Looking within when encountering conflicts and difficulties

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Greetings, Master
Greetings, fellow practitioners

I am a Dafa disciple from Norway. In the several recent years of cultivation practice, I realised the importance of looking within during conflicts and difficulties, and I would l like to share my own realizations from my own cultivation practice:

Digging deeply for the elements of Party culture within myself

Once during the process of an activity, another practitioner commanded me to do something, and at the time I disliked this very much, and after that I was not willing to take part in any activities run by this practitioner. At the beginning I was still thinking about the wrongs of the other person. Later I realised that I was made to see someone else’s problems, so I should conversely look within, to find out why I had encountered this? The more I disliked his behaviour, wasn’t this showing how my attachments were getting stronger? I called to mind how there were situations where I had forced people to accept my points of view, and I realised this “forcing/coercion” was a manifestation of party culture. I realised that always feeling my own points of view were correct (or feeling that what I myself had enlightened was at a high level), and that if other people could not accept my point of view or if they had different points of view, then I would use what I had enlightened to in the Fa to criticize other people.

Master said in the Fa “ Since it’s cultivation, nothing on our path of cultivation is coincidental” (Teachings at the conference in new Zealand ,1999). Later I again experienced several similar situations, and I observed that that my mind was not calm. I started to ponder, whether I still had something within that I had not yet discovered. With the pointing out from Masters Fa, I found that I often use human means to deal with the conflicts I meet with, and moreover I unknowingly developed a negative understanding of the people around me, as well as looking down upon fellow practitioners, and felt that those practitioners had not cultivated well so they were not worthy of talking about me, and other such manifestations of party culture. Once I read Master saying the following in the Fa: “Isn’t not wanting to hear criticism an attachment? You want to hear only pleasant things, but how could that be? [Arrangements are made] exactly to have others say unpleasant things and see if you are moved.” (from the “Fa Teaching at the 2006 Conference in Canada – collected Fa teachings VII”). At this point I suddenly realised, that I myself also had this attachment, and to hear unpleasant things, or something that would move my notions, leading me to the have opinions towards other people, and even to develop an attachment to blame. This attachment was very strong, so Master pointed out to me , through these conflicts, to quickly get rid of these. Also Master said during the Fa lectures: “It’s not possible for there to be no conflicts. It’s a human attachment if you become passive when things don’t go your way.” (from “Fa Teaching on world Falun Dafa day, collected Fa Teachings, vol. XII”). After looking within, I discovered that I myself had many notions, and that I had a set of my own understandings of people and matters. When I used human experience to deal with matters, then these notions would be strengthened; when I saw clearly through it from within the Fa, and when I returned to mending my ways, then these notions would be eliminated. It was these notions that were making me unwilling to let go of human attachments in order to cooperate. I enlightened that I should do as Master had said, to let go of my attachments and to cooperate, to silently make up for my inadequacies, rather than excessively stressing how my own ways of thinking were good or stressing how I have enlightened correctly.

Once, I was making an argument for myself, and attempted to use the sharing to change the other persons thinking, but instead I stirred up an intense response, and his response was even more offensive. I continued to look within, and discovered that I myself had elements of “struggle” from party culture, which even though I sometimes would not speak out with my mouth, however in my mind I was already silently “irritating” the other person on many occasions, and I myself was completely led astray by human attachments. There was another situation, which required me to cultivate away, which was the attachment to fear, and not being able to point out inadequacies of fellow practitioners, behind which was the attachment to fearing displeasing fellow practitioners.

Master said in his Fa lectures: “You are my disciple, and so is the next person. So why are you so rude to him? We practice kindheartedness—treating others kindheartedly. I often say this: When a person talks to someone else, if he points out that person’s shortcomings or tells him something without attaching any of his own notions, the other person will be moved to tears. If you don’t have any personal agenda, don’t seek to gain anything, don’t even want to protect yourself, truly mean well, and are thinking about the other person, then that person will really see your heart—no matter what kind of person he is. Yet many of us often fail to do our work this way and resort to mandates, which is unacceptable! That’s not part of our Fa.” (Teachings at the conference in Singapore). After going through a lot of Fa study, when I next bumped into conflicts, I was able to calmly deal with it, and I could feel that I myself was not kind enough to fellow practitioners. During this process I tried my best to find my own problems, and wasn’t just searching for excuses in the Fa to evade the problem, and I wasn’t just using my own notions to comment on other people’s wrongs, but instead I peacefully tried to think about whether I myself had an attachment to arguing? When hearing displeasing things, didn’t I have negative feelings? What I needed to catch were those notions and attachments that were touched upon, and to cultivate away these bad things as best as I could. In this aspect I had still not cultivated myself so sturdily, but I had faith that if I realised these inadequacies, that later on I would do better and better!

