Greetings, Master and fellow practitioners,
It has been a year since I started practicing Falun Dafa with all my heart and it has been a year full of new understandings almost every day. During this year I have fallen down and gotten back up only to realize how hard and, at the same time, easy it is to cultivate myself. Human notions and emotions have been and still are the biggest obstacles in my cultivation that I want to share here today.
Attachment to selfishness and learning to look inward
Ever since I have known myself, I have been quite an emotional being - from being too empathetic to being too selfish. Before I started my journey with Falun Dafa I even worried about every little thing that somehow affected me, such as - heart racing right before I had to read a paragraph in school or fear of asking where the milk is from the vendor in the supermarket. The same applied to relationships with my family or partners - either I could be worried about how I looked in front of them when I talked or being afraid to tell them what I wanted to do on the weekends. Although I never expressed my fear very clearly, deep down I felt it in my mind. Keeping in all these emotions also never helped, as at some point it always came out as some illness or ailment - they kept coming in waves, whenever I was too full of these emotions of fear. The culmination was that I was so full of anxiety that in the middle of the theatre performance I watched, I thought I was having a heart attack. We rushed to the hospital only to be told that nothing was wrong with me. After many doctor visits and tests in the coming weeks, the same was told by every single doctor I met. After a week I spent at home resting and thinking through everything, I came to understand that it was all in my head. I was 17 years old at the time and was yet not a Dafa disciple, however deep down in my heart I knew that it was an illusion of illness. Similar situations kept arising in the coming years - problems with the digestive system, low energy levels, high blood pressure - but never was I diagnosed with any illness.
After I started my cultivation path, I have been able to let go of these small fears and have understood how to flow more in everyday life situations. In the first weeks of exercising and learning Fa, I already felt calm in my heart and every illusionary illness I had disappeared - my heart did not race, my digestive system was calm and I felt more energised than ever. It was truly Master showing me how wonderful Falun Dafa is. However, one bigger test last year showed me how to look inward - I was truly amazed and thankful beyond words to Master. Last year I was working in an international logistics company as a sales team member and was planning to soon leave the company due to new studies I had begun recently. This company every year organises a week long summer camp in Italy for every person working in this organisation, paying for everything - transport, accommodation, food and workshops. Also, last year there was an announcement about an upcoming event and I felt very happy about that. When the summer camp week was getting closer, I caught myself with a selfish thought, “I will go to summer camp and only then hand in my resignation letter,” in order to be able to enjoy warm weather in Italy before the long winter in Latvia.
Although I had been a Falun Dafa practitioner for only a few months, I immediately forced this thought out. However, I did not hand in my resignation letter, as some human notions about comfort and getting something for free kept me from doing that. Two days before the planned trip I felt quite bad physically, had a headache and while eating lunch noticed that I couldn't taste anything. Our workplace ordered us to take a Covid test before the summer camp and I already knew at that point that it was going to be positive. And it turned out that I was right - the test came out positive. I had to cancel my plans and tell the management that I will not join the Italy trip. I immediately understood my shortcoming and that I had been very selfish and thanked Master for showing me this big attachment I had. I was forced to stay at home for 2 weeks, so I used my time well to reflect on the whole situation. On the first 2 days at home I was able to detect 2 more attachments, that previously I even did not know I had. First, I understood that I had been bragging about going on the trip to everyone that asked me about my plans for the coming weeks. Second, not only did I show off, but I also felt somewhat superior to others. Right after I understood my attachments I immediately lost all the symptoms of the virus. I did not feel bad about not being able to join the summer camp. I understood that I had 3 big attachments to eliminate and felt thankful that I was able to detect these shortcomings so soon in my practice.
This test gave me a better understanding of the Master's words: “There is a principle in this universe called “No loss, no gain.” To gain, one has to lose. If you don’t want to lose, you will be forced to lose.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)
However, this principle has come back to me again in different aspects quite recently.
