Cultivation Forum: A New Understanding on Selflessness and Altruism

PureInsight | March 31, 2003

A Western U.S. Dafa Practitioner

[] It has been six years since I obtained the Fa. In retrospect, the first time I read Zhuan Falun, I didn't have any confidence in eliminating human attachments and thought it was beyond my capability. In fact, I couldn't even begin to imagine what it would be like to eliminate all human attachments. It was after I encountered some unusual incidents that I began to feel that somehow Falun Gong was strongly connected to the essence of my life. That was when I decided to cultivate in Falun Gong.

Cultivation is very difficult for me. Teacher said ("What Has Teacher Given to Practitioners?" in Lecture Three of Zhuan Falun), "I have said that this is a very serious matter. It is something beyond ordinary people and more difficult than anything of ordinary people. Isn't it supernatural? Therefore, the requirement for you is higher than any matter of everyday people." Teacher also said ("Genuinely Guiding People Toward High Levels" in Lecture One of Zhuan Falun), "To tell you the truth, the entire cultivation process for a practitioner is one of constantly giving up human attachments."

During the Fa-rectification period, I truly feel that each and every one of my human attachments is subject to the evil forces' exploitation. Every one of my loopholes can be exploited to persecute fellow Dafa practitioners, and to obstruct the progress of my and fellow practitioners' Fa-rectification. I truly feel that it is essential to keep strong righteous thoughts, face my fundamental attachments, and eliminate them immediately. I feel that strong righteous thoughts are built upon true compassion. Teacher said, "Whereas the compassion that man refers to and imagines in his notions is merely kindness. Buddhas are kind, and that's for sure. But that compassion is a manifestation of the great power of Buddha Fa. Regardless of how bad a person is or how vicious something is, things as strong as iron and steel will all melt away before the mighty power and compassion of Buddha Fa. That's why demons are scared when they see it --- they are really afraid. They will melt away and vanish. This is absolutely different from what man imagines." (From "Lecture at the Western United States Fa Conference" on February 21 and 22, 1999 in Los Angeles.) Compassion is so powerful that everyone who hears the word will be shocked awake from the depth of his soul because returning to one's true self is the true meaning of life.

The systematic arrangements of the old forces have complicated and further challenged the missions of Dafa disciples during the Fa-rectification period. Each Dafa practitioner has a different cultivation path in the Fa-rectification period and each comes from a different cosmic body and different level of the gigantic firmament. Yet one thing we share in common is that only when we continue to study the Fa and cultivate our xinxing (mind nature) can we truly assimilate to Dafa, make the best of each Fa-rectification stage and offer salvation to sentient beings in Fa-rectification.

One thing really made a lot of difference in my cultivation path. I am a typical only daughter who grew up under the protection of my parents. For as long as I can remember, I've never had to worry about money. Besides, I immigrated to the U.S. with my parents when I was quite young, and many people are envious of my privileged upbringing. However, no one can see others' pain from the surface. There goes an old saying, "Every family has its hard nut to crack." I felt especially lonely and depressed since childhood. My parents made it very difficult for me relax in front of them. As a result, I found it difficult to concentrate on studying and had an extremely belligerent relationship with my mother. I had a lot of complaints about her. I felt that I hated her in every inch of my bones. I felt I had lost a lot of happiness because of her. The more I felt so, the more I continued to pick on her. I became completely consumed by my human notions. I especially detested the way she was obsessed with having a good life as an everyday person. My strong loathing toward my mother became the biggest obstacle in my cultivation path because I couldn't seem to overcome my sentiments no matter how diligently I cultivated.

I studied art at school, but I was unable to accept the degenerate American art. I didn't agree with the school education or teachers. I felt miserable but I had no one to talk to about my misery. Then a predestined relationship happened in my life. I finally found someone that understood me, but just when I was given hope, the relationship suddenly ended. It ended too fast for me to even catch my breath. Words could not express how upset or how lost I felt. It was then I truly felt that human sentimentality was something selfish and bad. However, human sentimentality penetrates every particle in the Three Realms, and each cell of my body. "I shall free myself from the control of sentiment!" I declared. At that moment, I felt as if a voice was speaking to me, "There is a kind of love that is selfless. It is compassion. It is only when you are compassionate toward others that you can be free from sentiment." I finally realized how badly I had hurt my mother and really regretted my actions. More than twenty years' malice vanished instantly without a trace. Only when I treat others with compassion can I truly be kind to everyone, and free myself from any attachment to family love, romantic love, and all kinds of positive and negative sentiments. The moment I started to have compassion toward others, I felt I was equipped with infinite strength and powerful righteous thoughts. It was as if every particle in the air congratulated me for my progress. Words cannot describe the beautiful feeling when I ascended to a higher level of cultivation! I was no longer bothered by the school education, because I learned how to harmonize in everyday people's environment. I need not dig into every little problem that I face. I am confident that my kind thoughts and compassion reinforced through my cultivation can melt all things bad.

