Controlling My Temper
(Minghui.org) I was once quick tempered. Although my temper improved over time, I would still blow up too often. As a veteran practitioner who had cultivated for over 20 years, I felt ashamed.
How could I lose my temper? After reading the Fa over and over again, I realized that having a bad temper was a xinxing issue. Controlling my temper for the sake of controlling my temper would not solve the fundamental problem.
“In practicing cultivation, you are not making real, solid progress on your own, which would effect great, fundamental changes internally. Instead, you rely on my power and take advantage of powerful external factors. This can never transform your human nature into Buddha-nature.” (“Cautionary Advice,” Essentials For Further Advancement)
“I hope that all of you will treat yourselves as practitioners in future cultivation practice and truly continue your cultivation practice. I hope that both veteran and new practitioners will be able to practice cultivation in Dafa and succeed in it! I hope that after going home everyone will make the best use of his or her time for genuine cultivation practice.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
I was determined to cultivate diligently going forward.
Practitioners Are Not After Fame and Personal Gain
Prior to the Chinese New Year of 2018, I submitted a calligraphy piece to the local seniors' society of calligraphy and painting, thinking that being selected for the final exhibit was a sure thing based on the quality of my piece.
The exhibit coordinator notified me that my work was not shortlisted due to a typographic error in one character. I asked why nobody told me about it so that I could make the correction.
The coordinator referred me to the person in charge, who told me, “All selected works have been sent out for processing and framing. We did not have time to wait so we did not notify you.” Upon hearing that, I lost my temper and argued, “When I was in charge in the past, we always sent the unpicked pieces back to the authors and gave them a chance to modify or correct.” Eventually, the executive deputy head of the club heard about this and agreed to include my work in the exhibit after my modification.
“Do I really want this?” I asked myself after I calmed down. I realized that for a Dafa practitioner, nothing we encounter happens by accident. I reasoned with myself, “Why did I lose my temper today? Was it because my work lost the opportunity to join the exhibit? Why was I upset for missing the exhibit? Is it because I believed that my calligraphy quality is good enough?”
This made me realize that my attachment to fame and vanity was the root cause. As a practitioner, how can I chase after fame and vanity? I telephoned the deputy head right away to let him know that I decided not to seek participation in the exhibit and thanked him for his kind offer.
He was surprised by my decision and said, “Others would be upset even if their works were not displayed at a premium spot at the exhibit. Now you wouldn't even fault the clerk who made a mistake. Why?” I told him that, as a Dafa practitioner, I should not seek fame and personal gain, and should be considerate of others instead of causing trouble for them. Since all of the calligraphy pieces had been sent out, I do not want to bother the clerk and be given special treatment.
He complimented me for being understanding and having a broad mind. When other club members heard of the incident, some said, “Most of us are after fame and personal gain. Falun Dafa practitioners are truly different in this regard.”
Letting Go of Selfishness and Human Notions
My eldest daughter started practicing Dafa about the same time I did. Due to her husband and in-laws' opposition against Dafa, she kept having trouble at home. No matter how much we attempted to reason with them, they would not listen. Things got worse after the persecution started in July 1999.
Whenever there were negative news about Falun Dafa, her in-laws would be frightened and renew their request for her to stop practicing. As she refused, they would bring the fight to my home. I always talked to them about Dafa and how practitioners strove to be good people. They agreed that my daughter was a good person, but they simply did not want her to practice Dafa.
One day at a family gathering, her husband threw a temper tantrum and accused me of influencing my daughter negatively and causing all the troubles in his family. How could I swallow an insult like this! I shouted at him, “You are such an ungrateful brat!” He was shocked and did not utter one more word. Everyone else was suddenly silent and soon left in discord.
Afterward, I was very regretful that I did not uphold my xinxing and lost my temper again. What did I do wrong this time? On the superficial level, I was trying to defend Dafa and my daughter. After in-depth scrutiny, I realized that it was rooted in my selfishness and desire to defend myself.
“But normally when a problem arises, if it does not irritate a person psychologically, it does not count or is useless and cannot make him or her improve.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
It is indeed so. After I realized my attachment, upgraded my xinxing, let go of my human notion, and viewed things with compassion, I was finally able to treat my son-in-law and his family without feeling a grudge or indignation. I just wanted to make them understand the detrimental effect of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) propaganda and lies.
Passing a Test
My wife and I babysat our four-year-old granddaughter. In the beginning, my wife feared that the child would easily get distracted and so started feeding her with a spoon. The child got used to it and insisted on spoon feeding all the time. Later, she would not focus on eating and started playing while eating. My wife realized that she spoiled the child and pleaded for my help.
When I put the rice bowl in front of the child and told her to eat by herself, she cried and screamed at me. But after some reasoning and pacifying, she calmed down and started to eat her food quietly. The second day, she would not eat no matter how I tried unless I fed her with a spoon. If this had happened in the past, I would have lost my temper and given her a harsh scolding or even have spanked her. However, I recalled what Master taught us, “When it’s difficult to endure, you can endure it. When it’s impossible to do, you can do it.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
I knew I must endure it and upgrade my xinxing. So, I remained calm and quiet and did not blow up. After 20 minutes, I gave it another try and she reluctantly complied. I understood that the child was misbehaving for my benefit and testing my endurance. I then reread all of the new Dafa scriptures that were related to endurance and xinxing to improve my understanding.
The third day I asked her to eat, she cried and screamed even more loudly and would not be reasoned with. My mind was stirred up by her crying and my heart was pounding in my chest. I tried hard to control my temper and endure what was happening.
At this moment, my daughter-in-law, who was sitting at the table, slammed her chopsticks on the table and shouted at me, “You are spoiling her so much. If it was my daughter doing this, you would have pulled her off the table and punished her harshly.” She seemed ready to start a fight with me. Her action added more fuel to my fiery temper. But Master's teaching came to my mind when I was about to explode.
“As practitioners, you will suddenly come across conflicts. What should you do? You should always maintain a heart of compassion and kindness. Then, when you run into a problem, you will be able to do well because it gives you room to buffer the confrontation.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
It was amazing that my mind suddenly returned to a peaceful state. I gathered my thoughts and said in a calm and steady voice, “I used to have a bad temper. Now I have realized it. Raising children takes patience and methodical approaches and one should not rely on scolding or punishment. This is the beginning of my change.”
A seemingly inevitable family fight thus did not happen. My granddaughter stopped crying and screaming. She looked at everyone with her teary eyes and quietly held her bowl, and started eating by herself. I knew I had controlled my temper and passed the test.
I came to understand that the process of controlling my temper was the process of improving my xinxing and getting rid of my attachments. After studying the Fa, my mind gradually reached a more peaceful and pure state. Facing conflicts, I was able to laugh them off and treat them with ease.
At a recent coworker's gathering, one of them praised me, “Your state of mind is so peaceful nowadays!” I know Master was encouraging me with the coworker's words. I am also aware that I still have a long way to go when compared to those diligent practitioners.