Letting Go of Attachments, Purifying in Dafa
Experience sharing from the 2009 Canada Fa Conference
[PureInsight.org] Greetings revered Master! Greetings fellow practitioners!
I live in Montreal. I started cultivation practice in 1995. I feel so grateful to be a disciple of our benevolent Master. Meanwhile, I feel the urgency of still having so many attachments. Master taught us the Great Fa and suffered immensely for us. However, I have been improving slowly and have continued to hold onto many human notions. I would like to take this opportunity to expose them and let go of my attachments. I hope to use the power endowed by Master to save sentient beings and follow the path arranged by Master with a pure heart.
I. Letting Go of Attachments, Purifying in Dafa
I arrived in Canada in March 2001 and became the main assistant for the Montreal practice site in April 2004. From March 2001 to April 2004, while I was a common practitioner, I did not encounter many conflicts with my fellow practitioners. After becoming a coordinator, I spent more and more time with my fellow practitioners. My attachments had to be exposed in different environments and therefore I had more and more conflicts.
As a coordinator, I am subject to all kinds of comments. At the beginning, I felt inferior to others who had many skills, but I could still tolerate being with them. After a couple years, after I felt stronger and increasing conflicts, I could no longer tolerate being with others. I knew that I needed a bigger heart. However, I improved too slowly, and could not keep up with the standard required of a coordinator. Many times I could not maintain good xinxing. When someone blamed me for something, I would flare up and start an argument. I attributed this to others’ attachments. That is to say, when I was supposed to upgrade my xinxing, I turned the opportunity down. I not only wasted my own time, but also caused gaps for others.
Sometimes I felt something was not right and would want to eliminate those gaps. However, I did not know how to do it properly. In fact, I wanted to enjoy peace of mind, but did not want to go through the pain of letting go of my attachments.
Once, during a meeting with several other assistants, a person did not seem to be on good terms with others, but she refused to say anything. I was not sure what the problems were, so I tried to find a chance to kindly encourage her to speak out. However, her emotions flared up and it took about two hours for her to regain rationality. That incident let me see many of my own problems, which arise from miscommunication, suspicion, and a fundamental lack of compassion. I could not be compassionate to others and instead held others accountable for their mistakes or judged others based on my own notions. When I found my problems, I relaxed. When I did not have gaps in my mind, that practitioner also changed her attitude toward me.
Later, when I looked deeper, I found that I was not totally putting others first, even when I was trying to help them, which resulted from a combination of my show-off mentality and my desire to protect myself. In the end, I realized that while I had enjoyed harmony and peace of mind, I was not being fully responsible to the Fa.
When I had conflicts with fellow practitioners, I knew that I should look inward. However, this righteous mind was oftentimes too weak, and in addition, my attachments were too strong. Many times I got into conflicts with others, and then tried to find others’ attachments.
When I really looked inside, I realized that I lacked the understanding of the form that Dafa disciples' cultivation takes. Teacher said, “Thus, during the cultivation process, as soon as a cultivator has successfully cultivated a part, with his realm being elevated and him passing some test, that part is immediately partitioned off in a manner unconstrained by time…the part that hasn't been fully cultivated, meanwhile, constantly undergoes cultivation …” (“Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital, 2006”). So how can I expect my fellow practitioners to behave as enlightened beings? I am just supposed to be strict with myself. Even though I had that understanding, I still did not do things well.
I have had a couple of xinxing tests recently that I have not passed well. I kept seeing that my fellow practitioners had low-level attachments. I felt very uncomfortable. I realized that I had dropped into a low realm where I could see low-level attachments.
Master gave me a hint in a dream. There I was on my hands and knees carrying a fellow practitioner, while many other practitioners were walking in the opposite direction. I begged the practitioner to get off me, but my request was ignored. Then I suddenly realized that I should stand up and walk and follow the other practitioners. Then I did so. When I woke up, I thought that there was something fundamental that I needed to change in order to really fulfill my responsibilities in validating Fa and saving sentient beings. I should walk in the right direction and not carry the weight of others who might pull me in the wrong direction.
