(Minghui.org) I began to practice Falun Dafa in 1994. Before the persecution began in 1999, I was fortunate to attend both large and small scale experience sharing meetings. I was very moved by the other practitioners’ selflessness and sincerity.
After the Minghui website was launched, I often read other practitioners’ experience sharing articles. I truly admired these practitioners for being able to make breakthroughs in their cultivation, yet I seldom deeply reflected on my own shortcomings. I later realized that I was being held back by my notions.
“I hope that you will truly elevate through the Fa conference. Identify where you fall short and do better. You are the hope of humankind. Get going and get active, and, like the Dafa disciples in North America, don’t shy away from the difficulties that you meet with. Don’t be blocked by man-made constraints. And don’t be intimidated by the evil, for these historic days are given to you.” (Team Yellow translation, “To the Fa Conference in France”)
By reading Master’s teachings, I saw my gaps. I truly felt that when I encountered tribulations I gained deeper understandings from other practitioners’ experiences and understandings. I saw where I fell short – something I wasn’t able to see in the past. My human notions had formed a big roadblock in my cultivation path and in my being able to save people.
When it came to truth-clarification, I had a negative opinion about people who held powerful positions. I’d rather talk to “ordinary” people. An incident pointed out my misunderstanding. I met a poorly dressed elderly lady and I began to talk to her about the persecution. I was very confident that she’d be very receptive. She began to swear and shout at me.
This incident made me clearly see where I fell short, such as differentiating between people based on my notions. I realized that it created a barrier and I was not being compassionate to all people.
I also had other notions. For instance, I was used to getting up late and going to bed early. When anything prevented me from going to bed on time, I’d automatically think that I needed more sleep. So, I’d take a nap to catch up on my sleep. If I didn’t do that, I felt sleepy during Fa-study and sending righteous thoughts. I was blocked by this human notion and I couldn’t break through it for a long time.
I also couldn’t take being hot, cold, thirsty, hungry or tired. Master said,
“A cultivator is bothered by neither heat nor cold. And wind can’t make you sick.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Singapore”)
If we can change our notions, the outcome will be different. However, I had been stuck in my notions for a long time. I was attached to all kinds of feelings and couldn’t truly step out of them.
I’m a school teacher, and I realized that my position caused me to form many notions. For example, my students respected me, their parents praised me, and the school supervisors acknowledged my hard work. I became someone who only criticized others and pointed out their shortcomings. It was hard for me to listen to others criticizing me or complaining about me.
I have practiced Falun Dafa for so many years and I knew that this was something I needed to eliminate. I had been covering it up by not showing my true feelings on the surface. This is also the reason why I didn’t show significant improvement during my 20+ years of cultivation.
My attachment to who is right or wrong was also a barrier that held me back on my cultivation path. When others criticized me, I always felt unbalanced and tried to defend my position. Besides trying to exonerate and validate myself, I even thought that the other party had shortcomings as well and shouldn’t point out mine. Master said,
“Some people are always stressing that they’re right, but even if you are right, even if you’re not wrong, so what? Have you improved on the basis of the Fa? The very act of using human thinking to stress who’s right and who’s wrong is in itself wrong. That’s because you are then using the logic of ordinary people to evaluate yourself, and using that logic to make demands on others. As gods see it, for a cultivator to be right or wrong in the human world is not important in the least, whereas eliminating the attachments that come from human thinking is important, and it is precisely your managing to eliminate those attachments rooted in your human thinking as you cultivate that counts as important.” (“Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan”, Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. X)
Master has clearly taught the Fa. We need to enact it in our daily lives. However, I couldn’t always let go of my attachments.
“When you experience any kind of interference, if you can manage not to get overly focused on the particulars of what is happening and thereby keep yourself unperturbed, then you will be able to emerge from it all, and you will have even greater mighty-virtue.” (Team Yellow translation, “On the Responses to the Piece About Assistant Souls”)
After reflecting on myself, I noticed that I often would “get overly focused on the particulars of what is happening” and struggle with myself, which thus resulted in my feeling a lot of pain.
This is my limited understanding at my current level, please point out anything inappropriate.