Let Go of Fear and Other Attachments
(Clearwisdom.net) I have been doing Dafa work and would like to share some of my thoughts. Please correct me if anything I say is incorrect.
About the Attachment of Fear
Some practitioners do not have a clear-headed understanding about the sabotage that comes from the old evil forces. They mistakenly think we can do whatever we wish if we do not have the attachment of fear. Actually, "Clarifying the truth with wisdom" cannot be entirely understood simply as "no attachment to fear," just as being a vegetarian does not necessarily enable one to cultivate Buddhahood. Cases involving total emphasis on giving up the "attachment to fear" can often be found in situations where other attachments have interfered with a practitioner's work and cultivation, and the practitioner is unwilling to search inwardly on his own. The practitioner is then using "no attachment to fear" to cover up attachments in other areas. For example, when practitioners claim that they are not attached to the fear of being arrested, it is often because they still have an attachment of competitiveness regarding doing Dafa work, and are worried either that other practitioners might think they are not doing much, or that their work is not having a significant impact. Or they may be afraid that "there is not enough time for cultivation now," and fear being left behind. People have too many attachments, and the process of abolishing any of them cannot take the place of Fa-rectification cultivation. The old evil forces will capitalize on any of our weak spots when we go to extremes.
Some practitioners think we will become brave when we have no attachment to fear. Actually, this is not true. My understanding is that when we do not have the attachment to fear, or any other attachments, we will naturally develop rationality, wisdom and compassion, rather than developing the other extreme within the same level. The attachment to fear is a type of sentimentality, and bravery is also a type of sentimentality. Among all Dafa books, we cannot find the word "bravery." It is simply an everyday person's comment pertaining to the manifestation of a practitioner's rationality, wisdom and compassion after the practitioner has let go of his attachments. It is not something that should be pursued, and this same idea should also apply to the elimination of many other attachments. We should improve and elevate ourselves in the Fa, rather than trying to substitute one side of sentimentality and acquired notions with their opposites, as with "fear" and "bravery."
However, Teacher often mentioned "striving forward vigorously" and "striving forward vigorously and cultivating diligently." My understanding about "striving forward vigorously" is to discover our own attachments while studying the Fa, to believe in Dafa's mighty power, to establish our righteous thoughts and to let go of attachments. Teacher talked about "enlightenment" in Lecture Nine of Zhuan Falun:
"The enlightenment that we actually refer to is a matter of whether in the course of cultivation practice one can enlighten to and accept the Fa taught by the Master or the Tao taught by the Taoist master, whether one can treat oneself as a practitioner upon encountering tribulations, and whether one can adhere to the Fa while practicing cultivation."
My understanding is that if "one can adhere to the Fa while practicing cultivation" under any circumstances, he is "striving forward vigorously."
Teacher also said in the article "Path:"
"Cultivation is hard. It's hard in that even when a terrible calamity strikes, even when evil madly persecutes, and even when your life is at stake, you still have to be able to steadfastly continue on your path of cultivation without letting anything in human society interfere with the steps you take on your path of cultivation."
My understanding is that no matter how hard it is on our cultivation path, we need to conduct ourselves according to the Fa, to believe in Teacher, to believe in the Fa, and "you still have to be able to steadfastly continue on your path of cultivation." This is "striving forward vigorously." "Striving forward vigorously" is the state of diligently eliminating all attachments, rather than the state of having "no attachment to fear."
How to Correctly Treat the Attachments that Still Exist?
The "attachment to fear" is just one attachment and one aspect of cultivation. All practitioners still have some attachments. How can a practitioner be able to do good Dafa work when he still has attachments? My understanding is that first of all, we need to recognize the existence of our own attachments and want to get rid of them--this is the most important thing. Some attachments look like one thing on the surface, but actually they point to something else. The direct reason we still have attachments is that we do not spend enough time studying the Fa, but rather, studying the Fa becomes a decoration of our Dafa work. The evil old forces use the excuse of "letting go of attachments" to prevent practitioners from studying the Fa. Without studying the Fa, how can we still be considered to be practicing cultivation? That would be like one who just tries his luck and passively endures the suffering of torture during the evil persecution. When a practitioner places all of his or her attention on "letting go of the attachment to fear," actually this indicates only a partial understanding of the Fa, plus interference from the evil old forces.
"When someone who's learned Dafa goes down the wrong path, it's because he has attachments that he hasn't been able to let go of. And these attachments are sure to be controlled and taken advantage of by evil beings." ["Lecture on the Fa at the Washington, D.C. International Conference"]
My understanding is "he has attachments that he hasn't been able to let go of" is the key. "Taking advantage of a practitioner's weak spots caused by his attachments" is the plan and attempt of the evil old forces, and what we need to break through and destroy is exactly this arrangement of theirs.
Therefore, the only way to recognize the real attachments and eliminate them is to study the Fa more. As long as we want to let go of the attachments and believe in the mighty power of the Fa, we will be able to do so. I believe that one's realizing "Only studying the Fa can help us let go of the attachments, and you will be able to let go of the attachments when you study the Fa" is the most fundamental righteous thought toward the Fa. Some practitioners started to neglect the study of the Fa and did not study the Fa as diligently as they had previously. This is because their righteous thoughts toward the Fa were either intentionally or unintentionally wavering.
My understanding regarding the greatness of the Fa is that even when we practitioners still have attachments to eliminate, as long as we believe in the Fa, assimilate ourselves to the Fa, firmly uphold our righteous thoughts and eliminate the attachments, we still can exercise and develop our own abilities to perfection, and accomplish everything that Dafa disciples should accomplish in Fa-Rectification cultivation. Through Fa-Rectification cultivation, we have validated this fact and have fundamentally destroyed the evil old forces' fallacious principle "Taking advantage of a practitioner's weak spots caused by his attachments." We have validated Teacher's immense compassion of "offering salvation to all," because even when we still have attachments to let go of now, as long as we can catch up with the progress of Fa-Rectification, Master will save us.
At the level of human beings, through clarifying the truth we are able to save all the people deceived by China's propaganda so that their lives will not meet the miserable and sad ending of being destroyed and eliminated from the future universe. This may be the manifestation of the fact at the human level that the future universe will go through "formation, settlement, and degeneration" and won't have "destruction" any more. We are creating that history. From this perspective, the attachments we still have become opportunities to validate Teacher's immense compassion and Dafa's magnificence, to establish disciples' great virtues, and to perfect disciples' Fruit Status [one's level of attainment in the Buddha School] and paradise. Of course, the prerequisite to this outcome is that "[Dafa disciples'] determined, righteous thoughts are absolutely unshakable." ("Dafa is Indestructible")
Note: Under the current tribulation, could other practitioners share some experiences on Clearwisdom.net regarding how to continue to clarify the truth to the deceived people in a more intensive and refined way?