The Improvement I Experienced After Removing Self-Interest
(Minghui.org) I have often wondered why people have fear and where does this fear come from.
Fear and Sorrow Rooted in Self Interest
Since practicing Falun Dafa, I realized that people's fear comes from self-interest because they are afraid of losing their wealth, fame, honor, praise, and so on, which are all personal gains to satisfy their superficial human desires.
I overcame depression after I found that self-interest was hidden behind my purpose for cultivating, which was to validate myself. I only started to practice Falun Dafa in recent years. At that time I thought that since I had started practicing Falun Dafa rather late, I must have poor cultivation qualities. That thought bothered me so much that I would fall into a state of sorrow and anxiety once in a while and then become depressed for a few days. I knew the thought was not right. While looking into the problem further, I remembered Teacher Li’s Fa, “Having heard the Dao in the morning, one can die in the evening.” (“Melt Into the Fa” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
I then realized that I am so lucky compared to those who have not had the opportunity to obtain the Fa!
I finally resolved the problem after finding my selfish intention of using cultivation. Teacher said, “All who enter are disciples, no matter when they began the practice.” (Zhuan Falun) The fact that I was sad for obtaining the Fa late indicated that I did not practice cultivation correctly and had not let go of selfishness and had not listened to Teacher wholeheartedly. After finding this selfish attachment, I no longer felt sorry for myself for obtaining the Fa late.
Removing Self-Interest to Clarify the Facts
Nowadays, people are afraid of many things, and their fear influences their actions. Many people are unreasonably selfish, so I used to distance myself from other people to prevent myself from getting hurt. This habit became a large obstacle for my clarifying the facts to others.
As a practitioner, I knew I should change these notions. I am not a shy person. However, I was not able to talk to others easily when clarifying the facts. I sometimes even had difficulty opening my mouth. Sometimes I was so anxious that I forgot what to say. Looking into the cause of my problems, I asked myself, “Am I afraid of death? Am I afraid of persecution and torture in jail?” While thinking about the cause of my fear, I recalled that Teacher’s said, “My body would still sit there even with my head cut off.” (“Huge Exposure” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
I believe that I have been through so many reincarnations for this opportunity to obtain the Fa. So it is tremendously difficult to become a practitioner in this lifetime. Then why can't I tell people the facts about Dafa without hesitation? The reason I was having difficulty was because of my concern about losing my reputation. I was afraid that others who did not understand me would say that I was not working toward my future as a young person. Deep down, I was practicing cultivation based on other people’s views of me, so my self-interest led me to be afraid of losing fame. After I changed my mindset, I began to make good progress in clarifying the facts to others.
One day, I was outside and could not approach others to clarify the facts. I began to send forth righteous thoughts and memorize the Fa. While watching so many people passing me, I almost cried because of the sense of urgency I felt. Then something unexpected happened: An elderly lady who had just finished grocery shopping stepped out of the supermarket and walked toward me. I thought that she was the one I should talk to. She sat close to me as if we had an appointment.
We began to chat naturally about different topics. I brought up Falun Dafa after a short time. She said that she had received Falun Dafa materials, but she hid them at home due to her fear. I laughed. “Are you afraid of reading books in your own home?” I said. “These are precious materials; they present the truth that people are not allowed to talk about in China. But the information is related to us.”
She felt amazed about her behavior and replied, “Right, I should not be afraid of reading them at home. I am going to take a look at them after I get back.”
During the chat, I spoke with her effortlessly. She was willing to talk to me about many topics, which she did not casually discuss with others. When the time came to part, she thanked me sincerely. I felt that her gesture was indeed gratitude from the numerous beings she represented.
After I arrived home, I thought about my experiences of the day. I clarified the facts smoothly because I did not have concern for myself. I did things based on a pure heart without any selfish purposes. Most importantly, Teacher saw my sincere wish to save sentient beings and granted me the wisdom to successfully clarify the facts to her.
My self-interest had previously stopped my compassion from emerging. I gradually enlarged my capacity and raised my compassion after getting rid of my self-interests. When I encountered other people, I could sense that they were surrounded by sorrow and had no future. In thinking about sentient beings, I further realized the meaning of clarifying the facts to them.
