Ask Yourself: Looking Inward and Filtering One’s Thoughts
(Minghui.org) When I was reviewing my past work, I discovered that my colleague had completed an item I had worked on a year before. I wondered whether I should take credit for it.
My first thought was that I should, because I’d organized and printed it. I knew that my colleagues would not hesitate to take the credit if they were in my shoes. But I felt a bit conflicted about doing this. One moment, my human thoughts won out, and the next, my righteous thoughts prevailed.
I asked myself, “Who am I? If I am a Falun Dafa practitioner, how should I handle this? Shouldn’t I conduct myself based on the Falun Dafa principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance? What does the Fa require of me?” I knew I should speak the truth and do things truthfully.
Master said: “Think about it—what does a practitioner want money for?” (Zhuan Falun)
I suddenly realized that I had almost violated the Fa because of greed. After realizing this, I felt more sober. I knew who I was.
As I looked within, I found many human attachments, including the pursuit of fame and profit, resenting unfairness, jealousy, and greed. I knew that I should conduct myself according to a higher standard.
There are many traps in ordinary human society and many tests. Cultivators also have human attachments. My thoughts swung between being human and divine. I often asked myself. “How can I conduct myself well?” Asking myself makes me aware of my bad thoughts as soon as they appear.
“Although your main consciousness isn’t as strong as that of an enlightened being, whenever an incorrect thought comes up you can catch it and you know it is wrong. That’s because the part of your mind that has completed cultivation is already very strong, so it is playing its role. As soon as bad thoughts arise, you are aware, and so they are caught.” (Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference)
In addition, asking myself is also a way to filter my thoughts.
“You should really filter all the thoughts that come up, and see which ones are you and which ones are bad thoughts. If it’s a bad thought, you can’t let it continue to be thought.” (Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference)
Human beings are easily led by their preconceived notions. If one is not aware, even a cultivator can be controlled by notions. That’s how I was: All I thought about was how unfair things were. I wanted to take advantage of others and gain more. Watching one’s thoughts constantly is very important.
On the way home one day, I recalled that I had tried to show off and validate myself at my friend’s home. Why else would I have talked so loud and long? I asked myself to look inside again and found a very strong attachment to validating myself and influencing others.
Actually, when we ask ourselves about our thoughts and behavior, we are looking within, cultivating, and strengthening our main consciousness and righteous thoughts.