Rooting Out Fundamental Attachments
(Minghui.org) During our cultivation, we dig out our attachments – including competitiveness, jealousy, resentment, zealotry, and showing off – by looking inward amid conflicts. By analyzing how each attachment is formed, its purpose, and why it is bad, we constantly negate them and recognize our mistakes so that we can make progress.
Because of a small incident recently, I looked within and gained a better understanding about the root cause of each of my attachments.
Reflecting on My Sentimentality Toward My Daughter
I saw my daughter writing with bad posture and snapped, “I've told you many times to hold your head up while you write, but you just do not listen.” I felt hurt that she did not listen to me. I knew that I was a cultivator, but I was unable to control my outburst.
After my anger subsided, I calmly analyzed myself. I discovered that I had a strong attachment of pursuit when it came to my daughter. I wanted her to protect her eyes and her teeth, to study well, and to listen to me. When she did not do these things, I got angry. On the surface, everything I asked of her was for her benefit, but they were truly to satisfy me. My sentiment toward her meant that I was happy when she did well and sad when she did not. The ultimate goal was my own happiness: I would have no worries if she did as I asked.
My love for my daughter was selfish. She has her own life that is prearranged based on her own karma and her predestined relationships. Was it arranged for her to satisfy my attachments? I should respect what has been laid out for her.
My Own Pursuits
Next, I looked further when it came to my pursuits. Many of my attachments originated from my pursuing things from Master and Dafa. I also had demands and expectations when it came to my daughter, my husband, my relatives and friends, as well as practitioners near me.
I sought things from Dafa and Master: I wanted Master to give me a healthy body and get rid of my illnesses, and I hoped Master would ensure that I reached consummation. I cultivated to attain these things. My attachment to pursuit kept me from enlightening to the Fa teachings and gave the old forces loopholes to persecute me.
I also sought things from my parents. I wanted their encouragement, their recognition, and their care. I felt sad and believed that things were unfair when I did not get them. I expected my husband to love me, to have a prosperous career, and to put up with my bad temper. I expected my daughter to listen to me, to get good grades, to grow up healthy, to have a good future, etc.
When people pursue things in hopes that their lives will be better and happier, they run into difficulties. They do not know that their desires cause them to suffer and they blame external factors instead. People's human notions manipulate their human sides to create false selves.
When my expectations were met, I was joyful and satisfied. I even felt superior and became arrogant. When my desires were not satisfied, I was angry, resentful, jealous, and had low self-esteem. When I was uncertain of my goals, I worried, grew fearful, and hoped. All these attachments grew out of what I pursued.
Constantly Measuring Myself Against the Fa
How can we eradicate these attachments? We only can eradicate them when we have no pursuit. Without pursuit, there are no attachment or sentiments.
So how can I not pursue anything? How can I convince myself to let go of my active desires? The only way is to regard Dafa as the standard of measurement and to truly put Dafa in the first place, to truly respect Master and Dafa, and to truly have faith in Dafa. When my attachments were strong, I did not measure myself with the standards of the Fa. When I really put Dafa in first place, my attachments became powerless. Where a life places Dafa determines where a life places itself. People's attitudes toward Dafa determine their own positions.
However, it is not so easy to give up attachments, because the attachments are strengthened by evil elements from behind the scenes and the old forces manipulate them, too. The old forces use people's attachments to satisfy their own desires. In the Fa-rectification period today, what is of greater significance is whether we keep or get rid of attachments, whether we choose to safeguard the Fa or to defend the evil. From this point of view, the attachments must be eradicated since nobody wants to be a tool used by the evil.
The Root of Our Attachments
Attachments are also the cause of our physical discomfort, because they are, by nature, evil, and the evil enjoys them. They provide places for the evil to hide. When a person is angry, jealous, or resentful, he won’t feel well. Attachments attract the evil elements and make the person feel bad. But he blames other things. This is why being a good person produces less karma, being kind to others is the same as being kind to oneself, and harming others harms oneself. So attachments must be removed.
