Happiness After Letting Go of a Serious Attachment
(Clearwisdom.net) I was too embarrassed to tell fellow practitioners of a shameful experience I had, but with encouragement from fellow practitioners I decided to write this article, in hopes that it might help others who have inappropriate relationships with people of the opposite sex.
I was introduced to Falun Dafa in July 1998. My father was very much opposed to my practicing Dafa. Because of my strong human emotions, I failed to pass that test and stopped practicing after six months. In order to isolate me from other practitioners, my father facilitated my marriage to someone in a remote mountain village before my twentieth birthday.
After July 20, 1999, when the Jiang Zemin regime-ordered persecution began, I stopped my cultivation and lived a non-eventful life for three years. My husband and I eventually left the mountain village and moved to a city. He became a driver and I worked as a hairdresser. Since I still remembered the requirements for being a cultivator, I could initially align my conduct within the parameters of the Fa and resist society's temptations. But after meeting more people from all walks of society, I learned to drink and sing in night-clubs. I also began to resent my husband for his inability to achieve fame and wealth. I felt self-pity for being his wife.
Three years ago I became emotionally involved with a married man and the relationship became an affair. I knew this was a very shameful act and a betrayal of my husband, but I did not have the courage to stop the relationship. However, deep inside my heart, I longed for something pure. I missed the time I was a Dafa practitioner. How pure and innocent I was back then! Gradually, I developed a liking for Buddhist music. I even wished that some day I could become a nun.
My compassionate Master still saw that I was not beyond hope. One day an older woman practitioner came to my place. She told me how the CCP defamed Dafa by making up dirty lies. She also encouraged me to come back to Dafa cultivation. Her words woke me up. Indeed, although I had been a practitioner for merely six months, I should have known better than believing the CCP's lies. I recalled the happy days when I practiced Falun Gong, but stopped short of taking her advice.
After she left, I could not ease my mind for a long time. I recalled how my father tried to stop me from practicing Dafa. I also realized that the extra-marital affair directly opposed cultivation principles, and resuming cultivation meant ending the affair. I was not ready for that. A few days later, my husband and I had a big fight. Afterwards I felt physically and mentally drained. I began to think about the practitioner who had visited me. I went to her house and told her my feelings. She immediately sent forth righteous thought to clear away things that interfered with me. She also urged me to borrow Recalling Teacher's Compassion and Falun Gong from her. At home, I opened the book and began to read. The stories of Master's early activities written by practitioners moved me deeply. I could feel Master's compassion and great virtue. At the same time, I felt a deep shame for what I had done and decided to start over in cultivation. I was determined to find myself again.
With the help of fellow practitioners, I read Master's lectures given at different places. I learned of the Fa-rectification process and the importance of doing the three things. Soon, I joined fellow practitioners in Fa rectification activities. But I still could not let go of the affair.
My husband soon discovered that I was reading Dafa books. In order to stop me, he took several days off work and watched me around the clock. He also leased my barbershop to others, so I had no work to do. Later, my father also found out about my renewed Dafa practice. The news dropped like a bomb among my family and relatives. Father was furious with me. He threatened to disown me as his daughter if I persisted in practicing Falun Gong. He even threatened to kill me if I did not stop. My husband's parents also pressured me to give up Falun Gong. They threatened to force their son to divorce me. Facing such severe tests, I did not know what to do. When I did so many bad things, they did not react that strongly! Why did they give me such a hard time when I wanted to become a good person?
The tests came, one after the other, and were as challenging as climbing a huge mountain. I could not see any way to avoid the climb. My determination was shaken. But how could I give up on Dafa again? It had been eight years since I first practiced Dafa. Master did not give up on me, no matter how many mistakes I made. Master always gave me opportunities. But now I held on to my attachments and did not want to let go. I only felt upset because my own reputation, interests, and feelings were being attacked. If I gave up Dafa again, what would be the meaning of my life? Since cultivation is more important than my own life, why could I not let go of these attachments?
My determination grew stronger, and the surrounding environment changed accordingly. My husband stopped watching me. When I indicated that I would run my barbershop again, he did not disagree, and his parents stopped asking about my Falun Gong activities. Even my stubborn father accepted the fact silently and no longer interfered with me. I realized that Master was helping me.
