(Minghui.org) Falun Dafa practitioner Jing is nearly 80 years old.
Before 1999, Jing was a volunteer assistant for the local Falun Dafa practice site. After 1999, she was involved in coordinating activities for practitioners. She did the three things well but was self-centered. Nobody could persuade her to change her mind once she had decided on something. She would always insist that her suggestion was the best.
Because of that, other practitioners would not discuss things with her once they knew that she stubbornly refused to accept anyone’s suggestion. Sometimes, despite knowing that what she said did not align with the Fa, no one dared to point that out to her.
A few years ago, Jing fell off her motorcycle and her leg never fully recovered. Later, she stopped going out, not wanting to leave a bad impression of Dafa due to her injury, but practitioners still discussed problems with her at times.
Dealing with an Issue Related to the Persecution
A local practitioner was persecuted and had to go into hiding. Other practitioners suggested making brochures to expose this. After putting one together, someone shared it with Jing, asking if anything needed to be revised. After looking it over, Jing said that it needed a total make-over: The picture did not show compassion, the work address should not be included, it was too long-winded, and so on.
But when other practitioners looked at it, some only said that a few areas needed to be revised. We met, made revisions, and Xin (alias) showed it to Jing again for her input. Again, she gave her suggestions, saying that one part overemphasized relationships, another part was not suitable, and another section was too detailed. She said only a few sentences were needed to highlight the issues. When Xin explained why it was written as it was, Jing became unhappy and said, “If you don’t want to take my advice, then you can make your own decisions!”
Xin told Hui, the practitioner in charge of putting the brochure together, what Jing said. Hui said that, since Jing had made up her mind that she was right, there was no way to come to a consensus. And, since other practitioners had no objection, the group should just ignore her opinion and proceed with the group’s version. How could a few simple sentences clearly explain that the police were involved in all sorts of illegal doings?
Besides, Jing was not well educated, so she might not have understood the intricacies of the writing style. Furthermore, she always thought that she was correct so it was really not easy to communicate. The group agreed to ignore her input and not change something that everyone had agreed on just because of her.
As we were getting ready to produce the brochure, Hui received a letter from Jing saying, among other things, that the content needed to be rewritten using just a few sentences to describe the matter.
Looking at Jing’s letter, Hui did not feel that her opinion was wrong. Instead, he felt that he was in the wrong. He felt that he was not being responsible to Jing because she wasn’t yet satisfied. However, he ignored her feelings and continued going forward with the brochure as though nothing had happened, although he did reply to Jing with a page-long letter stating his understanding of the matter.
Looking Outward Instead of Inward
Later, Hui wondered to himself again why Jing had written him that letter. Had he cultivated himself well in regard to Jing’s problems? He realized that, whenever he faced a difficulty, he just took a detour. So he began to look within concerning what he thought about the matter and how it affected his opinion of Jing. He concluded that Jing was unreasonable, that the problems that she raised were ridiculous, and that since she had only attended primary school, there was no way she could understand his writing style and complex issues. She did not understand the actual problem but just wanted everyone to listen to her. She was really too self-centered.
Then, all of a sudden, Hui realized that he was looking outwards. Jing might lack knowledge in this area, but, unlike Hui, Jing had cultivated herself well and done the exercises every day for the past 27 years. Jing’s determination when it came to hardships, her regular Fa study, and her attitude towards the three things were far better than Hui’s. How could he look at Jing’s one single shortcoming of being self-centered and look down on her? Hui knew he should be responsible to Jing and to his fellow practitioners.
Hui wrote Jing a five-page letter detailing how they came up with the content for the brochure so that she could understand why they wrote what they did and not be dissatisfied. At the same time, Hui sincerely hoped that Jing would not be attached to herself and that she would elevate in her cultivation and cooperate with the group, because their common goal was to save sentient beings.
Hui kept revising his tone and choice of words, hoping to express his thoughts in a pure, compassionate, and selfless way as much as possible. When he sent her the letter, Hui also sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the barriers between practitioners and all the evil elements that were keeping the brochures from being distributed widely.
After she read the letter, Jing said, “Since Hui said that I am self-centered, I’ll look within, let go of my self-centeredness, and cooperate with the one body. When I looked at the revised brochure, I realized it really wasn’t easy for them to put it together, but it was done really well. The content is great—it is really very good. It will definitely save sentient beings. Give me 500 copies, and I will distribute them.”
When a practitioner eventually brought her the brochures, Jing said she wanted more, that she would distribute a lot of them. (Jing had not really been going out to distribute brochures due to her leg injury.) Now, not only does she go out to distribute brochures by herself, she also spurred other practitioners to do the same.
After hearing about Jing’s 180-degree turnaround, Hui was incredulous, and it took quite a while for it to sink in. Not only was Hui amazed at Jing’s change of attitude, what amazed him even more was that Jing was able to let go of her long term self-centeredness. A change like that can only happen in Dafa. Only Dafa practitioners can understand this type of excitement.
The same brochure initially needed to be totally revised. But then Hui looked inward, changed his perspective, and sincerely hoped that Jing could let go of her attachment to ego to become part of the one-body. With just this thought, Master made it possible for the person who objected to the brochure the most strongly to praise it the most sincerely.
Jing’s self-centeredness had been an attachment that many practitioners agreed was as hard as marble. No one could do anything about it. Actually, all these years, all of us were wrong. None of us looked within based on this problem. We just treated her self-centeredness as her shortcoming.
Actually, this was a false display that was shown to us. It was there for us to take note of and cultivate ourselves. However, we were all misled by this fake display, wrongly thinking that Jing had not cultivated herself well in this respect. Thus, we did not look within. Master must have seen that, for a long period of time, we had not realized this problem, so he used this issue to give us a chance to improve in our cultivation and teach us the need for cultivating better.
Cultivate a selfless thought and stubborn self-centeredness disappears. This really is the power of the Buddha Fa!
I hope that fellow practitioners will not hang on to fixed ideas about other practitioners when barriers appear between practitioners or when they see other practitioners’ shortcomings. That is actually a chance for us to cultivate ourselves. As we know, it is difficult to see our own wrongdoings but it is easy to see other people’s flaws. If we can change ourselves, the other practitioners will change, too.
Let us cherish our affinity with the Fa and cultivate ourselves well, so it truly serves the purpose of saving sentient beings.
Kindly correct me if there are areas for improvement!
All articles, graphics, and content published on Minghui.org are copyrighted. Non-commercial reproduction is allowed but requires attribution with the article title and a link to the original article.