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Improving in Cultivation: Letting Go of Attachments and Eliminating Human Notions

September 06, 2019 |   By a Falun Dafa practitioner in San Francisco

(Minghui.org) Greeting Master, and fellow practitioners:

I was born in a Falun Dafa practitioner’s family in 2002, but when my twin sister and I were born, the only two Dafa practitioners – my grandparents, who started to cultivate in 1998, weren’t at home. They were being persecuted. Although my mother had learned Dafa in 1998, she did not truly cultivate. At the end of 2003, our grandparents returned home, and they spent a period of time to restart their cultivation. In 2005, my grandmother began to teach the two of us to recite Master’s Hong Yin, and she often read Zhuan Falun to us.

Lost Twice in the Human World

When I first attended elementary school, I didn’t genuinely start Dafa cultivation. We joined the Chinese Young Pioneers, a youth organization associated with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and were lost in ordinary human society. We grew further and further away from Dafa. At that time, I was a not only a hypocrite, but also had a negative attitude. I often argued with my sister over something too small to be meaningful. After entering the third grade, my mother picked up cultivation, so my sister and I started on our cultivation path. However, I didn’t know how to cultivate, and did not understand the issue about attachments.

After entering junior high school, I studied more Fa and began to use Fa principles to evaluate my behavior and thoughts. I also recognized the purpose of cultivation and how serious cultivation is. As a disciple of the Fa-rectification period, I must not only cultivate myself to meet Dafa’s requirements, but also spread the truth and rectify Dafa. In order to meet the requirements that the Fa sets up for Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples, I have to eliminate my attachments. After seeing I had a wish to eliminate attachments, Master used my grandmother’s mouth to give me a hint. My grandmother told me: “Master said: ‘The Fa can break all attachments,...’ (“Drive out interference,” Essentials for Further Advancement II)”

My grandmother also encouraged me to memorize Master’s Fa. She was memorizing Zhuan Falun. I was too eager to seek success, and I had no perseverance, so I started to memorize articles and poems from Hong Yin and Essentials for Further Advancement rather than Zhuan Falun, and I only memorized the Fa when I had plenty of time. One day, I flipped directly to the article “Drive out Interference.” Master revealed the Fa to us: “The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa can shatter all lies, and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts.” (“Drive Out Interference”, Essentials for Further Advancement II

Master’s Fa strengthened my determination to study more Fa. Ultimately, the Fa removed my fundamental attachment, and I began to truly cultivate.

I remembered during my first year in middle school, my school organized a Chinese Young Pioneers Team entrance ceremony. Our class teacher asked me if I wanted to participate in the preparation ceremony on behalf of our class. I asked myself: “Should I tell my teacher that I have already quit the Party, and explain why I quit?” Then, should I tell her the truth about Dafa, and the fact that I am a Dafa practitioner? However, I was defeated by my fear. I only told my teacher that I had quit the team and I want to separate myself completely from the Party. My teacher listened, and suggested that I do only what is good for me. I thought I will certainly do what is good for me. You are the one who got tricked by the CCP. I was going to say something more, but my teacher had to work. Looking at it now, it was my xinxing that was out of place, so I didn’t make any breakthroughs in terms of clarifying the truth, nor did my teachers and classmates ask me anything.

In the second year of middle school, our school forced us 8th graders to listen to a speech to mobilize the students to join the Communist Youth League. Our new class teacher asked me if I would like to join the league. I said I would not join. Later, several school officials who thought well of me suggested that I join the league. They said joining the league would benefit people when they are looking for jobs, or colleges in the future. I told them that “there is no benefit for people to join the league, especially for people like me who will have to go abroad.” Because I was still afraid, I did not tell them the real reason. However, everything happens for a reason, school officials would not find students in the ordinary class because of a small matter, but they had found me. It’s clear that they were here to learn the truth. Since I had already wasted last year’s opportunity to clarify the truth to my teacher, I had to let them know why I refused to join the group this time.

