I Should Cultivate My Character and Not My Behavior

A Practitioner from Kansas (Midwestern U.S.)

PureInsight | December 24, 2006

[PureInsight.org] I read most of the articles on ClearWisdom, PureInsight, and sometimes, ClearHarmony, every day.

I have an issue. If a practitioner tells me what to do, instead of just
letting me choose or volunteer, if they give me an assignment to do or
demand things from me, I immediately don't do it. I used to do it
anyway and learned nothing and often did not do very well and just
continued to kind of feel uncomfortable.

That was because I was basically doing what someone else thought I
OUGHT to do. Not something from my heart. Many practitioners have told
me through the years this is correct to do something others tell you to
do, whether you want to or not. I did it that way for 3 years.

At the end of the 3 years, I decided not to do that anymore but, by
that time, all the cultivators have become even busier than before and
I observed a habit developing that now has become a notion among
practitioners. When I read the "sharings" on the various sites, I
noticed that many of them were all about observations that some
cultivators have made about other cultivators and that we SHOULD do
this and we SHOULD do that. Even when the observations were completely
correct, I knew something about it bothered me, but still could not put
a finger on it.

One day, while in the middle of a conflict with a fellow cultivator, I
understood it. I remembered an article on ClearWisdom from cultivator
who wrote entirely about his own cultivation. The only time the word
"should" came in was when the cultivator was talking about his own self.

All the articles telling each other how to behave, how we should be
this or that, how this goes or that goes, are actually external
focus!  Practitioners have been writing sharing after sharing on
what others should do and have totally forgotten how to cultivate!!!

With this in mind, I started to do somewhat better in my cultivation,
however a recent fight with other cultivators left me feeling very
defeated and as though there was just no hope. I could see a lot of
what they were doing wrong, a lot of how they interfere and all kinds
of other things. I could see how I overreacted and maybe should have
been a little calmer about it.

But it was today that I saw that, once again, this problem has crept
back into my field. The reason there was even discord between me and
others, was that I was doing the very thing I cannot tolerate from
others! I realized that I have the same strong attachment to telling
others what to do! I could have just stated my understanding, but I
became a little zealous and over-reacted, telling others what they
should be doing! The more my mind becomes furious because others don't
listen to me, or don't understand what I'm saying, the stronger this
dictatorial behavior becomes. Isn't this exactly like the CCP? Doesn't
the CCP tell it's entire country, and even the whole world, what to do,
where to go, how to live, how to think, who lives, who dies? Doesn't
that then indicate the evil worming around? It just lays on my
complacency like a blanket, because I did not realize my continual need
to tell others what to do!! Now I can see it. It is why I felt so
defeated, because I thought they should and that they didn't, so I
became a dictator.

What started my enlightenment was my observation that it takes no
compassion to tell the truth just to get it off your chest. And that
led to the enlightenment that I should pay attention to cultivating my
character, not my behavior.

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