Finding My Deeper Attachments and Cultivating with Renewed Vigor
(Minghui.org) Some days ago, a fellow practitioner called me and said that I looked younger, was more spirited, and had better skin. She assumed I had made a breakthrough in cultivation and wanted me to share my experience at the group Fa-study that night. After I shared with our group, it was suggested that I write down my experience and insights to share with other practitioners.
Finding my Loophole
I began to practice Falun Dafa on November 17, 1998. In less than one week, many of my incurable illnesses, including ischemic heart disease (narrowing of the coronary arteries), allergic eczema, and abnormal opening of the pharynx membrane were all gone. I haven’t visited a doctor or taken any medicine or supplements since I began the practice. As a practitioner, I have experienced the joy of being completely healthy.
Though the entire nation has been inundated with the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) lies and slander against Dafa, I have never slacked off or given up on studying the Fa, practicing the exercises, and doing what a practitioner should.
Although I have kept the will to cultivate strong in my heart, I moped around at a low level of understanding for a long time. My main problem was that I always felt sleepy when studying the Fa. One time, when I was reading in a dazed state, a disrespectful voice in my head demanded, “Who said this?” I was shocked awake and thought, “Isn’t this the Fa taught by Master (Li Hongzhi)? How can I be so dazed that I wasn’t even aware that I was studying the Fa?!”
I kept up with studying at least one lecture of Zhuan Falun every day. I also studied other Fa teachings when I had time. But no matter how much I studied, I couldn’t grasp the deeper meanings of the teachings. I often felt muddleheaded.
For example, Master Li said,
“Then assuming that’s valid, within the worlds inside a single grain of sand, there would again be sand, presumably. And within that sand we would expect to find yet more worlds. And then in those worlds inside the sand we would expect to again find still more sand. It could go on endlessly.” (The Eighth Talk, Zhuan Falun, 2018 translation)
I never understood the relationship between “the worlds” and the “grain of sand:” It felt as if there was a barrier between me and the Fa.
One of the reasons for my cloudy state was that I was simply too polluted by the Communist Party culture. Having grown up and lived in the Party culture for over 60 years, I was exhausted by the regime's relentless propaganda. Though their slander campaigns went in one ear and out the other, I became indifferent to a lot of issues.
In an effort to clear my mind, I listened to the Nine Commentaries of the Communist Party, Dissolving the Culture of China's Communist Party, and The Ultimate Goal of Communism. As a result, the distracting thoughts in my mind decreased, but the fundamental change I needed continued to elude me.
I didn’t have much illness karma in my course of cultivation, but just before the 2017 New York Fa conference, it came on strong. I began to cough and vomit. I had difficulty breathing, lost my voice, and had loose bowels. It felt as if I was having heart failure, and my face was suddenly covered with wrinkles. I lost a lot of weight, and my skin turned brown.
I kept looking inward and knew that if I could find my loophole and let go of it, I could immediately pass the test. Though I searched inward, I couldn't find my loopholes. With no known cause, I regarded all the symptoms as Master's elimination of my karma and just firmly believed in Master and the Fa. I was not affected by any negative thoughts and eventually overcame the tribulation, and the symptoms cleared up.
Before the 2018 Fa conference in Washington D.C., my hands festered to the point that I was almost unable to take care of myself. This had happened before I practiced Falun Dafa but never to such an extreme. I looked deep inside but never found the real reason for the sores, nor did I find my fundamental loophole in cultivation.
Before the Fa conference in Australia this year, as I was writing my experience-sharing article, I wanted to write about the two experiences with illness karma I just described. I searched deep inside for the reason why I had those tribulations when suddenly a clear thought was imparted into my mind and my fundamental loophole became clear: I held suspicion of the Fa on two accounts.
With regard to the first one, Master said,
“By July 20th of 1999 I had already pushed all of the pre-July 20 students to their positions--I pushed you to your highest positions.” (Touring North America to Teach the Fa)
Though I belonged to the pre-July 20 group, I suspected that I was not included because I believed I started practicing Dafa too late in life.
