Remove Attachments to Solidly Cultivate During Fa-Rectification
(Clearwisdom.net) A fellow practitioner and I established a production site for truth-clarification materials, and recently, I had a major conflict with this practitioner. We had an argument and neither of us yielded to the other. We could not calm down and weren't able to study the Fa well. Usually we work together very well, but when the conflict arose this time, I didn't look inward; instead, I wanted the other party to look inward first. I thought about the incident and found some attachments, but my mind still had trouble settling down quickly.
That evening after the argument, I was chatting with a friend and she said to me, "Are you having trouble staying grounded lately?" I started to scrutinize myself after getting home. After I started cultivation, though I had been to Beijing to appeal and started clarifying the truth relatively early on, later there was a period of time when I didn't keep up with the progress of Fa-rectification. With Master's care, compassion and protection, I returned to the path of cultivation. I asked myself, "Have I walked the path of cultivation in a sound and solid manner? Have I done things that a Dafa practitioner should not do? Have I ignored the seriousness of Dafa by using human notions to look at Master's compassionate handling of practitioners' mistakes?"
Master warned us in "Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Washington DC Fa Conference":
"As for some shortcomings that still exist, you should in fact be able to see them with greater clarity. A lot of times I notice that when you're discussing certain things you still have the problem of your human side being attached, and you argue about things that you can't get over, which then affects the discussion you're having of the main Fa-validating things. I've seen that those are attachments which formed among ordinary people, and are notions that you can't let go, and it's things that were formed among ordinary people which flare up as soon as they're hit upon. But you can't be like that. Whatever it is you do for Dafa, you shouldn't do it with your own notions. I say this quite often, but some people routinely don't bother to think about it or don't give it enough attention."
Through this conflict, although I found my desire to fight and compete with others, my desire to deride others, my unwillingness to yield and tolerate, selfishness, jealousy and laziness, etc., behind all those attachments there was another attachment hidden that's even worse, which is not being able to stay grounded. There are a couple of ways of not staying grounded. One of them is doing things only at the surface and hastily. This has manifested several ways.
The first manifestation is being heedless when studying the Fa. Most of the time I can't guarantee finishing one chapter a day, even though I have the time to do it. Also, my Fa-study is just a formality, and sometimes I think that as long as I study every day I should be okay. I didn't care about how I studied, whether my mind was tranquil during the study, and whether I understood the Fa on the basis of the Fa after the study, or whether I found attachments and got rid of them. Master said:
"I've often said that you need to study the Fa well. Whenever I've met with students at Fa conferences or in other settings, I've always said that you must make Fa-study a priority, and that no matter how busy you are you have to study the Fa." (Touring North America to Teach the Fa)
The second manifestation is being heedless when doing the exercises. Now, I can't even sit in the lotus position for an hour. I did the moving exercises less frequently. Especially when I was busy, I would find excuses like "don't have enough time," "projects are also very important," etc. I also give in to sleepiness sometimes. I feel lazy and want to take a nap as soon as I feel sleepy, ignoring the importance of doing the exercises.
The third manifestation is being heedless when sending forth righteous thoughts. Many fellow practitioners send forth righteous thoughts extra times in addition to the four times a day worldwide. I sometimes can do the basic four times, but sometimes I can't even do that. Every day when I sent forth righteous thoughts, I told myself to "completely deny the existence of the old forces and deny their arrangement." But, in reality, isn't what I said and did precisely admitting to the existence of the old forces? Didn't my having attachments for such a long time foster the evil? Didn't my lack of attentiveness give them an excuse to persecute me no matter how well I did in other aspects?
The fourth manifestation is being heedless when clarifying the truth. I have lacked perseverance of clarifying the truth at any opportunity and wherever I go. In Touring North America to Teach the Fa (March 2002), Master said:
"You need to know that clarifying the truth is extremely important for Dafa students. You aren't just doing personal cultivation - your own cultivation is saving the beings in the gigantic cosmic bodies that you represent. When you clarify the truth you are saving even more and even larger additional cosmic bodies and the beings in those cosmic bodies, because this is the responsibility Dafa and history have bestowed upon you."
