Cultivating Away Strong Opinions and Refining Compassion
(Minghui.org) Not long ago, I heard that practitioner Awen (alias) clarified the facts over the phone very well. She covered many topics got people to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at a high rate. I wanted to see how she did it.
When we were traveling together on a bus one day, I listened to her entire conversation with someone. She took her time to speak, and the person didn't rush to hang up the phone. She talked about the importance of quitting the CCP, the fabricated self-immolation on Tiananmen Square, and how Chinese people have suffered from numerous political purges and declining morality in recent history. I realized that although I did make many phone calls, most people hung up on me after a short while.
Sincerity and Compassion Touch People
Awen made a few more calls and handed the phone to me. I began as usual by saying, "Hello, how are you?" to start the conversation. Then, I began talking. When the other person hung up, Awen said, "You need to reach the other person with 'warmth.' For example, 'Hello, how are you?' (in the tone I used earlier) and 'Hello, how are you?' (in the tone she used) are two different ways to greet people. You need to touch people's hearts." I smiled and said, "I think you're talking about my cultivation. But compassion is not something that can be expressed in spoken words."
Recently, I have studied the Fa a lot; as a result, when someone pointed out my shortcomings in front of others–whether I knew it or not–I didn't feel embarrassed, and neither did I lose face. In fact, I was thankful for the help from the practitioner.
Anyway, Awen encouraged me to go on with the phone calls. I didn't reject the idea like I normally might do. I felt that this 'warmth' must come from the bottom of my heart and touch people's souls. Holding on to the phone, I said to Teacher in my mind, "I want to speak with strength and compassion. I want to save people." So, I began.
I felt that this time, my phrase "Hello, how are you?" was much different from before. It encompassed all my effort and hope for the other person to have a good future. As soon as the phrase came out, the person responded energetically. He acknowledged each sentence I said. Before I even had a chance to ask any questions, he had already voluntarily given his name. He not only agreed to quit the CCP but was also receptive to the goodness of Dafa.
I made numerous calls that day, and all of them were positive. I could clearly sense that it was the result of Teacher's compassion. Teacher knew that I sincerely accepted Awen’s suggestions and saw my heart wanting to save people. Teacher was encouraging me.
Cultivating Away My Dominating Mindset
On my way home, I said to a practitioner, "Communicating with others has never been easy for me. I never liked talking when I was young. I felt there was a big difference between myself and others.” Once, I came across someone who was trying to give out flyers about a hospital at a traffic light. I didn't take one because I thought cultivators didn't need it. But then I changed my mind because the weather was cold; if everyone took one, she could finish early and leave. But in the end, she didn't stop by me. I wondered why she didn’t give me a flyer–did I seem that unapproachable?
Immediately, the practitioner put her arm around my shoulder and said, "It's you! You appear to be so domineering!" That statement rang in my ears for a long time.All of a sudden, I remembered not long ago when my husband said to me,"You are a nice wife, but too bad you're too dominating." As a matter of fact, at my in-laws, everyone has good things to say about me! For example, I am generous with my money, I respect the elderly, and I am never preoccupied with anyone. So at the time, I just brushed off my husband’s comment as a joke.
Nothing that happens to a cultivator is a coincidence. When the practitioner pointed out that I was "domineering," I thought this was not just buried in my mind, but rather, it was already shown on my face!
Any attachments that we have manifest in conflicts that we encounter in our daily lives. So I tried to recall and reflect on all the conflicts I have had with fellow practitioners. To my astonishment, I found so many problems! Not only was I opinionated, I was also very dominating–just as my husband said. I liked to be his boss. At work, whenever someone suggested something that was against my wishes, I kept quiet on the surface but held on to it in my heart.
All these years, I always complained that my husband was brainless, didn't know how to manage money, couldn't drive properly, wasted his time when doing chores, messed up his funds, couldn't cook, etc. To sum it up, he couldn't do anything successfully. My husband hardly benefited from things he did even if he put a lot of effort into doing them.
I often joined my children in teasing my husband about being dumb as a post. On the other hand, I always needed to be on top of things and therefore involved myself in everything and ended up fatigued. I got nervous when he made a phone call, as I was afraid that he would say the wrong thing or spend money the wrong way. I got tense and didn't dare to close my eyes when my husband drove because I was afraid that he was going to violate regulations. My children sometimes encouraged me to do things for him so that I wouldn't be so worried.
I have always made myself believe that I was intelligent because I practiced cultivation and my wisdom was in full bloom! I never thought how these things were related to my attachments!
At times, I was puzzled by my husband's stupidity. He had a graduate degree and was always one of the top few students in school. On the contrary, I was one of the bottom few. Yet, we went to the same university. We became friends and gradually formed a family. He once said, “In high school, I wouldn't have even looked at someone like you." Indeed, in China, a 'good student’ is defined by how well one does in school. The reason my husband and I went to the university was that he was predestined to get to know me. He studied well, sang well and got a medal in cross-country running. In teachers' eyes, he was an outstanding student. Yet, in my eyes, he was as dumb as a rock.
When I began searching inward, I realized that I had never acted like a cultivator. Teacher has taught the principle that “...the appearance stems from the mind.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting” from Teaching the Fa at the Conference X)
In fact, my husband's “stupidity” reflected my attachments. When I felt that he was “mindless,” he would do more senseless things. When I was attached to personal gain, he would show worry of loss. Whatever I was worried about, he would act it out for me to see. Actually, whether it's gain or loss, it all comes naturally, and we are born with it. No one other than Teacher can make changes. When a cultivator worries about personal gains or losses, he or she is no longer acting according to the Fa.
The earlier practitioner’s statement helped me understand more thoroughly how to conduct myself as a cultivator. I also learned how to conduct myself as a woman. In the poem entitled "Yin and Yang Reversed", Teacher wrote,
“Yin and yang’s reversal harms the worldMen have no manlinessIndecisive, hesitant, and effeminateNarrow-minded, they’re worthless wretches
Women are strong and smartImpetuous, sharp-tongued, and dominatingNot charmingly gentle or elegantLovely sirens, they’re whores in secret”(Hong Yin III)
In the past, I was able to recite the poem very well, but I never thought of myself as the character mentioned in the poem. But now I know. I have always been that woman mentioned in the poem:
“Women are strong and smartImpetuous, sharp-tongued, and dominating"
When this kind of woman speaks, their speech lacks “warmth.”
Now, when my husband talks about something, I don't become argumentative. If we have different points of view, I make a suggestion but will not force its application. When he plans something, I don't go after him or worry about it. I am no longer attached to his “brainless” or “senseless” acts. When I truly let go of myself, I felt relieved.
Now, when riding in the car while my husband is driving, I am only a spectator. One day, when he almost missed a red light, he said, “All the chatting made me lose my mind!” I smiled and replied, “Who was chatting? I didn't even open my mouth!” We both laughed.
At work, I no longer hold on tightly to my opinions. I am able to listen to others and accept other ways of thinking. I feel that my job gets done much easier.
When I wrote this article, it seemed to me that this was the first time I truly understood why Teacher wrote the poem “Yin and Yang Reversed.” Teacher not only wrote about the current state of our society but also pointed out to Dafa disciples that we need to reflect upon ourselves in this area.
Thank you, Teacher, for taking care of me with such immense compassion. I will make my best effort to conduct myself as a true woman who is gentle and elegant. I will bring out this inner beauty and use it to save more sentient beings!