(Minghui.org) Greetings esteemed Master! Greetings fellow practitioners!
When another practitioner and I discussed a project, she said, “You seem to look down on others.” I was upset and felt misunderstood but I calmly said, “I will reflect on this.” I did not see my problem but a few days later, another practitioner told me the same thing. I knew I really should look within. After reflecting for a long time, it seemed as if I only found my attachments on the surface. I knew there were deeper, hidden attachments. Other practitioners shared their understandings with me. By identifying one attachment, I found many other attachments one after another.
As a child I met the expectations of my elders and teachers. I was a good student and strove for good grades. As an adult I was a good employee and performed well at work. To chase after things in life through hard work is not wrong but the notions formed in my 50 years of life had become stubborn and hidden. I thought this was me and this was the life I wanted.
“Because pain is hard on people, they try to, consciously or unconsciously, ward off suffering in hopes of leading a more pleasant life. And so it is that in the pursuit of happiness people form ideas about how to avoid harm, how to live well, how to get ahead in society and achieve fame and success, how to acquire more for themselves, how to come out on top, and so on. To this end, as they gain experience people come to form notions about life; and those experiences, in turn, come to fortify these notions as people live out their lives.” (“The Closer to the End, the More Diligent You Should Be,” The Essentials of Diligent Progress III)
I clearly saw that I pursued achievement throughout my life so that I could succeed. Digging deeper, I saw I was insecure. I was afraid that if I had no power I would lose out. I tried everything possible to reach the goal of leading a good life.
I also realized that as I sought happiness in life I unconsciously developed a competitive mentality and I loved to compare myself to others. I wanted to be better and admired by others. I only focused on reaching my objective and failed to see the needs of others. When I achieved my goal, I became zealous and liked to show off. When others could not reach my expectations, I became resentful. I liked to enjoy the fruits of success, loathed hard work and so on... As my attachments were dug out one by one, I slowly eliminated the human notions enveloping me.
Although I had been practicing cultivation for nearly two decades, I did not do the three things well. My mind often wandered while I did the exercises. I became drowsy when I read the Fa, and my hand was not upright when I sent righteous thoughts. I tried hard to bring my main consciousness back but it would run away. I would think: “What should I have for breakfast today?...” I remained in this state of cultivation for several years. I knew I should not follow my notions, they are not the real me but where was the real me?
One elderly practitioner always spoke kindly. Every time I had a conversation with her, I felt a powerful energy reaching deep into my heart. Many years ago she told me, “Don’t always look outward. You should look within and find your shortcomings. If you can do this, you will become tranquil.”
“Whenever the most microscopic matter of different levels reaches a certain point there’s no more matter. Once there’s no matter, the particles of matter cease to exist. Looking further, one finds a situation: One finds something without material particles and that is tranquil—I usually call it still water. It’s also called the origin—lifeless water.” (“Teaching the Fa in San Francisco,” Lectures in the United States)
When I read this, my heart jolted. If I kept looking within, moving towards the microscopic, wouldn’t I be moving towards the origin of matter? Yet I only looked outward. This practitioner’s reminder woke me up. Outward appearances are deceiving.
I began to stop my mind from being moved by worldly illusion when I read the Fa or did the exercises. My thoughts no longer drifted around and was able to quiet down. I became more attentive during Fa study. I then expanded this state to everyday life and had my every thought be anchored to my true, pure self. As time went on, I discovered I was beginning to change. I had less negative thoughts. I was able to see the good side of things and people. This led to fewer conflicts and tribulations.
After my husband and I got married, he started an IT business, but difficulties surfaced every year. Either investments with friends lost money, the government asked us to pay more taxes, or we had to give coworkers money and so on. This led to the company having continuous losses and consequently we had to dig into our family savings. For a long time, I looked down on my husband and thought negatively of him. I frequently complained about the company losing money and having to put in my own money to cover the losses. I was caught in this tribulation repeatedly. I put in hundreds of thousands to millions every year. This added up to more than tens of millions in over 10 years. Besides the financial loss, it also caused a rift between me and my husband. We nearly divorced.