II. Let Go of Self, Fully Putting to Use Supernormal Capabilities Endowed by Teacher
As Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples, we accepted the responsibility and mission of saving sentient beings. Our Master has endowed us with profound wisdom and magnificent supernormal capabilities. The reason that I cannot exercise them is that I still have attachments and I am thus blocked by the old forces.
What were my attachments? I looked back and found that my biggest attachment was that I care a lot about how people see me, especially if I cannot do things as well as expected. Thus, I would rather do nothing than do something poorly, even if it was related to the life and death of a sentient being. Among everyday people, that might be regarded as being prudent and rational. In Lecture Nine of Zhuan Falun, Teacher says, “It is a xinxing issue if you do not help stop a murder or arson when you see it.” When there were an enormous number of practitioners being persecuted, and many sentient beings being poisoned, I still considered how I looked to be so important. Gradually, I started to let go of self and started to voluntarily think of others and thereafter naturally got more involved in Fa-rectification activities. I would like to share four aspects of my path so far.
1) Media Reporting
When I started media work, I found that it was very difficult. In order to write an article, I sometimes had to give up sleep. As my cultivation improved, I found that I could write better and smoother. I tended to think from the reader’s perspective, rather than just trying to express myself. When I was still a new disciple, I had a dream in which Teacher gave me a pen. I thought it was a Fa implement. Teacher was encouraging me to use it to save sentient beings. I should do better with it.
2) Working as a Coordinator
I am good at listening to others. Because of that, I do not need to worry too much about my relationships with others. Because relating with others does not cause me much internal pressure, I can do things smoothly and thus appear to be a very good practitioner. To me, those superficial things serve to hide my attachments of not being willing to sacrifice or have compassion. So if that is true, how do I improve in my cultivation practice? Thus, when I was asked to be a main coordinator, I accepted the responsibility.
It is not easy to be a coordinator. From a human perspective, I lacked the necessary skills, but I believed that it would be easy since the Fa can not only change me, but also help me do well. However, the Fa cannot help me if I have too many attachments—some of these attachments I recognize, but some of them are still imperceptible to me, so I am plodding along as I enlighten.
There are many projects and activities to work on. Sometimes I had to look for someone to help me. Sometimes I even had to ask practitioners from other cities to help me. Even though people helped me, there were still things that were not done well. You can imagine how heavy the pressure was. But some practitioners did not understand me and said some negative things about me. Sometimes, I felt that was unfair.
One day when I read Master’s article, “Fa Teaching at the 2008 New York Conference,” I read this line: “As you cultivate yourself, you should regard the things that you perceive to be hardship, emotional blows, or things that affect your xinxing and the like, as good things. If you consider all the hardship, ordeals, and such that you go through to be bad things, then you are an ordinary person. Hardship is the repayment of karmic debts, and things that don't go so smoothly enable your xinxing to elevate.”
I have read the article many times, but until that moment, I had not really seen this passage. One day a fellow practitioner smiled at me and said, “I envy you.” Oh yes, I thought, why can’t I see things in a positive way? Why am I afraid that people do not understand me? What do I have to prove? Gradually, I felt my sentimentality melt away. I felt that the Buddha Fa is boundless and that the Buddha’s benevolence is immense. Thank you Master. I will broaden my heart for sentient beings.
3) Selling Ads
I started to work full time in the Marketing Department of our local Epoch Times newspaper in April 2007. At that time, my family’s financial situation had improved, so I had the opportunity to do so. The problems then were that my English was not good, and I was not good at talking business with people. I consulted with my fellow practitioners, and I was advised that its tough and I should be well prepared. I hesitated for a while before a voice came out from the bottom of my heart – I will save people. At that moment, I felt that my body was vibrating, and tears welled up. With that in mind, I have persisted up through to today.
In the first three days of the first week, I closed three minor sales, so I devoted the remaining two days to Dafa activities. In the first month, I sold ads totaling several thousand dollars. I knew that it was Master who was encouraging me.
The tough part is dealing with the Chinese market. In the early days, it took a lot of courage just to make the phone calls. After a phone call, my hands would be ice-cold, my heart sinking, and my body trembling. I had to walk for a while before I could regroup.
