Distinguishing Between Attachments and One's Real Self
(Clearwisdom.net) Before I started my practice of Dafa, I was considered to be a nice kid at home and a good student by my teachers in school. My friends thought that I could understand them and took me to be their confidant. It was in such an environment that I grew up. I believed in what others thought of me, so much so that I ignored my real feelings. The reality was that I could sense what other people wanted and acted accordingly. People felt that I was a caring person, but some times I was just acting to make them happy.
From an ordinary person's viewpoint, I was a nice guy who would not offend people. As a practitioner, I was not being straight with people. This attitude could not solve any real problem. I was in fact protecting myself and was afraid to face any errors I might have made and would do whatever I could to cover them up.
There were times when we practitioners gathered together to exchange ideas about cultivation. I was afraid that others might not accept my views, so I would only follow along and support what others had to say. When I felt that I should say something, I would beat around the bush and not be able to get to the point. When people pointed out this problem to me, it hurt very badly. I seemed to have lots of karma. It took many tests from different angles before I could overcome a problem. I felt that I was surrounded by karma and was taking a selfish view of how a practitioner should think. I was not able to recognize the guidance provided by Master and I thought the Fa had not affected me in any way. There were no karmic effects appearing in the form of illness in my body and I did not attempt to apply the Fa in my real life. I thought I was a good person to begin with and that was why the Fa did not make further changes in me. Actually, I did not do what a real practitioner was supposed to do. This is the real reason why I was not able to see any benefit from studying the Fa.
Gradually, as I continued to cultivate, the hypocritical side of me began to peel off. I saw that my real self was a different person, someone unfamiliar to me. At the same time I saw that my false self, the self I was familiar with, was a hypocrite. I did not want to accept this fact because it really hurt. For a long time I believed that I was a good person almost free from faults, as I was told by other people. However, when measured from the standpoint of a practitioner, the opposite was true. What is considered good by ordinary people is exactly what a practitioner should not have.
A recent incident impressed me a lot. I learned that as a practitioner, I should watch every thought. Otherwise, one can easily be influenced by selfishness, which is part of the old universe.
I was accompanying a fellow practitioner to buy a purse. When it was time to pay, I gave some money to the seller. I got this bill from another merchant during a transaction. The bill looked a bit strange. When I showed it to people, many said that it was counterfeit, except two people who said it was real. I was hoping to have it verified. If it was recognized as counterfeit, I would exchange it. It turned out that the seller did not say anything when he took the bill. I thought to myself, perhaps the bill was real.
Later, in a gathering of practitioners the use of the suspected bill was brought up. A fellow practitioner said to me, "I don't think you did anything wrong, but I think you were not considerate. If that bill turned out to be counterfeit, what will people think of us? Master said that to be a good person one must be considerate and care for other people. If you were unsure about the bill you should not use it. Why don't you think about this matter? Maybe you should go there and give the seller a real bill." After hearing this I was really ashamed of myself.
The next day, we went to the seller again. I told him why I came back. He laughed and said, "I did not pay any attention at the time you gave me the bill. Later, when I went out to purchase water, I noticed that it was a bit thin. Someone told me that it was counterfeit. I did not call you about it, because I thought you did not know it. If you did, you would not have given it to me." An ordinary man trusted me. I was so ashamed of my action. Even if I did it unintentionally, I did not qualify as a practitioner. The practitioner with me apologized to the seller for me and told him that I was not aware that the bill was counterfeit. Feeling a bit of my embarrassment, he said, "Don't be too concerned about this." A lady next to him said, "Where can you find such good people these days? Returning to exchange real money for a counterfeit bill. Only truly good people would do such a thing."
Upon reflection, I was shaken. What does it mean to validate the Fa? Is it restricted to explaining the facts about Dafa to people? When the truth becomes known to people, how will they look at Dafa practitioners? Through this incident, I have learned to remind myself to get rid of my selfish self and make sure that my words and actions are consistent with the principles of the Fa. Indeed, all my actions should show people how good Dafa is.
At first, I did not know what to write, because I thought there was nothing earthshaking. Then, as I started writing, there seemed to be a lot to talk about. I also have a lot to apologize to Teacher for. All along Teacher has been supporting me, guiding me and protecting me, but I kept on making mistakes. Whenever I did something right, Teacher immediately let me understand a higher truth. Fellow practitioners, I think Teacher values us more than we value ourselves.