On the Accommodation of Dissent

A Dafa Disciple in Mainland China

PureInsight | October 21, 2012

[PureInsight.org] Last week, I went to visit a local Fa-study group to discuss some personal business. One fellow practitioner approached me and said she needed to talk. “The sharing you had with us last Sunday got me worried. Your comments sounded like those same opinions from a spy working for the Public Security Bureau.” I was utterly flabbergasted by her suspicions. I tried to appear calm on the outside, but I was struggling violently within. I kept telling myself to look inward; I must look inward. I said to Honorable Master in my mind: “This is unfair, I am innocent.” I recalled the discussion I had with fellow practitioners last Sunday where I expressed my concerns. I had noticed that some practitioners were sleepy during sending forth righteous thoughts and their hands weren’t straight and their minds seemed to be wandering. I hoped by raising their awareness of this issue we could improve. I didn’t expect to get such a response and I felt uneasy.

However, Master’s Fa teaching came to mind: “I just said that the principles of cultivators and those of ordinary people are opposite. Human beings believe that a life of comfort is a good thing, while Dafa disciples believe that having everything be easy is a bad thing when it comes to their improvement and that discomfort is conducive to improvement. Have you managed to turn around your fundamental concepts?” (“Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005”)

I repeatedly asked myself why I was feeling uncomfortable; there must be attachments I had to get rid of. With strong determination I said: “I will pass this tribulation, I will elevate myself through this incident.”

The next day, I stopped all my daily activities and focused on reading Zhuan Falun. In the very first chapter, I came across this teaching: “Different levels have different Fa.” I realized that Buddha Sakyamuni had already been enlightened when he started teaching his Fa, yet, he had not reached the level of Tathagata. Throughout the forty-nine years during which he taught his Fa among his disciples, Sakyamuni was incessantly improving himself by revealing and overcoming his shortcomings, and assimilating himself to universal principles. The whole cultivation process of the Buddha was one of self-refinement through scrutinizing his attachments. Yes, what the fellow practitioner had just said to me was totally displeasing to my ears, but she meant no ill. She was simply telling me what she was thinking at her current level of understanding of the Fa.

Master says: “And when others are embroiled in conflict and you are just an onlooker, you should think about it, ‘How can I do better? If I were in that position, would I be able to control my xinxing and face the criticism and disapproval like a cultivator?’ Cultivation is about looking inside yourself. Whether you are right or wrong, you should examine yourself. Cultivation is about getting rid of human attachments. If you always reject reproaches and criticism, always point your fingers at others, and always refute others’ disapproval and criticism, is that cultivating? How is that cultivating?” (“Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles”)

I realized that I had become accustomed to hearing praise from other people and was reluctant to receive negative comments from others. I had not been accommodating enough of dissent. Also, I had been afraid of getting frustrated over things. What had driven me mad was the condescending attitude with which the fellow practitioner made the comment about me. It dawned on me that cultivation was just like a mirror. Attachments I noticed in fellow practitioners were mere reflections of myself. As long as I still harbor similar attachments, I will see such attachments in other practitioners.

Master says: “What we are doing here is cultivation, and this is a process whereby lives are fundamentally transformed into high-level beings. What I am saying is, those in the audience here are all lives who are on their way to divinity.” (“Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles”)

So, cultivation is such a serious matter, cultivation is a process to reshape a life, it is a process where a human being elevates to a deity. Nonetheless, how much had I fundamentally changed myself? I had been modest and respectful towards others and was unwilling to point out other people’s shortcomings so as not to stir up a conflict. When other practitioners told me about my attachments, I could control myself and remain calm. On the other hand, I didn’t want to tell fellow practitioners about their attachments. Deep in my heart, I looked down upon those who were either not cultivating well enough, or not understanding the Fa. When practitioners shared their difficulties with me, I would become apathetic. I didn’t want to engage in such a conversation. The worse thing was instead of showing concern over other practitioners’ attachments I would even start to praise other people out of the self-protective habits formed in ordinary society.

Two years ago, a couple of fellow practitioners from our local group were kidnapped by the evil regime. As a result, our local group suffered both economically and spiritually. The practitioners were severely persecuted, disrupting the local group from continuing cultivation as well as saving sentient beings. The loss was immeasurable and there was no way we could recover it. Prior to that incident, I had already noticed those practitioners’ obvious attachments. Nevertheless, I not only didn’t show my concerns, but also, I started to distance myself from them, deciding not to talk to them anymore. I really feel extremely saddened by my selfish behavior.

There is yet another case in point in my own family. I had always been unwilling to say anything to my mother who lived a luxurious life. My mother is also a cultivator. Although I was not happy with my mother’s lifestyle, I decided to conceal my concern. One day, my brother, who is also a practitioner, said to me: “You are always looking down upon people. You always have a condescending attitude towards others as if you are better than them.” I then realized that Master was using my brother’s words to give me certain hints in my own cultivation. My brother treated me as if I was an ordinary person, and I had treated my mom as if she was an ordinary person. It occurred to me that my cultivation had become very shallow. I was trying to show to others that I had cultivated well, yet, deep in my heart, my ego was still very big and the selfishness within my body had not been eliminated. I had been cultivating solely for myself and not trying to assimilate to the Fa, to the characteristics of the universe.

Master says in lecture one of Zhuan Falun: “So what I just talked about are the two reasons why doing cultivation exercises doesn’t increase your gong: you have no way to cultivate if you don’t know the Law at high levels, and if you don’t cultivate inward, if you don’t cultivate your character, your gong won’t increase. Those are the two reasons.”

So, it turns out that I have been constrained to a single cultivation level for too long a time. Today, I have finally found my fundamental attachment—selfishness. I am determined to get rid of it. Selfishness is a characteristic of the old universe. Master has urged us to cultivate to a level where there is no selfishness, no egotism. The Fa is unmovable and solid like diamond. It also has its standards. Dafa practitioners of this current Fa-rectification period have their standards as well. If I cultivate solely for self, how can I help Master rectify the Fa? How can I save sentient beings? How can I assimilate myself to the new universe? How can I become one of the most glorious lives in the new universe? Suddenly, I felt like all my attachments and my own selfishness had been dissolved by the power of Dafa, my mind was crystal clear and my whole body was light as a feather. I was truly experiencing something like “The Heart is Harmonized and Body Lightened” (“The Great Consummation Way of Falun Dafa”). Right at that moment, I was sincerely thankful for that fellow practitioner who had criticized me. She had helped reveal my fundamental attachment, giving me an opportunity to cultivate and to improve both my cultivation understanding and cultivation level. From the bottom of my heart, I shouted: “Only through accommodating dissent can one polish oneself.”

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/node/112345


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