Letting Go of the Attachment to Personal Achievement
(Clearwisdom.net) I worked with several Falun Dafa practitioners to create truth-clarification pictures and videos for web distribution. Since I created many of them by myself, I felt quite proud about it and thought I personally had accomplished a lot. In addition, my strong attachments to showing-off, competition, and self-satisfaction made other practitioners in our group also want to do the work individually although we would collaborate.
At the beginning, I thought this was a good thing, that by doing it individually, we would have higher productivity. Gradually, I sensed something was amiss. As my attachments emerged during my cultivation, I started avoiding my responsibilities for our project team and simply wanted to do my own work. I even thought about leaving the project and pursuing my own development.
Realizing that this was not right, I looked inward for what had gone wrong. I thought maybe I had a strong attachment to competition so I tried to let it go and continued doing what I was supposed to do. However, I found that our teammates' attentions were focused on individually "publishing the materials" and on their own "achievements." Many projects that required us to cooperate were ignored.
I was worried but felt powerless to change. I checked myself again to see if I had any attachment to jealousy. I tried harder to cultivate myself and looked inside. But things still did not improve. Our projects were still fraught with many problems and we teammates seemed not to care.
My worry increased. I said to Teacher in my heart, "I don't know what to do and I really can't help." As an afterthought, I decided to leave the project team temporarily. Since I had not had good rest for several days as I was busy with the projects, I decided to have a good sleep and not think about it.
I had a dream as I laid in bed. In the dream, I saw that my friends and I were doing a very important task. A group of bad guys tried to stop us. Because we did it righteously and openly, the bad guys could not do much to us. Later they found some weakness in my friends and controlled them. Then they used my friends to threaten me and I gave in to them in the end. I asked my friends why they listened to the bad guys. At this point, I woke up.
I immediately realized that, all along, without our noticing, we had been walking on the path that the evil wanted us to take. That path kept us from collaborating. This problem was not just my problem but a problem for our whole group. And it was all about personal "achievements."
I recalled that Teacher repeatedly emphasized to us that we need to let go of "self." Teacher also said "true improvements come from letting go, not from gaining." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A."). Our attachments to competition, showing-off, personal gain/loss, and achievement had caused us to not collaborate but, instead, to focus on our own personal abilities.
Actually, all our abilities are from practicing Dafa. Dafa gives us these abilities so that we can better save sentient beings and validate the Fa. When we do well, it is not because we are superior, but because Dafa has the great power to lead us. If we focus on our own, personal abilities and personal gain/loss, we are deviating from the Fa. In reality, we end up "validating ourselves." Though on the surface we may appear that we are "validating Dafa," we are actually putting our "personal" achievements above any Dafa project.
If we want to do well with Dafa projects, especially in every respect, we must focus on cultivating ourselves and letting go of the attachment to self. Every tiny bit of work needed for our project should be done well and diligently. We should not pursue those showy "contributions" but cultivate ourselves solidly and have every thought for the "Dafa project as a whole." Only when we further let go of selfishness can we do better in saving sentient beings.
March 1, 2008