Removing Deeply Rooted Human Notions
(Clearwisdom.net) I have read many fellow practitioners' sharing articles on the Clearwisdom website about getting rid of fundamental attachments. I am happy for those practitioners who have found their fundamental attachments in the maze, I am moved by practitioners removing their attachments through the agony of giving up, and even admire the innermost peace and relaxation after getting rid of the bondage of attachments. At the same time, I worry about my own fundamental attachments, which are still with me after such a long time. Teacher said, "To tell you the truth, the entire cultivation process for a practitioner is one of constantly giving up human attachments." (Zhuan Falun)
1. Removing the Human Notion of Curing Illnesses
I came to Dafa with a very strong notion of curing illnesses. I have been weak and sick since childhood, and had hepatitis B when I was nine years old. Since then, medicine accompanied me all the time, western medicine, Chinese herbs and injections could not cure me, and I was even hospitalized twice.
When I was little, I started to believe in Buddha, Tao, gods, qigong and cultivation, and felt that one day, somebody would come from the vast universe and rescue me from the abyss of misery. Then in 1997, when I was a freshman in the university, a relative introduced Falun Dafa to me. I really regretted that I learned about Dafa so late, and it was the path that I had been looking for all my life! Dafa's miracle quickly manifested in me, and I recovered quickly and no longer needed to take medicine.
In the first few years of learning Dafa, I did not cultivate solidly. I could not keep up with the Fa study, and my understanding of Dafa and cultivation was also mixed with many human notions. I childishly thought that I would pass the test of sickness karma as long as I did not take medicine when I felt discomfort, so I clenched my teeth with human persistence and passed tests of sickness karma several times, but my pursuit of curing illnesses was not removed.
After the persecution began on July 20, 1999, the old forces put Falun Dafa practitioners through a comprehensive and destructive test. Because my family believed the lies and worried that I would not seek medical treatment for my illnesses, they forced me to go to a hospital for a checkup. I was not clear-minded at that time. I remember that I had a nightmare one night before I went for a checkup. I dreamed that a big python with reddish black lines slithered into my room and turned into a ferocious looking human being with snake skin, and stood in front of my bed. One of its hands held a cup of poison, and the other hand clutched me and would not allow me to move. Thus, it forced a cup of poison into me. The result of my checkup was not good, and caused a negative impact among family members. They wanted to take me to a hospital for treatment, and I began to waver.
When I calmed down, I started to look into my problems. Due to my attachment of fame and self-interest, I concentrated on my studies and did not join group Fa study for over a year. When I encountered problems, I chose to escape. I did not want to face my attachment, and eventually the conflicts intensified. I was not firm enough in Dafa, and used human notions and ways to think about and solve problems, during the overwhelming persecution. It was just like Teacher said,
"A comprehensive test has targeted all human attachments. No matter what attachments you held when you came to Dafa, those attachments had to be tested. Some people thought that this or that aspect of Dafa was good, but today's test is relentless, as no human attachment can be taken to heaven." (Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference)
After calming down, I studied the Fa and shared with fellow practitioners for a period of time, and I finally became steadfast.
In the following years, I graduated, found a job, fell in love and married. I went to Beijing to appeal, established a truth-clarification material production site, and downloaded information from the internet. I was busy every day, and I had no time to think about sickness karma. Thus, the pursuit of curing illnesses also became weaker. Just a few times, I dreamed about that python again, but I was not so afraid, and nearly destroyed it every time. Once in the dream, I destroyed a group of its underlings (black snakes) with a supernatural capability. The python was also reduced to an eel, and later it snuck underground and hid. I regret that I forgot to find it with supernatural capability. Once it turned into a roach and hid between stones. I wanted to grab it with my hands, but I was afraid that it might bite me, and the fear made me forget completely to recite the Fa-rectification formulas.
Human notions of "being sick" often crossed my mind, although I tried my best to reject it, and sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate it. Sometimes I felt all right, and sometimes I felt bad. That notion always appeared to have room to survive and was difficult to remove. In addition, I was busy with both Fa-rectification work and my regular job, and I often felt tired. Sometimes, the illness karma even manifested enough, although it was not severe, to bring negative impact to people around me. My father also said, "You cultivate so diligently, why are you not feeling well?" I was also confused, I knew that I had the pursuit of curing illness, but was unable to find the root. In the latter lectures, Teacher repeatedly talked about the issue of illness karma, and I focused on solving my problem while studying the Fa. I felt I was not a person who studied the Fa and did three things for curing illnesses. Last year, when my workplace suddenly scheduled me for a health check, I thought, "What if the result was not good, what should I do, and how would I explain that to my colleagues? My father just began to practice, and what if he gave up because of this?" I could not calm down, but simply sent forth righteous thoughts with a strong notion of pursuit.
