Recently, I have noticed my cultivation has come to a halt. I am still studying the Fa and doing the three things (study 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) and my life is going on as usual. However, I just feel there should be some breakthrough. Yet I don't even have any idea where to look for it. I feel frustrated and disappointed with myself. Ironically, when I ask fellow practitioners to point out my shortcomings, I do not face them calmly. Practitioner A told me that I do not listen to and accept others' ideas and that I think I am superior to others, which makes fellow practitioners unwilling to point out my problems and instead they are always pleasant to me. When conflicts and problems arose in coordinating various projects, I would not listen to others' suggestions and always clung to my way of doing things. As I was listening to practitioner A's comments, I was feeling very impatient. I complained in my mind, "You are making a fuss about minor things. My problem is not that serious."
My daughter is going to graduate from college this year and is facing the challenge of job hunting. She has been practicing Falun Gong for over ten years and has her own understanding and opinion of how to cultivate in the process of job hunting. As her mother, I developed a pile of attachments after realizing she will stick to her own ideas and will not listen to me. The problems include a tendency to complain a lot, feeling I was wronged, feeling oppressed, feeling powerless, and other various attachments. However, I have not realized the severity of my problems. I keep looking for problems, but cannot find anything.
This morning when I was reciting the Fa, a paragraph of Fa appeared in my mind,
"... being human isn't the meaning of life--it's to have you return to your original, true self, to go back. Ordinary people can't awaken to this. The ordinary people out in the ordinary world, they're just ordinary people, and they think about how to get ahead and how to live the good life. And the better they live, the more selfish they get, the more they want to have, and the more they stray from the nature of the universe. So they're heading for destruction." (Zhuan Falun)
All of a sudden I felt enlightened. I was using my human concepts, including the desire for money and fame, to lead and influence my child. Not only could I not purify myself this way, but I was also polluting others.
After looking inward, I realized I was not treating my daughter as a practitioner and also did not treat the conflict between her and myself as an opportunity to cultivate and improve. Why did I not find my attachments and the associated bad matter in other dimensions? The fundamental reason is that I was clinging to "self" and that I was wandering around at an ordinary person's level.
As I am writing this article, to this point I feel relieved and I have finally found what I need to get rid of. However, I am still not clear and have not found the ultimate root of my attachments. At this point, practitioner A's words echo in my ears. I realized that I have been cocooned in the fortress of 'self' built up over years. I have been maintaining the fortress without knowing it or withdrawing from it. Through the years my happiness and sadness have been linked to the happiness and sadness of my family, which made my family act and say things to please me. Facing the conflict with my daughter, I can feel my attachment to 'self' has fed other attachments, such as the attachment of showing off, the attachment of combativeness, the attachment of jealousy, the attachment to fame and money, and various other attachments. Although I have got rid of many of my attachments, my most fundamental attachment has not been touched. As my cultivation is not very solid it makes me develop new attachments from the most fundamental attachment and I have to work on getting rid of them time and time again.
Going through this recent cultivation experience makes me realize my problems behind the seemingly perfect superficial appearance. These problems are to be resolved in the coming days of cultivation. Only after I eliminate all the matter whose nature is based on 'self' can I eventually become a new being of the new cosmos.
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