The Importance of Cooperation
(Minghui.org) We made prehistoric vows to assist Master during Fa-rectification. Master has given each practitioner different capabilities and wishes us to cooperate with, and complement each other. When each one of us uses his special capabilities and cooperates with other practitioners, we can form one body and we will be fulfilling our mission, which is to save people. Due to human notions and insufficient righteous thoughts, we frequently do not cooperate well. Thus we may lose our opportunity to save people. This reminds me of a story about the ancient philosopher, Shao Yong.
Shao Yong (Chinese: 邵雍; 1011–1077) was a Song Dynasty philosopher, cosmologist, poet and historian who greatly influenced the development of Neo-Confucianism in China. He was the author of the Plum Blossom Poem. He had an accurate method for prediction called Huangjishu.
Huangjishu is composed of two parts. It very accurately predicts the future. When he became elderly, Shao Yong passed his method down to his two disciples, one part to one of them, and the other part to the other one.
Before he passed away he called his disciples to his bedside. They wept and asked who would teach them after he died. Shao Yong said, “Listen. You two need to help and respect each other after I pass away. You need to tell each other when you have new understandings in your studies. If you can do that, your capabilities will quickly increase and our Huangjishu will develop faster. You must remember what I say!”
After he died, the two disciples each thought their master had given them the true techniques. They studied hard and wished to contribute like their master. Thus they kept their true understanding to themselves but only disclosed a little superficial knowledge to the other one. After many years when the one disciple was old and sick he enlightened to the other part. He recalled his master's words and suddenly understood that the other part must have been given to the other disciple.
The two disciples met and discussed the situation. They were both deeply regretful and wept. They finally understood their master's arrangement. Because of their narrow-minded thinking, they did not cooperate well and improve together, but instead wasted a lot of precious time. They were unable to improve the Huangjishu even though afterward, they worked together and passed it down to later generations.
A few years ago, some young practitioners and I cooperated together to teach other practitioners computer techniques to get around the Chinese regime's Internet blockade. Because some practitioners had differing opinions, we had conflicts. Sometimes we cooperated poorly, or not at all. Because of this, the coordinating practitioners blocked us, and said we had shortcomings in our cultivation. A few of us sincerely and openly talked, and looked for our own attachments instead of criticizing others.
For example, one fellow practitioner who was always mindful of security looked down on a fellow practitioner who did not pay attention to safety. Another practitioner had a conflict with the practitioner who was careful. We shared our opinions and realized that we must look inward and get rid of our attachment to looking down on others. The young practitioners with good technical skills helped several other practitioners to step forward and produce their own informational materials.
When I examined my own behavior, I was deeply regretful that the conflict between the coordinating practitioners and me was not quickly resolved. Our arguments slowed down the project. Because I was busy with projects, I had little time to study the Fa. Instead of eliminating our resentment and attachments to competing with each other, we ignored our conflict. Our negative thoughts about each other caused us interference and losses to the project.
One day I enlightened that we should have cooperated well while working on the project, and formed one body. Because of our attachments, we failed to follow Master's arrangement. I felt so sad. I sincerely shared my understanding with the other practitioners who were involved in the disagreement. Our sincere sharing finally resolved the conflict.
Unfortunately, our realization was too late! Just like Shao Yong's two disciples who were too late when they finally realized they should cooperate. The old forces took advantage of our human notions and attachments, and used them to interfere with us and our projects to save sentient beings. Because we did not fully cooperate, the project did not play the role it should have and failed to save the people it should have. We must never commit such mistakes again!
“Then what good would it do ending it? Isn’t the Fa-rectification for saving people? If I were the only one to leave here, what point would there have been in creating this world? And all of the arrangements made before history would have been in vain. The time has been extended for your sake, and for the sake of sentient beings.” (From “Fa Teaching at the 2013 Western U.S. Fa Conference”)
From studying the Fa I realized: Master has taken care of us for so long! He is enduring so much in order to extend the time before Fa-rectification concludes, in order to give more opportunities to those practitioners who have not done well and those sentient beings who have not yet been saved. How many practitioners understand and treasure what Master has done for us!