Changing Human Notions and Removing the Attachment to Lust and Desire
(Clearwisdom.net) Lust and desire are a big test for a cultivator. To pass it, one must be clear on the Fa, be strict with oneself, strengthen one’s willpower, and keep one’s each and every thought under control without slacking off. Seeing that some practitioners are confused in this aspect and have been stuck in tribulations for a long time, I’d like to share my understanding in hopes that it will provide some help to those practitioners. Please point out anything improper.
1. My Past Marriage
I was married at the age of 28. My ex-wife had a very bad temper. She was very unreasonable and loved money very much; we often fought with each other. One year, she not only refused to accompany me to visit my parents during the Chinese New Year, but she also forbade me to go. I had to visit my parents after the holiday and behind her back. After she found out, she smashed our marriage portrait and tore my clothes into pieces. Too many things like this happened during our marriage. I suffered chest pains a lot because of her, and I was very distressed about the misfortune of my marriage.
Things improved a lot after I began practicing Dafa, and I did not get mad as badly as before. Since the persecution started, I had been detained and lost my job. She took all the money and moved to another town, leaving my son and me to lead a very difficult life in my parents’ home. I heard from relatives that she had lived with a chef for some time and then split up. Three years later she came back and sold the house, and wanted a divorce. I refused, so she brought court personnel to my home, held an on-site hearing, and divorced me.
I feel nothing while talking about it right now, but I was in great pain at the time. Through steadfast practice of Dafa, I was able to transcend the difficulties and make it through. This is most precious. Now my conventional way of thinking has been turned around, and I further understand that the principles in the human world are the opposite of that of the cosmos. I have untied the bad predestined relationship, repaid my karma, and improved my xinxing; it is indeed a good thing.
2. Distinguishing Self from the Attachment to Lust and Desire
Through Fa study, I have come to understand that one’s real life is the primordial spirit, which does not have the attachment to lust and desire. Lust and desire are formed on the human body with a purpose of maintaining human survival. A cultivator’s body can achieve the balance of Yin and Yang, so theoretically one should not have lust and desire as strong as that of everyday people. Moreover, with constant practice, one’s body will gradually transform into high-energy matter and eventually become divine. A divine being has no attachment to lust and desire, because he/she regards the latter to be very dirty, just as Master taught in the Fa, “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” in Zhuan Falun) This is what divine beings feel and perceive about them. Only human beings regard them as something interesting and fun, and seek after them. We must change our conventional way of thinking and remove the attachment, and not be controlled by it in our daily thinking, speech, and action.
The attachment to lust and desire is also a substance and life that needs to be replenished frequently, or it will weaken and die eventually. How does it replenish its energy? It controls one to recollect, imagine, read books and magazines, watch TV, listen to songs, etc. It can replenish its energy from speech, actions, or even thoughts. It controls human senses and provides false pleasures, letting humans enjoy illusions of physical pleasure and mental satisfaction. Because of its control, humans create tons of karma, repay debts to each other lifetime after lifetime, and live in endless pain. The reason for me to have suffered such great tribulation was because I had created a great deal of karma in this aspect before I started practicing cultivation. Therefore, we must be clear that suffering in the human world is good, enjoyment is bad. This is especially so for practitioners who have strong energy. If we let down our guard, we will replenish energy to it, and it will in turn harm us. There are demons controlling and strengthening it, as well. Therefore we must control ourselves well, cleanse our hearts, and subdue our desires. Only through long-term steadfast cultivation can one remove the attachment to lust and desire completely and meet the standards of Dafa.
3. My Personal Understanding of Dafa’s Requirements for a Practitioner
Master taught us,
“We have said that you should not cause disharmony in your family because of this issue. Therefore, at the present stage, you should care less about it. It is good to keep a normal and harmonious marriage life. In the future, when you reach a certain level, there will be another situation at that level. At present, it should be this way, and it will be fine if you meet this requirement. Of course, you should not follow what is going on in society. How can that be allowed?” (“Lecture Six” in Zhuan Falun)
What does the Fa teach at higher levels then?
“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” in Zhuan Falun)
Comparing the two paragraphs, we can see that the second paragraph does not have the word “marriage” after “harmonious.” In my understanding, when we have reached higher levels, we can have a harmonious life without sex. And we need to completely cut off desire at higher levels.
Why would some practitioners fail to do it even though they have come to an understanding about it? Because they have failed in doing one thing.
“The other day I said that the Buddha-light illuminates everywhere and rectifies all abnormalities. In other words, the energy scattered from our bodies can rectify all abnormal conditions. Therefore, under the effects of this field, if you do not think about these things, you will unintentionally restrain your spouse as well. If you do not and will not think of them, your spouse will not think of them, either.” (“Lecture Six” in Zhuan Falun)
It’s because they did not control each and every thought well. They instead developed thoughts of lust and desire, and they failed real cultivation in this aspect. I will not talk anymore about this because much has been shared by other practitioners already. Another reason is that a lot of human notions have not been changed, and many concerns have not been let go of.
