(Clearwisdom.net) I have often felt that the closer to the end, the slower the progress of my self-improvement. Yes, I have abandoned several layers of human notions, but the closer to the end, the more difficult and arduous it has been to improve my xinxing. A recent study of "Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan" moved me greatly. For quite a while I felt a bit ashamed and regretful, but the happiness and excitement I felt after improving my xinxing overcame those sensations.

Attachments make for an endless cultivation path

I am a teacher. In my work and daily life, I have required myself to pay attention to improving xinxing. I became a homeroom teacher when others refused the position. I volunteered to do janitorial work when others did not want to do so. When students came to my home with gifts, I would return the monetary equivalent in an amount several times larger than the cost of the gifts. These actions made me known as an upright and good individual at work and in the neighborhood.

Facing a society full of material interests and desires, no matter whether others consider "uprightness" and "good persons" as something positive or negative, I have taken these values as spiritual wealth and valued them highly. I have taken the cultivation of virtue as happiness. But as a consequence, I have increasingly upset those who curry favors with others and pursue self-interest. I have also confounded those who care little about their own character and get attached to minor personal interests.

In my work, I often make things convenient for others and take on difficult tasks. Since I had done things like this for a long time, some have taken my forgiveness and tolerance as a sign of weakness and think that it is easy to bully me. They choose the light work while ignoring difficult things and are harsh on others. When their unreasonable demands cannot be satisfied, they sow discord and create conflicts. While I did not want to be involved in conflict, my mind was still troubled. This resulted in my feeling depressed and upset, without others noticing.

Because we live very close to my parents-in-law, we often visited them during holidays. I washed their clothes and made meals for them, and treated my parents-in-law respectfully and considerately. They praised me as a good daughter-in-law in the presence of others. However, since these actions had become a long-time habit, my mother-in-law sometimes made sarcastic comments about my physical appearance and expressed her dissatisfaction with the way I look.

Because I had taken my parents-in-law as my dear ones, I paid no attention to whatever they said. But later I noticed that whenever there was good food, my mother-in-law picked out the best and the less desirable items were left for my seven-year-old child. I felt uneasy about it, but I did not say a word, and continued on peacefully as usual. Later on I just took such things as something that did not exist. I had become used to it.

After Fa-rectification cultivation started, I became very busy with things in society, family and doing the three things. I could not see my parents-in-law as often, and felt that under such circumstances it should be understandable that we visited them less often. However, as the New Year approached, when we took our child and brought gifts to my parents-in-law, my mother-in-law sat on the bed, saying nothing and wore a very gloomy and angry expression. Facing such an awkward situation, I tried hard to keep calm. My husband and I handed the gift to them, and I took the initiative to talk to her. When much of her anger faded away, I made an explanation. However, when we went to see her the next time, the situation was still the same. Although I did not show my feelings, I felt wronged. I felt I had shown my forbearance again and again and had done everything I could do, so I felt that she should be reasonable. This time, my otherwise pure heart had been covered with an obscure layer of isolation from them.

Before I got used to the current situation, my mother-in-law dropped hints in front of others and me that I was not among her list of good persons. She was aiming at me, to see how I would react. Again I remained unmoved. For many years, with my modesty and obedience and my working without complaint, all of her relatives had highly praised me, and none of them could find fault with me. Many persons outside the family also respect me. Now I had been excluded from "the list of good persons." No matter how much I did for her or put up with, I could not satisfy her. In order to not tarnish the image of Dafa disciples, even though I was clearly in the right, I had not argued with her. But I could not let go of the grudges in my mind. I felt that this xinxing tribulation was too difficult to overcome.

Abandoning my ego, my cultivation path ahead shines brightly

Looking back at my ten years of cultivation, I had initially thought that I had a well-grounded mindset. But why were my tribulations becoming more difficult and endless? Studying the Fa carefully and repeatedly examining myself led me to discover a fundamental problem - I have not gone beyond human principles and I have not truly cultivated myself according to the Fa.

