Learning How to Deal with My Emotions as a Cultivator
(Clearwisdom.net) Prior to cultivation practice I was an emotional person, with my emotions seeming to provide the only reason to live. Emotions controlled my happiness and sadness, and I developed many problems, such as worrying and being sad. They prevailed over my happiness; as a result, my life was miserable and bitter, and I was in poor health.
For a long time since beginning the practice in1994, I lacked a clear understanding about my emotions, or how to deal with them. I did understand the meaning of attachments to reputation and self-interest, and how to purge them. But I believed what Master had taught us, and I knew it was my limitation at the time.
When my eldest son turned 25, I thought he should get married, but he hadn't found a girlfriend yet. My friends had introduced him to several girls but he didn't like any of them. As I criticized him, my language became stronger and stronger, and I hurt him more and more. Two years later, in 1998, he turned 27 and still did not have a girlfriend. I was highly annoyed, and he wasn't happy, either. Gradually I came to understand that my emotions were the cause of this. I began to realize that dealing with problems with emotions was something negative that hurt not only myself, but others too. Besides being unable to become serene to meditate, I also hurt my son. I decided to use this incident as the starting point to get rid of my emotions. I sincerely apologized to my son for being mad at him and hurting him, and returned all his wages that I had been holding for him. I told him that I would never interfere with his getting married again, and would let it go. Strangely, as soon as I abandoned my attachment, my son found a girlfriend in July 1998 and got married in May 1999. (Translator's note: In China, it is the custom that the parents help arrange things for their children before they marry and then take care of their grandchildren. They usually have extended families, and three or four generations often live together.)
I came to understand the truth of Master's teachings, that the more you pursue something, the less chance you will get it.
This positive turn of events led to further understandings about removing attachments to reputation, self-interest, and feelings. Since then, I paid close attention to removing those gaps in my cultivation practice. I looked inside as soon as problems arose and removed my attachment as soon as I discovered it. My supervisors at work commented on my improvement, that I not only improved my health, but also broadened my heart, and that I could tolerate a situation when faced with conflict.
With the improvement of my level, my xinxing requirements rose as well. Other practitioners told me that emotions are the hardest to overcome. I agree. I found it especially difficult to let go of the attachment to my children. I understood, though, that I had to let go, even though it was very hard. Master used the analogy of a boat's ropes being attached to the shore--the boat cannot sail unless all cables or ropes are untied. I understood that tests would happen throughout my cultivation practice, even toward the end. If one ignores the importance of it, one could be destroyed in an instant.
In 1999, another incident tested my emotions.
As soon as the persecution began on July 20, 1999, my workplace presented a program to reform each Falun Gong practitioner. I was the first one in my family to sign the guarantee statements. My husband followed. My son refused to sign. Five officials from the workplace took him to a brainwashing center in the mountains. He still did not sign after a week. The Party Secretary led three people and took my husband, me, and my son's new wife with them, under the pretext of visiting my son. Upon arrival they talked to my son again, trying to "reform" him, but failed. They beat him in front of us. My emotions emerged and I cried. I said to my son, "I can die for you, but I can't live without you!"
We all committed enormous sins. Was it worthwhile for us to continue practicing cultivation? Before long, all three of us wrote solemn declarations, expressing our repentance and determination to begin cultivation practice all over again. But repentance didn't mean we could do it. Tests followed.
At the beginning of 2001 my son went to Beijing's Tiananmen Square to unfurl a banner and returned safely, but not so the second time. We knew something must have happened to him, but since we knew he would not reveal his identity there was no way for us to find him.
My husband and I had to endure our anxiousness and stay home. While studying the Fa I was made aware that what happened to my son had something to do with his attachments as well as with us. Perhaps it was provided for us to remove our attachment to our child. The previous test exposed our faults in a great way. Although superficially viewed, our son was released, but because our minds were not righteous, the test still existed. This new development was an opportunity for us to correct our mistakes.
I told my husband, "We didn't do well last time, we must do well this time. This is the only way to ensure our son's safe return. We must let go of our attachments as much as possible." It was very painful endurance; each day seemed as if it was a year. We did not yet know about sending righteous thoughts then, but we sent our son mental messages: 'You must get out [from detention] with righteous thoughts, with righteous thoughts.' Two and a half months later my son was indeed unconditionally released and returned home openly and nobly. We had finally passed the test of emotions.
In my humble opinion, the only way to avoid the evildoers' persecution and thoroughly disintegrate the evil in other dimensions is to study the Fa more and study the Fa well, advance diligently, and resolutely purge one's faults, so as to walk the path of assimilating into the Dafa Master has arranged. He does not acknowledge the persecution. If we fail to walk our prearranged paths, we will create loopholes for the evil to take advantage. Leaving loopholes is the primary reason why some practitioners' follow the path the old forces have arranged. Therefore, genuinely practicing cultivation is the key to success.