Correcting incorrect thoughts whilst clarifying the truth

At my school where I study language, a Chinese person joined my class. The first time I saw this person, I used the break time to clarify the truth to her, but when I started talking about how the CCPs bad deeds were being reported in the news, she immediately shook her hand in disapproval and said she would not listen, saying that this subject was too sensitive, and moreover said that the international news was all false propaganda. At that time a thought appeared in my mind, that it was difficult to clarify the truth to this person, but I immediately realised that this thought was not right, and that sentient beings were all waiting to hear the truth, and it was the evil party elements that were stopping her from hearing the truth. So I started to send righteous thoughts to the evil elements that were not allowing her to hear the truth. The next time I also clarified the truth to her, and explained to her that the CCP did not represent China, and tried to undo the knot in her mind and heart that if she felt the CCP was bad, that this was saying that China was bad too, and during this period I got rid of the bad notions in my own thinking that made it difficult for her to accept the truth, and moreover sent forth righteous thoughts, with the intent to do away with the evil elements that were stopping her from knowing the truth. Master gave me wisdom, allowing me to speak with her for a few minutes, and this time she calmly listened to me speak until I was finished, and didn’t interrupt me, and even started to think about the things I had said to her. However, at the time because we had to get back to class, I had still not finished telling her about the important truths about Dafa. Not long afterwards, when we had just finished classes, she suddenly grabbed me and said that she was going to be moving class. Upon hearing this I was a little worried in my mind, and called to mind that I had still not finished clarifying the truth to her, and this time I would certainly clarify the truth to the desired goal. This time when I clarified the truth again, she unexpectedly made a great turn in her attitude, and moreover very willingly accepted the truth clarification materials, and said she would give these truth materials to her husband and father to see. When I saw the time, I discovered that she had already accompanied me outside standing for three hours, and the weather was quite cold at the time. When we were leaving, she very thankfully bid farewell to me, and was slightly unwilling to part.

I looked back at the process of clarifying the truth this time and discovered that the time I spent on clarifying the truth passed on for too long, and to one’s surprise behind this was the interference of the elements of the party culture. I felt that with Chinese people, I would clarify the truth better at a close distance, so before I would waste a lot of time, speaking on the topic of everyday people’s studies. If she hadn’t taken the initiative to grab my attention, it probably would have been very difficult for me to have another opportunity to clarify the truth to her. Actually, there are not many opportunities to clarify the truth to sentient beings, and I should make the best use of my limited time to directly and straightforwardly clarify the true situation of Dafa. In this way I won’t miss the predestined people that Master has arranged to be around me. This experience this time also made me realise, that sentient beings are urgently wanting to know the true situation, and the manifestation of not accepting the truth was because the evil elements were having an effect, and we can clear away the evil elements of interference by sending righteous thoughts. At the same time, promptly clearing away the incorrect thoughts in ones thinking is very important. If at the time I had been confused by appearances, feeling that it was very difficult for this person to accept the truth, then wasn’t I humanly creating difficulties? If my righteous thoughts were not strong, and was moved by the other persons words, then it would make clarifying the truth even harder.

For the recent several years, before the epidemic had started, once, a fellow practitioner invited me to go with her to hotels to deliver truth clarification newspapers. At that time there were quite a lot of Chinese people touring in this locality, so she hoped that the Chinese tourists in these hotels could read the truth clarification newspapers whilst staying there. At that time I had only just come to Norway for a little while, and this was also my first time to deliver newspapers to hotels. On the way there she told me the situation of delivering newspapers to the local hotels, and also started to tell me about the hotels which Chinese tourists more often went to, and how some workers at the hotels had close ties to the CCP, and always rejected to accept truth clarification newspapers. When I just started, I didn’t take much notice of it, and after we had delivered to several hotels that were willing to accept truth clarification newspapers, we just happened to pass by a hotel that she had just said were unwilling to accept truth clarification newspapers, and she was just planning in detouring past this hotel. I blocked her, and asked her, when was it that this hotel didn’t want to accept truth clarification newspapers? She replied and said that it was roughly a year ago. In my mind I was thinking, maybe they had changed now? We should go and give it a go. After persuading the fellow practitioner to give a go at it again, after going in I saw that the other practitioner seemingly didn’t have faith in herself, so I conquered my somewhat timid attachment to fear, and used my shoddy English to take the initiative to explain to the staff in the hotel our purpose in coming, and surprisingly they accepted the truth clarification newspapers. After we exited the hotel, the other practitioner felt that it was a bit unbelievable, saying that she had gone to this hotel many times before, and that they had never accepted truth clarification newspapers before. I shared experiences with her and said the situation is undergoing changes, and that sentient beings are changing, and that we couldn’t use our previous ways of thinking to understand this. With this as a precedent, we went round all the other hotels that had previously been unwilling to accept truth clarification newspapers, and moreover sent righteous thoughts to clear away the evil elements that were interfering with the hotel from accepting truth clarification newspapers. I also cleared away the interference from my thoughts of complacency and show off mentality. In the end these hotels surprisingly all accepted the truth clarification newspapers. The practitioner praised me and said how amazing I was, but in my heart I understood, that it was through this process that we broke through the notion that it was too difficult, and we used righteous thoughts to break through difficulties, therefore Master encouraged us! The experiences this time made me realise, not to be stumped by difficulties that we have not been able to overcome. Originally, with the changes in circumstance, sentient beings are also changing, so if Dafa disciples are too late to change their notions, then the appearance of difficulties will still appear, just like what Master said when he said “The appearance stems from the mind”: “The bigger you perceive the challenges to be, the harder things will be to carry out, since “the appearance stems from the mind.” And so the task will become increasingly burdensome.” (From Fa teaching given at the Epoch Times meeting).

