PureInsight | May 29, 2021
[PureInsight.org] We all know that group practice and experience sharing are a form left by Master that can effectively promote our cultivation. However, in this process, there are some problems that are common like leaving soon after the study with no serious sharing. Over time, it becomes only Fa study and very little communication. So slowly, many people feel that the effect of studying the Fa collectively is not much different from that of studying the Fa on their own, and so they stop participating. I often wonder what intentions I have as one of them to jointly contribute to such a cultivation environment.
Looking inward is the magic tool for cultivation, but I often notice that many of my attachments have formed naturally, such as unknowingly showing some thoughts that look outward, lack of righteous thoughts, and even very common human behaviors. It is this kind of everyday thoughts and behavior that has played a large or small role in contributing to the overall cultivation environment.
1. Protect Oneself and Afraid of Exposing Oneself
When communicating with fellow practitioners, whether in large or small groups, I seldom talk. One important reason is due to my own personality, I prefer not to talk, and I have no idea what is proper to share. Behind this reason, there is my attachment to protect myself from being hurt, causing unpleasant, or getting into trouble, and seek comfort.
Digging deeper, I found that the factor behind this mindset is that karma does not want to be destroyed, because once I get hurt, my karma will be eliminated. Even if the karma reflects a fake feeling to me as ‘I want to protect myself’, it truly protects itself from being completely eliminated. Therefore, being hurt is a good thing, and protecting oneself is a bad thing for cultivators.
When communicating with fellow practitioners, I will consciously or unknowingly avoid my own problems, so as not to be used as a target by fellow practitioners, thereby losing face and self-esteem. I avoid being discussed or despised by others. Indeed, what is hidden behind the scenes are my attachments of self-esteem, vanity, fame, etc. Sometimes I talk about my own problems, but I avoid or neglect the important part, understate my attachments or thoughts that are very bad, or pass by without touching the attachments that buried in the depths.
Hiding own attachments is equal to strengthening it. The deeper we are hiding it, the stronger it will be. Once I do not have leeway for my attachments, my main spirit will be more energetic and focusing on my attachments. Meanwhile, my main spirit is stronger and easier to overcome the tribulation.
I think if we can take out our attachments and those who are afraid of being exposed can be brave to communicate with fellow practitioners, we can break through and get rid of our attachments faster. God does not look at how many filthy and dirty thoughts are exposed, but who had removed their attachments. Moreover, I found that if one is brave to expose one’s attachments, the one will be silently and courageously moving forward of cultivation. On the contrary, if one hides the attachments, grasps the attachments, cannot eliminate them completely, the one will stumble on the road of cultivation. Thus, I also warned myself to work hard to overcome this fear of exposing my attachments, hoping that I can communicate with fellow practitioners more candidly.
After thinking and trying to do this, I feel that it is easier for me to look inward and find more of my own shortcomings, and I am no longer focused outwards on the shortcomings of others. Gradually, I have fewer accusations and complaints against others. It is easier for me to think from the perspective of others, to think for others, and to be considerate of others. At the same time, I found that I was humbler because once I exposed my deficiencies in my cultivation; I naturally could not be arrogant anymore.
Sometimes, I am still attaching to a concept that when I find out that I have any attachments, I hope to keep it for myself. Even if I remind myself to fix it from time to time, but I feel it is unnecessary to tell fellow practitioners. It seems that there is nothing wrong, but in fact, there is still an attachment that is afraid of exposing one's attachments. At the same time, this also reflects the question of whether the cultivator is open-minded and whether one has high standards for oneself. A well-trained person will only be frank, and there is nothing that cannot be said openly. If Master leaves us a form of group practice and experience sharing, does not it mean that we can improve faster through experience sharing and discussions? One practitioner cannot cultivate by applying this method, so it is relatively slower to improve by cultivating alone. Therefore, if you have a high standard for yourself in cultivation, you can bravely expose your own attachments at any time without leaving the retreat. I think this may also be regarded as an expression of bravery and diligence.
I think that newer practitioners tend to do much better than me at this point. Instead, they are very relaxed and are not afraid to expose their attachments, because they think that they are new and having attachments those others can understand. On the contrary, the veteran practitioners have gradually become too ‘smart’ in the cultivation process. They are cunning and cannot let go of them. They do not dare to speak up if they fail in a tribulation. They feel embarrassed to say that they spent too little time on Fa study and doing the exercises. This is because of the desire for fame, vanity, fear that others will look down on them. It is also caused by the inability to understand the Fa. From the Fa, I understand that no matter how many years of cultivation, cultivators will have bad human attachments until the moment before enlightening. It is not that after so many years of cultivating, all human attachments are gone for granted, and there is no need to cultivate. After so many years of propagating the Fa and clarifying the truth, there are more or fewer conflicts and estrangements between the veteran practitioners, and sometimes they are even sharp and attacking each other’s deficiencies, so they dare not actively expose their attachments. Possibly, the other practitioner might take the chance and say, “Look at what he confessed regarding his attachments, so and so on...”. In this case, I am more eager to protect myself and hide from being caught in the pigtails. Conversely speaking, the behavior and mentality are extremely insidious, dirty, and inferior as a practitioner to use the attachments of the fellow practitioners who were looking inward and self-analyze to attack or mock the fellow practitioners. This is a defilement of the most sacred behavior of looking inward and the severe damage to the cultivation environment and atmosphere of looking inward. Without the mentality, environment, and atmosphere of looking inward, no matter how long time you have spent on Fa study and clarifying the truth, it will only reach the level of surface and it will be no different from ordinary people participating in Dafa activities.
