Eliminating Lust and Taking the Sacred Title of "Dafa Disciple" Seriously
(Clearwisdom.net) In the article "Breaking the Attachment to Lust and Selfishness - Assimilating to the Fa" [http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2003/5/4/35243.html], a western practitioner in the US mentioned the issue of discarding the attachment to lust, which was seldom mentioned by fellow practitioners in their experience sharing. Although this is an embarrassing topic for some practitioners, it's nevertheless an issue they must face and pay attention to. Moreover, during this unique historical period, I found that the evil old forces are trying to take advantage of our gaps in this aspect, in order to destroy us. I felt I could no longer remain silent; especially after reading Master's "Lecturing on and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference".
My heart was heavy and I was greatly moved. I finally decided to write about my situation so that I can improve myself and eliminate attachments, firmly break from the filthy, degenerate notions and behaviors that bring shame to Master and Dafa, that are bad even for ordinary people. On the other hand, I also hope to expose the evil degenerate substances from another perspective, to awaken fellow practitioners with similar problems so they can realize the seriousness of the issue and completely eliminate these attachments and evil degenerate substances.
Because I indulged in lust and sexual desires for a while prior to cultivation, after I obtained the Fa and began practicing, it became one of my greatest barriers. I didn't do well on the issue of male-female relationships. Every time I failed to guard my character, I regretted it terribly and thought, "How could I have done that?" However, the next time it was still hard for me to live up to the Dafa standard. Sometimes I became disheartened, so I tried to deceive myself with degenerate human notions to cover up my mistake. In fact, it's hard for people around me to know about these things and my attachments, but I clearly knew that these thoughts and behaviors are very bad, and I could not face Master and Gods.
Later, I gradually improved through cultivation. My main consciousness strengthened constantly, and my determination to eliminate these attachments grew stronger. I could better fight off interference from the evil thoughts. However, I still knew that it wasn't enough, and I saw some reasons behind my inability to guard my character. Below are some of the situations I saw from my level, but it doesn't apply to normal sexual activity for married couples and physical phenomena when no evil thoughts are involved. Fellow practitioners, please solemnly point out anything inappropriate.
Master said, "But since people are lost among ordinary people, they often form in their minds a kind of thought that revolves around reputation, gain, lust, anger, and those things. As time goes by, it shapes up into a strong thought-karma. Everything in other dimensions is alive, so karma is, too" (Zhuan Falun).
When people are attached to lust and sexual desires, the corresponding thought karma forms. The deeper one indulges in lust, the more destructive the corresponding thought karma. At the same time, the degenerate human society at this dharma-ending period has let loose their sexual desires, which energizes this substance in the space-dimension on the level of the human society on a large scale. For an individual, improper sexual relationships, bad personal sexual habits and bad thoughts on this issue are all related to this substance. According to what I saw, "lust and sexual desire," when it has strong energy, appears as the image of ugly and filthy low-level creatures in a certain spatial dimension, which are actually the same evil degenerate substances. From here on, I will refer to it as lust. Before it was completely eliminated, it prevented me from studying the Fa with a calm mind, doing the exercises and sending forth righteous thoughts. Whenever I failed to guard against it, it would obtain energy from me to prolong its existence.
However, isn't it true that, even though bad thoughts and behaviors are related to the bad substances in other dimensions, we are still held responsible for them? Master said, "Nobody can stop you if that's what you want. That's a law in this universe" (Zhuan Falun). For a human being, whether he is a practitioner or an ordinary person, if he accepts these bad things from society, corresponding bad substances would go to his body that complement the thought karma produced by him. Therefore, essentially, these kinds of bad thoughts and actions are due to the person's own inclination toward and indulgence in lust, for he didn't discipline himself with the moral standards Gods have established for mankind.
