Getting Rid of My Attachment to Comfort
(Minghui.org) My attachment to comfort manifests in many ways. I'd rather miss a bus than run a couple of steps to catch it. I do the easiest chores while doing housework.
The window screens, floor, and cabinets on my home balcony are covered with dust. My excuse is that I am too busy—I will clean it when I have time. No one will see it anyway.
This made me aware of my attachment to comfort. I asked myself why I couldn't persist in doing the Falun Gong exercises every day. Why did I always feel tired and complain?
Why I Couldn't Persist in Doing the Exercises
I started practicing Falun Gong 16 years ago to heal my illnesses. I had been coughing for 11 months and had just given birth to my son. I tried both Western and Chinese medical treatments, but nothing helped. Finally, I decided to try practicing Falun Gong.
I got up at 4:30 am every day and went to the group practice site. For me, it was not difficult at all because I wanted to be free of illness as early as possible.
After one month of practice, my husband said, “It seems you're not coughing anymore these days.”
I was aware that Falun Gong was really effective in healing illnesses. Later, Master purified my body further. I became more active in practicing the exercises and dared not to slack off.
I overcame many difficulties during my early period of practice. I was bitten by mosquitoes and suffered pains while sitting in meditation. I carried my one-year-old baby with me in a carriage from the second floor down the stairs and to the practice site.
I persisted in joining the group exercises at the park every day. I had a strong wish to stay healthy so that I could take good care of my son. My mother died of an illness when I was only three years old. I did not want to leave my son alone as I had experienced.
After my son went to kindergarten and elementary school, I slacked off. My husband I took our son out for fun during weekends, and I practiced the exercises five times instead of seven times a week.
Later, I had to take my son to school, so I couldn't join the group practice in the morning. I didn't continue to practice the five sets of exercises on my own. Instead, I practiced as much as I liked.
Later on, I practiced exercises only when I was in a state of illness karma.
I knew my mindset was not correct, but I did not want to change. Recently, I thought about the issue more and reflected on it. I asked myself several questions and tried to figure out the solution.
I asked myself: Why did you start practicing Falun Gong?The answer: to get rid of my cough.
I asked: Did the coughing stop?Answer: Yes.
I asked: Are you all right? Is there no need to continue practicing Falun Gong?Answer: I still want to continue practicing Falun Gong because I want to be free of illness forever. I also want never to be involved in conflicts with others. If everyone gets along well with each other, how great that would be!
I asked: Is that possible? You understand that you might have killed people, owed people, and bullied people in your previous lives. Do you think you can repay your debts only by doing the exercises?
I continued asking myself: Even if you want to repay your debts by doing the exercises, how long and how many times would you need to do it each week? Would you sit in meditation for one hour every time? You often mediate for only a half hour, right? Have you suffered any pain?
It seemed I had identified my problem. I didn't truly realize the importance of doing the exercises, and neither did I treat it seriously. Deep in my heart there was a stubborn Me who didn't follow Master's teachings. This was the reason I slacked off.
However, this was not the crux of my problem. My starting point of practicing Falun Gong was selfish and obviously within the arrangement of the old forces. The mindsets of the beings in the old cosmos are selfish. I want my human body during my temporary stay here to be light and stay young. I want people around me to admire and praise me for getting younger and not to look like someone in their fifties.
My true self was being deceived by postnatal notions. I forgot why I had descended level by level down to this earthly world. I forgot my promise to my sentient beings. I forgot my vows to assist Master in Fa-rectification.
Why I Always Feel Tired and Complain
Maybe you won’t believe it if I tell you that I complained of being tired even while folding quilts. I suddenly became aware of this problem. I would feel tired no matter what I did. Why do I have such a strong attachment to comfort? I wasn't spoiled at a young age while living with my parents. How heavy is a quilt?
I calmed down and examined myself. I identified my attachment to comfort as well as other human attachments behind it—combativeness, jealousy, and competitiveness. They manifest from my perception of unfairness.
I thought I was treated unfairly at home. When my husband leaves for work each morning, he leaves the quilt and bed sheets scattered around. It's fine for me to do the housework during weekdays after I return from the practice site, but during weekends, he also leaves it to me. It seemed so unfair!
