Searching for My Fundamental Attachments
(Minghui.org) There has always been something inherently stubborn inside me, something uncontrollable that explodes on contact. Although this has weakened after I took up the Falun Dafa cultivation practice, every time I think that I have eliminated the root cause, I realize there is more to be eliminated. Sometimes I would shut myself off from other practitioners and study the Fa alone.
Master Li Hongzhi said:
“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. It means that you haven’t gotten rid of your fundamental attachments and that you are unable to understand the Fa from the Fa.” (“Towards Consummation,” Essentials for Further Advancement II)
Later, I became aware that this “stubborn thing” inside me was not something present only in this lifetime. The old forces arranged this challenge a long time ago, and it is very difficult to eliminate it without constant Fa study. Thus, I knew that I had to start searching for my fundamental attachments.
Finding Falun Dafa
I was born into a poor family where my parents had intellectual challenges. I only finished primary school and was unable to understand the niceties of life. I lacked education in both school and family life, and I was often labeled by others as an “uneducated wild child”. I left home to work at age 15 having never felt the warmth of family or community. Hence, I became very cold and distant. Growing up in hardship made me long for opportunities to study and succeed.
When I was 24, I fell sick and was on the verge of death. Luckily, I obtained the Fa. In this community of Falun Dafa cultivation, everyone is kind, and no one discriminated against me. I felt a sense of warmth never felt before. Later, I even met my husband, a software engineer for a foreign company, and he treats me really well. Through Dafa, I was able to easily obtain everything I yearned for in the past. I was fully enjoying it without realizing that it was my fundamental attachment.
“Do you know that one of the biggest excuses the old evil forces use at present to persecute Dafa is that your fundamental attachments remain concealed? So in order to identify those people, the tribulations have been made more severe.” (“Towards Consummation”, Essentials for Further Advancement II)
After the persecution came about, all these pleasant things were gone. My family was broken and displaced. Yet, I did not think of my fundamental attachments. Only when I couldn’t even find a job did I start to think about the problem.
I began to see my attachment to fame: I longed to be recognized by others and satisfied this desire through things obtained from Dafa. Did I come to the human world for those things? After pinpointing the attachment to fame, other attachments like lust and jealousy became apparent.
On the surface, my life underwent a fundamental change. I got a job that others thought was impossible for me to handle. I did market maintenance in a large food company and progressed from a small-scale business to a retail company, then to the large retailer Walmart. Sales skyrocketed under my supervision, and we got back all the lost storefront. After working there for just three months, I was paid more than my colleagues who had worked there for three years. They would call me to resolve difficult customer complaints, which I did in only a few words. I knew that I myself did not have such abilities and that it was only because of Falun Dafa that I was able to do it. I also used the opportunity to clarify the truth about Falun Dafa and the persecution to people around me, from the company’s boss to my colleagues and salesmen.
Once, I was arrested and persecuted for organizing a Fa-study session. Although I was not the initial organizer, I played a major role, as I am a good speaker. On the surface, it seemed that I was one with the Fa, but deep down it was actually my strong attachment to fame that led me to use Falun Dafa to elevate myself. The detriment from that persecution was reduced to the lowest possible under Master’s protection.
I was kept in a tiny, dark room with my hands cuffed to my back. They said that I was a leader and took turns interrogating me. I did not reply to their questions and persuaded them to withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its youth organizations one by one. At last, three policemen came into the room. They did not do anything, but I felt as if I was suffocating, and a sense of terror from another dimension enveloped me. I called out to Master in my heart. They did not beat me but said, “You dared to do it but don’t dare to take responsibility.” They left. I collapsed onto the chair and started to reflect.
I realized that my attachment to fame had brought damage to Dafa and pain to Master and fellow practitioners. I kept repenting and used about half a day to repel such thoughts and to recite the Fa. The extreme fatigue and fear disappeared, and the noise in my surroundings faded.
After some time, a practitioner pointed out to me that my fundamental attachment was a sense of inferiority. This low self-esteem made me portray myself as strong and powerful, but those were all a facade to cover up my low self-worth. Deep down, I was actually very weak.
Her words pierced through my heart because she had reached the deepest part of me. I agreed with her and felt that something had been removed from my chest, and I felt an indescribable sense of lightness. I no longer felt any frustration concerning what this practitioner said to me. I thought that this was the end, but it was not.
After that, I wanted to eliminate my attachment to lust. However, I was unable to do so using previous cultivation methods, as it was a different type of thing. One day, Master’s Fa enlightened me: “Believing blindly in science—degenerating humanity” (“Ten Evils in the World”, Hong Yin). Was the root of my problem my blind faith in science? But how could it be? I had barely finished primary school! However, I’d always wanted to study and succeed. When I came into contact with educated intellectuals, I was jealous of females and looked up to males. I’d always assumed that it was an attachment to lust.
