Breaking Out of the Cocoon Woven by Attachments and Notions
(Clearwisdom.net) We all know that each person's original nature is genuine, pure, and righteous. Once a living being comes into contact with the realities of their social environment however, and is influenced by the external world, he will be contaminated, making himself no longer genuine, pure, and righteous. Just like a silkworm trapping itself in its own cocoon, his original nature is gradually surrounded and restrained by postnatal notions.
This is the situation for cultivators. We came from the highest levels down to the lowest levels. As we descended step-by-step, we became more and more contaminated by materials from the lower levels. Our own dimensional fields have become wrapped up in human thinking, attachments, and notions. This has made humans, who are at the surface level, become worse and worse. Cultivating involves eliminating human thinking, attachments, and notions layer by layer, and breaking through one's postnatal shell so that the original self can emerge. However, the process of "breaking out of the cocoon" through cultivation is not an easy process. Every practitioner goes through profound experiences in the process of removing attachments.
I still remember that when I first started cultivation, I thought it was fairly easy. It didn't seem hard to give up "fame, personal gain, and sentiment." It was relatively easy to give up fame and personal gain, but a little harder to give up sentiment. However, after cultivating for some time, I found that personal gain was actually not easy to give up. I later found that fame also wasn't easy to give up. I gradually realized that those three attachments were intertwined together. I eventually found that postnatal notions were the origin of those attachments. Eventually, I found that underlying those notions is selfishness, which is the nature of the beings in the old universe.
Master told us in Zhuan Falun,
"The whole process of cultivation is a process of constantly getting rid of human attachments."
"Ordinary people have to fundamentally change their way of thinking."
"But it is very hard to vanquish thinking and notions acquired after birth, for that is what cultivation is all about." ("Buddha Nature," from Zhuan Falun, Volume II)
"A person should return to his original, true self--that's actually the true purpose of being human."(Zhuan Falun)
Master is teaching us the nature of cultivation... that in order to return to our original and true selves, "ordinary people have to fundamentally change their way of thinking," fully eliminate all the human mindsets and attachments, break through the shell that they've formed in the process of "trapping ourselves in a cocoon woven by ourselves," and return to our original nature.
Fellow practitioners, when we are doing the three things well, let's break through the shell formed by human thinking, attachments, and notions. Let's break out of the cocoon!