Letting Go of Selfishness
(Minghui.org) I read the Eighth Talk of Zhuan Falun today. The last sentence of the section “The One Who Practices Achieves” is: “It allows you to make the fastest and most efficient progress, since the practice is all about your heart and mind.”
When reading this sentence, I suddenly understood that, as long as we know what our goal of cultivation is and always act as practitioners, cultivation would be easier than we thought.
I also remembered the following words from Master,“And human notions change,The degenerate things purged,Brightness now shines forth.”(“Born Anew,” Hong Yin)
Cultivation is about cultivating the heart, learning to give up attachments, and letting go of selfishness.
Casting Away Selfishness
There are numerous attachments that we must relinquish during cultivation, such as jealousy, competitiveness, zealotry, showing off, seeking personal gain and comfort, lust, fear, suspicion, resentment, validating oneself and feeling wronged. All these attachments are about “me” and selfishness.
Master told us:
“As for selfishness, I mentioned a principle to you earlier and you all applauded with much delight. I spoke about the future universe’s not becoming extinct, and all of you were happy about it. Do you know why it can be that way? Some people say, “If a person is not out for himself, he’ll be damned by the heavens.” Some people have taken this as their motto. Actually, you don’t yet know that this selfishness reaches all the way up to very high levels. As a matter of fact, for cultivators in the past to say, “I’m doing such and such,” “I want to do such and such,” “I want to obtain such and such,” “I’m cultivating,” “I want to become a Buddha,” or “I wish to attain such and such,” none of that was outside of selfishness. But what I want you to do is to truly, purely, and unselfishly Consummate with the real righteous Fa and righteous Enlightenment—only then can you achieve eternal non-extinction. So I’m telling you that you have to consider others first in everything you do.” (Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Switzerland)
“Selfishness is a fundamental attribute of the cosmos of the past. Because of that attribute, formation-stasis-degeneration-destruction and birth-aging-sickness-death are inevitable. In the future the Fa will be all-harmonizing, perfect, and selfless. The change in that fundamental attribute of the cosmos leads to fundamental changes in the cosmos's progression and beings' characteristics.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference”, Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. V)
I enlightened that selfishness is manifested as self-centeredness and big ego. The lives of the old cosmos are self-centered and they are unable to escape the cycle of formation, stasis, degradation and destruction. The old cosmos would reach destruction in the end. However, with Master's immense compassion and profound Dafa, for the first time we would be able to be saved.
My other understanding is that selfishness makes one always think from his or her own point of view and protect self from being harmed, rather than being considerate of others. In addition, because of selfishness, people try to change others instead of changing themselves.
We learned from Dafa that selfishness causes beings to descend to lower levels, eventually dropping to this human world, where people reincarnate within the Three Realm with almost no hope of return. We are fortunate to have encountered Dafa in this life so that we can cultivate to return to our origins. We should cherish the unprecedented opportunity and the time we have now to let go of selfishness and save more sentient beings.
Putting Dafa First
All human attachments are related to selfishness, which hinders some practitioners from stepping forward to save people during the Fa-rectification period.
Many practitioners knew they should do things like saving people and filing criminal complaints against Jiang Zemin, former Chinese leader who launched the persecution of Falun Dafa. But they were afraid, so they were unable to break through themselves. Instead, they considered their human selves as their true selves, forgetting that human bodies only exist in this world and will not last long.
Even when we do step forward to clarify the facts, I've found that selfishness may still rear its ugly head in our efforts. Once another practitioner and I went into a shop. She talked to the shop owner first, but I cut her off and helped the shop owner quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
When we walked out of the shop, she anxiously told me that she had wanted to talk to the shop owner about quitting the CCP. Only then did I realize that I had been selfish in my eagerness to talk to the shop owner. I apologized to her, “Without you asking me to go to the shop with you, I wouldn't have had the chance to help him quit the CCP.”
Things in the old cosmos are largely related to selfishness. People often are self-centered and live for themselves. However, practitioners are the lives created by Dafa. We should not use the standard of everyday people to measure ourselves.
I paid close attention to cultivating away my selfishness. I remained vigilant about my own thoughts all the time. Whenever the thought of selfishness emerged, I caught it. I also asked Master for help: “I do not want selfishness and I would like to let it go. Selfishness is not from me and I will try my best to eliminate it.”
I used to think that doing Dafa work was an validation of being diligent in cultivation. Now I enlightened that cultivating the heart is the key. “The level of your energy will rise in proportion to your character.” (The First Talk, Zhuan Falun) Building up our character is the foundation. When our mindset changes and our foundation is positioned correctly, we will do things differently. We are beings created by Dafa and we live for others. We must let go of our selfishness, and put Dafa and saving people foremost.