Self-Interest Rooted in CCP Culture
I used to have a cleaning obsession, especially at home. I would get angry at my husband and criticize him many times when he did not meet my standards of cleanliness.
After I became a practitioner, I realized that my excessive focus on cleanliness was an attachment, but I still had difficulty removing it. I later realized that I was affected by some notions I had from the CCP's party culture, and from them, I developed a habit of over-emphasizing cleanliness. I adopted from the party culture a tendency to use my own standards to judge other people and to consider my standards to be above theirs. These mindsets and behaviors demonstrated my self-interest and low level of tolerance.
As a practitioner, I must cultivate myself according to the standards of Dafa. In the past, when I blamed my husband, he would argue right back. As I improved myself, he became more silent. In the end, I occasionally did not control myself well and said a few words to complain back. Then I immediately remembered and reminded myself who I was. Once I stopped talking, he and I would exchange a smile. He knew that I was trying to improve and pass the tests.
When I unconditionally cultivated myself, without depending on outside factors and other people, I found that my environment began to change. It was as if I were high upon a mountain with a broader view. At times when walking on the street and seeing people around me, I felt that human competitiveness, gains, and losses were really insignificant.
Expand Capacity by Removing Self-Interest
When I was constantly removing the old, selfish human attachments, my mind underwent tremendous changes. Now, I am able to face and get along with people or things that I did not like before.
When I was waiting for a ride one day, I saw a faltering elderly man walking with a crutch in my direction. I wondered if he was going to listen to the truth about Dafa from me. I nodded at him with a smile. The man turned around and was looking through things in a nearby dumpster. In the past, I might have given up on the idea of talking to him because he was dirty, walked with difficulty, and was digging into a dumpster. This time, I wondered whether or not he had any children to care for him. Feeling sorry for him, and with tears in my eyes, I thought that if I did not tell him the facts about Dafa, then the old man would have waited his whole life for Dafa in vain.
Several people standing at a distance were laughing at the old man. They were surprised when I walked toward him and tried to talk to him. They told me not to converse with him because he was deaf.
Sure enough, the old man responded that he could not hear me. He said that he was over 90-years-old. He lived with his children, but they arranged for him to live on the highest floor, while they lived downstairs. He also said that it was not good to live to be too old. I told him kindly, “Don’t think that way. It is meaningful that you have lived so long.”
Then, I told him to sincerely say, "Falun Dafa is good. Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good" and that he would be blessed. He replied, “I cannot hear.” I told him loudly again and again, while showing him so he could read it. After I said it each time, he responded, “Sounds nice! Very nice!”
After a while, my husband arrived. He also read repeatedly to the old man several times: “Falun Dafa is good. Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance is good!" As time passed, the people who had made fun of the old man had left, but my husband and I were still talking to him. However, he really could not hear anything, except for "Falun Dafa is good. Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance is good." I was touched that sentient beings have experienced so much hardship in order to be saved! From this encounter, I saw that I had removed some selfishness during my cultivation.
After cultivating for a few years, I see that I had started cultivation to solve my problems, but gradually progressed to realizing the mission of a practitioner. At first, I was just clarifying the facts because I needed to do so. Later, I realized the sorrow of sentient beings and I truly wanted to help them by pointing them to a path of hope. At first, I distanced myself from people for fear of getting hurt. Later, I faced others’ responses peacefully and no longer thought about my personal gain or loss. I considered others’ difficulties and wanted to help and care for them as much as I could.
I improved little by little and day by day. Sometimes, I regretted that I did not do well. But Teacher never gave up on me and always encouraged me.
I believe that all the human thinking I had during my cultivation were from the “self” that developed through the different systems of the old universe. After I gradually removed various human attachments, I always found self-interest as the root cause. When I removed selfishness more and more, I enlarged greater capacities and achieved a higher level. After experiencing improvement, I changed my perspectives toward people and things in the world.
I know now that I will always walk steadfastly on the path of Dafa cultivation.