Digging Out the Roots of Attachments
(Minghui.org) Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
As Dafa disciples in the Fa-rectification period, it is our responsibility to cultivate well and to save people. In the last two years of cultivation, I realized that the process of personal cultivation and Fa-rectification is closely linked and inseparable. If a practitioner cannot get rid of attachments, the projects for saving people cannot achieve their aims at all. Only by completely letting go of ego, letting go of all kinds of entangled human thoughts and notions, and by developing compassion and selflessness can we do a good job in our projects to save sentient beings.
As Master teaches us in “Troubles,” Hong Yin III:
“Neither heaven nor earth canblock my road of Fa-rectificationBut disciples’ human hearts can”
In cultivation during Fa-rectification, I used to think that I should use some professional skills to validate Dafa and save sentient beings. This process was lonely, long, hard and not easily appreciated by others. I once heard some negative comments. The pressure was so overwhelming with so many things to do that there was not sufficient time to study the Fa. Therefore, many human thoughts and attachments appeared. I felt wronged and that others were competitive.
Under such circumstances, if I was too stubborn, then problems would intensify with more complicated situations occurring. But if I let go of my ego and really upgraded my xinxing in the light of Fa principles, my cultivation state would get better.
For example, when disagreements with a fellow practitioner intensified and I was desperate and sad, I wrote down Master’s poem, “What is Forbearance (Ren)?” several times. I also studied again and again Master’s teachings on the “heart of great forbearance” and wanted to cultivate the “heart of great forbearance.” Then I felt an inner calm, but it was still not the state that Master described: “To endure completely without anger or grievance is the forbearance of a cultivator.” (“What is Forbearance (Ren)?” in Essentials for Further Advancement).
I calmed down and asked myself: How can I cultivate the forbearance of a cultivator? Immediately, the fellow practitioner who had a dispute with me rang me on the phone, and I immediately developed compassion and forbearance toward him. I got rid of the hatred and became very calm and refreshed. I experienced a state of “the forbearance of a cultivator.”
In reality, Master was making me develop forbearance. Under all circumstances, whatever happens to fellow practitioners, I should never think negatively of them Even if something negative is shown in front us, we should still look within. So, I decided to change my old thoughts and proactively assimilate to the Fa of the new universe.
However, the fellow practitioner continued to be awkward, which really made me feel distressed. But I realized that the principle of the new universe was to put other people first, whereas the old universe would put oneself first. What I experienced from the fellow practitioner was just a reminder for me to get rid of my selfishness. My original intention to come to the Earth was to save sentient beings. I wanted nothing for myself, as long as all the beings were saved.
Gradually, I unknowingly developed such a selfless wish and couldn’t help smiling, as my mind was full of tranquility and peace. The moment I upgraded my thoughts, the fellow practitioner immediately changed his attitude and began to cooperate.
I realized that, in order to save sentient beings, I dared to give up everything in life to assist Master in Fa-rectification. Even if I eventually gave up everything and depleted myself, I would not regret it. When I studied the fourth chapter of Zhuan Falun, I suddenly understood that the fellow practitioner was actually helping me to eliminate karma, to give me virtue, to improve my xinxing, and to upgrade my gong. Suddenly, not only was I not angry, but I sincerely thanked him for the help he offered. As I realized this, he called me the next day and said that he would not insist on his original ideas and would like to cooperate well.
After that, whenever I started to study Zhuan Falun, I could feel the powerful energy field of Dafa surrounding my Celestial Eye. As my xinxing was constantly improving in various tests, this was a natural state blessed by Master.
At that time, in order to improve my cultivation state, I increased my time for Fa study and sending forth righteous thoughts. The first thing I did every day was to study a chapter of Zhuan Falun, followed by sending righteous thoughts. After intensive Fa study, I suddenly realized that this fellow practitioner’s negativity did affect me, regardless of whether he was right or wrong. So I put aside the right or wrong from ordinary people’s perspective and started to look within.
It turned out that it was a disguised me who often had disputes with this fellow practitioner. The disguised me was composed of a lot of karma and notions, but the true self was selfless, thinking about others, and absolutely would not have disputes with others. At that moment, I suddenly felt the quiet and peaceful state of my true self. It was really a huge improvement in my cultivation. In a dream afterward, I was in a huge building full of light, and a lift carried me up and up.
