Addiction to Self Is My Fundamental Attachment
(Clearwisdom.net) In 1997, I began practicing Falun Dafa. However, because I remained attached to the sentimentality between myself and my husband, I fell behind in Fa-rectification. Thankfully, in October 2004 a fellow practitioner and former classmate of mine gave me copies of Teacher's new articles, and I then read through Teacher's other articles via the Clearwisdom website. By reading Teacher's new articles, although I could not discern all of the deeper meanings, I could easily see Teacher's vast and endless benevolence. I knew that I had fallen far behind. I wept as I read, and I sighed with emotion because I had been idle for an entire five years, and I almost missed the precious chance of cultivating within Falun Dafa. Fortunately, I could again cultivate.
For the past two years, my husband just could not recognize the value of Falun Dafa. Instead, he told me I was selfish and that I was always doing things superficially. He also complained that I could not even take care of my own responsibilities well. Each time, I tried fairly to make him believe how much better a person I was than before. And afterwards, I would strive to do more work to show him, "See how well I am now doing? If I did not cultivate Dafa, I couldn't have acted this well."
Recently, he claimed that all my absentmindedness was due to practicing Dafa. I usually left my key in the door after I opened it, and I pften forgot to bring my purse or cellphone with me when I left the house. After having practiced Dafa for 10 years, I still had not rid myself of forgetfulness. His accusation awakened me, and I was shocked that I had not fulfilled my responsibility of validating the Fa. Instead I was invalidating it. I felt so regretful that tears streamed down my face. However, this time, I did not make any excuses. I started examining myself, and I checked my internal cultivation state each day with great care.
Usually, I was very happy when my husband was away on business or had to work extra hours because I thought it was good for me to spend all my time on cultivation practice. With this attitude, I unexpectedly received the opposite result. When I picked up Falun Dafa books, I felt very sleepy. So, I either watched TV or went out for a chat with friends or neighbors. I was drifting along with ordinary people. Normally I regretted not being diligent afterwards, yet I repeated this pattern over and over again. I then thought this was rather abnormal. Why when he was at home could I focus on Fa-study and exercise practice, but I slacked off when he was away? Other practitioners became better with cultivation, but the more I cultivated, the more unnecessary problems I experienced. Was I cultivating for my husband's sake? Was I doing it to show off? Was I only doing it for his recognition? Or was I asking for his understanding and support by winning his recognition? Was I cultivating myself or validating myself? Was I really raising my level and upgrading my xinxing? Was I trying to eliminate attachments and to assimilate to the nature of the universe, "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance"? Was I really letting go of sentimentality?
And there was one more issue that inspired me to dig out my deeply-hidden attachments. There were times when my husband asked me to read to him materials for his work, and I had to read aloud, at night. So, I had to put down the Dafa books I was studying and begrudgingly read his books to him. However, he started to talk about various matters soon after I had read only a few paragraphs, until it was almost time to send forth righteous thoughts at 12:00 p.m., and I had failed to study the Fa. Similar occurrences happened the following days. I then realized that I must have had an attachment. Teacher told us in Zhuan Falun:
"Any time some kind of interference comes along in your practice, you have to look within for the cause and find what it is you still haven't let go of."
I failed to enlighten to the attachment at that time.
Then, one night, it happened again. I tried to appear calm and serene, yet I was filled with resentment and complained in my heart. It was almost beyond my ability to tolerate it. I almost trotted out of our bedroom to yell at my husband. Yet, I suddenly realized that I never really thought of his feelings, and all the time, I was just muddling through the reading without thinking. I did it perfunctorily, for his sake, and on the surface. I never really thought of his wellbeing, I just muddled through doing my duty.
I went from being addicted to many human habits to being attached to people through whom I thought I could attain so-called happiness. I was practicing Dafa as a formality rather than cultivating and really maintaining the essence of "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance." I maintained thoughts and habits that sustained the attachment. No wonder I am not as transcendent as others who have cultivated well within Dafa. No wonder I am always unforgiving in my heart although I have acted forgiving and lenient toward others. It is also obvious why each time I tried to "show" others, I invited trouble. The reason: I was very addicted to validating myself instead of Dafa, and that was a big loophole in my cultivation.
My way of clarifying the truth about Dafa was somewhat mixed with maintaining human attachments. I have been using human methods to prevent my deep-rooted human interests and happiness from being hurt or damaged. My focus was still on "self." I was stuck within pursuits, addicted to loss and gain, and I did not think or act from the Fa for the sake of others.
All along, I have unconsciously tried to use Dafa to hide my attachments and to prove myself right. If I was able to get others to recognize Dafa, I gained self-recognition. I now understand why I kept on repeating fellow practitioners' words while clarifying the facts, but I never felt the righteous confidence and calm inside my heart that comes with a firm belief in Dafa. I did not cultivate away my attachments in accordance with Dafa, nor did I cherish all sentient beings in my heart. Instead, I was gloating that I was so fortunate to attain Dafa so that I could enjoy a most wonderful future. I felt so much repentance and shame because I did not meet Teacher's standards. I felt unworthy of Teacher's benevolent salvation. If it were not for the Fa, I never could have recognized my selfishness and flimsiness. The attachment of demanding that Dafa bring me happiness and selfish benefits was my most fundamental and largest attachment.
I finally realized that no matter if it is an attachment to fame, self-interest, sentimentality or pursuit, they are all from the human ego, and a heart filled with self-validation is at the root of those attachments. The validating of self materializes when I want to show off how much I have let go, but sometimes I become showy even when I have not done things well. The real self is pure and natural. Freedom from desire and other attachments is not achieved by winning others' recognition or through self-appreciation. It is achieved through everlasting consideration of others. Only by validating the Fa and validating "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance" can one be really validated.
There is no way for me to express my gratefulness toward our great and benevolent Teacher. I was enlightened to my fundamental attachment and to truly recognize myself. As a student of Dafa, I will definitely work harder and be more diligent and be responsible to Teacher. I am also very thankful for Clearwisdom for giving me this forum to validate Dafa. I also thank my fellow practitioners who greatly helped me with their assistance and their sharing. Let us all pick up our pens to write, bit by bit, about the understandings and enlightenments that we have gained through Dafa, for it is absolutely necessity for us to digest our understandings, help our fellow practitioners, and raise ourselves up at the same time.