My 20-Year-Long Cultivation Path while Working on Minghui
(Minghui.org) Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
On this 20th anniversary of the French language Minghui website's founding, I would like to share my cultivation experiences. I was fortunate to begin practicing Falun Dafa in Paris in October 1997. Dafa helped me understand the meaning of my life and my sacred mission in this world.
Soon after I began practicing, I helped translate Falun Dafa books into French. I later did some French translations for the Minghui website. Two years ago I started to help coordinate projects. Being able to work for Minghui is my honor, my responsibility, and my mission to clarify the truth to help save people. I know Master has arranged different roles for me to cultivate and improve. No matter whether one is a coordinator or a regular team member, one needs to treat oneself as a particle of Dafa, cooperate with others, and always consider others first.
Identifying and Letting Go of Attachments
When I thought about writing this article I felt I hadn't done anything special. On the surface it seemed I was humble. Then I realized this kind of self-effacement and looking down on myself had a vicious connotation. I recalled what Master said: “A wicked person is born of jealousy.” (“Realms,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
I realized that jealousy was jealous of that “self” which was not itself. Jealousy is a parasite and it's jealous of me. It generates negative factors in my field and magnifies them so that I cannot see my good side. It wants to discourage me and further shake my will to cultivate. So, when I feel depressed or have negative thoughts, I need to see if jealousy is at work and I need to eliminate it.
In projects that I've been involved in when I feel others receive special treatment or they get acknowledged for something I've done, or when my opinions are not adopted, this jealousy surfaces. I may even think: “Then you do it. I'll quit.” These words have stuck in my throat many times but never got out because I suppressed them. I look inward, identify that jealousy, and get rid of it.
Before I began practicing Falun Dafa, my friends thought I was aloof—I avoided competing and getting involved in worldly affairs. After I began practicing and learned to look inward, I discovered that it’s not that I don’t have a competitive mentality but competing made me feel uncomfortable. My attachment to comfort was stronger than my competitive mentality.
I also thought that I could get whatever I deserved without fighting for it. The attachment to personal interest was also there. When I examined myself I found that I'm self-righteous and don't want to follow orders. I don’t like being forced to do things, I don’t like to hear unpleasant words, and I don’t like being disrespected or blamed. All these “dislikes” come from a competitive mentality.
“If one's Original Soul is in the niwan palace, one will really feel that the brain is thinking about something or sending forth messages. If it is in one's heart, one will really feel that the heart is thinking about something.” “In fact, the Original Soul is sometimes in the heart, so some people can indeed feel their hearts thinking.” (Zhuan Falun)
One day when I was reading the above, I suddenly understood a layer of its meaning. If you treat the attachment as yourself, it will “think” and tell you what to do. One will do things according to the attachment.
A fellow practitioner who did not speak Chinese fluently studied the Fa with me. When she wasn't sure if she’d read a word correctly, she would ask, “Is that right?” She was very polite, but every time she said it I felt irritated and didn't want to answer her. Why was I so irritated? I decided to read the Fa with her because I wanted to help her improve her Chinese. Looking inward, I realized that my original intention was to correct her if she made a mistake. I felt there was no need to say anything if she was right. However, when she kept asking me and forcing me to answer, my mentality of disliking being forced was aroused. That attachment made me angry. That attachment was not my real self but an external thing that controlled me.
At first, I regarded those bad thoughts as mine and felt bad whenever this happened. In fact, the attachment that was exposed was exactly what I needed to eliminate. I was happy—once we identify an attachment, we should eliminate it. Master said, “What’s given up is not oneself” (“Discarding Attachments,” Hong Yin II, Translation A)
We should also not regard other practitioners' attachments as the practitioners themselves. When we notice someone's attachment we should help them see it. We should remember the attachment is what's making the practitioner act out. For example, when a practitioner makes a mistake, becomes angry or irrational, or complains and blames others, his attachment is at work. Our human notions are not our true selves. We should have compassion.
When I read the following Fa, “The entire cultivation process for a cultivator is one of constantly giving up human attachments.” (Zhuan Falun), the words “giving up” caught my attention. I realized that only when the attachment is removed can a person truly improve. That is true cultivation. In order to improve I've told myself: “Don’t get angry,” “Control your temper,” “Don’t say that word next time,” etc. But doing this is trying to improve while still holding onto attachments. When I later read the same sentence, I noticed the word “constantly.” Cultivation is a continuous process of giving up attachments.
Tolerance and Cooperation
Because we worked together on a project, I set up a sharing platform with two other practitioners and assigned it a group name without discussing it with them. One practitioner immediately disagreed with my decision. My stomach felt blocked and my heart fluttered. I immediately knew that my attachment was bothered. Of course, I could just explain why I did this and the others would understand.
But Master taught us to always look inward whenever encountering any issues. That practitioner's objecting helped point out that I had too much ego. First, I apologized to him. I realized I wanted to have the final say. I didn’t consider anyone else’s feelings and assumed no one would object. I reacted to his objection because my attachment was bothered. After I identified it and removed it, I calmed down.
On another occasion, another practitioner insisted on his approach and there was no room for discussion. The person we needed said he was not available. I didn’t know how to break the deadlock and move on. My human notion of complaining was aroused by his attachment. I felt helpless and even thought about not working with him.
I kept repeating Master’s words in my mind:
“Do not complainBut hold on to your kindness”(Dispelling Your Delusion,” Hong Yin IV)
I reminded myself that I was a practitioner and I should sincerely cooperate with him. I shouldn't try to identify his attachment. We all encounter difficulty in cultivation, so we should be compassionate and tolerant.
“When you find the real reasons within yourself, if you dare to face and acknowledge them, you will see that the matter instantly changes and the problem disappears. Suddenly, for no obvious reason, it will seem that no friction or anything ever happened between you and the other person.” (Teachings at the First Conference in North America)
After I looked inward, the atmosphere cleared up. That practitioner also changed, and the project moved forward. Even my body felt lighter. I began to look forward to doing the exercises. I could write the Fa from memory for one hour while sitting in the full lotus position.
We all strive to achieve the same goal, but it's normal for practitioners to have differing opinions. Everyone has a different perspective so they may have viewpoints that don't agree. It's actually a good thing—we can augment each other and make our efforts more perfect. It also offers us cultivation opportunities.
Whenever there's a conflict with a fellow practitioner, my initial thought is to give up. When I look inward and improve, I know that it's always best to work with that practitioner. It was arranged by Master so it's always the best.
When I let go of my attachments of only wanting to look at other’s problems and attachments and wanting to argue about who is right or wrong, I understand that every practitioner may encounter difficulties in cultivation. We are all hindered by our human notions and attachments and being interfered with. When one sincerely wants the best for others and faces the problem with righteous thoughts, we will not only discover others' good aspects, their shining virtues, and their unique characteristics, but we'll also find the best solution. This is true cooperation.
In conclusion I'd like to share something Master taught us:
“Deal with everything you are faced with as a cultivator, and you will be able to overcome anything. (Applause) You should ask yourself: if a divine being were faced with this problem, how would he handle it? When you can't make it through, that's what you should be thinking. Just try to make it through and handle it that way, and see what happens.” (Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005)
Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners!