PureInsight | July 25, 2005
[PureInsight.org] Teacher said, "Forbearance is the key to improving one's xinxing. To endure with anger, grievance, or tears is the forbearance of an everyday person who is attached to his concerns. To endure completely without anger or grievance is the forbearance of a cultivator." (From "What is Forbearance (Ren) ?" in Essentials for Further Advancement.)
A few years ago I had the opportunity to hear fellow practitioner B sharing a story from her cultivation practice. After B started practicing Falun Gong, she was once going to work with a colleague together on a project, but she suddenly told her colleague, "I cannot work with you." Her colleague asked why, and she replied, "I must not work with you because I am jealous of you." Just as she professed her jealousy, she felt something removed from her body. Next she told her colleague, "Okay! Now I can work with you. I no longer am jealous of you now!"
Perhaps B told the story to illustrate the law that matter and mind are one thing, but the story inspired me to think about another common issue during cultivation practice.
Let me tell a story to illustrate my point. One day a beautiful young woman was walking on the streets and suddenly a stranger pointed out that she had a large mole on her neck. She immediately realized that she had forgotten to cover it up before she left home so she tried to hide the mole right away.
Then another equally beautiful young woman came out. The same man pointed out to her that she too had a large mole on her neck. You would think this lady would try to cover the mole right away like the first lady. However, she thanked the stranger and touched the "black mole" and it disappeared right away. What was going on? It turned out that it was not a mole, but a bird dropping.
The first lady knew that the black mole was a part of her; therefore, hiding it became her only available solution. The second lady knew it must be a bird dropping; hence, she immediately removed the filthy object, which was not a part of her, from her neck.
Likewise, Teacher will not be able to remove our attachments and notions for us if we regard them as part of us. Teacher said,
"[…] some practitioners do not know what is going on and think that these thoughts come from themselves. […] Most people, however, can remove and resist it with very strong thoughts from themselves (a strong Main Consciousness). With this, it indicates that this person can be saved and can distinguish good from bad. In other words, the person has good enlightenment quality. My fashen will help eliminate the most of such thought karma. This situation is seen frequently. Once it transpires, one will be tested to see if one can overcome such bad thoughts on one's own. If one is determined, the karma can be eliminated." (From "Your Main Consciousness Must Predominate" in Lecture Six of Zhuan Falun.)
As Falun Gong cultivators, we must only acknowledge those lives or elements that conform to the Fa and we must resist all the attachments, notions and karma that we have acquired in order to truly assimilate true selves to the Fa.
When we discover an attachment, we must not try to cover it. Instead, we must expose it and then expel it from ourselves with strong thoughts. Of course, it is easier said than done, but as cultivators we must strive to live up to Teacher's Fa at all times.
Fellow practitioner B was not ashamed of confessing her jealousy because she did not think that the jealousy was a part of herself. Since B had the courage to expose her attachment to jealousy, I am confident that she would be able to accept it when other practitioners point out her attachments to her. In fact, we should thank those fellow practitioners who point out our attachments because we will become cleaner once we identify them and remove them like the bird droppings in the guise of black moles.
Oftentimes when fellow practitioners criticize us on our attachments with harsh words, we will try to defend ourselves "more or less" to protect our pride. Sometimes we won't make any effort to defend ourselves, but we would be no more than enduring with anger, grievance, or tears.
When one fellow practitioner harshly criticizes another fellow practitioner for his attachments, the criticized fellow practitioner might find it difficult to endure and maintain his composure, but it is usually not too difficult for us as the third party to remain peaceful because the former practitioner is not speaking of "our" attachments. If we truly treat other's criticism of us as directed to things that are not us, we will find it much easier to accept the criticism and remove our attachments. In other words, I think we must not regard attachments as "part of us" in order to meet Teacher's requirement of forbearance in the following article. Teacher said,
"Forbearance is the key to improving one's xinxing. To endure with anger, grievance, or tears is the forbearance of an everyday person who is attached to his concerns. To endure completely without anger or grievance is the forbearance of a cultivator." (From "What is Forbearance (Ren) ?" in Essentials for Further Advancement. )