(Minghui.org) I was very young when I became a Dafa practitioner. I grew up with Dafa, Master's compassionate protection, and with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance as guidance. With my parents' education and support, I was able to use a cultivator's standard to measure up, and walk on the path of cultivation with righteous thoughts and actions.
Due to contamination from the big dye vat of society however, attachments and karma had accumulated lifetime after lifetime, making it very difficult to pass tests and tribulations during cultivation, particularly the attachment to qing.
The attachments of each individual cultivator are different. I didn't care about fame or fortune, but the attachment to qing was very difficult to relinquish. Since I began cultivating as a youngster, I chose not have a boyfriend, not even during college or after graduation. However, that did not mean that I cared less about the feelings between a man and a woman, nor cared less about desire and lust.
I firmly opposed marriage and courtship between cultivators in the past, but in addition to suppressing desires and being responsible to one's cultivation, fear has now emerged. I was afraid of being trapped by my emotions and failing, afraid of being hurt, and afraid that someone I considered special would not meet my standards of perfection. I was also afraid of making mistakes. I subsequently realized that marrying a fellow practitioner was acceptable, and conformed to everyday society without damaging one's cultivation. It seemed however that without qing it wouldn't be much of a marriage, and it would be better not to get married in the first place.
Even though I chose not to look for a boyfriend and planned to avoid marriage, I still had to face the attachments. Whether a Dafa practitioner has human emotions of the heart or not, Master knows best, and he will find opportunities for us to eliminate them and elevate. In the meantime, the old forces also see it very clearly, and will seize upon the loopholes, trying to knock us down.
Master and Dafa granted me a healthy body, a carefree character, as well as a kind and sincere attitude toward life, so there were plenty suitors. In the past, I firmly rejected all of them. Some of them became friends, understood the truth of Dafa, and chose a bright future, but the process did not help me remove my attachment of sentimentality between a man and woman.
Master taught us,
“You will be made to abandon all those attachments that cannot be given up among everyday people. As long as you have them, all of those attachments must be removed in different environments. You will be made to stumble, whereby you will become enlightened to the Tao. This is how one goes through cultivation practice.” (Zhuan Falun)
A non-practitioner began pursuing me last year, and he persevered no matter how I refused him. He yielded to all my wishes, and took care of me in every possible way, so I developed a strong sense of elation, and the mentality of showing off. Being loved in front of others made me feel that I was attractive, and I became very happy when he spoke words of endearment. Even though I studied the Fa daily, my righteous thoughts were already diminishing.
When he asked me again to be his girlfriend, I refused him against my will. To my surprise, he began to cry, and stated that he did not want to go on living without me. My compassion at the moment had already lost the power of the Fa, and had become ordinary sympathy. When I clarified the truth of Dafa to him, he listened quietly and told me that his mother used to practice Falun Gong as well. He wanted to do the three withdrawals for me, and stated that he could give up anything for me. I was attached to being loved, afraid to lose this seemingly sincere relationship, so I reluctantly agreed with him.
My cultivation state subsequently became worse. I had to force myself to study the Fa. I knew that Fa study was serious, not a mere formality, and whenever my mind wandered, I had to re-read the section I was reading. Due to interference, my mind kept wandering, so it took me a long time to finish reading a lecture. Even though I was reading the Fa, I did not measure up to the standard of the Fa, and sometimes I even knew that it was not on the basis of the Fa. I didn't rectify the situation, and did not truly cultivate, so I did not improve, but instead slid down.
Driven by lust, I felt happy and delighted whenever we were close, but when I returned home to study the Fa, I had a strong sense of guilt, and felt that a cultivator should not behave like that. Being attached to qing so much of the time was like being addicted to drugs. Even though I knew it was not good, it was hard to stop. One hand held on to the divine principles while the other hand held onto ordinary human desires. I was miserable under the enormous pressure, and I didn't know what to do.
The longer I knew him, the more I discovered the enormous differences between a cultivator and an everyday person. His thinking and interactions with others were extremely selfish. His mind was deeply poisoned by the party culture, with no righteous thoughts at all, but plenty of karma. When he was sick, I went to see him and asked him to chant, “Falun Dafa is good,” and I gave him an amulet. Much to my surprise he refused them and told me the truth. He said he did not truly acknowledge Dafa, but had only said so in order to continue our relationship. When I tried to clarify the truth to him again, he utterly rejected it. Only then did I wake up to his true face. I decided to break up with him.
The hardest blow to me was that he readily agreed to break up, and he acted like a totally different person. He was cold and indifferent, and said many hurtful words.
