The Meaning of Shan (Kindness)
(Minghui.org) As practitioners, we should be kind. This is the most basic requirement of cultivation. I recently had the following conversation with my husband on the subject of taking care of his mother.
I asked, “I am very kind, isn’t that right?”He replied, “Don’t claim that you are kind. In fact, you are not kind at all.”I was very surprised and said, “Really!”He said, “Those who claim that they are kind are not necessarily kind. If you have to say that you are kind, then your kindness is only superficial.”I asked, “Why?”He said, “True kindness comes from one’s heart, and asks for no reward. If there are motives behind your kindness, then your kindness is not real.”I said, “Can you give me an example?”He said, “I knew that my mother was unfair to me but I never cared. I just did my part as her son and always treated her well. I never thought about how she treated me compared to my elder brother.”I said, “You have a big heart.”He said, “It’s not about heart. It’s about being kind.”I asked, “How were you able to do that?”He replied, “She is my mother. I only remember what she did for me, not what she did not do. This way, I have no regrets.”
I was speechless. Master had my husband show me where I needed to improve. A non-practitioner could be so kind. I always said that I’m a cultivator and follow “Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance”. I felt good about myself and felt that I was very kind. By comparison I realized that I was still far from the true kindness that Master asked of us.
“True shan is what a cultivator attains in the process of cultivation and cultivating goodness, and this is a genuine shan that is achieved by cultivation.”
“...that is what compassion means--not some intentional display, show of human preference for this or that, or an instantiation of, "If you're good to me, then I will be shan toward you." It is offered unconditionally and has no thought of reward--it is fully for the sake of sentient beings. When this compassionate goodness emerges, its strength is without equal, and it will disintegrate any bad factors. The greater the compassion, the greater the power.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference,”Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IX)
Master’s teaching enlightened me and helped me truly understand the seriousness of cultivation. Cultivation is not superficial. You have to sincerely study the teachings and look inward. You cannot become complacent. You have to dig out every attachment and remove it. However magnanimous and compassionate you are, then that is how kind you will be.
This is real cultivation. This is just my understanding at my current level.
Thank you Master for your infinite blessing and guidance!