Discovering My Attachments Through a Family Ordeal
In early May 2008, my father, a non-practitioner, found out that he had cancer, and along with that, my practice environment also encountered great changes. In the beginning, in consideration of future daily family expenses, I began to work more than one job. The tranquil practice environment that I enjoyed was disrupted, but I did not realize that it was interference due to my attachment of seeking comfort and slacking off in my practice.
After that, the tribulation increased again, when my father was hospitalized for emergency treatment in early August. I traveled between home, my company and the hospital, and my home was a total mess. I was flustered and my temper became bad. Moreover when I tried to find a chance to explain the facts about Falun Gong to my father, it appeared that he was relying on science for saving his life. My mother not only ignored my father's illness, she also began to complain about past grievances with the family. My nephew, who originally liked me, turned against me, and I did not know what to do with him. Later, my younger sister also began to avoid her responsibilities, and only my elder sister was helpful and did what she was supposed to do for my father. My xinxing and mode of thinking returned to the condition it was over ten years ago, when I was not a Falun Gong practitioner, and I was entangled by self-interest and resentment.
I grew up in a financially sound family, but my family did not enforce much discipline or provide much affection and warmth. Since childhood I have gone through a lot of ups and downs, and I vacillated between self-pity and vanity, causing my personality to become introverted and extremely arrogant. I was fortunate to learn about Falun Dafa in 1998, and understood the relationship between my ordeals and karma. On the other hand, I had hidden thoughts of escaping from all the misery in the human world. When my father fell ill and brought about a family crisis, the remnants of my selfish side caused me to want to withdraw. I intensely hoped to go back to the former environment, so that I could live and practice without worries, and I longed for this matter to take a favorable turn as soon as possible. Recently, when I felt extremely lost, I even wanted to give up the practice, so that I could struggle for things that were easy to obtain and not be restrained by Dafa.
Originally, I had a very good practice environment, but it also became a barrier for being diligent, due to my own laissez-faire attitude and not cherishing the opportunity for practicing. For example, while I was at a Fa study group, I earnestly studied the Fa in the beginning, and then I developed a show-off mentality of pursuing fluency and smoothness in reading. Therefore, I lost my Buddha nature for assimilating into the Fa and respecting Teacher and Dafa. I often meet with a fellow practitioner. In the beginning we often exchanged views about Dafa, but gradually we started to chat like everyday people. Afterwards, I unconsciously started to be overly-impressed with her talents and displayed hostility toward others. I gradually slacked off in my practice and pursued comfort.
It was not until last night that I realized my shortcomings in these family ordeals and the various actions of my family. For instance, when I clarify the facts about Falun Gong to people, I was always arrogant, did not achieve the compassion that is required by Teacher, and therefore my father was unceasingly demanding. Teacher told us that compassion comes from truly cultivating, and since my compassion was conditional, my nephew could not understand my difficulty. Because I avoided responsibility and used the excuse of maintaining a practice environment, my younger sister appeared to be cold to my father. Due to my strong sense of looking after my own self-interest, my mother became extraordinarily selfish, as well. Practitioners need to walk the path from being human to being divine, and any attachment will be used to create all sorts of enticements, difficulties and danger in this human world. It was not until now that I realized the seriousness of practicing Dafa. Any attachment can hinder practitioners, thus making it impossible to leave this human world.
During my earlier period of practice, because I had less fear, I took fame, self-interest and emotion lightly. I seemed to be diligent with less interference and handled things easily. However, I actually neglected the requirements for improving my xinxing and constantly looked outside for problems when facing tribulations.
It was only after I had been practicing for quite a long time that I experienced the true meaning of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" for the first time. I understood why I was always so passive and without compassion when doing things for saving people, why I was so cold and made excessive demands on people and fellow practitioners, and why I had such a feeling of crisis and yearned for the pleasurable things in human society. I was not able to get rid of my selfishness, which had been the basis of my former life. Even when I did things for Dafa, I still held on to the attachment of doing things and showing off, and did not understand that this was a responsibility granted to practitioners in this period of time by Dafa. I did not think about Teacher's expectation for sentient beings, and only now do I realize the huge difference between the new and the old Fa principles.
Teacher said in "Teaching the Fa in Canada, 2006":
"Haven't I said that when you look at things in the Three Realms, things are reversed? Many of the things that mankind considers bad are good. And many things that mankind considers good are bad. Isn't the conventional wisdom in the human world inverted? Human beings think it's a bad thing to experience hardships. But suffering hardships can reduce an ordinary person's karma and sins."
"They are able to view it correctly, and along with paying off their karma they are able to seize the opportunity and do a good job with the things they should do. Even though it's hard, those are tests that they must overcome. When you are able to think correctly on the matter, keep the difficulty in the right perspective, and make it through the right way, you will have overcome that test, your level will have been raised, your realm will have elevated, and your gong will have risen, right? Isn't this how the entire process of Fa-rectification cultivation works?"
When I re-read this paragraph of Teacher's Fa, it led me to think deeply. The things I neglected before were about handling those difficult situations and truly having righteous thoughts.
This is my current understanding at my limited level. Please point out anything inappropriate.