My Experience of Looking Within
(Minghui.org) Every time before an Experience Sharing Conference, I went back and forth in my mind until I decided to write an article. This time, my initial thought was that I had already shared my experience at the Midwest Fa Conference. This was less than a year ago, but still, my cultivation must have something worthy to share with fellow practitioners.
As soon as I finished writing my sharing article, I realized that I was passive in my cultivation instead of forging ahead. Therefore, I had to find something that gave me the impetus to move ahead at greater speed.
Then, I wondered if my understanding of the Fa was still at very beginning stage of cultivation, and whether my impure notions held me back from advancing in my cultivation.
Environment Affects Cultivation
After I emigrated from China to the United States four years ago, my cultivation gradually slacked off and stagnated. For some time, I thought that during experience sharing with fellow practitioners, my reasoning was based on the Fa. However, I now realize that it was based on human thoughts.
After arriving in the States, I was confused, as this living environment, including the cultivation environment, was not what I was used to. But, it was also exciting to be able to see Master quite often. Therefore, I immersed myself into the Fa-rectification environment. Alas, the outside conditions became repetitive, and the cultivation environment became more and more familiar. I turned into a bored and lonely individual.
My physical and mental exhaustion kept me from doing the exercises as I used to. When I studied Zhuan Falun, I thought that I did not learn much. I gained a little understanding when I studied Master's recent lectures, but nothing long-lasting. I found that pursuit of new feelings in life is a strong attachment of ine, and I mistook the pursuit of new things as advancing on my cultivation path. My righteous thoughts were mixed with distractions. However, I could not recognize this change in me.
Much went through my mind, including finding a job in architectural design, given that I had studied architecture before coming to America, especially since our financial situation was tight.
My heart was restless, and I was filled with strong desire, a feeling that was difficult to give up. But, I knew that I must not have followed the Fa. These attachments had been nurtured because of my lack of diligence.
Was I a Dafa disciple and a cultivator? Master has cleansed practitioners' bodies, so I must be a cultivator and my cultivation environment has been set up by Master. However, in this dimension, I sometimes did not act like a cultivator. My main consciousness failed to recognize my attachments, and I could not differentiate between my attachments and my true self.
Cultivating is like going against a current. If one does not advance, one must be going with the flow of ordinary society. I truly want to expose my attachments and get rid of them.
Be on Guard of Being Deceived by One's Attachments
Since I started on my cultivation path, I tried to eliminate attachments to fame, profit, and emotions. On the one hand, I take the attachment to profit very seriously, while on the other hand I use the excuse that I need money for living expenses to compensate for the word profit. When it comes to emotions, I often find it difficult to let them go, with the excuse that it takes time to get rid of them.
Fame is not difficult to let go. I am an introverted person. While in college, I let others get the awards. At work, I never fought for advancement. I thought I helped others. Actually, I looked down on those who struggled to achieve fame. However, one incident opened my eyes.
Last year, our local Shen Yun promotion print material design and modification work had all been done by me. The work included modifying the design for the flyers and preparing advertisement for newspapers, magazines, websites, and billboards. I kept everything under tight control to meet the deadlines.
I felt complacent because I had arranged everything very well, on time, and error-free. I felt proud to have accomplished such a task, and felt that I was extraordinary.
Then, a practitioner found a mistake in our program book for last year and this year. Different thoughts went through my mind, but in the end, I realized that no matter who was responsible for the mistake, it directly affected the Shen Yun branding. My heart was very heavy. No matter what excuse I come up with, on this matter I was the person who should take full responsibility.
Everything Happens for a Reason
Why did this happen? Is this interference? If it is interference, could the issue be resolved amiably? I worried that those involved with the Shen Yun promotion are thought to be unprofessional. I kept looking inside. I realized that I was more concerned about the fact that this mistake was discovered, and that everyone knew that I made this mistake. I worried that my reputation might be damaged, and that because of this mistake, they wouldn't let me be involved next year. All of the thoughts that crossed my mind were about me.
My desire for fame created an error in an important Shen Yun product. I only thought about how I would look and how this mistake would affect me.
I thought that I did not have the attachment to fame, given my introverted personality. Therefore, the attachment did not reveal itself all these years. It had been covered up, and my thoughts had been fooled by the attachment.
Then, I carefully looked at the misspelled word and found that I had transposed the “r” with the “u.” This was a sign that I put myself before my cultivation. I was attached to myself.
Now, my heart feels a little relieved, because this big attachment was exposed. However, the loss was huge. I certainly know that I must be careful in the future.
No one blamed me. I also did not get a chance to share with fellow practitioners. Therefore, I wanted to bring it up in this forum and apologize deeply for my mistake, for my negligence, and for giving reign to the attachments to fame and selfishness.
(Presented at the 2015 Mid-US Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)