Looking Inside in the Midst of Conflicts
(Minghui.org) A Falun Dafa practitioner named Ahlin and I have kept in touch with each other using a Minghui email account for more than ten years. Although we’ve never met and I don’t know where he lives, we’ve been cooperating with each other since the early years on Dafa projects to validate the Fa.
Because of one incident in early 2019, Ahlin repeatedly asked me the same question, and I responded each time. As we are usually busy, our email exchanges are brief. I felt that I'd already explained the matter clearly, but he kept asking the same question.
By the third time, I became impatient. When he asked me the same question for the fourth time, I was really frustrated and told him clearly, “You've been asking me the same question over and over. It made me question whether you have yourself together or not.”
He angrily replied, “You have too many negative thoughts.”
His words got under my skin. I emailed him and quoted something Master said,
“It would be good if they could manage to search within themselves for the things that they have been able to find in others.” (“A Dialogue with Time,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
Then I questioned him, “Are you the one that has too many negative thoughts?”
I was still angry after I sent the email. I added up all the things that he didn't do right; he thought that he was the best, and he spoke as if he were better than others. I'd had enough. Whatever we talked about, he always wanted to know the matter inside out and acted like a detective. The more I thought about it, the angrier I got.
Although I was irritated, I recalled Master's teachings,
“If someone counters your opinion and you get riled up and don't like it, if when other people raise an opinion opposite yours based on some problem you have or disagree with your opinion and you don't like it, and you stand up to oppose it and argue on your own behalf, and when this leads to your going off topic and not listening to others, [in all such cases] you are--even if you are defending and explaining yourself with the best of intentions--still just validating yourself. (Applause) That is because you didn't put Dafa first, and at that time the thing that you couldn't let go of most was self.” (Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York)
I tried to suppress the rage and thought hard about what was making me so angry. I didn't like what people said about me. Was it resentment? Suspicion?
There seemed to be many attachments within me. I tried to send righteous thoughts to get rid of them, but it wasn't effective. On the surface, it looked as if I were sending righteous thoughts, but in my mind, I churned through all kinds of bad thoughts about Ahlin.
I tried to calm down so that I could find the true cause of the conflict. Suddenly, I realized the moment I started getting angry was when Ahlin said that I had too many negative thoughts.
Having discovered the cause of the problem, I told myself: Just accept what Ahlin said and let go of the attachment.
Within a couple of minutes, all the bad thoughts filling my mind suddenly disappeared, including the resentment towards Ahlin. I was able to calm down.
I realized what led to my anger was my negative thoughts. As the thoughts were afraid of being exposed, they made me think of all the unkind things about him. I searched externally instead of paying attention to my own conduct.
Although I looked within, I didn't really see the root of the negative thoughts and eliminate the interference. It was like blindly pulling at weeds without removing their roots.
This incident helped me realize that we need to be openminded and accept any and all criticism. Only when we admit our problems and are determined to get rid of them will we improve.
Finally Admitting Mistakes
When I come across experience-sharing articles on Minghui that I think are good, I usually forward them to Ahlin. One day, I opened an email from him that read, “Please don't recommend articles to me anymore when you're too busy. If you aren't too busy, please send me a file that’s easy to open.”
I thought that his tone wasn't friendly and he was being unreasonable. I got annoyed and didn't reply.
Ten minutes passed before I realized that the link I had forward to him could only be opened with specific software. Otherwise, it had to be copied and pasted into the web browser’s address bar. I knew that before but somehow forgot about it.
I went back and replied to Ahlin with a tone of innocence. I assumed that once he saw my email, he would understand that I didn't do it on purpose and he wouldn't be mad at me. After sending the email, I logged off my computer.
Several hours passed by. When I was reading the Minghui website, I suddenly thought of the incident that morning. Somehow I felt that the issue was still there, that I was still holding on to something. What was the problem?
I realized that I was being cunning. Why did I pretend that nothing was wrong when I sent the email earlier? Was I trying to hide my mistakes? Or did I want him to feel guilty for blaming me for nothing?
This process made me question myself. I regretted what I did and sent him another email admitting my mistake.
