Overcoming All Attachments in Cultivation
(Minghui.org) Several years ago I worked with some fellow practitioners on a project. I had strong attachments to fame, gain, and emotion, and was badly attached to the self. I wanted to prove how important I was and wanted my work to be recognized. As a result, when we worked together, often times we had lots of conflicts which were very hard to reconcile. Fellow practitioners' frequent criticisms also brought out my attachments to reputation, competitiveness, and a suspicious mentality. I therefore became even more arrogant and cold, and looked down on the other practitioners. In the end, I had to leave the project.
Cultivation is just like this: the more you want something, the more you are going to lose and the harder you are going to fall.
After leaving that project, I had strong resentment toward the practitioners who hurt me and excluded me. Along with the deep resentment, there was also strong jealousy that I was not able to overcome. Although I joined other efforts and projects afterward, I still could not completely forget about that project.
At first I thought it was caused by my jealousy. Examining the jealousy and resentment then brought out other selfish mentalities such as the competitive mentality and not allowing others to blame me for anything. Then when I searched even deeper within, I found another attachment. I've always felt that project was important and one could gain more mighty virtue. I also found that I had the thought of “becoming famous” in Dafa cultivation. Therefore, unknowingly, I treated all the projects that I worked on as places to fight for fame and gain. All my attachments and bad desires were completely exposed. Fairly speaking, those attachments were even dirtier than those of ordinary people.
From the beginning, when conflicts arose, I tried hard to eliminate the bad thoughts that I could recognize. However, there were so many obstacles and difficulties, it was as if all my bad attitudes exploded. These bad notions took control of me and often I would get lost and struggle while feeling buried in these attachments. I could not overcome them.
Our compassionate Master saw my heart of wanting to improve and saw that I was able to persist in Fa study despite the tribulations. Thus many times in my dreams, I saw Master coming to encourage me and purify my mind. Many times I dreamed that bad things were being cleaned out and discharged from my nose, such as black clots, rotten flesh, dark and moving things, and thin and white bugs that were several inches long. There was another time when I was awake, I saw several people who were dressed like doctors giving me brain surgery. This lasted a little over a year and in the end I was finally free from the interference of these evil notions. The corresponding feeling in my body was that I was taking off a metal cover very slowly, little by little. This metal cover was just like a human body shape and it was surrounding me. Sometimes I could even feel the difficulties of it coming off.
During that period, every day I suffered one round and then another round of mad attacks on my mind by evil notions. I could not remember a lot of the details in the process, but the cultivation of the mind indeed felt like things were cutting into my heart and bones.
Six months ago, with the arrangements of our compassionate Master, I joined another project. When I received the task, my first thought was: I must steadily and carefully take responsibility and get the work done well; I must cooperate well with fellow practitioners and I will not allow bad thoughts to interfere with cooperation between me and fellow practitioners.
But after days and days of work, I reached a time when I again had bad thoughts. I felt that the things I was doing were too small and unimportant and I could not see any major good outcomes. I felt that my work did not have as much mighty virtue as distributing flyers on the street. I still could not put down my attachment to fame and gain and the desire for mighty virtue.
One day when I had this thought again, I said to myself: Since it is Master who has arranged everything, therefore no matter how big or how small the things seemingly are, I will take them seriously and do them carefully. I asked myself: If Master asks me to pick out a piece of grain in a mountain of sand and there is only one piece of grain, will I do it and do it well? Then I answered firmly: I will! As long as it's something Master arranged, however long it takes, I will continue to do it. Just like this, I was able to overcome the bad thought.
When the persecution first began, I went to validate the Fa in Beijing. I was alone and I didn't bring anything with me. Before I left, facing the tearful eyes and anxious words of fellow practitioners, I firmly said, “Even if there is a mountain of knives, oceans of fire, or a bottomless abyss, I'll still jump in!” At the time I had just graduated from school and had only practiced cultivation for one year, but I didn't leave myself any room for turning back.
As time moved on, I could no longer find the pure state of mind I once had. I was often tied up by emotion and attachments to fame and gain.
A while ago, I badly wanted a raise from my workplace. My attachment to money had gotten very strong. In the pain of not being able to overcome that attachment, my true self again awakened. I asked myself: If this were a life or death tribulation that determined whether my cultivation would succeed or not, then how would I handle it? Then my mind responded: Go through the tribulation by putting down concerns for life or death! In that moment, I felt that this tribulation was so minor. Raises, how much money I had, all felt like they had nothing to do with me.
From then on, I once again found the righteous thoughts that had become deeply buried: I will look at every tribulation and go through it as if it were a tribulation of life or death. I then felt that all these tribulations that seemed to be very difficult to overcome had become very easy. The insecure feeling I had in cultivation was gone, and instead I felt free of burdens and solid.
I often ask myself: if a practitioner can truly disregard life and death at any time, then what can't he overcome?
I will be forever thankful to compassionate Master! I'll carefully follow Master's teachings, do the three things well and do a good job in each step on my cultivation path.