To balance well the “three things” with everyday life

In the recent year, I started to do advertisement work for Epoch times media from a remote distance. Because I usually also study two foreign languages at a local school, I felt that I was too busy to handle things, and often I had to also work after coming home from school, and often I would be busy until about 1 or 2 am. For a while, my working efficiency was really poor, and I would often bump into troublesome problems, and sometimes it would be very difficult for me to complete work, resulting in having to repeatedly revise things, tiring me out in mind and body. In this circumstance, it was difficult to ensure the time for studying the Fa and practicing the exercises, and in my mind I even felt more worried.

Later I thought about why I was worried, was I really worried about not having time to study the Fa? I asked myself why I was unable to balance well doing the “three things” alongside my everyday life? I looked within, and discovered that behind this worry, was an activation of this notion of selfishness, and felt that at the time when many things emerged, it would disrupt my own arrangements. Behind this was also concealed how I felt I was doing extra work, and that I had mismanaged my own rest time,, so I felt uneasy in my mind, I was surprised at how my attachments to self gain and jealousy were making trouble? Once I read in Master’s Fa teaching: “ Some practitioners follow human thinking as they go about validating the Fa, and in the process satisfy a wish to do what they enjoy.” (from “Be vigilant”, Essentials of Diligent progress III). I couldn’t help feeling ashamed in my heart: I would frequently use a human mindset to do things, so how could this lead to having the effect of clarifying the truth through media?

After looking within and finding this selfishness, I paid attention to cultivating my every thought during ordinary work times, and when I would realise I had the attachment to blaming others, I used the words Teacher used in “Hong Yin 4” to admonish myself: “Do not complain, but hold onto your kindness” (From the poem “ dispelling your delusion”). I also discovered, that when I didn’t do well studying the Fa, practicing the exercises and sending righteous thoughts, not only was the quality of my work poor, but it was also easier to use a human mind to do things, and then the troubles at work were even harder to deal with. I started to look at how my time during 24 hours was arranged, and I discovered that it was very difficult for me to guarantee time for Fa study, exercise practice and sending righteous thoughts, but I could always guarantee a long rest time for myself, and moreover when I had time I would still go and see some everyday people’s videos, thinking of relaxing myself a bit, and not only did I relax my own cultivation practice, but also poured in bad things into my brain. Weren’t these just the sort of things that needed me to cultivate away?

I started to advise myself to have time to “practice the exercises, study the Fa, and send forth righteous thoughts” every day. After waking up early to finish practicing the exercises, apart from group Fa reciting every day, I also had to guarantee to read at least one hour of Collected Fa teachings. After changing my own notions, every day I placed doing the three things as the priority, and when I had time I would study more Fa, and also promptly remove the deviated notion in my thinking from modern science of everyday people that “every day one must sleep for more than 6 hours”. When I myself was very tired and didn’t want to practice the exercises, I would think of Masters words in the Fa to strengthen my righteous thoughts: “Has it ever occurred to you that cultivation is the best form of rest?” (Teachings at the first conference in North America). I realised that as a cultivator and practitioner, that when we measure ourselves against the Fa in all we do, then we are supernormal, however when we use human standards to require of ourselves, when our thoughts are not righteous, then a supernormal state cannot appear.

In the media, everybody has a table on which to record the frequency of ones own Fa study, exercise practice, and sending of righteous thoughts. Afterwards I started to record in writing my time spent on cultivation practice everyday, and looking back to say whether I had used my time well today, or say whether I had done things which I shouldn’t have done when my righteous thoughts were not strong. Although sometimes I would do things well and sometimes badly, however compared to before I knew more that my time was precious, and that I should use even more of my time doing the “three things”. I was also surprised to discover, that Master had opened up my wisdom, and not only were my studies at school not delayed, but also the quality of my work in the media improved greatly. It was just like what Master said in the Fa: “Studying the Fa well definitely won’t affect anything of yours in your cultivation, and on the contrary, it will help you get twice the results at your job or with your schoolwork with half the effort.” (Teachings given on Lantern Festival Day, 2003).

Concluding remarks

During conflicts and difficulties disciples have gone through, thanks to Master for not giving up on me, reminding me and encouraging me. I would like to become more diligent and truly cultivate, and to do the “Three things”!

If there is anything deficient, please mercifully point this out to me.

Thank you, Master!
Thank you, fellow practitioners!

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