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Developing Compassion and Stepping Out of My Comfortable Environment

Dec. 28, 2021 |   By a Falun Dafa practitioner in Taipei, Taiwan

(Minghui.org) Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!

I have a righteous personality and never held my tongue in front of injustice. I once cursed at a person for cutting in the movie line and created quite a scene until my embarrassed friend pulled me away. Another time, I cursed a vendor in a farmer’s market for taking an extra ten yuan (USD$0.36) from me, even though my young child was present!

Master said,

“A wicked person is born of jealousy.Out of selfishness and anger he complains about unfairness towards himself....”(“Realms,” Essentials for Further Advancement)

After I began practicing Falun Dafa, I realized that getting angry was wrong and removed some of my “righteous behavior” which I realized was caused by jealousy—but I still had an occasional meltdown.

For example, a practitioner at an event asked a non-practitioner to take on extra work. I yelled at the practitioner, making the situation awkward for everyone. Another time a practitioner took some important documents from me without my consent, putting me at a potential risk of being fined one million yuan (USD$36,000). I chewed him out on the phone in front of everyone in the office.

I didn’t want to blow up like this, but I found it hard to control my temper when things suddenly popped up.

Master said,

“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.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)

I would like to apologize to everyone I hurt. I really envy those practitioners who are always kind and compassionate.

At an event organized by non-practitioners, a fellow practitioner and I were sitting backstage waiting to perform. The area was full of people getting ready. One woman in high heels couldn’t bend down to tie her shoes. I was indifferent, but the other practitioner ran over, and tied her shoes! I was shocked by this small act of kindness. Afterwards I wondered why I did not have the urge to help that person.

One holiday morning, I was alone in the office when the phone rang. The caller had a strong mainland accent that I couldn’t quite understand. I assumed he was a practitioner calling from China. From what I understood he felt that someone was attacking him with a bad spiritual cultivation way, and he wanted the news department to report it.

I felt he wasn’t making a lot of sense because his mind was not clear, so I said perfunctorily that the News Department had no one in the office yet, and told him to call back later.

That afternoon, when a colleague entered the office the phone rang. I heard her answer the phone and say, “Can you speak a little slower? You say you are calling from China? Fellow practitioner, you have Master’s protection, others cannot harm you... The news department does not cover this kind of story...”

Then my colleague said, “Have you studied the Fa lately? Your cultivation state is not good. What’s your name? Let me help you by sending forth righteous thoughts...”

Upon hearing this, I was so ashamed that I almost cried. How different my reaction was from hers! She was so sincere and kind, but I just wanted that person to leave me alone.

I saw my lack of compassion, so I worked hard on cultivating compassion in addition to doing the three things. I carefully held my tongue to avoid hurting others’ feelings. It went on like this for years until this July, when I suddenly felt my cultivation state had changed.

The words that came out of my mouth were not my old self. My voice suddenly became so soft that I could not speak loudly even if I wanted to. My speech slowed down as well. What was even more magical was that I seemed to be able to empathize with others.

For example, a fellow practitioner fell asleep during a meeting. In the past I would have thought she was disrespectful, but at that moment I blurted out, “You’re tired because you’ve been working so hard.” I couldn’t believe these words came out of my mouth! I was able to say something considerate without even thinking about it.

In another example, a fellow practitioner had me do some work, but the work was wasted. In the past I would have thought that the practitioner was unprofessional, and made me a “lab rat.” But at that time, I felt his guilt and his dilemma of not being able to find the right words to say to me, so I immediately said I would redo it. It was unbelievable to me that I automatically knew how to save face for others and give him an out!

One situation after another, I discovered I no longer got upset or lost patience easily. I no longer paid attention to who was right and who was wrong. Instead I cared about getting the job done and working well together. At home I spoke gently and kindly, and my family couldn’t believe how much I changed!

Perhaps Master saw my sincere effort—I wanted to cultivate compassion. I think Master removed some of my competitiveness. Now my thoughts are good and positive most of the time, and I find it easier to detect my negative thinking. I am so grateful to Master for helping me!

Two Paths and a Dilemma

We had two simultaneous audio/video projects that needed me as producer. One was to continue the production of a program that I developed, and had matured in a familiar environment. The other required me to leave my cultivation environment of 20 years to work on something new, in a new place.

I shared my dilemma with another practitioner. I felt it was natural to continue doing what I was good at in a familiar environment, so I rejected the idea of going to a new environment to start a new project. But the practitioner said, “It’s not a coincidence that people are asking for you to participate in such a big project. Besides, you don’t have to be the person who creates content all the time.”

These words struck me like lightening and woke me up to see my problem. My everyday job and Dafa projects these past 20 years have always been of a creative nature, which was in line with my preference and expertise to begin with. I overcame difficulties willingly because I was interested in the content.

When I examined myself I realized that the truth-clarification work I had been doing for many years was still very much about self-satisfaction and self-validation—but not 100% for sentient beings.

Now that I had identified my problem, what should I do? Should I choose the project that needed me more, or should I choose the project where I could contribute more? In fact, no matter which perspective I considered things from, at my current stage of cultivation, any choice I made seemed more or less selfish.

When I came to a crossroads on the path of cultivation and validating Fa, which path should I choose to continue on? I realized that both paths offered opportunities to save people, but being presented with a choice was no accident. It exposed my selfish mentality of enjoying a sense of achievement, and tested whether I could cooperate and accept the arrangement.

So I had my answer. Given that they were both saving people and validating the Fa, I decided to take the non-accidental opportunity to go down the path filled with challenges and uncertainty.

I have worked on my current truth-clarification project for 20 years and benefited from the environment. I didn’t know how to tell my supervisor that I wanted to leave. Therefore, instead of discussing it with him in person, I asked a fellow practitioner to tell him for me. I didn’t expect that my unethical and selfish behavior would cause fluctuations in the management as well as trouble for my supervisor.

Alas! One selfishness attachment is removed and another one is exposed. There is no end to selfishness!

I remembered what Master said,

“I also want to tell you that your nature in the past was actually based on egotism and selfishness. From now on, whatever you do, you should consider others first, so as to attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism. So from now on, whatever you do or whatever you say, you must consider others—or even future generations—along with Dafa’s eternal stability.” (“Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature,” Essentials for Further Advancement)

I was ashamed of my shortcomings and realized I had to be responsible for my own decision. I went to my supervisor and explained why I wanted to leave. Finally, with his approval and blessing, I bid farewell to everyone and to my cultivation environment. I strode towards a new and unknown path.

This concludes my limited understanding. Please kindly point out anything improper.

(Presented at the 2021 Taiwan Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)