Treating Discomfort As a Good Thing
(Minghui.org) I realized from a few small incidents that happened in one day that from the standpoint of cultivation, I should view discomfort as a good thing.
“I just said that the principles of cultivators and those of ordinary people are opposite. Human beings believe that a life of comfort is a good thing, while Dafa disciples believe that having everything be easy is a bad thing when it comes to their improvement and that discomfort is conducive to improvement. (Applause) Have you managed to turn around your fundamental concepts?” (“Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005”)
Master also says,
“He does not care at all in his heart for any ordinary human matter, and he will always be smiling and in good spirits. No matter how much loss he suffers, he will still be smiling and in good spirits without any concern. If you can really do this, you have already reached the entry-level Fruit Status of Arhatship.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun, 2000 translation version)
I realized that if I truly view discomfort as a good thing, then I should reach the state of smiling and being in good spirits no matter what. I made up my mind to do it from the bottom of my heart.
Working from home due to the pandemic, my tests in cultivation mainly came from trivial things that happened with my family members.
For example, in order to save time during lunch break, I bought a prepared lunch and thought it would be very convenient. However, my spouse ate it without realizing my plan. I immediately noticed my human notion, “This changed my plan and I now I have to go through the trouble of making lunch.” I saw my selfishness in this. I reminded myself that this was a good thing. At noon, I happily made a bowl of tomato noodles. Although it was not as tasty, I was still satisfied.
When I saw the dirty dishes in the sink, I immediately told myself that this was a good thing. I felt that I should provide convenience for my family and help alleviate their burden. In the past, I was responsible for cooking, and I usually left the dishwashing chore to my family members, who also thought such a division of work was fair. However, now I also could happily wash the dirty dishes without complaints.
Then I encountered an issue at work that required me to connect with coworkers in the United States to solve it. My immediate reaction was, “Another trouble.” I started getting impatient. However, I immediately noticed this attachment of fear of troubles. I told myself that the trouble is a good thing. How would I improve if everything always goes smoothly? I calmed down and followed the procedures. It turned out to be an easy task. What controls our heart and makes us uncomfortable is the attachment.
Next there came the physical discomfort. I started having a runny nose, an allergic symptom. I thought, “I have been trying very hard to cultivate myself. Why do I have physical discomfort now?” Immediately I realized my notion of viewing physical discomfort as a bad thing. I told myself, “Do not think too much about it. Everything happens for a reason and they are all good things.” With the corrected thinking, my allergy symptoms disappeared.
“Because pain is hard on people, they try to, consciously or unconsciously, ward off suffering in hopes of leading a more pleasant life. And so it is that in the pursuit of happiness people form ideas about how to avoid harm, how to live well, how to get ahead in society and achieve fame and success, how to acquire more for themselves, how to come out on top, and so on. To this end, as they gain experience people come to form notions about life; and those experiences, in turn, come to fortify these notions as people live out their lives.” (“The Closer to the End, the More Diligent You Should Be,” The Essentials of Diligent Progress, Vol. III)
I understand that as human beings, we would naturally be unwilling to face tribulations. However, as practitioners, we should hold ourselves to higher standards and work hard to uncover all the human notions formed over the years. Without my examining and changing these notions, I would not have even realized them in the abovementioned daily small incidents, let alone would I have eliminated them.
As true practitioners, we should strive to eliminate human notions and treat discomfort as a good thing from the bottom of our heart. Only in this way, would we be able to face tribulations with a smile and good spirits.
This is my personal understanding. Please point out anything inappropriate.