Tackling “Trivial Things” to Improve My Character
(Minghui.org) Harboring resentment has been a big hurdle in my cultivation and it took me a long time to realize its root cause and let go of it. I would like to share some of my cultivation experiences in this regard.
I have been studying the Fa teachings with fellow practitioners online almost every day, and things had been going well until recently, when an elderly practitioner came aboard.
When it was her turn to read, she stuttered along and often made mistakes, so we had to keep correcting her. In addition, she coughed after each sentence and one could hear the phlegm in her throat. It was rather unpleasant to hear.
On two occasions when I couldn’t stand it anymore, I cut in and started reading from where she’d hesitated. I thought I was doing the right thing at the time, as I believed that the Fa study environment should be pleasant and quiet, and too much background noise would interfere with our concentration.
The next time I heard the elderly practitioner still reading the same way, I went offline after one paragraph, feeling very annoyed. I thought: “How could a practitioner mess things up like this during Fa study?!”
Just then, Master's words came into my mind: “Look more at the positives in others and less at the negatives.” (Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Lantern Festival)
But I was still struggling with my thought-karma, thinking: “I don't even know her. How can I possibly see the positives in her?”
However, my knowing side was also strong, and it tried to rectify my incorrect notions. I went back online to rejoin the study. My thought-karma interfered with me again as I kept thinking while listening to her read: “Who is she? How can I see her merits since I don't even know her?”
Still, I tried to see the positives in her as Master told us to do. When I started to look at things this way, the knot in my heart was untied straightaway and my attitude changed completely: “This practitioner is pretty amazing, and is trying so hard to study the Fa despite her old age and physical condition.”
Normally, each of us would read one or two paragraphs, then the next one would continue, but she always read one or two pages and really enjoyed reading even though she made mistakes. Each time we corrected her, she would correct the mistake and keep reading.
That evening, I began to feel happy for her with every bit of her improvement. When it was her turn to read, instead of feeling annoyed and resentful, I started sending righteous thoughts to support her.
When we finished, I could not even tell if she had coughed. I felt very calm, and my earlier resentment for her was completely gone.
Looking Within While Doing Media Work
I'm involved in media work. A fellow practitioner once said to me after proofreading an article, “This character is kind of weird.”
I didn't take it well and thought: “How can it be weird? That’s how it was written in the original text, and this was what ancient etiquette was like.” Some inexplicable grievance started to churn inside me.
Then I remembered the issue of resentment our project team shared about not long ago and realized that I was still holding onto such an attachment. “I must not let it interfere with me,” I thought to myself.
I checked on the meaning of the character in the reputable Kangxi Dictionary. The explanation was very comprehensive, with detailed notes on the character from the Zhou Dynasty right to the Qing Dynasty.
“A common character we take for granted today, when checked closely, reveals such in-depth connotations spanning thousands of years,” I thought to myself. “That fellow practitioner didn't do anything wrong by raising a question; on the contrary, it demonstrated her commitment and strong sense of responsibility. It could have been her vow made long ago to carefully handle every article she came across.”
When I thought about it this way, I understood why she’d challenged the use of the character—she was only being responsible and not furthering her own interests.
All my annoyance disappeared, and I felt really happy I had the opportunity to work with her. When I let go of my own notion of resentment, the feeling of compassion filled my heart. Since then, we’ve had a very healthy work relationship and we both cherish the precious opportunity we have to work and cultivate together in the Fa.
A Hint in a Dream
I had a bad dream on May 13, World Falun Dafa Day. Someone was hitting me and asking if I would give in. I refused. He slapped my face and kept asking if I would surrender. I said “No,” and he slapped my face again. It went on and on, until suddenly I remembered what Master said about someone putting you in an awful situation: “Instead of being angry with him, you should thank him in your heart and thank him sincerely.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
I said to the person in my dream, “My master told me I should thank you.” Then he stopped hitting me.
When I woke up in the morning, I touched my face. It didn’t hurt on the surface, but the bone underneath ached. “So, I was truly beaten,” I thought to myself. But I was not clear what I was refusing to do in the dream.
I started to check within myself. The only thing that stood out was my attachment to resentment, which was so deeply rooted in me that I took it for granted as I went about my life.
That day, I found it very hard to focus when doing the hour-long version of the second exercise. My mind was a jumble of all sorts of stuff. My hands felt heavy and so did my mind, which was loaded with inexplicable resentment.
“What are you raving about?” I said to the resentment inside me, “No one is bothering you. What's wrong with you!” I was actually dealing with the resentment with resentment.
I then recalled two stories from ancient times. One of them was about the empress of Emperor Wu of Liang. She harbored much jealousy and resentment when she was alive and turned into a large python after death. The other was about a close friend of an eminent monk in the Eastern Han period (25-220 CE). Even though this friend also did a lot of good things, he had a bad temperament and tended to be resentful when not treated “fairly.” He too turned into a big python after death.
Then I remembered that in the new book “How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World,” it says that communism is an evil specter forged by hate, degeneracy, and other elemental forces in the universe. In another dimension, not visible to us, it took the form of a serpent, then that of a red dragon, and that it exploits low-level beings and demons to wreak havoc on humankind. The goal of the specter is to ruin humanity.
Suddenly, my mind became clearer and I realized that my stubborn resentment was rooted in another dimension and that it stemmed from the evil specter. I should eliminate such resentment for what it is. It is not as simple as some negative sentiment.
When I became determined to do this, a few lines of Master's poems appeared in my mind: “Burning the Red Demon, Tempering the Diamond” and “Once tempered many times, diamond's purity now shows” in “Stirred By Reflection.” (Hong Yin IV)
When my heart calmed down, my mind became empty and I finished the long version of the second exercise easily.
One day when I was reciting,
“his mind cannot get over it and is still bothered by it. It could be that his mind is hooked on it. He always wants to turn around to look at the faces of those two people.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
I thought that I must break through all old-force interference and stay unmoved.
My husband was going through a tribulation at the time. The matchstick he used to clear the wax from his ear broke inside his ear, causing an infection. His ear really pained him and his face swelled up. He couldn’t even talk properly.
I was very concerned about him. He usually always came with me when I went out to distribute truth-clarification newspapers. Now he didn't want to come along due to the pain and his swollen face. Conflicts also arose between me and my parents-in-law, who do not practice. Every day was a struggle for me at that time.
When reciting that paragraph of Fa teaching, a thought came to my mind: “If one side remains firm and unmoved, there would be a breakthrough.”
That day, I noted the following sentence during Fa study.
Master said, “Your body is purified in order to pave the way for your cultivating.” (Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Europe)
That line left a deep impression on me. I understood that, whatever we experience in life, be it sickness karma or a conflicts, they are arrangements by our compassionate Master to help us move forward on our cultivation path. I must always maintain my xinxing.
What happened next was quite amazing. I often thought to myself: “Purifying your body paves your cultivation path.” My worries about my husband's condition disappeared, and I talked and joked with him as usual and carried on doing what I should do. I never paid much attention to his swollen face and the tribulation he was going through. He seemed forget about it as well.
We have a lot of sharing among practitioners in media work. Once practitioners raised over 20 questions about one of my articles. It took me more than three hours to answer them. It was pretty hectic.
I remembered Master's teaching, “Your body is purified in order to pave the way for your cultivating.” (Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Europe)
I remained calm and edited the article, taking their suggestions into consideration, without any feeling of the resentment I used to harbor in the past.
A few days later, I went out for a walk with my husband. I happened to look at his face and saw that it was already back to normal.
I have come to the understanding that only by letting go of human attachments can one truly overcome tribulations and gain what is bestowed by the divine.