Coming to recognize and cultivate away negative thoughts and attachments to self interest

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Greetings, respectful Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!

Today I will be sharing with everybody my experiences of my recent process of changing negative thinking and getting rid of different human attachments. During my recent work period, especially during the later period, for a long time I could not guarantee that I studied Fa and practiced every day, and for a long time I was very tired when dealing with work. For a long time, I would always participate in activities for spreading the Fa, and on the surface when I met with problems I would know to look within, however I didn’t earnestly examine the problems in my cultivation or deeply look within. Many Xinxing problems were not resolved and thus accumulated, and it became more and more serious. After work would finish, after increasing Fa study, practice of the exercises and looking within, and continuously strengthening my Main Consciousness, I made a certain breakthrough in my cultivation.

Because of my experiences of being out of work often, I am a person who lacks a sense of security, and moreover have formed a deep layer of negative thinking. Because of my limited ability of speaking and listening in the Swedish language, also of not being confident in my own capability, I was pessimistic and perplexed on the issue of reemployment. In the later period of my last job, I started to find work online. After looking around for a long time, I felt that there were no suitable posts, so at the time I just applied for a place as a PhD student in several universities. Apart from a local university in Sweden, all of the foreign universities declined my offer in letters sent to me after the deadline. This strengthened my negative thinking and pessimistic view. Add to that, wanting a stable life and having the idea of buying a house, during the process of losing my job and being reemployed, whenever I thought of work, I would feel very anxious. When the local Swedish university got in touch with me after I had sent my application for the position as a PhD student, to a certain extent this alleviated my anxiousness. Very quickly I received my new tasks, and I was required to read out my thesis and record a video on how I was going to deal with the related question for study. After going through preparation and submitting my answer, I very quickly received an invitation for an interview. Before the interview, when preparing answers to questions, a Xinxing problem that I was most afraid of bumping into emerged. Because I felt that my work at the time was not done well, I did not have any confidence in my own reply to many conventional interview questions. When looking for a colleague who could recommend me, I was embarrassed to ask them for this favour, so I was looking forward to the outcome of the interview, and also felt hopelessness which made my mood difficult to calm.

Whilst my emotions were rising and falling, I conquered the interference from thought karma which came about as an attempt to avoid suffering, and began to look within, and I saw that my thinking highly of a position as a PhD student deepened my anticipation for this post, but behind this was covered my attachment to pursuing fame. As for me showing a lack of confidence in my work, to a great extent this was because I had low self esteem and felt there was no way I could reach the standard that I was aiming for. And moreover, I was unable to ask my colleague for the favour of a recommendation, and to a great extent this was because of my laziness and attachment to comfort and I myself felt that I had not put my best effort into this, and was always being pushed by others. In my mind I always felt sorry but because of the attachment to vanity I had no way to utter a word, and as a result I was very much afraid of touching upon the tender spots in my inner mind. When I started to face my problems and to look back at how I manifested at work, the negative things started to peel away. I was then able to look at problems from different perspectives and was able to notice my positive aspects.

When I distinguished my vanity of wishing to uphold my own reputation, I wrote a letter to the coordinator of my work project and said in a simple and honest way that after rethinking I would like to express my apologies. When I let go of excessively looking forward to my post as a PhD student, and moreover with the circumstances of not asking for a recommendation, in his reply, he encouraged me to apply for this chance to study as a PhD student, and moreover expressed that during the process of seeking this position he was willing to make a recommendation for me. For the few days of project meetings that followed, when chatting about my PhD application, other colleagues also replied and said that they would make a recommendation for me. After going through the first interview, I was very quickly invited to undergo the final interview.

At the same time, in order to quickly find the next job, after I was out of work, after getting past my previous project, I also applied for fieldwork employment for specialised companies. Apart from being invited for an invitation for my PhD position, interview opportunities came one after the other, and things seemed to be making progress very smoothly. Even so, after the interview for the PhD position, when being requested to submit the recommendation by my academic advisor for my Masters degree dissertation, things didn’t actually go as expected. I couldn’t get in contract with the academic advisor who was to do my recommendation, and later learned that she had retired at an advanced date. During the process of feeling uneasy to the point of feeling hopeless, I knew that Master had taught about what’s truly yours won’t be lost, so I made an effort to restrain the attachments that I brought along, and rejected my human notions, and under the situation of having to choose one out of two choices, I had a great opportunity, and let go of losses and gains, however I had no way to achieve becoming tranquil like water. Until I looked back previously when I had a feeling of exhaustion at university projects and moreover after not being able to guarantee Fa study and practice of the exercises, I thought about what the purpose of people coming to this world was, and this attachment was gradually let go of. Soon afterward I received the decision not to give me the position, and although I felt hopeless, it was not too unbearable.

Then on the same day, I received four other refusals from other companies, and my feeling of anxiousness once again emerged greatly. Facing the limited opportunities left in front of me, my attachments to losses and gains also prominently emerged. When I was preparing for the interview for another post, I did extensive preparations, and my mentality on the way was very steady. Even so, when I got to the office building and got in the elevator, I was so nervous in my mind that it felt like my heart was going to jump out, because of my subconscious anxiousness about not being able to handle the interview process and being afraid of not being able to present myself well and being afraid of not getting a good result. The good thing was that my Main consciousness at the time was relatively strong, and recognized that I had an attachment to fear, my mind quickly became stable, and in the end the process of the interview went very smoothly. After the interview passed, I received an invitation to undergo a logic and personality test. Because of my attachment to losses and gains, I once again sunk into a human way of thinking and planned to use the afternoon time to practice and on the morning of the second day after finishing sending righteous thoughts and practicing the exercises, I did the tests. Because of being attached to the outcome, on the second day after finishing the exercises, my worries and anxiousness meant I was unable to begin the tests. When I hardened my heart and pressed the start button, during the set time for the several questions in succession, I had no way to clearly identify the rules and moreover the results of the judgement. When I felt that my results couldn’t reach my expectations, I instead let go of the attachment, and then thought of trying my best. As a result, after I submitted it, my results were in the top 10 percent, which exceeded my expectations.

