Being Responsible for Ourselves, Fellow Practitioners and Sentient Beings
(Minghui.org) Falun Dafa practitioners know that cultivation is a process of constantly giving up attachments. This is essential to assimilating to Dafa's principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
I believe that it is easier to find attachments to fame and personal gain, but more difficult to recognize the attachment of sentiment as it has been an essential part of our life, and human society.
I always thought that I don't have a strong attachment to sentiment when compared to other practitioners, whether it would be family members or fellow practitioners. Besides, I was not interested in the temptations one faces in society.
Acting Like a Dafa Disciple
My family life became quieter this year. I am retired, and most of the time I am by myself. My child is working in another city, and my husband only comes home one day a week. I don't visit my relatives unless it is necessary. I have been moving further and further away from everyday people's society.
I used to clarify the truth about Falun Dafa, but local practitioners started on a new project this year, so going out became less and less necessary. Apart from Fa study twice each week, my contact with other practitioners became less as well.
Then, I felt an indescribable loneliness that I had never felt before. Life in the real world gradually lessened after practicing Falun Dafa, and I couldn't see my own world, which is beyond the secular world, so I felt anxious.
My Fa study became just as if completing a task. When I recited the Fa my mind was full of sadness and loneliness, and I couldn't change this.
I began spending two hours each day reading the news online. I became addicted to wanting to find out the breaking news. I couldn't stop.
I grabbed hold of this attachment tightly, as if it was the only connection between me and everyday people's society. I became concerned with what was happening in society. I held a strong desire, wishing that America could suppress the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). I hoped the CCP would soon collapse. I hoped that my loneliness wouldn't last long. But when things didn't happen as I imagined they would, I felt disappointed.
Of course, I should have let go of these attachments, but instead they seemed to envelope me more and more. My cultivation was seriously interfered with. My mind was thinking about current events when sending righteous thoughts and doing the exercises.
Master has arranged such a good cultivation environment for me to do the three things well. Yet, I disappointed Master.
I looked inward and realized that I still wanted the everyday people's world, and was interested in the things that were happening here. I still had such a strong attachment to sentiment, which is linked to loneliness!
“What do people fear most of all? Loneliness. Loneliness can drive a person crazy; loneliness can lead a person to forget everything from before; and loneliness can even cause one to forget how to speak. It is the most terrible form of hardship. People talk about so-and-so sitting facing a wall for nine years, or someone for thirteen years, with some sitting there for a hundred years. You don’t have that kind of loneliness. You just have to ensure that you are like a Dafa disciple from start to finish.” (“What is a Dafa Disciple,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
I felt that I had let Master down. Being a practitioner, I shouldn't be affected by the reality of this society.
Sentiment Is Selfish While Compassion Is Selflessness
I also thought about how the attachment of sentiment existed between practitioners. Some practitioners use social media apps or other types of software to keep in touch, which caused a serious issue with regards to safety and security. When looking inward on this issue, I think it is also because one can't let go of sentiment – being afraid of loneliness.
We often use high sounding excuses to cover up our attachment, and it is not easy to realize this sort of sentiment.
In our area, some practitioners are careful not to touch upon their human notions when interacting with other practitioners, due to fear of conflict. So they maintain a harmonious environment on the surface, but in reality, without conflict, human notions are hard to find and difficult to be exposed.
When practitioners' family members, who are not practitioners, encounter problems, some practitioners will go and help them, which is getting involved with everyday people's business, but also increases the attachment to sentiment.
Sentiment is selfish, it is not genuine kindness. Compassion is selfless, and is for others.
We have all been immersed in sentiment since we were born. Some attachments are not easy to detect, as they have become natural. The problem is that we should not treat these things as our true self.
Sentiment can also cause big problems. For example, when seeing other practitioners attachments, in order to maintain the so-called “harmonious environment,” we don't directly point them out, which results in some practitioner's experiencing sickness karma or other cultivation problems. Some have even lost their lives.
As genuine Dafa practitioners, we should be responsible not only for ourselves, but for other practitioners and sentient beings.