I thought that this was not my job. My husband was free during holidays and weekends, while I was busier than usual and had to prepare lunch for him.
What made me more unbalanced was to see him and our son watch a DVD while eating snacks after meals. They would leave everything on the table for me to clean up.
I found it unfair whenever I thought of how he treated me so differently before and after we got married, so I ignored housework as much as I could. I found excuses to make myself feel good. I refused to make a bed for him and complained that he had purchased a heavy mattress that was difficult for me to move. What should I do if I hurt my back? Why should I fold the quilt for him since it's so easy he could have done it himself?
Master hinted for me to get rid of the mindset of unfairness and imprinted the following words on my mind while I was reading the Fa:
“Our school of practice directly targets one’s mind. The key issue is whether you can take lightly and care less about the issues of individual gain and interpersonal conflicts.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
I was more touched while reading another sentence. Master said,
“What we lose is actually something bad.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
I wondered what the bad things were. I found that it's my mind that wanted to fight my husband. It seemed that I was just lazy, had an attachment to comfort, and didn't want to make the bed. Actually, it was more than that.
I dug deeper and identified my sentimentalities as well as my complaints and hatred towards him. He treated me so well and was willing to do anything for me before we got married, but now he does not even make his own bed.
I was aware that I had to change my mindset or the substance would always be there. Why do we study the Fa? It's for cultivation, so I have to let go of many human attachments. However, I was annoyed at my husband, annoyed at the scattered quilt and sheets on the bed, and reluctant to open my mouth when I encountered Chinese tourists who refused to listen to the truth at the booth. I was exhausted while cleaning dirty bowls and dishes. I wondered how to get rid of these bad thoughts and attachments.
Master told us in Zhuan Falun,
“What we lose is actually something bad. What is it? It is karma, and it goes hand in hand with different human attachments.”
“In order to eliminate this negative thing, you must first change your mind.”
Determined to Change by Following Fa Principles
How do I change my mind? I believe the first thing is to change the mindset of being attached to comfort.
“You must be strict with yourself.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
I find that I often do not want to do things even if they take only a few minutes. I do not want to step forward to say a few more words while telling people the facts about Falun Gong. I find excuses in myself for everything I am unwilling to work on, such as “it's a waste of time to make a bed,” or “they are in a hurry to get on the bus, so I will just talk to them next time.”
I reflected on my cultivation state. I choose to practice cultivation, so I get up early to do the exercises, go to tourist sites to clarify the truth, and joined a platform to call Chinese people. I feel the sacred duty to follow Master to save people.
However, I felt tired while doing so many things every day. I wanted my family to help me, but they were unwilling to give me a hand. This made me feel unfair, and I did things with a careless mindset. I asked myself, “Have I reached a high level as a Dafa practitioner?”
I realized that I hadn’t disciplined myself with higher-level requirements. All I did was complain to my family members who do not practice cultivation. Why? I realized it was because I didn't let go of my attachment to comfort.
I shared this with other practitioners and asked them why I often felt tired and complained. One practitioner suggested that I should not think that I am tired. Once I had this thought, I would feel more tired. Another practitioner said he sat in meditation or sent forth righteous thoughts when he felt tired.
Whenever I heard their sharing, I would become aware of my cultivation state. I really appreciate Master for the arrangement to have other practitioners help me.
I realized the seriousness of letting go of comfort and was determined to practice genuine cultivation. The old forces are taking advantage of my loopholes to prevent me from practicing cultivation. If I acknowledge them, it equates to putting myself in a cage.
“Why do some people go a long time without being able to eliminate thought karma? It’s because they don’t try to distinguish which thoughts are their own. Why do we ask you to cultivate yourself? You should first of all eliminate bad thoughts through cultivation. The reason you can get rid of those bad things is that you don’t acknowledge them as you. That is extremely crucial. It is because you don’t acknowledge them as you that you can then eliminate them. The fact is, they really aren’t you. They are the various notions, or even karma, developed from the things you have done after birth—those things.”
“Whatever a person wants is up to him, and only when you don’t want that stuff can it be eliminated for you.” (Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference)
The above is my personal understanding. If you find anything not in alignment with the Fa, please point it out compassionately.