Cultivating Compassion in Speech

A Dafa Particle from Taiwan

PureInsight | April 18, 2002

During group study, one fellow practitioner told a cultivation story about another practitioner. She was trying to share the experience that if we couldn't get rid of fundamental attachments, these attachments would bring conflicts and tribulations to our cultivation. However, everybody in the group could tell that she didn't search for her own attachments but only complained about others' attachments. Thus, she incurred a series of corrections from other practitioners.

Searching for others' attachments with notions in a customary manner is itself one of the attachments that many practitioners were not aware of and hadn't pulled out by the root. When I saw this practitioner arguing sternly to defend her behavior, I understood that she didn't realize where her attachments were at all. There was a voice from my heart, which wanted to tell her that the principle of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" requests us to look inside and search for our own attachments but not to search for others' attachments. But at the time, I instinctively smiled at her, thanked her for sharing her experience with us, and calmly asked practitioners to continue to read Zhuan Falun together. As soon as I did this, I was extremely surprised by my behavior because in the past I always used a lot of Master's words to sternly correct others when I saw fellow practitioners' behaviors or thoughts were not on the Fa. But Master pointed out clearly in "Cultivation of Speech" (Lecture Eight of Zhuan Falun): "One's speech is dictated by one's thinking. Accordingly, one's thinking has intentions. If one's mind wants itself to think a little bit, express something, do something, or direct one's sensory organs and four limbs, it may be an attachment among everyday people." In the past I had tried to understand and apply this principle in conflicts and correct my own behavior with this principle. I was surprised to see that this enabled me to handle a real-life situation with a benevolent heart.

During the Fa study on that day, we read Lecture Four. At the beginning, I didn't put my heart on the Fa study completely. I still had a little attachment that wanted to share my understanding with others from the relationship between illness and karma and the cultivation of speech. Because these topics were not covered by this lecture, my thoughts were on how to introduce this topic and were not on the Fa that we studied. Fortunately, I immediately realized that this thought was not respectful for the Fa. I realized that my attachment in the past was that I always eagerly wanted to correct others' attachments. Then, I quickly focused my thoughts on the Fa that we were studying, and I believed that Buddhas, Daos, and Gods in the book would let me know how to share my understanding with others in a proper way. Just as expected, in the Fa study, I clearly saw a sentence that I could start with to share my understanding, and I talked in a peaceful and serene way about how I managed to transcend my human notions to the principle I enlightened.

In the past, I always felt upset by my impatient disposition. I couldn't understand why others somehow always managed to distort my words to the negative meaning. Yet, this experience enabled me to understand indeed what Master said: "You should always maintain a heart of benevolence and a mind of kindness. If you suddenly bump into a problem, you will be able to take care of it properly. When you always maintain a heart of benevolence and compassion, you will have time or room to buffer the confrontation and think, should a problem arise suddenly." (From "Transformation of Karma" in Lecture Four of Zhuan Falun) Actually, my impatient disposition was not innate, but came from my attachments.

Through the Fa study and cultivation, I understood that we all stepped out from a human level in our cultivation. When we made big progress, we would feel very happy and eagerly wish others could improve fast too. Sometimes, we put ourselves in a right position only after following a long detour. We then suggested fellow practitioners should not step on that detour. However, Master told us in "Cultivation of Speech" (Lecture Eight of Zhuan Falun): "Let us talk about something that is common, such as 'I want to do this or that,' or 'this matter should now be done this way or that way.' Perhaps it will unintentionally hurt someone. Because interpersonal conflicts are all very complex, one may unintentionally produce karma." Offering a word of advice is our true purpose while we share the experience with others. We truly want what is best for other people and wish that they could truly improve fast in their cultivation. Yet, if our own selves are in a state that is not pure enough, and we do not carry a truly benevolent heart, then others cannot understand our kindness and conflicts may be produced. Therefore, I understand that the cultivation of compassionate speech is important for us before we reach the realm of Gods and Buddhas. Only when we have no attachments, can pure benevolent words be out of true compassion then we can reach our purpose in urging other people to do well.

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