Finding Our Attachments and Cultivating Compassion in Our Daily Lives
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings, Revered Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I began practicing Falun Dafa in January 1999. My cultivation path during these past few years has been full of all types of tribulations, yet I thought that I was meeting Dafa's requirements because I didn't commit any noticeable wrongdoings. In reality, I was judging fellow practitioners and my family by the Fa, but not myself. I always picked on fellow practitioners' attachments, and family members' misbehavior, and consequently encountered tremendous resentment from them. This incorrect mindset gave the old forces an opportunity to persecute me. I was subsequently detained for more than one year. As a cultivator, I felt ashamed, even though I was not "transformed."
Looking Inward to Remove Attachments
I repeatedly recited Master's lecture "Sifting of the Sand," which states,
"Fa-rectification is in its final stage, and the disruptive factors in the cosmos are dragging those who have failed to be diligent out from among the ranks of practitioners, such as those who 1) lack rationality; 2) act and talk senselessly; and 3) have not removed their attachments, which have increasingly expanded, leading these practitioners to have a strong tendency to look outward and seek outwardly, losing their sense of reason."
When I assessed my own cultivation standing from a viewpoint of a bystander, I was shocked to find that I was exactly the person Master spoke of in the lecture. I acted as a good person superficially, but didn't firmly cultivate myself through seriously looking inward.
"If you do not want to change your human state and rationally rise to a true understanding of Dafa, you will miss the opportunity. If you do not change the human logic that you, as an ordinary human, have formed deep in your bones over thousands of years, you will be unable to break away from this superficial human shell and reach Consummation."
"In practicing cultivation, you are not making real, solid progress on your own, which would effect great, fundamental changes internally. Instead, you rely on my power and take advantage of powerful external factors. This can never transform your human nature into Buddha-nature." ("Cautionary Advice" from Essentials for Further Advancement)
My personal understanding from "Cautionary Advice" is that changes in essence must be made by looking inward. To a real cultivator it will not matter who is right or wrong on the surface. The key is to remove those deeply hidden attachments.
I was not a good cultivator as I did not cultivate by looking inward, but only superficially judged right and wrong. The following event involving pickles reflected my poor cultivation. I once stayed with fellow practitioners for a period of time. A practitioner who was there liked pickles. She always asked other practitioners to bring out the pickles but would not bring out hers. The situation got so bad that the group started complaining about her selfishness. Even worse, when my pickles were gone, she not only refused to offer me hers but also grinned at me. I was extremely agitated by her pretending to be concerned. Why did this happen to me? Why did I have such a mean fellow practitioner like her?
I then calmly and thoroughly thought about the event. It didn't superficially seem that I did anything wrong. When I looked inward, I suddenly found that I indeed had attachments to contempt and to looking down on her. I actually was not willing to offer her my pickles at all. She really understood my feelings and did that to me on purpose. This incident was provoked by my attitude of pettiness. This exactly was what Master said, "The appearance stems from the mind." ("Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting") It was actually transformation following mind-intent.
It was surprising that she then refused to eat my pickles when offered. She was even angered over my persistent offers. I learned at this time that I still had an attachment to appeasing her. I thus put the jar on the table for everyone. She then enjoyed the pickles. We looked at each other and smiled happily. I told her that the pickles were not to blame, but it was the attachment. She said to me, "Doesn't Master always let us find our own attachments through daily trivial things? I hope I was not too harsh on you." I said, "I want to thank you. From you I learned how fragile I am. I did not judge you from your strengths but from your weaknesses. You cultivate better than I do." We smiled at each other for mutually better understanding each other.
Many thanks to Master for letting me see my weaknesses from fellow practitioners! I will look inward in dealing with things. There would be no gaps among fellow practitioners if we all look inward ourselves. Through practitioners, the boundless power of Dafa will be shown to the world, and ordinary people can see the goodness and hope of Dafa. More of them will then be saved, and Master will be happy.
Enlightening My Husband with Compassion and Kindness
My husband worked out of town and only came home a couple of times a month. He did not want to listen to my truth clarification. I chose to ignore him since he was not home often and did not interfere with my doing the three things when he was home.
After I was released from jail, he moved back home and ran a small restaurant in town so that he could closely watch me. He was fully controlled by the evil forces. He prohibited me from having any contact with fellow practitioners. He scolded me when I tried to clarify the truth to him, and he broke things when he was angry. I decided it would be best if I continued group Fa study with fellow practitioners.
One time, he grabbed me from the group Fa study and took me home. I told him, "Please wake up. You have gone too far. As a married couple, we should share the bliss and hardship as one body. Conversely, you line up with the evil Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to persecute me just because you are afraid of them." Staring at me with his muscles trembling, he shouted out loud. All of a sudden I felt bad and regretted that I had never tried harder to clarify the truth to him. I felt that I was being pressed by a mass of bad things clouding over my head. I was so groggy that I could not concentrate in our Fa study group, or lift my palm when sending righteous thoughts, and also could not do the exercises properly.
I used to blame my husband for not treating me kindly. I didn't understand it was not his temperament. I then gradually realized that I had an attachment to sentimentality. I also realized that I needed to adjust my own mind and correctly rectify my improper position. I also needed to eliminate all evil interference and cultivate in an upright and dignified manner.
