PureInsight | March 30, 2016
Greetings Master! Greetings fellow practitioners!
I used to think that I could take criticism from other people, as long as their words were reasonable.
“A bitter medicine cures the disease. Sincere advice may be unpleasant to hear.” I have been hearing those words since I was young. I thought that this statement made sense and felt that I followed it most of the time. After starting cultivation, I never thought that I had the attachment of preferring compliments and rejecting criticism. But after coming overseas, I found that whenever fellow practitioners criticized me, I would automatically explain myself. Practitioners told me that I did not look inward and didn’t accept the cultivation issues they pointed out. At first, I didn’t take what they said to heart or accept that I had attachments that needed to go.
An incident happened a while ago which resulted in a great rift between a fellow practitioner and me. Before I came overseas, my classmate had told me that the people here were very indifferent. I said that this was not a problem as long as we communicate with others in a humble manner. According to the requirements, the application for asylum must start once one is overseas. After I waited for a year and a half, the Immigration Department sent me a letter rejecting my application. It said that I was not a real practitioner. This hit me like thunder on a clear day. I wondered how I could become fake after cultivating all these years?! I must deny this, regardless of the outcome.
During these one and a half years, I worked with the local practitioners in our area on promoting Shen Yun for several months. Everyone worked together pretty well. More practitioners got to know me better. Many fellow practitioners helped me to appeal to the court for asylum. Before I went to court, I was still a little worried. I went to see the practitioner that I had worked with the most and asked him what I should pay attention to at the interview. We talked with each other a lot, and he often praised me that my understanding on certain aspects was very good and helpful for him. He has also helped me a lot. I thought that I would be in big trouble if I were rejected again. I hoped that he could say something regarding this important development.
Surprisingly when I met with him, before I could say much, he said with a serious face, "Do you know why you were rejected? Do you believe in Master and the Fa? Do you do all five exercises every day? Do you read one lecture of Zhuan Falun each day? I have already seen your problem. You do not believe in Master and the Fa 50%, 20% or even 10%." I was shocked to hear this and could not say a word.
After I went home, I was very upset. I thought about how he had been complimenting how well I had been cultivating, but had never told me about it when he’d seen my problem. When I asked him for help at an important time, instead of helping me, he used this opportunity to lecture me. That feeling was really hard to explain. I thought that I had finally got to really know this person. I felt that I should not get in touch with him too often from now on, because it was too scary. I did not realize that this was Master helping me eliminate the attachment to rejecting criticism. I did not seize the opportunity, nor improve. As a result, I only became distant with that fellow practitioner.
I also have not been doing well with making truth clarification phone calls to China. My family members have said that I am so sensitive that if people talk back to me, I am not able to continue. I said that I have had a high self-esteem ever since I was young, but I realized that something was not right after I said this. Isn’t having a high self-esteem also an attachment?
Master has said in Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference from Guiding the Voyage, “Some people thought that this or that aspect of Dafa was good, but today’s test is relentless, as no human attachment can be taken to heaven.”
But how does one eliminate this attachment of self-esteem?
The theme of our sharing this time is “Cultivating Away Attachments to Self, Including Fame, Enjoying Praise and Rejecting Criticism; Cultivate Dafa Truly and Solidly.” This theme touched me a lot. I was thinking, isn’t this self-esteem also an attachment to fame, and enjoying praise and rejecting criticism?
Master said in Fa Teaching at the 2015 West Coast Fa Conference, “Each instance of human thinking during a test, each instance of inadequate righteous thoughts, and each attachment that a cultivator has will be seized upon by them as an excuse to drag you down and take you out from among the ranks of cultivating Dafa disciples. This results in our paths of cultivation being full of tribulations as well as danger.
Each of your attachments could cause your cultivation to fail. Each of your attachments could result in physical issues, and lead your once-firm faith in Dafa to waver.”
Reflecting on myself with Master’s Fa, I suddenly realized that I had again and again missed my opportunities for improvement. When fellow practitioners had pointed out my shortcomings, I found excuses to defend myself. When fellow practitioners said that I should not look for excuses, I still did not want to accept it and sometimes felt that my self-esteem was hurt. Isn’t this also an attachment to rejecting criticism and protecting my “self”? When I sought help from the fellow practitioner, he was worried for me so he pointed out my shortcomings, and consequently I then blamed this practitioner. I did not say it out loud, but I felt wronged and unfair on the inside. I also became distant from him. This attachment has been hidden so deeply. The attachment of a high self-esteem, fame and enjoying praise is an attachment to rejecting criticism and protecting oneself. Master wants us to “attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism” (Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature from Essentials for Further Advancement), so how come I had not realized that this attachment had been with me for so many years? This attachment to rejecting criticism caused such a great rift between a fellow practitioner and myself. For over a year, even though that local practitioner and I seemed to get along on the surface, the actual gap was made clear by the old forces. During this time, the gap caused by this attachment brought so many losses to local Fa-validation activities.
Master said in Further Understanding from Essentials for Further Advancement, “I couldn’t have explained the matter of Buddha-nature and demon-nature to you any more clearly. The tests for you to pass are in fact meant to remove your demon-nature. Nonetheless, from time to time you have used various excuses or Dafa itself to hide it, and failed to improve your xinxing while missing opportunities again and again.
Do you realize that as long as you’re a cultivator, in any environment or under any circumstances, I will use any troubles or unpleasant things you come across—even if they involve work for Dafa, or no matter how good or sacred you think they are—to eliminate your attachments and expose your demon-nature so that it can be eliminated, for your improvement is what’s most important.
If you are able to succeed in improving yourself this way, what you do then, with a pure heart, will be the best and most sacred.”
In the past, I used to recite this article very frequently and reflect on myself accordingly.
However, I cannot even completely recall it anymore. I am really far from my original cultivation state. When I realized this, I could not help but burst into tears. I felt guilty for Master’s and fellow practitioners’ kind helps. Now, at a time when Fa-rectification is near the end, Master has hinted to me again with His magnificent benevolence. He does not want me to miss this historical chance. I will definitely treasure Dafa and this precious opportunity. I will truly cultivate myself and eliminate attachments one after another as soon as possible, so I can reach consummation and go home with Master.
Thank you Master. Thank you fellow practitioners.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/node/150017