I Enlightened to the Importance of Letting Go of Ego and Being Cooperative
(Minghui.org) As practitioners during Fa-rectification, we need to cooperate with each other. Whether we are able to cooperate well or not depends on each practitioner’s level of cultivation.
Letting Go of Ego
Letting go of ego is most important. This is difficult because ego is an intrinsic part of each person. But this “self” is not the true self - the main consciousness. When your main consciousness wants to let ego go, the ego will definitely disagree. It will interfere with you and reflect in your brain various reasons that may stop you.
The most difficult thing is differentiating which thoughts come from our main consciousness and which stem from our egos, as they both reflect thoughts in our brains. If one does not pay attention, they may regard all thoughts as their own.
The main consciousness is completely altruistic and has no thoughts of fear or pursuit. When one has thoughts of fear or pursuit, they definitely come from ego and selfish notions. What should we do?
One way is to ignore and deny it and remain steadfast by following the Fa. Master Li will help us to remove our selfish egos or notions. The other way is to immediately eliminate it. Without ego or selfish notions, the main consciousness will take control and naturally follow the Fa.
After Master helps us remove ego, or after we eliminate it ourselves, it can reappear. This is because ego was removed at one level. When one improves in cultivation, ego surfaces at the next level. Dafa cultivation eliminates attachments layer by layer from the inside to the outside. Many practitioners have experienced the feeling, “I always cultivate but don’t feel any obvious improvement. It’s as if I haven’t eliminated any of my attachments.”
“Of course, some of our practitioners have done quite well. But even those who have done well haven’t reached the degree required for consummation. In the past, cultivators would remove attachments one after another. But in your case, almost all of your attachments remain while they are weakened and lessened one layer at a time, weakened and lessened continually, further and further. That’s the approach that I have taken with you, and it allows our Dafa disciples to live normally among ordinary people prior to achieving consummation and to save people in a normal manner while being one of them. At the same time, precisely because your human thoughts haven’t been fully removed, it allows you to cultivate against their interference, and if you can stay alert and cultivate yourself at all times, and fulfill your responsibilities as a Dafa disciple, that is mighty virtue and is simply extraordinary. And that is your path.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2015 West Coast Fa Conference”)
We need to weaken and eliminate the same attachment by repeatedly looking inward and constantly letting go of ego.
Cooperating Well with Other Practitioners
Oceans can accommodate hundreds of rivers because they are large and generous. Because they are at the lowest level, all rivers flow into them.
As practitioners we should be generous and tolerate the inadequacies of fellow practitioners. We should quietly supplement each other’s shortcomings and only focus on our positive sides.
We should be humble. If one thinks they are better than others, they won’t be willing to work together. No matter how great a divine being may seem, there are countless greater beings above him. We should therefore not have any thoughts of how great we are.
On the contrary, one should realize that he is just a small particle of the vast cosmos. With such a humble mentality, any arrogance and thinking that he is great will be minimized. He can live happily with others, respect others, cherish them, be kind, and get along well with everyone.
Showing off and highlighting one’s abilities are all manifestations of positioning oneself at a high level. Many practitioners outside China are very capable. They may feel that their methods of validating the Fa are good, insist on their own ways, and refuse to adjust themselves. As a result, many things may not get done.
My family was very poor and I was looked down upon. I felt inferior. This mentality was deeply ingrained in me. I was later persecuted for practicing Falun Dafa. I suffered loss of reputation, income, and social status.
Because many people were misled by the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) propaganda, they misunderstood and even discriminated against practitioners. I was looked down upon. My mentality of being inferior resurfaced.
People who used to greet me ignored me. I felt very bad. When I looked inward I noticed the reason this happened was because I refused to position myself low.
I’m a very small particle in the universe, so I should put myself at the lowest place. I should think of others first and stop wanting to be superior. If I manage to position myself below others I won’t be so concerned that people are looking down on me.
As practitioners, our lives originate from Dafa and we are particles of the Fa. Because we are one with Dafa, when we do things for Dafa we are actually doing them for ourselves. Why do some practitioners want to validate themselves? It may be because they have separated themselves from the Fa.
Another reason for validating oneself is that a practitioner may think he is amazing. If he has some skills he may begin to think that he’s better than others.
“As long as Fa-rectification requires it, you should do it well, and there's no room for negotiation. And don't get conceited because of your roles, and don't think you're different from others. You're each a particle. And in my eyes nobody is better than anyone else, since I scooped all of you up at the same time. (Applause) Some are more capable when it comes to one thing, others with another--you definitely shouldn't let your thoughts run wild based on that. You say that you have such great abilities and so on and so forth, but that was all bestowed upon you by the Fa! Actually, it wouldn't work if you failed to attain that level of abilities. Fa-rectification required your wisdom to reach that point, so you definitely shouldn't think that you're so capable. Some practitioners want me to check out their abilities and skills. But actually, what I think is, all of that was given by me, so there's no need to look.” (“Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference”)
Everything we have comes from Dafa, including our lives and all our abilities. Dafa is boundless and we are just particles. There is no reason to prove ourselves. When we do things to validate Dafa that is truly cooperating with Master’s Fa-rectification. Validating oneself is not correct.
I wrote articles in the past, sent them to Minghui.org, and they were published. This made me feel that I was a little better than others. I later realized that this wasn’t right. If I didn’t practice Dafa, I wouldn’t have been able to write a cohesive sentence. My realizations came from Master’s hints.
Our Levels of Cultivation
Many practitioners may work on the same project to validate the Fa. Some are in a management position, while others are ordinary employees. Your low position is not an indicator of your cultivation level. Your realm of consummation may be higher than your supervisor’s.
The hardest thing to do in cultivation is letting go of ego and selfish notions. Letting go of ego is the key to cultivation. A person who positions himself higher than others will find it difficult to let go of ego, because he can’t bear it. When one positions himself lower, it’s easier to let go of ego.
Water naturally flows to the lowest point and never competes. Water silently nourishes all living things and does not ask for anything in return.
Truly cooperating means being completely selfless and really cooperating with others. We should let go of ego and fulfill what Master wants. This way, the things we do to validate the Fa will be done well. We are establishing our virtue and elevating in the process.