A Lesson Learned from the Folk Tale of Nanny Wang Burning Incense
(Clearwisdom.net) I once heard a story. A lady with the surname of Wang burned incense and bowed [to a Buddha statue] every day.
Her neighbor was a butcher. They greeted each other every morning. The butcher asked, "Nanny Wang, have you burned incense today?" and Wang replied, "Yes, have you slaughtered pigs today?" This went on day after day.
One day, the incense of nanny Wang surprised some deities in heaven. Therefore, three deities disguised themselves as beggars in order to save her. As beggars, they asked to stay overnight at nanny Wang's place.
Nanny Wang noticed that they were dirty and said, "I am a widow and it is not convenient to have three men stay overnight at my place."
The three deities shook their heads and walked away. They came across the butcher and then asked him, can we stay at your place tonight?
The butcher consented immediately. He allowed them to stay in his thatched cottage and he slept on the bed in his tile-roof house. That night, however, for some reason, he could not fall asleep. He got up and saw lamplight shining from the thatched cottage. He felt strange and went to see what was happening. He found the toe of a Buddha statue to be shining. He understood. He immediately cleaned his bed and reverently asked the three deities to move to the tile-roof house and sleep on his bed. He apologized for not being able to tell who they were.
The next morning, the deities asked the butcher, "Do you want to go with us or still sell your pork?" The butcher immediately replied, "I'll go with you."
With the enlightenment from this story, I dug out some deep rooted and dirty attachments. For instance, I pay too much attention to my appearance. I often thought that if I have good complexion, it would help me clarify the truth of Falun Gong to people. However, deep in my heart there existed the attachment of showing off. See how well I have cultivated, my skin is healthy and delicate. The more I became attached to it, the worse my complexion became. Teacher told us,
"As I said, superficial changes are for others to see. Whether or not you can be saved depends on the change and ascension of your own heart. If change does not occur there, you cannot improve and nothing can be achieved. ("Dafa Cannot Be Used" in Essentials for Further Advancement)
In truth clarification, when I did a relatively good job, I would show off to fellow practitioners, saying that I went to such and such a place. I would say that I told the facts of Falun Gong to so many people, and that I handed out so many copies of flyers, etc. Wasn't it an attachment to showing off? Wasn't it a loophole? I realized that it was an attachment. However, I continued to do the same thing. I am often bothered for not being able to get rid of those attachments. Teacher said,
"You're troubled, and Master is troubled for you too--I'm troubled that you haven't let go of your attachments and that you haven't reached a high level of understanding of the Fa, and that when you resolve one problem you create new problems. (Sigh) This isn't criticism! Everything Master says is Fa. (Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference)".
Actually, we all know that pursuit and showing off are very bad attachments. Also those attachments are easily taken advantage of by the evil forces. If we don't follow the Fa and don't assimilate to the Fa and cannot approach Dafa and cultivation with a pure heart, the outcome may be the same as nanny Wang's.