PureInsight | July 2, 2006

[] (2006 Chicago Fa Conference)

The definition of pride in the dictionary is:  

1)  a)  an overhigh opinion of oneself; exaggerated self-esteem

     b)  haughtiness; arrogance

2)  a sense of one's own dignity; self-respect

3)  delight or satisfaction in one's achievements, one's children, etc.

4)  a person or thing that one is proud of

5)  the best of a class, group, etc.; pick

6)  the best part; prime

7)  a)  a group or family (of lions)

     b)  any impressive group

Similarly, the definition of complacency, which we as practitioners often talk about and which I have always felt was better translated as pride is:

    Quiet satisfaction; contentment; often, self-satisfaction, or smugness

After practicing Falun Dafa for over 6 ½ years, I thought that I had
seen virtually every major, and minor, attachment that I had.  I
was convinced that my attachments had already been fully revealed to
me, and that although I hadn't gotten rid of all of them completely, I
did believe that all that was left was very superficial.

Of course I knew I had pride, and I had dealt with it in the past, but
I had felt that it, too, was quite superficial now and not very
significant.  I was very wrong.  

Master gave me several hints over the past several months, but I didn't
really get it until I was stopped by a police officer for failing to
make a full and complete stop at a four way stop sign.  I was on
my way to the park to do the exercises when this policeman pulled me
over, and to be honest, I didn't even realize why he stopped me. 
When he told me, I became indignant and irritated, and even suggested I
wouldn't sign the ticket.  After he explained to me that he would
have to arrest me if I didn't sign it, I realized how ridiculous I was
being.  He gave me the ticket, and I went on to do the exercises,
but it wasn't over there.

The whole time I was doing the exercises, I could think of nothing
else--I couldn't understand why he didn't just give me a warning; I
hadn't had but three tickets in my life, and they were all for prior to
1989!  There hadn't been anyone at the 4 way either, and it wasn't
as if I had just gone through it; I just briefly stopped and went on
when I saw there was no one there.  I tried to suppress those
thoughts and told myself I could think about it later, but nothing
worked.  Nothing, that is, until I finally realized that I
couldn't just blame the evil for some type of persecution here. I was
somehow convinced in my mind that I had done nothing wrong!  It
wasn't until I accepted that I had done something wrong that I was able
to finish the exercises relatively peacefully.

Of course, the fact the ticket came just as I was to do the exercises
did indicate possible interference, but wasn't the interference also
because my thoughts were wrong?  Maybe the evil knew me well
enough to know that if I could blame it for
the situation, I wouldn't bother going any further to look inside,
improving myself, ascending, and being able to destroy it even more

I decided then to write a letter to the Chief of Police; I would use
this interference to not only improve myself but also to clarify the
truth.  I apologized to the officer for my conduct, affirming his
right to do what he did, and explained my belief system and how I
didn't believe that it was okay to disobey the law, and that I would
sincerely try to do better in that area.  I even put in something
about the persecution.  I felt better.  I also told him all
of the things I had thought of that I felt had contributed to my
behavior, including the fact that I had a good driving record, that I
was excited to do the exercises in the park after several days of bad
weather, and that the letter of the law didn't seem to fit with the spirit of the law in this case.

After I had mailed it, I read the letter to another practitioner. 
We had just finished reading Master's lecture to the Fa conference in
Los Angeles.  As I read the letter to her, I realized that I
sounded just like what Master had talked about:  explaining why I
did what I did instead of really looking inside.  In other words,
I was just trying to rationalize and justify my actions; I wasn't truly
looking within.  

I still wasn't sure what my problem here was. I just knew I had
one.  At the time, I was also dealing with my grandparents, who
are nearing the ends of their lives, suffering from a lot of illnesses
and the degeneration of their bodies, and yet my grandmother especially
seems to want to hold on to her pride and not let anyone help
her.  This was another clue for me, but still not enough.

Ironically, one of the biggest clues had been bothering me for several
months prior and I had gone round and round in my mind trying to figure
it out with no real progress.  I had started having problems with
my left knee, not being able to put that leg up anymore in the sitting,
and just having pain in it all the time.  Of course, as a
cultivator, I considered it karma and paid it little attention, but it
plagued me.  I was constantly bombarded with thoughts of not being
diligent enough, not being able to endure well enough, etc., etc. 
I knew that I couldn't get down on myself about it - that was something
I had had to let go of a long time ago - but I also felt helpless to
figure it out.  No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't put that
leg up to do the sitting, and sometimes it hurt so much, I couldn't put
either leg up to do righteous thoughts.

I had started suspecting pride as the cause, because whenever I thought
of my knee hurting, I would remember squatting down at my locker at
work, or squatting down to do this or that.  Because I know that
bending over isn't the best for the human body, squatting is what I
always do.  However, because I was very ill when I first started
practicing Dafa, I had a difficult time with squatting at all. 
So, once I could squat, I started feeling very pleased about it. 
Every time I was in a situation where I could squat, I did, and I felt
very proud that I could do it so easily, especially at my age.  I
knew that Dafa had allowed me to be healed so that I could squat, but
somehow I still felt very proud about it.  Even though I
understood this, I still could not quite accept that pride was the
underlying problem.  

