(Minghui.org) I used to be intolerant and easily irritated. Although these aspects of my temperament were less obvious when I became a Falun Dafa practitioner, they were not completely gone and showed up from time to time.

I couldn't tolerate others’ mistakes, and became testy when provoked. I often argued with other Dafa practitioners until I became red in the face, which I regretted afterward. I felt distressed for not being able to cultivate compassion and tolerance.

A practitioner used his cell phone to clarify the truth. I shared with him a few times about safety issues, but he didn’t listen. I got impatient and argued with him. I was opinionated, overbearing and combative. I felt bad later and wondered why couldn't I calmly share my thoughts based on the Fa? Although I was able to recognize my shortcomings afterwards, I kept making the same mistakes over and over.

A practitioner gave me a suggestion to help with a truth-clarification project I worked on last year. In my opinion, his suggestion was far-fetched. I quarreled with him, and regretted it later.

When I truly looked inward, trying to dig out my attachments, I discovered that I was full of myself, impatient, quarrelsome, and jealous. I couldn't tolerate others’ faults and tended to criticize them.

I did better after I found these attachments, but I slacked off after a period of time and made the same mistakes again. I was very troubled by it. I realized later that it was because I spent too little time studying the Fa, and so very little of me was assimilated to the Fa. Therefore, I wasn’t able to cultivate compassion and tolerance. I also recognized that the old forces made arrangements to hinder my improvement.

Learning to Take a Breath

After I finally understood what was holding me back, I spent more time studying Dafa books and measured my thoughts with the standards of the Fa.

Master said,

“We should try to keep compassionate and pleasant while karma is being reworked. By doing so, your judgment won’t be clouded by the situation at hand and lead you to mishandle things, as might normally happen for people. And you will be able to handle anything unforeseen that comes along. If your heart is always very kind and compassionate, you will usually have breathing room and space to think when situations come up unexpectedly. By contrast, if you are always a contentious person and getting into disagreements with people, then I think it’s inevitable that you will fall into an argument when issues come up.” (The Fourth Talk, Zhuan Falun)

In order to cultivate compassion I had to fill my heart with the Fa. But what should I do when my level of compassion could not restrain my human heart?

I recalled Master’s teachings on being “calm,”

“Of the descriptive words you were just using there is one that was really well put, and that's “calm.” (People laugh) People are excessively passionate or intensely combative, and these are not the normal states of being human. It's in fact something that comes about under the effect of demon nature. Good and evil both exist in a person, so when a person is especially worked up, or when his actions even overstep the bounds of what is rational, that mostly comes from the stuff of contemporary music. When a person is irrational and in the throes of something, when he goes wild and has lost his reason, that has to do in fact with the things of his negative side being roused. By contrast when a person is in a calm state, he is good, and that in fact is the true state of a human being. Within calmness there are ups and downs, but it's fully rational, and in calmness there is its own glory, though that glory is based on calmness.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Meeting on Writing Music,” Teaching the Fa at the Discussion on Writing Music and Creating Fine Art)

So I kept repeating in my heart, “Calm, calm. I must remain calm.”

When I looked back at the arguments I had with others, I noticed I talked back as soon as I heard the other person’s words. I failed to consider whether I should say those words or how I should say them. Were my thoughts and tone of voice based on the Fa?

When I thought of Master’s words, “...you will usually have breathing room and space to think...” (The Fourth Talk, Zhuan Falun), I told myself to slow down before I open my mouth if others’ views are different from mine. I should not rush to express my opinions, but wait a while, think a little, and see if my state of mind is on the Fa. Will my words carry the energy of compassion and tolerance?

When I followed these steps, I had more room to think and capacity to tolerate. I was able to break through the dilemma I had, and my heart began to open up.

I soon encountered a test during a sharing after our Fa study. I expressed my views about something. A practitioner probably thought I was talking about him. He got upset and said something impolite. I was about to respond in kind, and then remembered to take a breath. I remembered Master’s Fa,

“Cultivators must have human thoughts in order to cultivate, after all. Such a person's sore spots are going to be sensitive when they're hit upon, and sometimes the person will even defend himself with some kind of argument, fearing scorn.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IX)

“Don’t argue when people argue with youCultivation is looking within for the causeWanting to explain just feeds the attachmentBreadth of mind, unattached, brings true insight” (“Don’t Argue,” Hong Yin III)

I calmed down and my compassion and tolerance emerged. I spoke with the practitioner with a tranquil mind, and he calmed down too.

When I suppressed my emotions and restrained myself using the Fa's standard, a heated conflict that was about to happen was dissolved. I felt at ease and joyful, as the long-awaited compassion and tolerance filled up my dimension.

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Category: Improving Oneself