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Everything Changed When I Changed My Mindset and Eliminated Selfishness

Aug. 24, 2021 |   By a Falun Dafa practitioner in Canada

(Minghui.org) Greetings, compassionate Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!

Master said,

“I also want to tell you that your nature in the past was actually based on egotism and selfishness. From now on, whatever you do, you should consider others first, so as to attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism. So from now on, whatever you do or whatever you say, you must consider others—or even future generations—along with Dafa’s eternal stability.” (“Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature,” Essentials for Further Advancement)

Every time I read this paragraph of the Fa, my heart is filled with longing. I wish to become the selfless and altruistic being that Master requires us to be. When I read practitioners’ sharing on Minghui, I see that many have been genuinely cultivating themselves, and they have formed a habit of considering others first in doing things. Although I did the three things every day, I was not diligent enough in cultivating every single thought solidly. Sometimes I found an attachment, but I did not actually eliminate it, nor did I dig deep enough to find its roots. I usually still think of myself first: how I want to study the Fa well, how I want to save more people ...

While reciting the Fa as a team recently, one fellow practitioner was always late when it was her turn. She also had difficulty focusing, did not know where we were, and kept asking how many times we had to recite it. My first thought was not to understand her kindly as the other practitioners did. Although I restrained myself from saying anything, I couldn’t help complaining in my mind: I felt that she read too slowly and was always late. Her lack of concentration interfered with the team’s quality of memorizing the Fa. I didn’t realize this was an opportunity to consider others and place them first.

My understanding side wanted to break through, but there was no change. Listening to a recent experience sharing conference where I heard many practitioners talking about looking inside unconditionally for every thought they had, and their openness to eliminating selfishness benefited me greatly. I realized that I was far from the realm of “selflessness and altruism” as required by the Fa.

I asked myself: If I do not improve in genuinely cultivating every single thought of mine; if I do not eliminate my deep-rooted attachments and selfishness; if I cannot reach the standard of selflessness and altruism of the new universe; and if those sentient beings who have learned the truth of Dafa and have quit the CCP-related organizations, if they have nowhere to go in the future because I cannot reach the standard, can I actually assist Master in saving them? Not truly cultivating is very serious! The CCP virus pandemic is ravaging the world, so saving people is very urgent. For me, what is equally urgent is taking every opportunity to cultivate every single thought solidly.

Truly Looking Within

Master said, “I hope that after going home everyone will make best use of his or her time for genuine cultivation.” (Zhuan Falun)

This sentence has been ringing in my ears these days. Looking back, my enlightenment quality was really poor. I did not realize that I was wrong until just recently: The selfishness that I should have eliminated was deeply hidden. The attachments that I was not aware of, included being opinionated, lacking consideration for others, imposing on others, and other rude Party-culture behaviors manifested in so many ways! I hurt fellow practitioners without realizing it.

Some things came back to me like a movie. I now realize that in every case, it was indeed as Master said,

“...He’s right,And I’m wrong,...”(“Who’s Right and Who’s Wrong,” Hong Yin III)

Once at a Shen Yun ticket booth, a practitioner hurried in, looking distracted. When I encountered a similar situation in the past, I calmed down by reciting Master’s Lunyu. If I still couldn’t focus, I recited it three or five times, and I was soon able to calm down. So I offered to recite “Lunyu” with her. After reciting it once, I said it would be better to recite it three times. At that time, I thought I was helping her with good intention. I went back to selling tickets.

Some time later, during a discussion, this practitioner talked about her experience at a Shen Yun ticket booth. She said something to the effect that since her husband was not a practitioner, and her child was still small, she overcame lots of difficulties to participate at the ticket booth. However, a practitioner, without saying anything else, asked her to recite “Lunyu” three times after she had already recited it once. She broke through many difficulties to get to the booth, but as soon as she arrived, she was forced to do this. She had just overcome tribulations at home, and when she arrived at the booth, she had another tribulation created by a fellow practitioner.