For a period of time, it felt very hard. However, when I saw the ads in other Chinese papers, I felt sad. Those people have a pre-destined relationship with us but I could do so little for them. I did not know what to do; I just made some random phone calls. On the other end of the line, some were very rude when they heard I was working for the Epoch Times. Some would politely turn me down. There were even some people who started to swear at me and even at Master; in those situations, my heart beat fast and my voice became fast, but I still tried to clarify the truth to them. However, not everything turned out in a positive light.
After I experienced a couple of such cases, I realized that my competitive mentality was coming forth. Instead of thinking of others, I wanted to express what I thought was right. Can that be called truth-clarification? My deeds were part of the truth. Therefore, when I spoke to people calmly, I saw that they also changed. Since then, I have never spoken with anyone who has directly said disrespectful things about Dafa or Master.
During that time, I felt that Master was always taking care of me. When I studied the Fa well, I could sell ads with less effort. I tried to hold onto a practitioner’s standard in maintaining relations with customers. I especially tried to look into why customers might lose trust with our newspaper so that our business relations would last.
To be frank, this job has been the hardest part of my cultivation practice. It directly helps me expose my attachments. I can be zealous when making a sale, and I can get depressed when I don’t make one. I can lose confidence if my xinxing is not stable, and I can find excuses if I am busy with other Dafa projects. However, I believe that if I read the Fa well, I can do better and balance everything.
I have also been grateful for the good environment that comes with doing sales. During our weekly global sales training sessions, my fellow sales people share their experiences, skills, and vision. When my skills improved, my sales improved. Recently, I have received calls requesting ads; I think that is the way it is supposed to be. I talk on the phone with people in a friendly manner. Some people didn’t want to talk about the ads immediately, but I still treated them with compassion. I always think about projecting a good image for the newspaper. I think we not only use the paper to save sentient beings, but also to pave the way for future media.
4) Improving Technical Skills
I am honored that I have been able to contribute all that I have to saving sentient beings. I am trying to do it wholeheartedly. Even my education is related to validating Dafa.
Driving is a necessary skill for carrying out many Dafa activities in North America. To pass the driving test I had to understand English.
There were some interesting episodes. My second day driving, I had a collision. I almost lost courage, but I persisted. The first time I was on the highway, I had to move over two lanes. I asked Master for strength, and I sent forth righteous thoughts. Last winter, I experienced a case when I had to drive about 10 kilometers with mud on my windshield because I had no washing fluid. This seasoned me and I became braver.
I also spent time learning English. On a typical day, I go to group study in the morning, spend the daytime on sales, use my evenings for English class, and spend the nights on the phone or on conference calls. The time I have to learn English is very limited. However, I was assigned to an advanced class, although I did not ask for it. At the beginning, I felt shy if I could not answer a question being asked. But then I felt a change. I could accept making mistakes and even took it as good, since this way I learned the most. If I didn’t know, then I didn’t know, regardless of whether people pointed it out or not. The same is true for attachments. I found that by learning Dafa, every aspect of my life has become meaningful and good for cultivation practice. In English class, I let go of self and was not afraid of being laughed at by others. My English improved and, in return, helped me to do better as a coordinator, especially with western practitioners. I know that I still make mistakes, and I wish my fellow practitioners would point them out. I know that by having my problems exposed I can improve my English faster. With skills in English, I have been able to broaden my vision and contribute more. I believe that as long as we all have the will to save sentient beings, no tribulation is too difficult to pass.
To conclude, I would like to share with you Master’s poem, “The Knowing Heart,” from Essentials for Further Advancement II:
The Knowing Heart
With Teacher guiding the voyage, the Fa saves all beings,
One sail is hoisted, one hundred million sails follow.
With attachments left behind, the lightened boats sail swiftly,
With a preoccupied human heart, crossing the ocean proves arduous.
The wind and clouds suddenly change, and the heavens seem to crumble,
The mountains shake, the seas churn, and the ferocious waves billow.
Follow Teacher closely, steadfastly cultivating Dafa,
With attachments too strong, bearings are lost.
Some flee for their lives, deserting capsized boats and torn sails,
As the mud and sand are completely sifted, gold shines forth.
Grand talk counts for naught when it comes to life and death,
Actions reveal what is true.
When the day of Consummation arrives,
The great disclosure of the truth will leave the world in amazement.
Thank you Master!
Thank you, fellow practitioners!