(Minghui.org) Through looking inward and exchanging cultivation experiences with fellow Falun Dafa practitioners, I learned that always praising fellow practitioners will bring serious harm to everyone involved. Why do I say this?

Once one has the thought to praise another practitioner, he or she may already harbor many notions such as complimenting, appreciating, admiring, and thinking that they are not as good as others.

When one praises other practitioners with such notions in mind, one will add bad substances to the other practitioner’s dimensional field. This may encourage the practitioner to develop or reinforce their attachments such as showing off, complacency, a desire to get things done, and being condescending. This may even cause the other party to feel satisfied and proud of themselves.

When we praise fellow practitioners, we often say, “You know how to cultivate and look within!” “Your ability to understand the Fa principles is so good!” “You are so clear in your understanding of the Fa principles, you really did a good job!”

We subsequently place the practitioner on a pedestal when we acknowledge how capable and talented they are, saying how he or she cultivates well or understands the Fa well.

If one or two practitioners speak this way, it will result in many practitioners putting the person on a pedestal. This will add a very thick layer of black substance to that practitioner and this substance will bring unnecessary tribulations to that practitioner, be it mentally, physically or in the form of conflicts and problems. In this way, won’t we be doing a bad deed?

No matter how outstanding or clever a fellow practitioner may be, it all comes from their cultivation in Dafa. These abilities are bestowed on them by Master Li, so that they can assist Master in rectifying the Fa and saving sentient beings. If we always praise a fellow practitioner’s strengths, we will end up taking them as the teacher instead of the Fa. If the emphasis between learning from the Fa and fellow practitioners has been swapped in priority, won’t that be a big problem? At that moment, our xinxing standard would have fallen to that of an ordinary person.

Praising others will also bring tribulations to ourselves.

Although we study the Fa every day, the basis of our cultivation shifted, and we do not place Master Li in the proper place in our hearts. As a result, we may go and find fellow practitioners for a resolution whenever we meet with problems instead of looking inward and taking the Fa as the teacher. Instead, we will place the Fa at a secondary position.

In this way, low level beings will be able to interfere with us to create havoc. It could be displayed as fake illness symptoms to causing disturbances to persecute us. When we are amid such tribulations, we will not know that our big loophole is caused by our praising fellow practitioners, learning from them instead of the Fa.

My understanding is that the cultivation path that Master has arranged for every Dafa practitioner is different. The things that every practitioner needs to do and how they are to use their abilities are all arranged based on the unique characteristics of each practitioner’s life. Also factored in are their innate abilities and the vow that they made when they descended to Earth.

Therefore, when we comment about how well other practitioners did, they are actually all performing based on Master’s arrangements and empowerment. It is all done by Dafa’s powers. Without Master and Dafa, if we overemphasize the practitioner’s personal abilities, we are unknowingly placing the practitioner at a very high position while placing Master and Dafa at a lower position. From this perspective, this is also disrespectful to Master and the Fa.

Master said,

“There used to be some students who would often say, “So-and-so at our practice site has done so well! We’ll do whatever he does.” Let me tell all of you that you absolutely must not do that and absolutely must not think that way. Cultivators can’t take other human beings as their role models. They must take the Fa as the teacher! (Applause) As soon as you start doing things [like I described] and thinking in that way, two problems will surface. One is that you will likely push that student to a place where there is no way out for him. And it’s likely the old forces will lead him to have problems and even make him leave us early in order to test other students. [They will think,] “You’re all looking to him. With things like this, are you still going to study, and are you still going to cultivate?” Under circumstances like this, there are really some students who think, “If even he couldn’t make it, will I be able to?” They waver. Isn’t that the old forces taking advantage of gaps? [In that situation] even I, your master, can’t say anything! The old forces say, “Take a look. See how that test ended up? What we did was right, wasn’t it?” So when the righteous thoughts are not strong, people’s minds waver. You absolutely must be on guard against that! You should take the Fa as the teacher. You can’t look at how well a certain individual has cultivated and as a result learn from that person instead of the Fa.” ( Teachings at the 2004 International Conference in New York)

Below, I would like to share a practical example:

Our area has a coordinator called Feng, who recently showed illness symptoms. She kept looking inside, but her condition didn’t improve. Instead, her “illness” seemed to become more serious such that she had difficulty breathing; she was weak and she needed to put in some effort just to speak. Due to the difficulty breathing, she could not lie down at night so she could not sleep well and her spirits were really low. Some practitioners studied the Fa with her, shared experiences and understandings and looked inside together, but she didn’t improve. This may be because they didn’t find the root attachment that caused the tribulation.

