Talking Behind Others' Backs
(Minghui.org) I have observed that some practitioners don't directly point out others' attachments, but instead talk about them behind their backs. You may have observed the same. Doing so, it seems to me, pulls more people into the situation and can cause misunderstandings, conflicts and hurt feelings. Such behavior is usually the result of our failing to cultivate speech or various human notions.
Correcting Myself When Pointing Out Others' Shortcomings
I, too, did this. If someone did not listen to my advice, I talked about them. I didn't think it was wrong. However, whenever I heard someone talking about me, I became upset.
I thought, “I don't act that way! How can a fellow practitioner do this to me? If we have an issue, he should talk to me about it! Now he's made things worse by spreading rumors.”
I planned to talk to this fellow practitioner, but after I calmed down, I asked myself, “Haven't I talked about others this way?” I thought I did it out of my wish to help them improve. When I looked inward, I saw that I handled the situation rather poorly!
“Some people say, 'I heard Teacher Li say some things,' everyone gathers around to listen, and he’s there in the middle passing on the grapevine gossip, pitching things in here and there that come from his own understanding. So what was the motive? It all comes down to showing off. And then there are people who spread grapevine gossip, he passes it on to the next guy, she passes it on to the next gal, they savor and relish every bit of it as they spread it around, and they come across as if they’re in the loop—as if all these students of ours aren’t as informed as they are, or as if others don’t know as much. It’s become natural for them. Maybe they’re doing it unknowingly, and they just have showing off in their subconscious.”(The Sixth Talk from Zhuan Falun) (2003 Translation Edition)
“For example, the different ideas people have, "You’re good," "He’s not good," "You’ve cultivated well," "He hasn’t cultivated well," and so on, all of these in and of themselves cause tension between people.”(The Eighth Talk from Zhuan Falun) (2003 Translation Edition)
Master's words didn't point anything out to me when I read them. I did not apply what I read to myself, instead I continued to spread rumors. I forgot that what we see in this dimension is just an illusion. Our fellow practitioners are in the process of cultivating themselves and improving. When I looked inward I realized that what I see is not fellow practitioners' shortcomings, but the human notions they are about to eliminate.
From then on, I stopped talking about others. If I heard anyone talk about others' shortcomings, I reminded them to look inward to see if they had these shortcomings themselves.
Others Gossip About Me
I always felt helpless when I heard others gossip about me. I felt misunderstood and wronged. Even though I knew what they said was not true, I didn't want to make it worse by explaining. All I could do was to study the Fa and correct myself.
Master has told us,
“So you shouldn’t act like him, and you really shouldn’t be angry at him, even if he smeared your reputation at the office and really disgraced you. Not only shouldn’t you be angry at him, you should thank him from the bottom of your heart—really thank him.”(The Fourth Talk from Zhuan Falun) (2003 Translation Edition)
“Then, why should you thank him? Think about it, what will you get? In this universe there’s a law called 'no loss, no gain'—if you want to gain, you have to lose. He smeared you around ordinary people, he’s considered the party who gains since he’s profited at your expense. The worse he smeared you, the more serious the impact, the more you shoulder, and the more virtue he loses, and that virtue is all given to you. At the same time, when you’re shouldering it you might take it lightly and not take it to heart.”(The Fourth Talk from Zhuan Falun) (2003 Translation Edition)
From the Fa I understood that when others say you are wrong, it doesn't mean that you are truly wrong. Being wronged is a test to see if you truly have forbearance.
If you fight back with the person who has wronged you, you are essentially at the same level as they are. I'm determined not to fall into this trap. I know that I must let go of my fear of being falsely accused, and eliminate it.
I will continue to treat practitioners who've gossiped about me as though nothing happened, and look inward for any attachment I can find. If I can't find anything, I will follow the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance, and not get angry or hold grudges. I won't be disturbed by how well or badly others treat me.