(Clearwisdom.net) Because I did not do well in passing the test in regards to lust and did not have a clear understanding about the issue, I have downloaded many relevant articles posted on the Minghui/Clearwisdom website and read them very carefully. I realize that along with the Fa-rectification progress, practitioners have improved their understandings of the Fa requirements, and that the Fa also has even stricter requirements of Dafa disciples in terms of their realms and purity. In the previous booklet "On Relationships and Marriage," the Minghui website made it clear that engaging in improper male-female relationships is damaging to Dafa. However, in the article "How I Treat Marriage and Family," the Minghui editors added the following comment: "A marriage between a veteran practitioner and a non-practitioner or new practitioner is like a god marrying a human. Would such a thing happen in heaven? You may think about it rationally so that you can cultivate better on the basis of the Fa during the last stage of Fa-rectification period cultivation." This gives a clear indication that veteran practitioners are not encouraged to marry everyday people or new practitioners in the current stage of Fa-rectification. Such a clear indication had not been given in the past.

In the second half of 2006, articles published on the Minghui website shifted from sharing on how some practitioners made mistakes in having improper relationships to how to handle married life well. A few practitioners raised the issue of letting go of sexual desire between husband and wife. With regard to Master's teaching,

"In the future when you reach high-level cultivation practice, without my telling you, you will know what to do. By then there will be another state to ensure a harmonious life." ("Lecture Six" from Zhuan Falun, 2000 translation version)

My understanding of the implication in this paragraph is that we need to "cultivate the heart and sever desires" and discard sexual desire between husband and wife.

For example, in one sharing article the author wrote, "I have realized that at this great moment when the Fa-rectification is approaching the human world and when we are doing well the three things, we need to quickly rectify ourselves and let go of human notions, 'Cultivating the heart, severing desires, discarding attachments' ("Who Dares Give Up the Heart of Ordinary People" from Hong Yin, translation version B). If we still do not pay attention to this issue, would it directly affect our reaching consummation?" ... "When I recite the Fa and assimilate to the Fa, such attachments will be discarded, and interference from this area will become less and less. When we truly and completely let go of these attachments, sexual life between husband and wife will naturally cease to exist. Everything that happens around us is in fact a reflection of our cultivation state." ... "If we still indulge in lust under the incredible excuse of 'conforming to everyday people's society' or ignore this issue because we have not had any improper sexual relationship ourselves in the past, or do not actively eliminate this dirty attachment, then it will be very dangerous!" Fellow practitioners' understandings and their solid cultivation have shaken me deeply inside. I realized that I have set a very low standard in letting go of lust and have already failed to keep up with the progress of Fa-rectification.

In the second half of 2006, the Zhengjian/PureInsight website published a story about Mahakasyapa. Mahakasyapa and Miaoxian were married for 12 years and yet they had never slept together. Instead, they took turns sleeping and meditating during the night and practiced cultivation diligently until his parents passed away. Later they both became disciples of Sakyamuni and gained righteous fruit status. This story caused a big stir among fellow practitioners, and they not only discovered where they were lacking, but also further realized the seriousness of cultivation.

Lust is something many practitioners are reluctant to talk about or share in public, and some even deny that they have any such attachment. Lust is a major issue in cultivation and is also the first test we come across in the early stage of our cultivation. It is something that cultivators must let go of. Master said, "What is human? Sentiments and desires fill the body." ( "Distinction Between Human and Enlightened Beings" from Hong Yin) In fact, as long as we are human, since the moment of our birth, we are immersed in qing, especially now that the moral standards of mankind have become so seriously degenerate and low, and have already fallen below the standards in hell. I have always thought that as long as we do not engage in sexual activity, it is no big deal if we show affection to each other. When I saw pretty girls passing by, I could not help giving them a few more glances. When I saw photos of pretty girls and pornographic images, I would also take a couple of glances. I have failed almost all the lust tests in my dreams and also showed great interest in sexual life with my wife instead of feeling it is something dirty. At the worst, I was so controlled by the demon of lust and dark minions that I even watched pornographic CDs and felt rather pleased with myself that I had not crossed the bottom line. I have been indulging myself on this issue all this time. Actually this means that I have not cultivated myself in this respect, and I have been in the same degenerated state as everyday people.

Master said,

"What do the old forces and the old cosmos see as the gravest thing? Lust, [in the form of] sexual activity outside of marriage. That's what they see as the most serious of things." ("Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles")

Attachment to lust and sexual desire has been the biggest excuse by the old forces for their persecution of Dafa disciples and they take this issue most seriously. Due to my strong thought karma formed earlier and the evil degenerate elements that filled my body, I developed demon nature and have failed to truly understand Master's teaching and have failed to genuinely cultivate myself on this issue.