Attachment to emotions and learning to eliminate attachments
The same principle of “No loss, no gain” showed itself again in my attachment to emotions in relationships. I started to have partners quite early in my life and had my first boyfriend when I was 17, however somehow I was not able to hold in any relationship for more than 3 years. Even after deciding to get married with one of my partners, I divorced after 2 years of marriage. Superficially, after every relationship ended I always felt that the other person was not being fair to me. I sometimes was very emotional and cried. However, the main problem was that I did not know how to look inward to understand and let go of my attachments. Now, for the last one and a half years I have been in a relationship that has brought me many tests and understandings about my own shortcomings not only in this, but also the previous relationships I had.
I had always thought that I have been very patient with everything and everyone - I never felt and expressed any anger to my parents, friends or colleagues if something was not going well or according to my plans. Also, I always was treated quite well from every person I had met and been in contact with for longer periods of time. However, now, for the first time in this life, I had to encounter severe hardships every day from a person I had decided to live with. My every word and idea was met with anger, as if it was foolish and not right, and every household chore was done wrong by me. Even on occasions, the way I dressed was a reason to say something bad. However, once we got out of the house to meet friends, the person completely changed. The questions I asked at home were laughed at, but asked by friends were met with a smile and kind answers. It was building up in me and I was confused. I tried to understand the reasons and tried to look inward. It got down to the point that I felt like I was treated unfairly and was crying every evening. Although I understood that it was not how practitioners would handle hardships, I just could not get out of these big human emotions. Once I calmed down and started to look inward, I was again punched with angry words. At the same time I saw how much jealousy was in me - how I wanted to be treated the same way as his friends. This kept going on for a few months.
One evening, I was coming home from college and hopped on the tram due to the cold weather. I was standing and thinking about quite difficult things those previous weeks, full of emotions that kept piling up and getting bigger, that I could not let go of. I was deep in my thoughts, when an old man came up to me and said that I looked like Snow White from the fairy tale. I was surprised by such kind words and while smiling, said thank you to him. He smiled at me and went to his seat. As my head was full of other thoughts, I just let it go and thought that he only said that because I was wearing a white coat and fluffy mittens. A few days later, during the second exercise I remembered this old man. And after finishing the exercises, I read the story about Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, only to realize that my encounter was not an accident. Snow White was keeping her heart and mind pure, even though she’s met with all kinds of injustices against her and showed great forbearance. Once I read the story, I understood that it was a sign from Master. I came to understand that I have to keep being benevolent and forbear, no matter what, and from whom I encounter - hardships must be endured in order to elevate my xinxing. I felt at ease and grateful to Master for helping me see this hardship from another perspective.
In the next few days I was able to concentrate better while studying the Fa and felt like I was finally back on track with my cultivation. While reading Zhuan Falun, an understanding came to me - I was attached to emotions and relationships. I wanted so much to keep this relationship and was too attached to an idea about it that I wanted to fight for.
As Master said, “If something is not yours, you will not have it even if you fight for it.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)
I finally understood more deeply that if this is not for me, it will never be for me. As this thought came to me, I finally was able to work on getting rid of this big attachment and felt immediate improvement in our communication and his attitude towards me. I understood that I was pushing the person away with my emotions and attachment to the relationship. While sending forth righteous thoughts I was eliminating a bit of this big attachment, and at the same time saw how this affected the other person in a good way. It improved our relationship and we are now engaged and looking forward to the wedding. Although, on rare occasions I sometimes feel the same notion emerging again, I can easily catch it and eliminate the wrong thought by repeating Master's words.
During my whole cultivation process, I have fallen into human thinking several times. When I encounter bigger hardships, I still try to keep in mind Masters words:
“If you can return to the origin, the bitterest suffering is also most precious.” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)
I keep reminding myself that it is important to be diligent, work hard on eliminating every attachment I have, and that hardships must be taken with joy and forbearance in order for me to elevate my xinxing.
I sincerely thank Master for giving me the opportunity to overcome these tests, and I will do my best to assimilate to Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance even more in the future.
Each and every word here is my own understanding, so please do point out if any inaccuracies appear in the text.
Thank you Master!
Thank you fellow practitioners!
(Submitted to the European Fa-conference 2023 in Paris)
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