Looking Further Inward
(Minghui.org) When any of us do or say something, our inner thought processes and motivations usually cannot be seen.
As practitioners, if we cannot calmly use the Fa to measure our thoughts, then we also won't be able to understand why we say something or why we are attached to certain actions. On the other hand, if we can further look inward with a calm mind, we will be able to dig out the more deeply hidden attachments.
As we go farther along our cultivation paths, and as our understanding of the Fa improves, we should not be satisfied with looking inward superficially. We must not make it a weak formality.
Many practitioners have felt troubled during challenges and said, “I did look inside, but didn't find anything.”
In my opinion, the practitioners didn't make enough effort to look inside. Thus, they were not able to resolve the problems. A tribulation is a test. If one doesn't pass it, he or she will have to take the test again. Often the test will repeat many times. If the attachments are not uncovered, one becomes tired and baffled.
For example, a while ago I really wanted to buy a house, but I did not have enough money, so I was very troubled. I looked inside and asked why I wanted to buy the house. I realized that I was afraid the market would go up, and not buying a house would be equivalent to losing money. So, I wanted to buy it for material gain.
I found this attachment, but still could not put aside the thought of purchasing a home. I looked inside further and found that almost all my relatives had bought houses in the city, and I thought I looked inadequate for not buying one. So, I also wanted to buy a home because I was attached to reputation.
After a while, the desire arose again. I wondered why I still wished to buy one after eliminating the above two factors? Was it because of something else? My parents had always wanted me to buy a house in an urban area; so I wanted to buy one to please my parents.
Thinking rationally, I knew that buying a house was not the best option because of my finances. However, my attachments, including material gain, fame and sentimentality for parents, were all generating desire within me to buy one.
At this point I had more insight, and I saw that I was being moved by other people. I continued to look within. I wondered why was I so easily influenced by other people? On the surface, it seemed like I was concerned about other people's feelings. But thinking about it more carefully, I found that what I really cared about was my own feelings and how other people viewed me. I wanted other people to say that I was smart and capable. All of what I did and said was to prove myself to others. Basically, I was too attached to myself.
It really sunk in that when growing up and during cultivation, I often worked hard in order to get recognition and praise; not to help others. I liked to show off. My true self was lost, and I was interacting with the world through a fake shell.
If we can look deeply inside during every conflict and every test we encounter, we will surely find the attachments that are deeply hidden. It is like digging for water. If we dig for an hour in several spots and don’t find water, perhaps we should stop moving around and dig longer in one spot: perhaps we will find water if we dig a little deeper. Sometimes, we just need to put forth a little more effort.
As a practitioner, only when we unconditionally look inside, layer after layer, can we truly see our motivations. Only then can we eliminate more attachments, purify ourselves further, assimilate to Dafa, and do the three things well and steadily.
The above is my current understanding. Please kindly point out anything inappropriate.