(Minghui.org) I was fortunate to start cultivating in Falun Dafa in 1999, and I have now been cultivating for more than 20 years. I often feel that I am a veteran practitioner, and my understanding of the Fa principles is deeper than when I first started. However, a few things happened recently that made me realize that I should treat myself as a new practitioner all the time and do well and solidly on what remains of my cultivation path.
I could clearly feel that I’d become insensitive to many cultivation matters and could seldom find my own attachments. I seemed to have entered a state of idling my days away and waiting for the days to pass.
Recently, practitioners around me discussed resentment. I looked within to see if I had this attachment, too. I discovered that I indeed had resentment for my practitioner wife and my project manager. The resentment was caused by prolonged dissatisfaction with certain matters and because I felt that I had been treated unfairly. My problems in this regard were very serious. After I discovered that I had accumulated resentment, I was shocked. I had a very big question mark in my mind: “Why was I totally unaware that my resentment had already accumulated to such a serious extent? What other problems did I have in my cultivation?”
I realized that I had slacked off in cultivation. I had relaxed my requirements for myself in certain fundamental aspects. Below are some details of the process that I went through. Kindly correct me if anything is inappropriate.
Reading Cultivation Articles on Minghui.org Regularly
The persecution started not long after I obtained the Fa, and Minghui.org was very important to me. I would download all the important cultivation experience articles or print them. Every time there was a new lecture or scripture from Master, I would print it out and make sure that every practitioner around me had a copy of it.
After leaving China, I looked at the Minghui website less and less. Sometimes, I felt that many of the articles were about things in China and did not have much to do with practitioners outside of the country.
I recently started to read cultivation experience articles on Minghui at a fixed time each day and felt that I had returned to the cultivation environment for Dafa practitioners. I experienced the preciousness of Minghui.org. While reading the articles, my desire to save sentient beings was strengthened. When I encountered xinxing tests, I was able to have stronger righteous thoughts.
Take, for example, the practitioner who was unfairly treated by her in-laws, yet she still set strict requirements for herself and treated them with kindness, and she even looked after them for a long period of time. Through her actions, she helped her family acknowledge the goodness of Dafa from the bottom of their hearts. Although I have not had a similar experience, similar experiences can occur when cultivating in a family environment. There are similarities in our family roles and responsibilities.
Finding the Cause of the Conflicts in Myself
“When you meet with a conflict, it doesn’t matter whether you are in the right. You should be asking yourself, “What on my part isn’t right in this situation? Might it really be that there is something wrong on my part?” You should all be thinking this way, with your first thought being to scrutinize yourself to try to find the problem. Whoever is not like this is not in fact a true cultivator of Dafa. It is a magical tool in our cultivation. This is a distinguishing feature of our Dafa disciples’ cultivation. Whatever it is that you encounter, the first thought should be to scrutinize yourself, and it’s called “looking within.”” (“What is a Dafa Disciple,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
Having come so far, I have profoundly experienced the importance and power of “looking within.” But I also felt that one important reason for my slacking off in cultivation was that I did not look within every time I met with problems, so the small tests in my cultivation accumulated into big tests, so much so that resentment started to grow in me.
I work full-time on a project. Sometimes after getting home, I still have to worry about my children’s studies and participate in meetings with my colleagues. This made me feel that time is really too short, so I needed to figure out how to reduce my mealtimes. I reached an agreement with my wife that mealtimes could only last 20 minutes. However, that was really hard to accomplish. It usually took me 30 to 40 minutes to eat, and sometimes even longer. Because of this, I often complained that she was attached to an ordinary life and she made our daily lives too complicated. On top of this, my teeth are not so great, and they really hurt if I eat anything hard. If she made food that I did not like, dissatisfaction would grow in my heart.
For a very long time, I kept thinking that I was “reasonable” and also that I was reminding my wife to let go of her attachment to an ordinary life. As you might expect, our problems were not resolved and serious conflicts and grievances built up. I finally realized my problem: I should demand more of myself and less of others when I encounter problems. I should resolve the problem starting with myself.
The duration of a meal is decided by the person who is eating, not the person who prepared the meal. The reason I could not bear to leave the table was because of my attachment to food. After I understood this, it was very easy for me to control how long it took me to eat. If the food that day was delicious or not, I watched the time as I ate. When 20 minutes was up, I left the table to do the things that I wanted to get done, not being greedy about the delicious food anymore. If the food that day was hard, I would choose the softer dishes. If there was no other choice, I would pour some vegetable soup over the rice and just eat the rice like that. I did not require anything from others and there were no bad feelings in my heart.
Catching Hold of Every Single Thought That Troubles Me
If I were to enlarge every single thought that troubled me, I could find very big problems behind them.
I recently moved into a 100-year-old house. An 18-year-old American girl lives upstairs. She is big and heavy, and when she walks around upstairs, I can hear the wood floors creak as though they are about to break. I was really worried that the floor would collapse.
My heart was always very troubled. I kept thinking that I should make her move out. But getting a tenant to leave is a very troublesome affair. I was perturbed. I discovered that I had some attachments: toward the house and to being impatient when dealing with certain matters. But I still thought about this when I did the exercises or studied the Fa. It was like a stone weighing on my heart.
I remember greeting a colleague in the office once and sensing that he seemed unhappy with me. He is a young man who grew up in Western society and is well-educated, so he is relatively kind and courteous in dealing with things. His expression made me realize that I had been tough on him. I thought of my upstairs tenant. I knew that I had been tough on her, too.
I asked myself: “Why am I so tough on her? I did not know her before and I had no previous grudge against her. The only thing I know about her is that she is plump and the floorboards upstairs creak when she walks.”
I continued to look deeper and realized my notion: Because of her large build, I did not like her. I found two problems about myself: One is my notion that “slim is beautiful.” I do not know where this notion came from but I know that this caused me to treat her differently. This notion makes me lack kindness when I deal with people who do not line up with my opinions. The second problem is that I judge people by their looks.
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