Letting Go of My Own Attachment and Changing Myself
(Clearwisdom.net) When I was young, I was very smart and a bit self centered. During my school days I studied very hard and always got very good grades, which won praise from both the teachers and other students. I had therefore nurtured a notion that I was always right. I did not even notice that I brought this notion into my cultivation. Only when something happened recently did I begin to examine myself.
The day before yesterday, a local practitioner was illegally arrested and sent to a brainwashing center. I went to inform other practitioners to send forth righteous thoughts. When I arrived at a practitioner's home, as soon as I had finished my words, she began to talk on and on without stop. What she said was right, but it sounded like she was giving me a lecture. At that moment, I had intense feelings of dislike towards her. I thought to myself that I came here to simply inform her and ask her to send forth righteous thoughts. Where did this [lecture] come from? At that time I remembered another event. In the summer of last year, I ran into this practitioner in passing. At that time I did not know her very well. However, when we met she started to chatter away endlessly. She warned me not to listen to those former practitioners who had enlightened along an evil path. I was unable to make heads nor tails of it and just wondered why she wanted to give me a lecture the moment we saw each other. Although I did not show it, I did not take it well. Upon returning home I told my daughter (also a practitioner) about it. She said that no matter what others had said, if I felt uneasy that meant it hit upon an attachment so I'd better look inside myself.
I realized my daughter was right. In less than six months, this practitioner had "given me a lecture" twice. Was it accidental? From the surface level it seemed that I did nothing wrong. However, as practitioners, we should not only look at the phenomena on the surface level. Teacher said in "Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Europe" in 1998:
"Whenever you encounter problems you should each look inward to search for the cause within, regardless of whether you're to blame or not. Remember my words: Regardless of whether the problem is your fault or not, you should look inside yourself, and you will find a problem. If the matter has absolutely nothing to do with you or doesn't involve any of the attachments you should break, then that thing would rarely happen to you. If you didn't have an attachment the problem wouldn't have come about. I have to be responsible for your cultivation. Any problem that happens to you, around you, or among you is most likely related to you, and there is something for you to get rid of. No matter whether it's your fault or not, when my Law Bodies are having you remove your attachment, they don't care whether it's your fault or another person's."
When I put these two things together and discarded the surface, I found an attachment which was concealed not too deep in my heart. I had been arrested twice in 2001 and 2002 respectively and was forced to renounce Falun Gong twice. However, after I was released I stepped into the Fa-rectification again. Some practitioners would cast a distrustful and unfriendly look at me when we met. Maybe they did not mean that, but I felt that way. However, every time I would feel very miserable and unsettled. I thought, "After the evil persecution started you guys dared not go to Beijing to speak fairly for Teacher and Dafa, but were in hiding at home. Of course the evil did not persecute you. Now you think you are wonderful. If you had gone to Beijing and the evil did not persecute you, then I would admire you and think that you were doing well in your cultivation." This thought lay buried in my mind for a very long period of time. I knew it was not right, but I just did not want to touch it, having humanly fostered the evil demons.
After walking through a long detour like that my heart was still not really calmed down enough to look inside myself as a cultivator for the causes. I had been taking the persecution as one against everyday people and was thinking that being persecuted for going to Beijing to validate the Fa was an inevitable result. On the other hand I took having gone to Beijing as a badge of honor, allowing me to show disdain for others. That was why whenever my hidden heart was challenged, I would feel angry. Then I would praise myself and deny the challenge by thinking "Am I not better than my challenger?"
Though I had tripped and fallen, instead of drawing a lesson from the bitter experience, I comforted myself using the excuse that cultivation during the Fa-rectification was unprecedented, so making mistakes is unavoidable. I also capitalized on my education, thinking that I was better in understanding the Fa than others, and in sharing with other practitioners it was always the case that other practitioners listened to me. I seldom listened to the sharings of other practitioners. I was the one who always gave others lectures, but did not allow others to "give me a lecture." Whenever there were differences in our understandings of the Fa, I would always insist others agree with my viewpoint. I liked to listen to compliments. When fellow practitioners told me that I had cultivated well I was pleased with myself. If I heard other practitioners were said to have cultivated well, I felt a little green with envy. Gradually I sank deeper and deeper into the quagmire of the attachment and could not extricate myself from the wrong notion. It was Teacher's mercy that prompted other practitioners to wake me up. I began to look at the dead corner that I had been unwilling to touch for a very long period of time.
Then where did this notion of always being right come from? Was it formed in my school days when I did well in my studies? Not exactly. I had always influenced others with my own opinion, only wanting to change others but not wanting to change myself, and I let others take me as the center. To put it bluntly, this served my own self-interest and my selfishness, which is the true nature of the old forces of the universe. However, as a practitioner I must change from "being selfish" to "thinking about other people" and upholding the principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance." However, wasn't my thought of only wanting to change others but not myself in line with the old forces?
Last, I would like to share a paragraph of Fa by our Teacher to study together with fellow practitioners.
"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. So be sure to remember this: Whenever you come across anything such as troubles, unpleasant things, or friction with others, you need to examine yourself and search within. You will find the cause of that insurmountable problem." ("Lecture at the First Conference in North America" in 1998)