Re-Examining My Fundamental Attachment
(Minghui.org) In the article “Towards Consummation” (Essentials for Further Advancement II), Master addresses the issue of our fundamental attachments. Only now have I realized that Master wrote the article for every Dafa practitioner. In other words, every one of us took up Dafa with an attachment.
But I always thought that since I did not begin the practice for healing or other purposes, I didn’t have any fundamental attachment.
I began to practice Dafa simply for cultivation. When I first read Zhuan Falun, I knew that it was a book which could guide people in cultivation. From that moment on, I made a wish: I would spend my life walking the path of cultivation to the end.
Discovering My Fundamental Attachment
In 2013, I had taken a hard fall in my cultivation because I gave speeches that undermined Dafa. I became more alert afterward––the old forces had persecuted me so cruelly, so was it because I had a fundamental attachment that I'd yet to let go of? I mulled over all the thoughts I had when I first began to practice Dafa.
One thought emerged: I understood Zhuan Falun as a book to guide people's cultivation when reading it the first time. Through reading, I got the impression that the human world and the universe would undergo tremendous changes, with only Dafa practitioners surviving and others potentially facing destruction. I did not want to be one of others, so I told myself that I must cultivate well.
I believed back then that I had discovered my fundamental attachment: I feared the destruction of body and soul. I also realized that I had been validating Dafa with this attachment before, including when I went to Beijing to appeal for Dafa.
When I went to Beijing on October 1, 2000, I could not muster the courage to step out and validate Dafa with dignity. After I returned to the hotel, I was ashamed and disappointed in myself.
The evil took this chance to throw thoughts into my mind: “You've missed your chance to reach consummation! You'll never be able to reach consummation! You'll be destroyed completely!”
I suddenly woke up from that state after Master left me a hint in this direction. I realized that I had been selfish.
For a period of time afterward, I thought that I had gotten rid of my fear of destruction. However, I found that my cultivation state had not changed much since then, and there also seemed some unknown factors restricting me.
Master's new article “Another Stern Warning” shook me up. I also read a practitioner's sharing article on fundamental attachments recently, which helped me realize that I had not yet found my fundamental attachment.
I began to think about my entire life, from birth to the outset of obtaining the Fa, and up to today.
My Path to Cultivation
I grew up in a rural area under a difficult environment. In order to escape that situation, I studied hard and went to college. But I did not find what I was looking for and sometimes even wanted to become a monk. I was crushed when I was assigned to work in the countryside after graduation from college; my four years of hard work in college was all for nothing, as I had returned to where I started.
Without power or money, I was forced to take the only path in front of me––graduate school, in order to get away again. I studied diligently after work and was successfully admitted to a graduate school at a prestigious university. However, I felt empty again after a while and realized that I was not pursuing what I wanted.
I found a good job in a big city after graduate school, but I still felt empty. During this time, I discovered that what I wanted to change was not my living environment; instead, I was looking for a destination for my soul. Life seemed unreal to me. I wanted to live freely, away from the material world.
I thought about cultivation and wanted to find a true master. Then I encountered Dafa and took up cultivation with the attachment of leaving suffering behind and reaching Consummation.
Fumbles in Cultivation
In the beginning, I was pursuing the consummation of my personal cultivation. But after I understood that I had to cultivate to Consummation to avoid the destruction of body and soul, the fear of being destroyed emerged.
After having cultivated for a period of time, I discovered that I should not be content with Consummation––I must cultivate to an even higher level. I had a shallow understanding of cultivation before I took up Dafa in that Consummation was just reaching a certain realm. I didn't know that there were different levels of Consummation.
Take doing business as an analogy: people think about making money even at the beginning of their business, but after being in business for some time, people would discover that there are many other opportunities to make even more money.
So I had the desire to cultivate to a higher level. From the perspective of everyday people, the higher one’s level, the better. To put it bluntly, my greed manifested itself in cultivation. I once said to a practitioner, “I just want to maintain a basic life. I hope to transform all my virtue into gong.”
I was arrested when I went to Beijing to appeal for the justice of Dafa. During detention, a policeman asked me, “Do you know how high your level is?”
I thought the question was a hint that I must be at a very high level already. But my answer, in hindsight, was hypocritical, “I'm not attached to my level. I leave everything to Master. I am at whatever level Master leads me to.”
I was not aware of my greed to cultivate to a higher level.
Later, when another policeman in the labor camp asked me the same question, I still thought that it was because I was at a high cultivation level already, and my attachment of showing off emerged.
During that time, I often had the same dream: all the other practitioners were walking on the ground, and I was the only one flying in the air. My attachment of showing off told me to interpret the dream as an indication of my high level and led my understanding of the Fa off track.
When my cultivation went downhill later on, all the way to the bottom, I recognized my attachment to showing off. With Master's compassionate salvation, I continued my cultivation and caught up again. I believed that my attachment of showing off caused my fall, but I didn't look deeper past that.
My greed to cultivate to a higher level was hidden. In order to cultivate higher, I selectively did the important Dafa things that no other practitioners had done, so as to accumulate more mighty virtue. I did not want to do the trivial things that most practitioners did. The old forces took advantage of my greed and my fear of destruction of body and soul to deceive me, luring me toward a dead end – undermining Dafa with my speech, which almost destroyed me. If it were not for Master's compassion, there would have been no chance for me to wake up.
Self and Selfishness
Looking back at my cultivation: I did not mind suffering when I crossed my legs at the outset because I knew that I would not need to suffer in the future; I could hold onto my character and endured the suffering in my heart, so as to not suffer in the future.
Now with the Fa-rectification close to the end and the environment becoming more lax, I felt that I had been doing the three things properly. I felt that Consummation was in the picture for me, at least beyond the Three Realms. I believed that I had achieved the goal of freeing myself, so I relaxed my cultivation and began to seek comfort.
While writing this sharing, I remembered a dream I had shortly after obtaining the Fa. I had the dream during a nap on a Sunday after I went home from doing the exercises outdoors. In my dream, I was putting away the big banner that we used; I looked up at the sky and saw several beings; I told myself in my mind that they were my relatives from Heaven.
I was excited, but also felt regretful that I had come down to such a dirty place. I cried. When I woke up, my pillow was wet from my tears.
I realize now that I came here with the wish of saving sentient beings. My vow was to obtain the Fa and save sentient beings from my realm. But during my descent through the many levels of the old universe, I had families and relatives at different levels and accumulated the warped mindsets of each level, as well. My wish was no longer pure. The lower I descended, the more impure it became.
Upon reaching the Three Realms and the human world, the wish became very impure. This impure wish controlled my many reincarnations and my cultivation, and became the attachment to self. This self, or ego, was my fundamental attachment.
Selfishness is not from the essence of our lives, but is formed during our many lives. It is the source of our ego. This selfishness is a huge system that manifests with more complexity and variety in lower lives, and is the most complex in the human world. Regardless of the purpose for us to practice Dafa, whether it's curing diseases or pursuing personal consummation, our fundamental attachments in this human world are always interwoven with selfishness from the old universe.
This selfishness has become a major obstacle to Master's Fa-rectification and Dafa practitioners' cultivation and saving of sentient beings today. Only by letting go of our selfishness can we walk away from the old universe, the old principles and the old qualities, and enter the beautiful new future universe.
Above is my personal understanding. Please point out anything inappropriate.