My Thoughts on Eliminating Hatred
(Minghui.org) I began practicing Falun Dafa in 1998. Although I've been able to eliminate many notions and attachments, some, like hatred, are really difficult to get rid of. As the requirements for practitioners get higher, this issue has become more prominent.
One local practitioner was diligent in doing the three things. He went to Beijing to appeal for Dafa and was arrested and badly tortured. He developed a strong hatred for the policeman who tortured him. After he was released he didn't eliminate it. He even once told us that he dreamed he killed that policeman with poison. We reminded him that he should eliminate his hatred, but we didn't take it seriously or examine ourselves to see if we also had this attachment. He later developed illness symptoms and passed away.
I know that sometimes my cultivation is only superficial; I feel I'm diligent because I do the three things every day. When I'm able to put down hatred on one specific issue, it surfaces elsewhere. Since I kept working on eliminating it I felt that I was diligent, but I didn't ask myself why it never completely went away.
After a lot of searching inward I feel that what's key is whether we truly believe in Master and the Fa. If we can measure each of our thoughts and actions with what Master has taught and eliminate our human notions, we'll be able to fundamentally change.
Hatred is usually developed in two situations. The first is when someone affects your personal interests, reputation, physical body, or emotions. The second is when someone disagrees with you. For example, I easily develop hatred towards the people who persecute practitioners.
I read Zhuan Falun every day and my thoughts are righteous while I'm reading the Fa. But as soon as I put the book down I revert to an everyday person's mindset. Why does this happen? Master very clearly told us: conflicts between people are due to karmic relationships. I knew this, so why couldn't I eliminate my hatred?
When I carefully looked for the root cause I found that I failed to completely put down my human notions. I haven't completely assimilated to the Fa and my understanding remains at the surface level. While I'm reading the teachings my understanding is clear. While the karmic relationship and the loss of virtue during arguments are invisible, the injuries and damage by other people are visible in real life. When my heart is pained, I feel unsettled. I often unknowingly follow my feelings and human notions and feel that revenge will make me feel better. Master's teachings were temporarily put aside.
I also never seriously considered the consequences of failing to follow Master's teachings. I usually slack off and tell myself I'll do better next time. I'm sometimes able to follow the teachings on the surface, but in my heart, I still can't eliminate my hatred.
Throughout our numerous lifetimes we've accumulated layers of human notions, desires, and attachments that influence us in this lifetime. Reading the Fa strengthens our main consciousness and eliminates our human notions and thought karma. Every conflict is a good thing because it offers us an opportunity to eliminate our human notions.
If we use the teachings to guide our speech and behavior we'll be able to break through our attachments during conflicts. Our physical body exists here in this dimension. When tribulations come, our physical bodies may have reactions that manifest as illness. Everyday people follow their feelings and respond based on those feelings. Practitioners need to follow a higher standard.
When we begin to eliminate our long-held notions and attachments during conflicts we may feel pain in our hearts.
Our true selves don't want to go along with our human notions. But there is a false self which is made of human notions and karma. It doesn't want to be eliminated and it directs our physical bodies to create karma. When we follow the Fa to deal with conflicts, it will be eliminated, so it resists and produces hatred. If our main consciousness isn't clear and we forget Master's teachings, we may give in and follow this fake self, and it will be able to control us. We should not treat this fake self as our true self.
We need to remain alert. No matter how this false self tries and no matter how painful we feel, we need to see through it—this is not our true self. We must eliminate it and only follow Master's teachings. When we're able to completely put down our notions and attachments we'll feel wonderful, and relaxed. It really is as Master said in Zhuan Falun, “After passing the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!”
Putting the Teachings into Action
When another practitioner insulted me in front of others, her words really hurt. I immediately had a lot of bad thoughts about her, but I knew that I must follow the teachings. I treated this insult as a good thing and looked inward.
Because we cultivate in everyday society it's truly difficult to eliminate human notions. Since we only read the teachings for a few hours, as soon as we put down the book our thoughts can be easily controlled by human notions. This requires us to strictly watch our every thought in order to strengthen the tie between the Fa and our daily lives.
At one point I was arrested and detained for clarifying the truth. After I was released, my husband was angry and tried to choke me. When I smiled he stopped. When he cursed me, I smiled.
We're usually able to take conflicts lightly. But when bad people treat us horribly, especially those who brutally torture practitioners, we may begin to hate them. From the Fa, we know that we should treat them with mercy. But when practitioners are tortured it's difficult to remain compassionate.
Human beings naturally want to be comfortable and avoid difficulties. People dislike those who don't agree with them or hurt them and believe that those who hurt them are their enemies. Under the Communist Party's influence in China, the mentality of conflict and fighting back has been promoted. Whenever someone has a misunderstanding or conflict, people no longer take a step back. Instead their minds are filled with hatred and negative thoughts.
Unfortunately, some practitioners also respond this way. Whenever something happens they forget the Fa and focus on the other person's faults.
Master told us:
“Dafa disciples should handle everything positively. Don't look at the negative side of other people. You should always look at their positive side.”
“So in any situation, don't be affected by human-type behavior, don't be affected by human thoughts, and don't be affected by the feelings and emotions in this world, either. Look more at the positives in others and less at the negatives.” (Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Lantern Festival )
Even when we've been persecuted we should pay attention to ourselves and look inward to see why this happened. We should make sure that our heart isn't moved and remember to have compassion.
Our persecutors are destroying themselves due to their ignorance. If they understood the truth they wouldn't do these things. Their true nature isn't evil. Master told us that they once were great divine beings who came to the world for the Fa, but got lost. We should have compassion for them and clarify the truth to save them.
We shouldn't be moved by people's bad deeds and get trapped in them. When we feel unhappy about what others say or do, then we've unknowingly already started to develop hatred and our level is dropping. When we get upset, we should look inward. We should have compassion instead of hatred.
After I had conflict with my mother-in-law I dreamed that I climbed to a high and wonderful place. But the rope suddenly broke and I fell.
“You should always maintain a heart of compassion and kindness. Then, when you run into a problem, you will be able to do well because it gives you room to buffer the confrontation. You should always be benevolent and kind to others, and consider others when doing anything. Whenever you encounter a problem, you should first consider whether others can put up with this matter or if it will hurt anyone. In doing so, there will not be any problems. Therefore, in cultivation practice you should follow a higher and higher standard for yourself.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun, 2000 Translation)
I have recited this paragraph countless times, but I never internalized it. My problem was that I treated memorizing the Fa as diligent cultivation, but I didn't solidly cultivate. My cultivation was only at the surface level.
As a Falun Dafa practitioner, I know that I should be selfless and always consider others first. I should eliminate the human notion of protecting myself. If I can do this, any hateful thoughts won't be able to grow.
Another deeper reason for my resentful thoughts is that I place myself above others. Master saved us from hell and eliminated countless karma for us. What attachment can't I eliminate? If Master hadn't eliminated my karma, I surely would have been destroyed. I truly appreciate that I have Master and the Fa. “The Buddha’s grace remolds Heaven and Earth.” (“The Master-Disciple Bond,” Hong Yin II)
I haven't reached the level of true compassion, but I must try.