Abandoning My Attachment of Self-Interest
(Minghui.org) I began practicing Falun Dafa in 1996. During these years of cultivation, I have really felt the presence of Master Li Hongzhi's compassion and have become a person with a healthy mind and body.
Master Li said,
“It is impossible for everyone to attain the Tao. Even for those who can continue their cultivation, it remains to be seen whether you can succeed and also if you are determined to cultivate. It is impossible for everyone to become a Buddha.” (Lecture 2, Zhuan Falun)
I have come to realize that cultivation is not just studying the Fa and doing the exercises. We have to get rid of human notions, follow the Fa principles Master taught us and cultivate xinxing to be able to upgrade ourselves.
Getting Rid of Self Interest
I am a teacher and it is easy for me to make a personal profit by taking advantage of my job. One example is ordering supplementary teaching materials for my students.
I teach the main subject for the graduating class, and there are many students in my class. Nowadays, people think that the teaching profession is a great opportunity to make money.
When teachers order books for students as a group, bookstores offer rebates. After practicing Falun Dafa, I understood that I should not accept a rebate as it is not my money, and I would lose de (virtue) in exchange.
I decided I would offer the same discounted price that bookstores offered me to my students and never ordered unnecessary materials. My colleagues were not happy about this as they wouldn’t be able to make money if they followed what I was doing.
Some colleagues asked me not to do this, so later I used the rebate to buy school supplies for my students. I also saved the money and returned it to the students when they graduated.
My students all understood that Falun Dafa was being unjustly persecuted and have quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations.
I realized it's hard to be a good person, but people will admire you for it!
My colleagues talked to me about why I was not taking any rebates from bookstores. I later happened to visit a bookstore and clarified the truth to the owner.
She said that she would just follow her conscience and stopped talking further on this matter. She then confided that it was not easy to make a profit selling books after offering a lot of rebates to teachers.
She had been running this bookstore for many years and had dealt with many teachers, but admired one particular male teacher the most as he never accepted rebates.
I later found out the teacher she was referring to is actually my husband. I told her that I practice Falun Dafa and follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. My husband was influenced by me and didn’t accept the ill-gotten gains. The bookstore owner felt the beauty and righteousness of Dafa and quit the CCP gladly.
A Second Test Regarding Self-Interest
My husband has two brothers and one younger sister. He is the second child in the family.
My mother-in-law died early and my father-in-law lived with my husband’s older brother, who gave all his savings to him.
Once my father-in-law was sick, and my husband’s brother sent him to the county hospital and then called us. Once we arrived at the hospital, his brother went home immediately and left us to take care of his father.
We paid all the hospital expenses, and as a result, my husband was very angry with his brother. I'm a Dafa practitioner, and I will do whatever I need to do.
My heart, however, was still full of complaints. I felt very uncomfortable because I still had a very strong attachment to self-interest.
I remember Master said,
“Why do you encounter these problems? They are all caused by your own karma. We have already eliminated for you many, countless portions of it …” (Lecture 4, Zhuan Falun)
I understood this was a debt I owed him, and I had to pay it back.
My father-in-law later stayed at my husband’s younger brother’s home in the provincial capital to help take care of his child.
During those four years, my father-in-law became sick twice. My husband’s younger brother would call and ask us to pick up my father-in-law and take him back to the county hospital for treatment.
My husband was not happy with this brother’s behavior either. When my bad thoughts came out again, I did my best to suppress them.
I realized this was not accidental. I didn’t pay off my debts in the past, and I still needed to pay him back.
My father-in-law got old when his grandson grew up. Then the senior care topic was laid in front of us.
My father-in-law made a down payment on a property for his youngest son and took care of his grandson. So, logically, he should be taken care of by his youngest son. However, he wanted to live with us. I understood it must have something to do with my cultivation.
My father-in-law lived in my home for over four years. I regarded myself as a cultivator, and he experienced the beauty of Dafa.
He often recited “Falun Dafa is good.” All my neighbors and relatives knew that he had a nice daughter-in-law who practices Falun Dafa.
Sometimes when our family and relatives got together, they would say that my husband’s brothers should take care of my father-in-law and that they were not nice and filial to him.
I knew it was a test for me, and I reminded myself not to follow what they said, thereby letting go of my ordinary thoughts of self-interest.
I told them I followed Master Li and Dafa to be a good person; otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to do it.
Letting Go of Gain and Loss by Being Considerate of Others
I understand that self-interest does not have to be only about money; anything that will benefit us can provoke our self-interest.
“You should always be benevolent and kind to others, and consider others when doing anything. Whenever you encounter a problem, you should first consider whether others can put up with this matter or if it will hurt anyone. In doing so, there will not be any problems.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
I constantly use this teaching to adjust my behavior. I was very touched by a practitioner’s sharing article where he said he would do whatever benefits others to get rid of his attachment of self-interest.
My neighbor is a very stubborn old man who never listened to the truth. He suffered from an abnormality due to a stroke. He walked up and down our apartment corridor every day and often urinated there as well.
The residents in the building had a lot of complaints about him, but they were helpless to do anything.
I thought, “I am a cultivator. What should I do if I encounter this?”
I decided I should not only let go of those bad notions of complaints, dislikes, etc., but also think of others. So I bought a bucket and mop and put it in the hallway for backup.
When I saw urine in the hallway, I mopped it up, and the hallway has been odorless ever since.
The man’s wife once saw me mopping up the urine and was very touched and thanked me for doing it. I told her that I practiced Falun Dafa, and it was our Master who told me to do things for the sake of others.
She felt the beauty of Dafa. The elderly man also understood the truth and quit the CCP and its affiliations.
Accepting Responsibility for My Father-in-law
My father-in-law decided to spend the rest of his life in his hometown, and returned to his oldest son’s home in the countryside the year before last. Without thinking if I should spend the money or not, I bought enough for my father-in-law to eat, wear, and use. I also left 2000 yuan to my husband’s brother to buy coal for heating for my father-in-law during the winter.
When my father-in-law was seriously ill and my husband was busy with work, I went to the countryside to take care of him whenever I had time.
During the last few nights of his life, my husband’s younger sister and I took turns taking care of him before and after midnight. There were two things that only she did, rubbing his belly and cleaning up his feces.
The last night, when she was sleeping for an hour, my father-in-law asked me to call her to help him. I knew it was time for me to get rid of my attachment to filth. So I told him that I would help him. After cleaning him up, my heart was clean too.
My father-in-law later said his stomach was not comfortable. I then rubbed his belly for a long time. I also encouraged him to recite “Falun Dafa is good!” That night, he passed away peacefully.
Around ten o’clock, many relatives saw large lotus flower clouds appearing in the sky. My father-in-law understood the truth so Master arranged a good place for him.
My father-in-law saved 13,800 yuan when he was staying with us. He said he would give my child 10,000 yuan.
When he passed away, the funeral cost was 22,000 yuan. I gave the amount of 13,800 yuan to my husband’s older brother, considering that our condition was better than his, and said we would help cover the extra cost as well.
Several relatives were present when we gave the money, and they didn’t want us to spend anymore. At that moment, there was a hint of joy in my heart.
This made me see that not only did I still have the attachment of self-interest, but also the attachment to fame. Up until then, I didn't understand why it was necessary to be more discreet with such matters.
I understand that when I think about others, it is a process of letting go of myself!
I still have many attachments, and I will cherish the minutes and seconds that Master has given me. I vow to do better and live up to Master's compassion!