I Finally Learned to Look Inside and Eliminate My Human Notions
(Minghui.org) Greetings to revered Master and fellow practitioners!
Cultivating as a Coordinator
Every year, we charter 3-4 big buses that travel to the New York Fa Conference. We recently began designating several coordinators to be in charge of them, and I am one of those coordinators. Since we only do this once or twice a year, it provides me with a unique opportunity to cultivate. I've understood that it is not easy to be a coordinator. In the process of serving others, many of my attachments are exposed and eliminated. I've truly benefited from this experience!
In the beginning, I was very worried that anything could go wrong. While collecting the bus fees, I was afraid that the amount might not be correct. When we crossed the border into the U.S., I was afraid that some practitioners might have issues and it would negatively impact our schedule. When we stopped to take a break, I worried that some practitioners might be left behind.
When we participate in the activities during the Fa conference, I'm afraid that fellow practitioners might be late or not show up when it's time to leave. This happened when we were waiting for one or two practitioners in the busy downtown area. I was afraid that the police might show up any minute and that we might not give the driver a good impression. On the way there, I seldom sleep and I'm always worried about what to do next. However, when I saw that the main coordinator looked so peaceful, dealing with all kinds of situations big or small, so calmly, I saw the difference between my cultivation state and his. Fellow practitioners helped and encouraged me. Later, my temporary role as bus coordinator brought me a very precious memory.
When we finished the activities after last year's New York Fa Conference, we all met at our bus pick-up location. Four of the buses were already there. Everyone wished to leave the busy downtown area before the rush hour. However, two members from our bus were missing. We phoned them but they did not answer. The drivers of the other three buses did not want to wait any longer, so they left. I began complaining about these two practitioners.
At this moment we heard from the two members who borrowed a phone from a local practitioner and called us. They asked us why they did not see us at the starting point of the parade. I became upset and said that everyone else knew to wait where the parade ended, except for them! We asked the driver to pick them up where they were, but since it was already rush hour he felt it was too difficult. I told them to come back by themselves. We waited for them from 4-6 p.m., they still did not show up.
After waiting for two hours we realized that they were walking to our location. Several practitioners went to the nearby intersections to look for them. Some practitioners waited inside the bus and sent forth righteous. Some said I should be strict and make a complaint to the main coordinator, others regretted that they took the big bus. Although the bus driver looked like a nice person he could not do much. I finally called the main coordinator who told me to just wait. My heart was up and down and all kinds of bad thoughts kept surfacing. There was no way to communicate with them since they did not have a cell phone. I stood there, looking at the crowds of people. I knew I was in the wrong since my heart was moved. I kept complaining about them and many unkind thoughts kept surfacing. I did not look inside.
Master said: “Under trying circumstances of any type, you must all keep steady in thought. Just by staying unaffected you will be able to handle all situations.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Conference in the Midwest-U.S.”)
I could not remain calm and unaffected. I asked Master to give me an opportunity to correct myself. As soon as I had this thought, I saw them running towards us. I was so relieved!
They told me they wanted to hurry, so they decided to take the bus. However the traffic jam was so bad, they were very worried and there was no way to contact me. I understood that it was not their fault. When we have strong human attachments, the results may turn out to be the opposite. The more worried we are, the worse the outcome is. My understanding is, that this happens because we did not treat ourselves as practitioners, we did not truly believe in Master and the Fa, we did not look inside, and we did not treat practitioners with kindness.
When we were finally on the bus, I shared my realization with fellow practitioners. Everyone looked inward and we had very good sharing. I felt my complaints dissolve completely. When I looked at these two fellow practitioners, they seemed so lovely to me. The other practitioners all opened up and were excited to share their thoughts. We all benefited from this sharing. The driver drove non-stop. After two or three hours we learned that our bus passed the other two buses that started off earlier. Everyone was so excited and we believed that Master was encouraging us to cultivate our hearts.
Letting Go of Self
Before the New York Fa Conference this year, the coordinator of the Tian Guo Marching Band requested that Toronto bring the big instruments including Sousaphones, Tubas, etc... to New York for bands from other countries to use. Since I was in charge of the big bus for the band, the coordinator asked that I bring these instruments to New York.
