PureInsight | December 5, 2005
(1) The day before yesterday, I read an article on Minghui.org/Clearwisdom.net website, and it made me think a lot.
According to the article, during the Period of Warring States (sometime in 5 B.C. to 211 B.C.), Zhong Shan, the King of the Zhong Shan State, once invited some scholars to a banquet. Every guest got a piece of red bean cake except one of the guests named Sima Ziqi. He became very angry and defected to the State of Chu. There he advised the King of Chu to attack Zhong Shan State. Under the attack from Chu, Zhong Shan was forced to escape. However, two people followed him with dagger-axes in their hands to guard him. Zhong Shan asked them what they were up to, and they answered: "Once when our father was on the verge of dying of starvation, you gave him a pot of hot food. Our father said before he passed away that: 'You have to fight and die for Zhong Shan if he is in trouble.' So here we are." Upon hearing this, Zhong Shan sighed, looking into the sky: "When you give things in people, what's important is not how much you give them, but whether they are really in great need at that moment. The degree of hatred and resentment do not lie on how trivial the cause is. Instead it depends on whether a person is truly hurt or not. I lost my country because of a piece of red bean cake, but I got two warriors because of a pot of hot food."
Many things are very intricate. Sometime the consequences of mistakes that appear neither very big nor very small are devastating.
(2) The reason for mentioning this is because it has reminded me of something that happened at our practice site.
About one year or two years ago, a new practitioner A came to our practice site through the introduction of practitioner B. Perhaps because A was new and needed some time to understand many things, he only practiced and studied the Fa with us, and would leave when we began experience sharing afterwards.
At that time, practitioner A always came to the practice site very early and his diligence even made many veteran practitioners feel that they were falling behind. A was also very kind to others.
Things went this way for two or three months. But from one point on, A stopped coming to the practitioner site. No one seemed to notice his absence at the beginning.
Another two weeks passed, and then practitioner B told me with a little regret that one time when he was talking with A, he felt that A had not shown enough respect to Teacher in his speech, so he criticized A. That may have hurt A, because the words B used were somewhat insulting. B wondered if A's absence was related to their conversation.
Of course, when something happens, it may be caused by many factors. However, when an ordinary person has just broken through various blockages and come to look for the true meaning of life and obtain the Fa, nothing can be more hurtful to him than harm from fellow practitioners.
A while ago, two new practitioners in a nearby city were cultivating very diligently, but they also saw that some conflicts among veteran practitioners had remained unresolved for a long period of time. At the same time, they noticed that their emails were not getting any reply (people usually expect to get replies from others) and they also faced conflicts from trying to balance their jobs, studies and families. Gradually, they began to drift away from cultivation. When we realized the seriousness of the matter and tried to communicate with them in various ways, nothing could be changed.
(3) Recently, I have been reading the articles from "The Second Experience Sharing of Mainland China Dafa Disciples on Internet" on the Minghui.org/Clearwisdom.net website and they have provoked lots of thoughts and made me feel as if I was physically present in a Fa conference listening to practitioners' sharing. The strongest impression I got from the articles is that many are about how to overcome various difficulties and get things done well with other practitioners together. For example, in one article, a practitioner shared his understanding of being a coordinator. He said that a coordinator not only needs to coordinate among practitioners to finish a task well, but also needs to make good use of the potential of each practitioner, helping them improve in the long run and further benefiting the project of Fa-rectification as a whole.
(4) Although it is not easy to do everything well, this is what Fa has required of us and it is also what we are going to accomplish. Teacher said, "A Dafa disciple—a most magnificent, merciful being—is the most remarkable and most merciful in every environment of human society, and is beneficial to other beings."(From "Teaching the Fa at the Grate Lakes Fa Conference in North America" in Guiding the Voyage.)
We sometimes feel wronged because no one understands the suffering in our heart. We sometimes feel frustrated because our fellow practitioners do not meet our expectations and we become attached to their attachments and wonder why they don't improve. We sometimes complain about others when others criticize us, thinking that if they were in our position, they might not be able to do better than we did.
However, when we calm down through studying the Fa, when we are able to break through the limitation of our own notions of viewing things, and when we check our thoughts and actions from the stand point of others using the standard of Fa, we will be able to detect our shortcoming and find the path we should be walking on.
(5) For a period of time, my family members who are not cultivators became very strict with me to the extent of almost deliberately trying to find my faults. They watched everything I did, ranging from whether I was on time, the efficiency of my doing things, my way of talking with other people, my way of walking, my table manners, etc. When I couldn't bear it and argued just a little bit, the family member would say, "Is this the way you practitioners behave? Is this the attitude you practitioners have when others point out your problems?" Looking back now, I have found that because of this experience I was able to get rid of some of my bad habits that seemed impossible to get rid of.