4. Rectifying Unrighteous Human Notions
Because we practice cultivation among everyday people, one inevitably has either a wife or husband, and this involves an issue of cultivation environment. Some practitioners have not done well in this aspect and have been suffering tribulations and living in a dilemma for a long time. I often hear fellow practitioners say, “If I cut off desire, my husband will give me a hard time.” “My spouse will not understand it. This is undermining Dafa.” Or, “My husband has been working hard out of town for a long time in order to feed the family. As his wife, I should fulfill my duties when he has the requirement during his visits.” “Life is short. My spouse does not practice cultivation, and this is one of his/her already limited pleasures. He/she has been living in fear because of the persecution; now I want to cut off desire; I feel sorry for him.” These are all human thoughts. These practitioners are delimiting boundaries for themselves. This is like digging a hole and jumping right in, and then not being able to get out in several years or even decades, let alone transcending levels and removing desire. This is because they have not come to a thorough understanding on the Fa and have not changed their notions.
Cultivation practice is rectifying human thoughts. Everything follows the fact, “Cultivation depends on one’s own efforts, while the transformation of gong is done by one’s master.” (“Lecture One” in Zhuan Falun) As soon as your thoughts are right, you can pass the test. Otherwise, it is these human thoughts that keep Master from helping you.
This is what our thoughts to our spouse should be, “You should help me practice cultivation, and this is your original thought before you came down to the human world. You should subdue your lust and desire, and not interfere with me.” When we cleanse ourselves, we should talk to his/her primordial spirit and ask Master to strengthen us while we’re sending forth righteous thoughts to remove his lust and desire, and things will change. We should also think, “After I cut off desire, our life will be more harmonious, and my spouse will support me in doing the three things even better.” This is the mighty power of Dafa, and the inevitability of cultivation practice.
Yes, Master can take away the substance of lust and desire from us and our spouse easily, but it wouldn’t be cultivation practice. Therefore we have to steadfastly practice real cultivation. A practitioner read in the Chinese classic “Journey to the West” that a lady was snatched by a demon, who wanted to force her to marry him. A divine being gave the lady a piece of treasure, and the demon dared not to get close to her. The practitioner then asked Master to give her such a treasure, and she has thus successfully cut off desire. In fact, many practitioners have been doing very well.
For practitioners who are single, there are also very strict standards about removing lust and desire.
5. My Experience of Removing Lust and Desire While Single
I used to have a strong attachment to lust and desire, and my health was consequently very poor. My wife left me when I was 33, and I had some physical reactions from time to time, but I knew it was because lust and desire wanted to replenish its energy. So I strengthened my determination to practice cultivation and maintain my xinxing. The lust and desire weakened and gradually disappeared. It has been 13 years now since I cut off the lust and desire; it is truly incredible. My being able to cut off lust and desire is a manifestation of the boundless Buddha Fa.
Practitioners follow heavenly principles to do things. The heaven that the everyday people refer to is in charge of affairs in the human world. We know that the old heaven was part of the old forces, but it has been destroyed. Now Master is in that role. Marriage is overseen by specific gods. I had not done well before practicing cultivation. Now since I have started practicing cultivation, I will strictly follow Dafa’s requirement and do well, and set a good example for people in the future.
I have seen practitioners, who failed in this aspect, be seriously persecuted: some were sick, some were imprisoned, and some died. I deeply felt the seriousness of cultivation practice, which does not allow slacking off. Cultivation practice emphasizes body, speech, and mind. For those who are single, one’s big challenge is the mind. I remember in the early years, because of my unhappy marriage, I longed for a harmonious marriage and often remembered one of my coworkers who was very kind and virtuous. She sometimes appeared in my dreams. Later on, I came to understand in the Fa that one’s fate is not arranged by one’s imagination; a cultivator should stop being delusional and sad. Now I know that a practitioner using human thoughts is actually harming oneself and others. It is as taught in the Fa, “Monks in the past took these things very seriously, because once one started to think one will create karma.” (“Lecture Eight” in Zhuan Falun)
There is no shortcut in cultivation practice. Over the years, I have gone through all kinds of tests. When my human thoughts surfaced, my ex-wife would come to my dreams; others would try to introduce me to women; women would approach me, or there would be tests from female fellow practitioners. These were all incurred by my impure thoughts and slacking off in cultivation practice. As soon as I strengthened my Fa study and became strict with myself, I passed these tests.
“Throughout history, or from the perspective of higher dimensions, the issues of one’s desire and lust have been very critical in determining whether one can practice cultivation. So we must really regard these things with indifference.” (“Lecture Six” in Zhuan Falun) I hope that fellow practitioners can remove the attachment to lust and desire at the end of Fa-rectification, elevate, and improve as a whole.
This concludes my personal understandings. Please point out anything improper.