Letting Go of Lust Is a Serious Matter
(Minghui.org) The issue of lust should be regarded with seriousness and responsibility. In my understanding, two of the most important factors for letting it go are a deep and sincere assimilation to the Fa, together with a constant effort to do the three things well.
“The enlightenment that we actually refer to is a matter of whether in the course of cultivation one can enlighten to and accept the Fa taught by the master or the Tao taught by the Taoist master, whether one can treat oneself as a cultivator upon encountering tribulations, and whether one can adhere to the Fa while cultivating.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
When I was just a kid, I was exposed to ordinary role models, romantic cartoons and movies, and as a teenager, to all kinds of modern degenerated trends. Through the years, I formulated an attachment to beauty and the idea of love. These arrangements filled me with notions about affection, vanity, romantic feelings and lust.
Seven years ago, I started practicing Falun Dafa at the age of 20. It was my first year of university: at the sudden understanding of Zhuan Falun's preciousness, I immediately wanted to cultivate. Thus, I urged myself to let go of my bad habits. I abstained from smoking and drinking in a short period of time, while keeping contact with my university classmates. They were all very surprised by my unexpected changes, but after sharing the beauty of the practice and telling them the facts about the persecution, we continued with our normal relations. Meanwhile, I was able to distance myself from the temptations coming from female classmates.
A year later, I started getting complacent. While involved in local Dafa projects and feeling pretty accomplished, I was too self-conscious around female friends. I was worried about what they would see in me, and if I was good-looking enough. Generally, these thoughts were connected with vanity, and, more deeply, with lust. Somehow, those ideas were coming in a period where I was also facing the issue of comfort, so later I had the impression that the two attachments were connected.
Eventually, by letting my guard down, I faced a test that made me stumble. I wasn’t able to hold my ground and ended up having an inappropriate relationship. After the mistake, I was desperate. The day after, my family and I went to an agro-tourism site for lunch. While talking with my brother, I was shocked to hear from him that the previous night he had been woken up by sad piano music. The frightening thing was that we didn’t have a piano in the house. At that point, I was scared and kept thinking about it. Therefore, I went for a stroll in the garden outside. There, I found a still pond, filled with lotus flowers. Deeply moved, I thought it was a hint from Master that I had to keep going. There was still hope.
The next year, I worked on myself by studying the Fa more, sometimes by reading about this specific issue within the Fa. I also read Minghui articles. By studying more about traditional Chinese culture, I learned that lust would diminish one’s virtue and fortune.
My thought karma related to this was huge, and it weighed on me for a long time. I started wondering if it was also coming from my previous lifetimes or my family lineage. I persisted in doing the three things, and while I was able to let go of other attachments more easily, this notion kept coming back with pressing regularity.
I had ups and downs for four years: I would be able to hold myself to high standards for quite some time, only to find myself entangled in lust and pornography all over again. In those periods, I’d still study the Fa, but without due sincerity, because I couldn’t restrain myself. It was a lack of respect towards Master and the Fa.
Thinking about this with more rationality, I realized that I wasn’t able to look at the matter from the perspective of a practitioner. I didn’t recognize those thoughts as something external from myself. It was a lack of non-omission in my cultivation.
I never intended to leave cultivation, and even when I was under such mental distress for not being able to behave correctly, I would cry without seeing hope. It was as if I was holding myself to two incompatible things: on one side, the path to selflessness and godhood, and on the other, human emotion.
At first, when I was in a bad cultivation state, I would isolate myself from other practitioners, afraid of what they could think of me. But with a more extensive understanding of the Fa, I overcame this important restraint. When I shared about the issue with some of my fellow practitioners, the situation always turned for the better.
Now, I know that writing a thorough sharing like this is an important tool that Master provided me, and I hope that this will be beneficial also for other practitioners.
