(Minghui.org) There was a married couple, Han (husband) and Bing (wife), practitioners in our Fa study group. An argument occurred between them, so I looked inside for my shortcomings and found that I had a competitive mentality, just like Han.

A few days later, I read “Teachings at the Conference in New Zealand” and found it helpful. I then decided I would read the questions and answers at the group Fa study that evening, hoping that other practitioners could benefit.

While I was reading, Han suddenly started shouting. I was absorbed in the text and did not catch what he said. I later looked up at him and noticed that he was still shouting. So I resumed reading and ignored him. I heard him disdainfully saying, “She is really attached to it!”

I was not disturbed at the time. However, his emotional outburst and his words kept popping up in my mind; I felt disturbed. I thought, “What’s the point of studying the Fa together in this way? I'm not going anymore!”

I immediately negated this thought because I understood that Master Li (Dafa’s founder) arranged the form of group Fa study for Dafa practitioners, so I should continue to go. I kept negating my bad thoughts about the husband by thinking that he was a good practitioner. However, I still could not calm myself. I knew I had an attachment, but what was it? I looked inside for a reason and noticed that, subconsciously, I looked down on him.

The next day, a practitioner messaged me the phrase, “In the world of faith, you should be grateful for everyone you meet; in the world of cultivation, everyone is here to help you cultivate.” I felt a lot better after reading this.

I later shared my thoughts about what happened with another practitioner. She said, “Isn’t it a good thing?” I immediately recalled Master’s teaching of “You have gained four ways in one shot.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun) I felt suddenly enlightened, and my xinxing improved. I sincerely thanked other practitioners for giving me the opportunity to improve. I shared my experience and the joy of achieving improvement with the Fa study group that evening.

I asked the other practitioners, “What do you think about Han coming to our group Fa study?” Some said it was an interference; some tried to figure out the right and wrong between the couple. I said, “I think that after we experienced this conflict, we should look inside for our attachments.” I then shared how I came to a realization.

The husband came to the Fa study group a few days after the Chinese New Year and told another practitioner and me that we had a fundamental attachment, which was an attachment to ourselves.

I said nothing but thought, “It is you who has this attachment!” I ignored his words. He kept talking and wanted to persuade us that the conflict between him and his wife was due to the persecution. I said, “Many practitioners were persecuted in labor camps. However, they looked inside for a reason, and their kindness eventually moved the police. Your wife had cultivated Dafa before and she believes that Dafa is good. How could she persecute you? We should look inside for a reason and harmonize with what Master wants.”

However, he said that if we could not reach a common understanding on this issue, he did not know how we could harmonize with what Master wanted. He then stood up and left and stopped coming to our Fa study group.

For a long time afterward, I felt physically tired and distressed. I tried to break out of the state but without success. I knew that there are no shortcuts in cultivation, and I must truly improve myself. I thought to myself, “I have strictly required myself to follow the Fa and have done my best to do what I should do at my current level; I treated others kindly and taken fame, sentiment, and personal interests lightly. I have done the three things with my best effort. Why did my incorrect state persist? I must have a deeply hidden attachment that I don’t know about yet.”

I shared my situation with a practitioner in another area. He said, “If one thinks that he doesn’t have any attachments, this is a problem. It is because he can’t find his attachment. A person without attachments can’t live in the human world!”

I said, “Bystanders sometimes see things clearer. Please advise me about what you see as my problems.”

He said, “Let me think before I tell you.” I felt curious, “Why do you have to think about it?”

He said, “I want to say it compassionately and explain it clearly. I don’t want to upset you, and I could not do so without thinking it through.”

I said, “You don’t have to worry, just say it directly. If I feel uncomfortable, it means that I have a problem in that aspect.”

He then said he was going to eat and ended our conversation.

I thought about what he said. His words were short but touched me. I suddenly realized that I was very lacking in compassion. When I saw someone's problem, I tended to express myself narrow-mindedly, especially around people I thought I knew well. I did not consider their ability to accept whether my words and tone were kind. Although the feedback was for the other party’s benefit, they often could not accept it or even felt disturbed. I realized that the notion behind my words did not conform to the Fa. Was that the manifestation of my attachment to myself?

