Thoughts on Handling Conflict

PureInsight | March 31, 2003

[] A famous ancient Chinese poet from the Song Dynasty, Su Shi, wrote a poem about Lu Mountain:

Viewed horizontally, it is a ridge,
Viewed from the side, it is a group of mountain peaks;
Why is the true face of Lu Mountain beyond recognition?
Because one is deep in the heart of the mountain.

Lu Mountain is a huge mountain with crisscrossing gullies, and ridges and peaks rising one after another. Travelers see different things when they visit different parts of the mountain. Indeed, they see Lu Mountain, but they cannot see its true face—or the whole picture—because they are deep within the heart of the mountain. What they see is only a small, isolated section.

We can apply this metaphor to our daily life and behavior. We sometimes argue with each other for our own reasons, and everyone thinks that he is right. This is because each of us looks at things from our own point of view. I think this kind of outlook reflects a kind of selfishness, as it is based on our own self-centeredness. We are just like those travelers to Lu Mountain who are right in the heart of the mountain and are unable to see its true face. If we could just put ourselves in the other person's place when we encounter problems, we would view things quite differently.

We are cultivators of Falun Dafa and should always behave like Falun Dafa practitioners. If we argue from our own selfish perspective, then we are just the same as ordinary people—not cultivators. And it might have a negative impact on Dafa.

I would like to share one of my experiences in this regard, when I took part in a Falun Dafa Forum. I was deeply touched by the event, and left very determined to cultivate well. But when I returned home, I found my daughter had gone out without fulfilling her promise to stay home to cook for the family. She even argued with me about it when she came back home. I was angry and wanted her to know it. After the argument, however, I was very regretful because I did not behave like a cultivator. I remember what our Master taught us: "During the cultivation there may be two cases in terms of dealing with specific conflicts or when someone ill-treats you: one is that you might have ill-treated this person in a previous life. You are not balanced and wondering how come he treated you this way? Then, why did you treat him that way before? You may argue that you did not know at that time and this life has nothing to do with the one in the past. This is not allowed. The other case is related to the karma transformation during a conflict. Therefore, in dealing with specific conflicts we should conduct ourselves more forgivingly instead of acting like an ordinary person."

When I encounter daily matters I should not forget our Master's teachings. This is the main lesson I learned from the experience.
Sometimes, we cultivators also argue among ourselves. This is because we still have different levels of ordinary people's attachments. Besides, cultivators also have different levels of enlightenment, and this leads to different points of view, which in turn leads to different behavior. It is normal for cultivators to argue, but it is not right for us to stubbornly take a stand in defense of our own opinion. For instance, during Jiang's visit to Russia last year, many Dafa disciples went to Russia for the purpose of sending righteous thoughts. But they ended up arguing about whether or not they should kill a mosquito that was biting and bothering them while sending righteous thoughts. Those who swatted the mosquitoes thought that the insects affected their sending righteous thoughts, while those who did not kill the mosquitoes thought that the actions of those who did kill them were affecting everyone's righteous thoughts. The discussion went on for an hour, which seriously impacted their eliminating evil by sending righteous thoughts. Although I did not take part in that activity, I have asked myself what I would have done if I had taken part. We should look at things from the perspective of the Fa. Only then can we see the true face of any issue. Only then can we not look at things as if we are "staying in the heart of Lu Mountain."

Master teaches us in "Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Boston":
"A Dafa disciple should put the Fa first in everything he does—whenever you evaluate something you have to consider the Fa first. You probably remember something I've said to you often: a Dafa disciple should consider others first in everything he does. Whenever something happens or whenever a situation comes about, even if it's a minor thing, my first thought is of others, for it's already become natural for me—I just think of others first. If all of you can do this, there won't be any of that stubborn arguing in your validating the Fa; if you really have a solid foundation like this and are able to calm yourselves, consider others, and examine yourselves when anything happens, I think you'll be able to handle a lot of things well."

Master also addresses this issue in "Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A": "So, since each Great Enlightened Being and each being in the cosmos has his own set of understandings of the cosmos like that, if they were to start arguing wouldn't that be disastrous? That kind of thing doesn't exist where they are."

"So what's their state of mind? It's tolerance, an extremely immense tolerance, being able to accept other beings, and being able to truly think from other beings' perspectives. This is something a lot of you haven't achieved yet in your cultivation, but you're gradually catching on and achieving it."

When encountering conflicts, we should consider others' situations first and then look at ourselves, from inside. Always put Dafa first. Actually, this relates closely to our own daily activities. We have to cultivate ourselves sincerely, and get out of the circle of self. Then it is much easier to tolerate others' differences. Our Master always emphasizes studying the Fa. We cultivators must cultivate ourselves consistently.

Lu Mountain represents selfishness. If we get out of Lu Mountain, we get out of the actual conflict because we get out of selfishness. Then we will be able to see the true face of Lu Mountain, which means that we will be able to deal with the problem objectively.

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