We pursue things to protect our personal interests among people and we use our wits to do that. But do we really end up “protecting our personal interests?” In real life, things often turn out the opposite of what we expect. In reality, everyone is measured by Dafa and is rewarded or punished according to his karma and virtue. People's ideas are of no consequence, and things never fall in line with them. So why do we still pursue things? Putting our own desires before Dafa is disrespectful of Dafa, so we should let go of our desires and accept everything. If we did not practice Dafa, we would have to repay tons and tons more debts. We should be grateful to Master and respect Master.
All attachments are like the dust that sticks to our bodies. They are not from our true selves since our true selves are in line with Dafa. The pain we experience when our attachments are removed are, in fact, from the struggling of the attachments. The attachments inflict the pain upon us to try to make us keep them. When our attachments are satisfied, we feel joy, which is also imposed upon us by the attachments to make us obsess over them. According to our innate nature, we just want to cleanse ourselves and completely remove our attachments.
Pursuits are demands and desires, and they drive us to do things.
“Attachments stem from human desires. The characteristics of attachments are that their targets or goals are obviously limited, fairly clear and particular, and often the person might be unaware of the attachments.” (Chapter III Cultivation of Character, Falun Gong)
We believe that we are doing the seeking and the thinking. In fact, they are not from our true selves, they are just like our sentiments. We must send righteous thoughts to clear them away. When desires and pursuits start to appear, we must be aware that they are here to harm us. They also want to manipulate us. We are being tested to see if we can resist. If our righteous thoughts are strong, we can suppress and remove them. We must eradicate our desires and pursuits.
Getting Rid of My Attachments
I told myself to let go of my pursuits and follow Master's arrangement. For things I owed, I would be willing to repay without fighting back. I would not be afraid of losing anything, instead, I would face everything bravely and take the path arranged by Master.
As a mother, I asked myself to not have expectations for my daughter and to remove the dissatisfaction from my heart. She has her own destiny, which I have no way to change. I should hand her to Master and keep my mind at ease.
As I tried to do things this way, I found that I relaxed, calmed down, and was able to be practical. When my attachment surfaced, I immediately used the Dafa principles to control myself. My strengthened righteous thoughts did not give the attachment any opportunity to manifest. I only believed in Master and I only used Dafa to measure things, so nothing could stop me.
Let's all let go of our pursuits. Master told us:
“So the task for you, as someone doing spiritual practice, is this: to work on yourself spiritually; to painstakingly perfect yourself; and to constantly work to weed out any attachments or wants that you have, all while a part of this human world.” (The First Talk, Zhuan Falun)
“People tend to believe that the things they want are good, when in fact, from a higher perspective these might be seen as self-serving or shortsighted. The world’s religions have taught that wealth and influence, however great, last only a few decades and don’t go with you to the next life. What makes the higher energy we get from practice so precious, by contrast, is that it accumulates and is stored on your soul, and it does go with you across lifetimes. And what’s more, it has the potential to earn you divine standing, and so it’s not something easily come by. All that you will be sacrificing are undesirable things, and yet by doing so you will be able to regain the purity you once had.” (The Fourth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
During the Fa-rectification period, the only things left for a life to do are to be saved in the Fa-rectification, to put Dafa first and foremost, and to safeguard Dafa. We all encounter good and evil according to our karma. If you want to change your destiny, you must assimilate to Dafa and measure things based on the standard of Dafa.
In short, we should not fight, resent, be jealous, or think that things are unfair anymore. We should not be confused by what we see and should not be attached to ourselves. We should let go of all our desires, firmly believe in Master and strengthen our righteous thoughts, use Dafa to measure ourselves first amid conflicts, and not give our attachments any opportunity to carry out anything.
We can all try to do well the next time if we fail the first time. As long as you do well once, you will effect a very big change. You will realize that it is not too difficult to follow the standard of Dafa and you will be more confident. We need to let go of our own standards and measure ourselves with Dafa. I believe that we will do better and better.
This is my recent understanding. To share it with everyone, I collected my thoughts and organized them. I would like to end with Master's teaching:
“Live with no pursuit,Die not caring about staying;Clear out all wild thoughts,Cultivating to a Buddha is not hard.”(Nonexistence, Hong Yin)