Looking back, I think this practitioner was very kind. She talked about the incident very casually and did not mention any names. When I heard it, my face turned red. I thought I was helping her, so why did it have the opposite effect? If I hadn’t heard it during the discussion, I wouldn’t have realized I had created a tribulation for her. I felt so ashamed that I couldn’t even apologize to her.

I even hoped no one else would know that I was the one who gave her the tribulation—what a filthy attachment of selfishness and saving face! I already hurt a fellow practitioner, and yet I could only think of defending myself! The understanding side of me also felt that I should have looked inside. But at that time, since I felt I was right and that I was helping her, even when I looked inside, I only looked at the surface and did not dig deeper.

In fact, if I could have thought from her perspective, I would immediately see my problems. If I had put myself in her shoes, I would have been kind enough to understand her situation first and ask what help was needed. But what was on my mind was how “I” was going to help her, not what help she might actually want or need. There was nothing wrong with reciting Lunyu together, but when I didn’t consider her feelings, my disrespectful, overbearing and forceful tone sounded no different than an order!

A practitioner can ask herself to do what she enlightens from the Fa, but telling others to do what she understands from the Fa is not in line with the Fa. I was not only wrong–I was terribly wrong. I felt so bad about the harm I did to her, I wept when I thought about it.

Another time I was helping at an early sales ticket booth. We mainly relied on people calling the hotline to sell tickets. Several people wanted to buy tickets, and it took a long time for the practitioner who answered the hotline to finish processing a single order. I observed that the people waiting to buy tickets started to look impatient, and I was worried that they would leave. I couldn’t help complaining about the inefficiency of the hotline operator and her slowness. I couldn’t maintain my xinxing and said that it would be better if someone else more familiar with the ticketing system could answer the hotline.

Some time later, I heard this practitioner say that this phone call from the ticket booth created tribulations for her. Although my feeling was to look inside myself, I was not convinced, still believing that whoever answered the Shen Yun hotline should at least be more knowledgeable before taking up the job. I was stubbornly holding on to my own standards to control others.

When I thought about it later, I realized I was very wrong. The practitioner who answered the call was doing her best. I didn’t know what difficulties she was experiencing. As a cultivator, shouldn’t I at least follow the basic principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance? My words and intention were not kind, so of course I was wrong.

The attachment of fear that people might leave and miss the chance to buy tickets was also wrong and should be eliminated. Behind this fear I could see there was the selfishness of validating myself with wanting the validation of selling more tickets onsite. I did not cultivate kindness or cultivate my speech. I had the attachment of fear and validating myself. I was wrong not just once, but three times.

Perhaps Master saw that I had a sincere heart to acknowledge that I was wrong. When He reminded me of a scene, I cried; and when He reminded me of another scene, I cried again. Due to the limitation of time and space, I cannot state them all here. I want to take this opportunity to sincerely apologize to all the fellow practitioners who I have hurt over the years: I am truly sorry for my poor enlightenment and selfishness! Please accept my belated apology! I also want to thank everyone who has been tolerant and supportive of me over the years. I sincerely confessed in front of Master’s portrait that I was wrong and hope to be given the opportunity to eliminate selfishness in the future.

Changing My Mindset and Eliminating Selfishness

Master said,

“I’ll give you an example. In Buddhism they say that everything in the world is an illusion, that it’s not real. But how’s it an illusion? Who’d say those real, material things right there in front of you are fake, right? The form that material things exist in is one way, while the form they manifest in, it turns out, is different.” (The Second Talk, Zhuan Falun)

I understand that “everything in the world” including people and things around us, whether they are fellow practitioners, colleagues, family members, friends, sentient beings we meet in truth-clarification, and all of their behaviors are “illusions” and “not real.” They are mirrors that reflect my own problems and help me to look inside and improve my xinxing. Those who give help and those who create tribulations are all in fact helping me to cultivate, and I should be grateful to them. My own steps in genuinely cultivating every single thought were a little late, but our compassionate Master gave me encouragement again and again, and I could experience the light and wonderful feeling of changing my mindset and eliminating selfishness.

