(Minghui.org) I started to practice Falun Dafa in 1994. I have a steady job, but I didn’t realize that I’d gradually developed an attachment to self-interest and benefits.

I didn't get a pay raise for several years. All the newly-hired employees were paid more than I. Although I didn't say anything, I felt unsettled and resentful. I complained to myself how others had been given pay raises but not me.

Master said, 

“I am telling you this principle that everyday people are unable to realize. You may think that you are good at everything, but your life does not have it. That person is good at nothing, but his life has it, and he will become a boss. No matter what everyday people think, that is only the viewpoint of everyday people. From the perspective of a higher life, the development of human society progresses according to the specific law of development. Therefore, what one does in life is not arranged based on one’s abilities. Buddhism believes in the principle of karmic retribution. One’s life is arranged according to one’s karma. No matter how capable you are, if you do not have de, perhaps you will have nothing in this life. You think that another person is good at nothing, but he has a lot of de. He could become a high-ranking official or make a big fortune. An ordinary person cannot see this point and always believes that he should do exactly what he is able to.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)

When I analyzed the situation, I realized I had an attachment to jealousy. In fact, I began comparing my salary with others soon after I was hired. I was fine until I heard that my colleagues were getting pay raises. I thought it was unfair when my colleagues, especially those on my team, made more than I. I knew it was a wrong thought and I eliminated it. I felt better, but the attachment and the unsettled feeling soon returned.

The attachment to jealousy also grew many other attachments, such as the desire for revenge. Sometimes I thought the leader did not give me a pay raise because he did not like me. He did not like me because I did not bribe him, did not buy him meals, and did not flatter him. I fantasized about being his leader one day, then I would punish him by freezing his pay and firing him. Sometimes I could not stop these bad thoughts. I was finally able to detect these attachments and eliminate them. I was no longer bothered by the desire for a pay raise.

My company recently announced another round of salary increases. I told myself, “My performance has been good, so they should give me a raise this time.” As a practitioner, I immediately realized I needed to eliminate this thought. I could not help thinking about it, however. I was even more disturbed when I noticed some colleagues cozying up to the person in charge and giving him gifts.

After our salaries were adjusted, I noticed my pay had increased by quite a bit. I was very excited. I was cheerful and no longer found the leader irritable. I wanted to tell everyone, “I got a raise!”

I did not realize I was showing off and that I also had an attachment to vanity. I even thought I had been rewarded because I had eliminated the attachment to jealousy. I didn't realize I was pursuing self-interest. I wanted to make my life better through cultivation and earn more money through Falun Dafa.

I awakened when I found these attachments. I knew I came to this world to practice Falun Dafa and awaken the conscience of sentient beings. I was not here to pursue material interests and enjoy life.

Sure enough, I soon discovered that my recent pay increase was a one-time bonus. My base salary had only increased a little. I calmed down and understood it was another test.

The test was not over yet. One day, my supervisor told me that the leader noticed my recent good performance. He said if I had done that well from the beginning, I would have gotten a big raise. He said it seemed I always fell behind at work and only caught up at the last minute, so I had missed several pay raises.

My feelings were mixed when I heard this. I thought I’d eliminated some notions and attachments, but I had not. I realized I did not really cultivate diligently so I did not do well at work.

So many of my attachments were exposed during the recent salary adjustment. I felt ashamed that I was bothered by loss and gain like an ordinary person. 

I calm down when I looked within. I appreciate Master’s compassion. Master has repeatedly given me opportunities to catch up and do better.