Eliminating Attachments While Facing Conflicts
(Minghui.org) I immigrated to America in 2012 and became involved with the Falun Dafa media projects. Unfortunately, I paid more attention to the attachments of others than to my own. I recently moved to a different workplace and began experiencing the same conflicts. I then understood that I needed to look within, find my shortcomings, and improve in cultivation.
Resentment: Manifestation of Attachment to Oneself
I got into an argument with my parents one day. They were complaining about the chicken thighs I had bought, so I became unhappy and started arguing with them.
After I calmed down, I thought about why I became upset by their comments. I realized that I liked hearing compliments, but could not accept criticism. In other words, I only paid attention to myself and was attached to fame, benefits, and sentiment.
When recalling my prior conflicts with practitioners at my previous workplace, I still could not stop thinking about their shortcomings and the resentment I felt. I then became angrier and thought that I had been mistreated.
“Because one is lost among everyday people, one will often form in one’s mind thoughts for fame, benefits, lust, anger, and so on. Over time, these thoughts become the powerful thought karma.” (Zhuan Falun)
After reading Master's Fa, I realized that cultivation is about finding and removing the human notions which are not in line with the Fa. I was caught between the emotions of right and wrong for a long time, so I was eager to prove that I was right. Even if I won an argument, I failed to improve my character because I was not following Master's teaching:
“…to cultivate themselves well and save sentient beings.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference” from Teaching the Fa at the Conference IX)
Being attached to arguing is about protecting one's attachment to fame, benefits, and sentiment. It is selfish and cannot help one improve. Human notions are mired in these attachments, including the attachments to lust and anger, which produce thought karma. In turn this interferes with the main consciousness and interrupts practitioners when they study the Fa, send forth righteous thoughts, and do the exercises.
Abilities are Given by Master
Another attachment I found was the pursuit of being recognized, which was the attachment to validating myself. My background was not in media design, and I had to learn it after arriving overseas. After I became good at it, practitioners started to compliment me. I liked getting compliments and the coordinators' attention so much that I would be unhappy and complain when I received negative feedback about my work.
Our abilities and wisdom in doing media work are given to us by the Fa. Although I tried not to be moved by people's positive feedback, I began to think highly of myself.
When I have this kind of thought now, I remind myself that the ability was given by Master. I also recognize that the thought was not truly from me and I should remove it.
Considering Alternatives and Promoting Cooperation
My need to prove that my skills were better than those of others was due to my attachments to fighting, competitiveness, and jealousy. As a result, I did not notice these attachments for over ten years. In the past, I behaved like an ordinary person and regarded myself highly.
When I gave others advice on how to resolve issues, I was very forceful. When others did not get a positive result from my suggestion, I believed that they were not able to accept good ideas.
I now kindly suggest others that they consider my opinion, but they are free to do what they want based on their specific situations. I therefore give everyone more space to consider alternatives, and thus promote cooperation among practitioners.
I no longer feel wronged when practitioners defend their positions during conflicts. When I look within, I find that their actions are a mirror of myself. I had exhibited the same problems.
Identifying One's Shortcomings
When I face a conflict now, I am calmer. I first remove negative thoughts from my mind and forget what others said and did. Moreover, I will consider their suggestions, look within to find attachments, and improve myself to prevent the same issues from occurring again. By doing so, I have been able to identify many of my attachments.
I have learned that when conflicts occur, it is not important to argue with others to prove who is right or wrong. The key is to use the incident to identify your own shortcomings and remove your attachments. This way, we can further purify our hearts and do the three things well.