Eliminating the Fundamental Attachment to Pursuit
(Minghui.org) I have been in a state of deep confusion for a long period of time. Even though I have been following Master's teachings to do a good job at work and consider others first, my colleagues gradually treated me like a stranger. They stopped respecting me and liking me. Instead, they rejected, criticized, and didn't cooperate with me. At home, I have spent quite a bit of effort cooking my family's favorite meals, but they also became more dissatisfied with me and criticized my cooking. Although I did the three things with diligence, and others said I looked younger than people of my age, I still found gray hair and noticed my that complexion was not fair and rosy. Everything in my life seemed abnormal and I felt trapped.
In the midst of depression and worries, I wanted to break through them by studying the Fa. But the more I studied and did everything according to the Fa, the more I thought people were bullying me. I thought I was being too agreeable and that the bad elements were taking advantage of my loophole. Therefore, I stopped maintaining a peaceful and kind heart, and began to fight for “righteous principles of ordinary society.” I sternly criticized colleagues who didn't take the big picture into consideration, and no longer shared my coworkers' concerns. I just took care of my own responsibilities and considered myself the only one who was clear-headed. I thought, “Nowadays, people's moral standards are so low that they can't tell good from bad. I should not lower myself to their level and will just do what I need to do. I'll just ignore them.” I thought I was letting go of my attachments. When my family complained about the meals I prepared, I would snap at them and tell them how ungrateful they were and that I had spent a lot of effort doing things for them. When I was in a poor physical state, I reluctantly thought that perhaps I had to conform to ordinary people's conditions and could not be very different from them. Despite the self-comforting thoughts, I was often in a state of anger and confusion, and felt lost.
Recently, a compassionate practitioner seriously pointed out my shortcomings. I think Master sent him to help me. He shared with me calmly, and gradually dispersed my worries and anger. I saw the core of the problem, that is, I failed to find my fundamental attachment, a strong pursuit for “the perfect outcome.”
When I first began to practice Dafa, I learned that I could reach the realm of the gods through cultivation, a wonderful and carefree realm. I suddenly felt that there was light at the end of tunnel and my view on life became bright and hopeful. This feeling was in itself the manifestation of an attachment, but I didn't detect it. I told myself then, “As long as I cultivate well, everything will become wonderful.” Therefore, I strove to be a “wise person,” and was very strict with myself. At one point, practitioners thought I was a diligent practitioner. My work, family, and physical body underwent tremendous transformation. I was an optimistic person and a happy cultivator. I truly experienced what “the life of an immortal” felt like.
However, when the persecution began in July 1999, I suddenly lost my sense of direction. I couldn't understand and accept the situation. Everything was so far and opposite from the “the perfect outcome” I had expected. I continued to practice for a period of time, but under the tremendous pressure and humiliation of the persecution, I gradually drifted apart from the Fa, even though deep down I never let go of it. Looking back, it was my fundamental attachment that confused me. The attachment of pursuing “wonderful results” covered my eyes and made me lose my sense of direction on the path of cultivation.
Compassionate Master did not give up on me, and I continued to practice later on. This time, after studying the Fa, I understood the reason for the persecution, and that Dafa disciples' cultivation is not personal cultivation as we have the responsibility of saving sentient beings. Therefore, anything that prevents us from saving sentient beings should not exist. Master does not recognize any of the old forces' arrangements, and Dafa disciples should not accept them either. Once I understood this principle, my fears disappeared. I became courageous and firmly negated the persecution. I think the confusion that I initially had was because I began the practice much later and I did not study the Fa well, thus, I failed to understand the Fa-rectification period cultivation. I didn't dig deeper and didn't find my fundamental attachment.
