When I first started practising Falun Gong, my family was quite well-off. I was able to take money and material things lightly, and I didn't mind losing money because we were comfortable. Before the persecution of Falun Gong began in July 1999, I thought my attachment of pursuing interests had already been eliminated.
When the Fa-rectification began and I went out to validate the Fa, I suddenly lost my job and the material comforts to which my family and I had become accustomed. In this uncharted territory of limited resources, I found my attachment of self-interest again revealed. When others touched my things, borrowed or damaged my things, I felt hurt. When others owed me money, I didn't forget. When work colleagues wanted to borrow money from me, I was not willing to lend it to them. When I lived with fellow practitioners, I often calculated how much I had spent and how much loss I had suffered. Although I wouldn't take things from others, I was absolutely unwilling to let others take my things, and so on. All these notions were not very serious in the first several years. With increased financial pressure however, these human notions became stronger and even interfered with my focus in practising the exercises and studying the Fa. I knew the problem was becoming more and more serious.
When I realized the seriousness of the problem, I began reconsidering my current behaviour and looking inward. I recalled that in the past, my attachment of self-interest was minimal because I was financially quite secure. No matter how much others borrowed or how much I gave, my life style was never compromised. When my fundamental interests were untouched, my attachment to material interests appeared to be very minimal, but this didn't mean there was nothing there. When my fundamental interests were affected, that was only a small grain taken by others, but when my financial situation declined so dramatically, I couldn't bear it, and this attachment of self-interest became prominent in such harsh living conditions. This indicated that I had not solidly practised in this area. Cultivation practice is serious, and abandoning attachments should be unconditional. No matter what one's circumstance, attachments are to be completely discarded. Under all condition, it is the same.
After I enlightened to this principle, I made every effort to eliminate this attachment to self-interest and truly dig out its roots. Regardless of where I was or what I was doing, at any given moment, I told myself not be moved by material interests. As soon as the attachment appeared in my mind, I immediately warned myself not to indulge in the attachment. I didn't stop sending righteous thoughts until the attachment was removed. If I was able to calm down, I sometimes sent strong righteous thoughts to destroy all materials produced by the notion of this attachment to self-interest, and didn't relax until all the evil elements were eliminated.
Under difficult living conditions, many of my attachments will appear, such as the attachments to fame, interest, lust, and sentimentality. They repeatedly occur like an illness and must be removed fundamentally, so I can be thoroughly purified. I strictly and regularly study the Fa and send forth righteous thoughts. If I am without impure thoughts, with no illness, then my whole body can be light!
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