A Reminder about Letting Go of Fundamental Attachments
(Minghui.org) I would like to discuss a problem in cultivation that I have observed among practitioners in my area, which I feel has become severe, and has had a negative impact on practitioners in our cultivation environment and even on other people's perception and understanding of Falun Dafa.
Master said long ago in “Dafa Cannot be Used” in Essentials for Further Advancement:
“For example, some people who used to oppose Dafa or did not believe in Dafa have also come to learn to practice Dafa cultivation.”
“There is actually also a group of people who came like this and have completely changed their original understanding, becoming determined, genuine Dafa disciples. But there is still another group of people who do not intend to change and who have long been stumbling along in Dafa. For the sake of Dafa’s stability in the human world, I cannot condone their continuing any further. Thus, they will really miss their chance. As I said, superficial changes are for others to see. Whether or not you can be saved depends on the change and ascension of your own heart. If change does not occur there, you cannot improve and nothing can be achieved.”
Master also said in “Towards Consummation” in Essentials for Further Advancement II:
“Some people think that Dafa is in keeping with their own understanding of science; some people think that it agrees with their own code of conduct; some people think that it speaks to their own dissatisfaction with politics; some people think that Dafa can salvage humankind’s degenerate morals; some people think that Dafa can cure their illnesses; some people think that Dafa and Master are righteous, and so on and so forth. It isn’t wrong for human beings in this world to yearn with these attachments for beautiful dreams and wishes. But a cultivator definitely shouldn’t be that way. You may start on the path of Dafa with those thoughts, yet over the course of cultivation you need to regard yourself as a cultivator. During the course of cultivation, however, through reading the books, studying the Fa, and diligently making progress, you should clearly recognize what your thoughts were when you first came to Dafa. After cultivating for a period of time, are your thoughts still the same? Are you continuing on the path because of those human attachments? If so, you cannot be counted as my disciple.”
In my area, I have noticed one such fundamental attachment that seems to be particularly widespread among some practitioners. It is an emotional attachment to friends and family.
Master said in “Cultivators’ Avoidances” in Essentials for Further Advancement:
“Those who are attached to affection for family will definitely be burned, entangled, and tormented by it. Pulled by the threads of affection and plagued by them throughout their lives, they will find it too late to regret at the end of their lives.”
After the persecution started, there was a lot of negative information about Dafa in the mainstream media, due to the worldwide influence of the Chinese Communist Party. Many practitioners in my area who had not given up such emotional attachments felt shunned and isolated by the larger society and felt very lonely. But instead of rectifying the situation by clarifying the truth and exposing the misconceptions about Falun Gong, they instead sought to “rectify” the situation by seeking other practitioners as friends, and they even ended up forming social cliques.
On the surface, they still studied the Fa and did the exercises together, and they appeared even more diligent than other practitioners, never missing group practice. But what they also never missed was the opportunity to stay together after group practice. Some gossiped and drank tea or watched TV together, or went out to eat and basically just socialized together for many hours.
This gradually led to many new practitioners coming in, but they didn’t come to truly practice. They came because they were looking for a social community.
It is bad enough if one is unable to give up emotional attachments for a long period of time, but it is even worse if one brings such attachments into one’s cultivation environment. This situation basically disrupted, and ultimately ended up destroying, many of the practice sites in my area.
The deviation started very slowly and gradually, almost imperceptibly, with small things, but with time it grew ever more severe. Practicing and studying became a mere formality.
With time this also led to other attachments, such as to reputation, wealth, and politics. For some practitioners, their reputation and social standing became more and more important to them.
Some started to pursue wealth to increase their social standing and even participated in (socialist style) political struggles to increase their income and reputation. They eventually abandoned cultivation altogether and instead joined and supported various political parties and political cliques.
I believe however that the underlying attachment that caused all of this, and that these practitioners always covered up, was an attachment to emotional bonds. Such behavior could result in irreparable harm to themselves, to others, and to the overall cultivation environment and other people's perception of Falun Dafa. Yet I still hope that some of them might wake up and that other practitioners will also become alert to this problem, which is why I am writing this.
Practitioners Should Not Get Involved in Politics
Even now there are still many practitioners who have not given up their attachment to emotion, and who still put their hope for an end to the persecution into a certain political party or a certain politician. Of course, we can and should clarify the truth to everyone, no matter what political party or movement they belong to. But if we then go overboard and end up joining such a political movement ourselves, we may end up harming ourselves and others, as it will very likely cause misunderstandings among ordinary people, especially if we don’t just do so as individuals, but drag other practitioners along.
Even worse, is that practitioners with such attachments tend to cover up their attachments in the name of Dafa. So some even join or support such political movements in the name of Falun Dafa, causing huge misunderstandings and damage to Falun Dafa’s reputation.
If we were just talking about an ordinary social club, it would still be wrong if a large number of Falun Dafa practitioners got involved in it (as practitioners). But when it comes to political parties, we need to be extra careful, because the Communist Party is infamous for its many front organizations. So even when it seems like a political party or political movement is outwardly opposed to socialism, it may contain certain socialist elements itself. So we absolutely must not get involved in them–much less as Falun Dafa practitioners.
Our goal isn’t to struggle with the Communist Party and start some kind of socialist-style revolution, but to cultivate ourselves, eliminate our attachments, and to clarify the truth and help people dissolve any misunderstandings about Falun Dafa.
This is just my own understanding. Please point out anything improper.
Category: Improving Oneself