As a matter of fact, my husband is a kind-hearted person. He went to the detention center with my fellow practitioners several times to ask for my release when I was illegally detained. But he did so just for me and not because he recognized the wicked CCP's evildoing, and its cruel persecution against Dafa disciples. It was my fault that I had concentrated much more on Dafa matters and less on my family.
I started taking care of household chores and smoothing out our relationship. I then gradually and subtly clarified the truth to him regardless of how he responded. I treated him as one of the sentient beings I wanted to save. I helped him regain his righteous thoughts. He felt my change and became more agreeable and less belligerent.
I felt that making him change would be a long hard path. When I told him the tortures I had encountered in the forced labor camp and the greatness of Dafa and Master, he no longer badmouthed me, and listened quietly. I felt that he had changed a bit. He prepared meals before I came home from work. He apologized for his bad manners. He even welcomed the visits of fellow practitioners, and no longer prohibited me from studying the Fa and practicing the exercises. He even occasionally woke me up to send righteous thoughts at night.
The CCP started brainwashing sessions again this year and called my husband to complete the documents. He asked them a series of questions, "Why do you always pick on my family? Are we too easily bullied? Do you have a grudge against my family? Is it wrong that she works hard? Isn't it enough that you detained and tortured her in your detention center for more than one year? Would you prefer us to contact foreign reporters in Beijing?" The party has never bothered us since. I am very happy that he is no longer in line with the evil. He has selected a glorious and bright path for his future. It appears that a practitioner will encounter huge hardship if his or her family is not in harmony. When the family members understand the truth, when they see and feel the gracefulness and extraordinary power of Dafa, and when they realize the hardship Dafa disciples have endured, they will be moved and will stand up to protect Dafa disciples at any critical moment.
Dissolving Evil Thoughts with Compassion and Kindness
I used to have lumps in my breast and right axillary region. They disappeared after I became a Dafa practitioner. I deeply feel that Master is always around us no matter where we are.
Because of my insubordination during the illegal detention, I was severely beaten and shocked with electric batons. For relief from the tortures, I continuously recited the Fa to rectify myself. The lump in my right axillary area came back and caused a lot of pain in various parts of my body, but I ignored the pain and continuously recited the Fa. A few days later, the lump broke and gushed out a lot of stench, pus, and blood. The wound took only ten days to heal afterward. I knew Master had helped me eliminate the karmic tribulations imposed on me by the old evil forces, and protected me all the time.
I was assigned to live with some collaborators a few days later so that they could easily "transform" me. I recited the Fa to myself and neglected whatever they said. I repeatedly and silently recited Master's article "Expounding on the Fa" (Essentials for Further Advancement). Of course, I was not only punished but forced to listen to false passages. My mind was not affected at all because I knew Master was right there to encourage me. I didn't blame the collaborators for the brutality because I strongly felt that the old forces were in frantic despair and deeply wished to be saved. I treated them as beings who needed to be saved.
The guards then forced me to sign the three statements, since their attempts to "transform" me had failed. I refused, and replied with a friendly smile that I would never sign the three statements even under electric shock torture. I also sincerely said to them that I live for the profound and universal Dafa. One female guard then ordered me to stand up by a wall so that they could dutifully report back. The collaborators dismissed me 30 minutes later, and after that they were very friendly to me.
Other guards assigned several assistant educators to the job, due to the failure of the collaborators. The assistant educators pounded the desk, shouted at me, and slandered Dafa and Master as soon as they walked into my room. They were fiercely menacing toward me, attempting to "transform" me. I gently smiled at them and said, "Master is the most righteous, and Truth-Compassion-Forbearance are the principles for every being to follow. I may not be able to change your thoughts, but neither can you change my beliefs." One assistant said, "We will give you one more chance. You will be jailed for life if you don't transform or sign the three statements." They tried various tactics to reform me, but all were in vain. Nevertheless, I considered them sentient beings who were misled by the evil and needed to be saved.
When I was half-asleep that night, I dreamed that Master came out from the western sky. His body covered the whole cosmos. I was vey delighted to see Master. He looked at me with an expecting expression. I suddenly found that there was blood on Master's forehead slowly dripping, yet Master was still looking at me with an expecting expression. I kneeled down, "Master!" and I cried with great pain. I cried with such huge pain that I almost couldn't breathe, and then I woke up. I didn't think that Master let me see this scene by accident. He came to encourage me to stay on the right path. Master uses his body to support the old cosmos, which is being extinguished by the old forces, to provide disciples opportunities to improve and consummate, and to provide sentient beings with opportunities to refine themselves. He expects his disciples to eliminate all attachments. I felt ashamed that I hadn't cultivated well, but now I will. I rejected the three statements the next day. I told them that a person will not give up or be changed when he or she enlightens to the great meaning of life. They finally gave up and sent me back to live with fellow practitioners.
I had many personal sentiments during those years of cultivation. Under Master's merciful protection and guidance from Dafa, I will positively do much better since I am a disciple of our great Master. Thank you, merciful Master! I'll follow the principles of "Taking the Fa as the Teacher" to cultivate myself better and do the three things well. I'll live up to the honorable title of "Fa-rectification period Dafa Disciple," and then follow Master back to our original home.
There were many enlightening moments on my cultivation path which cannot be completely expressed in writing. I only wrote here about some of the incidents to share with fellow practitioners.