On the other hand, I can also see that the evil is trying to reinforce our attachments in this aspect, to destroy Dafa disciples. Several times when I recalled the state I was in when I was not doing well, I found that some evils in other dimensions were interfering and instigating my confused and irrational human side in this dimension. What is most dangerous is that with current degenerate notions, we would usually take the physical sensation resulting from such thoughts and actions as "enjoyable." As cultivators, even if we only have a tiny bit of such a notion, we would give tacit consent to and allow such actions, thus being unable to realize that we are already in an extremely dangerous situation.
Then, how can we break away from these dirty thoughts and actions? My own understanding is that the most important, key point is that we must have a firm determination to relinquish our attachments. "Could somebody really force you to change your mind? You have to discipline yourself" (Zhuan Falun). If we do not have a firm determination, and even if we have only a tiny bit of craving, accepting and giving consent to lust, we would not be able to conduct ourselves correctly during tribulations.
At the same time, we must keep up with daily Fa-study, doing the exercises, sending forth righteous thoughts. These three things are particularly compulsory for those practitioners who have not done well in handling their sexuality. Studying the Fa with a calm mind is the fundamental guarantee for the elimination of our attachments. Through Fa-study and doing the exercises, and with the elevation of our levels, we can see even more clearly the dirty, ugly and true nature of lust. Sending forth righteous thoughts can clear away all the evils that are trying to take advantage of our attachments and no longer allow them to interfere and damage our cultivation in Fa-rectification. At the same time, when the "lust" is trying to put up a last-ditch struggle and to interfere with us, it is of extreme importance that we eliminate it with strong righteous thoughts from our main consciousness. When I did not handle my sexual desires well enough, it usually happened when I did not keep up with daily calm-minded Fa-study, doing the exercises and sending forth righteous thoughts.
Master said, "When someone wants to cultivate a true teaching he has to eliminate his karma. Eliminating karma means eradicating it and transforming it. Now of course the karma won't go for it, so people have tribulations and they have obstacles. But thought-karma can directly interfere with a person's mind, and so he might silently swear at the teacher or swear at Dafa, or maybe he'll have some evil thoughts and bad words." (Zhuan Falun)
I would like to remind fellow practitioners of one other thing, namely that some of them half-heartedly refuse improper requests from others. Although they themselves do not have much attachment to lust, but because they could not let go of emotion, they concurred, therefore making serious mistakes. This is also not acceptable, and the Gods will not allow it.
Lastly, please allow me to review some of Master's teachings with fellow practitioners:
"So when you look at it from history, or from higher dimensions, a person's desires and lust, these things, they play a huge role in determining whether someone can cultivate. That's why we should really take these things lightly. But you cultivate among ordinary people, so we don't have you completely abstain. At least at this present stage, you should take it lightly and stop being like you were before. That's how you should be if you're a practitioner. Any time some kind of interference comes along in your practice, you have to look within for the cause and find what it is you still haven't let go of." (Zhuan Falun)
"You all know that Westerners don't understand why Chinese people are still so reserved when it comes to relationships between men and women. Let me tell you that this is how humans should be. Sexual freedom, which has mixed the human races and muddled human ethics, is absolutely forbidden by gods. So as cultivators, you absolutely should not do these sorts of things. You may have a wife or have a husband. This is the normal way of life for human beings. You are committing a sin if you have sexual activity with someone who isn't your husband or your wife. The gods in every upright religion of the East and West have emphasized this point very strongly." (Falun Buddha Law, Lecture at the Conference in Europe, Frankfurt, 1998, unofficial translation)
"I want to talk about one more thing. There are many young disciples among practitioners. You should mind your personal lives. On the subject of intimacy, you must not go along with the already declined behavior of ordinary human society. You can have your own wife or husband--that's normal. It isn't a problem for you to cultivate while conforming to ordinary human society to the maximum extent. There's no problem for you to live as husband and wife. If you aren't husband and wife and have sexual relations, you'll be engaging in the most filthy behavior. This is something that is absolutely disapproved of by gods. Not a single god will condone this. So you all have to pay attention to this. The cultivation process of a person is the history of a cultivator. Countless gods are watching every thought and every act of Dafa disciples. As cultivators who are determined to reach consummation, why can't you pass this test?" (Lecture at the US East Coast Conference, unofficial translation)
"Question: Quite a few disciples residing in North America cohabit with their partners without being married. Some even have children already. Is there any need to obtain a marriage certificate retroactively?
