Recognizing Different Forms of Lust and Desire and Relinquishing Them
(Clearwisdom.net) In my youth I always longed for eternal love. I preferred reserved love and considered my thoughts on love between a man and a woman to be pure and faithful.
After I learned Falun Dafa, I met a boy who suited all of my requirements, and what's more, he was also a practitioner. So we naturally fell in love and both of our parents knew it. Later on, for various reasons, we lived together unmarried. We did not think there was anything wrong with it. Neither did we think that sexual attraction and desire were very important to us. We just treated each other as the only partner in this lifetime. During the persecution we, like best friends, trusted and depended on each other. However, we did not get a marriage certificate. One excuse we gave ourselves was that during the persecution it was not convenient to go through such a formality. If circumstances were normal, so we told ourselves, then we would get married.
When this was discovered by fellow practitioners, it resulted in a great disturbance. Some practitioners said that living together unmarried was like having an illicit sexual relationship. On hearing these comments I felt as if I had received a blow to the head. By then I knew clearly that it was wrong for us to live together without being properly married. Even though I felt very much ashamed, it seemed that deep in my heart I still had a slight grievance. So I did not want to admit my mistake publicly in front of all the fellow practitioners who knew about it. Instead, I only admitted my mistake to a few practitioners, but I knew it was wrong. Later on our families helped us to get the certificate, because they wanted us to be together so that we could help each other. Because of this change, the great disturbance gradually died down.
Thereafter my husband and I did Dafa work together and earned a living by ourselves. After a few years passed, sexual attraction seemed to die out, with only a little bit of desire remaining. I felt that if I was determined to let it go, then it would not be difficult to remain unaffected.
Recently, I was told that a practitioner we knew very well had been arrested. Owing to inhumane torture, this practitioner betrayed us and told the authorities a lot of our personal information. Consequently, I was listed as a key Falun Gong practitioner. On learning this news, I was a bit shocked.
Shortly after this happened, Teacher's new lecture, "Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles," was published. I tried to link the news I learned recently with Teacher's new lecture. Why would I hear this news? I must have some serious loopholes which had been taken advantage of by the old forces. While talking about what attachments the old forces seize upon Teacher said,
"It is lust, and improper relationships between men and women..." ("Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles" provisional translation)
However, I did not think I had a problem since I was now married. Over the last few years, lust had not been the most important thing for me and my husband. That desire had been fading away from the bottom of my heart. Since it was very faint I did not even need to control it. Then why I would come across this issue and receive another warning?
I thought for a long time. Gradually many fragments from my remote memory appeared in my mind. Some of the fragments were ones I'd previously reflected on, while others were new. When I systematically put all these fragments together, I discovered that they spanned my life and displayed to me the process by which my concept of the relations between a man and a woman had been polluted and warped. When looking inside, I found that I actually had very strong lust and warped notions. I failed to notice them simply because the attachments were concealed. It turned out that I was not as "pure and faithful" as I had once thought.
Before I learned to practice Falun Gong, it was easy for me to be well disposed towards a male who had noteworthy features, a pleasant disposition or outstanding personality. When I was praised by the opposite sex, I was affected by vanity. During my high school years, I liked a boy whose good looks deeply attracted me. Wasn't this the manifestation of lust? I also liked to read love stories and I think I was polluted in this aspect very seriously.
Since a person is a container, he/she will be filled up with what he/she reads. In this way I was very seriously polluted by lust. Though I had such sexual desires, I failed to become aware of them.
When I was nearly 30, I began to walk on the path of cultivation. Then a practitioner came into my life and became my significant other. This love was different from my previous two. As I mentioned before, this one seemed very natural. Now looking back, however, I find that this sense of "very natural" came from criteria that had been repeatedly polluted by the attachment of lust. Moreover, I find that the "slight grievance" I had felt was actually the result of comparing myself with warped criteria. It turned out that in my sub-conscious, I considered being unfaithful as promiscuous, but failed to consider pre-marital sex as improper. Were these warped concepts the manifestation of lust?
After I began to practice Falun Gong, I heard Teacher's lectures on this issue. Since I had such strong thought karma, my mind was stuffed with so many bad substances, and my righteous thoughts had been weak, I failed to really understand Teacher's Fa and consequently I made mistakes.
Now I understand that the appearance of my lust was basically not in the form of desire. Rather, I was longing for an implicit and constant love and maybe I preferred platonic love. Therefore, after I started to practice Falun Gong I dreamed of being in love, the implicit type, very romantic and just like first love. That was the test of lust in my cultivation. This had been my worst attachment all my life. However, I only associated the test of lust with naked bodies. Therefore, during my cultivation I had never passed the test of lust. In the past, whenever I had a dream of being in love I was puzzled, because in real life after I began to practice Falun Gong, I had never thought about the opposite sex other than my husband. Even with my husband we did not whisper "sweet nothings" to one another like everyday people do and had no mentality of being in love like what we had before we started to practice Falun Gong. Then how could I still have such dreams? I failed to dig to the root of the issue. A few years ago, after I made the mistake of having pre-marital sex, I had been looking inside myself all the time. But I still did not find the root and the manifestation of my lust.
I was sentenced to forced labor. I think maybe failing to find my attachment of lust was taken advantage of by the old forces to persecute me. I must not tolerate the sexual desire and the newly recognized lust and should resolutely discard them both.
I think that practitioners who have loopholes in this regard, especially those like me who made mistakes on this issue, should look inward and must not cover up this attachment any longer. The old forces take sexual attraction and desire very seriously. If we cannot do well on this issue, then sentient beings linked to our cultivation may be eliminated. Wouldn't this be the worst consequence? Teacher mentioned this serious issue in his lectures.