing off, flattery, zealotry, jealousy, fear, self-complacency, an intention to validate myself, looking down at others, grievance, lust, pursuit of a good reputation, attachments to personal interest, sentiment, comfort, greed, arguing mentality, and karma.
After realizing my problems, recounting others blaming and criticizing me didn't bother me any more. I realized Master had used this conflict to make me improve and purify myself. I felt sure of myself from the bottom of my heart. The feelings of being worked up and unable to calm down completely disappeared. For a long time, I felt like I was being wrapped in something and that I was continuously expanding my capacity.
As I studied the Fa, Master revealed more principles to me, and took me to a new realm of cultivation. Reading the same article again, I didn't feel wronged. Instead, I felt the article's compassionate energy. I could tell the problems pointed out in the article were there to kindly remind me of my problems. I understood what Master described as “the appearance stems from the mind.” (Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting from Teaching the Fa at the Conference X)
I have learned from this experience that the last stage of our cultivation especially requires us to look inward, stay diligent with righteous thoughts, disintegrate the old forces' arrangements, and save sentient beings. I saw the limits of my human notions and my understanding of the Fa.
Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners!