Attachments: Dig Out the Roots to Resentment - Jealousy
(Minghui.org) When I saw several practitioners dealing with abnormal conditions, or even sickness karma, because they couldn’t let go of their resentment, I decided to share my experience of how I let go of resentment and jealousy.
Finding the Root of Resentment
Resentment doesn't show up for no specific reason, and it often develops after one has been mistreated by others. For example, “I’ve been so nice to him, but how he is treating me like this!” “I have done so much, but his reaction is not what I had expected.” “I have never done anything to hurt him, but he is treating me so badly.” “What he did was very hurtful,” and so on.
When resentment comes into play, a practitioner will know it’s a bad attachment, and it should be removed, so he or she will suppress it. Through studying the Falun Dafa teachings and sending forth righteous thoughts, a big portion of resentment will be removed, but it still resurfaces from time to time. This happens when one recalls an injustice, feels that one was treated unfairly, and thus the resentment resurfaces. The situation then repeats.
In fact, I think this is because one hasn’t achieved solid cultivation and has not truly dug out the root of the resentment - jealousy.
As soon as jealousy, which is normally related to narrow-mindedness and small-mindedness, is mentioned, others look down on you. Therefore, when jealousy surfaces, we cover it up by labeling the attachments as competitiveness, discontentment, or resentment. Without digging out the fundamental root, a practitioner could be stuck in such a state for a long time.
I used to have a very shallow understanding of jealousy. I thought jealousy only applied to situations when I thought others were better than me, which was easy to detect.
Understanding the Principle Governing Jealousy
When I was memorizing the section about jealousy in Zhuan Falun, Master Li (the founder) let me understand a principle: “an obvious display of jealousy is feeling uneasy (or unfair),” as Master mentioned “feeling uneasy (or unfair)” seven times in this section.
I knew jealousy was bad, but I didn’t realize how serious my problem was until now. I was shocked.
“The issue of jealousy is very serious as it directly involves the matter of whether you can complete cultivation practice.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)
“There is this rule: If in the course of cultivation practice jealousy is not given up, one will not attain Right Fruit—absolutely not. Perhaps you have heard before that Buddha Amitabha spoke of going to a paradise with karma. But that is not going to happen without giving up jealousy. It may be possible that one falls short in some other minor regards and goes to the paradise with karma for further cultivation. But it is absolutely impossible if jealousy is not abandoned.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)
Gaining Understanding of the Root of Jealousy
Jealousy is not like any other attachments--it is a stumbling block toward reaching consummation!
Master said, “A wicked person is born of jealousy. Out of selfishness and anger he complains about unfairness towards himself.” (Realms, Essentials for Further Advancement )
I have been paying attention to the above Fa and using this Fa to guide myself when conflicts arose, especially when I faced disputes. Then, I adjusted my mindset, tried my best to calm down, and maintain a peaceful mindset.
But when I learned that a typical display of jealousy was “feeling uneasy (unfair),” I suddenly came to understand that the root of all my anger was related to “feeling uneasy (unfair).” I was angry for various reasons, including dissatisfaction and unfairness, and would then complain, resent or put up a fight.
In the past, I would never have related these attachments to jealousy, but now, “feeling uneasy (unfair)” has suddenly tied all my attachments together to jealousy and things started to make sense.
Putting Understanding Into Practice
One morning after breakfast, I didn’t want the soy milk I made for my daughter to get cold, so I poured it back into the soy milk maker to keep it warm. My daughter drank it, filled the maker with water, and let it sit.
It thought it was unfair when I was cleaning the soy milk maker and thought, “I’ve made the soy milk for you, you didn’t even bother to clean the maker.” I was upset, although I did not say anything. Suddenly, “Feeling unfair” came to mind. This was jealousy. If I let it grow, there would be complaints, then fights, and eventually hatred.
At noontime, I was ready to have lunch with my husband. When I was about to sit down, he asked me to bring him chili. After I brought him the chili, he asked me to fetch vinegar. I thought, “I’ve already made the food for you, yet you’re still ordering me around.”
I slumped onto a chair and started eating, giving him the cold shoulder. Even though I did not blow up, I felt I was being treated unfairly and was upset and perturbed.
