Paying More Attention to Fellow Practitioner's Positives and Improving as a Whole
(Clearwisdom.net) For quite some time, some practitioners and coordinators in our area were at odds with a key coordinator, Ms. Zhao. The situation had a negative impact on our personal and collective improvement, as well as on saving sentient beings. Recently, because of Master's reminder, we tried to no longer be attached to Ms. Zhao's deficiencies. Instead, we paid more attention to her positive traits and saw many of her strengths. This has helped us eliminate the barriers among us and make a leap forward in our personal cultivation, and together we have improved as a whole.
In the past, I had assisted Ms. Zhao with some work, during which time we ran into some misunderstandings and conflicts. Instead of taking advantage of the opportunity to look inward and turning the seemingly adverse situation into a positive one where I could eliminate my attachments and improve my xinxing, I took an entirely opposite approach, rejecting the opportunity and focusing on Ms. Zhao's shortcomings. I blamed everything on her not being based on the Fa, and found excuses for my own conduct that was not in accordance with the Fa. This resulted in bigger misunderstandings and ever-intensifying conflicts between the two of us. It had gotten to a point where we did not want to face each other. When I found out that Ms. Zhao had told fellow practitioners to not contact me, I was very upset, thinking that even if I did not cooperate with her, I could still clarify the truth and save sentient beings. I concluded that it would be much easier if we minded our own business and went our separate ways. Thus, we stopped interacting with each other. Ms. Zhao continued with her coordination work, and I used every opportunity to go out to the countryside to explain to others about Falun Dafa. Although we lived close by, we had not talked to each other for two years.
Starting earlier in the year, I constantly heard others talk about Ms. Zhao's deficiencies. Many fellow practitioners had stopped contacting her. They even tried to avoid her and refused to take truth-clarifying materials that she had prepared. I jumped to the conclusion that Ms. Zhao had serious problems, never realizing that her shortcomings reflected my own deficiencies (in fact I had all the deficiencies that I saw in Ms. Zhao), and that I should sit down with her to exchange our thoughts calmly. Due to my prejudices and complaints, I asked another coordinator, Ms. Zhang, to join me to have a serious talk with Ms. Zhao to help her.
One day before the Mid-Autumn Festival, Ms. Zhang and I sat down with Ms. Zhao and took turns to speak in a very serious manner. We only talked about Ms. Zhao's deficiencies, using Master's teachings to measure where she had gone wrong. We talked the whole afternoon, while Ms. Zhao sat there listening without saying a word. Her face was dripping with sweat although it was not too hot that day. Yet, she never uttered a word.
When we left Ms. Zhao's home, somehow we did not feel right about what we had just done. Instead, we felt uneasy and somewhat ashamed. Suddenly, a thought entered my mind, "Pay more attention to other people's strengths." Instantly, I realized that it was very likely that Master was giving me a hint. I said to Ms. Zhang, "All we did was to focus on Ms. Zhao's shortcomings. We should pay more attention to her strengths, to the positive aspects of the efforts she makes in spreading Falun Dafa."
We looked back and found that there were so many positive aspects of Ms. Zhao that we had ignored. She had been detained and persecuted many times, but she never succumbed to the lies and the torture. She slept less than three hours a day, going to bed at 9:00 p.m. and getting up before midnight to send righteous thoughts; she then stays up to study the Fa until 3:50 a.m. and does the exercises. On hot summer days, when her house feels like an oven, she stays indoors to put together Dafa materials until her clothes are soaked with sweat. Sometimes she folds 1,000 copies at a time, faster than people younger than herself (she is in her seventies). She has gone through more tribulations than any of us and encountered several unfortunate events in the family in the past few years, but never once was she sidetracked from doing Dafa-related projects.
How did we miss all these positives? We had been repeating that we must take Master's Fa as a mirror, to take others as a mirror to reflect ourselves. Yet, when we encountered the specific situation, we tended to take Master's Fa to measure only others. How could we fail to take other people's deficiencies as a mirror to look at ourselves? The more we thought about this, the more ashamed we felt. Our discontent toward Ms. Zhao dissolved instantly.
Ms. Zhang and I also realized that we need to find other fellow practitioners who were at odds with Ms. Zhao to share our thoughts, so that we could eliminate the barriers among us and improve together as a whole. After we talked to several of them, we all realized that we had been wrong. We had all said that we should look inward and pay more attention to fellow practitioners' strengths. Our actions were just the opposite. In the future we should truly look inward and cultivate ourselves. We then talked to several other practitioners who said to us right away, "We've come to the same realization. It was in fact caused by our attachments to competition, jealousy and validating ourselves. Master has taught us the Fa very clearly and yet we have failed to act according to the Fa. We didn't have a clear head."
We shared with Ms. Zhao again and recognized our deficiencies. Ms. Zhao told us that she felt wronged and was deeply discouraged after our first conversation. "How could I do nothing right while I was busy with Dafa projects all day long?" She was ready to quit the coordinator's role. But after one night she changed her mind. She said to herself, "Master was using fellow practitioners' criticism to give me a heavy blow and help me improve. How could I feel wronged and want to quit? With whom was I really angry? Could I have been angry at Master?" When Ms. Zhang and I heard this, we were once again deeply moved.
Since then, the coordination among practitioners in our area has improved. Everyone has a clear role and responsibility, and we work together smoothly. We realized that looking at fellow practitioners' strengths is a good way to eliminate barriers and improve together as a whole. Other practitioners' deficiencies should serve as a mirror for us to look inward. There is always a reason for us to see other practitioners' deficiencies and there must be attachments that we need to eliminate within ourselves. Only then will we stop feeling smug about ourselves, and have a right mentality when we share with fellow practitioners, so that we can reach a good result and allow ourselves and our one body to mature faster.