Be On Guard for the Attachment to Comfort
(Minghui.org) The attachment to comfort is often well hidden and hard to find. It can eat up a cultivator's will, bit by bit, in every aspect of life. As a new Falun Dafa practitioner who began in July 2012, I would like to share my limited understanding on this topic.
I'm not a person of perseverance. It is very hard for me to persist in doing anything. After I started cultivating I realized that my lack of perseverance stemmed from my attachment to comfort.
I was very excited when I first started. I did the exercises every day for over 20 days. A thought flashed in my mind, “I had never persisted in doing anything. Can I continue this momentum?”
I subsequently skipped the exercises the following day. Resuming proved to be very hard, as if a force was pulling me away from it. I couldn't do exercises for more than two consecutive days, even with dedicated perseverance.
Master said in “Teaching the Fa and Answering Questions in Guangzhou” in Zhuan Falun Fajie - The Law of Zhuan Falun Explained:
“Some people practice, but they only do it sporadically—on one day and off the next. They don’t do it seriously, and they don’t hold themselves to our xinxing requirements. These people are not disciples who cultivate in Falun Dafa, and all kinds of things can happen to them.”
I couldn't even seem to do the exercises sporadically. I knew it wasn't right, but saw no way out. I still considered myself a cultivator because I adhered to the Fa principles in elevating my xinxing.
I had a dream one night. I was solid like iron, and the evil forces couldn't do anything to me. But I suddenly pulled up my shirt and exposed my rib cage. The evil forces then appeared to be very happy. I didn't realize that this was a hint regarding the evil force's plan to take advantage of my weakness (“soft rib” in Chinese).
I got up at around 8:00 a.m. on one of the following days. Seeing how cute my son looked in sleep, I wanted to cuddle with him. As soon as I laid down, I heard a voice, “Don't go to sleep. You must not go to sleep.”
I didn't give it a second thought, and slept with my son in my arms. The interference seemed to take this as an invitation. I could hardly keep my eyes open that evening, even though it was far earlier than my normal bedtime.
I became anxious. I forced myself to get up at 3:50 a.m. to join the group morning exercise session, before I got used to sleeping three and a half hours. I oftentimes dozed off during the fifth exercise, then laid down for a real nap.
The result was that I did only four exercises each day, and reinforced my attachment to comfort by taking a nap in the morning. Even though Master gave me a hint in my dream that tires were spinning as a car raced too fast, I didn't enlighten. I wanted to resist the nap, but each day I went back to bed after doing four exercises. My attachment to comfort in turn grew stronger.
Even though I had read fellow practitioners' experience sharing articles alerting us not to go back to sleep in the morning, I thought I lucked out because nothing serious had happened to me. Eventually it became a habit. Even when I wasn't too tired, I still fell asleep, and two hours would easily fly by.
It got worse. The more I slept, the more tired I was. I knew I should make a change, but I couldn't control myself. I would fall asleep as soon as I felt tired. I turned off my alarm clock and continued sleeping. Eventually, I couldn't get up to do morning exercises.
I knelt down in front of Master's picture and promised to eliminate my attachment to comfort. To my disappointment, my problem persisted, again and again.
I felt so ashamed that I dared not look at Master's portrait or visit the Minghui website. I thought, “Why is it so hard for me while it is so easy for my fellow practitioners to do exercises every day? Am I not qualified? Should I give up? Do I still have a future if I give up? If I give up, I will fall into the evil's trap and make the evil happy.”
I decided to continue my cultivation despite all my weaknesses. No one, except Master, knew how badly I struggled with the attachment to comfort.
I struggled to get out of bed again one morning, and my body seemed to be very heavy. I felt as if I was glued to the bed. I thought that Master must be upset seeing me like this.
I then suddenly saw Master's face with a compassionate and calm smile. I knew that Master was appearing in front of me to encourage me! Tears rolled down my cheeks. Our compassionate Master had eliminated my karma and suffered for me. He encourages everyone including someone as lacking as me! How can I let him down by not becoming diligent?
I was very tired battling my attachment to comfort one night, and I cried and thought, “I have been cultivating alone. I can't sustain it any longer. It would be great to have a fellow practitioner who can help me.”
I got to know a fellow practitioner the next day. She was as nice as a lotus flower. Even though we didn't have much time to chat, I knew she was a practitioner, too. Thank you, Master, for giving the strength to carry on in my cultivation journey.
Laziness forged another wave of attacks as time flew by, and I became more disappointed with myself. I heard a voice, “Every opportunity only comes once.” It was Master's voice! Master knew my thoughts about giving up even before they materialized. Those words changed my mind.
There seemed to be two of me. One wanted to study the Fa, do the exercises, send forth righteous thoughts, and validate the Fa. The other wasted my time, blocked me from doing exercises, made me sleep, and made me forget things.
A huge and heavy helmet seemed to be covering my head, and my eye lids seemed to have glue between them. I kept gaining weight and experiencing interference by the demon of lust in my dreams. This showed that I was being seriously interfered with by my attachment to comfort.
