(Minghui.org) I have practiced Falun Dafa for more than 20 years. At first, I didn’t really know what cultivation was. When I studied the Fa, I often just thought about cultivation as being something seen on the surface, “I need to improve my xinxing, eliminate my karma, not be afraid of hardship, be indifferent to fame and gain, follow Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and so on.” To be honest, I felt that cultivation was quite simple, straightforward, and enjoyable.
Conflicts Intensify When Deviating from Dafa
After former Party leader Jiang Zemin, his gang, and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to persecute Dafa, I was persecuted many times and even faced torture. During that time, I knew I had to look within and cultivate myself. I found many shortcomings when looking closely at my cultivation, I gained a deeper understanding of the Fa principles, and I tried hard to do the three things well. After several years of this, I thought I knew what cultivation is and how to cultivate. However, without realizing it, I was using my knowledge, experience, lessons, notions, and even seemingly good habits and concepts from ordinary society to view and understand Dafa. As a result, I deviated from Dafa without realizing it.
For example, for looking inward, I thought that as long as I looked at myself when facing conflicts, I would be looking inward. Often times, I just made sure that I wasn’t wrong on the surface when viewing a specific conflict, and then I would look for the other practitioner’s issues.
As another example, I did not fight for my position and salary at work, even though these lagged very much behind my peers. Thus, I thought I no longer had attachments to fame and gain. But I didn’t realize that the feelings of helplessness, injustice, and dissatisfaction behind the issues I faced were all wrong; I thought it was natural to feel injustice and dissatisfaction.
For a third example, growing up being indoctrinated by the CCP, I was influenced by the absolute and extreme notions of “things are either black or white,” and “we should be ruthless when facing our enemies.” I did not realize that this understanding was wrong, yet I thought I had a clear sense of right and wrong, and a strong sense of justice. Given this state of mind, some conflicts continued to intensify to the point of becoming a roadblock.
My sister lived in another city and visited me twice a year. She is a Buddhist, and whenever she was here, she intentionally played her Buddhist recordings very loudly. I tried to reason with her and asked her to lower the volume, but she never listened. It was the same every time she came. Gradually, the conflict between us became very deep and could not be resolved.
Because I often read experience-sharing articles on the Minghui website, and I really wanted to cultivate myself well and do the three things well, when studying the Fa and cultivating, I gradually thought, “Am I also doing something wrong?” But each time, I always glossed over it by bringing up a number of excuses.
In the end, I thought about a Dafa disciple’s responsibility to save people. Not only did I fail to save her, I also made our relationship very bad. I then had no choice but to admit that I was wrong, and I had to say to her unconditionally, “I was wrong.” But she still refused to reconcile. Then I did my best to change our relationship and eventually our conflict was resolved after a lot of effort.
As I studied the Fa more, Dafa allowed me to see where I was wrong, and I was able to admit from the bottom of my heart that I was indeed wrong. Only then did I realize that, as a cultivator, what I thought and did in the past was not in line with the requirements of the Fa. I was really just defending myself. I told myself: In the future, if I have conflicts with others, I must first tell myself unconditionally, “I am wrong.”
Admitting Unconditionally Being Wrong
At first, although I was able to tell myself unconditionally that “I am wrong,” the feeling was heart-wrenching and agonizing. But from the Fa, I realized that cultivation is to cultivate ourselves, and I was able to truly require myself to do so. I knew this type of acceptance was only possible in Dafa cultivation. And I was only able to stick to it because of Master’s teaching, his blessing, and help, and with the power of Dafa.
My mother fractured a thoracic vertebra and a bone in her leg and needed surgery. She was hospitalized several times and spent a lot of time recuperating at home. She also suffered a lot of postoperative pain. My sister came to take care of her, but my sister’s health was also not great. So I took the initiative to do most of the things that required any physical strength, such as washing, cleaning, escorting her, and nursing things. Even so, I was still frequently accused of not being truly able to do this and that.
After a few months, my mother was able to walk inside, and my sister went back home. I continued to shop and cook for my mother. After I bought her vegetables, she often criticized me, saying that I bought the wrong ones because some of them had pesticides, some were soaked in poisonous water, some had additives, and some were genetically modified. She complained that the way and size I cut the vegetables were all wrong. She claimed that I put too much oil in this dish and too little salt in that dish, and so on. For anything, even when I did it better than all of them, I was not even allowed to explain. If I did, it would bring more accusations and discontent. Later, I was even accused of being “irresponsible” and “shirking responsibility.” I just couldn’t understand it.
I was already being treated unfairly in society and at work, and had nowhere to vent my dissatisfaction; yet I still had to face all of this. If I didn’t practice Dafa, I would definitely argue with them when being treated like that, and I would ignore them and not talk to them for two weeks. Since practicing Dafa, although my temper had gotten a lot better, it still took some time for me to calm down. Afterwards, even though I tried my best to keep doing things, my expression showed how unhappy I was.
