Western Practitioner: Digging Out Attachments

Presented by a western practitioner at the Fa Conference in Melbourne, 2006
 

Greetings Master, Greetings fellow practitioners,

When we first started distributing newspapers there were more and more tribulations each week. I had to get time off from work, and many negative thoughts came up which I kept eliminating ("My boss will be upset … I will lose my job") I thought to myself, "Which job is more important to me?" and resolved to ask for a day off. After clarifying the situation to my boss he was happy to give me the extra day off. Having others relying on me to get the newspapers brought out attachments to reputation, showing off, time, and self; one week after another there were difficulties and problems that seemed to prevent the paper from moving forward. Handing out the papers when it was cold and windy and not many people taking the paper, feet and legs aching from little sleep, shivering, and fending off negative thoughts tested my determination as did the wry smiles from some of the passers-by. This was balanced by the encouraging compliments from those that had read the paper. When there were papers left over from the previous week, I was asked to place them in a letterbox drop in the middle of the night so as not to waste them. Part of me was very tired and didn't want to do it but my righteous side saw an opportunity to clarify the truth so I strengthened my righteous thoughts and did what I was asked. As soon as I started to put it into action the sleepiness went away, I slept well that night, and wasn't tired at all the next day.

One day while handing out papers, a security guard came up to me quite agitated and said, "You can’t stand over this line as you are on our property. You need to stand on the sidewalk." I was very calm; this seemed reasonable as we had council permission to be on the sidewalk and it was only a matter of one step, so I moved the one step. I had been meaning to contact the management of the property and had put it off or kept forgetting. I rang the management and sent a letter explaining our situation and they said it should be fine as long as I was not on their property. A month later the security guard came back again. This time he said we had to move 4 meters out which would have negatively affected our distributing the papers. I felt the evil was manipulating him and that it feared what we were doing so I sent forth righteous thoughts and he calmed down. But he still wanted us to move. When I explained that I had talked to management and gave a name, he immediately apologised and said he wouldn’t bother us. I saw the evil had worked on his fear of his supervisor. When this fear was gone he was immediately O.K. Three months later he appeared again saying we needed to move 4 meters out. This time it only took one word to wake him up and he apologised, remembering who we were. Each time I was calm with a firm belief that what we were doing was righteous. Afterwards, I thought about why this had happened: I still hadn’t managed to talk face to face with the manager of the property. I still had some fear and this is how it manifested.

"All of you are already aware of the principle of mutual-generation and mutual-inhibition. If you are not afraid, the factor that would make you afraid will cease to exist. This is not to be self-imposed, but is achieved by truly and calmly letting go of it." ( "Eliminate Your Last Attachments" in Essentials for Further Advancement II)

A number of times I have seen the effect of entertaining negative thoughts in a group environment. When a practitioner didn’t come to hand out the papers I thought, "The practitioner was not being responsible. This is a sacred duty, and practitioners shouldn’t be distracted by these other things (such as work, family, friends)." The next week things seemed even worse in terms of practitioner involvement. I remembered Master asks us to look for reasons within ourselves. Why was I moved by this and what caused me to look outward? I found laziness and a reluctance to face difficulties and there was an attachment to reputation because I wanted the paper to succeed so as to validate myself to other practitioners rather than cultivating myself according to Master’s Fa (principles taught in Falun Gong) and thereby validating the Fa. I tried to correct this and work harder to eliminate any negative thoughts and remove these selfish attachments that proved quite stubborn. I looked deeper and found fear, the fear of missing the opportunity of an age and losing my chance if I didn't do well. I was looking for practitioners’ respect. I did not want to lose the group environment that offered so much and I was attached to consummating but forgetting to cultivate to get rid of those attachments. It was self-interest and selfishness. It reminded me of when I first went to Manhattan.

One night after spending the day clarifying the truth, I was badly affected by thought karma. I lay in bed with this heavy dark despair and really bad thoughts bouncing around in my head. They were very strong and I couldn’t eliminate them. I felt myself sliding down. I tried to hold onto whatever thread I could find and asked Master sincerely for help as I could not overcome this powerful negative thing on my own. I then started to search within for the cause. I travelled down through my attachments quite quickly and came upon selfishness - this was it! Suddenly these words ran clearly through my head:

"The Fa rectifies the practitioner, the evil is completely eliminated"

A large black body lifted up out of my body and I immediately felt calm and tranquil, I was overcome with tears, deeply grateful for Master’s care. I saw clearly this fundamental attachment, and remembered the following from Zhuan Falun:

"Because one’s life is created in the space of the universe, it is assimilated to Zhen-Shan-Ren, the characteristic of the universe. Its nature is kind and benevolent. Nonetheless, after the number of lives increases, a social relationship forms. As a result, some people become selfish or bad and cannot stay at very high levels. They must drop to a lower level where they again become bad, and they have to drop further down to the next level. This goes on until in the end they drop to this ordinary human level."

I hadn’t realised how badly affected by selfishness I was and how big the problem had gotten when I couldn't overcome it. Just as Master said,

"Don’t be anxious about that. Removing those things is done layer by layer, and that’s why they surface. When it comes to certain things, if you really can’t do them, Master will do them for you.
("Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York")

From Master’s teachings I could see how this was the fundamental problem with the old cosmos and how important it was to cultivate it away.

"All of the future beings will be selfless, while the beings of the past were selfish.
("Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York")

I decided to rid myself of the self-interest and negative thoughts that arose from it and foster an environment with righteous thoughts, not negative ones. This was my responsibility as a coordinator. I realised that the lack of responsibility I saw in the practitioner was actually my own. After changing myself, the practitioner found more time to help with the paper and I again learnt the importance of looking inward and not looking outside. I also learnt that if I saw an attachment in someone else, I had better look hard for it within myself because it was often there hidden away.

I want to finish my sharing with some of Teacher’s words on this subject.

"Divine Being: These problems have already become very serious. It would be good if they could manage to search within themselves for the things that they have been able to find in others."
("A Dialogue with Time" Essentials for Further Advancement)

"When Dafa cultivators find selfishness in themselves, they should gradually work to overcome it. Becoming aware of it means that you have taken another step forward in cultivation, because a non-practitioner can’t become aware of it and it doesn’t occur to him to think about whether he is selfish. Only cultivators make a practice of examining themselves and looking within."
("Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York")

Thank you fellow practitioners, thank you Master.

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