My Understanding of Letting Go of Lust and Desire
(Minghui.org) I've been on a long, hard journey to get rid of lust and desire and would like to share my understandings.
I hope what I have to say is helpful to fellow practitioners, not including those newly married, new practitioners, or those whose spouse is not a practitioner.
Frankly speaking, at the early stage of my cultivation, I didn't let go of lust and desire at all, but was practicing precept instead. That's why I picked it up again from time to time, almost once every six months. Such failures always left me feeling ashamed, sorry, and worried. At the time I was not aware of how harmful lust is to a practitioner.
One day as I was wondering why gods arranged for human beings to reproduce the same way as animals, I suddenly enlightened to one point: As a practitioner walking on the divine path, the most obvious feature that makes him/her different from animals is being without lust, desire, and other human attachments.
I also had the understanding that for a regular human being, lust is a way to express desire and emotion. For a practitioner, it just creates karma. Lust and desire are dirty substances that can undermine a practitioner's future. Human greed and desire would contaminate heaven, so a practitioner must get rid of lust and desire straightaway.
After I enlightened to this, it became easier for me to take my feelings of lust and desire lightly. I understood that they were dirty, created karma for me, and prevented me from going to heaven.
However, when my wife was alive, I didn't let go of lust and desire. After she passed away, I looked inside and felt that my attachment had contributed to her death. I felt very guilty about it, and I swore to stay single forever and get rid of my lust and desire. I was also determined to practice Falun Gong and return home with Master. I decided to consciously let go of this attachment, guided by the Fa principles.
From Master's Fa lectures, I understood that lust and desire should be eliminated. As a veteran practitioner, I should not have such thoughts every day. At higher levels, a practitioner's cultivation state is different, which is more than having no thoughts. When I was clear about this principle, I felt that cultivation in this respect was not difficult at all.
Last year I tried to memorize the Fa by reading several lines or each paragraph repeatedly. Finally I was able to study the Fa in a tranquil state of mind. Higher Fa principles in the book Zhuan Falun were often revealed to me.
One sentence started to come to mind: “Desires, lust, and things of these sorts are all human attachments, and all of them should be given up.” (Zhuan Falun) My understanding is that, in personal cultivation, the first requirement is to get rid of lust and desire if a person wants to reach consummation.
Not letting go of lust is the same as putting one foot in one boat and the second in another boat, trying to be half human and half god. I believe this was Master's warning to me: If I wanted to become a Dafa practitioner, my only choice was to go on the Fa boat that would sail the divine path.
I often thought about the fact that, because I took up Falun Dafa, Master adjusted my body to its optimum state. This healthy body is for me to practice cultivation and become divine, not for me to enjoy earthly happiness. As Fa rectification is nearing the end, I must not take advantage of Master's compassion and indulge myself in lust and desire, which would prevent me from returning to my true home.
I also thought about Pigsy in Journey to the West. He couldn't give up lust, desire, and sentimentality. If not for his commitment to Bodhisattva Guanyin to protect his master, Monk Tang Seng, on their pilgrimage, and without help from his peers, he wouldn't even have earned the lowly title of “heavenly altar messenger.”
I saw my wife and several other fellow practitioners die of illness karma. When I saw her go from 140 pounds to only a skeleton due to illness karma, I was in such pain at the thought of her imminent departure.
I finally let go of my affection for her, left home, and entered a new environment. I felt so peaceful and warm at night when I stayed away from human joy, anger, sadness, happiness, fame, self-interest, sentimentality, and hatred.
One time as I was looking at my wife, so ravaged by the karma tribulation, I reflected on the fact that after indulging in lust and desire, nothing is left but accumulated karma, which has to be repaid.
Compassion arose in my heart when I came to that realization. I said to myself, “I will write off what others owe me, as I do not want to see them suffering. I know Master has repaid my debts, but I have to cultivate well and achieve Righteous Fruition to bring blessings to others. Human beings are in so much pain. No matter what they fight for, they end up with nothing but karma!”
I know that we as Dafa practitioners long ago signed contracts with Master to save sentient beings in the universe. That's why Master chose us to be Dafa disciples. If we do not do the three things well and do not cultivate ourselves well as we do them, it means that we are not honoring our vows. If we quit cultivation, it's a “breach of contract” and amounts to self-destruction.