After I was able to let myself unconditionally say, “I am wrong,” it still felt heart-wrenching and agonizing at times, but I was able to calm down more quickly and continue to do other things to take care of my mother.
My anger accumulated, and after some time, I was not able to hold it back. But I yelled only a few words, and then continued to take care of my mother calmly. Gradually, this situation of not being able to hold myself from getting angry also occurred less and less. It was a big difference from how I used to be before I practiced Dafa. When I got angry at my family I went on a business trip for a month and ignored them.
Cultivating Dafa enabled me to first unconditionally tell myself, “I was wrong” when encountering any conflicts. Dafa continued to let me see where I was wrong, and then I could sincerely admit that I was wrong. After a period of time, I realized that if I hadn’t cultivated unconditionally in this way, I wouldn’t have become aware of many of my problems and shortcomings.
Being Irresponsible and Self-righteous
For example, I found I was jealous, liked to show off, was competitive, didn't want to be criticized, complained, was dissatisfied and wanted to argue, was self-righteousness and had a strong attachment to self, and so on. I used to only think on the surface that I am right on that specific matter, and not look deeper inwardly. For example, in the dispute I had with my sister, any Dafa practitioner who is solid in their cultivation would be able to see right away that my competitive mentality, self-righteousness, and demonic nature were all very strong. I also was really very jealous. I was not able to see any of these issues in myself after two or three years of cultivation.
Gradually, I came to understand why I was accused of being “irresponsible” and “shirking responsibility.” As a matter of fact, under the influence of the CCP indoctrination, I had no real understanding of “responsibility” in the past. It was only based on some remaining human conscience and moral concepts that I did. On the surface I was not doing anything bad, and I was careful not to take or harm the interests of others. Thus, I felt pretty good about myself. But as I continued to unconditionally look within, I found more and more selfishness within me and a strong sense of self-protection.
When others harmed me or infringed upon my personal interests, I got very angry. When I was unreasonably accused, even though I did not talk back, I always resisted it in my heart and felt I was right and had the right to do so. After many years of cultivation, I did not see that I had such a strong attachment to self and self-righteousness, and I even felt I was doing well in cultivation.
After I realized I had such strong selfishness and attachment to self, although my realization was still quite superficial, I had a better understanding of “being responsible.” “Being responsible” requires that one put oneself in the shoes of others, and sincerely think about others. It requires that we truly cherish others even at the expense of giving up or sacrificing our own interests or even lives. This requires true selflessness.
Looking back at my many years of Dafa cultivation, I encountered various tribulations, such as being arrested and tortured for speaking the truth about Dafa, being put in brainwashing centers, and encountering bottlenecks in clarifying the truth. When I was able to truly think about others’ needs and think about how to understand the situation based on the Fa, even though it might have felt really painful and difficult to do so. But, when I was determined to cultivate and tried my best to do so, the wisdom and power given by Dafa eventually resolved the dangerous situations. It also enabled me to understand how “being responsible” is so important for Dafa disciples.
Conflicts Help Cultivate One’s Xinxing
When I was not able to unconditionally look within during a conflict, and I got caught up in arguing about right or wrong over a specific matter, I was only attached to protecting myself, and I ended up being irresponsible to myself, others, and my cultivation. I realize that all the conflicts with my family were not really about right or wrong. They all occurred to help me cultivate.
Dafa also made me realize that I had been unwilling to strictly hold myself to the high standards of a cultivator. In the past, I thought I did my best to do the three things well and that I was truly strict with myself, so I should be fine. But, when I was truly studying the Fa and cultivating, I saw that my way of “being strict with myself” was conditional; it was limited to what I thought was important and to what I thought I could do. As for the things I thought I wasn’t able to do, or weren’t so important in my understanding, or were things I didn’t totally understand, I was often unwilling to change myself and was satisfied with how things stood. When I was forced to do that thing, I complained in my mind, felt troubled, and avoided it as best as I could.
For example, when it came to learning to use the computer to get on the Minghui website, for a long time, I had many excuses to not do it. I had a strong attachment to relying on others to do it, and would not let it go. After I was pushed to change a bit, I again became satisfied with myself and stayed there. All kinds of notions and attachments were behind this, but for many years I did not realize it.
Hoping to Wake Up
Master published the article “Wake Up,” in hopes that Dafa disciples could wake up, become rational, and do well in the final period of our cultivation during Fa-rectification. No matter what level we are at, what our cultivation state is, or what understanding we have, I hope we can cherish Master’s article and Master’s expectations for us. Let us cherish the opportunity to cultivate in the Fa-rectification period, and be clear and rational. This is also cherishing ourselves and all sentient beings!
This is based on my personal understanding. If anything is inappropriate, please kindly point it out.
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