The fellow practitioner wrote, "I have come to the understanding that we have found out the cause why some practitioners were persecuted, such as this attachment or that attachment, but these are not the fundamental causes. The old forces had decided to eliminate him because of his hidden lust and sexual desire that were unknown to others, and so they would intensify his various attachments until they had enough excuses to persecute him."

Among the practitioners in our city who suffered persecution last year, a few of them are very well-known among practitioners. Those who do not know them well can only see that they did not do much Fa-study and when they studied the Fa they were not attentive. They were following people instead of the Fa and tried to validate themselves, and had strong attachments to forming factions and to doing things. However, I know that they had very strong attachments to lust and sexual desire, and they had not openly revealed their misconduct in this aspect to other fellow practitioners and failed to follow Master's requirements. My personal experience shows that to openly tell fellow practitioners about one's misconduct in this aspect can eliminate a great deal of thought karma and can help one truly become clear-headed on the issue.

Master said,

"...then it would seem that back then the old forces should have arranged to put them behind prison walls in Mainland China, as only under those circumstances would they correct the problem, right? "("Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference")

I realized that all the practitioners who have been persecuted in labor camps and prisons should look within and check if they still have attachments to lust and sexual desire. I have learned a grave lesson myself. I once suffered serious persecution, but I did not pay attention to the serious thought karma in relation to lust and sexual desire, and failed to realize that I was heavily polluted by lust in human society in the Dharma-ending period. I failed to realize that not only engaging in improper sexual relationship is a crime, but having thoughts of lust is also a crime. In the past I took great interest in sexual life between a husband and wife, but now I realize that these things are of very low level.

Master said,

"From a high-level perspective, everyday people are playing with mud while in society without realizing that it is dirty. They are playing with mud on earth." ("Lecture Six" from Zhuan Falun, 2000 translation version)

I now have a deeper understanding about this teaching. I have never had any clear understanding about the cultivation state at higher levels, and I even thought that perhaps in the world of paradise there may still be sexual life between husband and wife, and I refused to sever my attachment to sexual desire. Now I realize that I have not truly assimilated to the Fa with every thought. We should relinquish our sexual desire when cultivating to higher levels, just as the fellow practitioner wrote in his article, "I realize that Master requires us to completely let go of our attachments in this respect and we need to 'sever desires'. Master is compassionate, yet the standards for cultivators cannot be lowered, especially when Dafa disciples are to accomplish such great fruit status."

Some days ago, when I was sharing experiences with a few diligent female Dafa practitioners from a county in northeastern China, I found that they have all cultivated to the realm where they have severed sexual desire. They are only in their thirties. A fellow practitioner's husband used to behave promiscuously and some even had a "mistress." But now, not only have they given up the vice and returned to virtue, the husband and wife have also achieved a kind of supernatural state of happiness and harmony. This is something that cannot be pursued in everyday people's society. When they asked me about how well I cultivated myself in this respect, I told them that my spouse is a non-practitioner who knows the truth, but does not practice cultivation. Fellow practitioners made it clear that I was looking for excuses. Some fellow practitioners' husbands are everyday people, some are half-heartedly cultivating, but they have all come through.

After I read through the articles about letting go of lust and sexual desire, I truly felt that the Fa-rectification has entered a new stage, and the Fa also has higher standards for Fa-rectification Dafa disciples, and that the standards are not only higher, but also stricter and more microscopic. We should not engage in extra-marital affairs, should have no thought of lust, and we should also let go of sexual life between husband and wife. Furthermore, in the current stage, my understanding is that it is not appropriate for veteran practitioners to marry non-practitioners or new practitioners.

The sexual desire between husband and wife should not be severed in a forced manner. It comes as a manifestation of our cultivation realm, a state of complete happiness and ease! I found that many fellow practitioners have not realized these changes in Fa-rectification, the seriousness of letting go of the attachment to lust and the higher standards in the new stage of the Fa-rectification. The majority of practitioners think that we should conform to everyday people's society as much as possible in our cultivation and they use Master's teaching as an excuse to still hang on to their attachments. In some cases, where even both the husband and wife are practitioners, they still do not have a clear understanding on this issue and still indulge themselves. Therefore I have written this article to share with fellow practitioners so that we can cultivate diligently and advance together. Please kindly point out anything improper.