German Practitioner: Overcoming My Deeply Seated Attachment of Fear
(Minghui.org) I live in Mönchengladbach, Germany. My profession is a natural health professional.
I have been practicing Falun Dafa since 2001. When Minghui called for Western practitioners to write experience-sharing articles, I didn't feel that I was being addressed at first because I had already presented three articles at Fa conferences together with my practicing husband. In addition, I didn't think that I had a very important cultivation experience lately. I changed my mind only after a fellow practitioner asked if I wanted to write an article and I read a Chinese practitioner's article titled “We Chinese Look Forward to Reading Articles from Western Practitioners,” which touched me greatly.
I realized the importance and my responsibility to help Master in Fa-rectification and salvation of sentient beings by publishing my experiences. In addition, my sharing may help other practitioners, just as other practitioners' articles have often been a great help and support for my own cultivation. I also realized that the process of writing involves an intensive introspection so that attachments can be recognized and eliminated.
But what should I write about? A short time later, I got the answer. During an exchange, a practitioner spoke about her fear, and I suddenly knew that this would be my topic because fear is perhaps one of my greatest attachments; it was probably time to deal with it and finally overcome this attachment.
Even as a child, my life was marked by fear. I was afraid of my dominant mother and other adults. I tried not to make any mistakes in order not to be punished. I already had a preference for being left alone. As a teenager, I began to understand that my shyness made my life difficult. But I didn't know how I could change it, so the fear remained deeply rooted in me.
My fears eventually led me to worry and be pessimistic all the time. I had little joy of living and was often in a depressed mood. As a young woman, I also became physically ill. I was allergic to certain foods and eventually developed allergic asthma. My life was very arduous, and that frightened me even more.
In the hope of improving my physical and mental condition, I began to take all kinds of food supplements and natural remedies. I also studied esotericism and spent a lot of money on esoteric literature and courses, but this only helped me a little.
In the summer of 2001, I read a short report in a magazine about the persecution of Falun Gong in China. I couldn't understand why such a peaceful qigong practice was being persecuted. At the time, I was practicing yoga. On the other hand, I was impressed by the strength and sincerity of the practitioners in holding on to their faith despite the most severe persecution. I absolutely wanted to know where these people got this power because I had reached a low point in my life and was absolutely powerless and weak.
I immediately had the wish to get to know Falun Gong. However, I had little hope because I thought that Falun Gong existed only in China. A short time later, I walked through a pedestrian passage in my hometown and suddenly saw a banner imprinted with "Falun Gong." I could hardly believe it and immediately went to the information booth, where a practitioner told me some background of the persecution.
I asked whether I could learn the exercises somewhere in Germany and was happily surprised when I found out that there was a couple in our town who practiced Falun Gong. I later contacted the couple, and they invited me and wanted to introduce Falun Gong to me.
So, I started to practice Falun Gong enthusiastically. I did the exercises regularly and read the book Zhuan Falun. After some time, I noticed that I became much stronger. Even after a long working day, I was no longer tired. Then, my asthma disappeared, and the allergies became weaker until they finally disappeared, too. I also felt much better mentally. My fear had not disappeared, but I became braver and more open when talking to people.
I also encountered many tests and hurdles. When I started to inform people about the persecution in China, I took part in a vigil in Cologne. I had great inhibitions, felt paralyzed, hesitated to hand out flyers. Over time, I became braver and was able to approach people. Further hurdles followed, including informing politicians about human rights violations in China and giving lectures in schools. I was always very scared, but when I took that step, I felt that I had help from Master and Falun Gong. It was like a miracle for me.
But my attachment of fear had not yet been eliminated.
"All of you are already aware of the principle of mutual-generation and mutual-inhibition. If you are not afraid, the factor that would make you afraid will cease to exist. This is not to be self-imposed, but is achieved by truly and calmly letting go of it.” ("Eliminate Your Last Attachment(s)" from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I understood that fear is a feeling that always attracts certain situations in which my attachments appear. It was a cycle that I had to break through.
Again and again, I tried to clean my field with sincere thoughts. I felt relieved afterward, but it was not yet a real breakthrough. I understood that I should look inward more at what was behind my fear. I realized that it was not fear of people but rather fear of injury, criticism, punishment, and losing face. The deepest root of my fear was that my ego could get hurt. I was determined to protect my ego.
This ego, this selfish being, is not my true self. The real me is selfless. So, I began to send out righteous thoughts against this selfishness that had attached itself to me. I had great difficulty concentrating at first, but then my whole body, especially my head, was flooded with heat. Afterward, I felt very relieved and clear-minded.
A short time later, I helped with ticket sales for Shen Yun in a shopping center. I've been helping with this project for years, but even here I had to fight with fear again and again. "I've never worked in sales. How do I motivate people to buy tickets? Am I doing it well enough?" Such thoughts plagued me and cost me a lot of energy, so I felt completely exhausted afterward.
This time, I sent out righteous thoughts for a long time and concentrated on letting go of my fears and worries, to think not about myself but only about the people that needed to be saved by watching the show. This helped me a lot, and I became calmer and much more relaxed inside.
I feel that Master is helping me on my way. The attachment of fear has weakened, and I am now confident that I will be able to eliminate it fundamentally.
Thank you, revered Master, for allowing me to go down this great path of cultivation. Thank you, fellow practitioners all over the world.