Looking Within Unconditionally
(Minghui.org) I have been thinking about an issue that happened more than 10 years ago. I faced a big problem in my cultivation at the time. However, I didn’t look at it in a clear-headed and rational way.
Years ago, a fellow practitioner had his daughter-in-law take me to an empty house of his, so I could avoid being arrested the authorities.
It was dark as we approached the house. The man's daughter-in-law didn’t want me to walk her back to the bus station, as the neighborhood was comprised of a complicated network of streets. She was afraid that I would get lost on my way back to the house. I told her not to worry, as I would remember the street signs.
On my way back to the house, while I did get close, I couldn’t actually find the house. I went back and forth several times, trying to jog my memory, but two hours later I was still lost. I called the practitioner’s daughter-in-law and she had another person give me directions to the house.
It turned out that the house was located a few doors down from one of several lanes. I somehow had no memory of passing those particular landmarks.
I felt that the incident was telling me that if I got lost, it didn’t matter whether I was close or not; I still would not be able to reach my destination. All my efforts in trying to get to the house were in vain unless I found the key instruction.
I thought about that experience on and off over the next several years. Although I had some sort of understanding of the meaning behind the incident, it just wasn’t good enough. Did I grasp the key instruction? What was it? Was I still lost even if I was so close to the destination?
Looking Within Becomes a Guide to Understanding
Recently, I gained a new understanding on “looking within being the light that could guide us home.” In the past, my understanding of this concept was based on human notions. I looked within when facing conflicts, but always thought that either I was right or it wasn’t my fault. It was always “someone else's fault” even though I had tried very hard to look within.
Several years ago I couldn’t resolve the constant conflicts at home and decided to look within unconditionally. I tried so hard to convince myself that “it was my fault” during times of conflicts. However, I still felt wronged, blamed others, and believed that I was absolutely not the problem. Having to think “it was my fault” cut like a knife.
After a while, I slowly realized that I shouldn’t feel wronged and that it was not right to blame others and be self-righteous. Still, having to think “it was my fault” continued to irritate me.
More time passed. Then, one day I realized that my first instinct was always to think “someone did something wrong,” no matter what happened. I didn’t notice that tendency, just as I never noticed that I had a right hand. Afterward, when I had to look within and convince myself that I was the one who was wrong, it hurt, but at least I was more clear-headed and rational.
Figuring Out Complicated Fa Issues
I used to be hot tempered and it seemed like I was always upset about something. I had improved some after I began practicing Falun Dafa, but not when the conflicts pointed directly at my human notions! I routinely studied the Fa, and with Master’s help I was able to pass every painful moment as I eliminated my attachments.
I came to the understanding that many of my notions and habits stemmed from the indoctrination I experienced under the communist regime. I wouldn’t have been able to see them had I not practiced Falun Dafa. I was blind to the notions and habits of the past and hence was unable to get rid them. They were like the complicated maze of streets that trapped me and prevented me from reaching my destination.
The most important turning point in my years of cultivation was being able to admit that it was my fault when I faced a conflict. This was the real beginning of looking within. As for thinking that looking within means that “I have examined myself – I am right and hence this isn’t my fault,” this is misunderstanding the Fa.
To frequently, unconditionally, and truly look within and improve is how Master has us see our incorrect notions that would otherwise be invisible to us. It is also how we can avoid being lost when we are so close to home.