Understanding and Eliminating Attachments

A Falun Dafa Practitioner from

PureInsight | January 23, 2006

[PureInsight.org] Recalling some of my childhood, it seemed that I always felt that there was something missing in my life. I felt unhappy but did not know why. I wondered what I was doing here in the human world and never liked being here even though my life was normal so to speak.

After seeking for the truth and trying many different ways, the last one before Dafa was bigu (fasting) and I thought that would be the answer. Actually, I did bigu for 7 days and then about 3 months of liquids only until my body weakened. I finally obtained the Fa in 2001. The first year was not very good since I did not understand the deeper meaning of Dafa. I just did the exercises and read Zhuan Falun but it all seemed "Chinese" to me. Needless to say, my understanding was very limited at that time. Then I went to Germany for a visit and after attending my first Fahui in Germany my understanding changed completely. I learnt about the persecution for the first time, yet did not understand the severity of it.

Afterward, I visited my brother who is also a practitioner and I went through a so-called "crash course" learning Falun Gong for six weeks. This was my breakthrough in understanding what Dafa was all about and I finally realized that this is what I was looking for, though still a little uncertain of my path. I gave it about two years to see what will happen. At that time, my attachment was, as I realize now, still somewhat of a selfish nature.

Throughout my entire life, I was looking for a purpose or a true mission here. By reading Master's lectures, I realized my predestined relationship and the promise given in helping him with the Fa-Rectification process.

During these six weeks of attending a group exercise and study, every morning then I read Zhuan Falun most of the day, plus watching Master's video lectures every evening. I encountered lots of tests in my dream state, some I passed while some others I did not. One test was regarding my relationship with my son. In my dream I saw that my son was being mean to a person and later on that same person grabbed my son's head and beat it against the ground and his head was bleeding. Seeing this, I got very upset and started beating this person. After I woke up I realized that this was not right because my son had done a bad deed at first and needed to pay off his karma. Therefore, I did not pass this test. Another one was a test of lust, where someone tried to seduce me and I knew this was not good for me so I refused and left in a hurry. There were others but I can't recall them anymore.

I recall one time when we did the meditation, which was always very painful and I was never able to hold it more than 30 minutes. This time I was able to go through the 60 minutes but at the end my body started to shake and I was freezing all over. This lasted for some time and with the help of my brother, his wife, and sending forth righteous thoughts I was able to eliminate this karma attack. It was just like mentioned in Zhuan Falun, "Loss and Gain":
"What we lose is actually something bad. What is it? It is karma, and it goes hand in hand with different human attachments."

Through group study and sharing with other practitioners, I was also able to understand some of my attachments. By going out and clarifying the truth to people, I understood the importance of our mission. In those days, people were still very negative in regards to Dafa and sometimes mean toward us when we tried to explain the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. One time while we were demonstrating the meditation exercise, one passer-by shouted toward us that we should feel ashamed sitting there like this. I was able to stay calm and felt truly sorry for her. At one time I almost wanted to stop my truth clarification effort. I understand it was due to my human notions, insufficient compassion towards the sentient beings, and my personality of disliking confrontation. However, surprisingly though, I continued my truth clarification no matter what I thought and it became easier approaching people.

As stated in "Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York":
"Why are Dafa disciples clarifying the truth and saving beings? Because that is Dafa disciples' duty. That is the kind of being that I, Li Hongzhi, want, and a Dafa disciple is that kind of cultivator."

After my cultivation, I was also able to resolve some family issues which were present for many years, especially with my mother, and I no longer blamed her for everything. I looked within to find out what my attachments were, and I was able to resolve them. At the beginning, it was not easy and I often failed. Oftentimes, my Mom was criticizing me for not being very helpful and understanding when she wanted to tell me a story or talk about other people and I always told her that I didn't want to hear it, because it was negative and gossip and it did not interest me. Then she was upset and got hurt by my words. She said she could not talk to me because I was being rude to her. Many times when she wanted to say things I was not interested in, I ignored her. Now I know that was not showing compassion and tolerance toward her. With time and continuous cultivation my relationship with my mother has improved.

