Looking Inward and Letting Go of the Attachment to Sentimentality

Since I started practicing Falun Dafa in 1996, my physical and mental health have improved tremendously, including many illnesses disappearing with no medical intervention. The dark spots on my face completely faded away and my skin became clear and pink. I also look younger, am kind, and feel lively and open-hearted. I am like a child who has found my way home after being lost in life.

I am ashamed to admit, however, that I still was not able to look inward after being on the cultivation path for over a decade.

Teacher said in "Fa Teaching at the 2008 New York Conference,"

"You have already made it through the hardest part of your cultivation, so walk well the final leg of your journey, and cherish the path that you have covered! It hasn't been easy, and you have made it through unprecedented ordeals. You need to treasure that."

When I thought about Teacher's words, I kept asking myself, "Have I practiced genuine cultivation? Have I truly looked inward? Am I really free from any loophole or attachment?" With Teacher's protection, I was able to make it through while on a thorny road. However, I have failed to look inward in a relaxed environment. When there was a conflict, I blamed it on others first and looked externally. When someone criticized me, I always refuted what the person said or looked for excuses. I always thought it was bad to run into tribulations, and I wanted to live comfortably. I have not been able to fundamentally change my ways of thinking after cultivating for over a decade. Is that cultivating? Doesn't this mean that I didn't cherish my cultivation path?

I do not have a job, and most of my conflicts in cultivation are demonstrated in my family life. I do the three things every day. I thought I had taken fame, profit, and sentimentality lightly after practicing cultivation for over a decade.

When my mind was struck by a conflict however, I couldn't get over it and I acted like an ordinary person. I used to have an attachment to a good marriage with a loving spouse, and I longed for a happy life. My husband was supportive of Falun Dafa and of my practicing Falun Dafa. Because of our good relationship, I was able to handle conflicts.

Then I learned that my husband was having an affair with one of my friends. This angered me and I fought with my husband. I was angry and hateful about the decline of moral standards and because a good friend of mine had done this to me. I even considered getting a divorce and I completely forgot that I was a cultivator. Although I realized that there was something wrong with me, I couldn't put up with it and had difficulty conducting myself as a practitioner. Sometimes I thought that I could forgive him if he told me the truth and admitted that he was wrong, but he never admitted anything. Instead, he cursed and threw a tantrum. Sometimes when I was unable to handle it, I knelt before Teacher's picture and pleaded with Teacher to eliminate the most stubborn things in my life for me.

I felt ashamed when I read a fellow practitioner's article on the Clearwisdom website. Why was I not able to do it? Is letting go of sentimentality more difficult than letting go of life and death? Isn't this a deeply hidden attachment? In addition, I had strong jealousy and an attachment to lust. Isn't this the main reason that I was cruelly persecuted many times? I was always looking at my husband's shortcomings and even held him to Dafa's standard. I wanted him to change for the better, yet I did not cultivate myself.

Teacher said in "Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles,"

"Cultivation is about looking inside yourself. Whether you are right or wrong, you should examine yourself. Cultivation is about getting rid of human attachments. If you always reject reproaches and criticism, always point your fingers at others, and always refute others' disapproval and criticism, is that cultivating? How is that cultivating? You have grown used to focusing on other people's shortcomings, and never take examining your own self seriously. When others' cultivation one day meets with success, what about you? Isn't Master hoping that you are cultivating well? "

Wasn't Teacher talking about me? Teacher asked us to look more at what is good in others. Why didn't I listen to Teacher?

Actually, it has not been easy for my husband and my children for the past several years. They suffered tremendously every time I was persecuted. My husband went to friends, the police, and the heads of the 610 Office and told them that Falun Dafa was good and that our family would not have supported Falun Dafa if it was not good." Many times he accompanied me to advise his friends and co-workers to withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations. So far, our relatives, former classmates, and friends have all withdrawn from the CCP and its affiliated organizations. Some of them are police officers, prison guards, Party secretaries, company managers, and bureau chiefs. Weren't those things that happened opportunities for me to improve myself? I was so dependent on my husband--I should have eliminated this attachment at the root. Why haven't I looked at things this way?

I realized that the bottom line was my being selfish and the attachment to myself. I always thought that I was good. I wasn't able to break away from that human notion and I failed to look at things with righteous thoughts. I failed to treat the things I encountered as a cultivator should. I blamed the police and my supervisors. I considered this persecution a persecution of man against man. I always tried to avoid getting hurt and tried to protect myself.

My mind was shaken after reading Teacher's "Fa Teaching at the 2008 New York Conference." I had a deeper understanding of what Teacher said in "Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference in Australia," "If you cannot love your enemy, then you cannot reach Consummation." I was ashamed when I realized that I had just barely started to understand this basic Fa principle after practicing cultivation for over a decade.

When I truly let go of my attachment to sentimentality, I felt so light. Like a poisonous thorn, my attachment to jealousy was also pulled out, and my compassion emerged. The solid walls before me also completely disappeared. Dafa practitioners' time is so precious now. How could we have time to get attached to the ordinary people's romantic ways. We should feel the urgent need to save people.

Cultivation is indeed sacred and solemn. I hope practitioners who are strongly attached to sentimentality let go and hurry up and catch up. Don't be fooled by the illusions in the ordinary world and don't let them interfere with your doing the three things (the Fa [the teachings of Falun Dafa], send forth righteous thoughts and clarify the truth about Falun Dafa and about the persecution to the world's people). Cultivate to become a selfless enlightened being during the Fa-rectification. With a pure mind, let's fulfil our great prehistoric vows and save more sentient beings.

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