Eliminating Attachments and Human Thinking
I began practicing Falun Gong in 1994. I'd like to summarize my experiences and the lessons
I have learned over the last decade, in order to find my shortcomings, rectify myself, become more diligent on the last leg of journey, and be a qualified Dafa disciple. My sharing covers these few areas. Fellow practitioners, please point out anything inappropriate.
1. Fully Believing in Teacher and Dafa
Because I have been cultivating in an environment where Falun Gong is persecuted, especially over the past year, I have heard a lot of news about practitioners being tortured, which resulted in permanent injury or even death. After hearing about these incidents of persecution, I developed fear. This serious fear either made me waver inside or caused serious thought karma to arise. It also interfered with my cultivation. Sometimes, as soon as I started to study the Fa, thought karma casts ideas into my mind that are not respectful of Teacher or Dafa. When it became very serious, it makes me question Teacher and Dafa.
Through Fa-study however, every time this kind of thought karma emerges, I can immediately recognize it. I then calm myself down and began to look inward. When I have looked deeply inside to find out the root cause of the thought karma, I realized that those bad thoughts were not my own, rather they were post-natal notions. After I studied the Fa much more diligently, I eventually eliminated the thought karma and finally improved myself based on the Fa. I was able to examine myself in time and follow Teacher's requirements, so I didn't cause damage to my cultivation. Thinking back on it now, I have truly come to realize that on the path of cultivation, one should not slack off even a little bit, and one should hold oneself to Teacher's requirements at all times. Failing to do that, one might walk on a deviant path or fail halfway through the journey. Therefore, on the path of cultivation, one must truly believe in Teacher and Dafa to the fullest extent, so as to improve oneself in the Fa and elevate oneself in the Fa.
2. Eliminating Attachments
Teacher said, "Cultivation is about removing human thinking and attachments." ("Be Vigilant") When I thought of this with myself in mind, I realized that I had so many attachments--and they were serious attachments. I'd like to mention a few major attachments that hindered me from cultivating diligently. Since childhood, I was very fearful, so no matter what I did, I did it very carefully. After I began cultivating, my attachment lessoned quite a bit. However, after 1999, when the persecution began, with the change of environment, my fear again flared up. Out of fear that I'd lose my job or my family, I didn't go with other practitioners to Beijing to validate the Fa. Even though I did some work in validating the Fa with local practitioners, they had to urge me. Especially after July 20, 1999, I thought constantly, "The environment is so perilous and we still have to go out to validate the Fa. It's truly difficult." However, I was deeply moved when I saw that fellow practitioners kept going out to clarify the truth and validate the Fa by letting go of the concern for life and death. At that time, I kept asking myself why I couldn't make it. On the other hand, I understood that it was my attachment of fear holding me back. Not until I calmed down and studied Teacher's every article pre and post July 20, did I truly come to realize that the reason Teacher came to this human world was for the Fa-rectification, and our mission was to assist Teacher in Fa-rectification and be Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples. Prior to July 20, we were doing self-cultivation and building a foundation. After July 20, it truly became a test for us. It's a process of saving people and cultivating to godhood. This is a path that every practitioner must take.
After I improved my understanding, I began learning to clarify the truth to my relatives, friends, and colleagues, and also to spend paper currency with truth-clarification phrases written on them. However, the opportunities for me to clarify the truth to strangers were very limited. I wondered to myself how many people I would be able to save if I continued as such. I became worried that I wouldn't be able to save many people. I looked inward and realized that my fear was in the way. I worried that people would curse at me and I would be embarrassed. In one word, it all came down to my selfishness. If I couldn't let go of myself, regardless of what I was doing, I was following the principles of the old cosmos. I was selfish about doing things, whereas Teacher requires us to cultivate away selfishness and always put others first. I lagged so far behind, and I was far from Teacher's requirements. As a matter of fact, cultivation involves eliminating one's selfishness. As to my own selfishness, I needed to find it myself and then eliminate it. I also came to truly realize that in one's cultivation, one needs to cultivate proactively, rather than passively, because in the latter situation, there is no way to succeed in cultivation. Teacher told us that in cultivation, we need to strive forward vigorously, and always put others first. I have realized that saving people takes the highest priority, so I am determined to eliminate my fear in the future.