This part mentioned in Zhuan Falun, "Transformation of Karma" reminds me how I should act: "During the process of transforming karma, to keep yourself under control—unlike an everyday person who would mess things up—you should always maintain a heart of benevolence and a mind of kindness."

Later my Mom even got involved in doing the exercises with me for a few months and she was reading Zhuan Falun, even though she did not understand it, and when I left Germany, for the first time my Mom and I hugged and cried together. Today when something happens, I know to look within and not blame others for my shortcomings.

After learning more about attachments, I realized my biggest attachment concerning family was my attachment to my son. For many years I had a guilty feeling for leaving him and was tormented by it, even though he had assured me that he never suffered and actually thought it was better for his development. We always talked about spiritual things and he seemed to be able to help me with many problems I encountered, so I guess I started to depend on him for advice instead of looking within and trusting myself to know what to do in critical situations.

Then this year, I believe I was shown that it was time to get rid of this attachment. When I visited my family again in Germany my son picked me up and later that evening we talked since I felt that something was on his mind and he told me that he was thinking of going away into a temple and that no one would be able to get in touch with him then. I immediately started crying it seemed as though this loss would be unbearable for me. I could not stop crying the entire night and was tormented by it and then asked Master to help me to get through this attachment and give me wisdom to resolve it.

When I was stumbling in this attachment, my mind recalled the part in Zhuan Falun, "Demonic Interference from One's Own Mind", which helped me tide over this difficulty: "Who is your son or daughter? No one knows it after one passes away. You must still pay for what you owe others. Human beings live in delusion and just cannot give up these things. Some people cannot let go of their sons and daughters and claim how good they are, and then they pass away. One may speak of how good one's mother is, but then she also dies. This person grieves so much that he almost wants to follow her for the rest of his life. Why don't you think about it? Aren't they here to torment you? They use this form to make you unable to lead a good life."

The next morning I had a feeling of relief and, even though it still bothered me somewhat, I felt much better and thought that enough was enough. After 20 years of feeling guilty and missing my son, I finally got over this sentimentality which for some reason seemed to be the biggest hurdle during my cultivation path. That incident enabled me to have a clearer understanding of what fundamental attachments mean and how they can control someone.

I know that there are still many attachments I need to eliminate, such as to money, to self, comfort and being more compassionate and tolerant toward my husband. Even though he is not a practitioner and does not believe in certain spiritual issues, and does not understand why I want to clarify the truth and stop the persecution, he does support me when I go to conferences or participate in other activities. I know that deep down inside he knows that Dafa is good.

I remember a few times when I mentioned the persecution and that we want to stop it by exposing the evil nature of the CCP, he said we were trying to overthrow a government and that I had no right to interfere with another government. I understand that there is much to be desired in terms of my clarifying the true facts to my husband regarding the wicked nature of the CCP and its persecution of Falun Gong, although I explained to him that all I have been doing is raising awareness of the situation in China and trying to stop the persecution. Teacher said in "Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference" in 2003, "Wherever a problem arises, that's where you need to clarify the facts." On the one hand, there is still much interference that prevents him from seeing the total picture, so I need to give him time and not pressure him, otherwise it might have a negative effect. On the other hand, I will strengthen my righteous thoughts for eliminating the evil factors that interfere with him and enhance my compassion toward him. I firmly believe that compassion has the power to change everything, including the perception of my husband toward Dafa, as long as I can grow my compassion during my actions in doing the three things well. As Teacher said in Hong Yin II, "Mercy can dissolve heaven and earth, bringing about spring." (A provisional translation subject to improvement)

Finally, what I want to say is that when I first started writing this sharing article, I did not know what to write, but it seems once I started to sit down and focused on writing, things would just fall into place and now I finally made the breakthrough of sharing my experiences. The above are the shallow reflections on my cultivation pulled together in a short time, so please do point out anything inappropriate to me so that I can do better in the future.

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