My Difficult Mother Helped Me Develop True Compassion
(Minghui.org) My mother was very critical of me ever since I was a small child. Because I also have a strong personality, we frequently clashed. After I began practicing Falun Dafa I knew that I should be respectful and kind to her. I became polite, never raised my voice or gave her an attitude. I helped her and reminded her to ask me if she needed anything. However, when we talked, it was only superficially and never heart-to-heart.
Despite my efforts to improve our relationship, my mother never smiled and her tone remained cold. I was puzzled: I was tolerant of her sour disposition and I helped her, but she continued to find fault with me.
One day, I complained to my husband, “I greeted her with smiles and yet she remained sour.” My husband said, “Your smiles aren't genuine.” I retorted, “My siblings are all rude to her. I'm the only one who treats her nicely. No one likes her!”
Yet, my husband's words made me think, and I felt that they were hints from Master. I realized that I had never changed myself from within and I hadn't let go of my resentment. Although I wore a smile, I had no compassion for my mother. If it was obvious to my husband, then my mother must have felt it too. No wonder she never smiled at me. Without truly having compassion, no matter how flowery my words were, they would not touch my mom or resolve our estrangement.
I thought it over and realized that no matter how sweet my words sounded or how well I did things to help her, if I wasn't motivated by compassion, then I was being a hypocrite and my actions were just for show. I was just playing a game and putting on a show of “kindness.”
This type of behavior was a trick developed in the communist party culture. This was not true cultivation.
“Righteous Gods of course wouldn't behave like the low-level, bad beings that recklessly do evil things. They of course all act in a good way. But that goodness is warped, and there are attachments behind the goodness. Also, precisely because of their good behavior, the obstacles they've created are the most effective at deceiving both themselves and others. If it weren't for Fa-rectification it really would be hard to break through those things.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Midwest-U.S. Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. III
I looked inward. My kindness was filled with attachments and loopholes. I was misleading others as well as myself when I appeared kind on the surface but my heart did not change. Master said,
“If you, as a cultivator, only part with things superficially while deep down inside you still stick to something or cling to your own vital interests that you don’t allow to be undermined, I’d say to you that your cultivation is fake! If your own thinking doesn’t change, you cannot advance even one step and are deceiving yourself. Only when you truly improve from within can you make real progress.” Lecture at the First Conference in North America
Master also said,
“Compassion should arise in the heart, and the facial expression should be peaceful.” (The Great Way of Spiritual Perfection)
My understanding is that when my compassion came from within then my expression would be peaceful.
I began to do things differently. My mother was getting older, so I helped her with grocery shopping and cooking. She did not like cleaning the kitchen, so I did it for her. When she was lonely, I chatted with her; when she was sick, I took care of her. I kept analyzing whether my interactions with her were genuine and if I were really helping her. Gradually, she began to smile when she saw me and her words softened. It was as Master said,
Fa Rectifies the CosmosMercy can melt heaven and earth into springRighteous thought can save people of the world
(Hong Yin II, Translation Version B)
We always talk about assisting Master in Fa-rectification. In fact, only when our sincerity, compassion and righteous thoughts come from within, will people see our sincere kindness and can we save them. Otherwise our compassion and forbearance is only on the surface. This is especially true in China, where dishonesty is so prevalent that few people can differentiate between the truth and lies.
“Compassion comes from a person's cultivation, and it's not something that's acted out; it comes from deep inside, and it's not something done to show others. It's something that exists eternally, and it doesn't change with the passage of time or changes in circumstances.”“Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Washington DC Fa Conference” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IV
Hypocrisy manifests in other ways. For example, pretending to work hard at one's job while taking shortcuts; flattering fellow practitioners, but bad-mouthing them behind their backs; appearing friendly when talking to people about Falun Dafa, yet looking down on them. We may not be aware of these behaviors because most people act this way. We must be vigilant and eliminate any pretense, otherwise, we will not be able to improve our xinxing.
When we see issues with other practitioners' cultivation, we should kindly point them out. This is being responsible and compassionate. Those who don't say anything but gossip behind practitioners' backs are not kind. We should openly and honestly communicate with others to help them improve. This is real kindness.