Look Inside to Remove our Attachments
(Clearwisdom.net) Before establishing a family-based truth-clarification materials center, I mainly focused on distributing Dafa materials and clarifying the truth to people face to face. I like things to be orderly and clean. Therefore, every time before distributing materials, I would check them for typos, whether any pages were missing and whether the booklets were well stapled. I did find many issues in the beginning.
One time I received many fliers. The first three copies on the top looked fine. However, the rest of the more than one hundred copies contained three lines of unreadable characters. In addition, there were ink stains on all of them. They looked so unsightly to me that I had to use a razor to remove the ink stains first and then retyped those unclear lines by hand. I started at 10:00 p.m. and worked until 2:00 a.m. Yet, I only corrected a small number of those copies. I couldn't help but complain inside, "Those practitioners at the materials center should put more heart into what they are doing. How could they send out materials of such bad quality?" I blamed fellow practitioners at the center and thought I was being responsible for the Fa. I totally forgot that cultivation means to look inside and I should search inwardly whenever there are problems. Of course, my xinxing level didn't improve.
Soon after that, I received another batch of booklets. I immediately found some of them had pages stapled incorrectly. I looked at all those two hundred booklets and found that several copies were either missing some pages or had some pages incorrectly stapled. I got upset, "How much time was wasted! How can they be so irresponsible! This is a serious job of saving sentient beings. How can they allow this to happen!" I went to talk to the coordinator and asked him to pass my feedback to the materials center. He disagreed and said the fellow practitioners at the center had already sacrificed a lot. I thought, "OK. I'll provide them with some feedback if you are not willing to do so. I'm being responsible for the Fa."
One year later, some fellow practitioners suggested setting up a materials center at my home. I gladly agreed since we have a computer at home and the reason that we bought it a few years ago was to use it for Dafa projects. However, I waited for a long time hoping to first become an expert on the computer. In fact, I was afraid that going online was not safe. I overcame my attachment of fear and soon got an Internet connection. Fellow practitioners brought me a printer and I started to learn how to go online to download materials and make truth-clarification fliers and booklets.
Things went smoothly in the beginning. However, the printer didn't work well recently. It either couldn't print anything out or the printing result was unacceptable. I panicked since I had high expectations for myself. I sent forth righteous thoughts, but it didn't help. I sent in the printer for repair and maintenance. However, it would work for a while and then not work again. I sent forth righteous thoughts again. Still it didn't help. Then I sent in the printer for repair again. I was busy running between home and the print shop while fellow practitioners complained that they expected more materials from me. When I yet again sent in the printer for repair, the boss of the printer shop said, "I'm now afraid of seeing you send in your printer again for repair since your printer is such a big headache for us."
I wanted to have a good cry when I got home. However, I only cried a little before I suddenly remembered what Teacher said,
"...when someone wants to cultivate, it's no walk in the park. I've said that it's a serious thing, and on top of that, it's higher than ordinary people, and it's tougher to do than anything ordinary people do." (Zhuan Falun)
I realized that cultivation is difficult and I didn't have time to cry since sentient beings were waiting for me to save them. I needed to get rid of my attachments. Teacher said that Dafa disciples' righteous thoughts were effective. How come my sending forth righteous thoughts didn't seem to help? I calmed down and decided to do nothing that day but look inside and study the Fa. In the next two days, I dug out many attachments.
1. A strong attachment of doing the job. When I started, I decided that I would provide fellow practitioners with sufficient and high-quality materials. We had about thirty practitioners in our area and it wasn't easy to achieve my goals. I didn't pay enough attention to studying the Fa. Eventually, I took cultivation as a job and started to take making materials as an everyday person's job.
2. A strong attachment to competition. I always thought the materials that I received before had low quality and decided that I would do a better job to make the materials look neat. However, this wasn't out of a compassionate heart to try to save more sentient beings, but to try to get praised and beat other practitioners. When fellow practitioners asked, "The materials that you brought look great. Who did it?" I didn't say anything, yet I felt proud of myself and it was an attachment of elation.
3. I had an attachment of pursuit. When I met difficulties and sending forth righteous thoughts didn't seem to help, instead of looking inside to deny the old forces' arrangements and cultivating myself, I simply asked Teacher for help and wished Teacher would take care of everything for me.
4. I had a deeply buried attachment of validating myself. One of my fellow practitioners obtained a copy machine. However, none of the practitioners dared to keep it at home. Eventually, that copy machine failed to work. Meanwhile, I myself dared to go online and download materials and print them out. Therefore when they came to my home to pick up materials, I felt they were not as good as I was as a Dafa practitioner. My attachment of elation controlled me and I couldn't help showing off to myself, "Look how great I am! I'm so capable! Nobody is better than I am. I have great mighty virtue!" Validating the Fa is a sacred and great thing. Yet I took it as a way to show off myself. To some degree, I was following the path arranged by the old forces. I was able to occasionally realize that it was a bad notion and an arrangement by the old forces. However, still I strengthened and raised the degenerated elements because I didn't look inside when studying the Fa.
5. I came to realize that those fellow practitioners making truth-clarification materials did sacrifice a lot when I started to do their job. I used to simply wait and depend on them while not accommodating them, and I even picked on them and complained against them. I brought so much pressure on them. Criticizing fellow practitioners is not wrong, however I did so because of my attachment of trying to be neat instead of out of a heart of saving sentient beings.
6. I didn't regularly practice Dafa exercises because of the attachment of pursuing comfort and being lazy. I even used what Teacher said as excuses for my not being diligent.
7. I have a hot temper. Actually, a hot temper resulted from the bad side of my nature. I got mad at my child very often. My child is a Dafa practitioner also. Whenever we read the following paragraph when we studied the Fa, he would say, "Teacher is talking to you." Here is that paragraph from Zhuan Falun,
"If you have a bad temper then just change it. Practitioners have to endure. Some people blow up even when they're disciplining their kids, they'll yell and make a big scene. You don't have to be like that when you're disciplining your kids. You shouldn't really get angry. You should teach your kids with reason and good sense, and that's the only way you can really teach them well."
Finally I came to realize that the root cause of my shortcomings was that I didn't study the Fa enough and therefore I forgot my responsibilities as a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple. After I dug out my above attachments and decided to eliminate them, the printer started to work and it has been working very well since. When I saw copies and copies of clean and neat materials get printed out, I no longer had the thought that I did it but thanked Teacher since I knew Teacher is doing everything.
I couldn't help my tears when I wrote this. Teacher, I fell far behind my fellow practitioners. However, I've decided to eliminate all my attachments and catch up with you.
Let's encourage each other with what Teacher said in his article "Further Understanding,"
"Do you realize that as long as you're a cultivator, in any environment or under any circumstances, I will use any troubles or unpleasant things you come across--even if they involve work for Dafa, or no matter how good or sacred you think they are--to eliminate your attachments and expose your demon-nature so that it can be eliminated, for your improvement is what's most important." (Essentials for Further Advancement)
The above were my personal understandings. Please correct me if I said anything inappropriate.
November 25, 2005