One day, I was reading an experience sharing article on the Minghui website, when I suddenly realized how sacred cultivation was. I knew I was fortunate to obtain the Fa, so how could I even think of giving up? Tears streaked down my face.
Master's compassion has the power to melt down anything unrighteous. I cried from the bottom of my heart, “Master, I will follow you!” I felt that I had again returned to my cultivation path.
I memorized the Fa, sent forth righteous thoughts, did my best to do the exercises, and rejected any negative thoughts that came to my mind. I asked myself, “Why didn't I treat cultivation seriously? It's my vow! Why was I indulging myself and pursuing comfort?
“As a Dafa disciple, I'm at the forefront of a battle between the righteous and the evil. The evil will take advantage of me if I'm not careful. It will bring trouble or tragedy. How could I be so careless? That is being irresponsible for my sentient beings and myself.”
Master taught us in “Fa-Rectification Period Dafa Disciples:”
“Cultivation and Fa-rectification are serious. Whether you are able to treasure this period of time is, in fact, a matter of whether you can be responsible to yourselves. This period of time will not last long, but it can forge the mighty virtue of magnificent Enlightened Beings, Buddhas, Daos, and Gods of different levels, and even Lords of different levels. It can also destroy overnight a cultivator who has reached a really high level but who has become less strict with himself. Disciples, be diligent! Everything that’s the most magnificent and the most wonderful is developed in the process of your validating Dafa. Your vows will become testaments of your future.” (Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I realized in hindsight how I got into trouble unknowingly. I left myself to chance and hadn't treated cultivation seriously. My mentality allowed my attachment to comfort, and my laziness to grow.
A seemingly minor snooze was the starting point of a downhill journey. It worked just like the saying, “A little leak will sink a great ship.”
I also realized that the attachment to comfort is hidden under many other human desires, such as desire for lust, good food, sleep, happiness, sense of accomplishment, vanity, showing off, self-validation, and so on.
Pursing love, friendship, and wealth also boils down to pursuing comfort. We feel comfortable staying warm in cold weather and staying cool on hot days. Leaning on something is more comfortable than standing. Riding in a car is more comfortable than walking.
Even when studying the Fa, we look for more comfortable ways to sit. The attachment to comfort exists in every minor detail. The whole world is a place where people seek comfort. What an illusion! The harder we try to obtain comfort, the deeper we go down the trap, and the harder it becomes to break away.
As Falun Dafa practitioners who cultivate in this world, our flesh bodies are interfered with by the attachment to comfort at every moment. It's hard to detect because it's so pervasive. It may “ruin” us before we know it.
The more relaxed our environment, the more prone we are to becoming attached to comfort. I feel the tests becoming harder as our cultivation approaches the final stage. We should stay alert to the attachment to comfort and its consequences. No matter how many years we have cultivated, there is still danger that our efforts will be in vain if we aren't vigilant.
Master said in “Fa-Rectification Period Dafa Disciples:”
“If you are still unclear about what a Fa-rectification disciple is, you won’t be able to step forward in the current tribulation, and you will be led by the human world’s pursuit of comfort to 'enlightenment' along an evil path. Master’s heart has always been pained by those who have fallen, and the majority were ruined by that pursuit.” (Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I would like end by quoting four paragraphs of Master's teachings. Let's encourage each other to remain diligent.
“You fall asleep while studying the Fa, you fall asleep while reading the book, you also fall asleep while doing the exercises. You haven’t even broken through the beginning stage yet. It’s about willpower! As you know, during your cultivation, not only will all elements that constitute your humanness try to stop you from breaking away from being a human, but also everything that constitutes the human environment won’t let you leave. You have to break through everything and overcome all kinds of ordeals. The biggest manifestation is the suffering they create for you.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Assistants’ Fa Conference in Changchun”)
“But in reality, what human society takes to be truths are, from the perspective of the cosmos, inversions of truth; when humans go through hardship and suffer it is so that they may pay off karma and thereby have happiness in the future. A cultivator thus needs to cultivate by correct and upright truths. Going through hardship and suffering is an outstanding opportunity to remove karma, be cleansed of sin, purify the body, elevate your plane of thought, and rise in level—it’s an extraordinarily good thing. This is a correct and upright Fa-truth” (“The Closer to the End, the More Diligent You Should Be” from Essentials for Further Advancement III)
“Your life came to this earth all for this. How could you not be diligent, and grow lax? This is your moment of destiny, the chance you have waited all eternity for! For however long it has been, you were all along preparing for this, suffering and shedding karma. Yet now, after all the hardship and pain, when you have made it to this day, somehow you have become not diligent. Isn’t that a shame?! Yet this juncture is critical, and if you are not diligent now, you’re done for. Was it not exactly for this moment that your life came here? (“Fa Teaching on World Falun Dafa Day”)
“For what was it that your life journeyed through history to this day? For just one, brief moment. In the long river of time, this stretch is really but a moment. Don’t be so passive and down—get going! You are a cultivator. Sentient beings are waiting for you to save them!” (“Fa Teaching on World Falun Dafa Day”)