If truth-clarification is not done well, we will not be able to catch up with Master's Fa-rectification process, improve our own cultivation levels, or accomplish our mission. Furthermore, we will not be able to help sentient beings from the colossal celestial bodies or those who should know the truth. The consequences are irreparable.
The fifth manifestation is being heedless when interacting with people. Sometimes I do okay when doing the exercises, studying the Fa and sending forth righteous thoughts at home. But as soon as I am among non-practitioners I will immediately demonstrate ordinary people's behavior. My attachments will come out and I will also easily follow non-practitioners' thoughts and behavior. Master asked us to conform to everyday society as much as possible while cultivating. But I have conformed to everyday people, while most of the time forgetting that I am also a cultivator. That has created a big barrier in my truth-clarification.
The other part of not being grounded is being restless and agitated. I think it manifests itself in the following ways.
The first manifestation is being restless about cultivation or the timeframe for Fa-rectification. Master once said,
"At the beginning of this persecution, each day felt like a year to you all. Even during this recent period of time, many students have been wondering, 'When will it end? When is this persecution going to end?' Some people are thus thinking about Master having written in his poems that spring is coming, (everyone laughs) and think, 'Oh, so it'll end in the spring?' I also mentioned autumn in my poems, (everyone laughs) so some students said, 'It must mean it's going to end in autumn.' Then when autumn was over and it didn't end, they seemed to be somewhat disappointed. Think about it, isn't that using ordinary human thinking to look at these things? (Touring North America to Teach the Fa (March 2002))
Looking at it myself, I sometimes really hope the whole thing will end soon. But then I thought carefully about it - let's not talk about countries in the world where Dafa has not been spread to, even in mainland China there are still many people who are not clear about the truth and need to be saved. If it indeed ended, where would those lives go? Isn't this another manifestation of selfishness? Precisely because it hasn't ended yet and because Master is still giving people chances, we should seize the time and opportunity to clarify the truth and do it well, and to save more sentient beings.
The second manifestation is being restless when interacting with people. As soon as I run into something unsatisfactory, I show ordinary people's anger, anxiety, and restlessness, and have thoughts that do not meet the requirement of a Dafa disciple. Also, when conflicts arise, I often don't treat myself as a cultivator and look inward. Moreover, I don't pay attention to what I say sometimes, causing minor things to turn into major conflicts. As a result, when I do the exercises or send forth righteous thoughts, my mind is sometimes restless, making me susceptible to interference.
The third manifestation is being restless about my long-term attachments. There are a few practitioners around me who are not doing well in passing tests with their families. Some even take the approach of evading conflicts. As for myself, besides stumbling on tests that occur with my family, I didn't pass tests involving situations at work, either. When the tests involved my sentimentality, I wasn't willing to face them. For work, I disliked my low pay and long commute, etc. These things showed that I have lots of ordinary people's thinking. They have also caused a temporary hardship in my life. Sometimes I believed that I have already discovered this attachment, and wondered why it was not gone and why it showed up again. Actually, after repeated tests, I realized that merely discovering the attachments is not enough, and that one still needs to get rid of them in the process of cultivation.
From this experience, I realized that cultivation is indeed not easy, and that it is very serious. However, the process of cultivation has been progressing step by step, rapidly, and under the Master's arrangement. I'd like to ask fellow practitioners to learn from my experience, make good use of the Nine Commentaries in truth clarification and help more people eliminate the influence of the CCP in their minds. We must become grounded through our cultivation and do the three things solidly.
In conclusion, let us review a paragraph from Master's lecture,
"Of the three things to validate the Fa, one is to study the Fa well, one is to clarify the facts, and another is to take sending righteous thoughts seriously. Put together, these things all validate the Fa and all save sentient beings, and they are all what Dafa disciples should do. In other words, your Consummation, your future, and all of your mighty virtue are established in these." ("Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference")
I hope that fellow practitioners can learn from what I have experienced. Wherever there is anything inappropriate, please kindly point it out.
March 24, 2005