Learning to Truly Cultivate Myself Instead of Others
(Minghui.org) Even though I have been practicing Falun Dafa for more than 20 years, I always looked outward instead of inward. For example, I found my loved ones to be selfish or bad-tempered, and I judged my friends according to my own standards and found them to be greedy, hypocritical, and untruthful. As for fellow practitioners, I always noticed their deficiencies and thought they were not in line with Dafa. I found they talked about very ordinary things and I always felt that they were not as good as me.
I always used my own perspective to measure others. When I encountered people or things that didn’t please me, I would unconsciously become indignant and get into arguments.
In the beginning of August last year, a hint from Master Li suddenly made me realize that everything in the outside world is a reflection of my own mind. In the past, I only tried to correct others, instead of myself. Yet I still had many attachments.
I talked about looking inward but didn’t really apply it to my own behavior. I only studied the Fa superficially and only used it to measure others instead of my own conduct. Now I realize that I didn’t meet the standard for a cultivator.
While others may have been looking inward, I used to focus on my being right. After I began to cultivate, this feeling of conceit only increased. This might be related to the fact that I taught for 30 years or that I have been strong-willed since childhood.
I didn’t let anyone criticize me about anything; I was self-righteous. Moreover, I was poisoned by growing up in the Communist Party culture. I strove to be the best in everything I did, even going to extremes. This led me to disdain other people.
In the past, whenever someone tried to criticize me, I simply didn’t pay attention to it. Since I was young, I didn’t want to be taken care of and even looked down on those who tried to pamper me. My friends, relatives, and everyone I knew went out of their way to try not to offend me. With fellow practitioners, very few said anything negative to me directly. Over time, my attachments grew. That is, until June 2019, when I was arrested and put in a detention center for seven days.
That was when I completely realized that cultivation is about cultivating oneself and about cultivating one’s own xinxing. In my practice of more than 20 years, I didn’t really cultivate myself.
Master Li said:
“Only when you are studying the Fa and cultivating your heart and mind in addition to the means of reaching Consummation—the exercises, and truly changing yourself fundamentally while improving your xinxing and elevating your level—can it be called true cultivation practice.” (“What is Cultivation Practice?” Essentials for Further Advancement)
All worries, other than cultivating ourselves, are like “the man of Qi who was haunted by the fear that the sky might fall.” On such an important issue, however, I failed to cultivate according to Dafa's principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. I had not changed much after so long and had not been able to validate the beauty of Dafa very well.
In thinking about it now, I was obsessed with right and wrong and good and bad. But these are ordinary notions, not what a divine being wants. A divine being should completely let go of all attachments. The whole universe was created by the Fa, and Dafa belongs to everyone. Why should I worry about others?
I used to be overly concerned about other practitioners: that a certain one was falling behind and that another one was in a poor state. Based on the Fa, those are all superficial appearances. We need to pay attention to our own thoughts.
If we can regard all conflicts based on the Fa, isn’t everything Master’s arrangement? Isn't everything that happens for our own cultivation? How can there be any worries?
Cultivation is about getting rid of notions. While reciting the Fa, I realized that these notions are not my true self and that I must actively eliminate them. I can’t be attached to things that stop me from practicing. I have to let go of all my attachments and evaluate everything according to Master’s requirements. When I encounter anything, no matter how difficult it is, I should look inward and cultivate myself. I don’t think there is anything that can hinder me.
I also understand the difference between human beings and divine beings. Gods are harmonious and compassionate and see that all beings are suffering. Gods view everyone with compassion. So I don’t have any reason to categorize people into good or bad.
Divine beings won’t be affected by human beings. No matter how others treat me, I will treat them based on the Fa, not based on how they treat me. Only when we treat people with compassion can we truly save them. In a nutshell, cultivation is to change oneself.
Tears ran down my face as I wrote this article. Since I did not cultivate myself well for so long, I caused more work for Master. I know that He has never given up on me and is always guiding me. Thank you, Master. I now know what cultivation is, and I will strictly hold myself to Dafa's standards. I will cultivate diligently and do the three things well. What a late repentance!