As soon as I realized that I was assigned to take care of the big bus, I had a headache. We didn’t know who we should give these instruments to or which country they were from. How could we give them to those practitioners within the short time before the parade started? Who was going to help me with do all this? We have over 20 band practitioners in the bus, where can I find 30 other members who would be willing to help move the instruments? What if when we arrived in New York, no one came to pick up the instruments? All these questions worried me, and I truly felt an attachment I could not let go of. This kind of mentality pushed me to look inside, and I discovered that I still used my human mind to think through things, completely forgetting that I have Master.
I relaxed completely when I realized that Master would make the arrangement. I told myself what I need to do is to follow Master's teachings to look inside. I would take the lead to study the Fa, treasure every fellow practitioner and I would definitely complete this task. As expected, Master arranged everything in good order, and I just divided the job to practitioners on the bus. Everyone worked together to bring the three Sousaphones and two Tubas to the band members from four countries. As a result, these Fa instruments played their mighty role in the parade.
On our way back home, I hoped fellow practitioners would share their experiences. This is the reason why I always like to take the bus. Every time I listen to fellow practitioners' sharing, I feel enlightened. I remember every fellow practitioner's sincere and touching sharing!
I also saw my attachment to pursuit and feeling good about myself. In the past when we had good sharing, fellow practitioners would compliment me, and I was happy that I completed the task given to me by Master. And I also accepted the praise that, “As a host, I did a pretty good job since the fact that fellow practitioners had a good sharing is because I did a good job in motivating them.” Although I tried to dispel this idea, I still placed myself in an important role. My selfishness turned out to be an obstacle this time.
In the beginning, I didn't realize that this was my issue, I tried hard to persuade everyone that we needed to treasure the opportunity to be together, and that we would regret it if we did not share. I asked some practitioners who were considered to be good in sharing to come forward. After one fellow practitioner had a very touching sharing, I called several other practitioners' names but they did not come forward. Some bad thoughts surfaced: “Is it because they are tired? I am also tired. There are so many obstacles even when I tried to motivate you to share. I have nothing to say. The sharing forced by someone else won't sound good. You will regret if we stop sharing now.”
My feeling of discomfort also made me look inside and find my selfishness. I sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate it. I exposed my selfishness right there to fellow practitioners on the bus. I said, “I truly hope that fellow practitioners wouldn't be impacted by my attachment. We need to open up, and elevate together.” When I said this, fellow practitioners all began actively sharing.
At this moment, a young practitioner who used to do well and practice with his mom but in recent years got lost in ordinary society stepped forward to share with us his loss, painfulness and struggle, and how he was touched in listening to Master's lecture. Fellow practitioners applauded him. His mom also came forward to share. Following them, several young practitioners in their 20s began to talk about their experiences. It was very touching. I felt happy for them.
I was realized that the coordinator may not have very strong abilities or have to do everything himself. The more the coordinator lets go of himself, the more he can motivate practitioners to fulfill their abilities. Even more, he needs to set himself aside so others can fulfill their responsibilities.
Treasure the People around UsMy daughter started to cultivate with me when she was 4 years old. When she was 6, we came to Canada. After the persecution started, she went with me everywhere to participate in Fa-validation activities. She went with me twice to Geneva. At 9, she went with me to Tiananmen Square to unfurl a banner. She went with me several times to the U.S. for Fa conferences and other activities. She was one of the little practitioners who first joined the Tian Guo Marching Band. She returned with me to Falun Dafa after I briefly stepped away from cultivation.
Since the state of my cultivation has been up and down, I could not let go of my attachment to my daughter. After she grew up, she distanced herself further and further away from Dafa, and also stopped joining me in Fa-validation activities. She became stubborn and rebellious. When she said something, she said it bluntly, sometimes poking the very painful part of my attachments. I tried my best to control my xinxing, and not be moved. I thought I knew how to look inside, and would not treat her as she treated me. So why didn't her situation improve? She still frequently lost her temper and she looked depressed. I knew it was related to me, but I thought if I could achieve the state of not having my heart moved, then I was tolerant enough. Anyone else would have become impatient a long time ago. When she was in a good state of mind, she also said that I had been very tolerant of her behavior.