So, I looked for the grade leader who was particularly nice to me and said, “Sir, I practice a faith, while the Communist Party is an atheist entity. I believe that good will be rewarded, while evil will be punished. The CCP has done a lot of bad things to destroy humanity. Those who join the party will be implicated. The CCP is also deceiving people in China. My grandparents told me about the great famine that occurred during the Great Leap Forward, the destruction of traditional culture during the Cultural Revolution, and the bloody crackdown on Tiananmen Square in Beijing on June 4, 1989. The CCP never tells about that; instead, members of the CCP only say the CCP is good…. In short, I don’t want to be part of them.”

My teacher smiled, and said that he also practices a faith. He also said that I was very thoughtful, and allowed me not to participate in any activities related to the Party. I nodded and started planning how to talk to other teachers. Later, I learned that our grade leader had already said what I had said to other teachers. When my friends asked me about this, I told them about the crimes the CCP had committed, that joining the Party is equal to give one’s life to it, and some of the basic truth. Although I am still quite fearful, everything is going well. I know that Master is protecting me and encouraging me to take the best road that He has arranged for me, and to never lose myself again.

However, after the “joining the league” storm subsided, I did not live up to expectations, and relaxed in cultivation. It was a whole year lost. In that year, I fell in love with mobile games and ordinary people’s novels. I started to lie and help people cheat in exams. I even tried to make cheat sheets for myself. This lasted until the end of the first semester of 9th grade. Since then, I have been insisting on studying the Fa and doing the Dafa exercises. My grandmother started to print and distribute Dafa informational materials such as the Minghui Weekly at home four years ago. I began to assist her in printing and distributing these materials.

Taking the Path Master Arranged and Eliminating Attachments

Although I did so poorly, Master never gave up on me and took care of me all the time. Master also offered me many great opportunities. In mid 2017, my mother, my sister, and I moved to San Francisco.

On the second day after arriving in San Francisco, we went to a place of interest with our mother to clarify the truth. Since then, I did all that Master asked of practitioners. I fully realized how serious the Fa-rectification period cultivation is.

At the beginning, I didn’t dare to do face-to-face truth clarification, so I decided to demonstrate the Dafa exercises. Although I would not be reported or persecuted in the United States, I am still afraid of people talking about me. Some people showed their support to us, while some turned their faces away. I was often affected by people’s behavior, but the more experienced practitioners were not influenced by any negative behavior.

I told myself not to be confused by the illusion among ordinary people who did not know the truth. I must have some attachments or human notions that I have to eliminate. I shouldn’t think that this person won't understand the truth, instead, I must study the Fa more and strengthen my righteous thoughts. After a while, I felt that I couldn't be silent anymore. I had to dissolve the substance that made me afraid, eliminate my attachments, and start spreading the truth. So, I sent righteous thoughts to let go of my fear.

Now, I always keep Master’s Fa in mind:

“Neither heaven nor earth canblock my road of Fa-rectificationBut disciples’ human hearts can”(“Troubles,” Hong Yin III).

As long as the person I'm talking to is interested in the practice or our display, I will recite Master’s poem:

“Compassion can harmonize Heaven and Earth, ushering in springRighteous thoughts can save the people in this world”(“The Fa Rectifies the Cosmos,” Hong Yin Vol. II)

Then, I would talk to him or her, while bearing righteous thoughts in my mind.

Clarifying the Truth

When I’m at school, I will use speaking opportunities to clarify the truth. In English class last year, our teacher assigned a project called “occasional paper”. Every student had to give a speech to the whole class about what happened to him or her. I listened and said to myself: what a great opportunity. I will take advantage of this opportunity to tell American students about the beauty of Falun Dafa and the ongoing massacre of Dafa practitioners in China.

I couldn’t wait to inform them about the truth and started drafting my script one month before the speech; I wrote down my first experience in a parade. I wrote why it was the “July 20” parade, about the positive energy transmitted by the people in the parade, and the positive reaction of the spectators. I wrote that when I am exhausted, I think of the Dafa practitioners who have been persecuted in China, and who are facing life and death every day, and how I suddenly felt that my fatigue is really nothing. I also wrote that fellow practitioners encourage each other to not give up and so on. After the completion of the writing, in order to ensure the writing quality, I asked my mother to help me read it and put forward some suggestions for revision. At the same time, I also browsed the English language Minghui website.