2. Using Truth Clarification as a Shield
I have also found that when I do not want to expose my shortcomings but want to communicate or have to communicate, I often find something grandiose to talk about. Because talking everyday people’s things will be prevented by other fellow cultivators, so I talking about something used in the name of certain important things in cultivation, or something showing that I have a clear and high level of understanding on some important things, or something showing that I am very good at diligent cultivation and truth-clarification, etc. Among those topics, talking about truth clarification is my most common shield. Dafa disciples know that clarifying the truth and saving people is the most important thing during the Fa-rectification period. Who will stop me from talking about it? Truth clarification is a good topic to be discussed. However, once we started to talk about it, we completely forget about the cultivation of looking inward. Truth clarification cannot replace cultivation, even if truth clarification is part of our cultivation. This principle is quite plain and clear at ordinary times, but sometimes when I was taking action, the relationship of cultivation and truth-clarification was blurry in my mind, and I treated truth-clarification as my cultivation. Thus, when I was talking about truth-clarification, I was non-stop and always guided the other practitioners to pay more attention to truth-clarification or to suggest how others should do it. For example, I would say, “We must pay attention to saving people by clarifying the truth. We must save a lot of people. We should save people by doing…” My words seemed understandable. In fact, behind this high-sounding rhetoric, I always want to guide others and make suggestions. My attachment of changing others was hidden. I was persistent in arguing with others making many things messy.
Moreover, I found that words such as ‘we’, ‘all of us’, ‘everyone’, etc., are basically often pointing at others, wanting to guide or change others instead of myself. It seems that ‘we’ includes each of us, but my main thing is to talk about others and change others. Otherwise, there is no need to talk about it in front of everyone.
3. Use Sharing of Principles as a Shield
During the experience sharing, I was eager to explore the principles of the Fa. Of course, as a practitioner, the principles of the Fa should be clarified, but I should not spend too much time exploring the principles of the Fa without communicating how to eliminate attachments. In the early stages of cultivation, practitioners would like to explore the principles of the Fa with others. This is understandable. For veteran practitioners, I think we should pay more attention to how to improve our thoughts and clarify the truth to save people.
During the experience sharing, I also found some other bad attachments, such as:
(1) Highly interested in talking about ordinary life
It is not that I am concerned about the fame and wealth among ordinary people. I found that I was more concerned about the social situation, changes in the Fa-rectification situation, general elections and other current politics, social chaos, and people's failures. Although talking about these things occasionally is not a big problem, too much talking is unnecessary. Sometimes I like to make comments about people around me, which should not happen. Master also emphasized this point when he talked about the cultivation of speech.
(2) Attack others and laugh at others by using their exposed attachments during looking inward
This has already been mentioned before. I laughed at others by using their exposed attachments when looking inward. When I realized that I have such a mind and behavior, I cannot forgive myself. I was being trapped in guilt and self-blame for a long time. I felt that I had done extremely bad things, hurting fellow practitioners and ruining the looking inward cultivation environment. I made fellow practitioners stop actively sharing their attachments. I also failed Master’s teachings. Master told us to look inside, but I took this to mock others and blaspheme such a sacred behavior.
In the process of collective experience sharing and listening to others, I also found that I would have some bad feelings from time to time. For example, when I saw fellow practitioners excitedly talking about their understanding of the situation and clarifying the truth, but they did not share their own thoughts or attachments, I felt repulsive and resentful in my heart. Although I seemed to be calm on the surface and had no facial expression at all, I did not want to listen to it in my heart. I felt that what the other person was saying is not inspiring or touching for me, which was a waste of time. In fact, think about it carefully. Although it is not helpful to myself, it may be helpful to other people, especially new practitioners, so I remind myself not to demand so much on gaining new ideas or being inspired. Of course, at the same time, I remind myself that only helpful experiences for others to improve should be shared, or beneficial experiences for clarifying the truth should be shared. Otherwise, useless communication can be a waste of others' time.
(4) Attachments of jealousy, showing off, etc.
During the experience sharing, all kinds of attachments appeared through my thoughts. If I do not look inward genuinely, others cannot find out my attachments. Therefore, when I identified an attachment, I would keep digging it until eliminated.
Because of the self-protection and fear of exposing one’s heart, I was reluctant to speak. When I was sharing, I often used a rescue project or a principle discussion, etc. as a shield; so that everyone felt that the communication was not effective, fruitless, and useless. This kind of experience sharing cannot improve or remove our attachments in the cultivation, and we are less attracted to experience sharing.
If we can all be more honest and pay more attention to the actual cultivation regarding attachment elimination, perhaps the experience sharing of the Fa will also attract more people who genuinely want to cultivate.
Chinese version: https://www.zhengjian.org/node/264966