Only By Studying the Fa Well Can We Walk a Righteous Path
Greetings fellow practitioners!
In the past year, I have not been very diligent in my cultivation, and I am very ashamed of myself! When I picked up a pen to write this sharing article, it was extremely difficult and I felt very heavy hearted. Why is it so hard to write a sharing article, and what is holding me back? I found that I had a heart that seeks fame, and a heart that seeks to protect itself! I was afraid that if I wrote my attachments down, my fellow practitioners would think negatively of me and my image would be tarnished. However, as a practitioner, shouldn’t I be more honest about exposing my attachments? Isn’t it more important to break through the attachment to fame? Therefore, I decided to share openly and honestly, and rectify my shortcomings!
Part 1, Attachment to Comfort
The first attachment I found was the attachment to comfort. This attachment is present in almost every aspect of my life!
In the early stages of my cultivation, I was able to do the 5 exercises and study the Fa every day. However, in recent times, I found that I began to be unable to do the 5 exercises every day, and the excuse I gave myself was that I had been too busy with work. But deep down I knew that was really an excuse, and that the root cause was my attachment to comfort! I wasn’t willing to cut my sleep short because I enjoyed the cosy feeling of being in bed. This is not treating myself as a practitioner!
Master offered the following guidance in <Zhuan Falun>: “If you live comfortably among everyday people with a lot of money, and if your bed is padded with money and you have no suffering, you would not be interested if you were asked to become an Immortal. ”
Master has repeatedly urged his disciples to truly cultivate, and since I can’t even get up early, I can see how strong my attachment to comfort is!
Behind my attachment to comfort is a shallow understanding of the Fa, a heart to save sentient beings that isn’t genuine enough, and that I haven’t taken cultivation seriously and earnestly! My attachment to comfort also manifests in other ways. For example, sometimes when I am tired from work, the first thing I think of is watching some videos to relax and unwind, rather than doing the exercises.. The superficial reason is that I can learn something, but deep down in my mind, I still think that doing exercises is hard work, and I don’t want to suffer. In fact, that bit of suffering really isn’t a big deal, but the attachment to comfort is like a magnifying glass that magnifies that bit of suffering, and makes me feel very bitter and very tired.
My heavy attachment to comfort also shows that my main consciousness is not clear enough and my willpower is not strong enough. We cultivate among ordinary people, and our daily work and life, on the surface, is not much different from that of ordinary people. But it is in this kind of environment that we need to be strict with ourselves and hold ourselves to a high standard in order to truly cultivate. No one is around to supervise us, so doing well requires us to have a clear main consciousness.
Attachment to comfort also prevents me from being truly tolerant. For example, when my clients make all kinds of requests, it requires extra work, so I’m initially reluctant to comply. When dealing with work, I get impatient, thinking of getting things done earlier so that I can rest for a while. I didn’t realise that this was exactly what Master had arranged, giving me the opportunity to cultivate away my attachment to comfort. But, I was looking at it with human thoughts and ideas.
Master offered the following guidance in <Zhuan Falun>: “Accordingly, in your future cultivation you will run into all kinds of tribulations. How could you cultivate without these hardships? If everyone is good to one another without conflicts of interest or interference from the human mind, and if all you do is just sit there, how can your xinxing improve? That wouldn’t do. One must truly temper and improve oneself through actual practice. ”
Yes, there are times when I take these requests from my clients as a nuisance, not realising that this is for me to cultivate, that it’s a tribulation I’m bound to encounter, to show me that I’m not fundamentally willing to suffer and let go of self!
I also found a connection between attachment to comfort and attachment to health. I took up cultivation because of an illness, so this attachment can be considered my fundamental attachment. In a discussion with my wife, who is a fellow practitioner, I realised that I was not doing true cultivation in this area. When the false sickness karma appeared, I did not realise that this was an opportunity for me to break through the human mindset; although on the surface I knew that I was eliminating karma, subconsciously, I was still influenced by postnatal notions, such as the need to get enough sleep, etc.
Instead of trying to suppress these human notions, I unconsciously reinforced them. I was very concerned with all kinds of bodily sensations, and was completely trapped in this kind of human thinking. This attachment to health, which in turn strengthens the attachment to comfort, is a great obstacle on my cultivation path.
I need to constantly study the Fa, eliminate human notions and attachments and break through this level!
Part 2. Ego and the Mentality of Seeking Fame
I still have a very strong ego and fame-seeking mentality. Especially after I have achieved something in a project, the ego comes out; thinking that I am good, professional in business, or better than others. Or when I talk with fellow practitioners, I will unconsciously show off, with a lofty attitude.
Just like Master said in <Zhuan Falun>：＂Even in this class, there are people who think quite highly of themselves right now and speak with a different attitude.”
I realised that this heart is really very dangerous. In fact, the little I have done is simply insignificant, if there is something that I have done well, it is through the power of the Fa. As Master says in <Zhuan Falun>, “Cultivation Is Up to You, Gong Is Up to the Master”. If this egotistical mind develops further, it will become arrogance, which is really scary. The nature of the ego is selfish, which is the characteristic of the old universe, and is totally contrary to the characteristic of the new universe which is selflessness.
With this egotistical heart, I cannot be truly humble, and when studying the Fa, it is difficult to attain the Fa, because subconsciously, I think that my own understanding and awareness is right, and I put myself in front of the Fa, thus blocking the door. How can the Fa then be displayed in front of me? Without the support of the Fa, how can I raise my level?
