(Minghui.org) Dafa cultivators understand that we must do our best to eliminate the attachments of fame and gain whenever they occur. However, we find in our cultivation process that vanity and lust are often hidden behind fame and gain. These attachments are dirty and vulgar - even held in contempt by ordinary people, yet many try to cover up, deny or ignore them on a superficial level. In reality, they follow us like shadows and can result in tribulations.
I learned a bitter lesson in this respect. Even before fellow practitioners warned me about it, I had been looking for superficial causes of fame and gain for the tribulations I was experiencing, but totally unaware of the deeply hidden vanity and lust I held. Only when fellow practitioners clearly pointed this out, did I come to realize the actual cause of the problems.
One practitioner explained, “Basically, it is a matter of 'sentiment', from which other problems are generated, manifesting as attachments of fame and gain, vanity and lust. Fame and gain are easy to recognize, but not lust and vanity.”
After I understood the real problem, I replied to the practitioner, “The attachments of vanity and lust you pointed out are indeed something I haven't taken seriously. I thought that I'd learned lessons in this area in the past and they were no longer important in my life, so I only looked at my attachment to fame. Now, I have indeed found many problems within. They might have come with me at birth, or developed later in my life.”
For thousands of years, the Chinese people believed in the traditional saying: “If a man studies hard, wealth and beautiful women will all come his way.” They believed that studying hard and passing tests was the only way to obtain the position of an official and a high level in society. Success would then bring the satisfaction of associated rewards. This belief has promoted attachments to fame, gain, vanity and lust.
Looking back, I had quite a strong attachment to vanity even when I was a student. I had a rebellious mentality and never liked being limited by social convention. I didn't think that I had much attachment to fame. Now, I realize that this mentality in itself is another form of attachment to fame and vanity. I always want to be different from others, so that people will regard me with special respect. In essence, I have a tendency to play myself up and show off, a mentality of being “superior to others.” Within this mentality lies a strong attachment to lust, where I want to attract the opposite sex. Even though it only appears to be a mental pleasure, in fact, it forms strong thought karma.
Practitioners have shared in some articles, that at this time, some very deeply hidden attachments have surfaced, waiting for us to eliminate them. This is indeed the case.