Ideally, Dafa cultivators have no hatred. My hatred is a hurdle to my cultivation. "Feeling contempt for," "disliking someone/something," and "being hateful" all originate from one's ego and belong to the things Dafa practitioners should let go of. No matter how bad sentient beings have become, we have the responsibility to compassionately offer them salvation, and have no reason for feeling contempt toward or dislike for them.

"Depression," "being upset," "grievances," and "sadness" are human attachments. Because my notions had remained fundamentally the same, I would follow human logic and human notions when conflicts arose and would use human principles to judge things. Although I might have become briefly aware regarding certain issues for short periods of time, once I encountered the same problems again, I would revert to the same thinking and habits. I have often taken myself as a human (rather than a divine being), as my first thought always followed human principles and I have rarely used the Fa principles to judge myself. A Dafa cultivator wants to escape the human world and go beyond the realm of humans. By always wandering amid human principles, how could I walk the path of returning to heaven; how could I become an eternally bright, divine being? "I have done nothing wrong," and "she is unreasonable," are human ideas and are prejudices when judged according to the Fa principles. Master said,

"That's how things will be for you, starting now. Whether you are right or not is, for a cultivator, not important whatsoever. Don't argue left and right, and don't emphasize who's right and who's wrong. Some people are always stressing that they're right, but even if you are right, even if you're not wrong, so what? Have you improved on the basis of the Fa? The very act of using human thinking to stress who's right and who's wrong is in itself wrong. That's because you are then using the logic of ordinary people to evaluate yourself, and using that logic to make demands on others. As gods see it, for a cultivator to be right or wrong in the human world is not important in the least, whereas eliminating the attachments that come from human thinking is important, and it is precisely your managing to eliminate those attachments rooted in your human thinking as you cultivate that counts as important." ("Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan," March 26, 2006)

When I studied this Fa, I was greatly stirred. The immense and profound Fa principles shocked me and made me wake up. No matter how many wrong things happened and exist, they were all because of me, a cultivator. When one has taken one's being right or wrong as something important, one is grasping the shadow instead of the essence, as one has not thoroughly understood the Fa principle and has not held onto the fundamentals of cultivation.

I understand that society and our families are our cultivation environments, and everything surrounding us is arranged for our cultivation. Without cultivation such environments would not exist. Others' "sarcasm," "harshness," and "mistreatment," and so on are all things Master has carefully arranged for my improvement through tests from colleagues' and family members' repetitive challenges.

If I can let go of my ego and overcome humanness, act by following the Fa principle and look at things from a loftier plane, I will be able to sincerely thank them because, besides Master's careful arrangements for my cultivation, they have also contributed to my improvement. I then read the following Fa:

"That's because on your path of cultivation there is nothing that is by chance. So, when you get into a heated exchange and it stirs things up in you, or you get into a conflict over something that concerns your vital interests, perhaps the factors behind it were put there by Master. Maybe you only get upset when it's a case of someone saying something that really provokes you or hits a sore spot. And maybe the person really did treat you wrongfully. But, those words weren't necessarily said by that person. Perhaps they were said by me." ("Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan")

After studying this Fa I felt full of happiness. I felt a well-spring flowing into my heart.

Having studied the Fa for over ten years, I have also cultivated my mind for over ten years. Yet, when something provoked me, I was upset. So, I had to wait until Master said "they were said by me" before I became aware of my problem. Only then did I realize my pig-headedness and understand that Master's compassionately-given hints were so detailed. Here I want to sincerely thank Master for his care and salvation.

According to Master, all things in the human world are phantoms and false manifestations. Dafa disciples should never take worldly things as real and thus forget their own sacred missions. To fulfill our prehistoric oaths, according to Master, we should let go of the things of the human world as quickly as possible, so as to steadily walk well our paths of return.