For a while, I was going through some introspection. Master said in Zhuan Falun: “I am telling you this principle that everyday people are unable to realize. You may think that you are good at everything, but your life does not have it. That person is good at nothing, but his life has it, and he will become a boss”.

Knowing that Master had an arrangement for everything in my own path, and coming to know that a persons life is arranged according to ones karma, why was my mind so easily lead astray? On the surface, I knew that I had not achieved having 100 percent faith in the Master and in the Fa, but it was as if behind this there was always something hindering me. Why was I so moved by the amount of opportunities, enabling this unsettling feeling towards the interviews and taking seriously the results to emerge so prominently? I was aware that when my opportunities were few, my feeling of being troubled about the future came about because I had received influence from this notion from atheism that “seeing is believing”. Furthermore, during the process of applying for a position, when faced with valuing such opportunities, it seems that I would have to spend a considerable amount of time and effort to prepare for it, and the weight on my thinking was very heavy, and in wanting to reach my hoped for results through human effort, and in wanting to artificially arrange my own path, and indeed wanting to lessen suffering and go after gain by avoiding harm in the maze, I had not completely believed that a persons life is arranged according to his or her karma. During the process of looking within, I dispelled the elements that hindered me from truly understanding the Fa, and moreover when these postnatally formed notions appeared I could also gradually promptly discern and distinguish them.

Gradually I was able to face my problems at work with a more tranquil mind, and not be affected by the false appearances of the “real” world, and not to be attached to the outcome. Moreover, the change in my way of thinking enabled me, during the process of interviews, to communicate and interact with more ease. My feelings of nervousness and anxiousness also gradually became lighter. Opportunities that I had not originally expected also emerged.

And during this time, another thing that seriously affected my Xinxing was the problem of unemployment insurance. After I lost my job I applied for a subsidy, even so after a while I received a decision of refusal. I thought that according to reason, I was unable to obtain something which I was supposed to obtain, and in my mind, I felt it was unfair, and my attachments to having a grudge also arose. I realised this was targeting my attachment to self-interest, however no matter what I did I was unable to let go of it, and during the struggle between human thoughts and divine thoughts, I had no way to completely jump out, and I would understand for a while, and then I would once again fall into human understandings. I realized I would not lose what is truly mine, but upon thinking of not being able to pay the bills, it stifled my mind. Just like when Master says in “Essentials for further advancement” in the article entitled “Enlightenment”: “Those who survive the world without direction and with poor enlightenment quality live for money and die for power, being joyful or anxious over petty gains.”

During that period of time I increased Fa study, and recited the Fa from memory with a fellow practitioner, and it was then that I realised my enlightenment quality was bad, and that I had taken self-interest of the so called real world too importantly. After continuing to dig deeper, there was some negative thinking hidden behind taking self-interest as too important, and being pessimistic about the prospect of taking up a job and having no alternative but to accept the financial persecution of the Old Forces, and thereby wanting to use human means to enable myself to obtain a sense of security. The root of this was still that I lacked righteous faith in Master and in the Fa. The process of looking within during this period also hid my attachment to self-interest, which I was unwilling to give up, after feeling hopeless at gaining well-due self-interest, what lead on from this was again how I could have as few losses as possible in that situation.

After distinguishing these human attachments, I started to mend my ways, and I gradually thought of the relationship between loss and gain, and this attachment was gradually released. Not long afterwards I once again received a notification of a change in the decision regarding a subsidy for my activity. However, the trial of my attachment to self interest had not finished. On the way home to Sweden from the Poland Fa conference, I once again met with a test; I had to pay double expenses for both my luggage check in and getting on the small SL train, and I was clear that this was a test for me. Following this during the process of paying for these two fees, I was also inspecting the intention behind my thoughts, and didn’t allow notions and human attachments to dominate my actions.

Master said in the article “What is Forbearance (“Ren”)”: “Forbearance is the key to improving one’s xinxing.” During this time, I learned how to cultivate amidst forbearance, and my righteous thoughts were strengthened. Faced with the onslaught of different intense human feelings and notions, I continuously strengthened my Main Consciousness, changed my human notions, treating the bad things that happened to me as good things, and knowingly and consciously “suffering”. During the process of continuously being steadfast in distinguishing and repelling human attachments and notions, I distinctly felt that my own deviated matter was being dispelled, and that my endurance was strengthening, and that I was finding my true self again little by little. Looking back at my experiences from this time, and periodically not waking up from being driven along by notions and human attachments, and when trapped and unable to get out of human logic this really was unbearably difficult, but during the process of distinguishing the phony self, I thoroughly and surely learned from experience that bad things and good things are all good things. After passing through this, I deeply felt that after dislodging the postnatally formed fake self, it is just like the line from Masters poem “Discarding Attachments” in “Hong Yin II”: “What’s given up is not oneself, But instead the folly of delusion”.

Furthermore, during the process of improving Xinxing, following the dislodging and weakening of human attachments and substances, I seriously began to become more relaxed, and when sitting in meditation and breaking through the pain in the legs and relying on will power to complete the tranquil sitting meditation exercise, I also became more open and clear when clarifying the truth, and I profoundly came to realize what it means in “Zhuan Falun” when it says “matter and mind are one thing”.

The above are just a few bits of understandings that I have come to realize from cultivation practice. If there is anything that is not in line with the Fa, I request that fellow practitioners kindly point them out.

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