Cultivating Away Jealousy and the Competitive Mentality
Hello, fellow practitioners. Hello Master,
I never regarded myself as a jealous person and thought in the beginning of my cultivation that Master's words about jealousy were only for Asians. However, jealousy and the competitive mentality would become very big obstacles in my cultivation.
One day a colleague asked me if I could solve a mathematical problem for her. Eventually I came up with the solution. At the same moment she also arrived at a solution but got a different result. After making comparisons, I told her that because my method was more elegant, it probably had no errors and that she had better check her own method to find her error. It seemed such a small matter, but while going home on my bicycle after work, I began to feel very uncomfortable about it. Why had I treated her like that? Suddenly I realized that my feelings of jealousy were very strong. I had to admit that I couldn't stand it that she also had found a solution--and just as fast as I did! I remembered Master's words about jealousy and became calmer. At home I checked my own solution. I was surprised that I was the one who had made the mistake and that my colleague was right! The next day I let her know that she had been right. I felt very calm because I had recognized a big attachment and given up a piece of jealousy fed by my competitive mentality. That night I had a very tranquil meditation and felt very light. I felt liberated with this rise in xinxing but didn't know that it would be only the beginning of my struggles with the attachment of jealousy and competition.
I had to share my office at work with a new colleague who often irritated me. Whenever I asked him a question, he didn't give a straight and short answer, but instead started explaining everything from the beginning as if I knew nothing. Why did he always have to use so many words and take so much of my time, and why did he always try to show off his knowledge so much?
It is actually very common and normal for people to struggle and compete over who is right and whose knowledge is the greatest because of notions acquired in the human world. I was raised in academic circles to expect no mistakes and to always prove how good I am.
Eventually I had to admit that I often was doing the same as my colleague and that I was also was showing off my knowledge and competing; in fact I simply couldn't stand it that he possessed so much knowledge. Jealousy was also the root of this problem and had to be removed. I stopped paying attention to my colleague and decided instead to look inside, to cultivate, and to let go of this competitive mindset. The situation at work improved considerably.
However, the attachment of a jealous and competitive mentality went much deeper and entered a dangerous realm in some cases. At work I was able to let go and be disinterested in personal interest and fame, and all seemed well. Soon, however, this mentality shifted towards cultivation. The number of Fa rectification activities had increased. We started to go out more to pass out fliers and to contact the government, websites, media, etc. I did my best to do the Fa rectification work, but slowly and almost unnoticed I started to develop thoughts of jealousy and competition when I saw other practitioners do things. Especially when I saw things that I was unable to do, I felt out of balance and I felt that I wasn't good enough. This has lasted for a long time and I never improved my state.
Instead of cultivating the attachment away and looking inside myself, I directed my attention outward without being aware that I myself was causing the problem. It was most striking that I disapproved of some of my fellow practitioners' actions and criticized them in my mind, because they seemingly didn't conform to my ideas and understanding of the Fa. I used a lot of words to explain my own ideas. It seemed as if my attention was drawn to the side of practitioners that I regarded as negative and that I criticized that side instead of eliminating the competitive mentality and jealousy in myself that constituted the real problem. I even went so far as to regard some troubling situations of other practitioners as retribution for doing wrong. One example was when some practitioners, Westerners among them, went to China and were caught.
The pressure in me built up until one day I had enough of it and remembered Master's words about jealousy and started to look inside myself. Why did I criticize some practitioners so much in my mind, while Master writes in Zhuan Falun that practitioners are considered to be the most precious people?
Fellow practitioners are such precious people. Why was I looking this way at my fellow practitioners? It was as if I was busy testing practitioners in my mind, and approving of them only when their actions conformed to my understanding of the Fa. Master said in "Teaching the Fa at the Western US Fa Conference" in 2000:
"But as to our Dafa, let me tell you that nobody is worthy of testing It. Because all beings--and this includes every being in the cosmos--are created, made, and shaped by It, no one is worthy of testing It."
What was I doing? Did I go along with the old forces and was I supporting the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners? Was I worthy of testing fellow practitioners? It was as if the jealousy of the entire system of the old forces was speaking through my body. Suddenly I could make the distinction. My will became stronger: "I don't want to be like this. This is not me! You are not me! You try to make me jealous, but I refuse. I refuse to be jealous and I don't care how much you try. No matter how jealous you try to make me, I refuse to be jealous, and I refuse to take part in the persecution of fellow practitioners!" I held the helm firmly to follow Master over the sea of Dafa and refused to be influenced by the old forces.
Since that time the situation in my cultivation practice has improved immeasurably. The root of this problem has been removed and when elements of it return, I am better able to detect them. With the help of these righteous thoughts, my criticism towards fellow practitioners has been converted into powerful support. I feel closely connected to my fellow practitioners and have since experienced many touching moments in which I was truly happy from the core of my being when I saw other practitioners do things for Dafa. I am one of the contact persons at our practice site, and I once saw a fellow practitioner explaining the exercises to someone who was just passing by. Usually I explained the exercises at that practice site, but after having lost my attachments, I was moved deeply and felt the righteous field become strong when I watched the other practitioner demonstrating the exercises with so much compassion.
After reading Master's words in "Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles" this year, my understanding of jealousy and competitive mentality deepened further. Master said:
"That is why they're thinking, 'Since this matter involves us, how could we let you do whatever you want with us? I, like others, have countless sentient beings, and I too want to try to be chosen.'"
After reading this, the thought occurred to me that every practitioner corresponds to an unbelievable number of beings in the cosmos and there are many beings in his body. The beings corresponding to me want to be chosen and try to do so by using all possible means. I thought that one movement of them could manifest on my surface being as competitive mentality, show off mentality, and jealousy, in ideas that seemed more correct than others' and criticizing fellow practitioners etc.--any thoughts that do not really come from me, but seem to be me.
Master said in Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A.:"
"As I've said, everything that happens today in the ordinary society is the result of Dafa disciples' thoughts. Even though the old forces do exist, if you don't have those thoughts they can't do anything."
Strengthening the righteous thoughts and removing the attachment of jealousy and competitiveness renders these beings powerless.
Master writes in the same lecture: "what's the true reason for this persecution? Just a buffoon's jealousy." I have put down my struggle with jealousy and the competitive mentality in words, because they have been really difficult to break through. I would like to quote from the book Falun Gong, and I hope fellow practitioners will pay attention to this:
"Jealousy is a huge obstacle in cultivation and one that has a large impact on practitioners. It directly impacts a practitioner's gong potency, harms fellow cultivators, and seriously interferes with our ascension in cultivation. As a practitioner, you have to eliminate it one hundred percent. Some people have yet to forgo jealousy even though they have cultivated to a certain level. Moreover, the harder it is to abandon, the easier it is for jealousy to grow stronger."
My understanding is that the part "harms fellow practitioners" refers to harming my fellow practitioners and me.
As practitioners we should expose these damaging attachments together if they arise between us, support and help each other in overcoming them, and keep a straight course in Fa rectification.
Thank you, my fellow practitioners!
Thank you, Master!