One time during experience sharing, one practitioner said, "If we think about it, when others, especially other practitioners, point out our shortcomings, it is usually when they had tried to tolerate them for a while but just couldn't take them anymore. At such a time, should we still defend ourselves instead of taking the opportunity to improve ourselves?"
We ourselves have to make improvements in the areas where we fall short. There is no shortcut and not something that others can do for us. When we are attached to fame, to sentimentality, to fellow practitioners' attachments and to complaining about others, the only thing we can do is to study the Fa and measure ourselves using the Fa's standard. In fact, all those notions are not ours. A life forged by Dafa cannot be interfered by any factors.
There is no "what if" in cultivation. If we can find our own way and do the three things Dafa disciples should do well based on our own individual situations, we are validating the Fa.
(6) Last week when talking about no killing in cultivating in Dafa, a colleague asked me why I still eat meat. He also asked about the issue of not killing flies and mosquitoes. Explaining my understanding to him reminded me of another thing.
When I had just learned Dafa, I was a student. By chance, I got to know that there were two other students reading Zhuan Falun in our school, so the three of us got together in the library and shared with each other. We all agreed that this cultivation was simply too difficult, having to give up so many attachments, having to study and live our lives, etc. It's almost impossible.
In blink of an eye, several years passed. Looking back, my thoughts at that time seemed somewhat ridiculous.
Improvement in cultivation goes step by step. One cannot stop at his understanding of the past all the time, just as one should move to high school after finishing middle school; he cannot stay in the middle school for seven or eight years and feel great about himself.
Sometimes, it seems difficult to consider all the aspects perfectly when doing Dafa projects with other practitioners, because each practitioner has a different life experience, situation and perspective of viewing things. In addition, sometimes I don't know all the details. Therefore, I feel that if we put too much emphasis on the details, nothing can be done.
However from another perspective, Dafa created everything. If one can truly melt in the Fa, he won't use human mentality to view everything.
Teacher has said: "I've said before that a Tathagata Buddha knows the thoughts of even cattle and horses, but he would never use their ways of thinking to think about things." (From "Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference")
Therefore, when we truly assimilate to the Fa of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance, truly consider everything from the point of the Fa, are not attached to ourselves, not attached to other's reactions, truly consider things from others' perspectives with pure compassion and consider everyone involved, our words and action will naturally be the best for other people.
This is like what Teacher has said: "[…] full of great aspirations while minding minor details." (From "Sage" in Essentials for Further Advancement.) This is not an issue of spending energy thinking whether to smash a mosquito, or if an ant is being stepped on while you are walking.
In fact, everyone has an origin and every event has also its hidden factors we cannot see. So, we cannot be attached to the surface appearance. Only with the goal of validating the Fa, being responsible to sentient beings and following the requirement of Fa, can we achieve the best result and perfect everything.
(7) I remember reading one article of a practitioner, saying that sometimes we are not actually doing very well, but Teacher is very compassionate and protected us with powerful Gong and solved the difficulties, so our bad performance do not result in severe consequences.
However as Dafa disciples, we need to know to be diligent. Teacher has expectations of us and the sentient beings also put hope in us.
Some practitioners think while they themselves are not as good as some practitioners they are better than others and thus are satisfied with themselves. You might think your state is not too bad; when studying the Fa you can concentrate 80% of the time, when you cultivate you can use the Fa to measure yourself 80% of the time, when sending forth righteous thoughts you can be calm and tranquil 80% of the time, and when clarifying the truth you can be in the best state you can think of 80% of the time. But Teacher has required us to do all three things well. Put these several 80%'s together, half of the sentient beings that have been waiting for you to save might have lost their future.
Sometimes we read news reports talking about some disasters with a casualty rate of 1%, it seems not too bad. But for the families involved, the pain of losing a family member is tremendous. Even when the probability is only one in a thousand or one in ten thousand, it becomes 100% if it actually happens to you.
If the position is switched and you are one of the sentient beings in a world and waiting to be saved by a Dafa disciple, but he is not as diligent as he should, how are you going to think about it?
(8) Teacher said, "Opportunity knocks but once. Once the illusion that you cannot let go of disappears, you will realize what you have lost." (From "Practicing Cultivation After Retirement" in Essentials for Further Advancement.) If you treasure this opportunity from your heart, you will feel grateful to the practitioners who validate the Fa with you, you will feel grateful to those who are in your life today after having gone through countless reincarnations, and you will hold great compassion and be grateful to the things that have contributed to your validating the Fa and saving sentient beings, and everything that gives witness to the greatness of Teacher and Dafa.