Why Couldn't I See Master's Compassionate Hints?
(Clearwisdom.net) When I started practicing cultivation, I could often feel that Master was constantly giving me hints and guiding me to upgrade toward higher levels.
However, after practicing cultivation for quite a while, there came a period when I could no longer feel these hints. Even though I was studying the Fa, even though I had done a lot of Dafa work and I would search inward for attachments while experiencing conflicts, I felt that I was not making any progress in my cultivation and in raising my xinxing [mind and heart nature]. On the contrary, I felt that my level and xinxing were slowly and gradually declining. After a long period, nothing was working out right with me and I started to have some small illnesses. I then started to sense that the problem in my cultivation was getting quite a bit worse. I could not help but to ask Master for some helpful hints.
I had begun to observe that other practitioners still had strong attachments. I could see their attachments very clearly, but I was quite unable to see my own. Finally, reading Teacher's Lecture at the Conference in Singapore, I came upon these words,
"In the past, some people said that it was impossible to succeed in cultivation. How could one succeed in cultivation? [They couldn't succeed in it] because this was the biggest obstacle and nobody was willing to find faults in himself amid problems. When a person feels hurt, or when he encounters misfortune, it's really difficult for him to still examine himself to see if he's done something wrong. If a person can do that, I'd say that on this path--on this path of cultivation--and for the eternity of his existence, nothing can stop him. It's truly the case."
At this point, I had a new understanding. It was not that Master was no longer giving me hints. Instead, I had become complacent, comfortable that I could see other's attachments amidst conflicts, but feeling that I did not have these same attachments myself. I had been thinking that I had always been "in the Fa," and that it was only the others that were in error. In fact, in the depth of my heart, I still had the roots of the same attachments as the other practitioners. My attachments may simply have been smaller and manifesting somewhat less intensely than those of others. I finally realized that I must let go of the roots of these attachments myself if I was going to progress in my cultivation.
After coming to this understanding, when I watched other practitioners display their attachments amid conflicts, I no longer felt that they had nothing to do with me. Instead, I began to look inside to see whether I had the same attachments rooted deeply within me. I find that when I am strict with myself, and demand that I maintain the state of "constantly letting go of attachments," my xinxing elevates steadily. I have also become more attentive while studying the Fa, and able to see new manifestations of the Fa as I continue to improve myself.
By observing the conflicts and attachments of others, I am now able to identify and let go my own attachments. Others' conflicts have actually acted as a mirror for me to observe my own shortcomings. My own level and cultivation state now improve, and more of the Fa is able to reveal itself to me. Therefore, when I share my experience and understanding trying to help others, I can do so with even greater compassion.
During the period of time I felt I couldn't recognize any of Master's hints, thought karma would often interfere with me, leading me to even doubt my path as a cultivator. However, I now recognize that whenever I cannot pass tests and begin to feel in the dark about my cultivation, it is because I have not been diligent and not truly looked within myself for attachments deeply rooted in my heart. I now realize that Master is always taking care of us, yet we must also do our part and diligently cultivate away our attachments.