Loneliness in Cultivation
(Minghui.org) I had a deeply hidden attachment until just recently. Besides practicing the Falun Gong exercises and sending forth righteous thoughts, I preferred to be with fellow practitioners whenever I did the three things.
When I went out to clarify the facts, I first asked a practitioner to go with me. When that person could not make it I then asked another practitioner. I only went out on my own when I couldn't find anyone to accompany me. I had noticed this problem and found my attachment of depending on others and sentiment toward other practitioners. Through Fa study, I realized that I feared loneliness.
It's good to be diligent in cultivation, and cooperate and work with fellow practitioners so that we can improve together. However, aside from regular cultivation experience sharing and cooperation, one can also breed attachments such as loneliness.
Some practitioners talk about everything, from their understanding of the Fa principles to gossip about their families, children, and other practitioners. Even if they are aware of the attachment, they claim that it is not gossip, that they know they should look inward, and so on.
As a result the attachment grows, as the practitioners may not actually be looking inward. The practitioners gradually form habits without being aware. Some have many things to say and can't wait to talk with other practitioners. This behavior is the same as having close friends in ordinary society, the purpose of which is to reduce one's loneliness.
Hardship is Cultivation
Apart from cooperating with each other when clarifying the facts about Falun Gong and the persecution, or helping those who have not stepped forward, each practitioner has his or her own path in cultivation. And everyone has to walk his or her own path. Hardship in cultivation and while saving people has to be endured by each individual practitioner. Grievances caused by misunderstanding do not have to be talked over with others.
Emotions should not be expressed to other practitioners because they usually contain attachments that should be eliminated. This is also part of the process of accumulating mighty virtue.
Master and all gods can see these feelings, and this should be enough. The calmness, capacity, and tolerance exhibited by enlightened beings must be achieved through cultivation.
Some practitioners like to go around to talk to others. After a short period of time they go around again. These practitioner's families may not practice Falun Dafa, so they feel lonely because they have no one they can communicate with, and they may just love to chat.
I also had similar problems. When I talked to one practitioner, I exchanged some information and learned about some things. When I talked to the next practitioner, I told him everything about the practitioner I'd talked to before. When I talked to yet a third practitioner, I talked about the first two, and so on. I also added some comments, such as: recently this practitioner was in a good cultivation state; she was printing a lot of materials and planned to distribute them to certain areas; that practitioner is experiencing tribulations in the form of sickness karma, fellow practitioners sent forth righteous thoughts every day; the other practitioner was involved in multiple projects with several mobile phones and has strong righteous thoughts; yet another was planning to purchase consumables and needed money, and so on. Had one of those practitioners' cell phones been monitored, the consequences could have been terrible.
When we are lonely and it feels unbearable, we should look within. We may then easily find our hidden attachments, such as feeling helpless and pained when we are unable to pass tests, being joyful when we have new understandings of the Fa principles, having grievances toward family members, practitioners, and others, being unable to let go fame and fortune in life, being happy when people withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party, making critical comments about others, and having satisfaction after venting our loneliness. Besides security factors, this behavior also consumes wastes our precious time.
I sometimes no longer wanted to have contact with such practitioners, as it was not safe. But when I looked inward, I actually discovered that I have many of the same attachments.
I arrived at a new understanding after studying the Fa. I should improve in cultivation, eliminate attachments, and be tolerant of fellow practitioners. I should point things out with good intentions instead of talking about people behind their backs or forcing others to change. Each life has different characteristics and path, as well as different responsibilities and factors to bear. We are only good practitioners as long as we strive to do well in our cultivation.
Let's recall Master's Fa on the issue of loneliness:
“… this kind of cultivation setting, where one cannot see what lies ahead and one is immersed in prolonged loneliness, is the hardest to endure, and it is most apt to lead a person to slack off. This is the greatest test in cultivation.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference” from Teaching the Fa at the Conference IX)
“When I teach the Fa infrequently though, what worries me most is not the hardships or ordeals you face, which you know to be plenty hard. They are not the hardest thing; after all, however trying hardship may be, it's over after you get through it, and at that point things are clear to you. Rather, to quietly cultivate in bleak loneliness, unable to see hope, is the hardest of all.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference” from Teaching the Fa at the Conference IX)
“Most frightening of all was the prolonged loneliness. What do people fear most of all? Loneliness. Loneliness can drive a person crazy; loneliness can lead a person to forget everything from before; and loneliness can even cause one to forget how to speak. It is the most terrible form of hardship. People talk about so-and-so sitting facing a wall for nine years, or someone for thirteen years, with some sitting there for a hundred years. You don’t have that kind of loneliness. You just have to ensure that you are like a Dafa disciple from start to finish.” (“What is a Dafa Disciple” from Teaching the Fa at the Conference XI)