Eliminate Attachments during Group Fa Study
(Clearwisdom.net) We study one lecture of Zhuan Falun during our weekly group Fa study. Participating practitioners take turns reading one section each. After finishing the whole lecture, the group members discuss and share experiences. The reading ends when it is time for sending forth righteous thoughts. After a time, we noticed varying degrees of Xinxing improvement in each of us. I also discovered some hidden attachments of mine that had previously gone undetected. I write this article not only to alert myself, but also to remind fellow practitioners to remove attachments similar to mine as soon as they are made known. Some of the attachments that I identified are described below.
Attachment #1 - Over-emphasis on a strict linguistic sense, reading speed and the accuracy of word pronunciation. It is essential to be accurate in reading the lectures. However, I found that I have a tendency to emphasize certain sentences or sections and speed up the reading in order to show my deep understanding of those particular sentences or sections. Although the objective of reading fluency is satisfied, it is missing the requisite heart to continuously enlighten to the teachings. Some physical reactions to this attachment include numbness or pain in the legs, occasional drowsiness, and lack of vigilance.
When I began reading the lectures with a calm and peaceful state of mind, those feelings of physical discomfort disappeared. Instead, my body and mind were immersed in the joy of Fa study. I, thus, feel wonderful with a state wherein "The Buddha-light illuminates everywhere and rectifies all abnormalities." (Zhuan Falun) Therefore, I now know the reason that I enjoy so much listening to some fellow practitioners read even though there are some errors or pauses while reading. On the contrary, I don't have as much feeling listening to some other fellow practitioners, even though their reading is very fluent. How can reading by rote compare to reading from the heart?
Attachment #2 - Interrupting others during group discussion. This is a problem I had before cultivation, and this problem still exists. During a group conversation, instead of listening to my fellow practitioner's statement patiently, I have the habit of interjecting when the topics interest me or when I feel I have more understanding of the topics. This is a typical manifestation of the show-off mentality. I have since begun to pay more attention to this attachment.
Attachment #3 - Evasiveness when admitting inadequacies. Instead of a straightforward admission of my own inadequacies, I always preface such admissions as follows: "Some of our fellow practitioners have such problem, and I also have a similar problem." It seems as if this evasion of my own real inadequacies not only saves face, but also "meets" the requirement of looking inward. Indeed, this is also a very bad attachment that needs to be eliminated.
Attachment #4 - Prejudgment of fellow practitioners. When I hear a practitioner mention another fellow practitioner's shortcomings, I will readily typecast that practitioner, applying his words and actions as if to confirm the predetermined conclusion. Without realizing it, I was thinking in my heart: "This practitioner is exactly like what the other said. He is that kind of person, worse than an ordinary person." When I realized my own problem, changed my previous opinions, and shared my experiences with him, I then found that this practitioner had many precious qualities a cultivator should have.
Group Fa study is also a place for our cultivation. As long as we are determined, we can learn from the strengths of other practitioners and find by looking inward our own shortcomings. As a result, we can upgrade our xinxing. I am pleased to be a participant in a Fa study group. I also hope all fellow practitioners join group Fa studies if circumstances permit; surely, you will benefit from the experience.