Addressing Issues with Righteous Thoughts and Rectifying Myself by Looking Inside
(Clearwisdom.net) A recent tribulation has taught me a lesson about the seriousness of cultivation practice. It also reminded me that I have to address issues with righteous thoughts and rectify myself by looking inside.
A while back, I obtained a good job, which I understood was made available to me by Dafa. At first, I was quite diligent in cultivation and tried hard to set up an environment where I could spread the truth. However, as I got busier at work, coupled with complacency of landing this job, I started to slack off. When I was just beginning to realize that something about myself was not quite right, a colleague told me that my boss was going to lay me off. I was frightened and became quite anxious. As I worried about this every day, I also became depressed. The more I worried and could not let it go, the worse the rumors from my colleagues got. My mind dwelled on this issue and nothing else.
Finally I asked myself, "Why am I getting so upset?" I clearly recognized my attachment to personal gain. I did not expect myself to be attached to this so strongly after over 12 years of cultivation practice. Then I realized that I had slacked off in cultivation, and this had left open a loophole for the evil to take advantage of. I felt ashamed, as I did not live up to Master's expectation and failed to meet Master's thoughtful arrangements. I made up my mind not to be misled by the old forces and started to look inside myself.
First, I found out that I did not practice solidly. When I got busy, I did not focus when studying the Fa alone. I did a little better when attending group Fa study. I was not attentive when studying the Fa alone, and some thought karma had been there for a long time, which I didn't eliminate. I could not persevere in sending forth righteous thoughts at midnight every night or attending morning group exercises. This left an opening for the evil to infiltrate.
"That is because the Fa is the foundation; it is what's fundamental for Dafa disciples; it is what ensures everything; and it is the avenue by which a human being journeys toward godhood. Thus I would like to take the opportunity of this Fa conference in Australia to tell all Dafa disciples around the world: Whether you are a new or veteran student, all the same you must not neglect Fa-study on account of being busy. Don't just go through the motions when you study the Fa. You should study with a concentrated mind, and you must really be studying." (To the Australia Fa Conference)
It dawned upon me that to a practitioner, the Fa is the source of everything. Without the Fa, we are merely everyday people. I made up my mind to address the issue of not staying focused when studying the Fa alone—to make sure to study the Fa with a concentrated mind.
Second, I unearthed my deep-rooted attachment to personal gain. Because of undergoing persecution financially for a long time, I attached much importance to this job. This gave the evil an excuse to interfere. I realized that the attachment to personal gain is usually deeply rooted. It covers many aspects besides the financial aspect. In our ordinary society, everyone is motivated by it, which ranks as one of our fundamental attachments. Now that I have had a clearer look at this attachment, I can do better in eliminating it.
Third, this incident also prompted me to take a look at many other attachments, including attachments to complacency, showing off, selfishness, comfort and ease, curiosity, staying away from heavy or dirty work, easily getting discouraged, lust, indulging in luxury, being on good terms with people with differing views, worrying about being misunderstood, avoiding being blamed or hurt, saving face, taking shortcuts, hypocrisy, looking down upon others, being overly timid, not willing to shoulder responsibility, jealousy, competition, holding grudges, and laziness. It was disturbing to find that almost all the selfish, calculating, and mutated thoughts that characterize people in this modern society had found their way into my mind.
"What I least like are those who are all talk and no action. Nor do I like those who are cunning. What I like are those who are honest and simple, sincere and down-to-earth. I also hope that you can all, after so many years of cultivating, positively grow in wisdom and not grow so much in terms of knowing how to deal with worldly matters or how to conduct yourself as a human being leading a worldly life." ("Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference")
I was ashamed of myself when thinking of Master's Fa lecture. Now that these attachments are exposed, I am going to remove them one after another.
Fourth, I have seen the dangerous motives of the evil. They tried various tricks to sabotage my new cultivation environment, to force me onto the wrong track per their arrangements, and to completely destroy me and the countless sentient beings that I'm responsible for rescuing. If a practitioner cannot cultivate well, the consequences are grave. I have to actively eliminate these evil factors.
Throughout this tribulation, I have come to a much deeper understanding of how important it is to a cultivator to look inside with the guidance of the Fa.
When the interference was most intense, Master's words kept my mind clear:
“You need to think about things in a constructive manner, and when you stumble look for the reason as a cultivator would, asking, “Where did I go wrong?” Only by evaluating things with the Fa will you be able to learn good things from your experiences. If you can really manage to do this, things will definitely go well.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference”)
Master's Fa lecture has cleared up my mind. I have realized that I cannot look at things with a cunning, negative mind. Practitioners have to deal with every problem we run into with a cultivator's mind and take it as an opportunity to improve ourselves, thereby turning a negative event into a positive one through fundamentally reversing everyday people's mentality and always looking at the issue with a positive mind.
Another attachment of mine is trying to stay away from difficult tasks. This is because I just started this job and have yet to develop technical sophistication. As a result, I am overly concerned with being held liable for any mistakes. Of the many customers that I run into, I always try to look for benign and pleasant ones, while leaving hostile or calculating ones to my colleagues. There are many attachments behind this, including avoiding getting hurt, trying to save face, and so on. I reminded myself that the more complex the situation, the faster we are able to cultivate ourselves. All of these attachments originate in selfishness, which is the root cause. I have to improve myself on the basis of the Fa and reverse my human mentality with righteous principles.
I have stayed alert to any unrighteous thoughts that surface in my mind. I am doing my best in my everyday work, taking this as an opportunity to eliminate bad thoughts. I understand that we make mistakes every now and then. But as long as we cultivate in Dafa, we are making progress, one step after another, to improve ourselves. Bad things could turn out to expose our attachments. If we succeed in eliminating these attachments, these bad things truly turn into good things in our cultivation. Dafa practitioners are indeed the most blessed and fortunate lives in the universe.