Let's Not Be Attached to Personal Interests
(Clearwisdom.net) The Fa-rectification is progressing quickly, and yet I have noticed that some practitioners' attachments to personal interests are on the rise. Some busy themselves making money in the spring and are exhausted all day long; some waste much time on the preparation of their children’s weddings in order to get more gifts of money while the time should be spent on the three things we need to do; some practitioners who hold casual jobs in order to make more money would rather look for a job where they can work long hours and even opt for overtime. I feel rather uncomfortable when I see this. What is it that has made us spend the already limited time for Fa-rectification on money making, even to the point that we become less diligent in cultivation in order to make even more money?
Some practitioners say we should leave everyday people with a good impression of Dafa disciples when we work better and live well, because this way it is more convenient for us to validate the Fa. My understanding is that it is quite normal for everyday people to want to live well, but Dafa disciples should do things without pursuit and maintain a calm mind in a bustling world. We should be unmoved by what everyday people do and what happens in our surrounding environment. What should be ours is ours, and we should absolutely not compete for what is not ours. We must not be burdened and bothered with money and worldly possessions; this way, we will feel lighthearted without chasing after what other people desire. If we have a pursuit, there is only one thing for us to pursue: we need at all times to keep the Fa in mind and think about how to do the three things well so that our minds are always filled with righteous thoughts. This way, we can offer a great number of people salvation. We move people with the pure hearts we have cultivated in Dafa to rescue them. We need to understand this so that we do not use the Fa as an excuse to cover up our own desires for personal interests.
I’m not saying that we should not make money, but we need to keep a correct balance between making money and cultivation. It goes without saying which of the two is more important. If we need to make a living to support a family, then we can find a job that does not require long hours, so that we can have more time to work on Fa-validation. It does not matter even if the wages are a bit lower. Everything will change along with the change in our minds. Master said,
“You have a certain number of blessings while you practice cultivation, and you would probably have the same number of blessings if you didn’t practice cultivation. What’s the difference? The difference is that your mind is relaxed. In the other case, your mind would be tense; you already lead a very tiring life, and your mind would be even more exhausted, rendering you unable to eat or sleep well. Of course, your body would get tired and aged, deteriorate, and, like an everyday person, catch many illnesses. On the other hand, if you discarded the attachment, you would be very much at ease—even if you were poor. Actually, you won’t become poor because of learning Dafa. I think living happily is better than being attached like that." (“Lecture at the First Conference in North America,” March 29, 1998)
A woman practitioner in our area went to Beijing a number of times to validate the Fa after the persecution started. She actively participated in Fa-rectification and had twice negated unlawful forced labor and is quite well known in our area because of this. In the spring of 2010, when she saw that her cousin had made money by selling clothing, she developed an attachment to personal gain, joined her cousin in the garment business, and totally committed herself to the business. She refused to listen to practitioners’ advice. She is a schoolteacher by profession but would use all sorts of excuses to ask for time off so that she could sell clothing. As a result, the old forces took advantage of her loopholes, and she developed a big lump in her abdomen. Practitioners went to her home to help send righteous thoughts, and studied the Fa with her. She eventually went to a hospital for treatment. Her condition improved. In the end, she withdrew all her shares from the business. She did not make any money and also suffered some loss. During this time, she also wasted her practitioner mother's precious time selling garments and her practitioner husband's time transporting clothing.
Another woman practitioner in our area had also done quite well in doing the three things. However, in 2010 when she saw that everyday people had made money, she also decided to take a temporary job to make more money. She is the local contact person for Dafa projects, but in order to make more money she refused to listen to practitioners’ advice, claiming that she would be able to make 2,000 to 3,000 yuan per month. As it turned out, she did not accomplish what she had set out to do. That winter when she was returning home, feeling much annoyed while helping her son turn the four-wheel vehicle, the handle-bar smashed her right arm. Because she did not hold strong righteous thoughts, while having the arm repaired at the hospital, they set the bones wrong, and it took a while before her arm healed after another surgical procedure.
I know the above-mentioned two practitioners well. After they started practicing Falun Gong, they didn't go to hospitals or clinics for treatment. Even when they experienced serious sickness karma, they didn't opt to seek hospital treatment. Then, why did they do this now? The reason is very simple. They gradually deviated from the Fa and their righteous thoughts had weakened, due to attachments to personal gain in everyday people’s society. A boat may not necessarily capsize in the ocean, but it's possible it could capsize even in small streams. Indeed, we must not treat cultivation as child's play, as Master taught us! At this moment, any of our actions that deviate from the Fa is no less than a blasphemy against Master’s painstaking salvation and an insult to the universal law.
Even sages and people of virtue in ancient times despised those who were attached to personal gain, regarding them as “small men of personal interests.”
How can we Dafa cultivators be not as good as ancient people in this respect? If money comes as one wishes, then of course one will have such desires, but one’s desires may only bring more worries at night; and when one gets up in the morning, everything remains the same. We must not be muddle-headed! The evil elements in other dimensions are watching every thought we have, and only by us patterning our conduct strictly according to the Fa can we live up to the grand vows we made. How can we explain ourselves in the future when we face the final trial if we have reservations in letting go of our attachments to personal interests?
The above is only my personal understanding. Please kindly point out anything improper.