It’s really like when Master said in <Zhuan Falun>, “If you put Dafa in a secondary place and put your supernatural powers in the primary place, or as an enlightened person you believe that what you understand one way or another is correct, or if you even regard yourself as being great and beyond Dafa, I would say that you have already started to stumble. It would be dangerous and you would become ever worse.“
The ego has also given me an attachment to fame. The manifestation is that I like to hear people say good things about me, and I don’t want to hear criticism or opposing opinions. When I help a client achieve good marketing performance, I’m happy, and when the results aren’t so good, I find it difficult. It’s not really hard for the client, but it’s hard for me to lose out in terms of my reputation. That obsession with reputation simply controlled me. For example, when I was in charge of running Google Ads for one of my clients, I would frequently check the results of the Ads. I was easily pleased when the results were good on any given day, and unhappy if the results weren’t good. I am afraid that others will doubt my ability, or even dismiss me, etc.
Master said in <Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference>: ”You know, why is it that many things, many attachments, can’t be removed just like that? Why is it so hard? I’ve always told you that particles make up particles level by level from the microcosm all the way to surface matter. If you took a look in the extreme microcosm at the material formed by what your mind is attached to, [you’d see that] they are mountains, huge mountains, made of hard, granite-like rock, and once they are formed there is simply no way for a human being to move them.”
I realised that this ego is a substance. All this ego substance in me, it’s like a mountain。
But Master is compassionate, and in the lecture of <Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference> he tells his disciples again: ”When a cultivator doesn’t want to get rid of his attachments, quite often his excuse is, ‘When other people criticize me, I don’t want to hear it, but if Master says something to me I’ll want to hear it.’ But if Master said something to you, would that big mountain of yours just be gone by itself? Would that hard rock just dissolve without cultivation? If I did that for you then it wouldn’t count as you cultivating, so I can’t do that, and you yourself have to cultivate it away. There are many things that you can’t do but that Master can. And so how does Master do them? It’s not like as soon as we come into contact I’ll remove them. When your righteous thoughts are firm and when you can repel those things, I remove them for you bit by bit; however much you can do, that’s how much I remove for you and diminish for you.”
After reading Master’s teachings, I realized that I should work hard to get rid of my ego. I want to fix it!
Part 3 Eliminating sentimentality in the process of contact with clients
I find myself encountering the test of sentimentality when approaching clients. It is easy to let down my guard against sentimentality, especially when the client recognises and compliments my work. However, our compassion should be based on our responsibility to the clients, understanding the clients’ point of view and thinking about them, not on how much the client recognises and praises us, following human feelings like ordinary people do.
Once, a client called me, and expressed his gratitude for my work, saying that I was very sincere and responsible. Then he asked me to do him a favour. He asked me to go to his website and place an order, after which he would give me cash back. He did this to make his website’s revenue look good. Although I vaguely realized that I shouldn’t do this, I still agreed.
After hanging up the phone, I thought carefully, the more I thought about it, the more I thought it was wrong. Was I driven by sentimentality? As a practitioner of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance, how could I do such a thing? Even if this was just a very small thing, it was untrue by nature, and if I was conscious I wouldn’t have agreed to it, so why didn’t I refuse at that time?
We cultivate in ordinary human society, it is impossible not to be contaminated by the big dye vat. This requires that we must have a solid foundation of cultivation in order to guard our heart, and it is precisely because one’s foundation of cultivation is not solid enough that one can be swayed by ordinary people.
Sometimes I put a lot of effort into acustomer, but don’t get good results. If the customer doesn’t understand, I will be a little sad and aggrieved. I think to myself, I have done so much for you, I just haven’t told you. If I hadn’t done that much, the results would have been much worse. Why don’t you realise this? The reason I think this way is that I am standing on the level of an ordinary person. Practitioners are supposed to be unmoved, and should look at problems from a higher level. If I look at them from a higher level, I will understand that these are all caused by my own karma, and that this is an opportunity for me to eliminate my karma and improve my xinxing, so I should really be thankful to him! Thinking about this, the sadness and frustration in my heart immediately subsided.
Master said in <Zhuan Falun>: “Ordinary people have their pursuits, and we don’t seek them. As for what ordinary people have, we also aren’t interested. Yet what we have is something that ordinary people cannot obtain, even if they want to.”
Certainly, I shouldn’t pursue reputation and sentimentality among ordinary people, maintaining the feelings and friendships of an ordinary human. Rather, I should stand on a higher level, transcending human feeling —a true practitioner, whose heart is pure and without desire.
In the three new lectures, Master warned his disciples that cultivation is serious. Comparing myself, there are really too many places where I have not done a good job and have not taken my cultivation seriously enough. The first reason why I think I have relaxed is, I have been slack in studying the Fa. If I am not studying the Fa with my heart, and as a result, only learning at the surface level. This is the same as not learning, not studying the Fa at all. How can there then be righteous thoughts to guide my words and deeds? That is really dangerous!
In the future, the only way to truly cultivate is to continue to strengthen Fa study. To keep in mind that I am a practitioner in my everyday work and life, to relinquish my ego, and to remove all kinds of human notions from my mind. I am grateful for Master’s compassion and suffering, and I have no words to express my gratitude. I can only cultivate diligently to live up to Master’s saving grace!
Thank you, Master!
Thank you fellow practitioners!