[Minghui Fahui] A Lesson Learned from Translating an Experience-sharing Article
(Minghui.org) Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I recently translated several experience-sharing articles together with some fellow practitioners. During the translating process, I encountered many xinxing tests. Even though it took time for me to really understand what was going on and to appreciate the tests from a true cultivator's perspective, I was deeply grateful for the opportunities to temper my heart. I'd like to share one such test in this article. The situation appeared very simple, yet I learned an important less from it.
A male practitioner worked on one article first before handing it over to me for further edits. As a woman, I had a gut feeling that the author of the article was also female. I checked the name of the author as shown in the English translation, but I couldn't tell the gender by the look of it. No one around me spoke Chinese, so I wasn't able to verify the gender by checking the original Chinese text.
I was pretty good at guessing genders and had never made mistakes in the past. So I changed the gender from male to female in the article done by the male practitioner who'd worked on it first. I submitted the final version without showing him my edits. I didn't think he'd have any different opinions. Moreover, I wanted to avoid arguing with him. He had shown a tendency to write a lot of e-mails whenever his opinions differed from others'. He had trouble staying focused on his arguments. As more practitioners joined the discussion, we'd only see further digression from the original topic. I felt that he should learn to simply accept other people's decisions without arguing. I wanted to teach him a lesson this time.
In hindsight, there was just so much intent in my “not bothering to show him my edits.”
The male practitioner did email me when he saw my version of that article. He asked why I had made so many edits, especially with regard to the article author's gender. My first reaction to his email was a defensive one. I thought to myself, “There he is again trying to debate about why this, why that. Why can't he just accept other people's edits without having a debate?”
I wanted to email him back and remind him to not ask “why?” each and every time others made edits to his translation. I wanted to tell him to stop being obsessed with his version of a translation. I was just about to start writing, when I realized that I was upset and wasn't calm at all. There was a knot in my stomach, and I had all kinds of negative thoughts about him. I felt electrified and I was ready for a debate.
Then it dawned on me that whatever I wished for him to do were exactly things I should do myself. Even though I initially hoped to avoid arguing with him, I was now eager to prove my point to him. I saw my mirror image in him.
So, I decided to face myself and to no longer run away when encountering conflicts.
“Whatever you experience during your cultivation—whether good or bad—is good, for it comes about only because you are cultivating.” (“To the Chicago Fa Conference”)
“When you meet with a conflict, it doesn’t matter whether you are in the right. You should be asking yourself, “What on my part isn’t right in this situation? Might it really be that there is something wrong on my part?” You should all be thinking this way, with your first thought being to scrutinize yourself to try to find the problem. Whoever is not like this is not, in fact, a true cultivator of Dafa. It is a magical tool in our cultivation. This is a distinguishing feature of our Dafa disciples’ cultivation. Whatever it is that you encounter, the first thought should be to scrutinize yourself, and it’s called “looking within.” (“What is a Dafa Disciple”)
To be honest, even though this incident truly was not a big event in the grand scheme of things, it took me a while to become peaceful inside. I had to really fight off the desire to debate who was right and who was wrong, and the attachment of being in control. All these thoughts were popping up in my mind continuously, but I firmly decided to finally behave like a true practitioner and to only focus on what I needed to learn from this situation.
I realized that I should not blame others and that I should try to see things from other people’s perspective. Cultivators should be kind and consider others first. Cultivators should work on themselves, and I should have more faith in the power of the Fa. The old forces are the ones who want to change others and not themselves. I sent forth righteous thoughts to clear my field of all the bad habits that kept making me nitpick others' faults.
After a while, there was a sense of calmness in me.
I told myself not to bother with what he needed to cultivate. I decided to focus on what I should learn from this situation. I traced back my thoughts—there was no indication of the author's gender, yet I went ahead and changed the gender anyway. What concrete reasons did I have to choose my version over his? Well, actually, my only reason was that I believed I was more competent than he was at these things. I believed that my solution was better, and I went ahead and changed it. I also wanted to avoid a debate, so I intentionally did not inform him of my decision.
In the past, I would have replied to him to say we must improve efficiency, strive to finish translation before deadlines, and accept changes without complaint. Actually, that was just muddying the waters, not getting to the core of the problem. I realized that was exactly what the old forces would want—they would want a debate between us, which would inevitably ruin our future cooperation. I was shocked to recall how many times my fellow cultivators and I fell for their trick and engaged in lengthy debates, often stopping cooperation altogether. It would happen slowly, but surely. I felt it was really time to stop this type of behavior, as it seemed that the old forces had already won many times because we let them do so.
I allowed myself to accept the grace of Master’s teaching, to strengthen the faith that, if He made me His disciple, then I can surely overcome these bad habits which are not in line with the Fa. Slowly, it felt like an ice block was melting around my heart and from my mind.
I e-mailed the male practitioner, laying out all the honest details from the very beginning—from my desire to avoid arguing with him to my ego of thinking I was more experienced than him to my realization of the need to remove my heart to validate myself. I shared what I learned from the whole thing, expressed my gratitude for his translation efforts, and apologized for failing to respect his work. I offered to re-do the translation to incorporate his original ideas. Those were the words I sent, but I also truly felt them in my heart and mind. It felt righteous and I was energized but humbled.
He thanked me for the e-mail and said there was no need to make further changes to the translation. We had no further discussions on the topic. I felt a sense of peace and unity. As a matter of fact, there were a few other situations between us that were also in the end resolved by simply being open and honest with each other. It was really a good lesson about adjusting my thoughts and behavior.
While we cooperate with other practitioners, I believe that it is important not to take the bait set by the old forces, and their baits come in different shapes and sizes, and at different times. They may seem minor, but they add up with time. I wonder why it had taken me so long to see this more clearly?
I realized on a deeper level that I should not take part in struggles of ego, even in our Dafa projects, but should act with honesty and respect for my fellow cultivators. Only by doing things in such a way are we validating Dafa in our words and actions. By not doing so, it seems like we are teaming up with the old forces instead of negating and purging them.
The more open and simple I am and the more I look within myself, the easier it is to cooperate with others, both in Dafa projects and in my personal life.
(Selected Experience Sharing Paper from the 2018 Minghui Fa Conference, Abridged)