Sharing with Young Practitioners
(Clearwisdom.net) I have been cultivating for 14 years, half of my life. Thinking about my cultivation experiences, the most taxing and hardest things to pass are qing (emotion) and the lust derived from qing.
It is very hard to resist the human world's pollution and temptations, for some of those things are already deep in our bones, making it hard for us to discern, not to mention to rectify. Luckily I am a Dafa disciple. Under Teacher's care and Dafa's teaching, I went through great pains to look within and get rid of my attachments. I finally changed myself from a person full of emotion and desire to “a realized being, serene and clear.” (“The Difference Between Mortal and Divine,” Hong Yin, Translation A). Here I'd like to share my experiences in getting rid of the attachments of qing and lust.
1. Getting Rid of Attachments to Human Cultural Works
I started practicing Falun Dafa when I was in middle school. I was too young to understand qing at that time. Following the social trend, I read love stories, which started pouring qing's factors into my pure, simple mind. After reading those novels, I fantasized about being in the prince/princess stories. In high school, I read erotic novels that I borrowed from my classmates. I started to feel lust. The Internet became popular when I was in college, and I indulged in watching movies online. Luckily as a Dafa disciple, I managed to not watch the x-rated movies—I focused on movies made in the U.S.
When I started working, I lived with my parents since their home was close to where I worked. My mother was also a practitioner, which provided a good cultivation environment.
I gradually realized that even the U.S. movies contained a lot of bad things, so I picked relatively innocent movies. However, after watching a movie, I would experience a lot of distractions when studying the Fa and sending forth righteous thoughts, which made it hard for me to concentrate. That's because I actively chose to watch the movies, so it was hard to rid myself of the contents. After realizing this, I made a great effort to get rid of my attachment to watching movies. But I felt bored and so I started watching cartoons. The modern cartoons are also full of sex and violence. So I watched Japanese cartoons made in the 70s, which contained relatively fewer interfering factors. My colleagues thought I was childish.
As I kept advancing in levels, the Fa's requirements became stricter and stricter. Gradually I found that cartoons also had strong qing in them. Eventually, my home computer would die whenever I watched cartoons. When I let go of my attachment to cartoons my computer returned to normal. I really appreciate Teacher's benevolent hints and help in overcoming this problem.
Human culture also includes pop music, literature, painting, etc., which are similar to movies. Being attached to human stuff is definitely a bad thing. Since Dafa disciples live in the human world, only when we study the Fa often, can we maintain clear righteous thoughts and not be negatively impacted by what we see. We should never actively accept or seek those things. Maybe many fellow practitioners have had the same experience as me: after watching those things, my mind became muddled. The worst thing is that those human things strengthen feelings of lust and other qing. It is already difficult to pass a tribulation; why make it more difficult with our own mistakes? For example, if a person takes a shower in muddy water, how can he become clean? So it's better to get rid of attachments to these things early.
I didn't realize the connection between computer games and lust until one day when I played a computer card game while scanning for viruses on my computer. Suddenly I felt strong feelings of lust. I eliminated them right away. I started wondering, “Where did this lust come from? How could a computer game bring up a person's lust, when there is no direct image or sensory provocation?” I then realized that just playing a computer game strengthened the bad side that a cultivator hasn't cultivated well and thus makes it easy for the bad stuff in other dimensions to interfere with them. Therefore, it is better not to play computer games.
2. Getting Rid of the Attachment to Clothes
I used to be overweight and had a bad body shape, so I was limited in what clothing I could buy. As a female, I was troubled by my body shape and even tried some weight loss products. But they didn't work for me. I had a strong attachment to food and couldn't stay on a diet for long either. Gradually I became less attached to food. A while ago, all of a sudden I couldn't eat much. If I ate, my stomach felt uncomfortable. My weight kept dropping and I felt uneasy about it. Then I thought, “If this is meant to be good for me, I should not have those 'not-right' symptoms.” After that I returned to normal. During this process, I gave up my attachment to food. Now I can't eat much meat, or I will feel nauseated. Also, my digestion became normal. I used to have halitosis due to a stomach problem. That has also disappeared. Actually cultivation puts our bodies into the healthiest and best state. We just can't be too attached to any result.
I started buying new clothes after I slimmed down; but then shopping became an addiction. Since I stopped watching movies and playing games, all I did online was look for clothes. I was unaware that I was so addicted. Teacher then gave me a hint. One day at work, I saw a set of clothes that I had been wanting to buy was now on sale online at 50 percent off. I was so excited that I wanted to buy them immediately. But my colleague needed the computer for work. So I had to wait. I didn't get to use the computer for the whole day.
I didn't buy the clothes that day, but my attachment was still there. On the next day, I went online to look at clothing. I thought that it should be OK if I just took a look but didn't buy anything. However, after looking at the clothing, I felt pain in my eyes. I laid down to rest. All of sudden my lust emerged. I sent righteous thoughts to eliminate the feelings right away. Thinking over what had happened in the past two days, it suddenly struck me that my attachment to clothes was an attachment to the material things in this world. It reinforced my lust. As Dafa disciples, our attire should be clean and neat to present a positive image of Dafa. But at this urgent time to save people, we can't waste our time on unimportant things.
3. Lessons Learned from Wanting to Get Married
As I grew older, people started pressuring me to get married. I wanted to marry a fellow practitioner. When I didn't meet anyone in my area, I decided not to worry about it.
One day I was introduced to a young practitioner. I had no experience in dating and suddenly my qing exploded. He also had strong qing. As a result, we didn't end up together.