Teacher: Yes. I tell you to maximally conform to the way of ordinary human society for your cultivation. Let's talk about it in a different way. In the past, in China, when people got married, they needed the approval of both heaven and earth. That was why getting married was called "bowing to heaven and earth." They needed acceptance from parents--they had to bow to their parents. In Western societies, they needed it to be accepted by their Lord and God. So they went to church and pledged to the Lord. The Lord or God would have been your witness, testifying to your union. In today's Western societies, these norms have been broken. Without ceremonies, two people can just move in together. Without any restrictions, when they're happy, they're together--if not, one can just find another partner. This is unacceptable. As students of Dafa, you should at least understand this little bit of principle. Sexual freedom in the West has created a tremendous amount of karma. It appears to me that people coming from the East are even worse. You have to pay attention to these matters. Humans are said to have declined--isn't it a problem if cultivators do even worse than everyday people? Of course, you may think, 'Even though we didn't go through the formalities, our attitude and conduct are the same as if we were married. We've had children together and it's no longer possible for us to separate.' But you did not go through the proper procedures. If you feel that you can be responsible to each other, I would say this is quite good, but why don't you go through the procedures? At least allow ordinary human society consider you a legal husband and wife. Isn't this how it should be? In other words, you shouldn't be too casual when it comes to these subjects. I won't spend more time on this subject. Regardless of what you've done in the past, let bygones be bygones. Do it right progressing forward." (Lecture at the US East Coast Conference, unofficial translation)
"There are some people who are still doing some shameful and filthy things--things unworthy of Dafa, and things unworthy of the title of Dafa disciple. I haven't treated you differently either. In the end, when you can't walk towards Consummation, you have to be responsible to yourself! Master isn't trying to scare anyone. Whoever misses out on this historic opportunity, when you realize what you've missed out on, you won't even want to live even if you were asked to! Don't think that just because Master is always merciful you can take Master's mercy for granted! There are standards for Dafa disciples, and the Fa also has standards. It's not like everyone can just muddle around together and pass muster. Every person's soul is being hit upon, every person is genuinely cultivating himself, and every person is thinking about how to be responsible to his own life! Why are some of you not able to do this?! Looking at you, Master is so worried! Looking at you, Master is so worried! Master's words today might have been harsh, but maybe it wouldn't work if I didn't use a heavy hammer. If I'm not able to save you it will be my greatest regret. It would be great if you could be as worried as I am." (Lecturing on and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference)
"Question: Recently there has been an instance(s) around us of a man and a woman having an affair....
Teacher: I think I talked about that just now, I've even talked about this issue. The things certain people have done make them undeserving of even the title "Dafa student." They don't even deserve to be called "human beings," and yet they still call themselves "Dafa disciples"?! I'm waiting for you--do you not realize that?!
Sometimes when I see those things that you do, I truly feel pained. Yet if I were to really give up on you I would also truly feel pained. I really don't want to just give up on you like that. But how could it be that striving to improve is so far removed from your mind! How could it be that performing honorably is so far removed from your mind! You're even staining the reputation of Dafa, and doing things that are even undeserving of the title of "human being," yet you still call yourself a Dafa disciple! Let me be straightforward and summarize what I just said: all of you who have done things that aren't befitting the positions of Dafa disciples, you'd better talk about them openly. That way, many things of yours will be eliminated, and at the same time it will make you really strengthen your resolve to do better. I can tell you that for you time is really tight. For all of you who've done these bad things--and I'm not referring to those of you here who've already changed, I'm talking about those who are still doing those bad things, and those who are providing information to China's evil Communist scoundrel group-the moment I truly give up on you is the moment you're cast down into hell! And this definitely isn't empty talk meant to scare you. Because it's not over yet it is still an opportunity for all sentient beings, and Master has been waiting for you over and over again!" ("Lecturing on and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference")