Studying the Fa Enabled Me to Purge My Competitive Mentality

Xi Fa

PureInsight | January 26, 2004

[] On the morning of November 15, 2003, about 10,000 Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioners gathered in front of the President's Office in Taipei and held a "Conference to Support Ending the Persecution of Human Beings, Safeguarding Basic Human Rights and the Public Trial of Jiang Zemin."

It was a bright and clear day. The sun was shining its warm rays on us. We practiced the standing exercises and sitting meditation in front of the President's Office, making a magnificent and peaceful picture. The Chairman of the Falun Dafa Association of Taiwan made an opening statement at the press conference, followed by speeches from prominent Taiwanese scholars elaborating the significant meanings of this event. Next the "Traveling around Taiwan by Bicycle" team, which was set up to help rescue Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Lin Hsiao-Kai, and to call for an end to the persecution, concluded their round-island trip and rode to the press conference. Then the seven Taiwanese plaintiffs in the lawsuit against Jiang Zemin in Taiwan joined in and read their statements about to the lawsuit. So far the press conference went on in a solemn and respectful atmosphere. It continued that way until several Taiwanese legislators started to make their speeches and prompted practitioners to shout out slogans loudly after them that some practitioners lost the composure required of cultivators and became as excited as those legislators. After this event, several Fa study groups in Taipei had discussions about the slogan-chanting part of the conference. There appear to be two opposite opinions on how practitioners should have behaved in response to the legislators' conventional behavior of "getting the crowd fired up" and prompting the audience to shout slogans in public gatherings.

I felt strongly against shouting slogans, so I repeatedly reminded fellow practitioners to follow what Teacher said in "No Politics" in Essentials for Further Advancement II and "Dafa Cannot Be Used" in Essentials for Further Advancement. In my heart I was extremely upset that some practitioners failed to behave like cultivators and chanted the slogans with those politicians. How could they forget Teacher's repeated teaching in this regard? Meanwhile, I resented those politicians for taking the sacred press conference as an opportunity to solicit votes for the upcoming election. Because not everyone agreed with how I thought genuine cultivators should have acted at the press conference, I was quite at a loss and felt that no one understood me. After a night of tossing and turning in bed, I suddenly realized that I had a very strong competitive mentality! I was truly shocked at what I had discovered!

In the following few days, I stayed home to search inward while studying the Fa intensively. Thanks to our compassionate Teacher, in the articles that I read, I discovered hints that helped me see my attachment.

During the press conference, I felt that the legislators used the event to solicit votes for the upcoming election, and blamed them for contaminating the sacred event. After the intensive Fa study, I came to a different understanding. Actually these legislators really came to support the lawsuit against Jiang although their ways of expression did not live up to my expectations. Perhaps that is because I have grown accustomed to practitioners' press statements and speeches at press conferences, and thus evaluate politicians' speeches and actions from a cultivator's perspective. I should have seen that the politicians' speeches and actions were a test of my xinxing (or mind nature) and an opportunity to upgrade my xinxing.

When fellow practitioners expressed different opinions on how practitioners should have behaved at the press conference, I failed to see that they simply had a different understanding of the Fa. Instead, I became excited when I heard their "contradicting me" and was led by my competitive mentality to win the argument. In the past, I thought that I would transform my karma into virtue by avoiding bickering, tolerating bullying, or forbearing my sickness karma. I never thought that I could transform my karma into virtue by eliminating my competitive mentality.

Teacher said:

Upon running into this conflict, we should, first of all, keep a cool head, and we should not behave the same as that person. Of course, we can explain the matter kindly, and it is not a problem if we clarify the issue. But you should not become too attached to it. If we encounter these problems, we should not compete and fight like others. If you do what that person did, aren't you an ordinary person? Not only should you not compete and fight like him, but also you should not resent that person in your heart. Really, you should not hate that person. If you hate that person, aren't you upset? You have not followed forbearance. We practice Zhen-Shan-Ren, and you would have even less compassion so to speak of.

(From "Transformation of Karma" in Lecture Four of Zhuan Falun.)

When I ran into this conflict, I used my human notions and concepts to judge those legislators' behavior and misinterpreted fellow practitioners' words, and, thus, became upset. Isn't it obvious that my competitive mentality is far from compassion?

Teacher said:

Maybe a lot of students have had the experience before, where our Dafa disciples have arguments when they do something together, and they look pretty heated sometimes, and after your human thoughts come out it even affects your grand task of validating the Fa.

(From "Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A.")

I have read this passage many times, but I never had once thought this passage applied to me because I felt I had a very high xinxing and would never argue with anyone. I didn't know that I had such a strong competitive mentality that I would insist my own understanding must be better than my fellow practitioners! I felt so ashamed for my lack of compassion. My heart should have been big enough to tolerate different opinions!

After the press conference, I realized that I hadn't studied the Fa well in the past, and I hadn't practiced genuine cultivation solidly. I finally saw my competitive mentality because of this press conference. I cannot help wondering how perfect and harmonious the Heavens must be where the Gods and Kings accept and tolerate each other's opinions, and never insist on using their own opinions! I should learn from Buddhas, Taos and Gods, and completely eliminate my attachments.

Thank you, Teacher, for giving me this test where I was able to see my attachment and realize what it means " understand the Fa from the Fa..." (From "Fa-Lecture at the Conference in Florida, U.S.A.") Finally, I hope that all Dafa practitioners will continue to cleanse themselves through studying the Fa.

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