Looking at Fellow Practitioners with a Clean Mind

Lian Zhi

PureInsight | October 7, 2007

[PureInsight.org] One day, I
was talking to a fellow practitioner about another practitioner's
having this attachment and that attachment, etc. I did not realize that
my fellow practitioner had seen me very clearly. He said, "If your mind
is clean, you will see the beautiful side of other practitioners. If
your mind is filthy, you will see only the shortcomings of others." He
also told me the story of Su Dongpo and the Fuyin Master. One day when
the two of them were talking, Su wanted to play a prank on the Fuyin
Master and asked, "What do you see from your eyes?"

The Fuyin master said, "A Buddha. And you? What do you see?"

Su was joking and said, "A cartful of cow manure."

Su went home and told his younger sister in great delight.

His sister said, "Sorry, brother, you are wrong. The Fuyin master's
mind is clean and full of Buddhas and, therefore, everyone is a Buddha
to him. But you are not kind and your mind is filthy."

The practitioner's remark really touched me. Isn't it true that I have
treated my fellow practitioners with a filthy mind lately? While I
complained that they did not do well here and there, I did not see
where they did well. Their shortcomings are mirrors for me to look at
my own inadequacy. What a filthy mind I have! If that is the case, no
matter how long I cultivate, I will probably end up like the one in the
story of "A Golden Buddha," looking great from outside but rotten from
the inside.

His words made me realize my worst shortcoming: not paying attention in
cultivating myself. I also recognize one principle: Cultivation is
cultivating oneself and not others. I need to be humble and look at
others' strong points only. In addition, I need to remind myself often
and look for my weaknesses often. And that is solidly cultivating!

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