After the health check, normally the result should be available within a week, but the hospital delayed it for a month. I realized Teacher was giving me plenty of time to enlighten to it, but I did not look inward and only sent forth righteous thoughts towards the demons. When the result came, it was the same. I was depressed. After such a long period of cultivation, I still could not solve such a basic problem. I did not waver in my belief in Dafa, but I felt that I cultivated poorly.
I shared with fellow practitioners in time, and one practitioner advised me: study the Fa more, do the three things well, and do not think of other things. When talking about the impact of the checkup on my father, she said, "Actually everything is arranged by Teacher, if he is a predestined person, he won't be left behind. Let Teacher make all arrangements!" Instantly, I felt a warm current run through my body. Sure enough, my father did not ask about the result of my checkup and smoothly stepped into the cultivation. Later, I also gradually adjusted myself, intensified the Fa study, and tried my best not to think about the illnesses, but my situation was not consistent-- sometimes good and sometimes bad. The notion of being sick often came out, as if I always could not walk out of the confinement set up by the old forces, and the attachment of curing illnesses enlaced me like demons.
2. Getting Rid of Lust
After studying Teacher's "Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles," I was shocked again and woke up, especially when Teacher again talked about the seriousness of lust, Teacher said,
"[Sexual desire] is one of the factors [they use] to hold you back! What do the old forces and the old cosmos see as the gravest thing? Lust, [in the form of] sexual activity outside of marriage. That's what they see as the most serious of things." "You must not let the old forces' factors and the wicked beings take advantage of your gaps and persecute you to a point where eventually you can no longer cultivate. Then you will have lost your chance."
When I just read this section of Fa, I was glad that I did not commit any mistakes in this aspect, but I also felt I had problems. I read the sharing article of "Envision Lust, Get Rid of It" dated March 31 on the Clearwisdom website. It mentioned that due to hidden sexual desire, the practitioner was persecuted by the evil. I suddenly thought of Teacher's Fa,
"Once you upgrade your xinxing, your body will undergo a great change. Upon xinxing improvement, the matter in your body is guaranteed to transform. What kind of changes will take place? You will give up those bad things that you are attached to." (Zhuan Falun)
I could not pass the test of illness karma for so long, did it also have something to do with my lust? I recalled my years of growing up. Our generation grew up after the so called "reform and open policy," more or less affected by many twisted notions, in addition to the poison by the evil party from childhood, my understanding of kind and evil, good and bad, beautiful and ugly, right and wrong were all warped before I practiced Dafa.
"Once a notion is formed, it can govern a person's life, dominate his mind and even his happiness, anger, grief and joy."" The formed notion will obstruct and govern your life."" If karma was formed in a certain state or under conditions of certain moral standards in previous years, then it would measure things by such a criterion. If much of such a thing has been formed, the person will be controlled by it for his whole life." ("Buddha-Nature" from Zhuan Falun Volume II) (draft translation)
In regard to sexual desire, although I understood from the Fa that it was lust and attachment, but I did not deeply dig into myself and remove the warped notions. I actually considered these warped notions as pleasure, and got lost in it. As a result I let lust interfere seriously with me. I was affected by it daily, whenever my righteous thoughts were not strong. Teacher also mentioned that attachments some people had were not removed by cultivation, but by fear. That applied to me, when seeing some practitioners were taken away and persecuted by the old forces because they failed the test of sexual desire, I said to myself never to commit this kind of mistake, but my lust remained!
Before I thought it was good enough not to fail the test of lust in my behavior, but actually this is the lowest requirement. When I was in this society, I lagged behind. I even thought that I did not commit big errors. I loved to watch movies. That was an attachment. After watching movies, my mind was full of fame, self-interest, sentimentality and lust. On the streets, I could not help looking at attractive girls. When my colleagues were chatting about illicit affairs between men and women, I not only listened but also added a few words.
