I Removed a Barrier from My Cultivation Path
(Minghui.org) I had a dream a few days ago: I was walking out of a large garden, when a small animal appeared by my side. It was a lovely creature with black, soft fur and short legs. It raised its face and looked at me like a child. I bent down and caressed the animal for a while. I decided to keep it as a pet.
The dream stuck in my mind and I wondered what this little creature was. Was it a dog or a cat? Why did it come to me, and why was I so happy to see it?
I kept thinking of the dream for several days. Because everything happens for a reason, I began to feel uneasy. This strange animal may not be a good thing, but why?
When reading Essentials for Further Advancement II today, I stopped at “Coercion Cannot Change People’s Hearts.” The character “qing” (sentimentality) came to my mind. As soon as I closed my eyes, that creature appeared. I thought, “If you are sentimentality, leave me immediately.”
After a moment of hesitation, the image vanished. I opened my eyes and wrote the following on a piece of paper: “I must abandon my attachment to sentimentality—now.”
Before practicing Falun Gong, I had strong attachments to my family. I loved my parents deeply, especially my husband and my son. They were my world. After I began to practice Falun Gong in 1999, I learned to see life differently. I understood that everyone has his or her own destiny, which is determined by his or her karma.
“Everything belongs to sentimentality, and everyday people just live for it. Then, as a practitioner and one who rises above and beyond, one should not use this approach to judge things, and one should break away from them. Therefore, as to the many attachments that come from sentimentality, we should take them lightly and eventually abandon them.” (Lecture Six in Zhuan Falun)
I was quite diligent after I began to practice Falun Gong. For years, I maintained a busy schedule. I got up by 3:30 a.m. and did the exercises, sent forth righteous thoughts, and read the Fa before 6:00 a.m. Every day after breakfast, I took informational materials and DVDs about Falun Gong and the persecution with me in my tricycle taxi, and told my customers the truth about Falun Gong. I usually tried to explain to my customers the importance of quitting the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliates. If they did not agree, I handed them a flyer and a DVD.
Awakening people was my main purpose; business was secondary. When I was not busy, I usually recited Master’s poems from Hong Yin. After dinner, I read Master’s lectures and books until midnight. I then send forth righteous thoughts and went to bed afterward.
For years, I never missed our local Fa-study group or the four-times-a-day schedule sending forth righteous thoughts. I never felt tired or depressed. In fact, I was full of joy when I could help awaken people. When some practitioners were not able to join the rest of us in this effort because they had extra family obligations, I felt sad for them.
Recognizing Deep Sentimentality
But in 2009, my son graduated from college and stayed home with us. I believed that he should find a girlfriend. My sentimentality began to control my emotions, and soon I suffered a huge setback in my cultivation. Although I overcame the tribulation, I fell behind in cultivation.
During the past few years, Master repeatedly reminded us: “...always cultivating as if you were just starting will surely result in achieving your ultimate rank.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference”)
I wanted to catch up and return to my earlier cultivation state, but I could not overcome the obstacles. Something seemed to prevent me from moving forward. Was it laziness, fear, or comfort? I think it was all of them, and they all boiled down to sentimentality. Since I slacked off with my efforts in Fa-study, my old emotions resurfaced.
“Perhaps everyday people do not understand it. If you are attached to this, you cannot practice cultivation whatsoever. Buddhism therefore does not have such content. If you want to practice cultivation, human sentimentality must be relinquished.” (Lecture Six in Zhuan Falun)
Although I read Master’s Fa every day, I failed to internalize this principle. I enjoyed caring for my family, and this allowed my emotions to drag me down.
But, through increased Fa-study and genuinely identifying my shortcomings, I have moved in the direction of diligence and steadfastness.
In this way, I have rid myself of some attachments such as fear and selfish thoughts. I am grateful to Master for this opportunity. I am improving my cultivation.