Are You One of the Lost Dafa Disciples?
(Minghui.org) I have been thinking about certain situations among Dafa practitioners after reading some sharing articles. If you feel that what I'm saying makes sense, please watch out for these issues so that we can all improve our cultivation states together.
Differentiating Our True Self From Our Attachments
One practitioner has a strong attachment to fear and always feels suspicious of many things around her. When she looks within, it is done only conditionally and only when she feels like it.
Ever since her release from a detention center, she suspects that she is being followed all the time, to the point that she's too scared to go out and refuses to allow people into her house.
I'm not suggesting that she is not being followed or monitored. What I'm saying is that this prolonged state of mind is not her true self, but she hasn't differentiated it from her true self. Her ongoing attachments have also been strengthened by negative substances in other dimensions, which have led to her current state of mind. If others also think that her fear and suspicion actually belong to her, then they have also failed to make a clear differentiation–those are attachments that she should let go through cultivation.
Our Egos Are Not Our True Selves
There is a practitioner in our area who is fastidious about doing the three things over the years. However, he has a strong ego and is unwilling to look within. He won't listen to suggestions or advice from anyone, and it is very hard to communicate with “him.”
He has been in this state of mind for a long time, believing that doing the three things alone equates to cultivation. He cannot identify his true self and confuses it with his strong “ego.”
Practitioners have noticed that for the last few years, he is often in a daze and does not respond when others try to talk with him. Local practitioners have tried to communicate with him from time to time, but without much success, because he is blocked by the strong sense of ego he had developed in everyday people's society. Meanwhile, his true self is suppressed.
There are a lot of attachments behind a strong ego, and each of them is a false self that blocks our true self. They make it difficult for our true self to play its role. We must therefore abandon each one of the false selves to allow our true self to emerge and take control. If we think that this practitioner's strong ego is truly himself, then we have also failed to make a clear distinction.
There is another practitioner who is not very diligent in cultivation, and her understanding of “looking within” is to figure out who is right and who is wrong instead of looking within unconditionally for her own attachments and notions when conflicts arise.
She is rather well-spoken but very hard to reason with because she has a bad temper and tends to harbor resentment. She doesn't get along with her son-in-law's family either, and their relationship has always been very tense. For a long time, she has been controlled by her false self, and she even gets pleasure from beating others up in her dreams.
Hers is another case in which a practitioner fails to cultivate herself and is unable to find her true self. Her dimensions are covered with false substances, which in turn attract other bad entities that strengthen their control over her.
What is worth mentioning is that some of her in-laws are also Dafa practitioners. They get very angry when they see her doing things that discredit Dafa. They also hold resentment against her and do not want to have anything to do with her.
In fact, these practitioners have also failed to recognize their true selves. They regard those “resentments” as their own thoughts and act along with them. The resentments are exactly what we need to relinquish, so how can we allow ourselves to be guided by them in our actions? They are not our true selves, which are pure and unadulterated.
The above cases paint a clear picture of situations in which practitioners fail to find their true self.
There are also situations in which our problems are not as easily seen. We use our human mindsets and notions to judge what is important and what isn't, what amounts to a big issue and what is a trivial matter, instead of measuring things against the Fa principles.
My Understanding of “True Self”
What is our true self? My current understanding is that our true self is our prenatal purity and our firm belief in the Fa reflected in our daily life. It is the self that can accomplish our mission and follow Master to return to our true home.
For example, a practitioner is experiencing sickness karma arranged by the old forces. After visiting her, some fellow practitioners tried to analyze her cultivation state and started passing judgment about her instead of denying the arrangements of the old forces and supporting the practitioner with strong righteous thoughts.
This shows that the fellow practitioners have also failed to truly regard her ordeals as part of the whole body and as our own ordeals. Think about it: if they were our own ordeals, would we pass judgment so casually? In fact, our mentality and what we say when we make judgmental comments about others are very often based on selfish notions and those from the CCP's Party culture we had developed over time. All these should be abandoned in our cultivation.
The reason why we still hold on to various attachments and human notions is that we have for a long time failed to measure our conduct and look within according to the Fa principles, and that we have not truly cultivated ourselves solidly. As a result, we are not clear about the perspectives from which we should look at things and are unable to recognize our true self.
Our true self would definitely look at things on the basis of the Fa as required by Master and be able to restrain and balance our conduct according to the Fa principles. With our true self in control, we would be able to distinguish that the thoughts that separate us from the Fa are not our true self. We would understand that such notions and human attachments would not be acceptable by Master and the Fa.
As Dafa cultivators, we must hurry up and clearly distinguish our true self from everything else and let go of things that do not belong to our true self. Only by doing so can we return home with Master.
Let us review a couple of paragraphs of Master's teaching in the article “Buddha Nature” in Zhuan Falun Volume II,
“A notion, once formed, will control you for the duration of your life, influencing your thinking and even the full gamut of emotions, such as your happiness, anger, sorrow, and joy. It is formed postnatally. If this thing persists for some time, it will become part of a person’s thinking, melding into the brain of that person’s true self, at which point it will shape his temperament.
“The notions that are developed will obstruct and control a person for the remainder of his life. A human notion is usually selfish—or worse—and thus generates thought karma which, in turn, controls the person. A human being is to be governed by his master soul (zhu yuan-shen). When your master soul becomes lax and is replaced by notions, you have unconditionally surrendered, and your life is now under their control.” ("Buddha Nature" Zhuan Falun Volume II)
[Note from the editor: In life, many people tend to give definitions or make judgments about things around them without much thinking. They allow the notions they had developed in the human society to control their words and deeds, and use their own notions as the standards to judge and measure others. Many practitioners who have been cultivating for many years have also failed to conduct themselves well in this respect and behave like everyday people. They have in fact lost their true self. With such attachments, they have not only failed to elevate in cultivation, but have also deviated further and further from their true self. Fa-rectification cultivation has been going on for twenty years. We Dafa disciples should study Master's article “Buddha Nature” more often and dispel this confusion.]