(Minghui.org) In our cultivation of Falun Dafa, we need to ask ourselves, "Are we truly cultivating ourselves, aligning each and every thought of ours with the Fa, and are we taking to heart our responsibilities as Dafa disciples?"

The prerequisite for cultivating based on the Fa is to be diligent in cultivation. I'd like to share my understanding about several major barrierss that are hindering us on our cultivation path.

Sentimentality Different for Men and Women

The first major test I encountered in my cultivation was human sentimentality, especially when it came to the affection between a man and a woman. The attachment to sentimentality is different for men and women. For a man, lust is a major test; for a woman, emotional support is a major issue.

In Dafa cultivation, it is very important to recognize any demonic interference when it comes to affection, because this is something that can destroy a cultivator. To overcome this issue, one must study and gain a better understanding of the Fa.

Cultivators in the past cut off any worldly ties the minute they started to cultivate, thus cutting off any opportunity for sentimentality.

Affection between a man and a woman is based on selfishness and is not reliable. It's related to karmic bonds that are over when one pays off one's debt. As a cultivator, we have the Fa as the standard, and we must not be attached to sentimentality or lust. When the attachment or desire surfaces, we need to reject them. Then, and only then, will Master help us remove the substance related to the attachment.

A cultivator is prohibited from violating the rule on lust. If one does not let go of this attachment, one will not be able to cultivate to high levels – the Fa is the door keeper when it comes to lust.

High Requirements for Dafa Disciples

For Dafa disciples, although we cultivate in this mundane world, the requirement is even higher than for cultivators of the past. We have to remain unmoved before temptations in this world. If one's heart is moved, which is in fact a reflection of one's attachment, one is still a part of the ordinary world.

I believe that when a cultivator is trapped by affection between a man and a woman, he or she is on a lower level and not at the level of a Dafa disciple. In addition, one is disturbed by interference from thought karma and demons.

There is another hard test when it comes to human sentimentality – the attachment to family, especially our parents. In fact, we also have karmic bonds with our parents – be it favorable or unfavorable, it needs to be settled.

From another perspective, everyone in this world comes for the Fa – but not everyone comes to play a positive role. Some come to interfere with us to test our resolve to remain firm in the Fa. It is important that we break through any interference from our family members and save them. I believe that if we can position things right, we will be able to overcome the test no matter how hard it is.

Attachments Linked to the Old Universe

As I improved when it came to the attachment of sentimentality, another big attachment appeared – the attachment to myself and validating myself.

This attachment is very prominent for me. In the past, I used to be domineering and thought I had strong righteous thoughts. However, when one is selfish and attached to oneself, one cannot think of others first, but only thinks of oneself.

Without letting go of the attachment to oneself, it is impossible to break through the principles of the old universe. Furthermore, one will easily develop demonic interference from one's own mind. When one encounters a tribulation and yet cannot overcome it, one may begin to doubt Master and the Fa, and one's faith in the practice will waver.

I had been struggling in my relationship with someone. Looking deep inside, the fundamental reason was rooted in my attachment to fame and the desire to control.

Looking Within Connects to Buddha Nature

I also like to be praised. That has to do with the desire to be recognized by others. And I see this attachment in many practitioners I know. The attachment to fame is especially obvious when we argue with each other about who is right and who is wrong.

I know that I will make real improvement on this issue only by fundamentally changing my notion.

When I passed xinxing tests in cultivation, I realized that, if I did not have certain attachments, I could not be affected when others badmouthed me. However, if I have the notion, I would be bothered. In my understanding, looking within is truly a magical tool, like a channel that connects to our Buddha nature and the characteristic of the universe.

Master said:

“Yet when we run into problems, we often look outwards—'Why are you treating me like that?'—and feel that we’ve been treated unfairly, instead of examining ourselves. That’s the greatest and most fatal obstacle for all living beings. In the past, some people said that it was impossible to succeed in cultivation. How could one succeed in cultivation? [They couldn’t succeed] because that was the biggest obstacle, and nobody was willing to find faults in himself amidst problems. When a person feels hurt, or when he encounters misfortune, it’s really difficult for him to still examine himself and see if he’s done something wrong. If a person can do that, then I’d say that on this path, on this path of cultivation, and for the eternity of his existence, nothing can stop him. It’s truly the case.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Singapore”)

Difficult to Cultivate

I lacked a good understanding when it came to jealousy in the beginning of my cultivation and could not see how I reacted to it. However, as I cultivated, I realized that jealousy itself is a reflection of a wicked level. When others got rich, then my jealousy would surface. Sometimes when I look down on others, I understand that's also a reflection of my jealousy, vanity, and notion.

It is difficult to cultivate in the mundane world and save people. However, we have Master and the Fa to guide us, and that's the fundamental honor of our lives.