The next day, Ahlin replied, “Thank you! Sorry for misunderstanding you.”
It was an amazing experience! When I looked inward and didn’t blame him or try to cover up my own mistakes, Ahlin also recognized his errors.
I recalled Master's words,
“As you cultivate yourself, you should regard the things that you perceive to be hardship, emotional blows, or things that affect your xinxing and the like, as good things.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2008 New York Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. VIII)
If we can really look inside, we would see the existence of rotten matter in our dimensional field. Only by being humble and looking inward can we improve.
In this particularly small incident, I realized that I had a cunning mentality and that I liked to cover up my own mistakes. I truly felt the seriousness of looking inward and cultivating myself.
Facing Attachments Head-On
One of my biggest problems is when I'm being criticized or fail to find the root of an attachment. It’s because I'm not willing to face my own problems.
From reading Zhuan Falun, I know that jealousy is something we need to get rid of. I hate it from the bottom of my heart and don’t want to have it. Jealousy is bad and shouldn’t be in my dimensional field, so I decided to pretend that it wasn’t there and kept thinking that I wasn’t attached to jealousy.
It wasn’t until several years ago when I worked with some practitioners on a Dafa project that I realized that jealousy was still in me. Although I saw its existence, I didn’t truly admit it was there, nor did I face it to eliminate it. It was because I felt too ashamed to have it.
As a result of jealousy, conflicts among practitioners became more and more intense, and it got to a point where I couldn't cooperate with other practitioners anymore.
For a very long time, I was hostile towards practitioners who had conflicts with me. I used words like “deep-seated hatred” to describe my feelings, and I wasn’t exaggerating.
I knew I wasn’t in a good state and often sent righteous thoughts to eliminate it. But it wasn’t effective. The situation lasted for one or two years until one evening when I sent righteous thoughts. I dared to admit, “That’s jealousy and hatred. I don’t want them. I don’t allow them to remain in my field.”
My mind felt like it was being emptied. I continued to send righteous thoughts for a long time.
That night, I had a dream: Two large, blood-red bugs the size of chopsticks were pulled out of me. It was disgusting. I also discharged three foot-long tapeworms and had to pull them out with my hands. The way they wound around my hand looked awfully gruesome.
The dream was so real that when I woke up the next day, I still felt the tapeworms being discharged. It was really uncomfortable.
About one or two years before the first half of 2017, I was able to face my attachments: first, I admitted the existence of the attachment, and then I sent righteous thoughts to eliminate it. I often asked Master to help me because when the attachment surfaced, I wasn’t able to calm down and focus.
During that period of time, whenever I found an attachment and removed it, the changes in me were huge. My attachments that I saw were ugly creatures in other dimensions. There were over a dozen blood-red bugs, then came larger black bugs.
All these were corresponding rotten matter being cleared out in another dimension.
Removing the Attachment of Being Able to Recite Zhuan Falun
I started reciting Zhuan Falun in 2003. Throughout all these years, other than being interrupted in the latter part of 2004 because I was detained, I've never stopped reciting Zhuan Falun and other Dafa teachings.
I've benefited tremendously from it and wrote some experience-sharing articles on the Minghui website. Reciting the Fa helped me grow in cultivation and get rid of many attachments.
Subconsciously, I felt that I had studied the Fa well and was better than others. Because of the jealous mentality, for a very long time, when I read sharing articles on Minghui about reciting Zhuan Falun, I had the thought, “Oh, this practitioner does it poorly. I could recite better,” or, “I started reciting Zhuan Falun many years ago.”
Sometimes I even worried that some practitioners recited it better than I did. The thought came and went so quickly that I didn't even notice its existence. Therefore, I never thought of eliminating it.
I was having some conflicts with a fellow practitioner not long ago when I found myself feeling unfairly treated. I suddenly realized that it was jealousy, so I began to take the initiative to eliminate it.
Now, when I read sharing articles about reciting Zhuan Falun, I am happy for the practitioner from the bottom of my heart and sincerely hope that all practitioners can recite the book.
Thank you, Master, for putting up with my many unkind thoughts and attachments and for saving me.