Minghui Fahui | Identifying Fundamental Attachments While Validating Dafa
Greetings, revered Teacher!
Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I have been practicing Falun Gong for 14 years. I have been doing the three things steadily since I was released from the county detention center in April 2002. I have removed many attachments to various degrees while producing truth-clarification materials and distributing them, clarifying the facts about Falun Gong to people, handing out Shen Yun Performing Arts DVDs, persuading people to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated student leagues, and sending out important facts about Falun Gong via my mobile phone.
I used to have very strong attachments to showing off, satisfying my ego, being zealous and getting things done. When these thoughts were strong, I sometimes failed to suppress them. Nowadays, they've become very weak because I study the Fa and cultivate myself solidly. I ran into some trouble in the past two years while validating Dafa, which compelled me to re-evaluate existing problems in my cultivation.
Last summer, four fellow practitioners and I drove to a rural area to hand out Shen Yun Performing Arts DVDs. We went to a valley with five villages. After we finished distributing DVDs in three villages, on our way to the fourth village, we passed a car with four men at a turn. The men stretched their necks to check us out. We immediately realized that someone from the previous village must have reported us to the authorities.
We sped up toward an open road, but before we reached it that car caught up with us. They were unable to get past us because the country road was narrow, so they kept shouting and honking at us. Soon we reached the open road. The fellow practitioner who was driving asked us, "Where should we head?” I said: "You decide. Whichever way you like. Don't panic. Teacher is watching over us!"
Once on the open road, that car quickly passed us and blocked our way. Our driver quickly turned in the opposite direction. When that car got past us and blocked us again, we turned and went the other way again. This happened a couple of times. We kept sending forth righteous thoughts and asked Teacher for protection. I spoke aloud with righteous thoughts: "We are Falun Gong practitioners in the Fa-rectification period. It is our historic responsibility to clarify the truth and save people from the lies of the CCP. It is Teacher who asked us to do it. Whoever dares to persecute us will commit a sin. Even if we might have loopholes in cultivation, we shall rectify ourselves by searching inward. No evil being has the right to persecute us." We all had very strong righteous thoughts.
After we turned again, we arrived in a town. There were cars on both sides of the road, and several people made a stance to block our car. Our driver slowed down, giving them an impression that we were preparing to stop. The instant they yielded, however, he hit the gas and drove past them.
We had a large number of Shen Yun DVDs in the car. A fellow practitioner suggested that we should hide them. We decided to put the idea into action right away, and our driver found a suitable spot. When that car with four men drove past us again, we took the opportunity during a turn and quickly threw a bag of DVDs out the window into a bush on the roadside. We kept sending forth righteous thoughts and begged Teacher for help.
We were just about to reach a village when that car passed us again. We looked behind and found that two other cars blocked us from both sides. However, we had faith that Teacher would protect us. At a pivotal moment, we saw a shortcut to the village. We knew it must have been arranged by Teacher, so we did not hesitate to take it. When we stopped on a hill and looked back toward the road, we could no longer see that car. Two other cars were parked on the road, and several people stood outside and looked up at the mountain, trying to locate us.
I called my husband, and he drove out to pick us up. We found the bag with Shen Yun DVDs on our way back. Our driver also returned home safely that evening. Thus, we escaped potential arrest because of Teacher's compassionate protection. In hindsight, our close encounter was like a TV drama. We all had tears of gratitude for Teacher's help.
Through this experience, I understood deeply Teacher's words:
"When disciples have ample righteous thoughts
Master has the power to turn back the tide"
("The Master-Disciple Bond" from Hong Yin Volume II)
Afterward, we gathered and studied the Fa together. We also searched inward and identified many attachments.
I, too, identified some attachments. I had clarified the truth for a few years without getting into any trouble, whether alone or with fellow practitioners, so I became complacent and let my guard down. I equated clarifying the truth, itself, to cultivation and didn't notice this dangerous state of mind. I thought I had strong righteous thoughts, and many fellow practitioners preferred to team up with me to clarify the truth. However, after looking inward, I realized that I had a very strong attachment to validating myself.
One Sunday last fall, a fellow practitioner and I traveled by bus to a village to hand out Shen Yun DVDs. We handed out DVDs to one person at a time, and everything went very well. We then ran into a group of men who were building a house. They were all very eager to get a DVD.
On our way out of the village, we ran into a group of six people. We approached them with a smile and gave them a brief explanation of Shen Yun. One of them asked for a DVD.
A man in his 50s stepped forward and also took a DVD from me. However, then he grabbed my bag of DVDs and said: "Let me see how many DVDs you have left. Give me some more." I replied: "They are very precious. They all have the same content. You only need one." He looked angry and grabbed my bag by force. He declared: "You Falun Gong practitioners say bad things about the CCP every day. Today, I will call the police and have you arrested. Let's see who else will dare to come to our village again!" Next, he tried to snap the DVD in half. I immediately grabbed it to prevent him from committing a sin. He began to tremble with rage. He was so angry that his voice changed.
He took out his mobile phone and was about to make a call. A word popped into my mind immediately: "illusion." The fellow practitioner and I sent forth righteous thoughts while clarifying the truth to him. I said with a smile and a peaceful mind: "Brother, you know, it is Sunday. We both have jobs, and we've used our personal time to bring you something as wonderful as Shen Yun DVDs. We are doing this for your own good. You will understand once you watch it." With Teacher's help, the fellow practitioner and I both had very strong righteous thoughts.
