1.We Should Not Regard Falun Gong as Something to Consign Our Soul to.

Many people often regard religion and cultivation practice as things to which one consigns one's soul. I have noticed that when I faced a dangerous situation or when I felt depressed, my heart would be filled with the Fa and I would be able to let go of various attachments at the time. However, the Fa seemed to become less important to me when I was not at any risk or when I was in a good mood. At such times, I would slack off in my cultivation. I wondered why.

Not long ago I finally found the cause. Though I wasn't aware of it, I had been treating the Fa as something to consign my soul to, or something to regulate my mental health. When people hurt me, I would comfort myself with the Fa --- no loss; no gain. I would tell myself that I was not taken advantage of and that I would be compensated with de (virtue) for the pain inflicted on me.

Because cultivation warrants hardship, I didn't want to be diligent in my cultivation practice and I wanted to slack off. Simply put, I wasn't devoting myself completely to my cultivation practice. I left a lot of room for my "everyday person life." I thought that Teacher is compassionate and would never give up on me because I was more or less cultivating under Teacher's tutelage.

2. Letting Go of My Fundamental Attachments

Teacher said,

"[...] many other students have found with their human notions various yearnings and wishes in Dafa, and, compelled by these human attachments, they have come to practice cultivation in Dafa." ("Towards Consummation" in Essentials for Further Advancement II)

Why do I seek cultivation practice? I wanted to become a better, more beautiful person. I wanted to have a better life. I wanted to reach Godhood and enjoy a good life in the heavenly paradise. I was afraid of perishing in body and soul. I wanted to reach Consummation! Simply put, I wanted to practice Falun Gong to satisfy my attachments for selfish reasons. If I should continue to cultivate in this mentality, wouldn't I be seeking a good life by pursuing Falun Gong? This kind of "cultivation" is nothing but another form of an everyday person's life style. How can I call myself a Falun Gong practitioner?

3. What is the root cause of my problem? It's a misconception I have acquired since childhood.

Every person is immersed in the big vat of dye in society since his or her birth and, thus, has absorbed a misconception: It is a good thing to have attachments, to be selfish and to take care of ourselves. Similar to an addiction to smoking, it is a misconception to think that it is good to have attachments. If everyone else around you smokes, everyone starts smoking after he is born and everyone thinks smoking is a natural part of life, then no one would know what it is like to quit smoking. Similarly, mankind is addicted to fame, wealth, sentimentality and various other attachments since childhood and has become overpowered by these attachments.

Before I started practicing Falun Gong, I even thought, "Life would be boring if I didn't have any attachments left." Once you start smoking, it will be very difficult to quit. A typical smoker does not remember what it feels like not to smoke. Now that I recall my innocent childhood, I had a good time without a cigarette. Then why do we have such a misconception that one has to smoke or has to have attachments in life?

People feel happy when their attachments are satisfied; otherwise, they will feel deprived. This is a very passive and transient form of happiness. If we understand that those so-called happy feelings are merely illusions, the same illusion that smoking brings to people, we will become more diligent in our cultivation practice.

In other words, we must let go of the fundamental attachment that we cultivate to pursue happiness or to reach Consummation. This is a dangerous understanding. We should understand that we cultivate ourselves to be altruistic and to assimilate to the characteristics of the universe. We cultivate ourselves for the sake of others. We do the three things for the good of sentient beings.