It was not until after the Fa conference and fellow practitioners' sharing that I was really enlightened to the fact that the way I looked inside in the past was only superficial. My forbearance “...is the forbearance of an everyday person who is attached to his concerns. (“What is Forbearance (Ren)?” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
I felt that I couldn’t do anything about my daughter. I did not use her behavior to reflect on myself, and I did not ask myself why she behaved like this. Was it because I have some issues? When I started to think this way, I realized that I did not know how to truly look inside. My daughter and my husband, kept "performing," "performing painfully" in front of me in order to help me see my own attachments. Worse yet, I had complaints about them in my heart: she has poor enlightenment quality, too strong of an attachment to money! He has a strong attachment to competition, and easily fights with others. Sometimes I even wondered why these two people were arranged to be with me. Other practitioners' kids are so obedient! Why? I finally understood that however they behave or "perform," is a reflection of my state of cultivation. It's for me to look at my own issues. I did not realize this until recently.
I feel so thankful to the people around me. I made up my mind that I should cultivate myself well so as to live up to them, although they are not aware of this arrangement. When I began thinking this way and kept looking inside unconditionally, their attitudes change. I can feel that they feel comfortable in my energy field, and their attitudes often change dramatically.
I recently went to Ottawa, New York, and Montreal. I've been trying to view things from my husband's perspective and have sympathy for him since his life has not been easy. I believe that my husband, deep in his heart, is also looking for Dafa. If he is not happy with me going on the road, I must not have done something well. I sincerely correct myself. In this state of mind, when I told him I needed to go, he was very calm, talking to me in a normal manner. For my daughter, it is the same. Whenever she loses her temper, I immediately realize that I have some issues and I quickly look inside. I acknowledged that I am wrong, and sincerely recognize that she is right. Why didn't I see this? She immediately apologized that her attitude was bad. In this way, I quickly passed the test. I am also aware that my sentimentality is still very strong – I hope she can return quickly to the path of cultivation.
“This especially holds true in the Fa-rectification period, where all of the cosmos’s beings, both positive and negative, want to be saved. And that includes even the unimaginably massive gods at the highest of planes, as well as, notably, the sentient beings of their worlds. It is because of this that they have managed to have a presence in the human world, and in the Three Realms. Could they forgo this once-in-eons opportunity to be saved? “You have to save me”—they all utter this, imploring to be saved. But the way this comes across is not what one would expect by using the kind of reasoning and comprehension found in the human world, such as how you must be courteous and humble when asking for help—“As you are here to save me, I must first express my gratitude toward you, and I will do my part to make it easier”—it’s nothing like that. As they see it, “If you are to save me, you have to reach my level first, and you must have this measure of mighty virtue before you can save me. Without such mighty virtue, without having reached my stature, how could you save me?” So they would have you trip and fall, suffer, and eliminate your attachments, after which, with your mighty virtue having been established, you will have cultivated to that level and be able to save them. That’s how they want to have it.” (“Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa - Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference ”)
Now I understand that I need to let go of all my human thoughts and notions, and just focus on cultivating myself well. It's similar to, in order to save the sentient beings assigned to you, you need to build up your mighty virtue and realm, so that they wish to be saved by you. Master has already made the best arrangement, we just need to carry it out.
Regardless of whether they are arranged by the old forces or by Master, the people around us all came to assist Dafa practitioners in cultivation. When Dafa disciples can truly look inside unconditionally, regard everything around us as a mirror to reflect on our own cultivation, instead of looking at others, when we cultivate ourselves well, we are saving them and the countless lives behind them.
It is the same with fellow practitioners. The way fellow practitioners behave is not necessarily their true state of cultivation. Their behaviors are for me to look at, and to cultivate myself. I should not focus on them instead of cultivating myself. It is Master who arranges for them to behave like that so as to expose my attachments.
I hope we will live up to Master's expectations and walk well the final path.Thank you Master! Thank you everyone.
(Presented at the 2016 Canada Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)