Finding and Eliminating the Root of Attachments
(Minghui.org) Greetings, Master and fellow practitioners!
I am 26 and came to Australia in 2016 as a student. I decided last year to stay and participate in Falun Dafa projects, work hard to do the three things Master asks of us, cultivate away attachments, and assist Master in validating the Fa.
For a long time, I have had many hidden attachments buried deep in my heart. Because I didn’t study the Fa enough, I sometimes had thoughts that “cultivation is too difficult,” which twice left me vulnerable to the demon nature of wanting to give up. Each time I meditated, I had a hard time calming my mind. As soon as I sat down, my mind would become like a stormy sea, and even over half an hour later, I still couldn’t be at peace.
“...the fundamental reason for one’s being unable to achieve tranquility is not an issue of techniques, but that your mind and heart are not clean.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
I want to abide by Master’s Fa principles, recognize my own attachments, and completely cultivate away these bad elements.
Deeply Hidden Jealousy
Last December, my local Fa study group decided to begin memorizing the Fa. I progressed very quickly through perseverance, and by setting high standards for myself. When everyone else gradually stopped persisting, I still continued, and I began to develop an attachment of looking down on others. I didn’t realize it was jealousy at the time, and this soon became a source of pride for me. Bad thoughts began to emerge in my head like “I’m the best, I’m so great. I’m so far ahead of them, and so on.”
My thoughts were truly radical and biased, but in spite of my mistakes, our great and compassionate Master time and time again imprinted the Fa in my mind. During this time, I was also able to quit watching Internet videos and listening to popular music. This wasn’t like before, where I was actively suppressing my desires. I realized that I am a practitioner, and the sentimentality and love in ordinary people’s songs can only tarnish me, and can’t do any good.
Perhaps Master saw my hidden attachment to jealousy and escalated my tribulations, but I was slow to realize it. At the start of this year, a practitioner’s family shared some of their good news with everyone in our local group. That morning, one after another, everyone in our group congratulated them, and the atmosphere became quite joyous.
“Hey, this happened because I helped out,” I said. “Don’t you remember how it was that day?” After saying this aloud, I realized that I had a strong attachment to showing off, in this case to show them how I played a key role in their good news. I also began to understand Master’s requirement of “Compassion” in “Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.”
“Why didn’t I sincerely congratulate them like everybody else,” I thought? “Instead, I had been resentful and thought, “How come in the past when I had good news, you all didn’t congratulate me so heartily? But instead, they were the ones to receive such warm congratulations from you all.” That night during group Fa study, I felt very annoyed at the people in the group, and I didn’t want to read the Fa with them. I knew that this was a very bad and evil mentality and that my true self is not this kind of person. How could I have such evil thoughts?
I told myself that if I didn’t read the Fa with everyone that night, then I had given in to the old forces. Isn’t this exactly what the Gods in the old cosmos want to see? For me not to want to read the Fa, and to see me fall? Thus, I let go of all my bad attachments and began to read Zhuan Falun with everyone. As I studied the Fa, I was not sure if it was just the pain from sitting in the double-lotus position, but the whole time I felt that there was something leaving my body. I also felt great pressure, like that of a huge rock, weighing down on my heart, and making it hard to breathe.
After I finished reading the Fa, my entire body felt much better and I suddenly felt that this whole situation was really nothing. When I saw this practitioner again, I said, “Congratulations!”, and this ‘congratulations’ was completely sincere and from the bottom of my heart. Afterward, I felt that this huge rock in my heart had moved a bit, but I could feel its presence.
After I went home I discussed this with my husband and realized that Master was giving me hints about my jealousy through my husband. My husband asked me, “Are you jealous just because everyone didn’t treat you as well?” and I started to look within. I started to think about the situation from everyone else’s perspective, and I realized that they didn’t do anything wrong. Master was using this situation to enlighten me because I still had jealousy in my heart.
“In the human world, all individuals, organizations, and groups do things in human society in order to achieve something in this world. Dafa disciples, however, are getting rid of all ordinary human attachments—including the attachment to their human lives—in order to reach the realms of higher beings.” (“Eliminate Your Last Attachment(s),” Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I began to sob in front of the computer, and I thought to myself that I should be able to let go of anything. No matter what the desire, it’s an attachment. I don’t want it, and I won’t recognize it. If some can even let go of the attachment to their human lives, then why should this attachment be so hard to get rid of?
The next day when I was meditating, I immediately achieved tranquility. That feeling was like Master said,
“When you sit there, you should feel wonderful and very comfortable as though you are sitting inside an egg shell; you will be aware of yourself practicing the exercise, but you feel that your whole body cannot move.” (Lecture Eight, Zhuan Falun)
I knew that the rock wasn’t there anymore and that my thoughts had become more pure. I only sat for 30 minutes, but my body felt light. When I got up, I found that I was crying. I could clearly feel that I had made a substantial improvement.
From then on, I could clearly recognize my attachments and acknowledge my problem with jealousy. But even though the large rock wasn’t there, I still felt that I was not completely cleansed. For a period of time when I couldn’t keep up regularly with Fa study, a phenomenon also arose where I sometimes hated listening to others.
