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Discussing the Root of Attachment

October 13, 2014 |   By a practitioner in Hebei Province, China

(Minghui.org) I often thought that I cared little for possessions and prestige, and the people I knew also believed that was so. Even though I was not wealthy, I lent others money, from thousands to tens of thousands. I do not have any more savings, and I do not feel much when others borrow or take from me.

I believe that the hardest things for me to let go of were the attachments to reputation and self esteem. When others deliberately took advantage of me, I often thought that I did not care about that little bit of self interest. Inside, however, I was thinking, "How dare you treat me so badly! How dare you treat me like a fool!"

I tried my best to suppress these attachments to fighting, to my reputation, and to the deep resentment I felt for those people who took advantage of me. I went through many tests and tribulations this way.

One day I suddenly realized that if others did not want my prized possessions but only wanted a stone or the dirt in my yard, would I be moved? It was only then that I discovered just how strong my attachments to possessions and prestige still were.

My letting go of possessions and social status was mixed with the heart of “I am better than others” – the impure heart of pursuing reputation. How did it hide so well and for so long? Because I mistakenly thought that I had already let it go, and others also commented that I did well in this regard.

Master said:

“The boss may also say that this person is really capable and can accomplish anything. Coworkers may also express that he is really capable and talented.” (Zhuan Falun)

“When your knowledge of this dimension accumulates, when your understanding of everything in this dimension becomes clearer and clearer, and when you seemingly become more and more aware, you are actually closing yourself off more and more.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Switzerland”)

I realized that when one is sure about something for a long time, that might be the source of many tribulations and difficulties. When one is able to find the root of the attachment and eliminate it, many things can be easily resolved. And, sometimes, even though the root is gone, we still hold on to the rootless attachment out of habit.

For example, when my mother-in-law blatantly treated my children differently from her other grandchildren, I was jealous and thought it so unfair. Then I asked myself: "What do you want? Do you really want your children to be spoiled? Do you want to let others take care of everything for them? Do you want them to grow up and not be able to take care of themselves?" The answers were obvious.

When my husband was late coming home, I wanted to call him and ask where he was and when he would be home. Even if I did not actually make the call, I would still be upset. When that happened, I again asked myself: "Are you really so attached to him? Do you really need him near you at all times? Do you need his consideration and affection?" Again, I knew the answers.

Those are the times I realized that I was pursuing things without realizing whether I needed them or not. It is all right for ordinary people to pursue sentimentality, but, as a cultivator, one needs to cultivate out of this attachment. Even though I was just doing it out of habit, once I realized I actually did not need it, it was easy to let it go.

You might want to try to ask yourselves whenever you feel unbalanced: "What do I want? Do I really want that?" Maybe you will find out that it is not what you really want, and discover that that thing is so minute and trifling. What we need to get rid of is actually our old habits.

Please point out any shortcomings in my understanding!