Eliminating My Attachment to Reputation
(Minghui.org) I used to live for my reputation before I started practicing Falun Dafa. I'm a school teacher in Henan Province and have been presented with many opportunities to eliminate my attachment to reputation.
The following are some of my experiences in getting rid of my attachment to reputation.
Pursuit Can Have an Adverse Effect
I teach at a public elementary school. The evaluation methods for teachers in Chinese schools are based on how well one teaches for exams. As a young, new teacher with a competitive personality, I was always anxious to beat other teachers in their students' exam scores and to have the best reputation. I was very upset if I didn't achieve this.
I thought my behavior was perfectly normal, until about six months after I started practicing Falun Dafa. Master helped me to see my attachment to reputation so that I could eliminate it.
Based on my understanding of Dafa's principles at the time, I thought that my attachment to reputation was reflected in my striving to be number one and earn awards.
I'm considered a good teacher at my school and was given the Core Teacher Award. However, at the award ceremony, every winner received a certificate except me. My name wasn't even mentioned, and no explanation was given. My resentment flared up, and I was angry that I didn't get my certificate.
A battle ensued in my mind: The honor doesn't belong to me. But I wanted the award. I knew that I should let my attachment go, but I still wanted the award, as I needed to uphold my reputation at the school. But should I get the award just because I want it? I finally realized that there was nothing I could do.
One of the school administrators told me after the ceremony that they couldn't make my certificate because they couldn't open my file, so they would make my certificate later. I then thought, “It's still mine. They will issue the certificate to me during the next meeting and announce it with an explanation. My reputation will be saved!”
My attachment to reputation was very strong.
In the end, a school administrator gave me my certificate privately. I learned from this experience that the more I pursue something, the less likely I will get it.
Attachment to Reputation Resurfaces
After this incident, I focused on studying the Fa and began using the principles of Falun Dafa to examine everything I said and did. As a result, I turned a class of students with poor grades into a great class.
At the end-of-semester meeting, the principal asked me to give the first speech. I thought that my speech was the best of all the teachers and was looking forward to hearing everyone praise me! Every word of praise made me so happy. I even replayed them over in my mind. I realized that my attachment to reputation was surfacing and tried my best to suppress it. However, it kept coming.
I didn't know that this attachment to reputation wasn't part of my true self, and failed to uproot it. As a result, my students' performance wasn't stable and plummeted during the following semester. In the past, my students' performance had never dropped! My status as an “advanced” teacher suddenly dropped to being “behind.” I felt that I had tarnished Falun Dafa's image.
I realized my attachment to reputation was a huge burden that I had to let go of. I had a dream one night in which I had three tumors on my face. I was able to pull one off my cheek, but it left a little residue.
I didn't completely understand the meaning of the dream until after what happened later.
Understanding the Dream
Before I began cultivating, my school administrators invited me to join the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) because of my stellar job performance. I had never asked to join the Party. But because I didn't want to offend the administrators, I hesitantly filled out the application form.
After I started practicing Falun Dafa, I realized that I shouldn't have done this. I begged Master to have my name erased from the candidate pool, but Master had a other arrangements for me.
One of the administrators called me into his office one day and told me that my application to join the Party had been approved. He talked about this with great enthusiasm, but I became very uneasy. What should I do? I felt helpless and thought that I could only follow along and see what happens.
As soon as I left his office, I ran into another administrator in the hallway. I told him that I had changed my mind about my application. He said, “You don't have to join. Falun Dafa practitioners are even making phone calls to tell people to quit the Party!” My heart was shaken when I heard this. He didn't know that I was a Dafa practitioner. I thought that Master must be using his mouth to give me a hint!
I immediately returned to the administrator's office and told him that I didn't want to join the CCP. He asked me to consider my decision carefully.
I couldn't stop thinking about it after I got home. I finally made up my mind: I didn't want to please others by joining the Party and then write a retraction statement later.
I'm glad that I made the right decision, but my fear stopped me from telling my school administrators about Falun Dafa. Master encouraged me by telling me in my dream that I had pulled out one of the tumors (by doing the right thing) but had left a little residue (I still needed to do more).
Getting Rid of Another Tumor
My mother was in charge of the money at home and asked me to look after some for her one time. It was 3,000 yuan that was left after paying for my brother's wedding.
I happened to need some money quickly for a down payment for my apartment, so I used the money before I got a chance to talk to my mom about it. Unfortunately, my mom passed away in an car accident soon afterwards.
When it came to contributions to cover the cost of her funeral, my husband had a hard time paying for anything because we had just purchased the apartment. I said, “We should at least give the 3,000 yuan back.” He agreed. To save my reputation as a good daughter, I told my family that the 3,000 yuan was from my husband and I to contribute to the funeral costs.
After I started practicing Falun Dafa, I remembered this incident and was filled with regret. It was three years since my mother had passed away, but as a practitioner, I wanted to untangle myself from my attachment to reputation. I openly admitted my lie about the 3000 yuan to my father and brothers. They didn't blame me and instead forgave me.
Master encouraged me again by telling me in my dream that I had pulled another tumor from my body, and no residue was left this time. I was very relieved and felt that my attachment to reputation had been reduced.
As I kept studying the Fa, Master guided me to gain deeper and deeper understandings of eliminating my attachment to reputation.
I realized that this attachment was an extension of selfishness. Living for one's reputation prevents one from following Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. Eliminating attachments to fame, fortune and sentiment is essentially letting go of selfishness. If we follow Master's teachings, we will naturally become truthful, compassionate, and tolerant people.