Giving Up the Attachment to One's Self
(Minghui.org) I wanted to be a good Falun Dafa cultivator from day one. When I look back, however, I realize that many times I focused too much on the surface of my actions and ignored the negative things deep inside. One of them is the attachment to one's self that manifests as selfishness at different levels.
Attachment to ‘Raising One's Level and Accumulating Virtue’
I practiced Dafa with the goal of reaching enlightenment and ending my suffering. When I was a child, I was put in a lower class due to my parents' background. I had a very strong desire to move up and be recognized. I worked hard and became a section chief in my late 20s, which was a rare achievement at that age.
Then I saw much corruption and many bad practices among the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials. I became confused about life. I found the meaning of life when I came to know Dafa. I longed for the eternity, purity, and the wonderfulness of heaven and was willing to give up everything in the human world to cultivate.
However, my cultivation was based on the attachment to reaching consummation and accumulating virtue for myself. When the CCP started persecuting Falun Dafa, I protested the persecution, but I also made mistakes in cultivation. Through studying the Fa, I realized that I had this big attachment. I stopped thinking about myself, and instead I concentrated on how to fulfill my mission to help Master save sentient beings.
Attachment to ‘Validating Oneself in Dafa Projects’
I left China in 2005. I participated in several Dafa projects and often slept only three or four hours a night. When projects took many hours, I had symptoms of sickness. I knew it was the old forces' interference for they had found some gaps in me.
All of sudden, Master's Fa teaching came into my mind:
“If you, as a cultivator, only part with things superficially while deep down inside you still stick to something or cling to your own vital interests that you don’t allow to be undermined, I’d say to you that your cultivation is fake!” (Lecture at the First Conference in North America)
I looked deeply within and found that the basis of my doing these projects was not my compassion to save people; I also had a thought to show that I was the best practitioner. It was to validate myself, an attachment to one's own self.
I understood more on this issue after listening to Master's Fa Lecture at Jinan. To be totally for others, one must let go of oneself completely. When we want to validate ourselves in a Dafa project, the power of the Fa will not show. Only when we let go of all attachments will the Fa's mighty power show.
Once I saw this attachment and began to let it go, all illness symptoms were gone.
Attachment to ‘Insisting on One's Own Approach’
Over time, I found more attachments to self when doing Dafa projects. For example, I could become negative if things didn't happen in the way that I expected. I sounded too assertive in conversations, as if I was always right. I measured things from my own feelings and assumed that nobody should care about a thing if I didn't care or everyone should pay attention if I cared about it.
Isn't that a strong attachment to one's own self?
If I let go of this attachment, I won't have the feeling of being wronged or hurt. I can put myself into others' shoes to think, then I can understand and forgive others, and more importantly, I can think of better ways to help the projects. In fact, none of my own understanding and view is that important.
Attachment to ‘Pursuing My Own Goals in Dafa’
Another hard-to-find attachment is to embed one's own pursuit in Dafa or Dafa's work. I had a strong wish for my daughter to join the Shen Yun Performing Arts dance company. Seeing that she was not tall enough, I became very worried and disappointed.
This is taking the sacred task of assisting Master to verify the Fa as a pursuit in ordinary people's life. I forgot that my daughter was Master's disciple and Master had arranged a path for her. Master's arrangement is the best for her.
Master Had His Own Arrangements for Me
I realize that Master has already prepared the best for us in the Fa. If we are in a true cultivator's state, everything will happen in an orderly way. If we cannot let go of the attachment to self and insist on our own ideas, we will fall into the old forces' trap and come to a dead-end, and our mission to save people will be jeopardized.
How to let go of one’s self? My understanding is to study the Fa more and study the Fa well. When we run into conflicts, we can then think from the basis of Fa rectification and saving sentient beings. Then we can completely get rid of the selfish nature of the old universe and become a defender for the new universe which is completely unselfish.
I believe that the most important thing that a Dafa disciple should do is to completely let go of one's own self, listen to Master, and follow Master. In my understanding, this is the indication of the highest enlightenment quality for a cultivator.