The Importance of Truly Looking Inward and Admitting One's Attachments
(Minghui.org) I recently heard the sad story of an elderly practitioner who passed away. I would like to share my understanding from the perspective of the Fa.
This practitioner did a great job clarifying facts of Falun Dafa. Her abdomen became swollen in the latter half of 2020. She could not excrete, and died soon afterward. Many fellow practitioners visited her and sent forth righteous thoughts for her. They also advised her to look within, but she always replied that she couldn’t find anything wrong. She could not understand why she had this tribulation because she thought she did the three things well. Still confused, she passed away.
Several fellow practitioners I know have similar mindsets. They never admit that they've done anything wrong. They always say, “I've done all the things that Master told us to do, and I'm cultivating well. What should I look within for? How come I still have illnesses?” Some asked, “Why am I the only one suffering while others are fine?” Some felt that it was unfair they suffered sickness karma even though they did a lot to clarify the truth.
It’s true that Master told us to do the three things, but Master has also repeatedly emphasized looking within and cultivating ourselves solidly. Some fellow practitioners haven’t realized the need to look within, others aren’t willing to look within, and some don’t know how. Most practitioners try to examine their cultivation, but fail to find the root of their problems. It’s the fundamental reason they can’t reach a good state of cultivation.
Failing to admit one's faults appears to be the biggest issue in cultivation. This fellow practitioner couldn’t see her own problems, and her incorrect state could have existed for a long time without her being aware of it. It’s key to a common problem for the following reasons.
First, not admitting faults is equivalent to not believing in Master and Dafa.
Master told us,
“A cultivating human being is not a cultivating god, and everyone makes mistakes in the cultivation process; the key is how you deal with them. Some people are able to recognize them and some aren’t, and then there are people who don’t want to recognize them because of their attachment of fear and some other factors.” (“My Version of a 'Stick Wake-up,’” The Essentials of Diligent Progress, Vol. III)
“However wild the evil may be, it won’t dare to touch you if you have no faults.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the New York Fa Conference Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Dafa’s Spreading,” Yellow Team Translation)
“Any time some kind of interference comes along in your practice, you have to look within for the cause and find what it is you still haven’t let go of.” (The Sixth Talk, Zhuan Falun, Translation Edition (Feb. 2003, North America))
Since Master told us that everyone makes mistakes and the evil won’t dare to touch you if you have no faults, failing to admit faults definitely reflects one’s disbelief in Master’s teaching. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t need to cultivate. As long as we live in the human world, we certainly have attachments to eliminate and will make mistakes. Acknowledgment of this is a prerequisite to our cultivation. Admitting our faults means we believe in Master and Dafa.
Secondly, not acknowledging one's faults indicates that one is not genuinely cultivating.
“In true cultivation you have to cultivate your mind, you have to cultivate inward, to look inward—you can’t look outward.” (The Ninth Talk, Zhuan Falun,Translation Edition (Feb. 2003, North America))
Even though some practitioners study the Fa every day, do the exercises diligently, and clarify the truth rain or shine, they might not be cultivating as solidly as they think. There are criteria to meet in order to be called a Falun Dafa disciple, and unconditionally looking within is one of them.
In other words, doing things doesn’t equate to cultivation. Staying busy and proactively doing things doesn’t necessarily mean one is cultivating diligently. By the same token, enthusiasm, hard work, sacrifice, and suffering aren’t necessarily cultivation either. Not hiding mistakes, not making excuses, looking within unconditionally, and improving oneself is cultivation.
Master told us,
“Some people appear to be quite diligent as they cultivate, studying the Fa and doing the exercises, but they don’t look within. But if you don’t look within, think about it, aren’t you an ordinary person then?” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2015 New York Fa Conference”)
This practitioner had a strong attachment to sentiment, especially resentment. Local practitioners pointed out that she obviously had this issue. If she had corrected herself in time, she would have eliminated a lot of attachments and her condition wouldn’t have deteriorated.