I then thought of the principal, and the director of the school I worked for. They were my colleagues before and were younger than me. I used to call them by their first names. After they were promoted and became my superiors, I still called them by their first names. (In China, people usually address their supervisors with their last names and titles, or just titles.) I felt that calling them by their first names expressed our intimacy. Then I once asked the principal about purchasing some teaching materials by using his first name. I noticed that he gave me a strange look and realized I should have called him “Principal.”

The director and I used to teach the same class for many years, and I guided him as a new classroom teacher. He had changed from a shy young man to a middle-aged man who spoke in a formal tone over the years, however, I kept calling him by his first name.

In addition, although I had taught English for many years, I was still not used to the “thank you” that Westerners often say, even to my family members. I thought this was excessive politeness. When I helped friends, I felt that they did not consider me a friend when they said, “Thank you.” Growing up in the CCP culture, much of my thinking was degenerate, but I still considered that I had cultivated well. After realizing this, I felt ashamed.

I talked to the above-mentioned practitioner about my understanding. He laughed and said, “Yes, this is the attachment I see. Attachment to one’s self is a big attachment; self-righteousness, feeling good, and arrogance.” He said, “Don’t be upset by my words!”

He told me a story about ancient poets Su Dongpo and Monk Fayin: Su Dongpo wrote a poem, “Fame, wealth, achievement and fortune are dust; wind, rain, thunder and lightning cannot move me.” He showed the poem to Fayin. Fayin took a glance and commented, “A fart!” Su Dongpo got very angry. He rowed across the river to Fayin’s temple overnight, wanting to quarrel with Fayin. A little boy opened the temple door and passed him a note, “Wind, rain, thunder, and lightning cannot move you, but one fart blew you over the river.” Su Dongpo immediately realized his shortcoming. He stopped wanting to argue with Fayin and returned home ashamed.

The practitioner used the story ingeniously. He pointed out my shortcomings without making me upset.

I then thought of a dozen years ago when I was teaching in a middle school, whenever I had a disagreement with a fellow teacher, I was always confident. With that kind of self-righteousness, I often overwhelmed the other party and made them less and less confident, although sometimes, I was proven wrong in the end. After cultivating for years, I thought I had improved a lot in this aspect. However, my fellow practitioner still saw my attachment after we met only four times. I felt ashamed, especially when thinking about not taking this seriously when Han initially pointed out my attachment.

“What are some other manifestations of my attachment to self, I wondered.” I continued searching deeper. I did not have any supernormal abilities, but every time I improved my xinxing, even a little bit, my physical condition would experience a big change. I understood that Master was encouraging me to be more diligent. Whenever I shared my experiences with other practitioners, I intended to encourage them, however, I did this with the hidden mentalities of showing off and zealotry. I would become complacent after making some improvements.

Searching for my own shortcomings based on the Fa is cultivating myself, however, checking whether others’ words and deeds conform to the Fa is trying to change others. My strong self-driven mindset often compromised the effect of my sharing and made others feel that I was imposing my thoughts on them.

I realized that Han was mirroring me. The only difference was that he acted out by showing everyone how he felt, while I hid away my self-righteousness.

When I came to understand my shortcoming, I felt I had broken out of a shell. What amazed me, even more, was that my cell phone had prompted me every morning, “Your data storage is nearly full, which slows the operation of the phone. Please free up storage by deleting useless files.” It happened for two months and deleting junk files had become a daily routine for me. After I came to understand my attachment, my cell phone stopped popping up the message.

I thought I had cultivated well and improved quickly. This experience made me realize that those were only illusions my attachment to self had given me. With a strong attachment to self-protection, I was not able to validate Dafa with a pure mind, and the effect of many things I did was compromised. I am grateful that Master gave me hints and helped me to find my attachment. I will work hard to discard this and be worthy of Master’s salvation.

The above is my personal understanding at my current level. Please point out anything incorrect.