After nearly two decades, although I knew I was attached to money as a result of my husband’s company’s long term losses—I didn’t realize this was a test of whether I could let go of loss and gain. Wasn’t my resentment and distrust of my husband a test of sentiment? I was afraid to let my family and friends know of my financial problems—wasn’t this because I was afraid of losing face and an attachment to ego? Amid this test of fame, gain and sentiment, I tried hard to overcome it but failed whenever I lost control of my emotions. I bobbed up and down like this. One day, I made up my mind after recalling years of bitter experiences. I said to myself, “I must let this go. I cannot let the old forces control me.” The next day, I felt as if I shed a layer from my body. I felt lighter than usual. I recalled Master’s words,
“If you took a look in the extreme microcosm at the material formed by what your mind is attached to, [you'd see that] they are mountains, huge mountains, made of hard, granite-like rock, and once they are formed there's simply no way for a human being to move them.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IV)
At that moment I suddenly realized that attachments are a form of matter. Master removed this matter from me after I expressed my conviction. I felt at ease.
As I made progress in cultivation, the problems that troubled me in the past seemed to end. However, during the recurrence of the pandemic this year, all orders in the company disappeared again and resulted in losses of millions. I tried to find answers in the Fa. One day, when I talked about my problems at Fa study, a practitioner said, “Don’t you think the old forces are persecuting you financially?” Another practitioner agreed. I never thought of this Fa principle before. Then I read what Master said,
“We negate even the very emergence of the old forces and everything that they've arranged; we don't even acknowledge their existence. We're fundamentally negating all of their things, and all of, and only, the things you do while negating and getting rid of them is mighty-virtue. It's not that you're cultivating amidst the ordeals they created. Rather, you are to walk your own path well while not acknowledging them, not even acknowledging the elimination of their ordeals' manifestations.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IV)
To my astonishment, I suddenly realized that for 20 years, I have been finding my attachments amid tribulations. Yet I still fell into the trap set by the old forces because I acknowledged them.
When I understood that I should not let the old forces persecute me financially, everything changed. Not only did the customer orders return, the business was better than before the pandemic and we had more funds after successfully finalizing a property deal. What’s more extraordinary is that the company moved to new, larger location. I knew this came from my wish and can be used to validate the Fa.
Two years ago, during a discussion among all practitioners in Taiwan about promoting Shen Yun, a practitioner talked about her experience building relationships with people in the arts and music industry through concerts. I thought perhaps I should give it a try since I learned music as a child. However I gave up this thought due to insufficient funds and not having a venue.
But the incident buried a seed in my heart. Two years later, after I broke through the test of fame, gain and sentiments that troubled me for 20 years, I found the funds and a venue. But I was hesitant. “I am not outgoing, can I validate the Fa this way?” I dislike dealing with strangers. Can I talk to people from mainstream society? I was enveloped by many negative thoughts. I knew that whether I liked to do this or that, wasn’t this an attachment to emotion? I cared too much about people’s profession, birth and social status, wasn’t this discrimination? I observed that it was fear that was stopping me but I was slow to take action. My husband kept encouraging me, “Isn’t this a vow you made with Master? Why are you hesitant in taking action? If you, a Dafa disciple don’t do it, then I, a non-practitioner, will hold concerts.” Other practitioners also constantly encouraged me by sharing their personal experiences: “I had nothing initially, just a heart to save people. Master led many musicians and artists to me. Therefore as long as you want to do it, Master will definitely make the arrangements.” With the support of my husband and practitioners, I overcame my fear and recalled Master’s words:
“...all of this which is part of your path—was brought about by your vow, and nothing is by chance.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2014 San Francisco Fa Conference”)
I knew this was the next stage of my mission – to form relationships with even more people in mainstream society.
Looking back at two decades of practicing cultivation, every step I took, which projects I was involved in, which practitioners I interacted with, what tests I ran into, even when I failed to pass the tests, which practitioners woke me up and corrected me in the Fa and so on, everything did not come by chance. It was all part of Master’s orderly arrangement and compassionate guardianship.
In the past, I often thought of doing things using my human side. Now, I first rectify my thoughts. I let my true nature take the lead role and immerse myself in the Fa, becoming a Fa particle. I also seek to achieve what Master said,
“Instead, you are placing yourselves in Dafa. Like a particle of Dafa, [you feel that] no matter what it is, you should just do it.” (“Teaching the Fa at theGreat Lakes Fa Conference in North America,” Guiding the Voyage)
These are my personal cultivation experiences and understandings. I hope fellow practitioners can kindly point out if I have said anything that is contrary to the teachings of the Fa. Thank you Master and fellow practitioners!