Thirdly, our gong won’t increase until we admit our faults.
Master told us,
“you have no way to cultivate if you don’t know the Law at high levels, and if you don’t cultivate inward, if you don’t cultivate your character, your gong won’t increase.” (The First Talk, Zhuan Falun, Translation Edition (Feb. 2003, North America))
How do we understand the Law at high levels and learn the criteria of the Fa? If we don’t know the criteria of the Fa, it’s basically the same as not obtaining the Fa. Some practitioners study the Fa, but still use profanity. The Fa's criteria includes treating people with compassion and cultivation of speech. The words coming out of our mouths should be as beautiful as lotus flowers. Practitioners that swear have failed at least on the aspect of cultivation of speech. Studying the Fa doesn’t guarantee that one will obtain the Fa. Those who obtain the Fa have kept the Fa deeply in their minds. They measure their behavior with the Fa and follow Dafa's principles when handling things in their lives.
What do we cultivate when we look within? We eliminate those notions, speech, and behaviors not in line with the Fa. For example, if the practitioners that swear can realize they are wrong and cultivate their speech according to the Fa's criteria, they would eliminate this bad habit, improve their character, and their gong will increase.
Fourthly, not admitting faults reflects an attachment to ego and saving face.
Master told us,
“If you don't admit it when you're wrong, and act like you're not wrong in order to have people think that you're not wrong, then no one will respect you, because that's an everyday person's approach.” (“Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. III)
Why are we reluctant to admit our faults? Some practitioners were haughty, competitive, and argumentative before they started practicing Falun Dafa. They never accepted criticism or admitted it when they did anything wrong. This notion became deeply rooted in their minds. After they started cultivation, this notion stayed in control even though the Fa was clearly stated, and their fellow practitioners tried to help them. As long as they don’t change this notion or identify their faults, they won’t find their true selves.
Some people would rather lose their lives than lose face. They'll do anything to prove they are right. They are more concerned about safeguarding their reputation than cultivating themselves. For the same reason they won’t allow anyone to criticize them. Cultivation is a process of letting go of attachments. Holding onto to the attachment to reputation only leads us away from the Fa.
Fifthly, not admitting faults leads to failure to deny the old forces' arrangements.
We often say, “We deny the old forces' arrangements.” How? By saying it all the time, sending forth righteous thoughts or distributing flyers? When a cultivator refuses to admit he has faults, fails to look within or let go of emotion, he acts like the old forces who refuse to change anything about themselves. How can he deny the old forces' arrangements?
One female practitioner who developed metrorrhagia began writing down her attachments in a notebook as she identified them. She found her greediness, attachment to comfort, fear... and corrected herself according to the Fa. When her notebook was filled up, her condition disappeared. She was sure that she had faults, so she corrected herself as she found her wrongdoings, attachments, and loopholes.
Finally, not admitting faults causes one to doubt Dafa.
The practitioner who passed away said, “I haven’t done anything wrong. I have been doing the three things. Why do I still suffer like this?” Her words implied her questioning and complaint of Master for not cleansing her body. She felt subconsciously that Master should take care of the problem and protect her since she did the three things. Hidden behind her words was the strong pursuit of her personal goals while she did the three things.
“If you’re coming here to learn the exercises, or the Great Law, with the goal of getting all kinds of things, then you won’t learn anything.” (The First Talk, Zhuan Falun, Translation Edition (Feb. 2003, North America))
If one does the three things but subconsciously hangs onto selfish interests, any problem one runs into will bring doubt, complaint, and eventually questioning Master. Since this practitioner's mindset wasn’t righteous, the more she bargained with Dafa, the worse her thoughts became, the further she may have deviated from the righteous path of cultivation. Her thoughts eventually became like an ordinary person's. Master and Dafa won’t be able to protect an ordinary person, and that may be why her sickness karma got worse.