The Issue of Judging Fellow Practitioners & the Importance of Looking Inward
(Minghui.org) An elderly practitioner named Ms. Zhao in my local area suffered serious illness karma. When I communicated with Ms. Xiao, another local elderly practitioner, I found that many practitioners had opinions about Ms. Zhao: She didn’t pay attention to safety – frequently communicated with other practitioners with her cell phone; because she was in charge of project funds, some usage of money was unclear; she liked to interfere with others’ business and manage people as a coordinator.
I met Ms. Zhao two years ago. We were in the same project for saving sentient beings. I didn’t interact with her much, however, I found that she had a lot of merits: she’s very loyal and devoted to Dafa and Master as she always puts Fa-validation things first; she tried her best whenever someone needed help; she was not afraid of hardship or trouble and she got up early and returned home late, sometimes eating just one meal a day; when the local persecution was severe in the past, she was brave and accountable because she proactively coordinated local practitioners to rescue those in detention; when she was persecuted, she acted as a Dafa disciple who would not compromise with the evil; she used righteous thoughts to break through hurdles and didn’t forget to save the policemen who participated in the persecution.
Sometimes I went to her house and saw fellow practitioners come to her constantly; some came to get informational materials; some needed her to coordinate various projects. I admired her from the bottom of my heart, as she was in her 80s. She can hear and see well. She learned how to send emails, print truth-clarification materials and how to make exquisite amulets. Every day she had to handle so many things while fulfilling her duties on our project. How energetic she was! How could ordinary people do it? Dafa disciples are different!
Fellow Practitioners’ Negative Thoughts & Taking Security Seriously
I was very surprised when I heard so many practitioners’ negative comments about Ms. Zhao. In fact, I did see some problems with her, but after all, cultivators are not perfect people. When cultivating among ordinary people, practitioners will have all kinds of shortcomings, and that’s why they need to cultivate. If they were that good, then there would be no need to cultivate. It is normal for Dafa disciples to have problems. As fellow practitioners, we should bring them up with each other, face to face, in good faith. We should help the practitioner realize that everyone is helping and improving together, rather than talking behind their back, complaining, or even spreading negative information. That behavior has no benefit to the individuals or overall environment; it can only widen the gap.
Let’s discuss the following few things that everyone has opinions on.
Regarding the issue of not paying attention to safely using cell phones, one could have a discussion seriously with Ms. Zhao. If she didn’t take it to heart, one could refuse to answer her phone calls or refuse to contact her. However, many people didn’t do that. Instead, they silently accepted her risky behavior. Isn’t it because practitioners were afraid of trouble and felt that it was more convenient to contact her with a cell phone? When I was at Ms. Zhao’s house, I found that many practitioners also used their cell phones to call her.
Last year a large-scale arrest of practitioners occurred on July 20. Some policemen suggested that the arrested practitioners’ information was obtained from Ms. Zhao. As a result, many practitioners complained about and blamed her. They felt that she'd dragged everyone down. Regardless of the truth of what the policemen said, it was wrong for Ms. Zhao not to pay attention to using cell phones securely. However, was what other practitioners did right? Some practitioners who contacted Ms. Zhao without using their cell phones stayed safe.
Managing Dafa Project Funds Responsibly
Regarding the money issue, what I saw was completely different from what I heard. What I saw was that Ms. Zhao was very serious and responsible with the project funds. She wrote down every single transaction. She was not spending it at will. She normally paid out of her own pocket instead of using project funds when visiting persecuted practitioners or the practitioners’ family members.
In the past few years, a lawyer was hired to file a lawsuit on behalf of detained Dafa disciples. Only the lawyer’s salary, meals and lodging expenses were paid out of the project funds. In the past, Ms. Zhao told me that she had to walk straight on her cultivation path. However, I heard that Ms. Zhao frivolously spent money that wasn’t related to the project, but I didn’t know where this rumor originated. I didn’t know what happened at the time to make practitioners come out or believe this rumor. So I made no comment. However, I do know that sometimes there are misunderstandings. Sometimes small things might be exaggerated or amplified. If this information is combined with human shortcomings, the end result would be totally twisted.
This year, there was a conflict related to funding between Ms. Zhao and another practitioner. I don’t want to go into details, but from Master’s Fa teaching, we all understand that nothing is accidental. When something happens between two parties, both sides have something to rectify. However, I saw clearly that there was a misunderstanding here. Ms. Zhao brought this up with me. She wanted to figure out the amount of money that was spent to to clear things up with the fellow practitioner. There were rumors among many practitioners that Ms. Zhao was greedy. Otherwise, why would she eagerly inquire about the money over and over again when she still has project funds in her hands? I think as a bystander, if we do not witness something in person, it is better not to spread rumors based on speculation that could intensify conflicts. Even ordinary people say: “Rumors stop at the wise.” When Master talked about showing off and cultivating one’s speech, he specifically mentioned not to spread gossip. This is something we cultivators must pay attention to; otherwise it would cause losses to the body of practitioners.
Maintaining Righteous Thoughts When Working With Coordinators
I find it even stranger that people were complaining that Ms. Zhao wanted to be a coordinator. She already is the coordinator. She had literally undertaken so many coordination tasks for saving sentient beings, and she had really played such a big role. She is enthusiastic, loves to help and take charge of things.
