Every Test Is an Opportunity to Cultivate
(Minghui.org) I've been a perfectionist since I was a child, and I always complete the tasks assigned to me. My colleagues say that I'm trustworthy because I do my best to carry out assignments, no matter whether it seems that they will succeed or not.
A few days ago, I attended my elementary school's 50-year reunion party. Many former classmates still remembered me and said I was very serious about everything.I am serious about my cultivation. As soon as Master' teaching, “Digging Out the Roots” in Essentials for Further Advancement was published in 1998, I read it several times.
However, my serious attitude made the people around me uncomfortable.
For example, when a former college classmate said he dared not look into my eyes, I took it as a compliment. When a practitioner rejoined the morning group practice after being gone for a while, she asked the other practitioners if Master had published any new lectures but she didn't ask me. Later she admitted that she was afraid to talk to me.
I never criticize people by using harsh words. But I guess my attitude and tone of voice showed my dissatisfaction, strictness, and intolerance.
As a result other practitioners only spoke to me when they absolutely had to. They shared their happy experiences and stories with each other but did not include me. Even after I realized that other people only spoke to me when they absolutely had to, I felt it was because they had shortcomings.
I'm Shown My Attachment
One day in April 2017 when I was about to do some needlework, I noticed my thimble was no longer in my sewing box. I didn't give it a second thought. Perhaps Master saw that I ignored the first hint, so a month later the second thimble disappeared. When I realized their disappearance was not a coincidence I remembered that thimble is pronounced “Ding (push) Zhen (needle)” in Chinese, and “Zhen”(needle) has the same pronunciation as the Chinese character for “truthfulness.” I thought that it meant that I should be “truthful” or “truly cultivate myself.”
Then, in August 2017, I began to lose a lot of hair. In Chinese the words are: Tuo Fa, which is pronounced the same as: “Away from Fa.”
From these hints I knew I had some gaps in my cultivation so I should look inward. But where to start?
Many years ago, Master published this poem,
There’s a path in cultivating gong, heart leads the wayBoundless is the sea of Dafa, hardship is the ferry(Hong Yin, Falun Dafa)
After I repeatedly read and recited this poem I had an insight, that the secret of cultivation is as simple as to “cultivate one's heart” and “bearing the hardship.” So I made it a habit to examine myself whenever I encountered anything.
It seemed that I looked inward all the time and I didn't miss anything. What was my problem?
“The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa can shatter all lies, and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts.” (Essentials for Further Advancement II, Drive Out Interference)
When I had the wish to improve, the first attachment I noticed was to food. I liked a certain noodle so much that I ate it every day. After I saw this attachment I only ate it once in a while.
“Eating without tastingAttachment to food severed”(Hong Yin, In the Dao)
I began to recite the Fa instead of just reading the Fa. I also added one more meditation exercise every day. Reciting the Fa let me see the more profound meanings behind the words. I felt surrounded by Master's immense compassion, understanding, tolerance, cherishing and encouragement.
Forcing My Opinion on Others
One day, another practitioner pointed out that the words for thimble, “Ding Zhen,” also means “competition” and “uncompromising.” I agreed that it was a serious problem I had because I often imposed my opinion on others if I believed I was correct.
A fellow practitioner's daughter (also a practitioner) had a baby girl and decided to nickname her “Taotao” (naughty). I didn't like this nickname so I told her I didn't feel the name was right and it had a negative connotation.
Later when the practitioner mentioned her granddaughter “Taotao” I interrupted her and said, “Why do you still call her that?” She exploded and said I couldn't force my opinions on others, and that her son-in-law was not a practitioner and it could cause misunderstandings.
Later I learned that she never relayed my words to her daughter.
Another practitioner asked me if I noticed that practitioners often discussed something enthusiastically, but whenever I voiced my opinion, they stopped talking.
I realized that this was my other problem. I've very stubbornly defended my viewpoint and I was uncompromising. To avoid having a confrontation with me the others stopped talking after I gave my opinion.
Even though we're Falun Dafa practitioners, we still can have different opinions. I think we can honestly express our opinion, but if the other person doesn't accept it and we insist that we're right, it's like forcing our opinion on them. After I identified this attachment, I knew that I had to let it go.
One day in November 2017, one thimble reappeared in my sewing box and two months later the other one was there.
A few days ago, I visited the grandmother practitioner's home and saw many pictures on the wall of her granddaughter's room. Among the drawings there were two black pieces of paper, with no drawings on them. I didn't like them but I suppressed the urge to tell her what I thought.
Putting My Improvement Into Action
After I went home, I kept thinking about how this bothered me. So I decided to send a text message to her daughter directly and said it was for her reference only. I was not attached to the notion that she had to follow my suggestion.
By realizing my attachment and no longer forcing others to accept my opinion, I knew I had improved. From my experiences I've had some understandings that I'd like to share with you.
We should examine ourselves even if the matter seems trivial. We know that there's nothing trivial or coincidental in cultivation practice.
When we look inward, we should dig deeper. If we can't truly analyze ourselves but instead attempt to defend ourselves when others point our attachments out, it may mean that we still think the attachment is part of us and we don't want it to be touched.
You should honestly thank the person who points out your shortcomings or attachments.
The above is my personal understandings. Please point out anything inappropriate.