Purge Selfish, Degenerate Thoughts Through Studying the Fa
(Clearwisdom.net) For the longest time, I felt that although I appeared to be diligent with the three things that Teacher requires of us, I was trapped at the same cultivation level and unable to advance to a higher level. I knew there was something lacking with my cultivation, but I was unable to discover the cause.
One day, while I looked at Teacher's portrait, feeling guilty and frustrated, I suddenly heard Teacher's compassionate voice in my mind: "Remember that you are a Dafa practitioner." I was deeply touched by what I had heard.
I find lately many fellow practitioners sharing their thoughts that Dafa should not be used for personal interest and on eliminating the fundamental attachments. These articles offered me a lot of insight. After reading these articles, I realized that there had been a deeply hidden attachment in my mind: I have been studying the Fa for a selfish reason. In other words, I study the Fa for my selfish pursuits.
1. Studying the Fa to Keep Up Studying the Fa
Judging from the surface, I was very diligent in studying the Fa. The true reason was that I studied the Fa for selfish reasons. I did not want to be left behind. The end result was that I was trapped at the same cultivation level for a long time.
2. Studying the Fa to Meet the Quota
On the surface, I discipline myself to finish reading Zhuan Falun every four days. However, I think I misinterpreted what Teacher truly meant when he said, as long as we keep studying the Fa we are improving ourselves. Therefore, I set up a daily "study quota" for myself and strove to meet the quota everyday. I had an attachment to pursue "improvement" when I tried to finish reading Zhuan Falun every four days. It was another selfish reason to study the Fa. The end result was that I did not improve my xinxing (mind or heart nature, moral character) as I had expected and I often failed to guard my xinxing.
3. Studying With An Attachment to Elevate My Cultivation Level
It appeared on the surface that I knew that I must focus when studying the Fa because I made efforts to focus on the Fa and would start over again if I caught myself becoming absent-minded. The true reason was that I was eager to elevate my cultivation level so I did not want to miss any word in the Fa and, thus, miss an opportunity to attain a high cultivation level. It was another selfish reason to study the Fa. The end result was that the harder I tried to focus, the more easily I became absent-minded. Naturally I developed less and less new understanding of the Fa. For a very long time, I even started to doze off as soon as I sat down and studied the Fa. I often had to keep myself awake by reading the Fa out loud, and standing or walking while studying the Fa. I battled with the feeling of sleepiness during the Fa study for a very long time. You can imagine how little I progressed in my cultivation during that period of time.
4. Studying the Fa to Obtain Supernormal Abilities
On the surface I did not have any attachment to pursue supernormal abilities. I thought I understood the Fa that "cultivation depends on one's own efforts, while transforming gong is done by one's master." But in my heart I hoped to develop supernormal abilities. Sometimes when I came across a passage where Teacher mentioned a specific type of supernormal ability, I couldn't help wondering, "Why haven't I obtained this type of supernormal ability? When will I obtain it?" There was even a period time when I was particularly interested in discussing fellow practitioners' experience sharing articles that mentioned their supernormal abilities. Because I studied the Fa for a selfish purpose, I had unknowingly deviated from the Fa.
5. Studying the Fa to Develop New Understandings
On the surface, I know that Falun Dafa has very profound meanings at each level, that it is important to keep studying the Fa, and that only when I keep up Fa study will I continue to develop new understanding on the Fa. I disciplined myself to keep up the daily Fa study and focus while studying the Fa because I desired to develop new understandings on the Fa. Because I studied the Fa for selfish purposes, I often ended up developing no new understanding at all after I finished studying the nine lectures of Zhuan Falun.
6. Studying the Fa Because of Time Pressure
On the surface, I kept reminding myself to grasp the remaining time and to treasure the remaining little time to study the Fa due to the approaching Fa-rectification in the human realm. The truth is that I was afraid of being left behind. Because I studied the Fa for a selfish reason, I was often haunted with feelings of guilt, anxiety and inferiority. When I failed to meet my "quota", I felt my heart laden with pressure. When I failed to develop any new understanding on the Fa after I finished studying the nine lectures of Zhuan Falun each time, I would feel guilty. Or when I heard fellow practitioners exchanging cultivation notes, I would feel inferior to others in my cultivation. It was such an enormous selfish attachment that had hampered me on my cultivation path!
When I finally discovered all the aforementioned attachments associated with Fa study, I was totally shocked. I had been walking on thin ice for such a long time! I wished to cultivate Buddhahood in Falun Dafa but I didn't want to abandon my attachments to fame, wealth or sentiment. That was why I had been studying the Fa diligently (or actually greedily) while continuing to hold fast to fame, wealth and sentiment. I was attached to fame: I enjoyed my boss' praise and appreciation for my work. I felt very flattered. I was very pleased with my accomplishments and often thought of my contributions to work. I was attached to wealth: After I was promoted at work, I was very pleased with the increase in salary. I was attached to sentiment: I pursued family happiness; I was emotionally attached to my family; and I constantly pursued a comfortable life.
Due to these attachments, I often found it difficult to focus while studying the Fa. I continued to experience a lot of pain when doing the sitting meditation and I could even feel my xinxing dropping. This was all because I had been studying the Fa with selfish purposes. How could I have allowed these filthy substances to reside in me for so long? How could I have allowed these completely degenerated matters to manipulate me for so long?
It was Teacher's "Buddha's boundless grace" that saved me from these attachments. I must also thank my fellow practitioners' experience sharing articles on Clearwisdom.net.