Rediscovering the Enthusiasm of When I First Started Cultivating
(Minghui.org) I paid a lot of attention to my personal cultivation in Falun Dafa before I left China. I had a solid cultivation state and was able to talk people about Falun Dafa and the persecution and distribute informational materials about the practice without fear of being arrested by the authorities. When I left China in 2009, I had been practicing Falun Dafa for 11 years.
For a long time afterward, I mistook “doing things” as cultivation. To many people I was as diligent, as I was busy, but I was frustrated because I could not recapture the enthusiasm that I had when I first began practicing. When I met with tribulations, I knew that I had attachments, but I was unwilling to look inward. Instead, I pointed fingers at others.
Last year, another practitioner suggested that I had not been paying attention to my personal cultivation, as many of my attachments were very obvious. I was shocked, but I had to admit that it was true. Although I have been practicing Falun Dafa for more than 20 years, I hold on to some fundamental attachments, such as selfishness, jealousy, competitiveness, resentment and seeking fame.
Hints in My Dreams About Cultivation
I repeatedly had similar dreams, and in one of them I was a student and did not do my homework or study well. When exam time approached, I was very anxious. However, I did not associate these dreams with my cultivation.
Through studying the Fa, I finally understood the meaning of these dreams. I did not do the fundamental homework for a cultivator – study the Fa, do the exercises, and send forth righteous thoughts. Studying the Fa had become a routine and I did not regularly do the exercises. I was also absent-minded when I sent forth righteous thoughts.
I was filled with jealousy when growing up, and could not stand it when my parents spoke highly of other kids. Since I started cultivation, many of my tests were related to jealousy, but I did not pass them well.Master said,
“If jealousy is not abolished, everything that you have cultivated will become fragile.” (Zhuan Falun)
I know that my other attachments are also linked to jealousy, so I decided to memorize the last paragraph in the section on “jealousy” in Zhuan Falun. I recited it every day on my way to work to strengthen my righteous thoughts.
When I was helping to promote Shen Yun this year in our local area, a practitioner who I looked down upon was able to sell tickets consistently every day, when I could not. My mother said, “Can you see how well that practitioner is doing in cultivation? You need to look inward to improve.” I was not impressed by the practitioner, and I knew that I was jealous.
Letting Go of the Attachment to Time
During the past few years, I had longed for the end of Fa-rectification so that I could leave this human world. I found this world to be very boring. This is not because I was free of attachments, rather it was because I believed that I was able to see through people's false words. I became very passive and unmotivated. And of course, I did not want to suffer anymore. I know this was my strong attachment to time. I was stuck and could not move forward in my cultivation.
“For a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple, personal liberation is not the goal of cultivation: when you came, saving sentient beings was your great aspiration, and that is the responsibility and mission history has bestowed upon you in Fa-rectification.” (“Let Go of Human Attachments and Save the World’s People” from The Essentials of Diligent Progress Vol. III)
My thoughts were selfish. I was thinking about my own salvation, and was attached to my feelings. Without getting rid of my selfishness, how can I reach consummation?
Personal Feelings Do Not Matter
I recently found that the substance of “self” is very stubborn, and my thoughts are often selfish.
For example, I was studying the Fa with my mother, she made many mistakes. I was patient with her at first, but as she continued to make mistakes I became impatient and started to grumble at her. I was very upset.
Then I realized that I was the one who had the problem – I was not selfless.
As I studied the Fa more, I found that it was speaking to my problems directly. I immediately sent forth righteous thoughts to clear out my selfish notions.
I then realized that my mother stopped making mistakes. It dawned on me that when I saw practitioners’ problems, it was not because they had problems, but Master was using their behavior to help me improve. When I found my own attachment, their behavior changed for the better.
My attachment to “self” also showed up when I was speaking to people about Dafa. If people agreed to quit the Chinese Communist Party or accepted what I told them, I was happy. But if people were indifferent, hostile or verbally abusive, I was not. I came to understand that this was not the correct state of a practitioner, as my emotions were based on people’s attitudes towards me.
Focused on Cultivating Xinxing
“I’ve found that monks in ancient times basically stayed in temples and didn’t have contact with complex society, so their minds were relatively simple. Moreover, they often stayed in meditation without coming out of trance, which made their minds very simple and allowed them to be free of thoughts about protecting their self-interest. And that would, in turn, reduce the occurrence of thought-karma and of disruption from it.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Singapore”)
When I read this, I realized that protecting my self-interest would result in thought karma and human notions manifesting. The reason that I did not pass my cultivation tests well was because I did not study the Fa well. I had many human notions.
I had studied the Fa as if I had to accomplish a task, and therefore really did not absorb the Fa teachings. I had read Zhuan Falun many times, but could not enlighten to the Fa principles anymore. So I started to hand copy the Fa. When I looked back after writing a few paragraphs, the Fa principles appeared before me.
As I focus on studying the Fa, I can focus on the Fa and I am not bothered so much by human affairs.
It has been 20 years since I started practicing Falun Dafa, but it was only recently that I found that I am back to the original state I had when I first obtained the Fa. I am more focused on looking inward and cultivating my xinxing. I will not be attached to time. I only want to assimilate to the Fa and eliminate my attachments.