Dealing with the Attachment of Sentimentality Towards My Family
As a practitioner, I did not handle well my emotions related to my family. My attachment to my family was mainly manifested in my tendency to treat my family members differently than others.
This is not to say whether or not I care about my family members. Rather, this attachment of mine is about how my expectations for my family members affect my family and myself. I always wanted my family to become better people and to live better, thus I set expectations for them. However, when they cannot reach my expectations, my emotions would be affected, which in turn prevented my family members from understanding my intentions.
For example, whether in the course of daily life or in clarifying the truth, I was able to be more kind and forgiving of others. However, when it came to my family members, I often failed to be kind and forgiving. Why? It is because of my sentiments towards my family members. I also noticed this attachment in my interaction with friends and other people with whom I have deeper relationships.
In Zhuan Falun, Teacher said there are two reasons for not being able to increase gong.
"Without knowing the Fa at high levels, one cannot practice cultivation. Without cultivating one's inner self and one's xinxing, one cannot increase gong."
With regard to my attachment to my family, I always looked inside to find the cause of the problem, but I still did not completely remove this attachment. This was because I still did not fully understand this issue from the standpoint of the Fa.
After the persecution started in 1999, safeguarding Teacher and Dafa became the first priority for practitioners. However, during this process, I went to extremes. I paid little or no attention to individual interests, and had simplified my life to a minimum. At the same time, I also neglected or overlooked my family members' demands or requests.
Very quickly, the reality proved that my actions were not correct and I realized that I should use the approach or method that can be comprehended by my family members to clarify the truth to them. Viewed from the perspective of everyday people, a family needs to reach an agreement on important subjects (such as the attitude towards Dafa). From a practitioner's point of view, it is very important for their family members to understand the truth about Dafa for the sake of their present and future lives. Our showing kindness to our family members will help them correctly position their hearts toward Dafa.
After I changed my attitude, my environment has improved a lot. My family members support me even more and the arrangement and communication among us are smooth and harmonized (Actually this is a reflection of one's cultivation condition. If one's heart is assimilated to the requirements of Dafa and you kindly treat all the people around you, then your surrounding environment will be improved, respectively).
But I noticed in my heart that my emotional feelings for my family still existed and sometimes I reacted strongly while at others, I reacted lightly. During xinxing tests, my sentimentality would usually show up. After my father died, this problem became even worse and when it emerged, it was really unbearable. Sometimes I had to force myself to endure it.
By studying the Fa, I dug out some notions that I considered the root causes of this emotional attachment. First, I agreed with the Confucian theory in my mind. Confucius taught about caring for family members, taking good care of one's parents, and fulfilling individual responsibilities as parents, spouses, and children respectively.
Second, I had always longed for and pursued a perfect family. I'm not talking about the external formation, or conditions of a perfect family, or how to become harmonious, understanding each other or the individual's role and responsibility in the family. What I'm talking about is that deep inside I had resistance to giving up the attachment of having a wonderful family life. If I could not achieve it, then my heart would be moved.
Lastly, I thought there was a striking similarity between Confucianism and Dafa teachings. Confucius' theory was to teach people how to become better people in society. Dafa also teaches people to become better, and that it is necessary to respect and care for our parents, and to educate our children.
On this subject however, I neglected to distinguish the basic difference between being an ordinary person and a cultivator. Dafa cultivation directly targets one's heart needing to be good to others, yet not being attached to it. Yet Dafa has even higher standards for practitioners. We need to remove our sentiments and generate a compassionate heart. We should be kind to everyone, no matter whom. Especially in the Fa-Rectification period, we help everyday people to understand the truth about Dafa so they can secure a better future.
After I became enlightened to the abovementioned points, the root causes of my puzzles and attachments suddenly disappeared. When facing a lot of things, I can act according to the standard of a Dafa practitioner. When we do this ordinary people can feel our kindness and righteousness and can more easily trust us.
Of course, it takes time to completely remove all of my human notions, even after my enlightenment from the Fa. This is because human notions will create "thought karma" and if there is too much "thought karma," it will come back to affect one's notions. However, if during sending forth righteous thoughts, we add the thought to determinedly and rationally clean up our "thought karma," then we will pass this level very quickly.
The above is based on my understanding at my current cultivation status. Hopefully it can help some practitioners that are in a similar situation.