This reminded me of Master's words,
“But normally when a problem arises, if it does not irritate a person psychologically, it does not count or is useless and cannot make him or her improve.” (Zhuan Falun)
I had always been proud and aloof, and above worldly interests, handling such humiliation was difficult. All sorts of emotions surfaced, including self-esteem, saving face, the mentality of fighting, and vanity. Even though my appearance was calm and collected on the outside, I was furious within. I felt like an everyday person.
This time it truly touched my fundamental attachments, completely exposing all those deeply seated human emotions. While stuck in tribulation for quite some time, the entire situation felt unfair and I cried a lot. I also blamed myself for the loophole which had been seized upon by the old forces. I felt that I had slid down because of him, developing resentment towards him. When I saw him pursuing other women, I developed jealousy and the heart of retaliation. I even felt that this everyday person was persecuting a cultivator and should meet with retribution.
Fortunately, I still had righteous thoughts, as well as Master's compassion and protection, during the battle with the attachments of lust, desire, and interference from the old forces. I maintained the state of a cultivator. Otherwise I truly would have been ruined and unable to face Master.
“This is something I often say: once you take up Dafa, whatever it is you encounter--good or bad--it is a good thing (applause), for it came about only because you cultivate in Dafa. Some students experience all sorts of hardships after taking up Dafa.” (“Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005”)
Dafa is boundless. Master is compassionate, and even though I did not pass the test well, Master did not give up on me. Instead, he helped me enlighten more. I recalled the previous ten years of my cultivation when I was able to face the evil persecution in an upright and dignified manner, with ample righteous thoughts. How could I get stuck over such a minute issue? I must cherish the path, try my best to truly cultivate, overcome tribulations, and walk well the final leg of the journey, never letting Master down again.
I intensified my Fa study, only sleeping three to four hours at night. I studied all Master's teachings systematically, keeping track in a notebook whenever I found any attachments after I searched within. I read those notes often, reminding myself to consistently eliminate the attachments. I wrote “true cultivation” on a wall to remind myself. I also intensified sending forth righteous thoughts, rectifying each and every thought. As long as a human heart exists at the surface, or interference from past memories, I must absolutely negate them. I want righteous thoughts, not the human heart.
Every time I send forth righteous thoughts I also add, "Completely negate all old force arrangements, I only follow Master. Completely eliminate rotten demons from qing, dissolve the fundamental elements of lust, jealousy, show off mentality, and the mentality of fighting." I stopped watching TV and movies, and didn't listen to love songs. I now only listen to Dafa songs, “Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party,” and “Dissolving the Party Culture,” and I memorize Hong Yin. I refuse to give myself any chance to fantasize any notions formed after birth, and remember a Dafa practitioner's mission. I use every opportunity to save people, and focus my mind on cultivating myself and saving sentient beings.
After a period of Fa study and true cultivation, my cultivation state changed, and I let go of many human emotions in my heart. One night I had a dream and understood the predestined relationship with my ex-boyfriend. In a previous life, in order to be with me, he paid a great deal for me, including aspects of wealth, power, family, and even life.
At this time though, I still refused him and stated that I did not ask him to do all that, and did not change my mind even though his parents pleaded with me. This life was about settling a score of resentment, and he now wanted me to pay the debt. No matter whether it was true or not, I no longer held resentment towards him. Whether he treated me well or badly, I was not affected.
Maybe it was not really him to begin with, but instead the old forces, using the predestined relationship to test me in order to ruin me. An everyday person is easily manipulated by the old forces, and he was just a pitiful puppet. I did not cultivate well, did not have righteous thoughts and deeds, could not save him, and almost ruined myself. I finally realized that attachments are bitter things one finds within oneself. Eliminating attachments also causes a great deal of pain, but when one truly lets go, there will be no more pain. It is truly like Master said,
“What’s given up is not oneself
But instead the folly of delusion”
(“Discarding Attachments,” from Hong Yin Vol. II)
During the process of Fa study, looking within, and eliminating attachments, I gradually restored my diligent state. In sharing this with fellow practitioners, I would first like to expose all my deeply seated human emotions, completely eliminate them from my dimension, and cultivate myself well. I also would like to give a heads-up for young fellow practitioners, and I hope this sharing can help them. Let us diligently improve in cultivation together.
Thank you to the Minghui practitioners for their selfless devotion. Whenever we read Minghui we feel encouraged. Let us add more righteous thoughts and be more diligent.
This is my individual understanding, please kindly point out shortcomings.