Ridding Oneself of Human Notions Presents The Most Difficult Challenge
(Clearwisdom.net) I have cultivated in Falun Dafa for years and experienced so many trials and hardships. Yet when I look back I have to ask myself, "Have I completely let go of ordinary people's notions? Am I able to cultivate myself on the basis of the Fa at all times, and under all circumstances?"
Some people may think this standard is too high. Yet, this is the state we should be in when we are approaching consummation.
If one has given up all human mentalities, he is a god; otherwise, he remains human. Some people are very well aware of their attachments but do not want to give them up due to their emotions, ego or desire for comfort. When I have done something wrong, if I were to publicly admit my mistakes I would certainly feel uncomfortable and would try to find some excuses to hide them. Such thinking is due to emotions or vanity. When I noticed I had dark circles under my eyes from lack of sleep, I reduced the Dafa exercise time from two hours to one hour so that I could go to bed earlier. This is seeking comfort, and represents very strong human mentalities, desires and attachment to humanness. How can a genuine Fa-rectification Dafa disciple develop dark circles around her eyes from lack of sleep? Such a mentality also shows my lack of sufficient faith in Master and Dafa.
How do I confront these notions? I must study the Fa more often and strengthen my righteous thoughts! However difficult it may be, I will persevere!
I'm rather sensitive about my reputation, so I should expose this habit today! Although it is already 2:40 a.m., I will finish writing this experience-sharing piece instead of leaving it until tomorrow. I will no longer stubbornly hold onto my own notions. I will be free from all these bonds. I will let go of humanness! I am Master's disciple!
There is another scenario that prevents us from recognizing our own attachments in the course of cultivation. When we refuse to admit them, even when others point them. Sometimes when conflicts get rather serious, we still are not immediately aware why things are the way they are. The main reason is that we have failed to look within ourselves and to cultivate inward.
When we [in our group here] study the Fa, we focus on others and often say, "This Fa paragraph concerns so-and-so (fellow practitioners)." When Master mentions general problems we tend to think that we are better than others, and that the problems are not applicable to us. For example, when Master mentioned speculating on the stock market, the first three times I read this section of the Fa, I thought that I had never done this before, so, it had nothing to do with me. However, when I recently read this paragraph where Master said,
"...you watch the price fluctuations every day and your heart is practically dragged up and down along with the price. How could you cultivate then?" ("Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005")
This sentence was meant exactly for me. Isn't it true that various habits frequently drag my mind up and down? Have I reached the state where my mind is undisturbed?
Someone slandering Dafa presents the biggest hurdle for me when I hear it, my heart boils with anger. How can I possibly speak wisely, in a compassionate tone and with reason when I'm in such a state? When I let my thoughts be affected by emotion, the other person curses Dafa more vigorously. I am then not rescuing sentient beings at all, but pushing them downward!
Master said in "Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles," (February 25, 2006)
"What is it, then? When Dafa disciples make mistakes, they do not like to be criticized. No one can criticize them, and when someone does, it sets them off. When they are right, they don't like others bringing up things they could improve on; when they are wrong, they don't want to be criticized. They get upset as soon as others criticize. The problem is becoming pretty bad."
I had initially thought, "I know how to exercise self-control. I can endure it! Master did not mean me, it was meant for someone else." However, when I thought about it again, I realized that I was only able to superficially "endure." My mind was actually miles away, only I forced myself not to show others how I felt. This is by no means the kind of forbearance a cultivator ought to demonstrate.
It seems my problem is that I use human thought processes to perceive the Fa. For example, when we read a particular paragraph of the Fa, I would think, "Wow, Master speaks so well. This sentence is absolutely right." When I think carefully, I ask myself, "Why do we find that sentence so good, yet do not have the same feeling about other paragraphs? Why is it that when I read "Zhuan Falun" my mind easily wanders off?" This happens because I study the Fa governed by my own notions. I think about things with my life-long habits of considering everything, forged during lifetime after lifetime. These habits have prevented me from truly understanding the Fa on the basis of the Fa. I have been unable to abandon my long-held human notions and habits.
When I exchange thoughts with fellow practitioners I listen attentively to things I agree with and share the same feelings about. I feel they have gained such good realizations, and what they say makes a lot of sense. However, when fellow practitioners voice their opinions about things I do not agree with, or things I have not yet well understood, I would tune them out and start thinking about something else, or try to change the subject. My mind starts to habitually look for something I am interested in, yet this "something" does not belong to my true self. It is an acquired notion.
These thoughts emerge when we are reluctant to change our long-ago acquired habits and thought processes, when we consciously or unconsciously hide our attachments. This is the "black hole" we dare not or refuse to confront. If we cannot study the Fa with our purest nature, then how can we cultivate our xinxing and experience fundamental change? Lacking a pure and properly focused mindset is the root cause for being unable to understand the Fa from the basis of the Fa, and for the inability to become enlightened to the sacred profundity behind every single word of the Fa. It is also the mindset from which we sometimes even misinterpret the Fa.
In general, everyone harbors a sensitive and defending corner in the mind. As soon as it is touched, we might overtly or covertly boil with agitation. It is just as if we, " grope around inside the box created by their own ignorance." ("On Buddha Law" from Zhuan Falun)
Therefore, I suggest the following to all practitioners who are still in the middle of various tribulations or who fail to have complete faith in Master and Dafa due to various kinds of perplexity. Look within yourself according to the Fa, and find the human mentalities yet to be relinquished, then dig out the roots of those attachments. What is it that has prevented us from advancing? Are we doing the three things with our minds properly focused? The standards for us Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples are higher than those for conventional cultivators. It is difficult for us to ascend if we fail to do any of the three things well. Together, let us walk out of humanness, and no longer hinder the progress of Fa-rectification.