“You’d better tell people about those things openly. That way, many things of yours will be eliminated, and at the same time it will make you really strengthen your resolve [to correct your behavior].” (“Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference” from Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. III)
Master also said,
“What do the old forces and the old cosmos see as the gravest thing? Lust, [in the form of] sexual activity outside of marriage. That’s what they see as the most serious of things. In the past, once someone violated the precept on that, he would be thrown out of the temple, and his cultivation would be utterly finished. So how do gods look at this now? Do you know what they have said in the prophecies that they left behind? They prophesied that all of the Dafa disciples who would be left in the end would be those who had maintained their purity along these lines. In other words, these things are extremely serious to them. So, the old forces and all of the gods in that cosmos will not defend anyone who violates the prohibition on this, anyone who doesn’t do well in this regard; in fact, they will push you downwards.” (“Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles”)
The essentiality of this test became more obvious when I entered into a serious relationship. Master always gave me opportunities not to disconnect from practitioners and the Fa. But I can see how, sometimes, the attachment within the relationship can keep me from taking daily study and practice seriously.
It is clearly a fundamental test for me, to see how far I can go believing in Master and the Fa. Overcoming this, I’ll be more genuinely responsible for sentient beings and myself. So, every time an inappropriate thought comes up, I must use my strong righteous thoughts to deny it.
I also came to the realization that I should look at it not only from a cultivation perspective, but also from a Fa-rectification perspective. As soon as I start to think about others more than myself, about sentient beings’ destiny, my willpower becomes stronger. If I can follow the path designed by Master, if I can focus on spreading the Fa and clarifying the truth, I’ll naturally overcome human notions.
In the past year, I’ve been actively eliminating thoughts related to comfort, vanity, physical attraction, and lust. I also sent forth righteous thoughts to strengthen this process. I see how this gets more doable when I’m diligent in doing the three things well. I just want to assimilate to the Fa and be a worthy particle of Dafa.
I’m aware that I could face the test once again, as I might still have some substance to eliminate. That’s why it’s so important that I put my highest priority in doing the three things with sincerity. In the last few months, I’ve been trying to study the Fa more and being more active in Dafa projects. I don’t feel like it’s a burden to make more effort. It’s actually making me more aware of the beauty and serenity that comes with living for others.
“When the mallet strikes, one knows to advance wholeheartedlyFa drums awaken humans, knocking them out of confusion”(“Drum Tower,” Hong Yin II Translation Version B)
Master also said,
“To Dafa disciples, to be able to rationally deal with it depends on how strong your rationality is. This is the righteous thoughts we talk about. It’s whether the foundation of your cultivation is solid or not. That’s what we talk about, and that’s what it is. If you can rationally deal with everything, that’s truly remarkable. I know what it feels like without any qing. (Master points at the heart, smiles) It’s compassionate to sentient beings and is a completely different matter from qing. It’s something in a broad sense, and qing feels like something redundant and repulsive to it. Just like when you hear something unpleasant and when you see things that shouldn’t be there, you reject them. Therefore, at present, you can only rationally deal with it.” (“Teaching the Fa in Washington D.C. In 2018,” Team Blue Translation)
Master also taught,
“Yet we aren’t asking those of you who live and practice in the secular world to become quasi-monks or nuns. The young adults among us should form families as one normally would. Then what about the perils of sexual desire, you may wonder? As I’ve explained, our practice goes straight after human attachments and doesn’t take the approach of depriving you materially. Just the opposite, we have you temper your will right here in this materialistic world, and this is truly to the betterment of your character. If you can break an attachment mentally, then you can let go of the actual thing, whatever it may be; and then you would be able to forgo it materially, of course, if you had to. But if you can’t break the attachment mentally, then you won’t be able to let go of the actual thing that you’re attached to. The goal of genuine practice is to remove the underlying attachments.” (“The Sixth Talk” from Zhuan Falun)
I am here to openly apologize to revered Master and to the sentient beings who have put their hopes in me. I want to completely free myself from the substances related to selfishness and lust, purify myself, and help Master save sentient beings in the last leg of the journey. This is the real vow I made before coming here, and it is the only real reason I’m here.
Thank you, Master, for not giving up on me. Thank you, fellow practitioners, for supporting me through these tribulations. Please kindly point out anything inappropriate.
Category: Improving Oneself