Understand and Get Rid of Self Protection Mentality
[PureInsight.org] Whenever I do a good job of personal cultivation, egotism formed after I was born, will get weaker and weaker. However, when I do a terrible job I will run into difficulty. This is usually caused by egotism. I don’t want to let go of egotism because of a need to protect myself. As a result, it brings negativity into validating Dafa as well as saving more people.
In the article “Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature” from the book of “Essentials for Further Advancement”, Master said, “I also want to tell you that your nature in the past was actually based on egotism and selfishness. From now on, whatever you do, you should consider others first, so as to attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism. So from now on, whatever you do or whatever you say, you must consider others—or even future generations—along with Dafa’s eternal stability. “
I have come to realize that every step I take in cultivation is me trying to assimilate into Dafa, to mentally protect myself. There are many forms of self-protection, such as an unwillingness to let go, whether one has a high opinion of oneself or if the real or fake can be easily distinguished. Sometimes, it is hard to see if one is in a self-protection mode.
I often take the following example to keep me alert. Self-protection means that one is not willing to assimilate into Dafa.
Eleven years ago, I was asked to go to Manhattan, New York, to take care of a team that was doing Fa validation work. At that time, I had a very strong self-protection mentality and didn’t want to be held accountable for any troubles that might lie ahead. I was also afraid of hard work so refused to take a lead role. As a result, on the first day in Manhattan, there was simply no cooperation among team members. Everyone was working solo. I hadn’t realized until then that I had formed such a strong self-protection mentality. It was truly hard to cultivate as I tried to correct myself. And I had to cooperate with others to achieve good results. Because I had such a strong self-protection mentality, I didn’t improve my Xinxing and lost a good chance to help validate Dafa and save more people. It also indicated that I was not determined enough to negate the old force’s arrangements and the tests before me. That night, I had a very vivid dream. In my dream, the whole team was riding on a cabled tourist cart in a mountainous area. Suddenly, the cable broke and the cart fell into the river below. Everyone died at the scene. It was such a horrific and clear dream. I couldn’t believe that I was still alive when I awoke from the nightmare.
When I do a good job in my cultivation, it usually shows that I am applying Dafa’s requirements to whatever I am doing. I can thus easily see how my ego reacts. I will try to block my ego and eliminate it. It is very similar to attempting to negate the old forces’ arrangements. Only until my Xinxing improves and the so-called tribulations or difficulties disappear, will I become clear-headed.
In the book of “Zhuan Falun”, Master mentions the following story about an old lady that got hit by a car: “We have said that good or bad comes from a person’s initial thought, and the thought at that moment can bring about different consequences. With her old age, if she were an everyday person, how could she not be injured? Yet her skin was not even scratched.”
Last year, our local music group went to take part in a lantern festival parade in a city. The organizer for this parade had a religious constitution. At the very beginning of the parade, I felt one of my legs twitching. I knew that my own ego was being dissolved. However, I didn’t yield to the self-protection mentality, nor did I develop any self-protection thoughts. I had no fear, or concern whatsoever. I only had just one thought, “That ego of mine is being dissolved.” In just a few seconds, the karma was eliminated, and I felt very comfortable .As we drew closer to the end of the parade route, many spectators had gathered alongside the performance area. As I was approaching the stage, I suddenly felt that the two primary ying-yang circulation paths along the left and right sides of my body were blocked somehow, and I felt terrible. My chest was heavy and in pain. At that time, I felt I couldn’t play the instrument anymore even though I was still walking with the group. Right then, I started to look inwards, and found an impure thought. So many people were there waiting for us to save them, yet, my desire to save more people was not very strong. I was a little bit reluctant to accept the religious concept of the parade and realised my biased opinion was against it. Such a thought was actually a manifestation of my egotism and this self-ego was preventing me from saving more people and validating Dafa. I immediately said to myself, “I don’t want to hold onto such biases. I want to assimilate into Dafa unconditionally.” Right then, the circulation paths were unblocked. I felt my body fill with energy, and my body relaxed. I raised my head and saw the smiles of the enthusiastic people around. I felt as though I had come to enjoy the happiness one gets when assimilated into Dafa. From that experience, I came to understand with clarity what Master means in the poem titled: “The Approach to Cultivation” from the book of “Hong Yin III”. ‘We don’t isolate ourselves in temples or mountains. We are students, farmers and workers alike. Pure lotuses in the secular world can’t be tainted.’
Once a person learns to cultivate well, the ego that was formed after one’s birth will become weaker and weaker in an orderly manner in the process of Fa verification. If one still hangs onto the ego, it is thus very clear one is not doing the right thing. In retrospect, I notice that all kinds of self-protection interferences pop up along the way, even though I try hard to seek them out to eliminate them. Such interferences are blocking my assimilation into Dafa and hindering my Xinxing improvement efforts. My understanding is that, one should absolutely be determined to say no to one’s ego, just like what we do to the old forces’ arrangements. Only when one is determined to eliminate the ego can one achieve cultivation and complete one’s mission.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/node/21/151842