Feng had a very hard time overcoming this tribulation. Some practitioners suggested that we exchange our cultivation experiences together as a group. Everyone looked within thoroughly to see if we had any attachments towards Feng all these years.

During the cultivation experience sharing, practitioner An said, “I relied a lot on Feng. I would always think of finding her to help me when problems arose at home. Whenever she came, she would be able to help me think of some ideas and solutions to resolve the practical difficulties. My husband objected to my cultivation in Dafa, so whenever he beat me, I would escape to Feng’s place and stay there for many days. I did not know how to understand the Fa and cultivate on the basis of the Fa, so I always asked her to tell me what I should do. I would just go along with it, thinking that she is right and believe her words.”

Practitioner Bin said, “In the process of the Fa-rectification, I had many opportunities to cooperate with practitioner Feng. When our local practitioners were arrested and persecuted, she would always take the lead to rescue them. She’d take care of hiring a lawyer and going to the relevant departments to search for news. She would also find the practitioners’ family members repeatedly to exchange thoughts with them and persuade them to go to the relevant authorities to ask for their relative’s release. Some practitioners whose retirement pensions were being suspended also went to find Feng to help them get their pension back.

Feng would take the initiative to shoulder the responsibilities for all matters big and small. I felt that she is very capable so I developed some form of admiration towards her. Whenever I mentioned her during my conversation with another practitioner, I would want to praise her a bit. The practitioner reminded me before, saying that praising fellow practitioners is not in line with the standards of the Fa and that I must change.”

Practitioner Cheng said, “I don’t interact with practitioner Feng much, but I do hear a lot of people compliment and affirm her. No matter what Dafa project or Fa-validation matters are at hand, as long as Feng took the lead, everyone would feel that they should do it. It is as though Feng’s words are instructions to be followed. A practitioner once said to me that she and Feng are like a family as they always look out for each other. If she does not see Feng for a few days, it is as though her whole person is gone and she feels empty. Later, she realized that this type of affection needs to be gotten rid of, so she reduced her interactions with Feng; as of late, she seldom talked to or interacted with Feng. Despite this, she still keeps Feng in her heart. A young practitioner said that auntie Feng’s righteous thoughts are strong and effective. She is capable of handling any matter, be it validating the Fa, saving sentient beings, or other matters. As long as she can understand it based on the Fa, she will be able to achieve it.”

With tears rolling down her face, practitioner Ding said, “I belong to the same Fa study group as practitioner Feng. I’m really close to her, so whenever I see her current state, I feel really bad... It is all because of this affection, it is because of my notion to praise her that caused her to be in this state. These substances should really be gotten rid of. I must quickly annihilate them!” Ding covered her face with her hands and cried till she could not speak anymore.

Practitioner En said, “Through these years, I have always been with Feng. We studied the Fa together and partnered with each other to clarify the truth and save sentient beings on the streets. When she was by my side, I felt more down-to-earth. Therefore, my reliance on her is especially strong. No matter what, I always think of asking her to give me some ideas. Whenever she says how it should be done, I will have confidence in my heart. When I interact with practitioners from other areas and mention Feng, I will keep praising her, saying how capable she is, how well she can take hardship, how well she coordinated our area, how she cooperated well with the body of practitioners, how effective she is in saving sentient beings, etc. If there are practitioners who know her, they too will also follow suit and praise Feng. When I was about to leave the area due to my job, I instructed my parents, who are in their 80s, to look for Feng if they met with any problems. All these years, Feng really sacrificed too much! When I returned and heard that Feng was going through this illness tribulation, I thought that she would be fine. Since Feng is so capable, nobody can touch her. However, I witnessed it for myself and my heart wavered.”

Most of the other practitioners who were present were also moved by Feng’s condition. They all spoke about their attachments towards her such as their affection and praise.

Through this cultivation experience exchange and looking inward as one body, the practitioners all learned the solemnity of cultivation and that the sentimental affection between practitioners and the desire to praise fellow practitioners are attachments that must be relinquished. This is especially true for those practitioners who are close to Feng. They all said that they must cultivate themselves more strictly and do their best to cooperate with fellow practitioners in their projects but not involve themselves in relationships. If the affection between practitioners drags on for a long time and isn’t relinquished, it will once again result in many problems and tribulations in our cultivation.

Everyone agreed that there are no role models in cultivation. We can only cultivate ourselves based on the Fa.