Secondly, Master said,
“We want all of the body’s energy channels to be opened up right from the outset.” (The Eighth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
But I suspected my energy channels were not opened up from the outset. When I reread this passage, I knew it was Master's merciful hint, and I admitted that I indeed held such doubt. I felt so ashamed for not truly trusting Master!
I know the Buddha Fa is boundless, so why did I not believe Master when he addressed these topics in the Fa? It could have been a fatal loophole in my cultivation! I looked deeper but still couldn't find the root cause that led me not to believe Master or the Fa.
Recently, I read an experience sharing article “Gaining Greater Understanding of Sickness Karma” that inspired me and helped me make a breakthrough in my understanding. The practitioner wrote, “When I read the sentence in Zhuan Falun one day, ‘Caocao thought that Huatuo meant to murder him,’ a voice in my head said, ‘That thought was said by the tumor!’”
He enlightened that the tumor in Caocao's brain was a negative spirit and was there to take his life in order to settle debts owed from past lives. The tumor sent a message to Caocao that Huatuo wanted to take his life. Caocao didn't know that this thought wasn't his own. So he believed the thought and locked Huatuo up. Huatuo eventually died. Without the operation that Huatuo offered to perform, the spirit of the tumor eventually took Caocao's life.
Inspired by this article, I understood that my suspicion toward Master and the Fa were not from my true self. I deduced that those negative ideas must have been produced by my thought karma. The thought karma was afraid of being eliminated in the course of my cultivation, so it tried its best to interfere with me by reflecting suspicion into my mind. The purpose was to cause loopholes in my cultivation and tarnish my faith in Master and the Fa. The ultimate goal was to cause me to fail in cultivation. I was deluded by the thought karma and had mistakenly regarded it as my true self for over 10 years!
But I didn't stop there. As I looked further inward, I asked myself, “how could those suspicious thoughts exist in my mind for such a long time? What was the soil nurturing them? Why couldn't I distinguish them from the thoughts produced by my true self?
The practitioner's analysis of the reason Caocao was manipulated by the spirit of the tumor helped me understand further. He wrote, “Why was Caocao's master soul able to be manipulated by the spirit at that crucial time? Human beings have attachments such as suspicion, fear, defensiveness, and regarding oneself as infallible. These provide bad spirits with a karmic field in which to live, and they can easily overcome one's master soul.”
When I looked for these traits within my self, I found that I did have the attachment of suspicion and regarded myself as infallible. But at the time, I didn't realize that I also had the mentality of fear and defensiveness. That night, I had a dream that I was in a big, vacant room. There were windows with curtains on the walls. The windows were big, but the curtains were small. No matter how I tried to draw the curtains closed, they were unable to cover the windows. I was afraid that people outside could peer through the windows.
When I woke up, I understood that in reality, I had attachments to fear and defensiveness. Upon reflection, I realized that in the environment of the CCP, nearly everyone has a strong mentality of suspicion and defensiveness. I had gradually let go of those attachments early in my cultivation, but because I was illegally imprisoned twice and monitored day and night for a long time, they were activated again without my realizing it.
I thought I had let go of the attachments to fear and defensiveness when I came to Australia, but after having that dream, I realized that they had not been completely removed at the root; it’s just that they had become weaker.
Therefore, when the thought karma reflected the doubt and suspicion into my mind, it harmonized with my attachments of suspicion, fear, defensiveness, and self-righteousness. This made me unable to perceive that my attachments were being strengthened by the thought karma.
After I removed the doubt and suspicion forced into my mind by the thought karma and got rid of the attachments that nurtured the thought karma, I felt that the barrier between me and the Fa was gone. I could study the Fa with great eagerness and was not haunted by sleepiness anymore. If I did feel a little sleepy sometimes, I could easily overcome it. And I could easily understand the deeper implications of the Fa.
Now, I feel that I am getting back to cultivating like I did when I first started. I know that I have so many more attachments to be eliminated and that I have to be more diligent as it gets closer to the end!