“If you truly take these things that seriously, you will be able to restrain them. Then you will be able to weaken them and gradually get rid of them completely. If it's a case where you are aware of it and feel anxious about it, but in practice you don't truly restrain and suppress it, then in reality you are just stopping at this mental activity of seeing and feeling something, but you haven't taken any action to suppress that thing. In other words, you have only thought about it but not actually cultivated and put it into practice. Another situation is one where you might say, "I have cultivated wholeheartedly and carried it out through concrete actions, yet this [problem] is still happening." That [occurs] because things developed over a long period of time have been separated into layers by factors pressed down here by beings from the old cosmos. So each time a layer is broken through, that layer is wiped out; then another layer is broken through and wiped out; and another is broken through and wiped out. In this way, they will become weaker and weaker, and there will be fewer and fewer of them. They won't be gone all at once, and this is what leads you to experience that [feeling you have]. The same applies to many other human attachments, the same happens with them.” (Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005)
I realized that I needed to steadily eliminate this attachment completely. When problems arise, I need to clearly recognize that it is jealousy, and at the same time, I should expose my other bad attachments. Through intensifying my Fa study and exercises, I began to take the Fa as my teacher, and conduct myself according to the Fa’s requirements.
Jealousy and Validating Myself
In the past when I worked on Dafa projects, I thought I was very capable and could do things independently, and I would frequently get into disagreements with practitioners when my ideas weren’t accepted. These conflicts weren’t surface disputes like how ordinary people get physical at each other or blame each other. Rather, these conflicts created a sense of uneasiness in my heart. On the outside, I acted like everything was fine and pretended to accept things. But, in actuality, my heart had been agitated and turbulent from the start.
When I compared my actions to the principles of Dafa, I realized that I had a very strong attachment to validating myself. I knew that this was a selfish mentality derived from the old cosmos. As a Dafa disciple, I should not have this sort of attachment and I needed to eliminate it!
My jealousy brought on this attachment to validating myself, and it manifested itself in various ways. When I saw others increasing their Fa study and doing the exercises more, I didn’t think to also encourage other practitioners to do the same and be more diligent because time waits for no one. In fact, my first thought was often, “Oh no, if you all become diligent, then what about me? This won’t do, you can’t all become better than me…” In the beginning, it was often this ordinary person’s competitive mentality that pushed me to study the Fa and do exercises every day. But as I began to truly study the Fa, do the exercises, and go out to validate the Fa and clarify the truth, doing the three things that a Fa-rectification Dafa disciple should do, our compassionate Master once again ignored my past wrongdoings and reminded me.
“Once you start to cultivate, you are fellow practitioners, and each of you is to return to your own heavenly kingdom. Whoever has cultivated well will be able to return, and no one can [do cultivation] on behalf of someone else.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2007 New York Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. VIII)
I thought, "It is truly whoever cultivates is the one who obtains. Why am I always trying to cultivate others and looking at how others are doing? Practitioners don’t have any role models to follow. We all have our own paths, but all of us have to eliminate various ordinary human attachments to follow Master home with a pure heart."
I can now sense every time this attachment to validating myself begins to show, and I quickly start to measure these bad behaviors with Dafa’s principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. When I encounter conflicts that are truly hard to endure, sometimes I blurt out things that I am not able to suppress. Afterward, I am full of regret and often tear up from Master’s reminders as I study the Fa. I tell myself that I am on a divine path and that I shouldn’t have the attachments of ordinary people. Would the divine be swayed because of what someone else said or did?
Jealousy Originates from Selfishness
As I continued to dig deep into my heart, I realized that the root cause of my jealousy was selfishness. First, if I could just use other practitioners as a mirror to look within myself about everything, I really should be thanking other practitioners for helping me advance in my cultivation. Secondly, how will I save sentient beings if I still am selfish?
“You already know that the form of a Dafa disciple’s cultivation has one cultivate here, in the world, among ordinary people, and that the cultivation directly targets one’s mind. All human attachments and notions that interfere with validating the Fa and saving sentient beings must be removed. For cultivators traveling a divine path, is it really that hard to get rid of those attachments that arise from human thinking and to change those notions? If a cultivator doesn’t want to get rid of even those things, well, how is he to show that he’s a cultivator?” (“The Closer to the End, the More Diligent You Should Be,” Essentials for Further Advancement Vol. III)
When the coordinator of a project has an opinion on something, regardless of what I think, I should cooperate well. If something doesn’t get done or is not done well, I shouldn’t complain, but rather I should try to help improve the situation. Only then can I be worthy of the title of a Fa-rectification Dafa practitioner. Before, I would expect praise from others even whenever I did something trivial. Now, I follow “Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.” As Dafa disciples, our goal is the same, and everything we do is to validate the Fa. It doesn’t matter who does it, as long as you have the time and energy to do it well!
When I was younger, my cultivation state was at the point where when my family would push me, I would read a little. If they didn’t push me, then I wouldn’t read. Since obtaining the Fa when I was 5 years old, I have now already wasted 21 years. Now, my cultivation state is to the point that I’m not tired when I wake up early every day. After finishing meditation, my legs feel light and ready for the day, and the more I read the Fa, the more energized I feel. I’m not tired even if I read until 11 p.m. This is something I have never felt in the past.
As I’ve now caught up with studying the Fa and sending forth righteous thoughts regularly, it’s no longer as difficult to clarify the truth, and the level of my article writing has improved as well. Before, when practitioners would say, “You improved so quickly” or “Your article is so well-written”, I would become very happy and get carried away. Now, I just remember that all my wisdom was given to me by Master. As long as I study the Fa well, and do the three things well, I will improve.
Thank you, Master, for your compassion. I won’t disappoint Master. I will let go of my human attachments, always consider others first, and always measure myself with the Fa, and look within when I encounter situations that stir my heart. I must follow Master home, and I also must pull my fellow practitioners to come home with me. The sentient beings in our universes await us to cultivate diligently and return home.
There is not much time left! We must do well the three things Master asks of us. We must cultivate with the ultimate dedication and effort in the remaining time that’s left.
(Presented at the 2020 International Falun Dafa Young Practitioners’ Online Fa Conference)