(Minghui.org) I am a 59-year-old retired teacher, and I began practicing Falun Dafa in 1997. I enlightened to the meaning of life after reading Falun Dafa books, and I truly cherish being a practitioner.

I have experienced many hardships during the past 19 years, and Master Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa, has protected me through each one.

Digging Out My Attachments and Breaking Out of My Human Shell

I had a dream shortly after I learned the practice. I had a hole on my face, roughly the size of a ping pong ball. I saw a layer of delicate skin below the outer skin. I thought that I would be so nice and pure if I did not have this outer skin, which was about half an inch thick.

Upon waking up, I realized that the only way to return to my true self was to strip away my thick human shell.

I have encountered numerous tribulations and tests of my human attachments throughout my cultivation. I often recalled that dream during hard times and reminded myself that shedding my shell was part of cultivation.

I understood the shell was made of human attachments, like the pursuit of fame and personal interest, lust, anger, emotion, and Communist Party culture. And underneath the shell was selfishness. These attachments tightly held onto me, and I had difficulty removing this shell.

I thought I had stopped pursuing fame after practicing Dafa. I realized later that I had buried it because of the persecution, and I did not understand the danger of such an attachment.

My attachment to fame had not been weakened. I still wanted to be recognized for the things I had done for Dafa, and I felt good when practitioners praised me. And when they pointed out my attachments, I would think, “Who doesn’t have attachments?”

I often suspected that others talked ill of me. Xinxing conflicts sometimes arose when I worked with practitioners on Dafa projects. When that happened, I got suspicious, jealous or felt that I had been treated unfairly. I argued and defended myself. I looked inward superficially, and I would look extensively for the other person's mistake.

I read and recite Dafa books everyday. I'm clear on the Fa principles when I read them, but once I encounter conflicts, I think with a human mentality, arguing about who's right and who's wrong.

A practitioner said, “Some practitioners are stuck on their cultivation path. They often talk about how others have hurt them with words.” After 19 years of cultivation, I am still at the same spot, and I have not been diligent. Fa-rectification is at the final stage, and I have not eliminated my fundamental attachments. I have fallen behind, far from Master's requirements.

Several practitioners and I travel everyday to faraway rural areas to clarify the truth. Practitioner Chen (alias) said something recently that hurt me. Our friction affected the group, and I later regretted my part in the conflict. I knew I had fallen into the old forces trap again. I apologized to the practitioner and talked about it. I opened my heart and did my best to clear our misunderstandings.

Although this incident has passed, I know I must study the Fa calmly, and look inward.

Master said,

“At present there are some frictions among students, and you all need to watch out--you can't let minor things affect the important things that Dafa disciples are supposed to do. I'm going to tell you that no matter what kind of conflicts arise, or what kind of situations emerge, it's bound to be that we have gaps in ourselves. That's for sure. If there weren't a gap nobody could exploit it. When there's a xinxing friction among our students or disharmony when you're cooperating with each other, and it doesn't matter if it's something big or small, I'm telling you, it's definitely demons exploiting the gaps.” (“Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference” from Teaching the Fa at the Conference III)

I understood that conflicts happened because I had omissions in my cultivation. I looked for my attachments, starting from the surface.

I discovered rotten elements within my dimensional field, and those were based on the attachment to fame. Because of this attachment, I could not take criticism, I wanted to defend myself. I was not forgiving, and I was not compassionate.

The pursuit of fame was the source of my attachments to personal interest, anger, emotion, lust, jealousy and showing off. I felt slightly better after finding these attachments. I recognized that digging them out was the next step. The hardest part was disintegrating and eliminating them.

I enlightened to a principle during meditation: to eliminate my attachments, I must first break through my human shell and not allow that layer to play a part in my thoughts. By studying the Fa more and rectifying my thoughts I felt was the first step. I should be able to gradually restrain and rid myself of them and shed the human shell. If I am not moved by fame, then I would be in a much higher state. I felt optimistic when I understood this principle.

Cultivating Myself and Putting Effort Into Saving Sentient Beings

Three practitioners and I rode motorcycles to the countryside to talk to people about Falun Dafa and the persecution. A practitioner told me that Chen was still angry at me about the conflict we had.

I said calmly, “Looks like I need to look inward some more and find my attachments. He will feel better after he vents. I'm sure he'll be fine in a few days. I'd rather not deal with this now, as we have limited time to save sentient beings. Doing the three things well is most important.”

As soon as we arrived at the village, we distributed informational materials and talked to people about Falun Dafa. We also encouraged them to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its youth organizations. Some of them had never heard of the movement to quit the Party and were grateful about the news.

We talked about practitioner Chen on our way home. We understood that the old forces was using him to interfere with our efforts to save sentient being. We were not moved and not fooled by the old forces’ trap. As long as we look inward, truly cultivate and rectify ourselves, the bad elements cannot take advantage of our loopholes and will disintegrate.

We often encounter unexpected events on our cultivation paths and while we expose the persecution. There can be xinxing conflicts among practitioners or interference from people's misunderstandings about Falun Dafa. These are related to our cultivation and the need to elevate our xinxing levels.

Everything we encounter is to pave the way for returning to our true selves. Therefore, we should cherish the opportunities, continue to make progress and be diligent in cultivation. Saving sentient beings is utmost urgent. Let us put our full effort in keeping up with the pace of Fa-rectification and save more sentient beings.