Seeing the affections of lovers and couples among my friends and colleagues, I longed for it. I felt lonely and sad. When dating that male practitioner, my qing kept surfacing. I wanted to realize my human desires through that practitioner. For example, I often heard a colleague talk about how nice her husband was to her. So I hoped that practitioner would be the same toward me. But instead, he exposed his human weak side to me, which shattered my dreams. I am not blaming him here. Actually, everything is caused by our desires. I was holding Buddha's law in one hand and holding human stuff in the other, wanting to use Dafa's capability to realize my dreams of a “happy life” in the human world. I was using Dafa to satisfy my own desires. How dirty the thought was!
With an impure goal, dating a fellow practitioner is meaningless. It's the same as dating a non-practitioner. In addition to hoping that the person would be nice to me, I was also afraid that people might change and even betray me later. I knew practitioners wouldn't do that. Subconsciously I was still hoping to enjoy a human emotional life. I read an article in Minghui Weekly (a weekly publication by Clearwisdom's sister site in Chinese). It mentioned that qing is unreliable and will change over time. I suddenly understood why the human world is so messed up. Humans just follow their feelings and do whatever they want to do. They don't care much about the result. Aren't they being controlled by qing and having an unclear main consciousness? Since cultivators give up qing, don't let the outside degenerated matter control them, and do everything according to Dafa, they are able to demonstrate the diamond-solid moral standards and sense of responsibility.
4. Stop being arrogant
I am a straightforward and outspoken person. I never consider whether others can tolerate what I say, and always say what I want to. I take pride in it and believe that it is because I have nothing to hide. I also believe that I have good enlightenment quality. So when I speak to other practitioners, I am arrogant and bossy and I sound like I am lecturing them. Most of the local practitioners do not mind me; however, there are some that do. When it happens, I think to myself that this practitioner can't understand my good intentions, “I am doing good for you and being responsible to you. That is why I point out your problems. Why can't you accept what I say? You have such a strong attachment.”
Young practitioners are likely to have the same problems I have. Influenced by the Chinese Communist Party culture, I have too high an opinion of myself. Influenced by society, I advocate individual personality and believe that I am different from others. In fact, I am selfish, willful, and inconsiderate. I examine other practitioners' disadvantages using my own standard and have a false sense of superiority. I place myself above others and speak in arrogant tones unknowingly, which distances me from other practitioners.
Being simple is a good thing but we need to place others first in everything we do. If we put ourselves in others' shoes for just a little bit, we won't be so willful. We should not completely follow our temperament and only want to speak our minds without thinking. Pointing out others' disadvantages with a mind of wanting to change others and imposing ourselves on others will irritate people, which will result in conflicts.
Looking within is the best way to solve the problem of arrogance. When we look at others' disadvantages, we are likely to think that we are better than them. Only when we look within, cultivate ourselves, and look at others' advantages can we get along with other practitioners. Once I shared experiences with a practitioner who did not work hard in his practice. Both of us felt greatly improved afterward. I realized that no matter how good or not good we seem in our practice, being alone in the Fa does not help others to solve their problems. We need to work together to improve ourselves together.
5. Eliminate Emotions
There is no miracle drug to eliminate emotions. Only by believing in Teacher and the Fa one hundred percent can we improve. The following is my understanding about how to eliminate qing.
1). Study the Fa. The Fa is the basis and source of our wisdom, and the guarantee of our improvement. Without it, we are likely to look at things with human notions. We will not be able to stay rational and calm in the face of conflicts.
2). Send righteous thoughts. When emotion and lust come into my mind, they are often very strong and hard to eliminate. The interference is especially serious when I study the Fa, do the exercises, and send righteous thoughts. I realized that sentiment also exists in the form of matter. As long as I eliminate the matter with my righteous thoughts, it will not be able to affect me.
3). Look within. After I stopped seeing that male practitioner, I was not able to look within. After I studied the Fa and sent righteous thoughts, I looked at myself and discovered that I actually had all the disadvantages I had seen in that male practitioner. The difference was that he was more forthright and dared to express his real thoughts. I was better at hiding my thoughts and disguising my attachments. Hence when there is a problem, we must look within.
4) Distinguish the true self from human notions. Master said:
“The interference from the evil factors, by contrast, often takes the form of false hints that go along with your attachments, your being overjoyed by something, your likes, or any of your other attachments. Afterward you will feel extra happy and be even more attached, and take a wrong turn, all the while thinking that it was Master leading you along. That's usually what happens.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference”)
We constantly face a struggle between our divine nature and our human nature in our practice. Whether we follow the instructions of the Fa or our human notions is key. There was a period of time when I was suffering from the attachment of lust. I read Teacher's commentary on an article titled “Don't Be Self-Indulgent and Draw Demons to Ourselves.” In the commentary, Teacher said, “Oftentimes the hardships you endure really are brought about by human attachments.” (“Cleaning Up”). From then on, whenever I felt anxious and restless, I reminded myself not to be self-indulgent and not to draw demons to myself. I need to be able to tell what my true self is and eliminate the phony self that is made of human notions and ideas.
5). Do the exercises: One time when I was at work, I felt strong feelings of lust. I could not get rid of it nor suppress it. I tried to send righteous thoughts but was unable to focus on it. After I got home, I did the exercises. After that, to my surprise, my thinking actually calmed down. Doing the exercises works in some way to improve our xinxing. I realized that doing the exercises can strengthen our energy and bring our knowing side forward to curb our human side.