Cultivate Myself Regardless of the Situation
(Minghui.org) Master said: “Nothing that you encounter is by chance.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
Whenever a conflict occurs, I have learned to look within until I find my attachments. When I understand these attachments based on the principles of the Fa and let them go, the conflicts will be resolved and the truth will come out. Master said, “You put in the effort and your teacher will handle the rest.” (The First Talk, Zhuan Falun)
In 2018 I had a job looking after a 91-year-old woman of Korean ethnicity. One day, she couldn't find a small glass, that happened to be her favorite and thought I broke it. I told her that I would have told her if I had broken it. She said that she heard something fall to the ground when I was washing dishes.
I searched her kitchen but didn't find it. Only the lady and I were at home and her youngest daughter comes only occasionally. How come this glass disappeared?
When I told the elderly lady that I couldn't find the glass either, she said with sarcasm: “If you didn't break it, it will appear. If you broke it, I will never see it again. Though it didn't cost much, I liked it very much.”
Master's Fa came into my mind:
“Don't argue when people argue with youCultivation is looking within for the causeWanting to explain just feeds the attachmentBreadth of mind, unattached, brings true insight”(“Don't Argue,” Hong Yin III)
I didn't explain further. I must have attachments to be abandoned. I shouldn't look at the surface. Then what were my attachments?
I understood from the Fa that other people were like a mirror for me and reflected my attachments. The Korean lady was stubborn. She heard something drop but didn't ask what it was out of concern for her reputation When she couldn't find the glass, she concluded that I must have broken it. The glass didn't cost much but she liked it very much and couldn't sleep well at night because of losing it. This reminded me of what Master said: “I don’t emphasize any specific approach; I use various means to expose your deeply-concealed attachments and get rid of them.” (“Digging Out the Roots,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
I realized that what I saw in her was to remind me to look within unconditionally. I found my attachments. Stubbornness was a kind of validating myself and being attached to myself. She heard something, began to imagine, and drew a conclusion--this was a notion formed postnatally. She “doubted”--this was the attachment of “suspicion.” She didn't ask out of concern for saving face--this was the attachment to reputation. It didn't cost much--it didn't matter whether it cost much or not, it was the attachment to self-interest. She really liked it and was not happy to lose it--this was sentimentality. She even couldn't sleep when she lost it--the attachment was very strong!
“it’s fine to try to explain things with good intent; there’s nothing wrong with trying to clear things up. But if you do it with too much attachment it won’t work out.” (The Fourth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
I instead explained twice that I didn't break the glass. I tried to defend myself. Why? I wanted to argue that I was right and she was wrong. This was the attachment to being competitive. What was the big deal if “I was right”?
I explained the situation to my child after I got home and asked him to buy a similar glass for me online. “This is not a question of money.” he said, “If you buy one for her, she would be certain that you broke it.”
“This is not the point.” I said to him, “If I buy one for her, she will have a good sleep.” But there was nothing similar on the internet. I visited some department stores, supermarkets, and shops but didn't find one.
I came to the woman's home early. She gave me a long face and asked me why I came early. I told her that I visited various shops but couldn't find a similar glass.
“You didn't break it. Why do you want to buy one?” She stared at me, “My younger daughter bought it in Korea.”
I told her that I just wanted her to have a good nights sleep and not worry. She turned her face away and didn't talk.
Representing the Demeanor of a Practitioner
She started to find fault with me from then on. Either the food was too salty or was tasteless. The color was too dark with soy sauce or she didn't have an appetite if the dish didn't have soy sauce. The rice was too hard or too soft. No matter how picky she was, I stayed calm and happy. I tried my best to change according to her demand.
One day she was angry and said, “The work is too easy for you. You earn easy money here.” I stayed calm. My heart didn't move. I continued my work with a smile on my face. I was reciting Master's poem in my heart,
“As a cultivatorOne always looks for one's own faults'Tis the Way to get rid of attachments most effectivelyThere's no way to skip ordeals, big or small[During a conflict, if you can remember:]“He's rightAnd I'm wrong,”What's to dispute?(“Who's Right, Who's Wrong,” Hong Yin III)
I kept Master's instructions in my heart. I should forbear and think of others first. The lady said again, “I am a bit fussy. If you don't want this job, you can go home any time.” She actually was pushing me to leave.
“It is a predestined relationship that you and I have met,” I said with a smile, “If I have done anything wrong, please point it out to me and I will correct it.” She said nothing.
“The altercations or mistreatment that you encounter as you practice might be either of two scenarios. One is that you mistreated the other person during a past life. Perhaps the situation preys on your mind, and you can’t believe someone would treat you as they are. Well, then you shouldn’t have treated them that way in the past. You might say that you didn’t know better back then and that this lifetime has nothing to do with that one. But you can’t write it off like that. Another thing is, karma is surely being reworked with any altercation you get into, so we should be magnanimous and not handle it like most people would.” ( The Fourth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
I felt thankful to the lady because she helped me to improve my xinxing. She was sullen and didn't talk to me.
I begged Master in my heart: “Master, I have recognized many of my attachments and tried my best to get rid of them. I have clarified the truth to her and she knows I practice Falun Dafa and cultivate Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. But she thought that I broke the glass and that I lied. It doesn't matter that I was wronged. I just don't want her to misunderstand Dafa and not to be saved. This glass must be somewhere. Master, please enlighten me and let me know where the glass is.”
All of a sudden I remembered that one day I heard her daughter say to herself that she would take the glass home since her mother didn't use it. I was in the kitchen at the time and didn't take it seriously. Did she take the glass home? Should I call her? I might cause a problem between them if I called her daughter. So I left it as it was.
When I arrived home from work the next day, her daughter called me and I asked her if she'd seen the glass. She said she put it away and asked me why. “It's so good to know,” I said. “Your mother thought I had broken it. Can you please tell your mother when she comes back so that she can be at ease?”
When I calmed down, I realized that I still had the heart to prove that I was innocent. I regretted that I didn't maintain my xinxing or cultivate my speech. What the woman did was to help me increase my forbearance.
The woman's daughter came to see her several days later. She brought the glass. The lady talked to me that day. Her daughter had learned what her mother did to me. The children talked to their mother and said to her: “You wronged our maid and found faults with her. You intended to dismiss her. She didn't get angry or complain about you to us. She still did the job properly and looked after you carefully. It's very hard to find a maid like her nowadays. As long as we need a maid, we will definitely hire her.”
The daughter said to me, “You are so good. Why didn't you tell us when you were wronged?” I told her that we cultivate in a righteous way and treat everyone kindly.
Then I told her the facts about Falun Dafa. She listened attentively and raised many questions which I answered one by one. She said: “People who have beliefs indeed are different from those who don't have beliefs. I always complain about this and that and feel unhappy. Can you please lend me your book? I want to read it and rectify my mentality.”
I was so glad she said that to me. Thank you, Master, for your boundless compassion. She could be saved!
There are no trivial things in cultivation. This little glass caused an incident, through which I enlightened: If my heart was moved, I should become vigilant and look for any attachment connected to it. No attachment is independent. There must be other attachments behind it. Even the most hidden attachments are eventually exposed one by one and I should get rid of them. Then I should study the Fa with a focused mind and behave in line with Dafa's principles. Master will show me the principles at my level. I reminded myself that, no matter what conflict I come across, I must cultivate myself regardless of how the situation looks superficially.