Cultivating My Inner Self and Getting Rid of the Attachments of Jealousy and Competitive Mentality

A Practitioner from Colorado

PureInsight | August 2, 2004

[] The topic of my sharing is "Cultivating my inner self and getting rid of the attachments of jealousy and competitive mentality".

Two years ago, I moved to Denver from another state. Although Denver is where I obtained Fa and had lived before, I felt pretty unfamiliar about the cultivation environment upon returning. Faces were familiar yet people were strangers.

Coming from another state, I felt right away I recognized the many shortcomings of Fa spreading work here, and therefore shared my thoughts with the assistant. However, he did not accept it. So, I felt unhappy and kept my complaint in my heart. Following that, in a series of hongfa activities, I again discovered that my opinions were different from another local coordinator. In addition, she always made me feel she was giving orders to me, which truly made me uncomfortable. Moreover, I couldn't bear her way of working and dealing with different issues, and even her personal life style.

However, cultivation is to cultivate oneself. During Fa-study, I saw the root of all these troubles. In ordinary peoples' society, maybe she really is not as capable as I, but what does this have to do with cultivation and hongfa?

Yet one day this incompetent person gets a promotion instead of him and even becomes his supervisor. He will feel in his heart that it is unfair and complain to his boss and coworkers, feeling very upset and quite jealous.

(From "Jealousy" in Lecture Seven Zhuan Falun) So, it was I who was jealous of her. After realizing it, I was determined to restrain this attachment and eliminate it.

But after not too long, I noticed that almost all the practitioners I knew had fewer or more kinds of complaints about her shortcomings. Although, on one hand, I was trying to restrain my own attachment, and, on the other hand, telling other practitioners that we should look inward in cultivation and even explaining on her behalf, what other practitioners had said remained in my mind and weakened my determination to cultivate my inner self. One time, during sharing with the assistant, I mentioned my opinion on that coordinator and the local hongfa activity again, but he still did not agree with me. Then, I started giving examples and arguing vigorously, and poured out all other people's opinions. During the whole time, the assistant expressed that he thought the coordinator was correct most of the time, and he kindly told me to cultivate myself and find my own problems. Although I felt it unfair and that the assistant favored her, I had nothing to say. After all, if you want to cultivate, you have to look at yourself. This is always true no matter what.

When I was planning to calm down and once again check myself, a practitioner from another state came to visit her family in Denver. I mentioned the situation when chatting with her, and she also agreed with me and gave some specific examples from the other state. She also felt that the assistant was unfair in dealing with the issue and was responsible for many problems. She said she was going to talk to the assistant. However, she left in a hurry after taking care of her things before sharing with the assistant.

This series of happenings had shaken my will to look inward. It truly was

With undetermined will, tribulations look like a mountain, and how can one transcend the ordinary world?

(From "Demonic Interference From One's Own Mind" in Hongyin II, unofficial translation) One day when studying the Fa, we read:

Whether it is a Buddha, a Tao, an immortal, or a demon, they should not move your heart. In conducting oneself this way, success is bound to be in sight.

(From "Demonic Interference From One's Own Mind" in Lecture Six of Zhuan Falun) I felt I was shaken and finally realized that I had been interfered with. How could I be interfered with? Where was my omission? Carefully thinking about all the complaints practitioners had about that coordinator, I found that every single one was actually my own attachment, although they appeared to be conflicts between them. It is really not easy to check oneself. It 's always easy to look other's problems. That is why Master told us us:

I've often said that when two people have friction between each other, each should examine him or herself. Not only should the two people with the friction examine themselves, but also the bystanders who happen to observe the incident should examine themselves.

(From "Lecture at Singapore Fa Conference," unofficial translation)

Having found the attachment, I suddenly felt a big relief. I again strengthened my righteous thoughts and was determined to look inward.

Later, we had many opportunities to collaborate with each other on Dafa work. Each time, I tried my best to cooperate with her. Even though there were still some things trying to stop me, and different thoughts crowding in my mind, such as "what's so good about this idea? That is the best way to do ..." and sometimes I couldn't help arguing with her a little bit, I could quickly recognize that thing and stop arguing.

One day after midnight and close to 1 o'clock, she called me and said one Dafa project urgently needed help. I said ok, I will help with it tomorrow. She said no, she needed it early tomorrow morning. If it was someone else, I surely would have pushed it to the next day, because I had an appointment with a VIP the next day. But before the conflict between us was completely solved, being together with her would be a good opportunity in cultivation. Grasping this opportunity could also enhance my confidence in cultivation as getting rid of attachments is most important. I decided to help her during the night. At 5 in the morning, we finally finished the work. During that time we had some arguments over trivial matters. Each time I thought my ideas were better but gave up eventually. I was satisfied with myself, feeling that I guarded my xinxing well.

After sleeping for an hour, I got up and did the sitting meditation. During the meditation, the scene in which I was talking to her surfaced again, like a movie being replayed. She demanded me to use a certain color to draw. I thought in my mind: "a person who doesn't know anything about painting bosses around the person who does know. What do you know? I have to know at least more than you." I tried to give some suggestion, but she did not want to change. So, I basically followed her requirement, using her color as base color and adjusted it into a more harmonious color, which was actually already not the color she wanted. Yet, she was very pleased with the result. I said in my mind: "after all, my idea was better!"

When I was very pleased with myself, thinking that the job was well done, xinxing was guarded well, either way I was better than her, suddenly I was taken back by the music. I felt that something was not right; "Why can't I become tranquil? What am I thinking about? Why do I want to be higher than other people on every aspect? Isn't that competing with others? Isn't that the jealousy caused by my competitive mentality?" With the righteous thoughts coming out, I became tranquil right in the moment.

Before, I thought that it was her responsibility that the local hongfa was not done adequately. Now, I realized it was the competence mentality that had been interfering. Judging the local hongfa and truth-clarifying activities after getting rid of this competitive mentality, everything seemed better, and there were many things that I could learn from her. If I always use my strong point in hongfa in another state to compare with the weak part here, it is like using one's strong point to compare with another's shortcomings. What one will see is forever the other person's weak point.

Master told us:

If you took a look in the extreme microcosm at the material formed by what your mind is attached to, [you'd see that ] they are mountains, huge mountains, made of hard, granite-like rock, and once they are formed there's simply no way for a human being to move them.

(From "Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference")

During the process of moving this huge mountain, I have found that my way of looking at things has also been changing. When we have conflict with others in cultivation, we need not only to look into ourselves, but also have to calmly judge the issue from the others' perspectives and even a broader perspective. My most obvious change is my way of looking at other practitioners; I can now see more good points in them instead of their shortcomings. No matter who contributes in validating Dafa, I am happy for them, just as I am happy for myself, instead of feeling competitive and jealous in the past.

Finally, let's share Master's poem "Unblockable" with fellow practitioners:

With different paths in cultivation
All is within Dafa
No attachment to anything
One will find the road wide open

Thank you Master!

Thank you everyone!

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