(Minghui.org) I am a young practitioner who started to practice Falun Dafa six years ago. Recently, I encountered two issues that had a deep impact on me. I would like to share some personal insights into these incidents.
My mother became a Dafa practitioner two years ago. We’d always been very close and I assumed we would only become closer after she started to practice. But it turned out to be the opposite. Our disagreements became more frequent, marked by fierce arguments. Because my mother became a practitioner after me, I was anxious to help her elevate in understanding, claiming that it was for her own good. In fact, my motives were anything but altruistic.
First, my mother and I are both affectionate and value our familial relationship. But even though we are Dafa cultivators, we did not treat each other as fellow practitioners. Our relationship remained one of mother and daughter. I insisted on imposing on my mother the understanding that I thought was best, without considering that she had just started to cultivate. I spoke to her in stern tones and replaced compassion with human emotions. The reasons I gave her were limited to understandings at my level and I mercilessly criticized her without taking her feelings into consideration. That did nothing to help her and further aroused her resentment.
Second, I was using Dafa for selfish reasons. Initially, motivated by my mother’s poor health, I persuaded her to cultivate Dafa. I hoped Dafa would cure her. Then, after she recovered, I wanted her to continue so that Master would protect her. This would allow me the freedom to pursue my own activities without worry. This was a very selfish motive. Despite the numerous benefits I had already gained from Dafa, my subconscious mind continued to demand more.
Third, I searched externally instead of internally when encountering problems. During disputes with my mother, I would briefly skim over my failings before launching into a long description of her failures. As we were now both cultivators, it should only be fair that both of us look inwards together. I expected her to improve herself first, before I made the move to improve myself. In the end, I did not cultivate well and the bad factors that continued to emanate from me made the situation worse.
Fourth, I was averse to criticism from my family. When other practitioners pointed out my shortcomings, I would accept it with humility, regardless of whether they were right or wrong. However, when my mother pointed out my failings, I would instantly deny her claims. At the slightest bit of blame, I would become defensive, and conflict would ensue.
Last, feelings of resentment from understanding each other's weaknesses and shortcomings arose. Nearly a lifetime together, along with the accumulation of past experiences and emotions, resulted in the development of resentment against certain behaviors. Although the matter may have been small, continued provocation over the years resulted in pent up resentment, which can complicate matters and make resolution difficult.
During the initial phase, my mother and I were motivated by so many bad attachments that our relationship started fraying badly. I eventually came to realize my failings and worked towards eliminating those attachments. I still have some a ways to go and, although we experience the occasional disagreement, our relationship has seen significant signs of improvement.
When we fail to eliminate human emotions, discard our compassion and moreover nurture new attachments, we end up spiraling into human conflicts with family members who are also practitioners.
Personally, I think that whenever a conflict occurs, one should first search within unconditionally, without considering the shortcomings of the other party. Then point out the other person’s shortcomings with a pure and compassionate heart, without placing undue importance on the person’s relationship to you. When you do that, the other party will surely accept your words.
I have observed this problem in many practitioner families I know, but it is a good thing. Family members can bring out our deepest hidden attachments, making it easier for us to recognize and eliminate them. They provide an environment and opportunity for cultivation improvement. We should cherish this, cultivate well, learn from each other, and improve in levels together.
In my area there are few fellow practitioners my age. So, whenever our understanding is slightly better or whenever we do certain things better, older practitioners will generously praise us. This naturally results from the caring and protective feelings an elder has towards the younger. However, it unconsciously encouraged me to see myself as a young practitioner. I started holding myself to lower standards, chasing idols, watching television dramas, playing on my phone, doing research on foods to eat and places to go, and conversing with friends about everyday topics of interest. I regarded this lifestyle as acceptable for a practitioner who was different in age from the others, without recognizing and correcting myself according to the teachings of the Fa. Although I was far from diligent, I thought I could still meet the cultivation requirements.
Some time ago, during a group experience sharing session, a fellow practitioner voiced her concern regarding her son’s addiction to computer games. Everyone agreed that such games could ruin a person. I was the only one who disagreed. “If it’s not a serious addiction, it shouldn’t be a big issue. After all, I too frequently watch television dramas.” At that time, nobody reprimanded me.
The following day, I shared with the group my recent troubles with illness karma and my problem eliminating distracting thoughts. I speculated that these problems stemmed from my personal character. Then another practitioner advised me, “Dafa practitioners have to do the three things well. Have you done them well? Which older practitioner still watches television dramas? You cannot just emphasize improve your body without doing the things you should be doing. You should purify your heart!”
His words shocked me from my stupor. His words rang true—none of the adult Dafa practitioners were like me. My concentration would drift during Fa study. While sending righteous thoughts and doing the exercises, my mind would be filled with random thoughts that I could not suppress. During school holidays, even though cultivation conditions were excellent, I did not make any extra effort to do the exercises or send righteous thoughts. I treated our daily Fa study group as a task to be completed, allowing me to play with peace of mind afterward. Being young should not be an excuse to seek enjoyment in the material world. These attachments should be removed.
Young Dafa practitioners are still Dafa practitioners. We should adhere to the requirements of the Fa, purify ourselves, study the Fa often, do well the three things, eliminate attachments to ordinary human enjoyment, cultivate, and strive to improve. I wish to share this encouragement with all young Dafa practitioners.