The man quickly returned the bag to us and put his mobile phone away. He said, "You may leave, but don't ever come back." I responded with a smile: "It appears that you don't quite understand the truth about Falun Gong. Why don't we tell you more?" The people in the group began to ask questions about Falun Gong, which we patiently answered. When it got dark, we told them: "Watch the DVD and pass it around. We shall come back when we have time." Then we walked out of the village.
We searched within on the way home and agreed that we had two loopholes. First, we both had a notion. Fellow practitioners had visited this village several times in the past and reported that the villagers were not receptive to hearing the truth about Falun Gong. A female practitioner from this village had been severely persecuted and nearly lost her life, and her family and other villagers had a lot of misunderstandings about Falun Gong. Thus, we entered this village with a notion that people would not be receptive. Naturally, the evil took advantage of this notion. In a sense, we fulfilled our own prophecy.
Our second loophole was that we were overcome with zealotry upon seeing that the villagers were actually receptive.
"...whatever one’s thoughts align with will dominate the person."
("Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa - Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference")
Once we identified these loopholes, we quickly rectified ourselves according to the Fa and eliminated these bad notions with righteous thoughts.
Three fellow practitioners and I traveled to a village at night on May 13, 2012. We planned to hang banners, post signs and distribute truth-clarification materials with important facts about Falun Gong.
It was already past 10 p.m. when we arrived at the first village. The sky was particularly dark that night, and I forgot to bring a torch with me. As soon as I entered the village, I fell into sewage nearly two meters deep. It took me a lot of time and effort to climb out of it. I badly injured my left wrist and right knee, but I kept sending forth righteous thoughts and denying the interference. I continued to validate Dafa with fellow practitioners that night and did not return home until around 5 a.m. the next day.
My left wrist was very swollen and painful the next day. People said that I must have fractured it. I also had difficulty bending my right knee. Nevertheless, I persevered in practicing Falun Gong exercises every day. I also did not take any time off from work or ask anyone to help me with housework. My husband, who is not a Falun Gong practitioner, declared, "Your Teacher has saved your life again."
Upon evaluating the incident and looking within, I realized that I had wanted to show others that I could do better. When we went out to clarify the truth, I didn't care about fellow practitioners at all. I often walked briskly or even jogged. A fellow practitioner who walks slowly once commented: "I will never work with her (referring to me) again. She walks so quickly. I felt so nervous. I could hardly catch my breath." When I heard the comment, I still didn't care; I blamed the other practitioner for being too slow.
Teacher has repeatedly reminded us of the serious nature of cultivation. Why didn't I pay attention?
After the aforementioned incidents, I tried to study the "20th Anniversary Fa Teaching" in tranquility. As I searched within while studying the lecture, the words "seeking fame" popped into my mind. I knew Teacher was giving me a hint.
It suddenly dawned on me. I am the youngest of four sisters, and my entire family considers me to be the smartest one. Thus, my family always gave me the best, despite financial difficulties; I was even able to finish college. Since I got married, I have been the one supporting my parents financially, and my husband and I also support his parents financially. Therefore, I have attained a certain status in my family. When people praised me for being filial, I felt that I deserved the praise. I always studied hard and earned good grades in school, so I also received a lot of praise and recognition from teachers and classmates. Similarly, I worked hard and won many awards in my company in the past few years. Hence, I have grown an appetite for recognition.
When I first started practicing Falun Gong, I wasn't seeking health benefits; I wanted to become a good person and earn a good reputation. After I started practicing, I declined the nomination for employee of the year. My husband was also offered a promotion many times, but each time I asked him to decline because I feared that it might offend someone or that he might have to commit a sin while being a leader. I thought I was relinquishing my attachment to fame and recognition.
However, now I realized that fearing to be a manager or fearing to offend others is the same as fearing for one's reputation. All that I had done was in fact to hide my attachments. As a result, I was actually accumulating attachments to fear, showing off, zealotry, jealousy and getting things done, even though on the surface I tried to eliminate them.
My desire for recognition was never gone either. When I memorized the Fa, I aimed for quick progress. When I encountered problems while clarifying the truth to people, I feared that fellow practitioners might find out and criticize that I did not cultivate well. When I failed to get up early in the morning to practice Falun Gong exercises for a long period of time, I did not tell any fellow practitioners and kept it a secret. When fellow practitioners and I exchanged cultivation insights, I would be silent if I couldn't find anything good to say about myself. I never opened my heart and discussed my problems with fellow practitioners.
For the longest time, I did the three things and kept myself busy, but made little progress in cultivation. It was frightening! How could I have possibly made any progress when I cultivated while harboring these filthy attachments? How could I have not been met with trouble while harboring bad thoughts?
"Those who are attached to their reputations practice an evil way, full of intention. Once they gain renown in this world, they are bound to say good but mean evil, thereby misleading the public and undermining the Fa." ("Cultivators' Avoidances" from Essentials for Further Advancement)
Since I understood my problems from the perspective of the Fa and identified my well-hidden attachments, I have been working hard to eliminate them. Now I guard each and every thought of mine, reinforce my main consciousness, study the Fa in tranquility and spend more time on sending forth righteous thoughts. I also dedicate a certain amount of time each day to address my problems in cultivation practice. I can feel the results. When I go out to validate Dafa at night, I am no longer in a rush; I coordinate well with fellow practitioners and do things calmly and stably. As a result, things have gone well without any problem each time.
I am truly grateful to Teacher for giving me hints and helping me identify my well-hidden, fundamental attachments.
Please kindly point out anything inappropriate in my humble understanding.