After I resumed my cultivation, I realized that I should stop the affair. I knew I should cut off the liaison without hesitation. I told him that we had to stop seeing each other. He said that he respected my decision, but he also hoped that we could remain friends. When I saw his painful emotion, I softened and agreed to maintain a friendly relationship. I did not want to cut him out of my life, either. After that conversation we saw each other more frequently. I found some comfort in "we are just friends." I told a fellow practitioner about this. She did not find this acceptable, and said, "Can you really guarantee that you will not have romantic feelings when you are together? Even if you can, can he? Don't you feel what he did to you was beyond being ordinary friends?"
Her words touched deep inside my heart and mind. I realized that I was fooling myself, as well as others. What a dangerous thing for a cultivator to do! Then I read in Master's lecture, "Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference" (2003):
"Unless I have absolutely no choice I don't want to expel them, so I'm observing and watching these things. It's best that these people, if they want to do themselves justice, wake up quickly--wake up quickly! If you're determined to do that, then tell Dafa disciples about the things you've done, and that could help. Time is running short. I'm really worried about you. Don't take Master's mercy so lightly. The Fa has standards."
I then realized that Master had always been giving me opportunities, but I had not taken Master's mercy seriously. On the one hand I wanted to cultivate Buddhahood, but on the other hand I could not let go of my human attachments.
That night I had a dream in which I was climbing a mountain with others. When I reached the top, my key-chain fell out of my pocket. As I hesitated whether to pick it up, I fell, all the way to the bottom of the mountain. After I woke up, I realized that Master was giving me a hint. If I could not let go of my attachment, if I could not end the affair, then no matter how diligent I was in other areas, I could not succeed in cultivation. This was a matter of lust, a very serious problem. I became very determined to end my affair. During this intense struggle with myself, my mind was filled with the details of the affair like a movie. When he worried about my safety when I went out to distribute flyers, he drove me to the site and kept me company. To please me, he even encouraged his wife to practice Falun Gong (in the past, he was very much against Dafa and opposed his wife's Dafa practice). Once he said that even if I escaped to the most remote corner of the world, he would still find me.
I could not help seeing him again. After I returned, I felt deep pain. I held Master's portrait in my hands and begged Master to give me strength. I wondered why this affair was so difficult to drop, like a sticky substance. I also recited Master's teachings about emotional attachments, lust, and desire, and I sent righteous thoughts to clear out the negative energy field surrounding me. I was determined to deny the old forces' arrangements and ask Master to help me to pass the ordeal.
One night I had a clear dream that revealed my past life's relationships with him. I realized why several people predicted I would eventually divorce, but back then I did not believe these fortunetellers. Had I not become a Dafa practitioner, the consequences would have been disastrous. I knew that the old forces had used my past-life relationships to erect a barrier for my cultivation. Their purpose was to surround me with lust and desire, and eventually ruin me. I also realized that no matter what kind of past-life relationships existed, we as Dafa practitioners should resolve them in the best way. Everything should end without further complications. I begged Master to resolve this relationship, regardless of what we were in a past life. Now I am a Dafa practitioner, I will never follow the path arranged by the old forces.
Before long, an older woman practitioner found out about my affair and came to speak with me. She told me in a calm but serious tone, "Nowadays, society's morals are in rapid decline. We should not follow this trend. This issue is a matter of cultivation principles. Lust is a most dangerous thing. If you cannot control yourself, then the old forces will hunt you down to the last day."
Her words were like a hammer pounding on my heart. I gathered my strength, sent righteous thoughts, and cleared out all the non-righteous factors in our space. I was determined to deny the old forces' interference and arrangements.
One day before my birthday I met him again. I told him my final decision, to completely end the liaison. He was very disappointed and told me that he was planning to divorce his wife in a few days. I told him, "We should not be so selfish. If we endure some hardships to keep two families intact, then the effort is worthwhile." After that, he no longer insisted. He said with a sigh, "Is this a divine arrangement?" I nodded.
My husband did not buy me a gift for my birthday as he had previously. Instead, he jumped into a pond and picked a lotus flower for me. I held the flower in my hands, smelling the sweet scent. My heart was filled with joy and excitement. This was really Master's encouragement, telling me to emerge from the muddy water, like a lotus flower. I will follow Master to my real home. The lotus flower really has a significant meaning for me.
Master has taken care of me with the best arrangement! I was overwhelmed by Master's compassion. My strong attachment of so many years was eliminated instantly. I thank Master for all the support in the process.
My limited understanding may not be right. Please correct me if there is anything inappropriate.
December 25, 2007