Eliminating the Attachment to Food
(Clearwisdom.net) Ancient Chinese people used to say that desires for food and lust are born with us. It is like that for an everyday person. For a cultivator, however, they are strong attachments that need to be eliminated.
Master has talked about eliminating the attachment to food on several occasions.
"Eating, but caring not to taste. The palate's attachments severed." ("Abiding in the Dao," Hong Yin)
"The Issue of Eating Meat" in Zhuan Falun specifically talks about eliminating the attachments to meat, alcohol, and cigarettes.
I thought I didn't have a strong attachment to food since I didn't think too much about it and I'm not a picky eater. However, I do have a good appetite and can eat all kinds of food. My daughter often told me that I eat too much and I am overweight. For a long time, I didn't pay attention to what she said because I don't think I'm overweight since I'm about 5 feet 3 inches tall and weigh a little over 132 pounds. Recently, however, I experienced some things when eating. I thus enlightened that Master was giving me hints to help me improve and eliminate my attachment to food.
I live close to a few lakes and several of my relatives are in the fish farming business. During the holidays, they usually give us fish as a gift. I always let my husband kill the fish since I don't want to do it. Several days ago, I cooked fish to eat. A fishbone got stuck in my throat and my throat bled. No matter what I tried, I couldn't get it out. My husband suggested that I go to the hospital, but I declined. I knew the incident occurred because of killing the fish. I thought I should pay off the karma. Although I felt very uncomfortable and restless, I let it take its course. The next morning when I woke up, I could still feel the fishbone. However, the fishbone disappeared while I was doing the Falun Gong exercises. I thanked Master in my heart.
I enlightened that it wasn't about just being attached to a certain food, but also involved the issue of killing. Although I don't kill the fish, my husband did and I wasn't being responsible to him. When a practitioner's home has this kind of bloody event, the field in the house will be not pure. If our family members want to eat fish, we can just buy them prepared at the store.
I also like to eat seasoned steamed pork and soft bean curd. I usually don't think about eating them if there's none at home. But if there is seasoned steamed pork on the dining table, I like to have one or two. Around the Chinese New Year, I ate two pieces of steamed pork at around noon time and another two in the evening when I attended a wedding banquet. Afterwards, my stomach and back hurt for two days. After I realized my attachment, the pain went away. I like to eat soft bean curds whenever I go shopping. A few days ago, my stomach was uncomfortable after I ate some. After I realized my attachment to bean curds, the uncomfortable feeling disappeared.
On New Year's Day, a relative gave me fish again. My husband told me to make pickled vegetables to cook with the fish. When I held a container for the pickled vegetables in my hand, the container suddenly broke right in the middle. I held half of the container in my hand, and the other half fell to the floor. I told my husband and he commented it was strange. I also thought it was strange, but I didn't know what I should learn from it.
Later, I thought, weren't the picked vegetables to be cooked with the fish? It must have something to do with my attachment to eating. The container broke in the middle, so wasn't it a hint to eliminate the attachment to eating fish? The container also broke cleanly, so wasn't it a hint for me to eliminate the attachment with determination? This was a "stick warning" for me. I immediately asked my relative to take back most of the fish.
Eating and drinking are considered a "treat for the mouth." For a cultivator, they are attachments to the palate and must be eliminated. Initially, I didn't want to write this article because I felt embarrassed. Writing this article is to expose the attachment and eliminate it with determination. I also hope fellow practitioners with this kind of attachment eliminate it immediately, and improve continuously until consummation.
This is my understanding at my level.
Original article date: 1/12/2010.