Teacher also said, "Ren can bring about beautiful realms, and this can only be understood this way. When you can't accomplish the goal of what you're doing, you dig into a bull's horn and can't eat or sleep well --- you are as good as having your emotions controlled by others and your life led by others. You lead a tiring life without awakening to it, and you are living for others. If you can really take one step back and let go  'With the green mountains remaining, there's no fear of having no firewood,' although it's an ordinary person's saying --- if you can take a step back, you'll find the ocean broad and the sky endless. Steel your will to let it go, and your realm will change immediately. In this state, you'll find yourself light and spry — this is Ren. But I ask that you study the Fa more and reach realms higher than this." (From "Lecture at the Western United States Fa Conference" on February 21 and 22, 1999 in Los Angeles.) [Note: dig into a bull's horn is an idiomatic expression referring to something that's bound to be fruitless, like going down a dead end.]

I've observed those people in China who were hoodwinked by the Chinese government's fraudulent lies about Falun Gong, who have helped the wicked perpetrate wicked deeds and were opposed to Dafa. I believe I've seen their excruciatingly painful situation once the Truth [about Falun Gong and the universe] is revealed. It's not because they are evil in nature that they commit such crimes, but because they were manipulated by the evil old forces. Once they know the truth about Falun Gong, they will conduct themselves differently. Therefore, when we clarify the truth about Falun Gong to everyday people, we should never feel upset or anxious because of their responses. We should think the best for others, be kind to them, and continue to offer them salvation. All sentient beings need us so much to offer them salvation!

One time I listened to Teacher's lecture where Teacher said that we must cultivate ourselves to the realm of selflessness and altruism. At that time I felt this must be a very sacred realm. On the other hand, I wondered what the realm was really like. Is it very hard to reach that realm? Over the long history of reincarnations, we have picked up all kinds of human notions and attachments, and continue to be manipulated by the sentimentality that permeates the Three Realms. We can progress toward the realm of complete unselfishness and altruism only when we continue to study the Fa, handle everything from the Fa, truly improve our mind nature, and strictly conduct ourselves with the Fa. Teacher said, "You have a higher requirement for yourself and try your best to restrain those bad thoughts and things you're attached to; you do your best to take them lightly and resist them. The portion of you that's able to meet the standard, even if it's just for a split second, is then fixed there. It continually and constantly breaks through toward the surface in this way. When it has completely broken through in the end, when the very last layer is broken through, you'll discover that your thinking and thoughts are completely different from before. Even your way of thinking will be different from before. That is your true self, your true nature, while everything and anything that you think about and can't let go of are postnatal acquired notions pestering you. In addition to these notions, man also has a special environment in this dimension, that is, emotion (qing). Within the Three Realms, everything is soaked in emotion. You can't even be separated from this emotion  you're within it. Actually, what you need to do is find a way to break away from emotion." (From "Lecture at the Western United States Fa Conference" on February 21 and 22, 1999 in Los Angeles.) Teacher also said, "A human being, this shell of yours, is born within this emotion and has been in emotion since birth. The body cells that compose this shell are born in emotion's environment. If you part from it you're no longer a human but a God. When people get attached to emotion they're actually being passive even though they think they're being active."

The compassion we acquire and reinforce in the realm of complete selflessness and altruism by removing stubborn attachments and being completely altruistic is mighty and powerful. Such compassion has a strong field of righteous thoughts, which the old forces and evils fear. It is only when we reach the realm of selflessness and altruism that we will not feel upset when our ideas are denied, become subject to the manipulation of sentimentality, or hesitate to purge attachments. When we attain to the realm of complete selflessness and altruism, we will think about everything from the Fa, and truly treat fellow human beings with compassion. When we attain the realm of complete selflessness and altruism, during the Fa rectification we will be able to work as one body to eliminate the evil, and deny all arrangements by the old forces. It is a realm of supreme beauty. When we attain the realm of complete selflessness and altruism, we will truly feel the power of the boundless Buddha Fa, and truly understand the profound meaning of Dafa. We will no longer have confusion about anything. The complete freedom of this realm, along with the wisdom we acquire from the Fa, will allow us to create the boundless colossal firmaments and see the profound inner meanings of the Buddha Fa! During the cultivation where we eliminate our attachments, we aim to purge bad things, or selfish things. We need to consummate, harmonize our world, and offer salvations to all beings to reach the realm of selflessness and altruism. When we attain that realm, we can truly harmonize everything.

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