For various reasons, my life almost reached a dead end. I had many serious problems in my life and cultivation. I attended the European Fa Conference in Paris. In the article titled “A Congratulatory Letter to the European Fa Conference in Paris,” Master teaches us,
“Dafa disciples are the hope for humankind, and you are the only hope. Saving all beings is our mission, and the responsibility is tremendous. Only by cultivating yourselves well will you be able to do well the things that Dafa disciples must do.”
This Fa teaching made me realize that I must look within and do real cultivation.
Two fellow practitioners’ sharing at this conference touched my heart, and I shed tears. The first practitioner was a coordinator. After being seriously criticized by several other practitioners, he improved his xinxing through intensive Fa study and looking within unconditionally. The second practitioner, in passing a xinxing test, diligently studied three chapters of Zhuan Falun every day.
Coming back from the Fa Conference, I realized there were no shortcuts and that I must look within and pay attention to doing the three things well. I was determined to keep the Fa in mind. I joined a Fa recital group every day for two hours. We did not seek quantity but instead focused on quality when we recited the Fa.
As soon as I started, I was attracted by the powerful energy of Dafa. I realized that only if I really respected the Fa, read the Fa word by word, understood the Fa carefully, assimilated to Dafa, and corrected myself in the light of Dafa could the real meaning of the Fa be revealed to me. I personally experienced the wonderful feelings of being melted into the Fa–my whole body could hardly move.
When I studied the Fa, sent righteous thoughts, and practiced the exercises, I could feel warm energy around me, like “Guanding,” and all of my human thoughts were swept away. I could always feel compassion, kindness, tranquility, and peace of mind.
When the fellow practitioner made an unreasonable request, I was not angry and spoke to him with compassion and a peaceful tone. Immediately, Master began to give me a big Guanding for half an hour, and I felt every pore in my body warm and very comfortable. I was aware that this was Master’s blessing to me, as Master noticed that, facing unreasonable demands and unfair treatment, I was still able to stay calm and upgrade my xinxing.
However, the disagreement only ceased on the surface level and was not resolved fundamentally. One layer was removed, but there was still another. Although I got rid of some superficial attachments, the roots of the attachments had not been dug out. There were also some attachments that had not even been perceived, let alone removed. These attachments included jealousy, not accepting different opinions, and being competitive. With those attachments still there, troubles would occur in every aspect of my life and work.
Once, we recited this paragraph from “Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan”:
“That’s how things will be for you, starting now. Whether you are right or not is, for a cultivator, not important whatsoever. Don’t argue left and right, and don’t emphasize who’s right and who’s wrong. Some people are always stressing that they’re right, but even if you are right, even if you’re not wrong, so what? Have you improved on the basis of the Fa? The very act of using human thinking to stress who’s right and who’s wrong is in itself wrong. That’s because you are then using the logic of ordinary people to evaluate yourself, and using that logic to make demands on others. As gods see it, for a cultivator to be right or wrong in the human world is not important in the least, whereas eliminating the attachments that come from human thinking is important, and it is precisely your managing to eliminate those attachments rooted in your human thinking as you cultivate that counts as important.”
I listened to a fellow practitioner share about this and realized that I had certain attachments related to this Fa teaching. So, I immediately studied the Fa once again after the group study. I found my attachment. Then I started to think about how to implement what Master taught us:
“eliminating the attachments that come from human thinking is important.”
I asked myself how I could eliminate the attachment of not accepting others' criticism. Master listed all the reasons behind it:
“And as for the habits that you've formed over time, those stem from your various attachments. Those who are attached to saving face will be made to hear things that are embarrassing, hitting upon that attachment that causes you not to be able to stand hearing others' critical remarks. There are also some people who think that since they are project coordinators, they should be immune to criticism. And then some people who have special talents in some regard or other won't take criticism from people. Another group won't hear anyone out on account of having a negative opinion about the other person. It comes in all shapes and sizes.”
Comparing the list with myself, I had everything Master listed. Therefore, I frankly shared my thoughts with fellow practitioners and was determined to eliminate the attachments. Sure enough, this attachment weakened a lot.
