(Minghui.org) Master said in Zhuan Falun, “To tell you the truth, the entire cultivation process for a practitioner is one of constantly giving up human attachments.” It is my understanding that there is always the matter of looking inward to identify and remove our selfish thoughts in the whole process of our cultivation. After all, all attachments originate from our selfishness. Here I will share with everyone how I look inward in my cultivation and strive to “attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism.” (“Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature” in Essentials for Further Advancement)

1. Looking Inward to Rectify Myself

My cultivation process is relatively uneventful, thanks to my constant memorization of Dafa books since the beginning of my practice. In retrospect, even the so-called difficulty of relinquishing attachments at the start of the persecution now seems like nothing. My solid Fa-study enables me to walk a stable path in my cultivation. Whenever I encounter tribulations or conflicts, Master’s Fa flashes in my mind and guides me to pass the tests.

Whether it is personal cultivation or Fa-rectification period cultivation, looking inward is key to improving our xinxing. Master once instructed us in “Fa Teaching at the 2008 New York Conference:”

“Those ordeals and the suffering, no matter how great or harsh you find them to be, are good things, because they take place solely on account of your cultivation. A person can eliminate karma and shed human attachments when he goes through ordeals, and through ordeals he can improve.”

So there must be a reason for our ordeals. As long as we look within to identify our root problem, we will be able to break through the evil’s arrangements and elevate our cultivation level.

Based on my own experiences, I feel that there are three important factors to our xinxing elevation. First, we must treat the matter at hand with righteous thoughts. Second, we must identify and eliminate our attachments in the shortest time possible. Third, we must put Dafa as our top priority and share with fellow practitioners our understanding in a timely manner so as not to leave any loophole for the evil to exploit.

Once, I went to visit Practitioner A and she kept talking about the shortcomings of Practitioner B. I didn’t want to listen to her complaints and contradicted her, “No, she’s not like that at all!” Practitioner A immediately accused me of acting the same way as Practitioner B. She said, “Both of you are the same and neither of you can tolerate other people’s constructive criticism.” I couldn’t come to terms with her accusation. How could I be the same as Practitioner B? I shot back at A, only to make her mad. When she became angry, I suddenly calmed down and reminded myself not to argue anymore.

When I returned home I still felt extremely upset. What Practitioner A had said about me had really hurt my feelings. However, I didn’t see that there was anything wrong with me. Later I began to send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate anything that prevented me from identifying my attachments. Once I elevated above the human level and looked at the whole thing from a third party’s perspective, I saw my attachment to strongly protecting myself and intolerance of any criticism.

I came to see that it actually didn’t matter who was wrong or right. The key was to use this seemingly accidental thing to temper my heart and dig out my fundamental attachment: self-obsession. In that instant, a scene flashed in my mind: a boat with many ropes tied to it suddenly had all the ropes cut off at once and was ready to sail. My heart felt incredibly light.

There was another test that accompanied much of my cultivation process. My husband often made trouble for me after he became drunk. He began swearing at me again and at first I tried hard to endure his burst of temper. But eventually I couldn’t take it anymore and started an argument with him. The next day, controlled by my thought karma, I took our child and temporarily moved in with a fellow practitioner. To my shock, this resulted in an ordeal for me. During my temporary stay at the fellow practitioner’s house, the local police launched a mass arrest, and her child told on me when the police pressured him. I had to move from place to place to avoid being arrested. Then my older sister had a brain hemorrhage and checked into a hospital. In the meantime my husband kept verbally abusing me. After sharing with fellow practitioners, sending forth righteous thoughts, and looking within, I was able to see that I still had a fighting mentality and attachments to lust and everyday people’s comfortable life. I knew these were all from my selfishness. I intensified my Fa-study and read more of fellow practitioners’ sharing articles on eliminating sentimentality. I felt I gained a new lease on life. When I returned home one week later, everything was normal again.

This stumble awakened me and enabled me to identify many impure thoughts I still harbored. I was feeling too good about myself and cared little about others. I didn’t want to bring any trouble to myself and hated other people’s criticism. I targeted my righteous thoughts at these attachments and then had a calm conversation with my husband. I asked him to point out my shortcomings but reminded him not to curse at me when he was drunk. After I told him this, I was still a bit upset since I felt what happened was his fault. I had yet to admit that I was wrong. I knew I hadn’t completely relinquished my attachments and was still obsessed with saving face. Even so, my husband was deeply moved and surprised to see I admitted my mistakes for the first time ever. He promised to change for the better as well and he indeed never makes any more trouble for me. I, on the other hand, was able to remove my intolerance of other people’s criticism. I gained a deeper understanding of “Pacify the External by Cultivating the Internal” (in Essentials For Further Advancement)

During my dealings with my husband, I gradually got rid of my habit of placing blame on him all the time and let go of my fighting mentality. I enlarged my capacity and felt more compassion. In the meantime, I didn’t forget to look within at all times. For instance, when I failed to make someone understand the facts about Falun Gong, I saw my attachment of clarifying the facts just for the sake of doing so. Another time my e-book wouldn’t open, and I realized I still had attachment to material interests. When I heard unfair comments directed at me, I knew I still had attachments to fame. In a nutshell, I developed the habit of looking within to identify and remove my root problems whenever I felt uncomfortable and upset. When this became a mechanism in my cultivation, I could feel myself improving quickly.

