The Problem of Becoming Attached to Other's Attachments
(Clearwisdom.net) I went to see a practitioner a couple of days ago. She told me about an incident that occurred recently while she was clarifying the truth. She has been going out every morning to clarify the truth to people face to face for several years. Many times she encountered both uniformed and plain-clothes police officers. They were touched by her kindness and reminded her to check people's occupations before telling them the truth of Falun Gong, for safety's sake. Even when she met bad people, she managed to escape with the guidance of Teacher and her own righteous thoughts.
People living near her, whether they are doing such humble work as trash collecting or making deliveries by tricycle, have all heard about the truth of Falun Gong from her. Some started practicing Falun Gong. Some asked her for truth-clarification materials to distribute in their own hometowns. The practitioner, when she was released from a labor camp, had to face severe interference from her family. For some time, she dared not even keep Falun Gong books at home. But one year later, when I met her again, she had rectified her home environment.
I was greatly moved by her sharing. Not only did I discover my shortcomings in Fa-study and truth-clarification, but I also found that I have an attachment to other people's attachments.
The first time I met her was at a Fahui. She shared her experience of truth-clarification. Learning that she had personally attended lectures given by Teacher, I had full confidence in her. Therefore, I asked her to keep my Dafa books when the police came to ransack my home. Some practitioners said to me in surprise, "It's amazing that she would want to help you. She was 'transformed' into giving up practicing Falun Gong before."
Although I didn't say anything, I had some thoughts against her in my mind. I thought that since she had gone astray before, she might go astray again. Soon I took my Dafa books back. And I didn't contact her.
At that time, the evil was rampant in carrying out persecution in our area. They arrested many practitioners and destroyed printing sites. Our group study could not continue. The evil people also made trouble, causing practitioners to suspect each other. Some practitioners who had strong attachments to fear were more reluctant to step out. It was a loss to the work of truth-clarification.
It was a first priority to break away from the old forces, follow Teachers requirement to become one body, have group Fa-study and experience sharing, and work together to rescue fellow practitioners. Yet I was like many others. Instead of breaking the barrier among practitioners, I was attached to protecting myself from getting hurt and dared not contact those who were considered unreliable. As a result, many practitioners in my area did not communicate with each other, and it was hard for us to form one body. It was actually putting us in danger. The reason for such a phenomenon is that sometimes we are attached to other people's attachments (even their attachments in the past or something they didn't do well.). We fail to recognize their good sides and view the problem with righteous thoughts, and hence allow the evil to take advantage. Teacher says in "The Closer to the End, the More Diligent You Should Be,"
"A person has many tests to overcome in the course of cultivation, one reason being, from the time of birth on, a person ceaselessly forms notions of every sort as he comes to an understanding of human society, and attachments result."
I realize that at the beginning, the attachment could be just a small human notion. For example, I thought that if a practitioner had been "transformed," that he or she might stumble again in the future. I'd have to be cautious with him. What if he couldn't bear the torture and reported me to the police. I'd better not contact him. The evil saw my attachment to protecting myself and sought ways to strengthen and amplify it. Then I heard people say how bad that practitioner was in this or that respect. All I saw was that person's attachments. My notion was in this way proved, and became fixed. Whenever I thought about the practitioner, my mind was full of his shortcomings, such as his strong attachment to fear and that he had gone astray before. It was hard for me to eliminate such notions. I even thought about letting him stumble and learn a lesson. Unconsciously, I formed an attachment to other people's attachments. Just as Teacher says in Zhuan Falun,
"...the more one desires, the less one obtains. When a person wants it desperately, not only will it not open, but instead something neither black nor white will emit from his Celestial Eye. It will cover up his Celestial Eye. As time passes, it will form a very large field. The more it flows forth, the more it accumulates. The more unlikely it is for the Celestial Eye to open, the more he will pursue it, and the more this substance will come out. As a result, it will cover his whole body to such an extent that it becomes very thick with a very large field. Even if this person's Celestial Eye is indeed opened, he still cannot see anything because it is sealed by his own attachment. Only if he no longer thinks about it in the future and completely gives up this attachment, will it gradually disappear. It will, however, take a very painful and long period of cultivation practice to remove it. This is very unnecessary."
Indeed it took a year before I recognize and eliminated my attachment to someone else's attachments. The hidden attachment has created a barrier among practitioners and affects our validating Dafa. It has caused immeasurable losses in saving sentient beings. Because I was always thinking of other people's problems, I did not think that they are also cultivators and we are all Teachers' disciples, cultivating the same Fa. We are constantly getting hints from Teacher to get rid of attachments and to save sentient beings while accomplishing our mission. Lacking confidence in others and becoming attached to their attachments is in a way strengthening their attachment and making it difficult for them to eliminate it. When we are made to see other people's attachments, isn't it a way for Teacher to help us realize our own attachments and help fellow practitioners to improve with righteous thoughts so that we can make progress together? Aren't their some responsibilities involved in this? I realize that eliminating an attachment has a deep and profound meaning. It is related to more than one cosmic system. Not eliminating the attachment will bring serious problems.
Teacher has given us so much. Even when disciples went astray Teacher didn't give up on them, but gave them chances again and again. As fellow practitioners how can we fix our opinions of other practitioners? How can we deliberately push out any practitioners?
We have to break the notions formed in our lifetimes, the bad thoughts, and the interference from evil elements, not getting attached to other people's attachments, but be responsible to fellow practitioners, to society, and improve together to save more sentient beings. Only benevolent thoughts assimilated to the Fa in the cosmos are unbreakable.
The above is my personal understanding. Please kindly point out the mistakes.