Looking Inward to Walk Righteously on My Cultivation Path
(Minghui.org) I started practicing Falun Gong at the practice site in our village in February 1999. Before I could figure out what cultivation is, or how to look inward, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to persecute Falun Gong. I had not yet studied the Fa much, so I responded to difficulties with human feelings and sometimes even used extreme thinking and methods of the evil Party culture to deal with the interference and persecution that I experienced.
Eventually, by constantly studying and memorizing the Fa, I gradually learned what cultivation practice is, how to distinguish between personal cultivation and Fa-rectification cultivation, and slowly learned to look inward under its guidance.
“After the celestial eye is open, one can see from one side, simultaneously, four sides of a human body. One can see the rear, the left, and the right from the front. One can see one layer after another or see beyond this dimension the fundamental cause of an illness.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)
If we look inward, searching for our attachments from different angles, orientations, and levels, it is easier to find and remove them. Let me share my insights.
Looking Inward to Eliminate Competitiveness
My attachment to competitiveness arose recently. If anyone, whether a fellow practitioner or not, said or did something that I did not agree with or opposed my pursuit of wealth and notoriety, then the attachment of competitiveness would come out. I kept trying to eliminate it, but it would interfere with me whenever I let up in my cultivation. At such times, I became pessimistic, feeling that cultivation was bitter and tiring.
Master has said,
“As a cultivator One 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 right, And I’m wrong,”What’s to dispute?(“Who’s Right, Who’s Wrong,” Hong Yin III)
So I calmed down to think about it: “A god wouldn’t fight with humans because he doesn’t desire human things. He does not have a human heart and wouldn’t value worldly things. When my heavy human heart puts so much value in human things, I feel unbalanced and become eager to compete with others.”
On one occasion, I was relaxing in the breakroom at work with many other of my colleagues, all of whom knew I practiced Falun Gong. Someone sitting beside me said something bad about Dafa. I got upset and took issue with him: “Which article of the law has denounced Falun Gong?” He said, “Jiang Zemin denounced it!” I said, “What Jiang said is not the law. He persecutes and slanders Dafa, which is against the law!” Driven by my attachment to competition, I was practically yelling. Everyone in the room was surprised. My colleague frowned at me.
I immediately realized that, due to my competitiveness, I had gone too far. Driven by this attachment, I was not being kind or compassionate, forgetting that they were fooled by the CCP's lies. My goal was to protect Dafa, but I used what I had learned from Party culture to handle it, which makes it difficult for people to accept. I missed a good opportunity to clarify the truth about Dafa to my co-worker; instead, I hurt his feelings. The next day, he did not want to talk to me. Although I greeted him, he only reluctantly answered back. I made up with him later, but the lesson left a lasting impression on my mind.
Our company increased the salaries of most of its employees. Some got 200 yuan more and others 400 yuan. I was the only one who did not get an increase. Not only that, they increased my workload. My job was simple, and I could take a break after it was done. But now, whenever there was extra work to do in the workshop, I was asked to do it. When all the others were all on break or at lunch, the paper-producing department was in desperate need of material, so I was asked to help them.
Some colleagues complained on my behalf: “It’s ridiculous! You didn’t get a raise but your workload increased!” I just smiled without uttering a word, but inside, I was a little perturbed and wanted to plead with the supervisor for fairness. However, seeing myself as a cultivator, I knew I had to let go of all attachments to money and self-interest.
I remained calm and did whatever I was told to do, but deep down I was still very upset. Then I thought, “It’s just a few hundred yuan. What’s the big deal?”
Master shed light on the issue of jealousy:
“This jealousy is somehow related to the absolute egalitarianism that was once practiced: After all, if the sky falls, everyone should die together; everyone should have an equal share if there is something good; when it is time for a pay raise, whatever the percentage, everyone should get an equal share. This mentality appears to be fair, with everyone being treated equally. In fact, how can people be the same? The jobs they do are different, and so is the extent to which they fulfill their responsibilities.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)
I clearly saw my jealousy after reading this.
Two or three months later, I was transferred to the paper-producing workshop, which was short of manpower. My salary instantly went from 700 to 800 yuan. I realized that what happened earlier was Master's orderly arrangement to help me remove my jealousy. Thank you, Master!
Changing Human Notions
The work at my company was divided into three shifts: first, second, and third. I worked on an assembly line in the paper department, adding raw paper materials to the assembly line; I was the material feeder. Workers on each shift were supposed to clean up before quitting time, put the excess materials away neatly, and fill the assembly line with raw materials.
The material feeder for the shift before mine was a fellow in his 20s. Every day when his shift ended he left his area in a mess. Either some materials were not neatly stored or the raw material feeder was not filled adequately. I had to clean up every time I took over his work line. I never looked for a supervisor to complain about it, nor did I say anything to him. After a while, however, I formed the opinion that “This young man is lazy and makes trouble for me.” This situation lasted for a year or so. I also thought that I was a cultivator who should not behave like an average person; maybe I owed him from before, so I might be paying him back in this life. But I did not look inward to find which human notion may have caused that negative mindset.
Later, he and I exchanged shifts, so he came in after me. I was happy, thinking, “This is good since I won’t need to clean up after him anymore.” I did not expect him to be even worse. Our supervisor once asked him why he never cleaned up. He said it was because I didn’t clean up, so he did not feel he had to. There were no cameras in the workshop to verify anything. My shift ended at 12:00 a.m., so the supervisor was not there to check my area, but I still cleaned up. The young man took advantage of this situation. This time I felt upset, wondering, “Why is he behaving like this? He doesn’t clean up, and he always blames others. He doesn’t accept responsibility.”
For a couple of weeks, he continued to leave before cleaning up his assembly line. He blamed me again when the supervisor criticized him. Cameras had been installed in the workshop by then, so the supervisor checked the camera and found that it was just his problem. I was on alert about my cultivation by then and thought, “I looked inward but still focused on wondering why he always did that and why he even got worse. Why did he always do that to me?”
Finally, I realized that I had formed a long-standing view of him, which was: “He always does that.” This kind of thinking caused him to always do that. I didn’t realize it, but I’d put the blame on him. His bad behavior was caused by my notion. A Dafa cultivator’s thoughts can be powerful, making it very easy to control an average person! If I kept thinking like that, it would constantly strengthen this notion about him, and then it would be difficult for him to be good because he was always being restricted by my energy. How could I blame him? Wasn’t it my unrighteous thoughts that were causing this trouble?
“Typically, when an everyday person thinks about something, what he or she generates is something in the form of the brain. Because it does not have energy, it will disperse shortly afterward. A practitioner’s energy, on the other hand, can be preserved much longer.” (Lecture Five, Zhuan Falun)
I realized that I first had to change my notion and align myself with Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance in order to avoid interference and not form negative thoughts. Only then will the work environment, living environment, and social environment improve. My positive energy will be stronger when my cultivation is more aligned with Dafa’s characteristics, and from there, I can continue to improve.
I have been able to cultivate Dafa until today because I have had Master’s protection and the constant hints he gives me about looking inward. I must study the Fa more to align with it and truly achieve the state Master advises: “Cultivate, my disciples, ‘til no single omission is found,” (“Cultivating Amidst the Delusion,” Hong Yin, Translation Version A)