(Clearwisdom.net) Teacher said,
"If you, as a cultivator, only part with things superficially while deep down inside you still stick to something or cling to your own vital interests that you don't allow to be undermined, I'd say to you that your cultivation is fake! If your own thinking doesn't change, you cannot advance even one step and are deceiving yourself. Only when you truly improve from within can you make real progress." ("Lecture at the First Conference in North America")
Recently, I discovered a big shortcoming I have had ever since I started practicing Falun Dafa, which has persisted until now. With a lot of issues, I always acted according to my likes and dislikes. Shortly afterward, I noticed I have been avoiding a very essential issue that I felt vulnerable about. When making decisions, I failed to use the standards of a Falun Dafa practitioner, and I did not put Dafa's interest above anything else. Therefore, I had unconsciously set restrictions and limitations for myself.
The manifestations were:1. I had an opinion that it was more effective for me to study the Fa by myself. As for group study: the more people, the more talking, and the more entanglements I had in my mind. Therefore, I seldom went group study. For Fa-rectification work, I believed that there were tasks I needed to do at each stage. I decided that I would only do things that I thought were right to do, and I failed to perfect what fellow practitioners were doing and take into consideration the needs of one body.
2. When sharing with fellow practitioners, I would stubbornly persist in my own opinions and always try to use Fa principles to persuade other practitioners. Later, I found that I had never thought about other practitioners. I tried to listen to them and tried to cooperate with their thoughts or plans. However, during many sharings, although I was very tactful, I just could not stop myself from pouring out my ideas, persisting in my own opinions. Always, others would follow with words more profound.
3. I clarified the truth to people I just met or total strangers, but I neglected acquaintances within my reach.
4. I only paid attention to sending forth righteous thoughts when problems emerged. I treated sending forth righteous thoughts as a tool to clear up obstacles in my way, and I failed to really understand and shoulder the mission bestowed upon Fa-rectification Dafa practitioners.
5. I would measure other people by what I had enlightened to during Fa study and demand that other people rise to a higher standard. However, I had never measured myself this way or set a higher standard for myself.
6. When browsing Falun Dafa websites, I only looked for articles that I was interested in reading. I later noticed that articles fellow practitioners were recommending from time to time were all ones that I had not read.
7. In everyday life, I would purchase things that suited me, both in color and style. When cooking, I would cook only dishes that suited my taste.
All in all, during the years after I started practicing Falun Dafa, there was a part of me that was in sync with the Fa, helping in Fa-rectification, making improvements and doing better and better and the better, while there was another part of me that I dared not touch. The reasons behind this dichotomy were fundamental attachments that I could not let go of. There was another part of me that had become numb. Some of my conduct and ways of thinking, which had become habitual, simply did not meet the requirements of the Fa. I was lost in the habits and could not detect them for a long time. When others' words or events challenged my real nature, I would always go around the test, and I lost opportunities given by our Teacher, again and again.
I found that some other practitioners had this same problem. They all wanted to express their viewpoints during many circumstances, but they could not unconditionally assimilate to the principles of the cosmos, Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance.
Some practitioners only took part in Fa-spreading activities and formed a fixed way of doing, but never offered to help with the preparation of these activities or all the coordination. They only thought of themselves, not wanting to miss out on a suitable activity, but never think about the negative consequences of waiting for others to do all the preparation and organizing.
Some practitioners always and diligently do many kinds of Dafa work. However, when urgent Dafa work arises and needs to be done quickly, I know of a practitioner who still acts according to his daily schedule. He will eat and go to bed at the proper times and keep himself busy with work he thinks is important. He can only do Dafa work in the remaining time. He does not put Dafa work before anything else, but tries his best to do it, even if he misses sleep or has to skip meals. Although it appears that he has been doing Dafa work all the time, he actually is doing the Dafa work according to his habitual daily schedule, which he is unwilling to give up. He is trying to validate the Fa while he shackles himself.
Some practitioners are anxious. One day they are very optimistic and all smiles, but the next day they become reticent. Some practitioners' states of mind change when something is not to their satisfaction, and their hearts become affected. They think they are born that way and that it is natural. They do not realize they are steeped in human sentiments, and the mental fluctuations are caused by their human hearts, which they cannot let go of. Actually, they should keep minds of kindness no matter what happens.
There are many cases like this. Sometimes, when we meet a problem, we measure the problem with our acquired notions: I should do this job this way or that job that way. I am willing to use this method, or I oppose that one. All these are boundaries I had set up that limit me. This is selective cultivation. Teacher said,
"How could someone who's to be saved choose how he's saved? It's like he falls into water and someone tries to save him, but he says: 'You can not save me directly with your hands. You have to save me with a boat that I like.' How could that be?" ("Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A.")
Teacher has given us everything. We should not cling to our own human behavior and human way of thinking, staying within the boundaries we set for ourselves. Instead, we must let go of our personal habits, goals and benefits. We must break through everything and eliminate all obstacles. If you can stand on a higher foundation, you will find a place of unique beauty.