Digging Out the Root of Selfishness
(Clearwisdom.net) I am a veteran Falun Dafa practitioner who started practicing in 1996. Fellow practitioners' experience sharing articles have often moved me to tears. I have wanted to write an article about own experiences for some time, but I just could not pick up a pen until now. Why? I felt that I have not cultivated well.
If I clearly recognized my shortfalls, but I still would not write them down, how could I reject and negate them? Thus, I decided to write down the thoughts that I had not shared with other practitioners, and I hope fellow practitioners will kindly point out any mistakes.
After July 20, 1999, my workplace forced us to hand in our Falun Dafa books. Those who refused to do so were reported to the local police station, and the police then searched their homes. Out of fear, I handed in a few books. Since then, this incident had been a wound in my heart. Back then I knew I had committed a sin against Falun Dafa and was no longer worthy to be a Falun Dafa practitioner. However, I resolved to make up for my losses and cultivate well from then on.
After Teacher clearly specified the three things Dafa disciples must do during the Fa-rectification, I have been doing them. But did I really do well in studying the Fa, sending forth righteous thoughts, and clarifying the truth? There was a period of time when I repeatedly read Zhuan Falun as if it were an assignment. I counted how many times I had read the entire book and how much time I read it each day. Yet, my mind often wandered when studying the Fa. Each time I read through the book, I did not experience any improvement, although I thought I should have. I was in this state for a long time until I finally realized what the attachment was. There was still very strong selfishness in my mind. "I" wanted to improve, and "I" wanted to change through the means of an external form. To put it simply, I had ignored Teacher's words, "pursue nothing and gain naturally."
I used to send forth righteous thoughts with a strong feeling of resentment and hatred toward those people who persecuted Dafa practitioners. In the article "Dafa Disciples' Righteous Thoughts are Powerful," Teacher said, "Eliminating evil is thus doing Fa-rectification, and is also saving the world's people and sentient beings." In fact, the police who are being controlled by the evil factors, dark minions and rotten ghosts are truly the victims. The majority of the police and government officials who committed sins against Falun Dafa did so out of fear or were deceived. So, if they lose their futures because of their mistakes, they tragically will be the true victims of Jiang's regime. Thus, we should put forth our best efforts to clarify the truth to them with compassion and try to save them. Teacher has said that all humans in this world are here for the Fa. In "Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference," Teacher said,
"You have to allow him to make mistakes and give him the opportunity to correct his actions--that is what's magnificent about our Fa."
When I first started clarifying the truth to people, I believed that it was to establish my own mighty virtue. I felt happy when others were receptive and felt uncomfortable when they were not receptive. In the article "Let Go of Human Attachments and Save the World's People," Teacher said,
"For a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple, personal liberation is not the goal of cultivation: when you came, saving sentient beings was your great aspiration, and that is the responsibility and mission history has bestowed upon you in Fa-rectification."
I sometimes clarified the truth to people informally, just chatting with them. The results were generally good, and I did not have any notion of self. But soon I was rehearsing what I would say ahead of time, not relying on wisdom in the actual moment. My efforts became clarifying the truth for the sake of clarifying the truth, and people were not very receptive. This was caused by severe selfishness, wanting to establish mighty virtue through clarifying the truth. The purpose was to validate myself instead of wanting to save the world's people.
Looking back at my path of cultivation, one of the most fundamental attachments has been selfishness, a strong sense of self. It is a notion that has been ingrained in my heart; it is also the basic characteristic of the old universe. Without breaking through it, how can I enter the new universe and the new era?