Finding the Root Cause of My Attachments
(Minghui.org) At the end of 2004, I returned home from the forced labor camp. A fellow Falun Dafa practitioner came to my home to help me find any attachments related to my experiences. I knew that I had a lot of attachments. After being arrested, although I found my attachments, such as validating myself, showing off, and so on, I didn’t get down to the root cause and eliminate them completely.
Back home, instead of focusing on studying the Fa teachings, I devoted myself to “anti-transformation” work. When I was in the forced labor camp, the 610 Office at the provincial level sent people to try to “transform” me. After returning home, I thought we could use the same methods with Falun Dafa practitioners who had enlightened along the wrong path. So I invited a few practitioners to talk with these practitioners and used Dafa principles to wake them up. With everyone’s efforts, the majority of practitioners that had been “transformed” in the labor camps returned to Falun Dafa cultivation. However, I did not pay much attention to self-cultivation at that time and got carried away. All kinds of attachments, such as showing off, manifested. As a result, I was arrested again and sentenced to five years in prison.
In 2010, I returned home from prison and met with other practitioners to help me review my cultivation state. We discussed cultivation for two days and at times had different viewpoints. I thought that I had done the three things well in prison. Some fellow practitioners seemed to actually be jealous of me! I thought that my cultivation state was stable and in keeping with the Fa-rectification, so I quickly got back to project work. My day started at 6:10 a.m. after sending out righteous thoughts and continued until midnight or even later. I was so busy with project work that quite often I could not guarantee the time for sending righteous thoughts, studying the Fa, or doing the exercises. During that time, fellow practitioners came to my home almost every day. I knew that I had loopholes in my practice but was ashamed to bring them out in the open. I was addicted to praise. Again my shortcomings were taken advantage of and I was sentenced to another six years in prison.
In 2018, I returned home once again. Few practitioners came to visit me. Those that did reminded me about becoming too busy with projects right off. They suggested I focus on studying the Fa diligently and uncovering attachments. I wondered why they told me this every time I returned home. It was Master using my fellow practitioners to wake me up. But I missed the point and was complacent about how great I did. I even saw the persecution as a path that I had to take during cultivation.
One day, my wife and I went to a new Fa-study site. After reading the Fa, as soon as I started to talk about my experience and views regarding other practitioners’ problems with illness karma, another practitioner interrupted me. She said, “Being persecuted is not the way we should go; no matter how well we did in the past, it should stay in the past. What’s important now is to do well in the future.” Then she shared how she denied the persecution in the detention center and how she used righteous thoughts to get out. Although she didn’t say much, every word shook me profoundly. For so many years, no one had pointed out my problem to my face like that. It was always me criticizing others. I knew that it was Master who tried to enlighten me so that I could really calm down and find the root cause of my fundamental attachment.
So what was my fundamental attachment? I began to reflect on myself deeply. After coming back from prison this time, I didn’t do anything right away. I forced myself to completely calm down and study the Fa at home, looking inward and cultivating myself. For a while, I stayed behind closed doors. I started to recite the Fa after I did the exercises in the morning and sent forth righteous thoughts. I watched Master’s lecture videos, and when I got tired, I listened to fellow practitioners’ experience sharing articles, read the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party and The Ultimate Goal of Communism, and watched truth-clarifying videos. After memorizing Zhuan Falun. I started to transcribe it. At night, I participated in my family’s Fa-study and read Master’s other teachings. In memorizing and transcribing the Fa, I constantly reflected on the path I’d traveled and looked for the root cause of my attachments.
Looking back, what I thought about all day long before the persecution was to study the Fa more and practice more. There were not many obstacles in cultivation, the improvement was obvious, and the attachments were easily removed. Then the persecution began and the expectations for us became higher. Moreover, there were the interference of the old forces, evil arrangements, and oaths made in prehistoric times—all kinds of factors played a role. The question arose whether one could completely negate the arrangements of the old forces. Whether you can walk righteously, strengthen your convictions, and follow the path arranged by Master is a serious test for Dafa disciples. To interfere with your cultivation successfully, the old forces do everything possible to exploit loopholes and strengthen your attachments.
“But now you are a cultivator. From what standpoint you view Dafa is fundamental—this is also what I want to point out to you. ” (“Digging Out the Roots,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
What is the fundamental problem? Master said:
“If these acquired notions become too strong, their role will reverse by dictating a person’s true thinking and behavior. At this point, that person might still think that they are his own ideas. This is the case for almost all contemporary people.” (“For Whom do You Exist,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
When I was an ordinary person, I was very aggressive, thinking that I was smart and capable. In my eyes, it was hard to find someone to admire, and I couldn’t tolerate anyone who appeared to be better than me. If others were better, I felt uneasy and was very jealous. I had a strong sense of professionalism and honor, and I always wanted to show off my abilities and value. In fact, these are all mutated concepts planted by the wicked Party’s brainwashing efforts over the years. They seem to be advantages to ordinary people, but they are often obstacles in cultivation. Because cultivation is not just a job for ordinary people, cultivation is guided by the Fa. It is about looking inward, cultivating the mind, improving xinxing, raising one’s level, and becoming a selfless person entirely devoted to others.
I found that, all these years, I had not properly rectified my relationship with Dafa and the Fa-rectification. I had to improve my understanding of the relationship between cultivation and doing things for Dafa. I had been so attached to “self,” clinging to my own understanding, my thoughts, and my way of doing things that I ignored practitioners around me, including my family. I was stubborn and went to extremes. I recognized the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) concepts that I had developed under the influence of the evil Party, such as competitiveness, showing off, jealousy, vanity, deceit, etc. All these were about showing off and valuing my own gains and losses.
After I found the root cause, I kept using the Fa as my standard in cultivation. Whenever I have any issues, I now look inward first. When sharing experiences with other practitioners, I now always correct my own thoughts first and let go of self. When practitioners raise questions, we discuss and improve together. Because I put Fa-study first and did not slack off in my cultivation, Dafa has constantly improved my wisdom. It became easier to do things for Dafa. “Inspiration” appeared regularly and I could do more with less.
A practitioner, Ms. Liu, talked about another practitioner, Ms. Zhao, who had enlightened on a wrong path. She recently became paralyzed on one side of her body. I intended to talk to Ms. Zhao so no Falun Dafa practitioner would be forgotten and left behind during the Fa-rectification. However, Ms. Liu told me not to visit Ms. Zhao because she would talk about her wicked enlightenment theory to whoever visited her and would not let you get a word in edgewise. I still said that I would try to talk to her. My wife, Ms. Liu, and I went to Ms. Zhao’s home together. Because I had the intention to be kind to her rather than preach to her, I shared my experience calmly. I mentioned how precious it is to have obtained the Fa and suggested that she not give up. I suggested she leave no regrets for herself and try to do the exercises.
Ms. Zhao told me that she had been reading Zhuan Falun and doing the exercises and that her health had improved. So I encouraged her to keep it up and do more. The conversation went well. On our way home, Ms. Liu asked how come Ms. Zhao was like a different person today. I said, “When you talk to someone, you must approach him or her with righteous thoughts. When your own thoughts are righteous, because you are completely devoted to that person without any thought for yourself, all the righteous beings will come and help you and all the bad things will be dissolved. This is what I have recently understood more deeply.”
Above is my understanding at my current level. I am grateful to Master Li Hongzhi and fellow practitioners!