I will not let Master down, because I know how much he suffered for me as I descended one layer of the universe after another. Master suffered so much for me so that I would obtain the Fa and achieve success. I must not turn my back on the glory that Master has bestowed upon us. I will not discard the gods in my world. I should replace my attachments with unselfishness, and become a selfless, righteous enlightened being.
I know that the old forces have persecuted practitioners and had them sentenced to prison terms using many excuses. One of them was about lust and desire. Some practitioners could not regard themselves as higher beings and give up lust and desire. I was one of them.
I guess the old forces would have said to Master, “Your disciple didn't do as you advised and frequently did wrong with regard to lust. Even practitioners in minor cultivation ways are able to do well in this respect, why not your Dafa disciples? We will just persecute them by using the CCP's laws and make them aware of their mistakes that are not aligned with the Fa, so as to rectify them. We have no choice!”
One day while I was sharing with a fellow practitioner who was dealing with the tribulation of lust, I felt the sentient beings in his world watching him and crying! I thought it was the main reason that kept him from understanding the higher-level Fa principles.
Lust and desire are manifestations of selfishness in this low dimension, which is a feature of beings in the old cosmos. If a practitioner is able to embrace selflessness for the future of his sentient beings so that they could enter the new cosmos, he or she is taking the opportunity to be reborn. How I wish fellow practitioners who are still attached to lust could see this as an opportunity to elevate in cultivation!
As for married practitioners who should fit in among everyday people as much as possible, my understanding is that, although they are husband and wife by law, in essence, they are nun and monk or brother and sister.
Certainly young couples should reproduce to perpetuate humankind, so if one spouse is not a practitioner or both are new practitioners, it's natural to keep some lust and desire.
However as I see it, veteran practitioners who are married should take it as humiliating to the future gods if they keep indulging in lust and desire. They shouldn't flirt with each other or bathe together, and even should avoid meeting while changing underwear. If we keep this in mind, it's not difficult to get rid of lust and desire. The Fa requires us all to be serious about this. We have to meet the requirements of the Fa if we really want to cultivate.
The issue of lust is a priority that practitioners have to face. Cultivation today in Dafa is much more difficult than the schools of cultivation in ancient times. One reason is that most practitioners in the old days were monks or nuns, who remained separated from the opposite sex.
As practitioners, the demon of lust cannot possess us if we do not have thoughts of lust, because Master and Fa guardians protect us. Also, we are constantly sending forth righteous thoughts to eliminate bad substances both inside and outside of our bodies, so little lust and desire remain. If we do this long term, it's not difficult to eliminate lust and desire, as I have done.
For those who think it is difficult, I think it's because they follow their attachments when lust and desire surface. Instead of disintegrating them, they invite them in. Many such practitioners have lost their lives in the persecution, or been taken to prison.
My understanding about getting rid of lust and desire is that we must aggressively overcome that demon, with no reservations.
One day it started to rain just after I had finished doing some things for Dafa. I left my motorcycle at a relative’s and went to take the bus. As I was waiting at the bus stop, someone shouted in my mind, “Go to Liu's (a female practitioner's) home.”
I felt as if a being in another dimension was dragging me away. I tried hard to make it back off and said to the being, “I will disintegrate you.”
I started to recite the formula for sending righteous thoughts over and over.
Finally I was able to stand still, and the demon of lust was disintegrated.
Another time, for three days in a row the demon of lust attacked the sensitive parts of the body. Even though I made great efforts to send righteous thoughts and eliminate bad substances, it didn’t give up.
I then thought about what Master said about “the appearance stems from the mind.” (from “Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting,” Teaching the Fa at the Conference X).
I said to the evil, “You are the most shameful beings in this universe. You are the most dirty beings. You appear to be gigantic, but actually you are less than nothing. I can't even call you living beings.”
Again, I repeated the formula to send forth righteous thoughts. The demon disappeared.
This is how I got rid of lust and desire.
In order to achieve Righteous Fruition, save sentient beings and gods in our own worlds, and be worthy of what Master has suffered for us, let's work together to send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate lust and desire, disintegrate lust and desire, let go of lust and desire, and be a true Dafa practitioner “til no single omission is found” (from “Cultivating Amidst the Delusion,” Hong Yin)
Let's cultivate diligently together. I hope every practitioner reaches consummation.