Therefore, blindly bearing something is not the way to go. As a rule of thumb, the mind must not be perturbed. Fetching him vinegar was not something I had to do, and if I wasn’t feeling disturbed, I might say to him nicely, “I’m a little tired. Please get it yourself.”
This shows that jealousy can display itself under every circumstance in daily life. If I cannot get over even a trifle like this, then I cannot pass bigger tests. In reality I did stumble on trifles.
Recently, I bought a small apartment for my mother, and my younger brother did not say anything in appreciation. I felt uneasy and taken advantage of and started calculating money in my mind.
Master said, “If jealousy is not abolished, everything that you have cultivated will become fragile.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)
I found this Fa absolutely true. I thought I had taken personal interest lightly, but now I was mulling it over because of my jealousy. I was not happy with my brother, and conflict started to show itself in my family, even my mother became upset at my brother too.
I knew my state was not right, but I couldn’t overcome the thought of unfairness. I was very distressed. I sat down to study the Fa. At the time I was memorizing the section of “Whoever Practices Cultivation Will Attain Gong” in Zhuan Falun, Master said, “Indeed, it is extremely difficult for people to be enlightened since everyday people are deluded by ordinary human society.” (Lecture Eight, Zhuan Falun)
I realized I was not an everyday person, and I should not be deluded. I calmed down quickly.
But a couple days later, the attachment resurfaced. At the time I was memorizing the Fa,
“It might encounter all kinds of things. It will treat itself as a practitioner and balance well relations with others, always maintaining and upgrading xinxing. It will not be moved by the temptations of different benefits among everyday people.” (Lecture Eight, Zhuan Falun)
I thought, “I must balance well relations with my brother. I am a practitioner, and he is an everyday person. Our relationship is about compassion and salvation. I cannot regard myself the same as him.” I calmed down again.
But two days later, the same attachment resurfaced. I memorized the Fa again.
Addressing Issue from Another Angle
When I was stuck in the paradox of personal interest, Master inspired me from another angle, I felt my thinking transcended humanness little by little with Master’s help. I came to understand that compared to the hardships I had lived through during all my lifetimes, this matter was nothing. I also realized my brother behaved this way because of the pressure in his life. I suddenly felt pity for him.
Finally, the test was passed, the tribulation was over, and the knot was untied. My thinking started connecting with my knowing side: no matter who they are to make us feel unfair, they are here to help us discover our shortcomings, help us cultivate, so as to perfect and fulfill us, even though their behavior was selfish while doing so.
I have come to understand that, when we truly achieve the realm of compassion and indeed have no discontentment or hatred, we feel pity for them. We really should thank these people for helping us mature.
Lately, I realized that I tend to be small-minded and easily become discontent and start complaining. That was also caused by jealousy.
Looking at today’s society, everyone in society is affected by jealousy. There is a very popular saying nowadays, “Envy, jealousy, hate.” Even everyday people have realized the chain reaction of this thinking, and jealousy has become such a common phenomenon. Sometimes two people would start complaining about each other before they even meet.
For those practitioners who easily get upset, please examine your heart carefully to see whether you have felt like you've been treated unfairly. What will follow would be dislike, looking down on others, complaining, fighting, feeling wronged, and resentment. We must be alert.
“Today I am telling practitioners that you should not keep yourselves in the dark without being enlightened to it. The goal that you intend to achieve is to practice cultivation toward high levels. The attachment of jealousy must be relinquished, so I have singled out the issue in this lecture.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)
In my understanding, jealousy has another manifestation, especially among practitioners. Practitioners have fewer attachments than everyday people, and every practitioner has developed understandings at his or her level, therefore when seeing other practitioners not conforming to his or her personal notions, one tends to develop dislike and disrespect, and even fight each other.
Separation caused by jealousy happens among practitioners sometimes, and some practitioners’ minds are consequently not calm for a long period of time. Such internal frictions are weakening the power of the one-body.
When our competitive mentality surfaces, we must examine ourselves to find any disrespect, which, after all, is still jealousy. We must check whether we have classified the mentality as some other attachment and let it slip through without paying much attention to it.
Of course, if one has cultivated well and removed the competitive mentality, one’s jealousy will be relatively short-lived.
We really need to examine our every thought and do well in small things. We cannot let bad thoughts and habits slip through.