Eliminating Selfishness in Reciting the Fa

A deep experience in reciting the Fa is that every time when there was a wrong word, a dropped word, or an added word, it is often because I was distracted and disturbed with, or when my human notions and thought karma came into play. When I corrected the wrong words, punctuation, tone of voice, and stopped dropping words and adding words, I was rectifying my own small universe in line with the Fa, and also refining my own cultivation process of assimilating to the Fa with one-hundred-percent faith in Master. Most practitioners have gained a deep understanding after reciting the Fa together for a long time. When there is no voice other than the sound of reading the Fa, the effect is often powerful. After reciting the Fa, I feel that in another dimension my body is clear and transparent.

Before, I habitually complained when a fellow practitioner delayed in reciting when it was her turn or could not find which part we were at. Now my main consciousness can often catch the attachment of complaint and dig deeper to find that it is an attachment of selfishness: selfishness to maintain the progress and quality of Fa-reciting for myself or for our team. In the end, it is to maintain the interests of myself and our team.

Complaining is just a manifestation floating on the surface, while the root is this selfish attachment to protecting my interests. When I found it this time, I strengthened my own main consciousness to remove it. When I realized it was this self-interest that made me complain, I cultivated to remove it, and I was not driven by a mindset of complaint. The first thing I did was not to complain, and after I had that positive thought, my thoughts changed substantially.

That practitioner’s behavior is really a mirror. When she does not concentrate or is distracted, it actually reflects the problem of my own dimension: I was reciting the Fa, but my mind was still thinking about how to reply to a certain email. This may be different on the surface, and the degree of interference may look different, but the essence is no different. The role of the fellow practitioner was to show me that I was also distracted in reciting the Fa, to remind me to focus! She was helping me to see my own problems, so shouldn’t I thank her? How can I complain? Once I changed my mindset, I immediately focused on reciting the Fa. I couldn’t help but give a heshi gesture to my fellow practitioners, thanking them for helping me to improve. I also cherished the opportunity to recite the Fa together.

Eliminating Selfishness in the Process of Clarifying the Truth

After the pandemic outbreak, in addition to making phone calls, I also used social media software to clarify the truth to mainland Chinese. After accumulating some experience, I was able to help some people who had misconceptions quit the CCP-related organizations.

However soon after that, many of my friends on social media were deleted or did not answer my calls. Sometimes after calling for two hours, no one answered. At first, I didn’t understand why, and when I shared it with fellow practitioners, I said: I feel like I’ve learned eighteen martial arts but have no chance to use them. After saying that, I felt something was wrong, but I didn’t know what was wrong.

After looking inside, I found that I had gradually started to believe that it was my efforts in clarifying the truth that dissolved people’s misconceptions. I started to believe more in my own ability than in the power of the Fa. Uncovering this hidden selfishness to validate myself, I immediately eliminated it! Any thought of showing off or taking credit for achievements in Dafa cultivation is disrespectful to the Fa and an insult to the title of Dafa disciple, whose sacred mission is to validate Dafa.

One day I logged onto a social media server. I clarified the truth and persuaded several people to quit the CCP-related organizations. I felt that the truth was quite well laid out, so I thought it would be great if I could use the same server to call again the next day. The next morning, when I was reciting the Fa, I thought to myself that I should connect to the same server now so that I could call immediately after reciting the Fa to talk to more people to quit. On second thought, wasn’t I still reciting the Fa? I wanted to occupy the server. If I connected to the server at this moment, then others won’t be able to use it. What a selfish thought! Since this attachment was exposed, I should reject it.

Master said, “... true improvements come from letting go, not from gaining.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A.,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. II)

When I finished reciting the Fa and logged onto the server, I saw a fellow practitioner was already there. I had an uneasy feeling. The funny thing was that she immediately told me that someone was occupying the server, and she asked what to do. I could not help laughing when I heard that. Of course, it was not that the fellow practitioner on the server had any problems, but rather, Master used this fellow practitioner to let me see that I had the attachment to comfort. I wanted to pick and choose people who I think would be easier to save. I also had an attachment of jealousy, thinking that the fellow practitioner would save more people than me. If she could save more people, shouldn't I commend her by saying, as mentioned in the “Jealousy” section in Zhuan Falun, something like “Good job! You did a good job!”

