Brief Discussion on Being Responsible for Fellow Practitioners
(Minghui.org) After having cultivated for over 20 years, our practitioners understand the importance of cultivating ourselves well. We emphasize more on looking inward and cultivating ourselves. We no longer look at or criticize others. We are becoming more mature in cultivation.
However, when facing other practitioners who deviated from the Fa, some practitioners thought we should focus on ourselves, and thus didn’t speak up. Acting this way makes sense from a certain point of view. But if viewed from a different angle, it is not exactly correct either.
Addressing Cultivation Issues
One practitioner’s cultivation state was pretty bad a few years ago. Some of her understandings deviated from the Fa, and she tried to impress others. I disliked her because of it, and did not want to talk with her. I was concerned that we might get into a fight if I spoke, since she is a strong willed person. My state of mind was not quite stable at the time either. So, I did not point out her deficiencies.
I had a dream one night. In the dream I pointed out her deficiencies very calmly and clearly. I figured that it was Teacher’s hint for me to point things out for her. So I did. Surprisingly, she accepted my suggestions peacefully. It went exactly as what I saw in the dream. I knew I had done right.
Another time, I walked with two practitioners. The first practitioner began to talk about another practitioner’s incorrect behavior, and how he himself did it right. The second practitioner agreed, and also boasted about how he himself did well. I felt what they did was not quite right. I gently reminded them of their improper behavior. Because my attachment to losing face aggravated them, I was timid when I spoke. They did not respond, but did lower their voices.
Pointing out Cultivation Issues Calmly
I thought it over after getting home and decided that I needed to be more assertive on this matter. So I talked to the two straightforwardly, telling them that one should not badmouth fellow practitioners behind their backs. One should point it out when seeing something wrong. It would be even better if one can discuss it with the practitioner positively and help him elevate. One should also examine if one is affected emotionally.
The two practitioners realized their deficiencies right away and looked inward for their attachments.
I felt it especially easy when I meditated that evening. My legs usually would hurt and get numb when I meditated. But that night I felt so comfortable. My understanding was that I had done well during the day.
I met a practitioner who was in a bad cultivation state. Affected by the attachments to showing off, ego, and lust, her words and conduct were often irrational. But I was not in a good cultivation state either. I was afraid that my bad impression of her would make things worse if I spoke, so I did not. Later a sentence appeared in my head when I held the law wheels doing the exercise: “Teacher would be most sorry if she was destroyed.” Tears filled my eyes right away. I felt truly bad.
Avoiding Issues out of Self-Protection
Some practitioners would say something when they saw other practitioners’ deficiencies. But they did not do it earnestly, positively, and straightforwardly. Rather, they touched upon the fringes, very gently, and avoided addressing the real issue. In reality they were not avoiding hurting people. Rather, they tried to avoid being blamed. It was done out of self-protection.
Sometimes problems occur because a practitioner does not understand the particular matter sufficiently. If one sees it and does not point it out, it may not catch the person’s attention. He will not be able to think carefully and truly understand the problem. As a result he will not be able to correct and elevate himself.
Some practitioners say sometimes: “Let him get enlightened by himself. It is more virtuous that way.” It sounds like one is thinking on behalf of the fellow practitioner. But a practitioner in tribulation, or having fallen into a bad cultivation state, is often unaware of it himself. He does not feel that he has a problem. How can he get enlightened to it? We should point it out for him.
With the evil forces are still present, it might be too late when the persecution occurs, or when he already has gone on a detour. Cultivation in the Fa-rectification period is different from that of individual cultivation.
There are also practitioners who are being modest. They always say that they are not enlightened too well and cannot explain things well. They say that they are afraid that they cannot convince people, and that people will not listen and will get upset. In reality they are trying to protect themselves.
There are people who are like me also, feeling turned off by a practitioner and trying to avoid him. Actually all these practitioners are making excuses. They are not being benevolent. Even though they may be cultivating themselves, they will be confined by the limitation of still being selfish and thinking out of self protection. They cannot truly elevate themselves.
Some practitioners are afraid to produce karma by speaking wrong words. They say that one must cultivate his speech. Nowadays everyone pays attention to clearing away the indoctrination by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). People are afraid of committing mistakes in this aspect.
Conflicts Are Opportunities to Expose Attachments
But if one thinks more carefully, one would realize that the more important thing is to cultivate the heart, rather than the mouth. Not speaking does not necessarily mean that one has already gotten rid of the attachments. On the contrary, the conflicts are opportunities to expose one’s attachments. We can elevate ourselves through conflicts. Getting rid of one’s selfishness and sense for self-protection will result from the elevation of xinxing.
From another point of view, it might be that we have underestimated the capacity and realm of our fellow practitioners. We don’t believe that they will react well when faced with criticism. Even it were the case, our reminder would help them think. It will also get rid of our attachment of expecting good results. The process is a reflection of our cultivation state. It is also an opportunity for us to elevate.
It is okay to focus on cultivating oneself. But our cultivation should not be in an environment of mutual criticism. A cultivator for sure is going to have deficiencies and make mistakes before consummation. “Kindly reminding” is not criticizing. It is for the good of others. It is being responsible for fellow practitioners and for practitioners as one body.
Our goal of cultivating in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is to become an enlightened person who is unselfish, selfless and always putting others first. We cannot be a person who only cares about his own cultivation and not pay any attention to others. That would be going to another extreme.
Feeling responsible for fellow practitioners and the sentient beings with a sincere heart will let others feel our good intentions, and will cause them to look inward. On the other hand, it does not mean that one should always watch fellow practitioners for deficiencies and try to point out their problems.
Dafa practitioners are one body. Doing Fa study and group exercises together is one form of cultivation that Teacher has taught us. This pure and sacred environment is important to every one of us. It can refine everyone. But if this environment becomes one that lacks the sincere exchange of thoughts and opinions and everyone acts on his own, then it will become a group of ordinary people. It will not be so beneficial for us. To let go of oneself and to improve the entire body is also a process of cultivation.