On the day of the speech, I felt like many great Enlightened Beings were helping me. I finished my high-quality speech with emotion. Fellow students were listening carefully, some were even moved to tears. As Master said: “I’ve often said this: if you sincerely do it for the other person’s sake, and there is nothing self-serving on your part, your words will be able to move the other party to tears.” (“Fa Teaching on World Falun Dafa Day”)

After the speech, I received a lot of fellow students’ positive feedback. Some people wrote on the small post-it note: “This is awe-inspiring, this is encouraging.” Others said, “Thank you for sharing this with us.”

I realize that the process of saving sentient beings is also the process of getting rid of attachments and giving up human notions. The results are less important. In fact, when my mind is pure and righteous, the result will be good. As Master once said: “Pursue nothing and gain naturally.” (Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Europe).

Later, I became very good friends with many classmates, including a classmate who came to the United States from Mainland China when he was in fifth grade.

Dafa Projects: Difficulty in Making Breakthroughs

I play the trombone in the Tian Guo Marching Band. I’m now doing an okay job in playing this musical instrument. My music theory, pitch and rhythm are not bad. When I first arrived at the band, I didn’t find any musical instrument that I wanted to learn, but I remembered what my grandmother has said, and I knew that I joined the band to cultivate myself while validating the Fa.

On that day, the conductor happened to be in San Francisco. She tested us and suggested that we play the snare drum. I thought that the snare drum was too heavy, so I told the conductor, and the practitioner who’s in charge of the band that I wanted to play trumpet. I thought that the trumpet was somewhat of a sacred instrument since a practitioner told me that Master used to play trumpet. Playing the trumpet was harder than I thought, and after trying to blow on it for a month, I could only play a few of the most basic mid-range notes and the tone was bad. The reasons on the human surface was that the muscle around my mouth was too weak and my lung capacity was small.

Since I had made no significant breakthrough for such a long time, I switched to the trombone. The trombone has a much lower requirement for muscle strength, but the requirements for pitch were much higher. I had studied piano for six years, so finding the right pitch was easy for me. At first, I didn’t have any breakthroughs in cultivation, nor did I remove my human notions. In addition, I only spent a few hours practicing every week, so I still couldn’t play it well. In the long process, I thought about giving up. After that, I thought I should let go of my attachments, drive out my human notions, and spend more time practicing the instrument. During the entire practicing process, I repeatedly sensed the power of the Fa. Besides, the sentient beings in my body that pushed me to go forward, eagerly hoped that I could play the trombone well. Finally, after a year and a half, I passed the test.

Later, when I was in our Fa study group’s discussion, the topic switched from cultivation experience sharing to playing musical instruments. They mentioned the audition before being able to join the parade, and my mother said she was surprised that I succeeded in my audition before my sister. Her evidence was my sister has a better foundation, because she can play the piano better than I, and she can already play some scales on her clarinet, while I was struggling to improve the quality of the single notes I play on the trombone.

At first, I didn’t feel anything, but gradually, everyone joined the discussion and said this and that about how difficult my sister’s instrument is, and how simple my instrument is. All in all, numerous factors contributed to why I passed the test earlier - my instrument is easy. My attachments surfaced and my temper flared up: Why don’t you mention that I have put in a lot of effort? Why don’t you understand that it is a result of the removal of my attachments? I was so upset that I wanted to disappear immediately.

When I got home, I recalled the hardships that I had experienced, and started to cry. I thought that I was able to pass the test because I’ve put in enough effort. I’ve looked inward intensively, broken through human notions, improved my xinxing, and worked hard to practice the instrument. Driven by my attachments, I began to collect information to prove my instrument was difficult and accused my mother of being irresponsible for what she had said. I argued that she never cared about the band and didn’t pay attention to how many times I painfully removed my attachments and earnestly practiced the trombone. I continued looking outward, and my sister suddenly said: “Dafa disciples will look inward, are you a Dafa disciple?”

