Attachments Exposed During Research as a PhD Student
(Clearwisdom.net) I have spent two years studying for a PhD degree. Although I passed the candidacy exam, I didn't make much progress on research. A group study mate mentioned to me one day that he had some ideas and was planning to publish four papers. I suddenly felt that he would graduate soon. What will I do when the others graduated? I will have no one else to ask for opinions or help. My advisor always stays overseas. How will I graduate? How will I find a job? What will I do to make a living? I felt that I could not make a living, and cried.
I discussed my thoughts and feelings with other practitioners. I calmed down that night and read Zhuan Falun. I felt that my thoughts were silly. I found that those thoughts were actually attachments and karma. The thoughts were related to many of my attachments.
The biggest attachment is desire for an easy and comfortable life. It was followed by laziness and desire for taking chances. I also had fear of difficulties in scientific research, feelings of inferiority, and a strong dependent mentality. I hoped that I could rely on ordinary people with better capability, such as a group study mate and adviser. I blamed them for not taking care of me, and not helping me. A practitioner told me, "In this country, people studying for a PhD degree are planning to be bosses in the future. They should have independent abilities to work on projects. They should not count on others for help. If you want to rely on others, others will look down on you." I found that my mind was not set on the right path. This mind is due to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) culture in which we have lived for many years in mainland China.
In CCP culture, students are always criticized for being unskillful. Employees are always ordered, criticized, and pushed by bosses to work on something. People are used to being governed, and have lost the ability to govern themselves. Often, one thinks of himself/herself to be not as clever as others and cannot do anything. These are all wrongly perceived thoughts.
On the other hand, scientific research emphasizes rigorous approaches in western society. Experimental results have to be repeatable. The practice of citing other people's results is clearly stated. This is completely different from the CCP culture of just getting by.
In "Fa Teaching in the U.S. Capital," Teacher said:
"Most recently, students have trickled in from China one after another. [To those students I'd say this:] You should try your best to communicate more with non-mainland students, open up more, and by way of discussion clean yourself up. The way people go about life outside of China is the normal way for human beings to be, at least in modern times. Compared with the ancients, who lived without modern technology, the present way of life is of course completely different. Things were better back then. So I'm just talking about things at present, which, in the context of today's society, can be considered relatively normal. So, you should exchange and communicate a lot on this front with students outside China, and don't always cling to and use the Party-culture mindset of mainland China when dealing with this society. Many people who left mainland China at one time came around only gradually, and after spending a considerable length of time abroad. As Dafa disciples, you need to validate the Fa and do what Dafa disciples are supposed to do. You can't take such a long time to change yourself."
At that time, I thought that I had been away from China for some duration. I thought Teacher was not talking about me. Now, I found that I had the strong thinking process from the CCP culture. Fortunately, a practitioner pointed out my problem.
In Zhuan Falun, Teacher said:
"So does this mean that if he wants to cultivate, it will be really hard, and that his gong can't go very high? No, not quite. We say that 'the Great Law is boundless'--cultivation all depends on your mind. The master leads you through the door, but cultivation is up to you. It all depends on how you cultivate yourself. And whether you can cultivate, that all depends on whether you can endure, whether you can make sacrifices, and whether you can take the hardship. If you're able to steel your will, no difficulty can block you, and I'd say it'll be no problem."
Actually, our cultivation requires endurance, sacrifice, and persistence. As long as we can follow this, we will not be afraid of any difficulties to do scientific research.
Next, I have the wealth, fame, and fear attachments. I thought: how would I graduate? What should I do if I could not find a job? How would I make a living? What a disgrace. These are ordinary people's attachments, wealth and fame. When I have righteous thoughts, I don't think about these. Teacher said:
"Get rid of any attachment you have, and don't think about anything. Just do everything a Dafa disciple should do, and everything will be covered." ("Teaching the Fa at the Washington, D.C. International Fa Conference")
"Don't entertain or get attached to any human thoughts, and just do what a Dafa disciple should do." ("Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference")
Reflecting on Teacher's teaching, it's funny to have those attachments. I should not have those thoughts.
I found that these dirty attachments were complicated and mixed together. After I understood Fa, I felt that I removed lots of bad matter. "And when you can really do it, just like that worn and weary traveler, you'll see, 'the shade of willows, the blooms of flowers, a place to rest my head'." I don't have the feeling that I cannot make a living. The origin of our pain and bitterness is from karma and attachments.
This is my experience. Please point out any inappropriate parts.