After being poisoned by the "party culture" for so long, I had a competitive mentality, a mentality of showing off, and an attachment to validating myself. These attachments were very strong and were deeply rooted in me. In the workplace, with my family, or in society, and regardless of the situation, I competed with others and didn't want to suffer any losses. I was focused on how to fix others. Even though I have improved a lot superficially during my cultivation in the past years, the fundamental factors are still at play, therefore, if I didn't control myself, I would have raised my voice at others, resulting in arguments.
Teacher said in Zhuan Falun,
"As a practitioner, the first thing you should be able to do is to not fight back when you are beaten or sworn at--you must be tolerant."
Comparing myself to Teacher's Fa, I did very poorly and I failed to be tolerant, much less kind. There was one time when my strong competitive mentality surfaced and my younger sister, a non-practitioner, couldn't stand it any longer and she said to me, "My brother, you are a practitioner yet you act like this? What would you be like if you were not a practitioner?!" Wasn't Teacher using an everyday person to enlighten me? Another time I was clarifying the truth to a friend at the entrance of a supermarket. Because I was very loud and talked at a level beyond an everyday person's level of understanding, that my friend ended up turning around and running away from me. Even passersby were shocked by what I said. I began looking within and realized that my competitive mentality, show-off mentality, and the attachment to validate myself had all surfaced. Was this saving people?! When I later ran into this friend again, I apologized to him.
Another time, I was carrying a big, 50kg bag of rice, and, in order to show off, I declined the help of others. I picked the bag up, lifted it up on my shoulder, and carried it up to the fourth floor. I carried two bags. Hearing others commenting on how strong and how great I was, I felt very flattered. Then that same night, my lower back began to hurt. The following day, I was in so much pain that I couldn't move. It was as if my back were broken, and I could barely move at all. I immediately began looking within and realized that my show-off mentality was too strong. Instead of validating the Fa, I was trying to validate how capable I was, which was totally wrong. After I realized my attachment, I began to acknowledge to Teacher what I did wrong. I begged Teacher to strengthen me, and to eliminate the interference in my own dimensional field, so that my back would no longer hurt. There have been many such instances that have helped me to eliminate my competitive mentality, show-off mentality, and validating myself. For a while I was able to realize each time I fell short, but after a while I forgot about it again. I asked Teacher for help and I truly felt that I should have been more diligent. I also truly feel that it's time to completely eliminate those attachments, so as not to have Teacher worry about me.
3. Snapping Out of Human Thinking
Because the experience of everyday human society has become second nature, whenever I run into things, I analyze and judge them using the principles of everyday people, which is not the right way to do things. Being unable to snap out of this human way of thinking and following the principles of everyday people is a pursuit. High-level principles are the opposite of everyday people's principles. Everyday people think that the more they pursue, the better, whereas practitioners believe that the more they let go, the better. The more they can let go, the higher the realm to which they can elevate, so as to truly snap out of human thinking.
My cultivation state was sometimes not optimal when I clarified the truth, and I doubted in my mind whether or not the person would believe me, or if he would be willing to quit the Chinese Communist Party. It turned out that because my field was not righteous enough, I didn't get good results. Sometimes when I had nothing on my mind and I just did something without thinking about it, it turned out unexpectedly well. Cultivation means cultivating your own thoughts. If your thoughts are righteous, everything is righteous, and if your thoughts are not righteous, nothing is righteous. For example, a few days ago, I was washing clothes and noticed that the water in my barrel was fairly dirty. I thought that my hands would easily get infected if I put them in the water. After I finished washing, my hands felt itchy. The next day my ring finger on my right hand became swollen and it worsened day by day. Strangely enough, several people shared the barrel, but they were fine, so I wondered if it was a result of my pursuit of an incorrect thought. As soon as I realized it, I sent forth righteous thoughts, and the interference was eliminated.
Cultivation is truly serious, and involves cultivating away your attachments. Even though I have cultivated for so many years, I still have many attachments. I worry that the manifestations of the attachments that remain will be very strong. I came to realize that the reason why they surfaced was for us to eliminate them as soon as possible! Through this sharing opportunity, I have found my shortcomings and will eliminate them as soon as possible. In the last leg of my journey, I will conform to society as much as possible while still holding myself to a practitioner's standard, seize the time to truly cultivate myself, and hand in a quality report to Teacher.