How the Topic of Retirement Pensions Pointed Out my Fundamental Attachment

[] One day, as I went to my granddaughter’s preschool to pick her up, I ran into a long-time friend of mine. While chatting, he asked me how much retirement pension I was receiving, and then told me that he was getting about four hundred more Yuan than I was. When he said this, I suddenly felt that it was unfair in my heart, thinking that I had worked for at least five more years than him, and yet he was getting four hundred more Yuan than me. My attachment of resentment also surfaced. I thought that if it wasn’t for the wicked party terminating my job, demoting me, etc, I would definitely be getting more than him. This was all caused by the evil’s persecution.

In fact, these attachments of unfairness and resentment had surfaced before many times. Thus whenever I ran into coworkers, I would never bring up the topic of retirement pensions, lest I expose these attachments. I would often console myself in my heart that at least I was getting retirement pension; compared to those fellow practitioners who were expelled from their jobs, my lot wasn’t bad. Thus I let it pass after thinking this way, and didn’t look inside to see what fundamental attachments caused these reactions. In the past when I talked with fellow practitioners about fame, gain, and emotion, I would often say that of these three, my fame and emotion were strong, but I particularly have any concern for gain. I remember when I was talking with my supervisor that year, he told me that the authorities were looking for me again and that he wanted to protect me. He said that placed in front of me was two paths: either I can write a guarantee to stop practicing, and all would be well; or, I would be fired from my job and placed in a detention center. Without any hesitation, I said, “I’ll practice!” Thinking back, I thought that my heart during those times was very pure. I passed the test swiftly without the slightest wavering.

But why are there so many attachments now? After calmly looking inward, I thought, is it merely an attachment to unfairness and resentment? Absolutely not. In Hong Yin, Master said, “Delusion blinds the world’s people, Each attached to fame and gain.” To feel unfair when someone earns four hundred more Yuan than me, wasn’t this an attachment to fame and gain? When I feel unjust in my heart, isn’t this caused by jealousy? What is hidden behind these attachments? During that day I said to my son (my son doesn’t practice), “Dad wants to give you some money, it’ll help you guys in getting through your days.” My son then asked me why I wanted to give him money. I said that their house is small, and I wanted to help him get a bigger house. My son immediately said, “That’s some strange thinking. As a practitioner, should you be thinking about such things?” I was speechless for a second, and then thought to myself, “Of course, is this something I should be thinking about as a practitioner? Have I done the three things well? Have I fulfilled the vow I made with Master? Yet I have the time to think about giving my son a house. What a strong attachment to qing!”

I thought further, “What is the root of qing? Isn’t it selfishness?” Master said in Essentials for Further Advancement, “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.” This bundle of stuff that I’m attached to, isn’t it just a bunch of egoism and selfishness? I really am so stubborn! In Zhuan Falun, Master said, “Lu Dongbin once made a statement, ‘I’d rather save an animal than a human being.’” Through my own cultivation state, I enlightened to how hard it is for Master to save a human being. As the Fa-rectification progresses, we have less and less time for cultivation. The time left to cultivate away our human attachments is also less and less, yet I feel like I am straying further and further away from the standards for cultivation. Master wants us to “Cultivate, my disciples, ‘til no single omission is found” (from Hong Yin). So many practitioners are putting their effort on cultivating each and every thought, yet my most surface attachments haven’t been removed. How can this be acceptable? If Fa-rectification were to end tomorrow, would I only be able to sit there and weep? Actually, I wouldn’t even have the opportunity to weep. I said to myself, “Cultivation really is too serious! I must wake up immediately!”

The above are a few of my shallow experiences. If anything is inappropriate, I ask fellow practitioners to compassionately correct it.

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