PureInsight | November 18, 2002
Before I went to Texas, for a long time I was unable to make any progress in my cultivation. Superficially I appeared to be very busy with Dafa work, but in reality I did not achieve any improvement regarding the Fa. I did not perform well on any of the three tasks Teacher required of us. I felt as if I was confined inside an egg and couldn't break through the shell. Though I seemed to make some progress after a big effort to study the Fa, I was still unable to find the root cause of my problem.
It was under such conditions that I hastily embarked on the journey to Chicago and Texas. We had a very rushed and exhausting itinerary. The noise, chill, and rain made it very difficult to study the Fa in peace. Most of the time I merely studied the Fa mechanically. Meanwhile, I encountered xinxing tests during the trip. Some fellow practitioners traveling with me kept picking on me for trivial things and severely admonished me for these matters. For example, they criticized my attachment to my long hair, my forgetfulness to turn off the engine and the headlights after I parked the car, my lack of persistence and perseverance in staying up all night to send forth righteous thoughts, and so on. Despite the fact that I remembered Teacher's words about how we ought to regard conflicts among practitioners, my heart ached when my fellow practitioners were so harsh toward me, with such a lack of compassion. Why did they have to be so hard on me over such minor attachments? Finally, right before the most critical period of time when we had to really focus on sending forth righteous thoughts, we began to argue with each other. I was seething even though I knew that it was wrong to argue. I was so immersed in my own attachments that I was completely consumed by them.
Finally I was able to calm down and focus on sending forth righteous thoughts. Afterwards, I began to reflect upon myself. The process of eliminating the attachments was quite painful, especially when I failed to strive forward in studying the Fa. In fact, it involved a very simple principle: If the attachments were so minor, why was I so troubled when those fellow practitioners pointed them out? Didn't the evil easily exploit these minor attachments at the crucial moment, and interfere with my sending forth righteous thoughts?
After I returned home, I began to study Teacher's "Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Boston." In this lecture, I felt as if Teacher was speaking directly to me about my flaws. The crux of the problem did not lie in the trivial matters themselves, but in the attachments that were exposed by those trivial matters. They must be exposed so that I could eliminate them. For a long time, my attachment to fame, or my pride in my intelligence and capability, could not be dispelled. I have been most successful in everything I set my mind on. I also happen to be the person who has practiced the longest at the local exercise site. Whether intentionally or otherwise, the majority of practitioners seemed to do whatever I told them to do, as if I were always correct or knew the answer to everything. Suddenly, those fellow practitioners, who appeared less accomplished in many respects, began to ruthlessly criticize and chide me in public during this trip. I simply could not bear the humiliation, so I began to grasp at reasons to retaliate. At the moment, my attachments to fame, to retaliation, and even to battle had gotten the better of me.
During the period when I stopped striving forward, I accumulated a pile of attachments, leading to even bigger challenges to my xinxing. My need to progress was the reason behind why these fellow practitioners began to pick on me—it was an opportunity for me to upgrade my xinxing. In the process of elevating my xinxing, it was necessary for me to endure some hardship. This is the true reason why those fellow practitioners, who were usually very polite and affectionate, suddenly became extremely harsh with me. They were assisting me in eliminating the bad elements present in me. However, not only had I failed to see it as an opportunity to upgrade my xinxing, but I had also forgotten to be tolerant with my fellow practitioners. I had stopped trying to understand the truth because at that moment kindness and benevolence left me when my heart was consumed by attachments and seething with anger.
Subsequently, I began meticulously studying the Fa. The reason for these incidents gradually became clear to me. I have been too caught up in a materialistic world where I was immersed all day in the clamor for fame, wealth, passion, and lust. I neglected to genuinely study the Fa. I was tempted by ease and comfort. The accumulation of human desires overwhelmed my initiative to eliminate my attachments or evaluate problems based on the Fa.
Now that I have seen the root cause of my problems, I suddenly feel the shell around me has vanished. Although I have not completely eliminated all of my attachments, I am confident that I am now back on track and striving forward in my cultivation again.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2002/10/30/19059.html