Teacher Gives Hints for Me to Let Go of My Notions
I was distressed for a long time because of conflicts with fellow practitioners. I just could not disentangle myself and was upset and indignant about the situation, "I treat you so well! Why are you treating me like this?" I was controlled by the thoughts that haunted me, and the more I thought about it, the angrier I became. I was filled with every kind of notion and unable to discard them. Instead, I unceasingly strengthened the negative thoughts.
When I shared with other practitioners, I voiced my dissatisfaction with the situation. I understood that my constantly harping about the matter and holding onto these thoughts was harmful to my cultivation state and wondered how I could change my attitude. Fellow practitioners reminded me to look within, but my heart was filled with resentment and I lacked the ability to look within. I always found others' faults, and compassion as well as kind thoughts were completely suppressed. I could no longer concentrate when studying the Fa, practicing the exercises, and sending forth righteous thoughts. I knew that my thoughts were becoming worse, which fostered my anger.
To avoid further conflict, I thought about my mistakes in private, studied the Fa more diligently, and practiced the exercises more often. But I still felt the unjustness of the situation when I looked inwards. I became angry every time I observed my fellow practitioners. I repeatedly changed, but just could not resolve the problem. I was sad that I was unable to truly look within, was full of resentment, and blamed the environment for my inability to put an end to this situation. It was like falling in a dung pit, and I thought, "Why are we faced with these resentful relationships in our area, generation after generation? Why are we lacking diligent practitioners who are able to cooperate well?" Alas, I used worldly thinking and notions when faced with tests.
Although I continuously sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate my feelings of resentment, I did not find my deep seated attachment. This condition swung from right to left and from goodness to badness. I was in limbo. This resulted in other problems. My health and mental condition deteriorated. I was troubled with personal problems. I resented reading on the Minghui website [the Chinese version of Clearwisdom.net] about practitioners who were diligent and resolved their problems. I just could not snap out of feeling resentment and felt inferior. I struggled in the stronghold of notions, and my condition was getting worse. When I watched Teacher's "Fa-Teaching Given to the Australian Practitioners," I noticed Teacher's facial expression, realized his expectations for practitioners, and burst into tears. I felt that I was no good and did not qualify as a practitioner. I watched that DVD four times, and I studied Teacher's lectures. I promised Teacher in my mind that I had to find all of my attachments and get rid of them.
One day when I was troubled by my inferiority complex, I realized that I harbored the attachment of validating myself. Why had it taken so long to discover this hidden notion? Why was it so ingrained in me? Why did I want to validate myself? Why did I always feel I was better than others? I searched deep within and looked at all my notions. All my innermost feelings welled up, one after the other. That night, when I closed my eyes, and was in a half sleep, I saw in front of my chest a Monkey Sun-type figure holding a tray of hearts. One attachment after the other was taken from my chest, including the attachments to competitiveness, resentment, zealousness, showing off, jealousy, validating myself, pursuit of comfortableness, inferiority, anxiousness, and so on, a total of 29 debased notions. I could even smell the corruptness of all these notions.
I awakened and was no longer sleepy. Now I understood why I could not pass any test set by Teacher and why I was unable to look within. How could I, with so many corrupt notions, have any kind thoughts? Teacher hinted through this dream that these notions are dirty, dangerous, and that I had to discard them quickly.
I have been immersed in Teacher's immeasurable mercy for a very long time. I felt great gratitude and at the same time, deep shame. I immediately sent forth righteous thoughts to completely cleanse myself of the dirty notions. I was in as state of tranquility and peace, which had escaped me for a long time. I broke out into grateful tears. I will always remember and keep before my eyes that tray filled with my depraved notions, so I will never forget this hard-earned lesson.
My notions had become like granite and were not going to let me escape. But Teacher, recognizing my determination to discard these attachments, helped me remove this big mountain. Teacher is instrumental in our ability to let go of notions and attachments, because Teacher only looks at our hearts.
Also, reading Fellow practitioners' articles on the Minghui website was very helpful. The following section of an article from another practitioner was quite helpful:
"It appears that many issues come up during the Fa rectification activities and I believe that Teacher uses these opportunities to resolve our gratitude or resentments among one another, and they are opportunities for us to elevate our morality at the same time.
"Most practitioners do not seem to be aware of this. They, at times, become attached to other practitioners' words and deeds, which 'might damage the Fa,' or those who 'do not behave like practitioners' and those who 'do not cultivate themselves.' They brood on these issues and get more and more upset. They seem unaware that this is not a proper state for a cultivator to be in. We first need to be very clear that no being in this universe has the power to damage this Fa. Whoever tries to do this will face the largest of tribulations. If some practitioners do not do well, we should worry about them, but how can we be upset with them?
"Because it is karma elimination, it certainly will irritate us psychologically, and we will feel upset and uncomfortable. This is like the situation during meditation in which, if your legs do not hurt, your karma will not be eliminated. When a fellow practitioner comes to 'obtain repayment,' it usually happens when you feel you have already compensated that person. The other practitioner will seem quite irrational, arrogant, imperious, and stubborn, while you will feel upset, treated unfairly, or even insulted.
"We at times are unable to treat this problem from the standpoint of the Fa. Often our minds reflect his 'mistakes,' over the years, of which we have accumulated large amounts of these feelings of gratitude and resentment. Then, during Fa rectification activities, we sometimes dislike each other and don't see eye to eye." (please see http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2008/1/1/92823.html)
"Although I recognized some attachments, I continued to look for superficial reasons, based on worldly principles. As a matter of fact, there are two roads on the way to godhood. We are on the right path towards godhood when we study the Fa diligently, practice the exercises, and look within when we are faced with difficulties. The other way is when we are not diligent in studying the Fa, take a detour, slow down or leave the cultivation path. The window of opportunity for raising our cultivation levels is missed or the problem is exaggerated." (please see http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2007/12/30/92641.html)
The above describes my condition as I struggled on my cultivation path. This lasted for nearly two years. I am really upset with myself for having such poor enlightenment quality, so that I encountered such a tortuous path, that I missed so much time for saving people, and that I complained to others instead of discovering my attachments. I deeply regret this loss of time! I will never forget this lesson.
Now I am able to look within again and often immerse myself in the joy of looking within. I now look at practitioners' with a forgiving and tolerant attitude. I now look for my shortcomings, no longer hate other practitioners, no longer complain about the cultivation environment, no longer get attached to other practitioners' attachments, grasp time to save people, do the three things well, and solidly and diligently improve myself. I realized that in the process of improving ourselves, there will be attachments on every level. The difference is in the path we take. Do we regard ourselves as a god or not as a god and do we deal accordingly with the situation? It is most important to remember how we walk on this cultivation path and how we improve our every thought.