Eliminating the Deep-Seated, Hard to Detect “Selfishness”
(Minghui.org) After studying Master's recent lecture, “Fa Teaching at the 2015 West Coast Fa Conference,” I became anxious about the state of my cultivation and wanted to improve and elevate my realm. Master saw that I was sincere and began to enlighten me, allowing me to see the deep-seated, hard to detect selfishness in my thoughts.
Hard-to-Detect Thoughts of "Bargaining"
Over the last several years, the economy in China has steadily declined, and businesses across the board were hit hard. But I always had this thought: My business will not be affected. I am different. In reality, my business truly was not affected by the declining economy.
In recent days, I thought about this issue some more. “Why is my business different? Why hasn't my business suffered?” Digging deeper, a thought like this surfaced: “I contributed a great deal of money to Dafa projects over the years. My business should not be affected--Dafa would compensate me.”
I was shocked by my own thought: Isn't this selfishness? How can I bargain with Dafa? This thought was deep-seated and hard to detect; it would surface from time to time only when my business was fluctuating. It quietly controlled me.
Besides being shocked by the thought, I also saw how ugly it was. I said to Master sincerely: “My contributions to Dafa are pure, with nothing attached. I do not seek any return! I want to completely eliminate this filthy selfishness! Help me, Master!”
Unknowingly Influenced by Old Notions
A fellow practitioner was hospitalized a couple of days ago, and when I went to visit him, he did nothing but cry. Before this happened, I thought he was not diligent, he didn't study the Fa consistently, doing the exercises for him was hit and miss, and yet he felt pretty good about himself.
Once he was hospitalized, it generated many negative comments among us. Some said: “It was all his own fault, not taking cultivation seriously.” “How did he carry out his duties? How could he be so unaware of his own cultivation state? He only asked Master for help when he was in trouble!”
My heart was heavy, and I felt a sense of helplessness. I thought, “He truly did poorly. He was focused on his business and worked hard day and night. He put his daily life above his cultivation and fell asleep while sending forth righteous thoughts. He showed no sign of diligence. How could the old forces let him go?”
Master saw what I was thinking and used another practitioner's comment to give me a stick warning: “Your thoughts will make the old forces very happy--they will think they did something right since we are all worked up about this one person, instead of looking within.”
I suddenly realized something: “Yes, why not look within?” I saw my notion: that it would make sense to be persecuted if one was not diligent. Wasn't I using a notion from the old cosmic law to evaluate things? Wasn't I standing on the side of the old forces?
Once I came to that realization, I immediately wanted to eliminate that notion and change my attitude. A fellow practitioner was already in a tribulation! I needed to support and help him, negate such persecution, discuss and share on the basis of the Fa, and not blame, complain about, or resent him! I felt a blanket of warm energy envelop me when I changed my attitude, and I was able to send forth righteous thoughts with focused attention.
Different Forms of Selfishness
When I diligently cultivate, I now and then think, “I am so diligent, it should be no problem to reach Consummation.” I've even thought, “I did what I could, I have tried my best. I will not be left behind.” But I've recently felt this thought was not right.
Master taught us:
“Whatever you do, you should consider others first, so as to attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism.” ("Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature," Essentials for Further Advancement)
When I think of Consummation, it means leaving this sea of misery for liberation and freedom. But have I prioritized saving sentient beings? How can I have such an intention behind diligence, how can this meet the standard of the new cosmos?
Whenever I did well in validating Dafa or contributed a great deal to a Dafa project, I thought, "It is related to virtue and merit. I have devoted so much and contributed so much. I should be on the list of those with higher fruit status and in lofty realms." Isn't this bargaining again with Dafa and Master? I am so ashamed! As a Dafa practitioner, one cannot harbor even an ounce of selfishness. This has to be eliminated. This is a fundamental issue.
In the past, whenever I sent forth righteous thoughts, I would add: “Eliminate all factors that make one age, become ill, and die. Let the matter within the Three Realms have no effect on me. Let me look younger and younger, let me become a good example of the power of Falun Dafa.”
Lately I've realized that this is an impure thought: Selfishness is again behind the pursuit of looking youthful. I wanted others to praise me, remark on how well I have cultivated. Dafa causes that to happen naturally--how could I pursuit it? No matter how good it appears on the human level, it stays here. The only thing we can take away is the purity and unselfish realm that we cultivate to.
These above are what I have enlightened to recently. Please kindly point out any shortcomings.