During my cultivation practice, I was often confused by the following issue. When being mistreated, how do I “not blindly withstand the unfair treatment” and “have a mind of great forbearance” at the same time? They are both Fa principles, but I had difficulty understanding them, even after sharing with other practitioners. Therefore, I would often go to different extremes. For example, sometimes I would despise ordinary people's words and actions, and get caught up in arguments with them. Other times I would ignore them, and when encountering a problem I would either go around it or tolerate it. When I went to either extreme, I always felt at the time that my words and actions were based on the Fa. Afterward I would feel I was absolutely wrong, thus, going to yet another extreme.
After analyzing the above situation, I concluded that my fundamental attachment of wanting a “perfect outcome” was the root cause. When I made a choice based on the standard of the “perfect result,” then I was bothered by the result. Ordinary people's “pursuit of self-interest” is the opposite of a cultivator's “obtaining virtue.” When I focused on ordinary people's pursuit of “not wanting to be interfered with” and “not wanting to be persecuted,” then the choice was to “struggle and fight.” Even when I tried to forbear, my heart was still angry. When I focused on the personal cultivation of “cultivating a kind heart and not be stirred,” then the choice was to “retreat and withdraw.” And when I could no longer “retreat,” I would run into difficulty and have doubts about the Fa. Regardless of what I chose, I failed to let go of the “self.” I had an attachment to “the perfect outcome” and didn't measure the situation against the principles of the Fa.
My current understanding is that when encountering any situation we should completely let go of self-interest and the “wonderful results” obtained from cultivation. This, one of the most significant tests, is to see if we truly believe in Master and the Fa, and if we are truly cultivating or just pursuing the “wonderful results” to benefit ourselves from Dafa. The amazing and supernatural states that Dafa has given us are the manifestation of the mercy and mighty power of Dafa. Practitioners should not cultivate for the above reasons. If we cultivate with the intention of pursuit, no matter how minute or hidden it is, we are not truly cultivating. Master said,
“Whether you can let go of ordinary human attachments is a fatal test on your way to becoming a truly extraordinary being. Every disciple who truly cultivates must pass it, for it is the dividing line between a cultivator and an everyday person.” (“True Cultivation” from Essentials For Further Advancement)
When I let go of self-interest and the attachment to a “wonderful outcome,” and measured things with Fa principles, I didn't get angry like I would before (when I “looked outward” after encountering difficulties). I was able to rise above the conflicts, cultivate with ease, and not get caught up in ordinary people's “pros and cons.” Under various complicated circumstances, I was able to maintain a calm and clear mind, clearly see the requirements of the Fa, and speak and act righteously. As a result, I was no longer “a super nice person” who was submissive, suffered in silence, and submitted to mistreatment and humiliation. I didn't explode like a “barrel of gunpowder” either, but acted in a upright, kind, and dignified manner. This enabled me to have more compassion for sentient beings, guide them to see through the evil elements, and gradually rectify unrighteous factors. When encountering interference, I was able to tolerate ordinary people's unkind words and actions, see the old forces' interference in other dimensions, and eliminate them with righteous thoughts.
When I look back at my environment, I realized that the previous problems were created to help me eliminate my attachment to the “perfect result.” My worries were the result of my inability to get rid of my strong attachments. Had I eliminated this attachment sooner, I would have realized that these are normal phenomena of the lives of the cosmos. The levels and “likes and dislikes” of sentient beings differ greatly. It is normal that they understand or not understand, and agree or disagree with what I do. Moreover, being tolerant of others' shortcomings, being able to face criticism and things that are “good” or “bad,” and being righteous when encountering problems, are all part of cultivation. One can certainly obtain blessings when cultivating in Dafa, and Dafa practitioners have an important mission and will gain great virtue. But things will not make way for us because of that. On the path of cultivation, what belongs to us will be ours, including the tribulations we encounter. These are obstacles and tribulations to test whether we are cultivators. If we worry about losing things like love and respect, praise, peace, and health, then we are unclear about the nature of the cultivation.
Once I reached the above understandings, the dark clouds in my heart disappeared and I felt light. Thank you Master! Thank you fellow practitioners!