Looking Within, Attachments, and True Cultivation
(Minghui.org) From Teacher's Fa I realize that true cultivation does not mean that the person has no attachments or does not do anything out of his attachments. On the contrary, he cultivates himself to get rid of his attachments. That's the process of true cultivation. This means if I see that some practitioner does well in cultivation, it is to encourage me to cultivate. If I see that some practitioner has some attachments, it is a mirror for me. It is to let me see the gap in my own cultivation. I should keep this in mind: it is a mirror to show me my gap. It is for me to cultivate myself. Teacher is giving me an opportunity to get rid of my attachment, and it is not to let me talk badly about other practitioners. I must be clear not to look for others' shortcomings.
From the Fa we know that we need to look within. Then we can cultivate faster. But looking within is not something we just talk about or recite, we have to actually do it based on our understandings from the Fa.
Teacher said in “A Dialogue with Time” (Essentials for Further Advancement),
“It would be good if they could manage to search within themselves for the things that they have been able to find in others.”
In daily life, we should use our strong determination and righteous thoughts to control our thoughts. It might be hard, but we can do a bit every day and continue doing it until it becomes a natural habit. Thus a mechanism is formed. Otherwise, we will keep looking at others' faults whenever we have a thought. A fellow practitioner's level increases through true cultivation. It is not done by being looked at or criticized by me. If we often just look at the shortcomings of other practitioners instead of comparing them against ourselves, it will generate substances that will accumulate in our thoughts over time. It will form a very bad field in our group of practitioners. This field severely separates practitioners, and makes it hard for us to come together as a whole. It also impacts our ability to work together to save sentient beings, and more seriously, it makes us unable to fulfill our prehistoric vows.
As long as we are cultivating Dafa, Teacher will expose each person's attachments. We don't have to worry about it. But we should worry if we can't use this true cultivation opportunity to get rid of our own attachments and we should worry if we have the thought to look at others instead of ourselves.
When Teacher started teaching the Fa, he faced very complicated human hearts. Teacher used his boundless benevolence to wake us up. Practitioners still have attachments. We should use our understanding of the Fa to restrain ourselves and treat fellow practitioners with tolerance. For each practitioner who continues cultivation today, he has certainly cultivated well in some areas and has validated Dafa in certain areas. What he does not cultivate well is for him to cultivate in the future. Before we reach consummation, we will be cultivating all the time and we will have shortcomings. Having shortcomings does not mean that a practitioner doesn't truly cultivate. I believe each practitioner is trying hard in cultivation. What is shown to me in others is to help me cultivate myself. In almost every Fa lecture, Teacher repeatedly states the phrase “looking within.” So when we run into any situation, our first thought should be to look at ourselves.
Throughout the numerous incarnations of lives, karma has buried me a lot and lowered my enlightenment quality and the ability to look within. It has formed a strong concept in my mind. I was led by this concept unconsciously and thought it was me. This concept is a live substance that confused me. If I did not eliminate it and did not cut the link between it and my true self, it would have led me to do incorrect things. It would make me to look externally at the shortcomings of fellow practitioners. Its purpose is to protect itself. If I look within, it will die, so it keeps pouring wrong ideas into my head: “You are right. It is him who does not cultivate truly and does not look within.” It may even bring other practitioners to strengthen this idea to me: “You have a higher level of understanding. You truly cultivate. He does not cultivate.”
Teacher's Fa woke me up and let me recognize this. As I am writing, I know that my attachments are being truly eliminated, as I feel headache and as if I cannot write this out. But I know that writing it out is a process of eliminating it. It is disintegrating right now.
Another thing: We should not be afraid of having attachments. Though we can't get rid of them all at once, we should at least know they are attachments and keep trying to get rid of them. We should never say that we don't have attachments. Otherwise, it will be the same as acknowledging the attachments as ourselves, which means that we want to protect them and keep them. Then we won't be able to get rid of them. Keeping the attachments to the very end will make us fail the sentient beings who have put their unlimited hopes in us.