Living Up To the Fa Principles in Solid Cultivation - This is True Cultivation
(Clearwisdom.net) After I studied Master's new lecture "Fa Teaching at the 2007 New York Fa Conference" I felt that saving sentient beings was important and critical. I had the profound realization that a truly-cultivating practitioner will do well, because a true practitioner and a person walking along the path toward godhood will succeed as long as the focus and their attention and effort are on doing the three things well and correctly. That is why I truly hope that all Dafa practitioners will always maintain righteous thoughts, try our best to do the "three things" well, and rescue sentient beings.
But my cultivation state recently has been anything but diligent. Something seemed to control me. When I studied the Fa more I could do well for a while, but when I got busy in my daily work I was unable to focus on Fa study and was unable to do well. Sometimes I was interfered with and needed to take time to adjust. This state has bothered me.
My mind pondered as I read fellow practitioners' experience sharing articles, especially those dealing with issues regarding the starting point for our cultivation and fundamental attachments, whether someone is validating Dafa or validating himself.
I have many attachments I need to eliminate, particularly the attachments to comfort and to lust. On May 13, 2007, I could no longer access the Minghui website (Chinese version of Clearwisdom.net). I decided to thoroughly look inward, to dig out all my human notions, expose my fundamental attachments and the attachment to lust and eliminate them. But this remained at the stage of merely looking inward. Having discovered certain attachments, I did not use my strong righteous thoughts to eliminate them. Therefore, they still exist in my dimension and still interfere with me.
Interference from Lust
I am a female practitioner in my early 30s. I still have not officially dated any male friends. People consider me pure and simple. Fellow practitioners also think I lack strong attachments in this area. I also think I do not have any cravings in this regard. When the real matter surfaced, I found that it was not what it appeared to be.
I got to know a male non-practitioner, whom I'll call Person A, via a pen pal. Person A wrote, "You have good writing skills." Moral standards these days are practically non-existent. Person A, a married man, devoid of moral ethics, even asked to have a sexual relationship with me. I firmly refused. I had met Person A with the intention of explaining the truth about Dafa to him. We never had sexual contact, but I never expected him to make that request. I was at a loss for a moment. I looked at myself and thought that after I got to know him, I would see his kind side. Nevertheless, the level of morality in people nowadays keeps plummeting, making them lose their basic reasoning. Although Person A did not pay enough attention to the information materials I gave him, I did not want to give up. But because of my existing attachments, I was interfered with by lust. It was very dangerous! I wanted to hear compliments and wanted to get love and attention from the opposite sex. Hence, I sometimes missed Person A and waited for his phone calls or wanted to meet him. I also knew that I should not have those thoughts and tried to fight them off, but I could not let it go. Why did I have those thoughts and want those things? What kind of notions caused this?
When I was at school I read novels and magazines that described emotional involvements between men and women. There were things I internalized that were damaging for me. But I never knew that those were detrimental messages and should be eliminated. In fact, watching TV and reading novels and magazines created my attachment to lust. When I was young, my mind was often occupied with the opposite sex, making my attachment to lust stronger. I also had sexual thought karma. That was a direct root cause of my present dilemma.
Pursuit of comfort and pursuit of happiness in the human world is a fundamental reason for my notions of sexual lust.
Then why do I want to pursue comfort and happiness in the human world? What mindset has driven this?
When we were young, my sister was a lovely girl and got good grades at school. Compared to her, I was quiet and boring. I often was referred to as a "foolish girl," giving me an inferiority complex. When my grades improved, it made my father very happy. He played with my sister and me. It seemed that was the first time I dared to laugh and talk loudly in front of my father. It was at this point as a young girl that I clearly felt my father's complete change in attitude toward me. Although I did not know what vanity was, I felt the satisfaction of my father recognizing and praising me when I got good grades. Now that I look back, wasn't that a process of forming a human notion?
Digging Out Fundamental Attachments
We form different human notions during our formative years. These notions strengthen attachments to the pursuit of comfort and the pursuit of happiness in the human world. Then what are my fundamental attachments?
When my mother obtained the Fa, she asked me to read Zhuan Falun, which I did. By all appearances I did not have an inflated ego. But as matter of fact, that was not really true. My notions were merely deeply hidden and seemed to emerge "naturally." It was hard to single them out. I looked back and thought, "When my mother asked me to read the book, although she did not force me to and did not clearly say so, I sensed that she really wanted me to read it. Why did I sense that? Because I wanted others to recognize and praise me. I could feel that my mother really hoped I would read it. So in order to get the satisfaction of making mother think 'You're a good girl that makes Mother happy' I read Zhuan Falun."
After the persecution started on July 20, 1999, I asked myself, "Why did my mother go to Beijing to appeal?" I read Zhuan Falun over and over again, searching for answers. I also used the human notion of "recognition" as a measurement. The craving for recognition controlled me. Then in 2000, I studied the Fa and read, "One should return to one's original, true self; this is the real purpose of being human." ("Lecture One" from Zhuan Falun) This Fa paragraph penetrated the depths of my being, and I felt a deep pain. I wanted to cry, but no tears came. It was a major shock. Failing to get rid of my notions I remained at the personal cultivation level but I realized that human beings should cultivate. This thought process represented a huge gap between personal cultivation and the requirements of "Fa-rectification cultivation."
