A First Year Practitioner’s Experience: Letting Go of My Attachment to Showing Off
(Minghui.org) Greetings, Master and fellow practitioners:
I am 67 years old and live in the mountainous area of the Pyrenees. I was fortunate to come across the cultivation practice Falun Dafa at an event where the Falun Dafa exercises were being demonstrated about one year ago. It was Dafa’s music that touched my heart, and the movements were so inviting.
Before I wrote this article about my cultivation experience, I measured myself against Dafa’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. I asked myself, “What should I write about?” Then, suddenly, I thought about my attachment to showing off.
Eliminating the Attachment to Showing Off
Since I was a child, adults who accepted challenges became my role models, as they appeared to be outstanding and successful. Some would talk about their achievements, while others would downright brag about them. Naturally, I mimicked their behavior. I kept changing my jobs and my living environment. When I had nothing to show off, I would change business partners. The desire to show off was stimulating, and kept me from being bored. Of course, I didn’t realize that it was an attachment.
I began to practice Dafa holding onto this incorrect mindset. When I first read Zhuan Falun, a sentence struck me. “This mentality of showing off can manifest in any situation; it can also surface when doing a good deed.” (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)
When I was writing this article, another thought entered my mind. I was imagining that when I was reading my article, people were listening very attentively to what I had to say. I immediately realized that my thought was not pure. The attachment wanted to find its way into my article. When I was thinking about how to express myself, and what kind of effect it would have, it was with the tendency to show off. I kept reminding myself not to be interfered with by how others may judge me.
When I first learned the exercises, I loved the second set. I was able to do it for 30 minutes. It was a challenge. A practitioner said I was doing great. I was so happy.
Then, to show that I was indeed doing great, I persisted on finishing the fifth set of the exercises. Although my legs were painful, I was not calm, and I could not sit with my back straight, I was very proud of myself. People witnessed that I could sit in a lotus position.
When I first learned to send righteous thoughts, I wanted to sit in a double lotus position. Due to this strong desire to show off, all of sudden, I could not move. I could no longer sit in the double lotus position. This lasted for one month. This made me realize that I had treated it as a physical challenge that I needed to overcome. I was so keen to show off, I pushed the limit. During those days when I could not sit in a lotus position, I tried to reach tranquility, which had been very difficult.
After sharing my thoughts at the study group, something happened several times. Just when I was about to open my mouth, my mind went blank, and I no longer wished to say anything. I realized that my mind went blank, when I had a desire to say something but was afraid to do so. It was almost as if it filtered out my desire to show off.
While Clarifying the Truth, My Desire to Show off was Exposed
One morning when I was reading with my Fa-study group, I found that I kept missing one word. It was the third time that I missed this word. This was a paragraph about how to introduce the exercises to others. Every time when I read this, I had doubts. I would ask myself, was I able to articulate what Falun Dafa was correctly? However, I didn’t think much of it.
The next morning I realized that it was a hint for me. Looking inward, I found out what the problem was.
When I, at my current level, introduced Falun Dafa to beginners, they were all very interested in the exercises. As I continued to speak, my tendency to show off surfaced. At first, I didn’t talk too much. I would suggest that they read the book and visit the Dafa site. I was following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion- Forbearance. As they started to ask more questions, I became the old self, a business consultant who was always in the position to dispense valuable advice and help people to solve problems, a role I was known for among my business contacts and my friends. I showed off inadvertently.
When I was talking to people, I often started by saying something humorous. I asked myself why I felt good about this approach. I realized that I had a tendency to show off even while doing truth-clarification work. I had wanted to light up the heaviness of the topic by joking around.
This reminded me of the Chinese from China. Their minds have been filled with notions instilled by the nefarious Chinese Communist Party (CCP). They would go to the extreme. This incorrect notion of mine was like a partition, which was forced upon me by the old forces, with the intention to interfere and prevent me from elevating in cultivation.
My tendency to show off was to say to others: “Look how great I am. It was as if my mind was on autopilot, constantly wanting to validate myself. The more subtle it was, the more unrighteous. If one is keen on expressing oneself, one is only focused on oneself and only thinks about oneself. When I realized this, I no longer held on to the notion of showing off. When I had a desire to show off, no matter how well I said or did, I have not achieved any energy.
When I realized all these, someone who was new to Falun Dafa and who had just read a bit of Zhuan Falun called me. “ I have many questions for you.” As she has not actually started to cultivate yet, I have not shared with her that I had a tendency to show off.
So I chatted with kindness. As I spoke, she said to me, “ I know what you are saying. You want me to read Zhuan Falun.” I thought that was interesting, but I did not let down my guard about my tendency to show off.
She kindly asked me a couple of questions. I suggested that she look for the answers in Zhuan Falun and enlighten herself. She was very pleased. She said that the book was like a bomb full of energy that she could feel with her hands.
Eliminating Wrong Notions and Using Righteous Thoughts to Clear My Dimensional Field
“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)
“Whenever there is interference of one kind or another in qigong practice, you should look for reasons within yourself and determine what you still have not let go.” (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)
I will pay more attention to assimilate to Dafa and focus my attention on reading Zhuan Falun. I will continue to eliminate my attachment while clearing out my dimensional field.
Thank you, Master and fellow practitioners!
(Presented at the 2020 Online Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference in France)