Learning to Truly Look Inward
(Minghui.org) Master has said many times that Falun Dafa practitioners should look within when facing problems or tribulations. My learning process evolved from looking outward to looking inward.
I used to treat the three things as tasks to be completed by practitioners, and I took Fa study as a formality. I read the Fa, copied the Fa, and recited the Fa. I recited Zhuan Falun twice, and memorized Hong Yin, Hong Yin Vol II, and Hong Yin III very well. I also memorized a portion of Hong Yin IV and many of Master's other articles. Fellow practitioners said that I was diligent in my cultivation, and I felt so too.
My showoff mentality and attachment to zealotry developed gradually. I often recited several paragraphs of the Fa when with other practitioners. I felt I was better than them after I realized that they could not memorize the Fa well.
I then began to advise them on how to cultivate. When a fellow practitioner encountered an obstacle in cultivation, I would recite a paragraph of the Fa to point out her problem. The practitioner was grateful. Some practitioners started to admire and idolize me. This was extremely dangerous. I did not realize it but enjoyed it very much.
Practitioners in our Fa study group talked about problems with their family members, and I would focus on finding the relevant Fa. After reading the Fa, I couldn't wait to share my understandings with them. I felt my enlightenment quality was good, and I felt responsible for fellow practitioners and our whole group.
Actually, I needed to look inward during these times to see if I had the same problems.
Not Cultivating Causes Tribulations
Because I could not look inward and cultivate myself, I caused many conflicts among practitioners.
There were two incidents in particular. When some practitioners cried because of my harsh words, I did not feel bad at all. Instead, I thought they were too fragile and could not handle the truth. As practitioners, we should not be emotional. I tried to use the Fa to measure others to cover up the influence of the Chinese Communist Party indoctrination—the philosophy of struggle.
Practitioners pointed out that I had competitive and showoff mentalities and my words were rude and heartless. I argued that it might be related to my personal experience.
Actually, I did not know how to cultivate. If I knew how to look inward and remove the bad substances, these times would have presented good opportunities for me to improve. But I missed many of these chances.
The old forces took advantage of my loopholes, started a round of disruption on my cultivation, and created barriers between me and fellow practitioners.
Practitioner Mei [alias] and I make phone calls together to tell people about the persecution of Falun Gong. She noticed I had a problem in cultivation and tried to help me. But the old forces let me believe that she was interfering with the truth-clarification we were doing. So no matter what she said, I stubbornlly would not listen. The old forces found my attachment and tried to prevent me from recognizing it. I could not see through the sinister intentions of the old forces, and I believed I was right. That day, the results of our phone calls were not good. I was so full of anger and complaints toward Mei. She was right, however.
Without cultivating ourselves well, we won't have the power of the Fa on our side. We stopped working with each other a few days later. I did not cooperate well with fellow practitioners, as Master requires. Through this, I came to understand the deeper meaning of cooperation. I thank Master for letting me understand the Fa principles!
Cultivation Is No Formality
Two other practitioners and I rented a building this spring. I thought this was great since we could then do the three things together. However, we had a lot of conflicts very soon after we moved in together. We could not agree with each other on anything.
Practitioner Jin [alias] was often sleepy when meditating. She was unable to keep her palm upright when sending righteous thoughts and often read the Fa wrong or missed words. The more I corrected her, the more mistakes she made. I became anxious and started to accuse her and complain about her. Jin also tried to help me with my daily life, which made me unhappy. As a practitioner, why did she care so much about daily life? And why couldn't she just focus on cultivation?
Actually, cultivation is not a formality—it is a process of improving one's xinxing. This practitioner's behaviors were a mirror for me to examine my own problems. But I did not cultivate myself well enough.
The old forces strengthened my attachments, so I looked down on Jin. I could find problems with everything she said. The more I looked down on her, the more I felt better about myself, and the more I felt I had the right to correct her based on the Fa. My competitive mentality, coupled with my attachments to resentment and jealousy, became much stronger. I was completely under the control of the old forces.
Exposing Demon Nature
Jin talked with others about making phone calls together, but she did not invite me. She did ask me at the last minute to go with her, but I was mad and said, "You know I do not have phone cards, so why are you asking me?" I was jealous she gave her phone cards to others instead of to me. My mind was full of bad thoughts. I did not behave like a cultivator at all. She did not say anything.
I discovered that I acted like a shrew when my attachments and demon nature were exposed. I had cultivated for nearly two decades. How could I have reached this point? I was shocked and broke into a cold sweat.
When I looked inward, I discovered that Jin was a practitioner of high realms. When I behaved badly, she was calm and compassionate and demonstrated a wonderful demeanor. As result, she improved a lot.
When she got back from her daughter's, she could meditate well, send forth righteous thoughts with an upright palm, and read the Fa clearly and fluently without any mistakes. On the other hand, I felt sleepy and my mind was not clear when reading the Fa. I could not keep my palm upright when sending forth righteous thoughts. This was a great irony.
I wrote this account to caution fellow practitioners to avoid my mistakes. It is very dangerous. I thank Master for taking me back from the edge of danger once again.
The Mechanism to Look Inward
Now I look inward no matter what I encounter. Several days ago I arranged with Jin to meet at the entrance of a supermarket to talk with people about Dafa. But she did not come. My first thought was to examine my own mental activity. I could not be anxious or complain. This was a test for me, and I knew I could use it as an opportunity to improve. I figured she must have had some urgent matter to handle.
I met her in the evening and she did not have a good excuse. Still, I was not moved. I would not be moved by the old forces' tricks. I know nothing should harm the one body of Dafa practitioners.
“Dafa disciples are one bodyFollowing Master in Fa-rectification,working against sinister tides"(“Following Master” Hong Yin III)
Jin apologized and I was very calm. Because I had already forgiven her, the old forces did not succeed in creating barriers among practitioners.
Several days ago we studied the Fa with a practitioner who had sickness karma. I shared my understanding and was praised by fellow practitioners. They said they could learn a lot from me. I was alarmed. I told myself not to develop a showoff or zealous mentality. I knew I needed to stop that trend.
I said that we are all the same and cultivate based on the same Fa. How well we cultivate cannot be measured from the surface.
After I got home, I sent forth righteous thoughts to further clean out my field.
I am grateful to Master for not giving up on me. Without Master’s compassionate protection, I wouldn’t be able to make it today. It was Master who once again saved me from a dangerous situation and helped me step by step on the path of cultivation. I lack the words to express my thanks to Master.