Purifying My Heart of Cultivation
I am a veteran practitioner. I began to practice Falun Gong in 1996. Looking back, I realize that I repeatedly fell down and picked myself up during my almost 10 years of cultivation. I remember that I was just a little girl before I began to cultivate. When I was not busy, I would ponder, "What am I living for? What's the purpose of living?" But I could not find the answer, and I felt nothing. I also wondered, "What's the standard of my behavior? How should I live?" Those questions always troubled me.
By sheer accident, I saw some Falun Dafa publications. At that time, I did not believe that cultivation could change a person's spirit. Later, because one of my relatives began to practice Falun Gong, I got hold of the book Zhuan Falun. After reading the book, I realized that the standard for a human being should be "Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance." I naively thought that only by following this way could one be noble, joyful, and not become an immoral person. But at the time, because I was influenced by the Chinese Communist Party, I could not accept the existence of Buddhas, Taos and Gods that the book talked about. Therefore, I did not begin my cultivation path.
One summer something happened that made me cultivate based on ordinary human notions. My family was not getting along with one neighbor. This woman cursed at my entire family and me, using very vicious and degrading words. I remembered that time that I lay on my bed feeling peaceful, holding Zhuan Falun in my hands. I wondered how I should behave. I really agreed with the principle of "Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance." I wanted to improve and become a perfect human being, "If what Teacher said is true, then this is the best. If it is not true, I can change my personality." Holding on to such a large attachment, I began cultivating Falun Gong.
Thinking back, I began to practice Falun Gong not because I wanted to cultivate but because I wanted to improve and become a better person. I did not want to go the way of degeneration as others did. Despite this, I continued to be suspicious of Teacher's Fa. This attitude made me often go wrong during the beginning of my cultivation.
At that time I was at the age when most people get married. Due to my fundamental attachment, I was full of dreams and expectations, with my thoughts only on ordinary people's lives. My degenerate thinking made me think that life would not be very interesting with a Falun Gong practitioner as a husband, so I wanted to find an ordinary person as husband.
Introduced by others, I fell in love with my present husband immediately. All kinds of sentimental attachments surrounded me like a big net. I experienced sadness, happiness, jealousy, and disappointments, because my main consciousness was not strong, I did what a Falun Gong practitioner should not do. I lived without a marriage license the life of a married person for almost two years, until we got married. At that time I felt pain inside me and was not quite certain that what I was doing was right. I rationalized to excuse myself, "I would never marry anyone other than him anyway." This kind of thinking led me to repeatedly make concessions when he was against my cultivating. I thought that if I did not marry him it would be my greatest mistake. This is a stain on my cultivation. I regret it deeply every time I think about it.
I can see now that, from the beginning, I had not eliminated the "attachment of pursuit." I knew that Falun Dafa was good and that practicing such a wonderful practice was definitely beneficial for me. From the very beginning I wanted to be a noble person, but later I wanted to cure my illnesses. Pursuit was not eliminated. I have some small illnesses. Because they did not affect my life very much, I did not pay any attention to them. After I practiced Falun Gong for a while, I developed again the attachment to curing illnesses. I was always concerned about it. It became a rather strong attachment and I still carry this baggage with me.
What caused my present cultivation state? I used ordinary people's rules to judge Dafa. Among ordinary people, whatever I did I would measure by the advantage I would gain, and I would only do what was advantageous to me. Some of the advantages were visible, while some were invisible and I was not aware of them. Even today when I do the Falun Gong exercises, I sometimes think about the physical benefits of the exercises and that my body will look even better if I do them. This attachment of pursuit is still in my subconscious. I remembered again when I wrote this article. But cultivation is beyond ordinary people: how can this shameful pursuit be brought into Dafa? And it was with me for such a long time.
I often repeat a particular paragraph from one of Teacher's lectures to encourage myself and would like to share it. I would also like to ask practitioners who are similar to me, who still have the attachment of pursuit, to eliminate the pursuit and to cultivate with a pure heart.
"Many people come to our cultivation site with the attachment of pursuit. Some people want to attain supernormal abilities; some want to listen to some theories; some want diseases cured; some also intend to procure Falun. There are all kinds of mentalities. Still, others say: 'Someone in my family isn't here to attend the lecture. I'll pay some tuition, and please give him a Falun.' It has taken us many generations, an extremely long period of time, and a frightening number of years to form this Falun. How could you buy a Falun with a few dozen yuan? Why can we give it to all of you unconditionally? It is because you want to be practitioners. No sum of money can buy this heart. Only when your Buddha-nature emerges can we do it this way." (Zhuan Falun)