There were also times when she was unable to do well. Sometimes, because of her work, she was caught in the center of contradictions. She was the one who people wanted to work with whenever they have a project. She was the go-to person whenever they met with difficulties. I sincerely felt that many local practitioners relied on her. Besides, it’s okay to want to be a coordinator; as long as one can do well, anyone can do it. I felt that the practitioner who said this about her felt unbalanced. Was it jealousy?
Ms. Zhao’s health has not been good since last year. Perhaps her attachments were taken advantage of by the old forces. Both Ms. Xiao and I believe that the negative views many local practitioners have of her increased her tribulations.
“People who study human-body sciences have now discovered that a person’s thoughts and brain activity can generate a type of matter. At high levels we can see that it really is a type of matter, but it turns out this matter isn’t like the brain waves that we’ve now discovered with research. Instead, it takes the form of a complete human brain. The thing that ordinary people send out in their daily lives when they think is in the form of a human brain, but it disperses quickly since it doesn’t have energy. But a practitioner’s energy lasts much longer.” (Lecture Five, Zhuan Falun)
If many practitioners have opinions about Ms. Zhao, wouldn't this kind of thinking produce negative matter? Since practitioners’ thoughts and words have energy, the effect of their thoughts may not dissipate for a long time and may even adversely affect other practitioners’ bodies. It would be difficult to eliminate it on one’s own. I remember that I read an article on Minghui that was written by a practitioner whose third eye was open. When he sent forth righteous thoughts for fellow practitioners experiencing sickness karma, he saw that other practitioners’ bad opinions of the ill practitioner formed a mountain in another dimension, blocking the righteous thoughts from entering the field of the fellow practitioner.
I continued to communicate with Ms. Xiao and tried to objectively analyze her cultivation state. She did have problems in some aspects, but as described above, she had many shining points and excellent qualities, especially her steadfastness and determination to cultivate in Dafa. Her firm belief was very worthy of admiration. Since the beginning of the persecution of Dafa, she had played a very important role in saving people and rescuing fellow practitioners in our area, and she still played that role today.
From this situation, we have seen through the sinister intentions of the old forces. This is a conspiracy of the old forces. It deliberately provoked conflicts among fellow practitioners, took advantage of the notions of our uncultivated sides to create gaps, and dragged down fellow practitioners to destroy them. And the fact that the old forces could succeed also indicated that we as a whole had omissions. When encountering tribulations, everyone was looking outwards, looking for others’ shortcomings instead of looking inward and cultivating themselves according to Master’s requirements. The old forces noticed it, and it’d be strange if they didn’t take advantage of that loophole. Actually, it’s not just Ms. Zhao who was in danger, it’s dangerous for everyone as a whole.
The large-scale arrest of practitioners on July 20 last year was not a coincidence. Everyone really needs to pay attention and learn lessons from this. Dafa disciples are one body. No matter which practitioner is persecuted, whether in the form of illness karma or detention, it is a loss to Dafa and affects the saving of sentient beings. This is not a trivial matter.
When a fellow practitioner was in trouble, many practitioners said that was his or her own problem. There is nothing wrong in seeing a problem that a practitioner might have, but if one thinks that it is normal for fellow practitioners to encounter tribulations, or that they even ought to, it is equivalent to acknowledging the old forces’ arrangements. When we make it past a hurdle, we have the ability for the most part to eliminate the old forces’ arrangements; even if we make mistakes, we are corrected according to Master’s requirements, and the old forces are not allowed to persecute us. However, there are those who feel resentment and contempt towards fellow practitioners who did not cultivate well, so that they cannot sincerely and compassionately help fellow practitioners pass their tests. Oftentimes they still send righteous thoughts on the surface, but complain in their hearts or behind practitioners’ backs about others’ shortcomings. Of course, this behavior will not produce any good results. If there’s just one or two people who think this way it’ll have a minimal effect, but if everyone is like this, it could give the old forces an excuse to persecute fellow practitioners.
At the end of the discussion, fellow practitioners and I agreed that this problem reflected on the whole group and was an issue be improved upon. Each one of us must cultivate ourselves, and when we upgrade our xinxing individually, so too will the group’s xinxing be elevated.
Even though I understood this, when I meditated the next morning, I was still uneasy. I was worried about Ms. Zhao and anxious about other practitioners’ cultivation states. I felt very uncomfortable and started to cry. I was depressed because it felt like the energy field was filled with black matter. I realized that this state was wrong and suddenly realized: On the surface, it seemed that I am worrying about fellow practitioners and the whole group, but in fact, I am also looking externally. All I saw were overall deficiencies and that fellow practitioners didn’t treat Ms. Zhao objectively.
Shouldn’t practitioners be kind and compassionate? Did I treat fellow practitioners like this? There was actually hidden resentment and injustice! I thought that I'd dug into this issue more thoroughly and cultivated better than others. I almost fell into the old forces’ trap. The old forces are really cunning; their arrangements for Dafa disciples are very subtle and extremely concealed. If we can’t let go of self and look inward, it will be difficult to identify their plots. It was not intentional that the local practitioners neglected this issue. They didn’t realize it, and they accidentally took the path arranged by the old forces. How could I still resent them?
At this time, Master put two words into my mind: tolerance and understanding. Thinking about the fantastic job that the local practitioners had done, I was too fixated on their shortcomings and missed their strengths. In fact, every disciple has his own way. Contradictions and problems are not bad. If everyone looked inward, it would be a good opportunity for individuals and the group. So there is no reason for me to be pessimistic. Everything is under Master’s control. All I need to do is cultivate myself well.