So, I tried blaming the evil, but that didn't really help either. 
I was grateful that I hardly saw other practitioners, because I knew
I'd feel ashamed if they saw and that they would suggest the same
things I had already thought of.  However, that is exactly how I
was able to figure it out!

After recently changing jobs so that I could do more things for Dafa
and with Dafa disciples, as well as attend more social/family
functions, I was able to go to the first group study I had been to for
quite a long time.  I knew before I went that when they saw that I
couldn't put that leg up, they would question me and maybe criticize me
as well.  And, although some part of me feared that, I also knew
that I couldn't let that control me.  In fact, I reasoned, maybe
they would actually help me figure it out!  You see, I had never
talked to any other practitioners about it, and I suppose it was
because I feared the criticism and because of my wanting to be able to
figure it out myself, which is, incidentally, another manifestation of
pride.  However, a completely unexpected thing happened. When we
got ready to send righteous thoughts, I was able to put my leg
up!  So, there was no criticism to deal with.  I thought,
"Maybe I needed to go to group study, and it was all just
interference!"  So, I said nothing about it, thinking it was
solved, but that wasn't the solution either.

At home, I was again unable to put that leg up.  Oh, I could force
it up there once in a while, but I couldn't endure it, and the more I
forced it, the worse it got.  I thought that probably I had been
able to put it up at group study because this was something I needed to
figure out on my own. But now I realize that maybe I needed to be able
to talk about it without being forced to by the circumstances. I needed
to let go of my pride long enough to talk about it.  

It wasn't until I decided to make plans to come to this conference that
I really started understanding that my problem was pride and Master was
using everything that I had experienced so far to help me figure it
out. Of course, the evil was also using everything it could to keep
persecuting me, hoping I would just blame it or lack of diligence, or
something else, in the hope that I wouldn't realize what the real
problem was at all!

I made my plane reservations without much difficulty at all, but when
it came to accommodations, it was a different story.  Normally, I
like to make all my plans myself, so that I have complete control over
the situation.  Also, that eliminates the possibility of
miscommunications, etc., therefore making sure that I am totally
self-reliant.  However, since my current situation is limited
financially, staying with someone was the best choice; even though I
did feel like I might be wrong in some way to expect someone to take me
in.  The person I would normally stay with wasn't going to be at
home at all, so that wasn't even a possibility.  Another person I
have often stayed with also was going out of town.  I started to
let go of my pride (which I still hadn't really consciously recognized
as a problem) by allowing the first person I would have stayed with to
help find some other practitioners for me to stay with, but that didn't
work out either!

So, I had to ask for more help.  I started with asking a
practitioner I have been communicating with in Indiana.  She and I
had never met, and it seemed like a good thing if we could stay with
each other.  So, I asked for help, which to me felt like placing
something of myself in her hands, a very uncomfortable feeling for me!

The next day, I was in the bathroom so much it was hard for me to sit
down that evening.  I realized I was letting go of something, even
though I still hadn't put it into words.  

Of course, it didn't stop there.  She ended up not being able to
help me at all, and in fact became unable to even attend the
conference.  So, I sat down at my computer and said to myself, "I
will ask everyone I know and put it in Master's hands."  And, I

In any case, it all worked out, as you can see; and some of it that you
may not be able to see, as well!  I decided in the midst of all of
this that even though I had not planned to, I would share this
experience with others and maybe in the process improve even more on
letting go of this pride I have nurtured and cultivated my whole
ordinary life.

Pride.  It is my fundamental attachment.  It has motivated me
from the beginning of this life.  Every time I did something well,
from the time I was a child throughout my adult life, I added to this
pride of mine.  

It is how I was able to endure the tribulations of my childhood. 
How I was able to cope with the loneliness of living as an ordinary
person but never feeling like one.  How I was able to face my own
mortality as well as the pain and suffering of a decade of
illness.  How I was able to keep improving as an ordinary person
so that I would be prepared for this Dafa when it came to find me.

Here are the things I have been proud of:

I was proud of being a good person

    I was proud of being able to be a good cultivator

    I was proud of being able to endure a lot of things

    I was proud of being good at doing the exercises

    I was proud of being able to teach the exercises to others well

    I was proud of being able to put both my legs up

    I was proud of being a Dafa Disciple

    I was proud of knowing the Truth (what I know of it, anyway)

    I was proud of being chosen to come here to save
people and help make a path for human beings to follow in the future

What am I proud of now?  Well, I hope I am not proud of anything
anymore, but at the very least, I have seen this attachment, and I now
have the chance to eliminate it.  

I should feel fortunate to be here, fortunate to be saved, fortunate to be able to save others, and fortunate to
know what Truth I have been allowed to enlighten to.  Just as I
must not feel badly towards myself when I don't do well, I must also
not allow myself to feel too good when I am able to do well.  It
is the mighty power of Dafa that can save me; but I will only be saved
if I am determined to do well, no matter what.  Cultivation is up
to me, and it's okay for me to take credit for what I put into it. I
just can't let my thinking be so human. Gods don't need to feel proud,
so why should I?

Add new comment