(Minghui.org) In “Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference,” Master spoke of the terrible hardship of loneliness:

“Rather, to quietly cultivate in bleak loneliness, unable to see hope, is the hardest of all. Doing any form of cultivation entails undergoing a trial such as this and a path with such features. Only if one can persevere and continually forge ahead does it amount to true diligence.”

Since then, Master has often mentioned the terrible hardship of loneliness. I have asked myself, “Do I face this terrible loneliness?” My answer has always been no. “Master must know I am not ready to bear it,” I thought.

I don’t live in New York, but for several years I spent months at a time there, working in media. A practitioner in New York used to say that I liked to come work there because I was lonely at home. My response was always, “Lonely? I'm not lonely...”

But I recently discovered a stubborn notion—fear of loneliness. Not just fear, but a refusal to face loneliness. As soon as a tiny bit of loneliness crept into my heart, this mentality jumped into my mind to tell me to go eat, go check email, watch TV, or read some news topic I was attached to. For years I have struggled with what seemed a nonstop pursuit of sentiment.

I have struggled with wanting to be valued by others (especially practitioners) and found deep inside that I feared I was worthless. Rationally, I knew this was just an attachment, but for years I have been unable to uncover its root.

As soon as I saw this fear, it seemed that all my attachments were rooted in trying to escape loneliness. Wasn’t this why I sought to be valued? Deep inside, I was fearing loss of the affection and the attention of others.

At that moment, it seemed to me that all of human society was built on this desire to escape loneliness.

Master said,

“Why can human beings be human? It is because human beings have sentimentality. They live just for this sentimentality. Affection among family members, love between a man and a woman, love for parents, feelings, friendship, doing things for friendship, and everything else all relate to this sentimentality. Whether a person likes to do something or not, is happy or unhappy, loves or hates something, and everything in the entire human society comes from this sentimentality.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)

This is only my understanding at my limited level.

Category: Improving Oneself