All in all, due to interference from my attachment to lust, I found my fundamental attachment, which is the pursuit of "good things" in the human world, and it was based on what I considered good or right. This was rooted in the selfish characteristic of the old cosmos. While looking for fundamental attachments, I realized that the process of forming human notions was a process of having them instilled in and imposed on me. "Self" did not exist to begin with. Previously, when I thought about "What is selflessness and altruism, how should I be selfless and altruistic?" I felt at a loss. I felt there was no self-assurance. How could I exist without "self?" In fact, in the future, new "altruistic" cosmos, there will be selflessness without attachment to self. Selflessness and altruism is the ultimate principle because there should be "no self" to begin with!
True Cultivation Enables Us to Purge Human Notions
After I found my fundamental attachments, each time I encounter problems I think, "Where is the 'me' that cannot assimilate into Dafa? What is it exactly? Where is the 'me' that cannot do the three things well, cannot calmly study the Fa, cannot use righteous thoughts to eliminate the evil, and does not want to tell people the truth and rescue sentient beings?" I then feel that I am clear-headed, and I am able to think about things from the perspective of the Fa.
In digging out my fundamental attachments, however, and using certain methods to eliminate them, I still could not catch up with the advancement of Fa-rectification. Why is this attachment to self so deeply rooted?
After reading the article, "A Manifestation of Selfishness: Validating Oneself vs. Validating the Fa" on the Clearwisdom website (http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2007/6/14/86747.html), I started examining myself. I dug out my craving to lust and the interference of my fundamental attachments.
My attachment to lust gradually weakened, but recently I received a letter from Person A that tested me. I responded to him with a clear mind. I reasoned with him and thought that I expressed things well. Somehow I was looking forward to getting his response. Driven by this human notion, I was severely interfered with when sending forth righteous thoughts in a group. I even affected the practitioners around me. This time, when I looked inward, I realized that I was trying to validate myself when clarifying the facts to Person A. My own understanding is that I knew I could clarify the facts to Person A. Although he has a point of view that does not comply with basic human standards, I did not think I should give up on him. I thought that as long as I do well, I could make him understand. In my heart, I was still thinking, "How benevolent this is!" These thoughts did not seem to be wrong. But as a matter of fact, I was validating myself instead of validating Dafa. Dafa practitioners need to do the three things well. How do we do this and how do we do it well? As Dafa practitioners, we should follow Dafa principles and standards. Master taught us,
"Without 'nothing', it is a human feeling. If it is a human feeling, then it's not bei (compassion)." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference")
With human notions and attachments, how could we have the benevolent strength to validate Dafa and save sentient beings?
While we clarify the facts, we should comply with Dafa's requirements. We should do things with dignity, especially regarding the relationship between a man and a woman. No matter how "kind" you think you are in this regard, the moment you deviate from Dafa, your human notions and sentimentality can control you, and this is very dangerous! In fact, as a Dafa practitioner, we should all keep assimilating to Dafa and complying with Dafa. There is no "kind deed" that is beyond Dafa!
"You know, in cultivation the most prominent sign that a person still harbors human attachments is his doing things that are not to validate Dafa but instead to validate himself! That is playing a destructive role." ("Fa Teaching at the 2007 New York Fa Conference")
We should all be warned!
When I recognized this, I had already walked on the wrong path for a long time and lost many opportunities to save more sentient beings. It had also caused losses in my own cultivation. The wasted time could never be taken back. This was a huge lesson for me.
The "selfishness" characteristic of the old cosmos is indeed stubborn. We should eliminate it and attain the right enlightenment of selflessness and altruism. During the process of cultivation, there is no easy way to dig out the root of selfishness and eliminate it. But we can't wait until we eliminate our attachment to self, and then save sentient beings. In fact, these are all human notions. Cultivation is very serious. All human notions or thoughts need to be eliminated. Everything will be accomplished in Master's Fa-rectification. The reason why Dafa disciples can validate Dafa and save sentient beings is because everything comes from Dafa. We should follow Master's requirements and do well the three things and save sentient beings from the perspective of the Fa. Only when we are strict with ourselves, treat cultivation seriously, and follow the principles in our practice will we truly be cultivating.
I have two more thoughts. First, looking inward is a process of true cultivation. At the beginning, I felt this was very difficult. When encountering issues, not only did I have to face the interference, but I also had to look inward to find my own shortcomings. It made me feel as if someone was pointing a finger at me. It was so difficult to get through. But now I think it was very reasonable, because the problem resided within "me." Secondly, saving sentient beings is the most important thing now. In our cultivation, we must strictly follow what Dafa requires us to do--what we should or should not do has to be very clear. Only if we validate Dafa solidly and cultivate ourselves solidly will we be able to save more sentient beings more rapidly.
I know that I still have not done enough. I did not know the meaning of true cultivation for a long time. This is just my personal understanding that I would like to share with fellow practitioners.