Reflection On My Attachment To Animals
(Clearwisdom.net) A few days ago, my mother's dog died. In 2002, she begged me to adopt a dog. I was unmarried at the time and was still living with my mother at home. I have been practicing Dafa for five years and I knew cultivators should not kill or raise animals. So I refused. Later, when I saw a fellow practitioner raise a little dog, my mind was moved and thus agreed to adopt a dog. I liked the dog and spent a lot of energy on it. At the same time my mind always had a burden. I was especially careful when I studied the Fa and did the exercises, afraid that the dog might gain some abilities and do bad things. In 2004, I went out of town to work and got married. Since the dog wasn't with me, I gradually cared less about the dog developing some abilities. Still, when I called home, I would ask about the dog and I was always thinking about it.
In 2009, due to poor health, my mother came to live with me. I advised my mother to give the dog away, but my mother could not bear to give it away. So it became a burden for me again that the dog might gain abilities. On the surface, I seemed to like the dog less and always talked to my mother about giving it away. Fellow practitioners also gave me advice. I had tried various ways, but nothing seemed to change. During that period, my mother and I argued a lot because of the dog. Until recently, I became aware that it wasn't because my mother could not bear to give it away; instead, deep down in my heart, I was very attached to it.
When I became determined to get let go of the attachment, the dog got sick and a week later it died. When it got sick, I was somewhat looking forward to its dying quickly. It wasn’t a compassionate thought. I was just afraid of it affecting my cultivation. But when I saw the dog about to die, I couldn't stand it; it broke my heart. When the dog died, I cried for two days. I was guilty and my mind was all tangled up.
Teacher saw me so sad that he sent two lines of a poem in my head:
“What’s given up is not oneself
But instead the folly of delusion.”
(“Discarding Attachments,” Hong Yin II)
I repeatedly recited the poem. Later, I gradually came to understand that the Fa has a standard and Dafa gives every being the most suitable position which, one cannot obtain with a human mindset. Since the dog died, I did not have any attachment about its future destination. But, carrying that attachment during those nine years, how much worrying did I cause Teacher? When I think of it, I feel I had let Teacher down.
I gradually calmed down and started looking within. I found that I had never let go of the attachment to the dog. Arguments with my mother concerning the dog were only superficial. I actually had a hidden selfish motive. I wanted the dog but didn't want it to affect my cultivation. That attachment was not released and it was really self-deception. In fact, I was deceiving myself.
I read all articles related to “cultivators should not kill or raise animals” on the Minghui website. I gradually woke up and rectified that deviated concept within me. I began to reflect on the motive of my agreeing to adopt a dog. Before I started Dafa cultivation, someone gave me a kitten and I liked it a lot at first sight. I am the only child in our family, and my parents had rarely talked with me, so I always felt lonely. Since the kitten arrived, I put all my love on the kitten. A year later, the kitten died. I was so grieved and wished I was dead. I was saddened for over one month. Soon after that, I began Falun Dafa cultivation. With the joy in Dafa cultivation, I gradually forgot the pain of losing the kitten. Cultivation is serious and the removal of each attachment must be done solidly. In 2002, when my mother proposed to adopt a dog, was it not a test for me? It had to be. However, I did not pass the test. I thought dogs and cats are different, but isn’t the attachment toward any animal the same? My attachment toward animals was so deep that I didn’t realize it.
Deep down, I saw the attachment toward the cat and dog, so I rooted it out. I felt that my space had never been so tranquil. I also realized that if I held onto the attachment, no matter where I sent the dog, or how far it was from me, it still existed in my own space. Only by completely laying down the attachment, I could have my tranquil space. I used to comprehend that space was my surrounding environment. Now I feel that everything and all people, no matter how far they are from me, they are still in my space. It is my mind that dominates all things and beings.
Through this affair, I realized that my mother wanting to adopt a dog wasn’t wrong; it was my attachment. I didn't want to let go of my attachment. Everything in this world acts as our cultivation environment. Every thing, all people and various contradictions that I have encountered are what I have to go through in my cultivation and they are to improve my xinxing. Removing one's attachments is what a cultivator should do.
As Dafa disciples' hearts change the world, I should put all my mind to saving sentient beings. Every day we need to show great kindness to others and work to save the world's people. I need to put all my efforts into doing the three things well and live up to Teacher's expectations, as well as Teacher's compassionate salvation.