Looking Inward to Resolve Conflicts
(Minghui.org) My cultivation was recently in a poor state as conflicts arose between myself and practitioner Z. With help from other practitioners and looking inward, the situation turned around.
Attached to Seeking Comfort
Practitioner Z approached me and asked for help in making truth clarification materials. I was reluctant, as I wanted to avoid the tedious and hard work involved. I refused his request, using the excuse that according to the Minghui website, individual regions should not produce their own periodicals or magazines for truth clarification.
He insisted, however, that the material was very effective and that he had used it to persuade quite a few police officers. I asked him to read the Minghui article and suggested that other practitioners in my local Fa study group read it as well. I wanted to prove that I was right. In the end, Z and I had a heated argument.
Some practitioners said that since saving sentient beings was an urgent task, our endless quarreling would make us fall into the old forces' trap and waste valuable time. They also suggested that I offer my help as long as the material is useful.
I realized that something was wrong with my xinxing. I saw that Z was not the only one who had an attachment to being competitive and winning an argument. I had it as well. Once I tried to get rid of my attachments, Z and I began to work better together.
Looking Down on Others
In the process of editing, I found the original text illogical and started to re-arrange the content based on my own understanding. Z stopped me and said that I had the same problem all along. He implied that I edited other practitioners' articles to such an extent that they did not reflect the original understanding shared by the practitioners. And this problem, according to Z, resulted in many of the submissions being turned down for publication by the Minghui website.
This opened my eyes. I had thought that some practitioners were too aged and illiterate to understand the Fa clearly and articulate their thoughts well. Therefore, I often took the liberty to modify their articles while typing them. As the submission deadlines drew closer, I sent in the articles in a rush without the authors reviewing the changes first.
I then found the root cause of my mistake. I always considered myself gifted in writing and editing, and looked down on others. I was grateful that Z brought it to my attention. As each practitioner has his or her own level of cultivation and understanding of the Fa, I should never change the original intent and essence of the articles. I should instead only change such things as wrong grammar and spelling. I must respect the authors' opinions and ideas.
Soon after I corrected myself, Z became more agreeable to my suggestions when I explained what needed to be modified and why I thought so. We worked out the final product smoothly.
Understanding the Meaning of Cooperation
We submitted the material to Minghui for approval. However, Minghui did not recommend that the material be used in print or on a large scale, but instead for internal sharing and as a reference for practitioners.
Z argued that Minghui did not approve or forbid printing and distributing this material. He suggested that we print it for local distribution. I did not agree, thinking that the potentially grave mistake might negatively affect my own cultivation. Seeing my reluctance, Z insisted on taking the material to other production sites or even buying his own printer for production. He also suggested that my human notions would have a negative effect on saving sentient beings. The local coordinator in our group also urged me to provide more help to him.
Facing all these conflicts and criticism, I felt like I was being wronged. I made an effort to look inside, but kept finding fault with Z instead. In my mind, he was being irrational, while I had been very accommodating and had kept improving myself.
At this time, another practitioner shared her understanding of the situation. She mentioned that Z had experienced a lot of hardships in his personal life. He had put all his heart and mind into making the truth clarification materials, and that we should see his positive aspects, and cooperate. If we all refused to cooperate, he might do something that would harm the safety of the group or interfere with his own cultivation, and effectively push him away from Dafa cultivation.
I awakened to her sharing. I watched again the video of Master's lecture to Australian practitioners. Each and every word applied to my problem. I felt that I must look inside first for human attachments, and then calmly point out Z's issue and come to an agreement through earnest discussion, rather than looking down on him and forcing my opinion on him.
I also learned to cherish this practitioner, and empathize with his hardships and his point of view. I then felt that I should support him and his endeavor. I told him all about my human notions and shortcomings. I also shared my understanding about why the materials should not be printed and distributed on a large scale. But, I did not force my understanding on him. At the same time, I made suggestions regarding his Fa study and personal cultivation. The distrust and disagreement between us disappeared.
Breaking Down Barriers
The local group coordinator was very supportive of Z, given his hardships and his earnest desire to contribute. She saw us arguing. Although she could not make out exactly what we were saying due to her poor hearing, she felt that I was obstructing Z's efforts.
I realized the gravity of the situation and that I must stop the old forces' attempt to isolate practitioners and break up the group. I could sense the human emotions of the coordinator toward Z, which could lead to more serious issues for the whole group. I had wanted to share my understanding with her for quite a while, but had not sat down for an in-depth discussion with her.
Then, during a group Fa study session, the coordinator's son came into the room and shouted at us. After the incident, she decided to go out of town for a month, which meant that the Fa study group had to move to a temporary location. I knew that it would be a severe loss for her to slack off in cultivation for an extended period of time. On the other hand, I could understand the pressure at home she had been dealing with in order to provide a stable environment for our group study.
The interference appeared to be her son's disrespect and misunderstanding of Dafa and practitioners. I felt that the old forces were trying to take advantage of the loopholes in our cultivation to break us apart. I was thus determined to share my understanding and experience with her.
After searching within, I found the reason why she was not receptive when I pointed out her issues. It was my own attachment to fear, selfishness, and a strong desire to protect myself that rendered my words powerless.
I wrote down my thoughts in a letter to the coordinator and planned to deliver it in person. When I walked out of my home, I still feared that she might not be willing to listen. Then I started reciting one of Master's poems from Hong Yin. I regained my confidence and righteous thoughts.
“In recent collaboration with Z,” I said to her, “I truly realized my problems. With help from practitioners and after looking inside, I hold less and less grudges and resentment in my heart, and I can see the bright, positive side of other practitioners.”
I continued, “I also listened to Master's lecture to Australian practitioners, in which Master did not resort to criticism, and illustrated with patience how things could be handled better. Master made me realize my problem and that I should improve, and seek suggestions after communicating my ideas and understandings. I realized that we should no longer fall into the trap set by the old forces, thereby creating barriers and gaps among practitioners.”
She agreed with me. I took this as a sign that I could share some of my observations. I told her that she was influenced by emotions when it came to Z, rather than judging based on the Fa. The decisions she made could lead to security risks to the materials production site. I pointed out that she got angry with others when they were had a different opinion. She accepted my sharing and said, “When others see my issues and point them out to me, the situation is serious and I must truly start searching within myself.”
Then she shared with me some Minghui articles and some texts she had collected from Minghui Weekly.I could tell that she had been very solid in her cultivation and Fa study, and that she wanted to resolve the recent problems quickly. During over two hours of sharing, we were able to dispel many of the conflicts and difficulties, no matter how deeply rooted they appeared to be.