Breaking Through Sentiment
(Clearwisdom.net) I had always thought that I had done well on the sentiment test. It wasn't until I once again fell in love that I realized that I still was not cultivating well. A short time ago, I experienced another test of sentiment. In the past, I thought I had done well in that area and I would not have any problem if I once again encountered a similar situation. But now I see that the reality is not what I had thought. (Of course, Dafa does not say that Dafa practitioners should not be in love or get married. It requests us to conform to the human society as much as possible in our cultivation. However, as practitioners, we know within our hearts whether or not we have an attachment.)
Each time I was experiencing the sentiment test, after looking inward, I always thought that I had found the root of the problem. However, each time I only found a part of the problem and did not get down to the root. Therefore, whenever the sentiment test came, I questioned why the same problem once again appeared. Only the leading male actor was different each time in the play. I knew that somehow I did not cultivate well and I once again lived in an imaginary world. That's right, I found that I was living in an imaginary world and I thought that I had found the root of the problem.
One day when a friend mentioned to me that a practitioner in her area was also facing the sentiment test and that practitioner found the sentiment part was related to her pursuit of "fame." I was puzzled and I did not understand why sentiment and fame would be in some way related. Then we started our discussion ......
What is the relationship between sentiment and fame? The practitioner said that her reason for having affection toward the other person was because the thoughts she expressed gained the approval of the other person. Thus she started to have the pursuit of fame after gaining agreement. Once this pursuit started, she felt she was regarded as important by the other person so she began to have sentimental feelings toward the other person.
After hearing this, I felt that I have something in common with this as well. In fact, my pursuit of fame is pretty strong. I often have feelings of pride in my communication skills. Some ideas I've raised have impressed others and gained the praise of many. The praise should have been regarded as one of the tests for a practitioner, thus it exposed my attachment of showing off.
I calmed down and tried hard to seek inward to look for the mentality of seeking fame. As I searched on and on I discovered many of my past so-called good ideas were merely human notions. Were they truly worthy of pleasing me? When friends or other people praised me, my mentality of seeking fame was aroused. When I met someone whom I liked and they praised me, I would feel very pleased, and thus started to live in my imaginary world. When I looked at them closely, they were all human notions. No matter how good my idea is and how convincing my speech is, they are merely within the principles of the human level.
Without jumping beyond the principles of the surface human layer, we will not be able to find the cause of our problems. This is what I could not break through. Since I changed my view, now I have a new thought towards sentiment. I also noticed it is not easy even for a practitioner to get rid of a human notion. It is hard for us to even realize that our thoughts are a kind of notion. We practitioners should continuously break through all kinds of notions. Sentiment is also a notion. Although we are still in cultivation, if we do not realize our problem, we will be easily influenced by our notions. A notion can affect one's thought and a thought can affect one's behavior, and what we should get rid of are layers upon layers of different notions and the roots of our attachments.
Master regards us as future enlightened beings. We should continuously raise our standards of conduct and thought. If we measure ourselves with the highest human moral standards, it would still only conform to human principles, which are the requirements for human being. What about an enlightened being? An enlightened being's conduct and thought should definitely reach higher than a human's. Thus I realize that in facing the sentiment, I should have thought more rationally: Why did I step onto the path of cultivation of Falun Dafa? Have I regularly regarded myself as a practitioner, strictly conducting myself and getting rid of the attachments? Have I fully gotten involved in cultivation and saving sentient beings?