Looking Inward Is Not Just Going Through the Motions
(Minghui.org) Master has lectured on the Fa regarding looking inward. Yet for a long time, my looking inward was just lip service. Whenever I ran into an issue, I looked outward to try and help others cultivate, instead of dealing with my own issues. It wasn't until very recently that I changed this mentality. I consequently felt how miraculous it is to look inward.
The Habit of Looking Outward
I was given two lists of names of people who had quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations, but many of the names on one list were also duplicates of those on the other list. The lists also appeared to have a similar writing style. I therefore thought that one list may be a draft of the other, but I couldn't confirm it. After I had only one of the lists processed, I didn't throw out the other one. I wanted to get to the bottom of who provided the two lists.
Though I had checked with many practitioners, none of them could tell me where the lists came from.
When Ms. Chen came to my place one day, I handed the two lists to her, and asked if she could check with Ms. Liu to see if the lists came from her. I wanted to check with Ms. Liu first because she once gave me a list, and the handwriting looked very similar to these two lists.
When I saw Ms. Chen again however, she told me that Ms. Liu became very upset when she showed her the list. Ms. Liu said that she had never given me anything, and neither did she have any interaction with me.
Ms. Liu also mentioned that some flyers had been thrown out by ordinary people and some practitioners asked her if she had passed out those flyers. I didn't understand why she was making a big fuss over this simple matter, so I complained about her to Ms. Chen.
I was feeling down for a while following this situation, but I suddenly realized that I had done something wrong. I am a practitioner, after all, and Master taught us to look inward when we run into things. Therefore, there must be something for me to cultivate. Here are a few of my reflections:
1. On the surface, Ms. Liu misunderstood me. However, my first thought was not to treat it with righteous thoughts, but rather to complain about her. I still used the principles at the human level to judge who was right or wrong. I couldn't accept others' complaints about me. It showed that I hadn't cultivated solidly enough, and my realm was still at the human level. I felt ashamed.
2. Ms. Liu thought negatively about the fact that I sent someone else to ask her, as she felt that I was blaming her. Why did she react like that? I thought, “Weren't her negative thoughts corresponding to mine?” I realized that I had been thinking negatively all along.
This time I was wronged, but in the past I made others feel wronged. I had also thought negatively about other people, though that's not nearly how they were in reality.
I often ended up with very complex thoughts about whatever happened to me. My starting point was to protect myself from harm. I didn’t strengthen righteous thoughts about others.
This time when another practitioner thought negatively about me, I realized that I must eliminate my negative thoughts, as they are not my true self. A practitioner possesses a lot of energy, so when one thinks about other people or something negatively, one could end up harming oneself as well as others. Negative thinking can be a roadblock on one's cultivation path. When it attempts to control me, I must see through its nature, seize it, dismantle it, and eliminate it. I must have my heart full of brightness and righteous thoughts.
3. Behind Ms. Liu's side of the issue, it could also be attributed to the fact that she had previously been misunderstood by other practitioners. When she was challenged the first time for flyers being tossed, she couldn't accept it. Now she was suspected again and she became upset. A practitioner is still in the process of cultivation and still has attachments. Master requires us to have strict standards for ourselves, not for others.
On the surface, Ms. Liu was hurt and I was involved. Where did I fall short?
I knew that I had talked about other practitioners behind their backs, including her. And it's easy to create a gap among practitioners that way. Criticizing others can only hurt others. I didn't pay enough attention to this matter in the past. I should therefore re-examine my every thought and action and decide how I will reach the standard for a true practitioner.
I also knew that one should think about others first and be kind, as opposed to hurting others when dealing with practitioners. Practitioners shoulder great responsibilities. Especially at this critical moment of assisting Master to rectify the Fa, we should not cause interference among ourselves or let the old forces take advantage of our loopholes to create gaps among ourselves.
4. When I originally received the two lists, I didn't check them in front of the practitioner who handed them to me, which was my fault. It shows that I was not responsible enough, and was not exercising enough diligence.
When I found these attachments, my unpleasant feelings went away. I no longer felt down. I felt that Ms. Liu had helped me to improve. I had no a trace of complaint, but only felt that she was so nice and kind, since she treats Master and Dafa so sincerely, and she has been trying to do well. How could I still pick on her?
In this situation, I truly came to feel the miraculous nature of looking inward, and I appreciated Master for giving me the opportunity to look within. At that time, I wrote down these sentences: “To have every day of my life as a day for cultivation. To have every second in my life for other people.”