The Attachment to Comfort Can Destroy a Cultivator
(Clearwisdom.net) I remember that before July 20, 1999 we went to Fa-study every day. We were very diligent and did the exercises outside every day after 3:00 a.m., in winter and summer, but I started slacking off after losing this environment. I later stopped doing the exercises all together due to the attachment to comfort. Not doing the exercises meant that I didn't need to get up early, especially when it's frigid outside and so warm in bed. Just like that I departed from the Fa and was destroyed by the attachment to comfort.
Master never gave up on me however, and pulled me up again through a fellow practitioner. From when I departed till the time I returned, I had wasted more than one year of this precious time. During the first few years of my return, I was very diligent. I did the exercises in the early morning, studied the Fa during the day and distributed truth-clarification materials at night by myself. I had arranged my tasks efficiently and my whole body felt energized. When I walked, it was like treading on air.
However, in the last two years, I have not been as diligent as before. I slacked off on doing the exercises and felt that my body was getting heavier. I know it was because I did very little in terms of the three things. I just couldn't bring up my energy level. I know that I should get up early to do the exercises, but I just couldn't do it. I was also very disturbed by my indifference towards things around me. What should I do? Isn't this wasting precious time? I was studying the Fa, but just wasn't diligent. It wasn't until after I read an article written by a fellow practitioner that I finally woke up. The fundamental reason for my slacking off was my attachment to comfort.
"Some students haven't encountered much in the way of ordeals and have gradually become lax. This means that they have formed attachments to the various temptations of ordinary society, and been dragged down by its lure." ("Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference")
"During the course of cultivation, however, through reading the books, studying the Fa, and diligently making progress, you should clearly recognize what your thoughts were when you first came to Dafa. After cultivating for a period of time, are your thoughts still the same? Are you continuing on the path because of those human attachments? If so, you cannot be counted as my disciple. It means that you haven't gotten rid of your fundamental attachments and that you are unable to understand the Fa from the Fa." ("Towards Consummation" from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I started measuring myself with the Fa. What Master teaches is the Buddha's Fa, and it can save people and bring them to heaven. Then people can enjoy happiness forever and never have to go to hell. That was my thought when I first came to Dafa. "Pursuing happiness and being afraid of going to hell," aren't these attachments to comfort? This is my fundamental attachment and I was led by it through the past few years of my cultivation.
After some analysis, I categorized the attachment to comfort into two types, the attachment to spiritual comfort and the attachment to physical comfort. I found that the attachment to comfort can create many attachments and desires. Let's start with the spiritual side. I am a person that is relatively good-looking with a soft voice. I mind minor details and can talk about Fa principles when I share experiences with fellow practitioners. I get along with fellow practitioners very well and I know how to look inward when encountering conflicts. Thus, I receive many compliments, most of them are like, "She is so young and good-looking. She does a good job at work and she is clear in her understandings of the Fa principles and she cultivates really well." Although I have tried to restrain myself, after hearing more and more such words, my attachments to fame and self-interest grew and I felt very comfortable. I told fellow practitioners that we shouldn't always praise each other, because that is just like destroying them, but when I dug a little deeper, I found that I also liked to hear complimentary remarks. Afraid of losing face, I felt bad if people didn't agree with what I said. Looking within carefully, isn't this seeking comfort and being unwilling to bear suffering in one's mind? Isn't this not looking inward and trying to avoid conflicts? When one feels comfortable, isn't one seeking spiritual comfort? When one feels good upon hearing nice words, isn't this a form of delusion? It makes you comfortable temporarily, but brings with it many attachments. Relying on others also stems from the attachment to comfort.
The attachment to comfort has made me suffer tremendously. Besides selfishness, it is the sinful root of all human notions. The attachment to fame, profit, lust, relying on others, jealousy, vanity, and the attachment of fear all originate from it. We should be very aware of this attachment to comfort. We often pay more attention to searching for other types of attachments, but we neglect this most important attachment, the attachment to comfort. Now that we have found it, we should pay more attention to eliminating it. Master said,
"Let each and everything be measured against the Fa. Only then, with that, is it actually cultivation." ("Solid Cultivation" from Hong Yin)
If we discover an attachment but don't eliminate it, it's just like never finding it in the first place. So how do we eliminate it? It is not enough to just send forth righteous thoughts. I found that some practitioners' first thoughts were to send forth righteous thoughts when they found an attachment. It works to a certain degree, but the attachment cannot be eliminated from its root. The fundamental issue is that one has neglected the most fundamental reason - to cultivate oneself. Take me for example, isn't the attachment to comfort reflected in my laziness? It is not limited to getting up early in the morning, because sometimes I just couldn't get up even if I wanted to. Then we must eliminate it from all aspects. Doing housework more diligently is another example. Sometimes when I forget to do something, Master reminds me: It's time to mop the floor, it's time to wash the clothes, and so on. I sometimes had a lazy mindset, and was not willing to think more about the things I should do, thus I often forgot about things and had a horrible memory. I should therefore cultivate more in this aspect to make my mind sharper. I should distribute truth-clarification materials as soon as they become available and not slack off. It's the same when writing articles. I should write when I enlighten to something. If I don't do it promptly, that is like making a gap available for the attachment to comfort. When considering what clothes to wear, I shouldn't compare with other people. We shouldn't pursue enjoyment from material things. Some practitioners have a strong desire for lust and it is just like satisfying our physical comfort and enjoyment, which we come to regret afterwards. If we just send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the attachment to lust, we can't eliminate it from its root because it's just the surface. We should work hard on the attachment to comfort and eliminate the attachment to lust from its core. Some practitioners have strong emotions towards their children or grandchildren. They are so happy when they see their grandchildren, which gradually increases the spiritual comfort from emotions. At this time we should restrain ourselves and remind ourselves that we are cultivators.
In summary, we need to take the initiative and eliminate the attachment to comfort from all aspects, and become diligent in both thought and action. Let us face it and eliminate it from its root and get rid of this obstacle in our cultivation path.
The above is only my personal opinion. Please correct anything inappropriate!