(Clearwisdom.net) Due to my introverted nature, some people get the impression that I'm simple-minded and well behaved, but this is not so. I had long thought that lust was not a big issue for me, but I recently discovered that I have this problem and it has been controlling me when I was unaware of it.

For example, I appeared to not want to have contact with males, as if I was following the traditional teaching that “men and women should maintain a proper distance from each other.” But taking a deeper look, why did I not want to have contact with males? It was because I was too cautious and self-conscious. I was afraid males would ignore me, so I never approached them. I thought that I was too plain-looking and tongue-tied to be attractive. In fact, it didn't mean that I don't have lust, but actually my lust was hidden behind my attachments of inferiority and saving face. Taking those attachments away, then I wanted to be accepted and liked by members of the opposite sex. That means I did have strong lust, but it just wasn't manifesting in a way that was recognizable to me.

Where did this unrighteous thought come from? From the time I was young, I would dream about love and imagine who would find me attractive, but this of course is an attachment to sentimentality. Maybe there was also the old forces' arrangement, too. Though it was just a thought, it still formed thought karma. This thought karma has controlled me for a long time. I didn't realize I had issues with lust when I began cultivating. Later on, I realized it but I still didn't have the willpower to get rid of it. Thus, it was able to stay and grow for these many years.

The existence of the lust created great pain for me and severely interfered with my cultivation. Now I have no choice but to be alert. I need to take a closer look at it and make a strong commitment to get rid of it. A while ago, I discovered I needed dentures. A fellow practitioner recommended a dentist to me and praised him highly. Some of the dentist's traits are what I think a good man should have. Therefore I had good feelings about him. I didn't let him know it, but his face often occupied my thoughts. I often walked near his office in the hope that I would run into him sometimes. The denture process required several visits to the dental office. I paid extreme attention to my appearance each time, trying to appear as a perfect lady with grace, great culture, and good taste. These thoughts grew like weeds in my mind and I was unable to control them at all. Actually, it was both the lust that I hadn't got rid of and the thought karma, being strengthened by the evil. I suffered and had difficulties during the denture process as a result. I haven't completely come out of this unrighteous state yet.

The essence of this form of lust was to have the other person be obsessed with me and appreciate me, to satisfy a feeling of “self” that was driven by love. The approach was to use grace to flirt with people, or even seduce them in my thoughts. What a cultivator works on is getting rid of human attachments. From this angle, how shameful is it to have this attachment to lust!

Why was I immersed in the attachment to lust and not getting rid of it? There were many reasons. One thing I want to point out is that it is different from other attachments. Some attachments make us suffer physically and some mentally, so they are easy to see. But for lust, one has a sweet dream even as one suffers. From a cultivator's point of view, it is the demon of lust in the other dimensions that drives people to obsession and intoxication. Therefore, if we don't change our everyday people's notions fundamentally and don't truly treat ourselves as cultivators, we will have a hard time getting rid of them.

From this lesson, especially after reading the article “When Lust Is Apparent, It's Already a Big Mistake” on Minghui Weekly, I realized the severity of this issue. When lust is apparent for an ordinary person, that is already a great sin. For a cultivator, it is a boundless sin! Cultivation is really serious. Every attachment is a hurdle to overcome before we can reach consummation, especially the lust in every corner of our thoughts. We need to be careful about it and not give it a chance to live. Otherwise, it will severely interfere with our cultivation.

I wrote this article to expose my attachment of lust and also to alert other cultivators who, like me, haven't paid enough attention to it.