Shouldn’t I feel really happy for her? It was not my true self that felt uneasy–it was my human notion. Seeing clearly that they were the attachments to comfort and jealousy, I sent forth righteous thoughts to clean out my dimension.

After sending righteous thoughts, I logged onto whichever server was available. I believe as long as my mind is pure, Master will help bring over predestined people to hear the truth. I talked to a Buddhist that day. After clarifying the truth to him about the CCP, he understood and agreed to quit. After listening to my recitation of Lunyu, he respectfully said, “That was very well written! He said he would remember, “Falun Dafa is good. Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.”

After we said good-bye, I deeply realized that it is Master’s Fa that awakened his Buddha nature and that it is Master who saves people. We as disciples are merely “opening our mouths” and do not even have to “walk any distance” on the RTC phone-calling platform. It is not that we have much ability; it is when practitioners elevate our xinxing and meet the requirements of a certain level of the Fa, we are strengthened by the power of the Fa in clarifying the truth. The real salvation of all sentient beings comes from Master and Dafa.

One day when I went online, I noticed the server I wanted to use before was available. I logged onto it and saw that fellow practitioners had called all the social media friends, and some calls were made more than a month ago. I thought since I was here, I might just as well call them again. I called someone who answered but did not previously agree to quit a CCP-related organization. After more than 10 minutes’ conversation, he agreed to quit the CCP. We had a lengthy conversation. For example, when I clarified the self-immolation hoax to him, I said, “That plastic Sprite bottle filled with gasoline did not deform or burn or explode when placed in that intense heat. If you want to find an example of the government fooling the people, this is a classic one.” He laughed out loud and agreed. He asked me to send him the link, and he replied immediately to express his gratitude.

That day, I also met a history teacher. He said he really admired the courage of practitioners who persist in clarifying the truth. He believed more and more people would be awakened. He said he was not able to break through the firewall himself, but he wanted to get information from more people who could, and he was desperate to know more of the truth and then spread it, including to his students. He listens to the truth every day through the channels posted in the group. He really likes the independent media programs run by Dafa disciples, which he said brings him uplifting power and confidence. He asked me to help him to convey his heartfelt message to the independent media channels, and he looks forward to seeing more programs from them.

In calling China, when I encounter people who argue, I learned to stop complaining that they are difficult to save. Looking inside, I found that when people argue with me, it’s because there’s something in me that does not conform to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

There were last-minute add-ons to my ordinary job, which affected my availability to help with the Dafa project, so I was anxious to finish my ordinary job as soon as possible. The more anxious I was, the slower my ordinary work was handled. Either the documents couldn’t be found or the lawyer was busy with another case. I found that this impatience was the attachment of being intolerant that made things twisted. When I let go of this anxiety and impatience, I told myself to just do my work patiently. When I let go of my impatience, my everyday work was handled quickly. I didn't meet any arguing people on the phone in the following days. People’s behavior is really a reflection of my own dimension, and it really helps me to see my problem so I can improve.

When I made phone calls with a humble and devout gratitude to Dafa, I encountered a man who said he respects Master Li Hongzhi and Falun Dafa very much. He understands very well what we are doing and shouted, “Hurray for understanding!”

Master said,

“If a piece of sawdust drops into a furnace of molten steel, it will vanish in a twinkling. It would be effortless for a Fa as immense as ours to assimilate a person such as you, to eliminate your karma, to remove your improper thoughts, and so on.” (Teaching at the First Conference in North America)

I am a small piece of sawdust in the furnace of Dafa. I am assimilated to Dafa every day. When I cultivate myself to get rid of my selfishness a little bit, our compassionate Master pushes me a big step forward.

(Presented at the 2021 Canada Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)