(Minghui.org) Every attachment is a stumbling block for a practitioner. When cultivators hold themselves to high standards, look inward, and remove attachments, they are in the process of getting rid of these stumbling blocks. 

Many practitioners have already practiced cultivation for more than 10 or 20 years, and have eliminated a lot of attachments. They take whatever happens in everyday society lightly, and do the three things very well. But, some practitioners who are very diligent in cultivation frequently meet with “tribulations,” and cannot overcome them. Some even pass away. 

Seriously Reflecting on My Cultivation State

Three years ago, my knees started to hurt when I walked and especially when I went up the stairs. Of course, I looked within and found many attachments, which I tried to eliminate. I consistently denied any of the old forces' arrangements. But two weeks passed, and I was still in pain. I knew it had something to do with my cultivation and that I had to elevate my character as soon as possible. So I continued to look inside. 

One day I seriously reflected on my recent cultivation state. As far as doing the three things was concerned, I did them steadily; the environment I was in remained normal; there was no fluctuation in thoughts, and I even paid close attention to every single thought I had. Then, what was it that I needed to cultivate away, especially as my cultivation state seemed to be alright? All of a sudden, the words “seemed to be alright” got larger and were in "bold" and highlighted in my mind. I realized that Master was giving me a hint that the word “seemed” implied a problem.

Master said,

“Even in this class now there are those who think highly of themselves and have an air about them when they speak. So even in Buddhism, attempting to figure out how you are doing in your practice is frowned upon.” (The Sixth Talk, Zhuan Falun)

I experienced many things over the last 18 years of cultivation and in general, everything went smoothly. I had plenty of things to share either in small groups or with individuals and showed that my understanding was clear and correct. If someone talked about their tribulations, I always had some advice and was willing to talk about how I passed mine. I seldom looked inside to see what I lacked. I found my problem, and the pain in my knees disappeared.

Then, I remembered two posters with Master's picture that I had. They were more or less the same size, and one of them had a yellowish tinge. I knew it was not easy for practitioners in China to make these posters. Anyway, I framed one of them and kept the other on a bookshelf to be given to someone who wanted it. 

When I got home, I looked at Master's picture, then closed my eyes and said to myelf, “I finally found my attachment. Thank you, Master, for giving me the hint.” When I opened my eyes, I saw Master walking out of the picture. I couldn't control myself and started to cry like a baby. “Master, we miss you!” I said. When I finished crying, I saw that the yellowish poster was no longer yellow, but rosy white. Everyone found it really amazing. 

Through this incident, I understood the importance of paying attention to improving our character. When I eliminated many filthy things and reached the standard required by Dafa, the substance in my body also underwent many changes. Master encourages us to go on by showing these miraculous changes. When people heard the story, everyone was amazed.

Removing Fundamental Attachments

About two months ago, I had a stomachache in the middle of the night. The pain worsened. I went three times to the bathroom but I was still in pain. The pain made me roll around in bed. I knew that it was time for me to improve my character and it was good. I must pass this tribulation, because I have Master looking after me, I thought. 

First I completely negated any of the old forces' arrangements and offered benevolent resolutions to related lives. I sent righteous thoughts to disintegrate all the evil and demons that persecute Dafa practitioners. Then I looked inside and found many attachments that I wasn't aware of before. But the pain persisted. I rolled around in bed but I had no fear. I said to the bad things that persecuted me, “I already experienced the life and death sickness karma tribulation at the beginning of my cultivation. It's meaningless to have it come back again.” 

I knew that there were still attachments deeply buried within me. I examined myself over and over again. I was already used to looking inside to find the cause no matter how difficult it seemed. I never thought of using medication or health care products or going to the hospital to help relieve the pain. Neither did I want to bother any practitioners. I had to pass the tribulations on my own. I didn't want my husband who was in the next room to know. The struggle went on for more than three hours and I didn't take a sip of water or make any noise. The pain made me just curl up. It was so hard to endure, I thought I should ask Master for help. 

As soon as I had that thought, I recalled the pain in my knees from years ago. Oh, now I understood. Although it was the same issue, and I removed the outer layer of the human thought last time – the thought that my cultivation state “seemed to be alright” - I'd slacked off and started to take things lightly. I didn't look deeper within. Now I realized that I must completely remove it from the root.

Indeed, when I measured myself using low standards, I was alright. But I was just too far off when using standards at a higher level to measure myself. I saw that I was pleased with where I was, that I liked a comfortable and leisurely life, and that I didn’t want to suffer. How could I improve when I held on so tightly to all these attachments? By then, I no longer had a stomachache. 

The next day I woke up at six o’clock and it was like nothing had happened. But I didn’t do the exercises nor send righteous thoughts. I made breakfast and told my husband what had happened the night before. He said, “Why didn’t you tell me last night?” I said, “If I told you, you wouldn’t have slept well. My master is taking care of me. Don’t worry.” 

I thought if the pain was too much to bear, and if I went to the hospital, certainly they would say that I had problems everywhere, because I am already in my 70s. But, I followed the standard of a cultivator, so under Master’s protection, it only took three hours, and the pain was gone. Everything went back to normal the next day and I was able to carry on with the three things as usual. 

