No Longer Controlled by Sentimentality
(Clearwisdom.net) It has been quite some time since I started to cultivate. Regrettably, because I have not been diligent in Fa study, it is only recently that I have understood many of the principles of the Fa that I should have understood much earlier. I will discuss my personal experience and understandings regarding the elimination of the attachment to sentimentality.
I used to be very attached to sentimentality. One could say that I was the type of person who would have been willing to die for love. I have now been totally transformed from the inside out. The changes that have occurred in me have touched many people who know me. I am also truly delighted with how I have made it through. At the same time, I understand that if you want to make changes and if your Main Spirit is strong, it is not that painful to let go of fame, profit, and sentimentality. As soon as your righteous thoughts emerge, you will see miracles happen.
At one time, I fell in love with a married man. Although I subsequently left the place due to a strong sense of morality, I was deeply tormented by this sentiment. I spent the year that followed wallowing in misery. I was constantly reminiscing and could not help but feel my loss and despair. My heart was hurting, so much so that I could hardly breathe, and I blamed it on my unfair fate. The demon of sentimentality was in control of my mind and my life. I did not have the strength to divest myself of it, nor was I willing to. I lived in delusion, and I had no desire to do anything.
Reflecting on this trial of infatuation that I called "love," I have realized that it was brought about by my showoff mentality, vanity, narcissism, obsession with looking good, and a hidden desire for lust. Narcissism was a factor that troubled me greatly. It shaped arrogance and ignorance in my self-centered character, which indulged the demon of sentimentality. The unrighteous mentality gave rise to acquired notions, which then caused thought karma. I further followed the thought karma manifesting in my mind and conduct.
We practitioners should maintain xinxing, preserve moral integrity, and refrain from the wanton pursuit of bad things. Once we indulge in them, it is very difficult to get rid of them and wash ourselves clean. However, I had a misconception that it by only by actually experiencing those attachments, which would then be transcended, could it be called solid "cultivation practice." This is analogous to saying, "if one wants to be drug-resistant, one needs to try drugs." But one should remember that it is hard for a drug-addict to quit. I did not pay attention to Fa-study at that time and totally forgot about being strict with myself to maintain the standard of the "Fa." Having gone through many ups and downs, and perhaps because I was too tired, or maybe because I had seen through it all, or perhaps because I became sick of all this, in the end I felt that all of these were illusory.
On this path, I struggled and drifted. My inner desire for cultivation and my apprehension and fear over my destiny were ultimately not lost. In fact, I was acutely aware of my ultimate purpose in life. Since when I was a child, I longed for the life of a cultivator and had a strong dislike of the many human desires and sentiments. I wanted to attain tranquility and inaction. The yearning for this has stayed hidden deep in my heart and cannot be worn away. Perhaps this is our inborn nature. So I cannot give up the glimmer of hope in myself; I had a strong wish for change.
What ultimately brought me back to the right path was a pamphlet titled "Evidence on Organ Harvesting from Living Falun Gong Practitioners." My conscience was deeply touched. I felt that I was a sinner buried in a sea of sentiments and indifferent to everything else. How could I be so selfish being so attached to personal feelings? So many of our fellow practitioners gave their lives to safeguard the Fa, and yet the evil people have become more and more wicked. Who is to say that this has nothing to do with non-diligent practitioners! Even if I were an everyday person, I still have the duty to step forward to expose and stop the evil! The righteous thoughts and the determination to clarify the truth are now deeply rooted. The only regret is that I woke up so late.
When I became determined to step out of the world of sentimentality, I had a weird dream that afternoon. There was a coffin in front of me. In it lay a person that I felt like was me. I had died and I found myself helping the other me take off my shoes. I woke up suddenly. I was a bit afraid. I asked a fellow practitioner about this. She told me "taking off shoes" is a good metaphor. "Shoe" and "evil" sound the same in Chinese, indicating that you have broken away from evil. This was a hint from Master.
At that time, the fellow practitioner was about to go abroad. I used the week before she left and learned from her how to print and how to burn discs. I also made a large quantity of truth clarification materials in the process. In the following three months of looking for a job, I went out every day to distribute materials. In spite of the fact that I had no skills of any kind, I later found a decent job that also allowed me to spend enough time and energy doing truth clarification. This was previously unthinkable. I realized that, in the process of distributing materials, I suffered a lot by being frequently exposed to severe weather. Much of my karma has been eliminated. Furthermore, by sending forth righteous thoughts, my thought karma has become weaker and weaker. It is now almost non-existent. I believe that our Compassionate Master removed a strong obstacle for me behind the scenes. I am truly grateful to Master. I had such strong and powerful sentimentality that constantly surrounded me. I would not have been able to eliminate it no matter how hard I tried to contain it if not for Master's help.
Looking back, in addition to my strong wish, I attribute the fact that I gave up my attachments so quickly and completely and that I improved so fast to doing the three things. I understand that doing the three things well as Master directs is already a god's behavior. Factors of interference in everyday life will then be dissolved and rendered useless. When we are painfully concerned about some attachment that we cannot quite give up, we should not let ourselves get mired in it and let it negatively affect Fa validation. We should ignore the bad feelings and just do what we should be doing and then no one can stop us. The attachment will then go away by itself.
I now have very few desires. Occasionally, there may be a test on sentimentality in a dream. Every time I wake up, I think over it to try and dig up hidden attachments. I constantly caution myself against them so as to leave no gaps.
My fellow practitioners, the above description of my personal experience may appear to be brief and mild but it felt really long in the midst of the torment. The bad notions I held were formed over a long period of time, and many of them were the result of artificial fostering and self-indulgence. From all of this I understand that it is best to exterminate an attachment when it first surfaces and never give it a chance to grow. Otherwise, it will be extremely difficult to find your way back when completely lost. Even if you do lose control and fall into it, do not be pessimistic and give up yourself in despair. Differentiate what is good and what is bad and strengthen righteous thoughts and your confidence. "If one is determined, the karma can be eliminated." (Zhuan Falun) Even someone like me who has been deeply lost has made it through, so please have faith: there is no attachment that cannot be severed and there is no test that cannot be passed. Doing the three things well is an effective way to quickly remove attachments. This is the ladder for us to go up to heaven. My fellow practitioners, please cherish this once-in-an-eternity opportunity.