Looking Within When Conflicts Arise
(Minghui.org) I started practicing Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) when I was 12 years old. I've mainly cultivated alone for the past 20 years, and only recently did I understand why and how we should cultivate ourselves.
Truly Cultivating Myself
Cultivation practice is truly wonderful! No matter what you experience or how you view conflicts, when you look within, you'll find the beauty of cultivation. When you identify a human notion and are determined to get rid of it, you'll feel a lightness or joy after improving yourself.
This year, I helped rescue several local practitioners who were illegally detained for their belief. During the process, I discovered many shortcomings and human notions that I needed to eliminate. This greatly pained my human heart. However, it's precisely this heart that needs to be relinquished in order to reach Consummation.
I feel that Master is always beside us. As long as we look within, there's nothing that can’t be resolved. I would like to share the following experience I had with three practitioners, which illustrates this point.
Tina and Mary had recently told Kathy about a Dafa-related software package that they had been secretly working on for years. They asked Kathy if she would post news of the project on Minghui.org, as well as in Minghui Weekly.
About one week later, Kathy asked me to give her my opinion of the project. I reported back to her, saying, “The design is very basic and has a lot of room for improvement.”
Then I told her how I thought things could be improved and asked her to forward my suggestions to Tina and Mary.
Kathy agreed, saying, “Yes, there are several things that definitely can be improved. I'll go see them right now and tell them.” I told her that I would meet up with her at Tina's house in about ten minutes.
When I was about a half a block away from Tina's home, I could hear people loudly arguing inside. I knocked on the door for a long time before someone realized I was there. I knew that the old forces had seized upon and enlarged everyone's attachments.
How One Thought Helped Diffuse a Volatile Situation
When I entered the living room, I could see that Tina was furious at Kathy. I told Tina: “Please calm down. This is not Kathy's fault. All of the suggestions that I had asked her to relay to you were mine, not hers.”
Seeing that Tina had completely ignored me, I silently asked Master: “Please help everyone here be kinder to each other. No matter if I'm right or wrong, I believe this is all my fault. I must have done something wrong!”
Even though I didn't know exactly what I did wrong, when I looked within, I noticed that Tina immediately calmed down, and the atmosphere in the room completely changed.
Later, Kathy asked me, “Why do you think Tina's mood suddenly changed?”
I replied, “From Tina’s explanation, I understood that she and Mary had worked on this project for several years. They really put their hearts and souls into creating the best software that they could. That's when I remembered that I should look at the situation as Gods do. Gods don't argue over whose idea is better; rather, what's more important to them is the process, or how one cooperates with others. When you asked me to review the software, I eagerly expressed my opinion. At that time, I believe I was validating myself, not the Fa.”
Kathy brought up the topic later that night, saying, “I can't see how I'm at fault here. All I did was pass on your suggestions as to how the software could be improved.”
I replied, “No matter what you've seen or heard, there's something there for you to cultivate, too, or else you wouldn't have witnessed it. For one thing, you shouldn't have gotten angry at Tina, no matter how she behaved. You can kindly explain things to her, but you shouldn’t get too attached. Whether this is related to you or not, we both encountered it, so let’s not miss this chance that Master has given us to improve.”
“Actually, they had asked me almost a week ago to submit news of their project to Minghui.org, but I didn't do it,” Kathy replied. “Although I have a lot of reasons why I didn't do it, they're really just flimsy excuses.”
At that moment, I realized that Master was hinting to me that I, too, found it hard to be punctual, such as sending forth righteous thoughts on time or the doing exercises on time.
When I further realized how other practitioners are mirrors for ourselves, I felt the need to dig deeper to see if there were more human notions that I should get rid of.
Identifying Four Major Attachments
I kept looking within late into the night. I was really astonished at what I had found. I saw that Tina refused to accept others' suggestions, and she did not allow others to point out her shortcomings. I thought, “Do I have the same problem?”
For example, when a fellow practitioner suggested that I read the Fa to my child before he goes to sleep—even though I didn’t outwardly object—I defended myself by saying, “You know, everyone’s living situation is different.” I could now see that I, too, don't want to have my shortcomings pointed out to me.
When I heard Tina mention how hard she and Mary had worked on the project, I thought that she was validating herself. Now I realize that I, too, have the attachment of validating myself. For example, I mentioned that it cost me over 1,000 yuan to mail out the paperwork needed to help rescue the detained practitioners.
When things went smoothly, I thought it was because I had sufficient righteous thoughts. The truth is, these things were already supposed to be that way.
When things didn’t go smoothly, I'd complain, “I worked so hard that I didn't even have time to eat or drink!” In fact, I wanted everyone to know how devoted I was to Dafa. Wasn't I validating myself?
Whatever we do is what we're supposed to do as a particle of Dafa. There is no need to show off or tell others. Master knows everything.
When I heard Tina say that she didn’t want others to know about her project, I thought, “It’s just a project! What's she so fearful about?” When I looked within, I realized that I, too, had this attachment.
Since none of the police officers in my area were aware that I was practicing Falun Gong, and only a few practitioners knew, I often told these practitioners, “Please don't mention my name in front of other practitioners.” Wasn't this because I had the attachment of fear?
I'm the perfect candidate to request that detained practitioners be released, but I was reluctant to do so because I needed to take care of my young child.
Only recently did I decide to go to the local police station with a practitioner’s family. When I let go of the attachment of life and death, my fear disappeared completely.
I now tell myself, “No matter what disagreement or conflict I find myself in, when I see another person's problem, I should remember to cultivate myself. Perhaps others don't really have this or that attachment. Maybe everything came about because I'm the one who has an attachment that needs to be eliminated!”
“To tell you the truth, the entire cultivation process for a practitioner is one of constantly giving up human attachments.” (Zhuan Falun)