"There is a principle in our universe: Nobody will intervene if you want omething yourself. As long as it is what you want, nobody will intervene. My fashen will stop you and give you hints. If it finds out that you are always like that, it will no longer take care of you. How can one be forced to practice cultivation? You cannot be made or forced to practice cultivation. It is up to you to truly make progress. No one can do anything about it if you do not wish to upgrade yourself. You have been taught the principles and the Fa. Who can you blame if you still don't want to upgrade yourself? With regard to what you want, both Falun and my fashen will not intervene--this is for sure. Some people even went to other qigong masters' classes and after going home felt very uncomfortable. That is for sure. Why didn't my fashen protect you? What did you go there for? By going there to listen, didn't you want to seek something? If you did not listen with your ears, how could it get into your body?" (Zhuan Falun)
I also felt some things were not quite right, but I could not control myself, and did not realize that my sexual desire was playing tricks on me. Subconsciously I did not take these things seriously. I was controlled by bad thoughts and was not aware, therefore I could not extricate myself. Why is my sexual desire so strong, and so hard to get rid of? I realized my sentiments were too strong. It is because I have been sick since childhood, and I could not run around like other boys. I often stayed at home alone after being sick, and I became an introvert with an inferiority complex and craved attention from others. I was very precocious and sensitive to feelings between men and women, and I frequently indulged in my own fantasy. These kinds of things accumulated unconsciously more and more in my mind, and produced lots of thought karma. After I joined the Dafa practice, I only restrained some bad behaviors superficially. Because I did not keep up with the Fa study, I did not realize the root cause was from sentiments and strong thought karma. I failed to realize that I did not have strong righteous thoughts, and did not dig out the roots of my attachments and remove them. I used ways of ordinary people just to escape but not to confront my own attachments. For example, I forced myself not to have a girlfriend, and later I enlightened, after I dreamed of the snake. Didn't Teacher use words that sound the same to remind me of the issue of lust? (In Chinese, "lust" and "snake" have a similar sound)
On March 8, this year, the inhumane Sujiatun Concentration Camp was exposed. I read it at night, and I was full of indignation and became more fearful. I could feel that I (not the real me) was crushed by the fear inside, and I was absent-minded at work for several days. Later I realized what was crushed was human notions and logic. Teacher said,
"It is extremely dangerous to add anything human to cultivation practice." ("Digging Out the Roots" from Essentials for Further Advancement)
Wasn't I like that? I looked at cultivation through human notions: I looked at sickness karma, attachments, and the persecution through human notions. It is impossible to walk to the end with persistence and endurance of humankind alone. There will be a time that a human being can no longer endure, and that's why I felt that I was crushed by the horrific atrocities.
Teacher cautioned us long ago:
"It has been four years since I began teaching Dafa. Some students' xinxing and level of realm have improved slowly; they remain at the perceptual stage in their understanding of me and Dafa, always being grateful towards me for the changes in their bodies and for the manifestation of supernormal abilities--that is an ordinary human mindset. If you do not want to change your human state and rationally rise to a true understanding of Dafa, you will miss the opportunity. If you do not change the human logic that you, as an ordinary human, have formed deep in your bones over thousands of years, you will be unable to break away from this superficial human shell and reach Consummation. You cannot always count on me to eliminate karma for you while you fail to truly progress in comprehending the Fa and rise above human understandings and notions. Your ways of thinking, your understanding, and your appreciation towards me and Dafa are the product of ordinary human thinking. But what I'm teaching you is in fact moving beyond ordinary humans to a rational, true understanding of Dafa!" ("Cautionary Advice" from Essentials For Further Advancement)
Aren't human beings selfish? Don't human beings simply want to seek pleasure and comfort? Isn't lust what ordinary people think of often after the deterioration of their morality? Will a god have an attachment of illness? Will a god be afraid in front of the evil? For a long time, I have not gotten rid of my human things, and look at and consider problems through human notions. I often felt that the Fa could not enter into my heart when I studied it. Wasn't I blocked by human notions? When I shared with practitioners before, I often said that they had strong human notions, and in fact wasn't my improvement blocked by human notions? From the human heart, all sorts of attachments also derived, and I used human notions to deal with these attachments. I tried to remove the attachments with human notions, and made a mess for myself. After I jumped out of the self-made entrapment, I found that everything was suddenly quite clear.