Later I analyzed things further. I have cultivated for 21 years. I have never taken a single pill. I look young, as my hair is still black, and there are no wrinkles on my face. Often people comment that I look like I'm in my 50s. 

It was obvious that I was too pompous and therefore subconsciously thought that my cultivation state “seemed to be alright" because I follow Master’s requirements to cultivate. Although it wasn’t the true me that thought about it, when I didn’t pay attention to my cultivation, the thought would pop up and make me fall. I need to constantly remind myself. 

Raising the Standard Requires Elevating One's Cultivation

All these years, practitioners have constantly made efforts to better cultivate ourselves by doing the three things. When we continued to elevate, the standards at higher levels would also be raised. It was under this kind of circumstances that many practitioners found it hard to go through some tribulations, or couldn’t detect attachments that ought to be gotten rid of. This was because many attachments were well hidden. 

Through intensive Fa study, sending righteous thoughts, and with the help of other practitioners to seriously look inside, practitioners were able to find the fundamental attachments and removed them. When that happened, they were able to reach a higher realm because they reached higher standards. Consequently their physical bodies would change and they would then break through the tribulations. 

Some practitioners couldn’t withstand the pain and suffering of the body and went to the hospital. When they did that, they positioned themselves as everyday people. They showed that they didn't fully believe in Master and the Fa. When Master gave them more opportunities, some enlightened to it and broke through difficulties, but others repeatedly went to the hospital, and their issues dragged on for a long time. A number of these practitioners even blamed it on the Fa. They thought: “I've cultivated so well all these years and done so many things to save sentient beings. How come I couldn't pass this test?” People around them also said, “Why aren't you very diligent? Why are you this way? Maybe you should stop practicing Dafa.” 

Although we can't see which level we have reached, it is certain that the requirements for us are getting more strict. When a tribulation comes, it is difficult to find which specific attachment causes it. 

I would like to emphasize here that regardless of how long we have cultivated, how diligent we have been, how well we have done the three things, how highly practitioners regard us, or how good our cultivation environment has been rectified, we have to remember that it is Dafa that nurtures and helps us cultivate to the current state. Everything is done by Master. If there were no cultivation in Dafa and no Master to take care of things, what could I do? To what extent would my illness develop? Who can help?

Master requires us to elevate our level. “The key to real spiritual progress is to train your will.” (The Fourth Talk, Zhuan Falun)

Braking Though Ordeals with Master's Help

We are not coming to the world to have a good life. But rather, we need to continue elevating ourselves and being diligent. Many practitioners have cultivated to a relatively high level, so for them, the standards of an even higher level will certainly be more strict and their tests will relatively be tougher. Therefore, looking for the attachment is even harder. But we should not take it lightly and drop down to the ordinary people’s level. We need to look into all possible ways to detect the slightest area of improvement where we need to work hard on and get rid of. When we have the Fa in our mind and Master by our side, we can break through any ordeals. 

When we experience extreme physical pain especially under lots of pressure from our family, we tend to give up easily and go to the hospital. In fact, we have to remember that the most difficult moment is exactly when things get closest to the turning point. Pressure coming from our family is a test for us. If you let your spouse and children decide for you, because they are the closest to you, you are walking the path arranged by the old forces, and your tribulation will get even bigger. 

On the other hand, when we think that we are cultivators, and have Master to take care of us, remember these words of Master: 

“The worse you might feel, the closer you are to the turning point, and your entire body will be, and must be, fully cleansed. ”(The Second Talk, Zhuan Falun)

“Nobody will dare to rashly do anything to you as long as your practice stays on track. And besides, you have the protection of my spiritual bodies. So no harm will come to you.” (The Third Talk, Zhuan Falun)

We will be able to find the most obvious attachment. This will soon lead us through the huge obstacles. I personally went through these experiences, and this was how I passed the tribulations. 

There are countless attachments that are not easy to detect. Everyone’s journey is different, and therefore, what we encounter also varies. For example, some senior practitioners buy a cemetery plot in advance. Some prepare their burial shrouds and some arrange the matters after death for their children, and so on. 

Sometimes I also unconsciously do things like that and drop down to ordinary people’s state. For example, one day I was taking care of my 4-year-old grandchild. Suddenly he asked me, “Grandma, will my daddy and mommy get old one day?” Without thinking, I replied, “Sure.” He asked again, “What about grandpa and grandma? Will they be old too?” I answered without thinking twice, “Of course they will.” 

It wasn’t until later that I realized something was wrong. Why would a cultivator think like that? Wouldn’t that fit the arrangements of the old forces? When they slip through the loophole we create, it will become a tribulation. How would it be possible for us to find such an attachment? Luckily I caught this thought and dissolved the thought immediately. I didn’t want it. It wasn’t me that said it. It was the phony me that said it. 

It is possible that all of us have some kinds of attachments that are hard to detect. But we should not worry about it because we have Master to protect us, and the universal Dafa that guides us in cultivation. We must study the Fa more often and frequently look inside. We have to clarify the truth frequently. In the last moment of the Fa-rectification period, let’s walk our journey well to avoid future regrets.