Reflections in Cultivation: Reflection on “Getting Rid of the Attachment to Fame”

By Xiao Lian

PureInsight | September 13, 2008

[] I saw an article written by a fellow practitioner called “Getting Rid of the Attachment to Fame” that was published in the most recent issue of Zhengjian Weekly. After reading it carefully, I shared the same understanding as this practitioner.

The practitioner wrote: “I have had the experience that when one has no attachment to fame, he thinks that he is nothing and that everyone else is more capable than he; he will look for his own shortcomings, cultivate himself diligently and progress in cultivation rapidly. However, once this person becomes a little famous or feels good about himself in certain regards, he will become satisfied by the present state and slack off, that is, if not yet dragged down by the fame. From the angle of cultivation quality, the two states are far from each other.

As for myself, totally cultivating away the attachment to fame is truly difficult. It is difficult because the attachment has already become natural to the extent that I myself don’t even detect it. As an ordinary person, I had thought of myself as taking fame and self-interest very lightly. Whenever I was badmouthed, I seldom defended myself and just smiled at it…”

Reading this paragraph, I laughed in my heart, “Well said! Aren’t I this kind of person?”

When I was young, in the name of honoring my parents, I studied very hard. Whenever I got a good grade, I would show it to our neighbors right away, subconsciously hoping that people would say, “Look at the grade of xx family’s kid; he will have a great future.” However, human society is complicated. When people saw me showing off more and more, they became used to it and some of them even developed jealousy. I remember one time when I was in eighth grade, our school was hosting a municipal level physics competition and I was on the list of students selected to compete. The date was getting closer, and one day when I was reading a book at home, a relative came by, and I casually told them that I was going to be in the competition. However, on the day of the competition, I discovered that I was not on the list. I cried a lot after returning home. Later, I heard from a classmate who attended the competition that there was an empty seat at the event, and I realized that someone must have done something bad behind the scenes. Thinking about it today, it was my attachment of showing off that produced this result.

After starting cultivation, for a long period of time, I had the attachment of comparing myself with my relatives who did not obtain the Fa. “Look at you; everyday you are living for money, are controlled by various forms of sentimentality, are obsessed with human affairs, and have bad health and worries. And look at us; although we do not have much money, we do not have all kinds of worries and have better health, etc. In a word, we practitioners are better than you.” How many attachments to superiority were mixed up in there! A cultivator’s mercy and compassion towards people were nowhere to be found in me!

In his article, the fellow practitioner made a wise statement: “When an enlightened being at a higher level looks at the beings at lower levels, he would never measure them with his principles or make them admit that they cultivate at a lower level. On the contrary, he will show great compassion and forbearance. If this enlightened being at the higher level develops a competitive mentality and an attachment to fame, he won’t be able to stay at his level and will fall down, possibly to an even lower level than those lower-level beings. No matter how high a level I cultivated to before, once I developed this attachment, I fell down. After the attachment appeared, I didn’t look inwards, catch it, get rid of it, and upgrade myself right away. When this attachment is developed, I do not have the mighty virtue of a higher level being, others are not willing to listen to me, and both people will be restricted by the principle of mutual generation and mutual inhibition.”

During these years of validating the Fa, when I saw other people doing things in various ways, many times I have vaguely thought that that’s just what they had enlightened to, i.e., that those were other people’s issues and had nothing to do with me. I was not willing to think deeply about if I did that thing, how I would understand it. Clearly speaking, this was because of my selfishness still taking effect.

As cultivators among everyday people, we have various notions that have already been developed naturally. For example, we always want to compare ourselves with others. If it were for the sake of improving together and looking for our own shortcomings, it would be a good thing. However, the fixed notions developed among people often lead us to compete with others to see who is better in different regards. It might sound too serious to say that it is a competitive mentality, but at least it is an attachment to fame, trying every means to find one’s stronger points to satisfy our own vanity.

As a matter of fact, cultivation is a process of getting rid of one’s attachments, and no attachment can be brought to the Heavens. In the vast universe, enlightened beings at different levels are countless. As lives in the universe, none of us will reach a state that encompasses all the characteristics (“strong points,” in human words) of lives at all levels. Each life has his own characteristics given by the Fa. So, isn’t this life supposed to exist according to the living situation and characteristics the Fa has arranged for him? Being among the same level, they should be compassionate, tolerant and respectful of each other.

Upon understanding all this, there will be no attachment that we are not able to put down. Any attachment to oneself is an obstacle on the path of cultivation, a rope that ties us down and stops us from ascending, and a factor that makes us unable to meet the requirement of the new cosmos.

Only completely assimilating to Dafa, moving forward rapidly, returning home as soon as possible, and fulfilling our pre-historical grand vow are what we should think about.

Above is my personal understanding. Please point out anything incorrect.

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