2. Look Inward to Harmonize the Whole Body of Practitioners

Let Go of Self and Improve in the Whole Body

As I see it, harmonizing the whole body is every practitioner’s responsibility, not just the coordinators'. When someone complains about how the whole body isn’t working well, he is already positioning himself as an outsider. In our truth-clarification team, each of us has projects to be done independently and we also have things we need to work on together. I feel that cooperating with the rest of our team is the very first step in harmonizing the whole body.

Last year one practitioner on my team encountered evil interference and I immediately informed other team members to send forth righteous thoughts for her. I also shared my thoughts frequently with this practitioner. When I learned that the police had gone to harass her, I sent forth righteous thoughts in close proximity. I also took her child in and encouraged him to support his mother. I also kept other team members posted on what was happening to her, so as to make sure we were all up to date with her situation. I was determined to help her break through the interference no matter how difficult it was. After all, we are a whole body. During the process I saw my selfishness raising its ugly head again. I worked so hard to help her because she was on my team, but I sensed I might not have such strong desire to help practitioners from other teams. I adjusted my mentality of playing favorites and made up my mind to help anyone in need whether he or she worked with me or not.

Only when Everyone Improves Can the Whole Body Elevate to a Higher Level

As an individual cultivator, any single attachment can stop you from ascending. As a whole body, it’s the same. Any single practitioner stuck in tribulations will weaken the whole body’s power. If we treat other people’s issues as our own, we will be able to reduce conflicts since we are putting ourselves in others' shoes and we will of course be responsible.

Master said in “Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan” in 2009:

“Some people are always stressing that they’re right, but even if you are right, even if you’re not wrong, so what? Have you improved on the basis of the Fa? The very act of using human thinking to stress who’s right and who’s wrong is in itself wrong. That’s because you are then using the logic of ordinary people to evaluate yourself, and using that logic to make demands on others. As gods see it, for a cultivator to be right or wrong in the human world is not important in the least, whereas eliminating the attachments that come from human thinking is important, and it is precisely your managing to eliminate those attachments rooted in your human thinking as you cultivate that counts as important.”

I had a family member who was also a practitioner and I always saw her not-so-diligent side. I couldn’t help picking on her. When I read more practitioners’ sharing about not blaming and complaining about others, I began to examine myself. I found that sentimentality had taken the place of kindness and compassion in my heart. So I sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate my bad thoughts. I helped her get on the Minghui website and encouraged her to step forward to clarify the facts to people. I also encouraged her to attend group Fa-study more often. Both of us benefited from the group Fa-study. Before I knew it, my heart of looking down on her disappeared while she assimilated into the whole body and her cultivation state got better and better.

Breaking through Myself and Harmonizing the Whole Body

I once had a very clear dream in which two teams were playing a basketball game. My team thought the other team was very strong and one of our team members was a bit unsure about our chances of winning. I shared my thoughts with him and he felt much more confident afterwards. He was able to break through the opponents’ defense and with my support he was able to shoot baskets and score big. In the end we beat our opponents 101-100. My dream stopped right there and three words flashed in my mind: “break through,” “cooperating,” and “whole body.”

In our cultivation, we need to constantly break through our own selfish notions. We need to share and cooperate with each other unconditionally. This way we can enhance the whole body and defeat the evil.

For a long period of time I had trouble breaking through the obstacle of talking to people about the facts of Falun Gong face to face. After studying Master’s recent articles, I thought that Dafa disciples should be omnipotent and why didn’t I give it a try. I then went out with some fellow practitioners and found I was able to clarify the facts to people face to face. Once I broke through my own notions, it no longer was that difficult. Now, no matter where I go or who I encounter, my first thought is to save them. Such truth-clarification efforts have brought me endless joy.

After group Fa study yesterday I had a long conversation with a fellow practitioner. She was not too confident talking to people face to face and, as such, wasn’t able to persuade anyone to withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations, the Communist Youth League and the Young Pioneers (also known as the “three withdrawals”). I shared with her how I got each and every one on my “three-withdrawal” list to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations. I helped her identify what her roadblock was. I encouraged her to talk and break through her attachment to self. I shared that as long as she has a firm heart to save people, Master will surely help her. The more we encounter trouble, the harder we should work to break through the obstacles.

Cultivation is indeed a process of breaking through ourselves. Master said:

“Study the Fa and gain the Fa,
Focus on how you study and cultivate,
Let each and every thing
be measured against the Fa.
Only then, with that,
is it actually cultivation.”
(“Solid Cultivation” in Hong Yin)

I’ve enlightened to the fact that we must do what Master instructed us in the above poem in order to complete our solid cultivation process. Look inward to improve ourselves. Do the three things well and fulfill our prehistoric vow.