Heshi, esteemed Master. Greetings, fellow cultivators.

I want to share that recently I have recognized in myself a lot concerning the attachment to control. I see that it manifests itself in many forms in my life. Aside from that, I strongly tend to deny things, not wanting to acknowledge their existence, and push away the recognition that they exist. Sometimes I create excuses and think that I like the person that I am, that I have good things that I don't want to let go of, and sometimes when someone points to me a problem I have, I'd say that that's just how I am--as if it comes naturally--and I refuse to let it go. In fact, all these are tactics that originate from the ego in order to protect itself. It's as if I allow this selfish ego to store its dirt inside my heart.

I feel that these are all things that I used to do, but after spending time doing Dafa things with fellow practitioners, I feel that--thanks to Master's grace--this layer of deception was removed, and I again learned how to be vulnerable and look inside and cultivate myself by taking to heart Teacher's words.

I try to measure myself against the Fa when I study, and I feel really happy for this chance to cultivate. When I see bad things in myself, it means that I can get rid of them faster than if I didn't see them. So we should be glad for that. Cultivation is a magnificent gift that we should treasure and use fully in order to become enlightened and return home sooner.

Before, I didn't want to truly change and didn't fully trust Dafa with my heart; I had wanted to control the rate of my advancement and pick and choose the things that I wanted and didn't want to relinquish.

I think it's very frightening to give your entire self up (to fully give your heart to Dafa to be changed) when you don't know what will come in its place. There is worry that you might become someone else or that you'd fail to thrive and be lost without the values that you adopted throughout your childhood and lifetime.

However, when you have faith that Dafa is good and trust Master with your life, then you can start abandoning the more fundamental things, let go of the reins, and be free for complete trust.

From "A Dialogue with Time" in Essentials for Further Advancement:

"Divine Being: Some of them have come looking for the aspect of the Fa that they consider good, but they are unable to let go of the aspect that prevents them from having a complete understanding of the Fa.

Master: There are also such people among veteran disciples. And the most outstanding evidence of that is that they always compare themselves with humans and with their own past, but fail to examine themselves with the requirements of the Fa at different levels.

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."

I now notice a few places in the Fa where, in my understanding, Master seems to be trying to reassure us and to help us release the attachments. In the First Lecture of Zhuan Falun, Master said:

"I am going to sort out all those things, retaining the good and eliminating the bad, so that you will be guaranteed to be able to practise hereafter. However, I will do this only for those who have come to learn the Great Law truly and wholeheartedly;"

From the First Lecture in Zhuan Falun:

"The process of real evolution goes on in another space, which is devastatingly complex and marvelous, without a tolerance of a single error, just like a precision instrument, which will immediately go wrong if you put into it a part from another instrument. Your bodies in all the different spaces are taking changes, devastatingly abstruse and marvelous, and no tolerance of error is allowed. As I have told you, cultivation is your own business while the evolution of cultivation energy is done by your master."

In my understanding, this paragraph is helping us to understand that our cultivation process is handled with utter seriousness and with much expertise and that no harm will be done to us, that we can put our faith in Teacher.

I also see how fellow practitioners and I don't gauge things enough by the Fa, which is Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

From Master's lecture, "Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan," I understand that we have our habits and human ways of thinking, and it seems to us that it's really reasonable and rational how some issue was resolved by ordinary people, or how they decided about this thing or that thing. Maybe we're also used to making decisions about what is right and what is wrong in the same way because of our past. But now we have the standard of the Fa to measure things against, so we should really look at things from the perspective of the truth and from a high level, be glad when paying back karma and not wish that it would pass quickly: instead, it should pass at the time it's meant to pass. I believe it also applies to cases of pain or a troubling problem, when you're being accused for no reason, and when you're surrounded and unable to observe the situation from a distance or see the details of the matter.

In "Further Elimination of Attachments" in Essentials for Further Advancement, Master Li says:

"You all know that a person won't succeed in cultivation without getting rid of attachments. Why don't you dare to abandon more and go one step further? In fact, there must be an unspeakable reason for my teaching this Dafa. Once the truth is revealed it will be too late for regrets. I have seen the attachments in some of you, but I cannot tell you them directly. If I did, you would keep Master's words in mind and become attached to them for the rest of your life. I hope that none of my disciples will be ruined. Saving people is just so difficult, and having them enlighten is even more difficult. More importantly, everyone should carefully examine himself in this light. You all know that Dafa is good, so why can't you let go of your attachments?"

I recalled that a few years ago a veteran cultivator said to me, "You need to change yourself." The word "change" caused me to lash out, "That isn't helpful!" Normally I do not burst out like that--it is not in my nature--but at that time I still couldn't realize and observe that it comes from the ego as a way to protect itself. We feel at ease with the words "improve" and "improvement" but "a fundamental change" makes the ego "palpitate with anxiety and fear." Without the Fa and the way of understanding that Teacher makes possible for us, it would be very hard to achieve this. Compassion has non-violent ways. When the man pulled a patient's tooth out with the use of a matchstick, explanations, and persuasion as he praised his medicine's efficacy and how good it was, it seemed that the tooth pushed itself out. (references from Zhuan Falun)

In Lunyu, Teacher says:

"To open up this field, it is necessary to make a fundamental change of the mentality of ordinary people;"

I have a great yearning to understand things through the eyes of selflessness, without thinking of myself, my losses, or my body, and this is a part of what motivates me in cultivation. I feel that recently I have started to open up more, and I want to give others more room, to listen more, and to not force my opinion on others. I want to, but feel that I'm just at the beginning and much space in my heart is occupied by attachments.

Fellow practitioners, please point out anything in my sharing that strays from the Fa. I hope we can all advance together with big (and scary) steps and make "a leap forward."

Finally, I would like to end my sharing with Master's poem, "Dafa is great" from Hong Yin Volume II:

Dafa is Great

Falun Dafa is great
The colossal firmament,
illuminated by the Fa's light
Only after the immense force
of Fa-rectification sweeps through,
Are the boundless wonders known

Falun Dafa is great
Gradually enters the human realm
The sentient beings need not worry
Gods and Buddhas are smiling

April 25, 2002