"It isn't wrong for human beings in this world to yearn with these attachments for beautiful dreams and wishes. But a cultivator definitely shouldn't be that way. You may start on the path of Dafa with those thoughts, yet over the course of cultivation you need to regard yourself as a cultivator. During the course of cultivation, however, through reading the books, studying the Fa, and diligently making progress, you should clearly recognize what your thoughts were when you first came to Dafa. After cultivating for a period of time, are your thoughts still the same? Are you continuing on the path because of those human attachments? If so, you cannot be counted as my disciple. It means that you haven't gotten rid of your fundamental attachments and that you are unable to understand the Fa from the Fa." ("Towards Consummation" in Essentials for Further Advancement II)
Teacher’s words shook me. I made up my mind to straighten myself out and find my fundamental attachment as soon as possible.
Before practicing Falun Dafa , I didn’t have many dreams in life; I cared very little for fame and self-interest, and I could easily treat others nicely. However, I took "my happiness" very seriously. I once secretly made a resolution that I must study hard and leave the countryside; then I could rush about diligently to seek "my happiness." There is nothing wrong with this goal for human beings, but a cultivator should have a different goal.
"Once a notion is formed, it can govern a person’s life, dominate his mind and even his happiness, anger, grief and joy. It is something acquired. With the passage of time, it will dissolve in one’s mind, in the real brain of one’s own, and form one’s disposition." ["Buddha-nature" in Zhuan Falun (Volume II)]
The notion of "my happiness" became part of my disposition, and it melted into my thoughts and brain. In 1997 I obtained a copy of Zhuan Falun seemingly by coincidence. After reading the book, I deeply felt that this practice is good and could elevate morality and teach people to be good. I wanted to learn it. Thus, I started on my path of cultivation practice. After studying the Falun Gong teachings for a period of time, I realized that studying the Fa was cultivation practice, that one could reach consummation through cultivation practice and that one could completely avoid human suffering. How wonderful! I was secretly happy. Why? Because one can obtain eternal happiness after becoming a Buddha. Isn’t that what I have been dreaming of?
During the personal cultivation period, I came to understand, in principle, that a cultivator should "… attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism." ("Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature" in Essentials For Further Advancement) However, in actual cultivation practice, because I was attached to "my happiness," I was doing things for Falun Dafa with a selfish mind. I thought the more things I did, the more merit and virtue I could earn. I thought that doing things for Falun Dafa was the only way to obtain personal happiness.
What a bad thought! Teacher said, "Spreading Dafa brings a person boundless merit and virtue."(Explaining the Content of Falun Dafa) I now understand that spreading Dafa to save sentient beings is the most sacred thing, and only when one does it with a pure heart and selfless mind can it bring the person boundless merit and virtue. Otherwise, no matter how much one has done, what merit or virtue is there?
In validating the Fa, because I didn’t give up the attachment to "my happiness," the evil took advantage of it. I was illegally arrested three times and persecuted. On November 20th, 1999, amidst the evil persecution and because of my attachment to fame, self-interest, qing and fear, I failed to be steadfast and lost my righteous thoughts. I did something bad that a Falun Dafa practitioner should not do. I wrote a statement saying that I gave up the practice, signed my name, betrayed my fellow practitioners, betrayed Teacher and the Fa and committed sins against Dafa. In the meantime, my family members were disturbed and threatened by the evil, and they also committed sins against Falnu Dafa. They said many things to denounce Teacher and the practise. The lesson was a harsh one. Although I was innocent of any human crimes during the persecution, it exposed my shortcomings and human thoughts that I must eliminate during my cultivation practice.
Because of the attachment to "my happiness," I failed to be diligent. I have been doing the three things, but I do them because I’m afraid that I cannot reach Consummation otherwise. I’m afraid that the entire cultivation practice will end, because I have not cultivated well and cannot reach Consummation. I cannot send forth righteous thoughts with a calm mind. Even though I am memorizing the Fa (law or principles in Falun Gong), I have not studied the Fa enough.
In principle, I know that Fa-rectification period practitioners must save sentient beings and validate Dafa. This is Dafa disciples’ grand prehistoric vow. This is the mission and responsibility endowed upon us, and Dafa disciples cannot fail the sentient beings’ expectations. However, in my actual cultivation practice, due to the attachment to "my happiness," the pursuit of comfort and ease as well as protecting myself, I have not done a good job in clarifying the truth to my family members. I didn’t treat them as sentient beings for me to save—I instead treated them as my family. When my family members refused to listen to the truth and responded in anger, I failed to maintain my character and argued with them. I was trapped in conflicts, which not only harmed myself, but also harmed my family members.
Teacher’s words in "Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005" have enlightened me. I came to understand that my pursuit of comfort and ease as well as my attachment to protecting myself are the biggest obstacles in saving my family members. I must get rid of them!
Because I have been attached to "my happiness," I failed to treat tribulations from my family as good opportunities to improve. I instead wanted to escape from them, and I have thought about leaving home and finding a quiet place without disruptions to practice cultivation. Teacher said in "Lecture Four" of Zhuan Falun,
"Cultivation practice must take place through tribulations so as to test whether you can part with and care less about different kinds of human sentimentality and desires. If you are attached to these things, you will not succeed in cultivation."
I understand the principle, but as soon as a tribulation comes I cannot live up to it. Now, I have suddenly understood that it is because my fundamental attachment to "my happiness" was not removed. Because of this fundamental attachment, other attachments have been interfering with it.
I didn’t find my fundamental attachment until nine years after I started practicing cultivation. I feel very ashamed about this since Teacher has suffered to save me. From now on, I will take this as a new start, drive out the old forces’ interference, do well the three things that Dafa disciples are supposed to do, and keep up with the Fa-rectification process.
This concludes my sharing. Fellow practitioners, please point out anything improper.
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