Watch Out for Sentimentality
(Minghui.org) Master Li Hongzhi said:
“Everything has its karmic relationship. Why can human beings be human? It is because human beings have sentimentality. They live just for this sentimentality. Affection among family members, love between a man and a woman, love for parents, feelings, friendship, doing things for friendship, and everything else all relate to this sentimentality. Whether a person likes to do something or not, is happy or unhappy, loves or hates something, and everything in the entire human society comes from this sentimentality. If this sentimentality is not relinquished, you will be unable to practice cultivation. If you are free from this sentimentality, nobody can affect you. An everyday person’s mind will be unable to sway you. What takes over in its place is benevolence, which is something more noble.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
Master’s Fa is very clear. We as Dafa disciples are constantly removing attachments as we cultivate. However, because we practice among ordinary people, we may fall victim to long-term notions and habits formed since childhood. So it is not easy to detect sentimentality when it manifests. Some of us are entrenched in it, unknowingly interfered by it, or helpless about stepping away from it.
Most practitioners have a family and children. Even if single, everyone has relatives and friends. Interference from sentimentality will be reflected in our relationships with ordinary people. If a practitioner’s main consciousness is not strong and he doesn't study the Fa well, it will be difficult to get rid of sentimentality.
There are two practitioners who live nearby, senior disciples who obtained the Fa before 1999. During 20 years of persecution, they have performed admirably and done the three things well. They have also done a lot to help save people. However, both have slacked off to varying degrees recently, and their cultivation states have been compromised. The main issue is that they are affected by sentimentality, so they struggle with tribulations.
One of them has a grudge against her husband. Every time I see her, she complains about him, which makes me feel uneasy. As an onlooker, I know that she is driven by sentimentality, but it is difficult to communicate with her using Fa principles. This adherent is entangled by common things, which severely affects her ability to do the three things.
The other practitioner is on the opposite end of the spectrum. Her husband treats her very well and takes good care of her. She depends on him for everything. He even puts her Dafa books away after she studies them. However, she is also in a bad state. She has symptoms of a serious “illness,” she can’t see words clearly, and has trouble remembering things. Her family has to take care of her, so she seems more like a patient in need of care than a Dafa disciple.
On the surface, the two women are different, but both are disturbed by an attachment to family: one manifests as hatred and the other as being overly dependent.
Some practitioners also confuse being a good person as endlessly looking after their children. They do all the housework and even take care of their grandchildren’s affairs, which takes up a lot of their time. They want to do the three things well but feel powerless. Wandering around in this state, they feel very distressed and helpless but don't realize that it is their own attachments interfering with them.
Interference Between Practitioners
In today’s society, the desire for material things is common, and it is difficult for people to treat others respectfully. Especially in China, people who have been poisoned by the culture of the Communist Party have inexplicable hatred in their hearts and do not believe that there is anyone good left in the world. They do not believe in heaven or that doing good brings rewards and doing evil causes karmic retribution. So when confronted with conflicts, they use conflict to solve problems.
The relationships between people are very tense. However, Dafa disciples are different. Most are peaceful and kind. They do not bully anyone and are trustworthy. They are mostly open-minded and don't need to be on their guard around other practitioners. Yet, even in this circumstance, sentimentality can interfere.
Some like to visit other practitioners’ homes when they have nothing to do. If they have any concerns, they meet their emotional needs by talking to other practitioners. It is necessary and understandable to get together to discuss how to work well together to clarify the truth or to share cultivation experiences. However, these practitioners get together too frequently and talk more about daily life or make superficial judgments about what constitutes good or bad.
Won’t this behavior affect studying the Fa calmly and doing the three things? Besides, in the current situation, there is still a security issue. Shouldn’t we be self-restrained? At the same time, this kind of fellowship may be taken advantage of. Given the time constraints, difficulties, and serious task of saving people, how can we waste precious time?
From the perspective of the Fa, we know that everyone’s cultivation journey is different, that is, each person must walk their own path. Those who don't know how to cultivate without help from other people can’t succeed in cultivation.
At the same time, within cultivation groups, there are some practitioners who understand the Fa better or are more capable, and others like to adopt their ideas or always follow their lead.
If this happens, these accomplished practitioners might enjoy the feeling of being depended on and develop an attachment to zealotry. If they don’t pay attention to studying the Fa, this may stoke their ego, which could ultimately ruin their cultivation and cause harm to Dafa.
In fact, all Dafa disciples who truly practice know that we rely only on Master and Dafa. We can’t learn from others. Instead, “We take the Fa as our teacher” (“Explaining the Fa for Falun Dafa Assistants in Changchun,” Explaining the Content of Falun Dafa).
The unintentional indulgence of dependence is a serious problem that harms oneself and others. Don't underestimate the seriousness of this situation, otherwise, you will miss this eternal opportunity.
Some people are afraid of loneliness. They hope their displays of affection will be reciprocated, or at least elicit some response. This expectation makes ordinary people both happy and worried. When someone is alone, he has no one to share his experiences, sorrows, and happiness with, so he feels sad. When prolonged, this situation will inevitably produce a feeling of loneliness.
I remember a fellow practitioner who was in great distress because her husband and son were leaving her. She felt a sense of emptiness, and it seemed that life would not go on. This may have been caused by her fear of loneliness.
Some practitioners are very enthusiastic about ordinary people’s things. They like to hang out with other singles they know, get involved in family conflicts, or participate in social gatherings. This would be good if it gave them opportunities to clarify the truth, but that doesn't always happen. They like displaying the enthusiasm of ordinary people, thinking that this shows the goodness of Dafa disciples. In fact, this is a misunderstanding of the way Dafa disciples should behave. It is just a manifestation of an ordinary person's attachment to avoiding loneliness.
So, if we cannot control our emotions and can’t bear loneliness, how can we meditate, study the Fa with a calm mind, and help save people? If we cannot study with a calm mind, how can high-level principles be shown to us? If we don’t even understand the literal meaning of the Fa, how can we cultivate?
In fact, sentimentality shows up in many areas. Of course, it doesn't mean that when we let go of sentimentality, we become indifferent or unfriendly, which would make it hard for people to understand us. We can cultivate while in accordance with the state of ordinary society, maintain a family, and do our work well.
However, we must be clear in our hearts that we are Dafa disciples during the Fa-rectification period who have major missions. What we really need to do well are the three things that Master requires. Then, in any setting, we can set our priorities and balance our relationships. Only then can we live up to Master's trust in us and be responsible to those we have predestined relationships with.