I sincerely thank the Minghui website and fellow practitioners; together they created such a good cultivation environment. During my time in the Fa study group, every day I received one or two article links from the Minghui website from other practitioners. The articles were very valuable in cultivation terms. Reading their amazing sharing, I often could not wait to print them out. They reminded me of my attachments. By comparing their sharing with myself, it became a lot easier to find the attachments that previously were hard to perceive.
I could remember a sharing that profoundly analyzed various manifestations, root causes, and hazards of jealousy, as well as the connection between jealousy and other attachments. After reading the sharing, I found my hidden jealousy. Previously I thought that I had cultivated quite well and did not accept that I had jealousy. But jealousy was there and could be seen through various conflicts with others. Previously I only found the attachments that appeared at a superficial level and did not find the root causes. Even when I realized the jealousy of others, I was not aware that their jealousy actually reflected my jealousy, which I should eliminate.
From a rational point of view, Master taught us “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance,” and the aim was to make us become lives that are able “to develop a kind of altruism that extends to others and the greater good.” (“2018 Fa Teaching Given in Washington, D.C.”)
But jealousy totally opposed this principle, and even good things stemmed from self. Seeing other people become better off made one unhappy. Was it really the first attachment that should be eliminated? One of the features of the old forces was jealousy. Was my jealousy a kind of interference from the old forces? Should it be eliminated thoroughly? Actually, the root of all attachments stem from selfishness.
After nearly two years of repeated elimination of attachments, one day after group exercises, while talking about kids’ education, a fellow practitioner said, “We should look at kids’ talents and strengths more.” After hearing this, on the way home, I thought it over and over again. Thinking about my long-term disputes with the fellow practitioner, my heart suddenly opened. While he had all sorts of deficiencies and there were painful frictions between us, why didn’t I see his strengths and talents? Wasn't his strength actually shining? Why did I always stare at his shortcomings? Was it disguised jealousy in action?
When I got home, I felt that my two-year-long disputes with the practitioner had finally disappeared. Also, I really did not care about who was right or wrong. I did not argue with him anymore. It was as if nothing had happened between us, as if I had just gotten to know him. I could cooperate with him unconditionally to achieve what he proposed.
The more I thought and acted in this way, the more I felt relaxed and my energy field felt lighter. I seriously told myself that from then on, I would endeavor to develop a kind of altruism that extends to others and the greater good.
Almost at the same time when I found and gave up jealousy, Master gave me wisdom that allowed me to solve a technical problem that had not been solved for a year in another project. It was a breakthrough. I could not help sighing that the precious time from the project had been wasted by my selfish thoughts.
I have been thinking about the connotation of this sentence that Master has said:
“In the past, cultivators would remove attachments one after another. But in your case, almost all of your attachments remain while they are weakened and lessened one layer at a time, weakened and lessened continually, further and further.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2015 West Coast Fa Conference”)
“A lot of you have cultivated for a long time and find that there are still bad thoughts in your minds. You can suppress them if you want to. That’s because even though they’re getting worse and worse, and more of them are surfacing, they’re getting weaker since they no longer have roots.” (Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Switzerland)
One day, I saw two people working in a cornfield. One person pulled out the corn stalks, and the other one cut the stalks into short parts with scissors. Eventually, all the corn stalks became the same length and could be recycled in one batch easily. I suddenly seemed to understand visually what Master had said. Each corn stalk was like an attachment. We should first find it and pull it out from the ground. Then we needed to cut the attachment again and again into small pieces. Eventually, the small pieces of attachments would be eliminated by the Fa in one go. The work I saw both people doing was actually similar to our daily cultivation. Conflicts must be a good thing, an opportunity for us to eliminate attachments and to upgrade our cultivation.
Only when we all upgrade to the standard of the new universe can the goal of saving sentient beings be achieved.
There was a dream that I can still remember vividly. Master was surrounded by a group of gods from the old universe. The old forces were making noises to Master. “Why haven’t you finished the Fa-rectification yet?” Facing the old forces, Master spoke calmly and compassionately: “I just want them all to return to their original positions.”
After waking up, I became deeply aware that Master uses his infinite compassion to extend the time for us to reach perfection and to truly fulfill the sacred mission of saving sentient beings.
I am deeply grateful to Master for his mercy and salvation! I deeply appreciate the selfless help offered by fellow practitioners!
(Presented at the 2018 European Fa Conference)