Changes Come With Abandoning Notions
(Minghui.org) During my 20-year journey of cultivation, I have stumbled many times, taken detours, and made Master worry about me. The major reason is that I failed to assimilate the Fa well and failed to turn human notions into cultivators' righteous thoughts. I often spoke and did things from the viewpoint of human notions. This constantly caused me trouble in cultivation and caused me to improve slowly.
After I abandoned those notions, I found my old understandings and old ways of doing things to be wrong. For example, I complained about my older brother-in-law, because he did not visit his parents, nor did he financially support them. How could a son treat parents this way? I now realize that I was wrong, because I judged him with human notions. Master said:
“It is said in Buddhism that one lives because of karmic retribution. If you owe someone something, he will find you for the repayment. If he gets too much repayment, he will have to return the surplus to you the next time around. If a son disrespects his parents, they will trade places in the next life. This is how it cycles on and on. But we have indeed observed demonic interference, which prevents you from practicing qigong. All these have karmic relationships and are not without reason. It will not be allowed to be so without a reason.” (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun, 2000 Translation)
Everything happens for a reason. I do not know what karmic relationship exists between my older brother-in-law and his parents, so I should not have judged his behavior with human notions.
I also thought about my speech and behavior in the workplace and other social environments. Whenever I saw something unfair, I would say something or do something. I thought that I had a sense of justice. But now, I realize that I have behaved like an everyday person, doing everyday people's things.
After I abandoned human notions, I found that my perspective about a lot of things changed, and I am able to see things with cultivators' righteous thoughts. For example, my father-in-law is biased toward his youngest son. The son is not nice to him, but he gives him all kinds of support. However, my husband and I take care of my father-in-law and support him financially, but he often criticizes us. Before I abandoned human notions, I didn't understand my father-in-law's behavior, and I was not happy with him. But now I see my jealousy and attachment to money and to getting rewarded. I told myself: “As a practitioner, I should take care of my parents-in-law. I shouldn't compare myself to an everyday person. Why should I mind my father-in-law's speech and behavior? All I should do is mind what I am supposed to do well. I should get rid off jealousy and the attachments to money and getting rewarded.”
I used to complain about my mother, because I didn't think she helped my father or educated her children well. I thought my brothers were poor because of her. I also thought that my pain was caused by my family. I felt unlucky and had low self esteem for being born in such a family.
“You are unable to interfere with the lives of others, and neither can you control others’ fates, including those of your wife, sons, daughters, parents, or brothers. Can you decide those things?” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun, 2000 Translation)
Master also said:
“Due to karma resulting from past wrongdoing, one has illnesses or tribulations;” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun, 2000 Translation)
The righteous principles taught by Master helped me abandon human notions, and made me understand that the real reason for my pain was my own karma. Master made it very clear that everybody has his own fate, and nobody can change it. My pain was not caused by my mother or brothers. My brother's poor lives are their fates too. Nobody should complain about anybody.
According to my virtue (de) and karma, I was supposed to be born in this family and live such a life. In my life I did have a lot of hardship and a lot of mental suffering. But from the angle of cultivation, I also have paid back a lot of karma. Isn't that a good thing? It is the universe's principle that everybody should pay back their own karma. How could I complain about others?
Some practitioners have wronged me. Since I used human notions to handle the conflict, I thought it was their fault. I was attached to the right and the wrong at the surface level, so I felt I had been so wronged. After I abandoned human notions, I use a cultivator's righteous thoughts to see the conflict. I found that it was really me who was wrong. I could not take criticism and had other attachments. If it weren't for these fellow practitioners, I would not have been able to find those attachments. I should thank them.
Fame, money, and qing (sentiments) are human stuff, things that everyday people long for. Because of human notions, the old me also wanted to have a decent reputation at my workplace. I liked to be the best and longed for the leaders' praise and awards. When I got what I sought, I felt happy and felt that I was a capable person. I wanted my life to be better than others, and I wanted my kids to live a better life than others. After I abandoned human notions, I realized that all of these thoughts were developed from within the framework of the Party culture. They are full of competitiveness, jealousy, and pursuit of fame, money, and qing. They go against the Fa teachings. As a practitioner, I should be a good person who does her job well. I should be a pure person. Fame, money, and qing are ropes that tie up a cultivator and should be cut.
My cultivation status changed after I abandoned human notions. I am able to easily put down a lot of attachments, which I used to find difficult to do. I used to feel that cultivation was painful and exhausting, but now I feel that it is relaxing. Facing the chaos of everyday people's society, I am no longer confused like before. I am able to tell bad from good. Facing fame and money, I no longer compete for them. When I lose out on personal gain, I am able to let it go in my heart. Facing injuries, I no longer feel they are as painful as before. It feels great when I am able to put down the human stuff. Cultivation became easier after I relinquished human notions.
“It has been said: "When I come to this ordinary human society, it’s just like checking into a hotel for a few days. Then I leave in a hurry."” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun, 2000 Translation)
Master also said:
“Life is short. You've merely stopped over at the inn. Don't forget your vow before descending here;” (“Infatuated,” Hong Yin Vol. III)
Indeed, the human world is merely an inn where we have stopped over. As a Dafa disciple, I should not get attached to everything in this inn and forget about the journey back home with Master. Whether one can abandon human notions and go beyond our attachments is a test that every cultivator must pass on the path from being human to becoming a divine being. Only when we put down human notions, can we become divine beings.
Above are my current understandings. Please correct me with compassion if I've said anything inappropriate.