Good or Evil Is Determined by a Single Thought

A Dafa Disciple in China

PureInsight | May 26, 2003

[] When exchanging cultivation experiences with fellow practitioners or reading experience-sharing articles, I discovered that I could understand the inner meaning of their experiences only when I did not try to mak any judgement according to my own notions. When I looked at their understandings from their perspectives, I could feel the magnificence in their cultivation and the boundless compassion of Dafa. I could also notice my own flaws, and I could hear and see the best in their cultivation. When I could take in fellow practiitoners' cultivation experiences in this way, I found that my thoughts and conduct were benevolent. I could always find the places where I could improve. Thus, I benefited a great deal from their cultivation experiences.

However, sometimes my attachment to my own notions and conventional thinking was extremely strong. When I held on to my own notions with the intent of finding fault, I would often fail to understand the true connotations of others' experiences. I would completely misunderstand them. I would even judge that their cultivation experiences showed attachments. I would conclude that their attachments had led them to misundstand the Fa. Although I might not express my views, I silently judged others according to my own notions.

On such occasions, I realized that my thoughts were malicious, that my head was filled with malice and contempt. When that happened, practiitoners got on my nerves no matter what they said or did. Assuming that they had problems, I would pick on their understanding of the Fa. Convinced that I was pointing out their flaws for their own good, I would criticize them mercilessly. Not only did I fail to take the opportunity to improve myself, but I also engaged in showing off, competition, and jealousy, the very mentalities the evil old forces are most likely to exploit.

When I exchange cultivation experiences with fellow practitioners, sometimes I can see notions and understandings that obviously deviate from the Fa. When I can patiently and compassionately listen to their understanding from their points of view, and believe that their understanding of the Fa may not be at a low level, my thinking becomes clear, and I can remember Teacher's words. I can also understand what might have caused them to arrive at their understandings. I can share my understanding and review Teacher's lectures together with them. At such times, my thoughts are benevolent and pure. Others are willing to accept my feedback and find it rewarding to share cultivation experiences with me.

When I became aware of my bad tendencies, I realized that I shouldn't have tried to change others' concepts, and I shouldn't have maintained that others' understandings were wrong. When I did, I became very critical and impatient. I refused to listen and would often eagerly interrupt other practitioners to point out their attachments. Now I realize that my thoughts at that time were vicious.

Often fellow practitioners found it difficult to accept my malicous attitude or comments. Instead of searching inwardly for my attachments to show-off mentality, I would conclude that their enlightenment quality was poor. I would even begin to despise these practitioners. I was overcome with all kinds of human mentalities. I completely lacked the tolerance and compassion that a cultivator should have toward others.

Good and evil is determined in one thought. Teacher cautioned us, "I also want to tell you that your nature in the past was actually based on egotism and selfishness. From now on, whatever you do, you should consider others first, so as to attain the righteous enlightenment of selflessness and altruism." (From "Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature" in Essentials for Further Advancement.)

Our every thought shows whether we are living up to the standard for a cultivator. As cultivators, we do not merely strive to purge our attachments. More importantly, we must strive to assimilate to the principles of the universe, Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. We must manifest a cultivator's compassion.

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