I did not realize that this was an opportunity for me to cultivate and eliminate my attachments, Master used my sister’s mouth to give me a hint. I clearly knew that this was an opportunity for me to improve my xinxing, but I still did not think about my shortcomings, and even looked outward. I closed the door and began to look inward. I realized that I have the attachment to fame – I am afraid of being looked down upon by others; I still have jealousy, which means that I am self protecting. I am afraid of being criticized, but enjoy being praised. Most importantly, I did not look inward but tried hard to find what others have done inappropriately. I gave up the opportunity to improve myself! What a terrible job I had done. I regretted that I had not taken the path that Master had arranged for me to improve my xinxing. I must cherish every opportunity in the future, and I must not protect any of my attachments from now on.

Clarifying the Truth with Righteous Thoughts, and Eliminating Attachments

Practitioners should clarify the truth to ordinary people so that they can be saved by Dafa. During my summer vacation, I mainly used social media to spread the truth to people from China by forwarding some information about Dafa, interviews with fellow practitioners by the three media companies founded by fellow practitioners, or some articles from the Minghui website. When I forwarded articles or wrote posts, I often put them in groups that have a large number of ordinary people.

The experience made me realize that I should do everything according to the Fa when clarifying the truth, and the goal should be clear.

Master said:

“And this is the reason Dafa disciples are to clarify the truth. The goal is to get rid of the evil’s lies, to enable people to see the CCP’s true face, to clear away the sins committed by people against Gods and Buddhas, and to thereby save the world’s people.” (“The Ultimate Goal of Clarifying the Truth,” The Essentials Of Diligent Progress Vol. III)

My cell phone is the tool I used to log into social media. For cultivators who make good use of cell phones, cell phones will help them in validating the Fa. However, if used for other purposes, it will strengthen the unwanted attachments of a cultivator. Many young disciples have their cell phones in their hands all the time. Some of them therefore made no breakthroughs in cultivation over a long period of time, and some even stopped doing the three things asked of practitioners. When I bought a cell phone, I didn’t think I would be controlled by it, I just thought that having a cell phone would make many things much easier.

After buying a cell phone, I first downloaded social media, and later a mobile game. Gradually, playing games and social media started taking up a lot of my precious time, and I slacked off in cultivation. I was regretful and decided to quit my cell phone addiction. However, it is easier said than done. When I tried to remove my attachment to wanting to play games or watch videos from my thoughts, they were gone, but they would come back again later. So I spent a lot of time on getting rid of my cell phone addictions. After several struggles, I could let go of it. Now, the cell phone has become my Fa validating tool.

It is not difficult to quit using cell phones. It is similar to giving up smoking.

Master said,

“I advise everyone that if you truly want to cultivate you should quit smoking from now on, and it is guaranteed that you can quit. In the field of this class, no one thinks of smoking a cigarette. If you want to quit, it is guaranteed that you can do it. When you smoke a cigarette again, it will not taste right. If you read this lecture in the book, it will also have this effect. Of course, if you do not want to cultivate, we will not take care of it. I think that as a cultivator, you should quit it.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)

When I melt into Dafa, Dafa will clear away all of the evil factors and my dirty attachments. As long as one wants to quit, one will be able to quit. If one doesn't want to quit, one will regret it in the future. Time will not slow down to wait for us – be more diligent and don’t fall behind.

Master said: “As for you, disciples of Dafa, the closer it gets to the end the better you should walk your paths, seizing the day to cultivate yourselves well.” (“Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)

I think that I am the one who needs to run to catch up. I want to do my best to meet the standard of disciples during the Fa-rectification period.

Master has done so much for me. I can only study the Fa in the final stage of this Fa-rectification period. On the basis of meeting the requirements, I do everything that Master requires of practitioners.

Thank you, Master, and fellow practitioners!

(Presented at the 2019 San Francisco Fa Conference)