Then, I read Master’s Fa:
“In religions, they have their founders and priests, while in the sciences there are also various titles: university president, doctor, master, bachelor, professor, assistant professor, and so on. And moreover, it’s a perfect form of religion, one that exists everywhere and that is highly systematic. Human beings believe in it more than they believe in any religion, and this belief has come about imperceptibly. If you don’t study it well, you will be cast out by this society: You won’t find a good job or have a good future. Everyone knows that a regular religion has you believe in it mentally, and then it has you see, hear, and feel the actual, real existence of gods. In contrast, the religion of science has you view things and move forward on a material basis so that you will then be mentally dependent on it. It takes the opposite approach.
But I’m not opposed to science, for it too is a product of the universe. I’m only telling you what science is. Science is not scientific, and it has brought many a disaster to the human race that will never be corrected.” (Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Canada)
In the past, I’ve always wanted to study in order to get a good job and be recognized by others. I was essentially worshiping science. When I realized this fundamental attachment, the layers of lust and jealousy vanished into thin air.
The power of the Fa is great beyond boundaries and unattainable without diligent cultivation. One may read the Fa daily but not see the Fa, as each level has its own set of standards.
Passing this stage was still not the end! A few days later, a practitioner was transferred to my team and put in charge. He had a terrible temper, and I did not look inward, so I kept wanting to change him. I even complained about him, saying that he didn’t study the Fa or practice the exercises, which made it difficult to communicate. But since he had been doing the work at hand for ten years, it was difficult to change. So I thought I should go with the flow since the supervisors wouldn’t make a change in leadership for our team.
Then, I understood that I should cultivate myself better regarding this issue. If I keep seeing these problems, could I be the one who had a problem? But how do I improve?
Just as I was thinking about this, a practitioner passed by and said, “Why are you so stubborn?” Although he appeared to be talking to the machine nearby, I knew that this was Master’s way of helping me enlighten to something.
Making Changes from Within
Sometime later, I felt unwell. Meanwhile, a practitioner criticized me harshly. I felt that his words were like daggers piercing through my body. Although I saw nothing from another dimension, I could feel it.
At the same time, I felt a strong sense of hatred inside myself. When I thought of those who had hurt me, my mind became full of hatred. I didn’t even hate those policemen who had interrogated me, so why did I hate a fellow practitioner? They were all Master’s disciples–if I hurt them, then I would have done something wrong.
I recalled how a practitioner once wanted to warm up my cold facade by showing that he cared about me, but I quarreled with him instead. At that moment, something flashed in my mind: “How dare you approach me?” I was shocked at the fleeting thought. I knew that such a mindset wasn’t mine, but I was controlled by it and couldn’t change.
I recalled an article on the Minghui website titled “The Lament of Untruthfulness.” A seemingly friendly and diligent practitioner was actually untruthful and did not take other practitioners’ feedback to heart. Another practitioner saw this through his celestial eye, whereby he saw that the practitioner’s friendliness was a facade manifested by the image of a great deity called “Untruthfulness.” Since the practitioner did not recognize his untruthfulness, the deity was unable to change and assimilate to Dafa. The practitioner passed away soon after, and the deity was left unsaved and disintegrated.
I re-read this article today. Changes can only be made if a practitioner understands the Fa principles and is able to make the necessary changes within.
I started to listen to the podcast “How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World” and understood a lot of things that I was previously unwilling to take to heart. I started to cultivate diligently and will let go of any problem big or small. On one occasion, I had a disagreement with another practitioner. When he was walking toward me, I thought, “Why can’t he just cultivate diligently for once? Why can’t he just do something instead of empty talk?” After that thought, it was clear that I was expecting others to change instead of cultivating myself.
“It would be good if they could manage to search within themselves for the things that they have been able to find in others.” (“A Dialogue with Time”, Essentials for Further Advancement)
One day while at work at the publishing factory, I thought about how I used to keep the machines so tidy, as they are our lifeline. Why didn’t I do it now? I had slackened.
“I shan’t stop until it has covered realms vast and miniscule”(“Hardship,” Hong Yin Vol. II)
So I stood up and started to clean the grease on the engine. Suddenly, all the pain I was experiencing in my body vanished! I felt a sense of sacredness and that beings in other dimensions were watching me.
The week-long suffering I had endured had come to an end together with the substance of hatred. I further understood the essence of the Fa. My environment improved as well, and the supervisor became very kind.