(Minghui.org) Fire safety inspectors recently made the rounds in my area. A few days ago, I was out on business in a local shop when I happened to come across several people who looked like government employees or public security personnel. I had no idea what they were up to, but just the sight of them elicited a feeling of loathing inside me.

They entered my building soon after I returned to the office. The person in charge told us that they were doing a fire safety inspection and asked if we used propane cylinders. Unhappy with the vague answer one of my colleagues gave them, they searched the place and found two cylinders in the company canteen.

They wanted to confiscate the cylinders. My colleague called our boss and was told to comply as the cylinders were not worth much. So the inspectors took the cylinders and left for other shops.

That really disturbed me. They could do a fire safety inspection but had no right to take away someone else’s property. If there had been a breach of safety rules, my boss should have at least been given the opportunity to comply. Instead, they took the law into their own hands and were no different from thieves.

My head was full of ways I would have dealt with these thugs if I were the boss. I would file a complaint about them or even beat them up if I had to. There was no peace in my mind, not even when I studied the Fa or did the exercises.

It took me two days to clear the turmoil in my head but was soon unhappy again when I spotted these same people going into nearby shops two days later. While visiting another shop in the afternoon, I happened to see someone using a propane cylinder and warned them to hide it because inspectors were on the prowl.

After studying the Fa at night, my mind was a lot calmer. I had time to reflect on the matter and instinctively knew that, for a practitioner, nothing happens by chance. There must have been something for me to enlighten to. It did reveal a few things about me.

Assessing Things from a Cultivator’s Perspective

1. I was materialistic. I got caught up even though it wasn’t my property that was confiscated. Besides, we still got our meals because my boss soon bought an induction cooker for the canteen. What bothered me was the fact a propane cylinder costs appropriately 300 yuan (US $62).

2. I failed to assess the matter from a practitioner’s perspective. What appears right or wrong from an ordinary person’s perspective is not the same for us practitioners. Karmic relationships between people are complex and may be drawn out over multiple lifetimes.

I thought I was doing the right thing by warning another shop owner about the dreaded fire safety inspection. But what I could not know was if it was a debt he had to repay and the few hundred yuan he might have lost would have been the best way to settle it. I fear I might have interfered with that settlement and the debt will have to be repaid in another way in the future.

3. I was mired in human emotions. My first reaction of loathing the inspectors was not appropriate for a practitioner. Our concern for ordinary people is how we can save them, regardless of their behavior.

Things that happen in ordinary human society are a result of karmic relationships, which we should not meddle in. It’s irrelevant who’s right or wrong on a sinking ship—our mission is to help people realize that their situation is perilous and that they should jump ship to safety.

4. I was being combative. Combativeness is not just about competing to win or to win over something, it can also manifest in many other ways. I wanted to prove I was right and they were wrong. I even thought about using physical force. How wrong I was, because the thoughts we form in our minds contain energy. It was fortunate that, with my celestial eye closed, I was prevented from creating more karma for myself.

Ultimately, I had failed to learn from Master’s teaching:

“... Looking without seeingFree of delusion and doubt...”(“In the Dao,” Hong Yin, English Translation Version C)

I’d always thought my cultivation was progressing just fine until that incident, which had nothing to do with me, yet exposed many of my attachments. It’s true that ordinary society affords us a great cultivation environment and that it’s really up to us to put it to good use.

Chinese version available

Category: Improving Oneself