Further Understanding of “Changing Our Ways of Thinking”
(Minghui.org) After reading the article on the Minghui website, “Changing Our Ways of Thinking” I’d like to share my thoughts.
We experience various difficulties and conflicts while working on Dafa projects or in our cultivation. Soon after the projects get underway, we sometimes grow tired of the tension these conflicts bring. Most practitioners look inward and try their best to eliminate their attachments. They do whatever they can to rectify things they felt were not handled correctly. Despite their sincere efforts, they can’t always achieve a great cultivation state. What’s the problem? I would like to share my understandings.
Think about Why the Conflict Occurred
When practitioners have differing opinions or conflicts, they usually think that they should increase their forbearance.
Of course we should cooperate, help each other, and practice forbearance while working on a project together. But that does not solve the fundamental problem. The same conflict may surface again. When we feel we can no longer forbear, most begin to cooperate passively or even withdraw from the project. Some start a similar project. Others become jealous or even secretly hope the project will fail.
We sometimes forget the reason we’re doing the project is to help Master save sentient beings. The project itself is very important. Conflicts might arise due to the following reasons: the way we went about it wasn’t quite right; we didn’t put ourselves into the other person’s shoes or we strongly upheld our own opinions. As cultivators, we should forbear. But sometimes it’s more important to examine the cause of the conflict, and from that perspective we should try to solve the fundamental problem.
We usually follow our habits and notions to do the project. If our notions are not in line with the Fa, then the project we’re working on might deviate from the Fa. Most of the time we aren’t aware of this state. Then, when conflicts surface, we cultivate ourselves as we usually do, so this cycle keeps repeating.
“It really is hard to clean out those notions and bad things that you have formed while leading your daily life, and you need to change those habitual things that have formed. You have already formed a way of thinking such as that, and so you have to look into your manner of thinking and correct things there if you want to avoid more problems.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. X)
When this happens I think we should re-examine our ways of thinking to see if we’ve unknowingly developed a habit. I suggest we pay attention to the following points.
1. Ask ourselves whether we are entirely on the Fa, or do we have hidden attachments such as validating ourselves, showing off, etc.
2. In every project, practitioners play different roles. We should not just focus on our role and ignore the whole picture. Is the project and our way of doing it rational and practical? Are we thinking of the whole picture? We should not do a project based on our limited perception, or we may achieve the opposite result.
3. When we decide on a course of action, we should follow through.
4. If we think something is not in line with the Fa, we should discuss it with other practitioners and point it out kindly.
Forgetting to Cultivate Oneself
We have a strong mentality to safeguard and maintain important projects such as Shen Yun, Minghui, NTDTV and The Epoch Times. Even when we cooperate with each other, conflicts can happen. In the process of resolving them, some of us have a strong mentality of safeguarding the project. We might reprimand other practitioners or aggressively belittle them. Each person involved may think the other practitioner is sabotaging the Fa and thus cannot be tolerated.
“...as long as you’re a cultivator, in any environment or under any circumstances, I will use any troubles or unpleasant things you come across—even if they involve work for Dafa, or no matter how good or sacred you think they are—to eliminate your attachments and expose your demon-nature so that it can be eliminated...” (“Further Understanding,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
I think the practitioner in the article was right in protecting the Fa but during the process she demonstrated her attachments to fighting and validating herself. She didn’t cultivate herself while safeguarding the Fa. This might be her habitual mentality.
Actually, every practitioner involved in a project wishes to safeguard the Fa. Everyone would be happy to cooperate if we maintained a kind demeanor when we point out anything inappropriate that they might have done. If it's an issue of a practitioner not cooperating, we could let management solve it. If we point something out in an aggressive manner, it would have a negative impact on our future work. Safeguarding the Fa doesn't mean we should adopt a drastic approach. We can achieve the same goal if we handle things in a peaceful manner, with a calm mentality.
Various Attachments and Cultivation States
Human beings form many notions while living their lives. Some strong notions can influence and affect them for the rest of their lives. Cultivators, however, have to get rid of these notions. But we may not even be aware of some of our notions.
One practitioner cultivated diligently but had family tribulations. She sent forth righteous thoughts for long time hoping to make a breakthrough. Little changed. This gave her a false impression that her righteous thoughts were weak. It seemed like her family tribulations would not end any time soon and so she became pessimistic.
Some new practitioners feel that their righteous thoughts are very powerful. Why is that? I think that as long as we sincerely cultivate ourselves, we have great power. The reason that our powers don't come into play is that our notions or habitual mentality prevent us from using them.
The practitioner in the article thought that her righteous thoughts didn’t have power. Our power isn’t necessarily manifested in this dimension. Instead, it's usually more effective in other dimensions. Another reason may be that we had pursuit. We want to see the effectiveness of our righteous thoughts and lose confidence if we don’t see results. This pursuit can affect our righteous thoughts. The old forces may reinforce this notion and make us think little of righteous thoughts. We thus fall into the old forces’ trap. Our righteous thoughts may indeed become weak when we think they are. The practitioner's family tribulations lingered. She studied the Fa more, hoping to break through it. She felt better and then sent righteous thoughts more.
I think this practitioner should not become pessimistic. She didn’t realize that she should let go of her mentality of seeking results.
We should follow the Fa principles and rectify ourselves in the process. When we reach the standard, we will naturally achieve good results.
We cultivate in the human world. We have human bodies and human feelings. We will have various attachments and states. If some of them control us and we indulge in those attachments and states, we may develop xinxing problems.
We use Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance as our guide in cultivation. We should measure everything according to these criteria. When we measure our attachments and cultivation states with these criteria we will know what is right or wrong.
We should let go of emotional attachments such as anger, sorrow, fear, hatred, feeling guilty, feeling pessimistic, arrogance, and excitement. If they control us, we should take it seriously. Only when we remove the interference from other dimensions, let go of our attachments and rectify ourselves, can we help Master rectify the Fa better and save more sentient beings.
Master is with us and we have Dafa. If we rectify our thoughts and our hearts, who can affect us?
The above is my limited understanding at my level. You are very welcome to point out anything you think is inappropriate. I hope we can form the habit of evaluating our every thought and action from the Fa’s perspective.