Eliminating the Attachment to Food
(Clearwisdom.net) I have been a cultivator for nearly 12 years. During the last 12 years, what struck me the most was the process of eliminating my attachment to food. The elimination of this attachment is more than my own efforts to suppress the desire for a certain food. Instead, it was like what Master said in Zhuan Falun (Lecture Seven), "it would make me feel sick,""their stomachs will ache," and "if they eat it they'll want to throw up." This happened until I truly understood the Fa principles and treated myself as a cultivator. At that point, I had truly eliminated the attachment to food.
Before I practiced Falun Gong, I was a picky eater and had specific preferences. When it came to meat, I was just like the type of people Master described in Zhuan Falun who couldn't eat any dish without meat. I was also particularly drawn to seafood and sweets. My strong attachment to food created a deviated notion in my mind: I thought that people lived for food, and that life was only worth living if one could satisfy one's desires and attachments.
Even though I had such a strong attachment, Master didn't give up on me. Within 6 months of my cultivation, just after New Year's Day of 1996, Master began to eliminate my attachment to meat, as well as spicy things such as onions, ginger, and garlic. I recall that my family once made dozens of pounds of pork and beef. As soon as it started boiling, I smelled a pungent stink. Before then it had always smelled good. At the time, I had poor enlightenment quality and thought that it smelled bad because we put in pork intestines. We looked in the stew but could not find any intestines. I didn't think too much about it and cut off one piece. However, it tasted awful and I had to spit it out. After that, I felt that I was going to vomit whenever I saw meat. Besides meat, I also could not eat anything that has too much oil and grease. It took more than a year before I was able to eat meat again. However, it was limited to business dinners--I still couldn't eat any at home.
After the persecution began in 1999, I was illegally detained. At the detention center, I was able to eat meat again. (The meat was not provided by the detention center; it was sent in by my family.) However, I did not enjoy the meat and had no craving for it. In the cruel environment of the detention center, it was important for me to not be attached to food. It strengthened my faith in Master and the Fa and my efforts against the persecution.
Through continuously studying the Fa and cultivating, I developed deeper understandings of eliminating the attachment to food. If we don't eliminate our strong desires and attachments, it will become the greatest obstacle and interfere with our cultivation. The elimination of these desires is what distinguishes a cultivator from an ordinary person. It is a fundamental question of whether we live to satisfy our desires, or to return to our original, true selves and save sentient beings. Those seeking to satisfy their desires may use this extremely precious period of time during the Fa-rectification period to make money, creating new karma in their cultivation. As a result, they also could not fully play the role of saving sentient beings as Dafa disciples, and have not successfully elevated themselves from the factors arranged by the old forces, including selfishness.
This is actually quite commonly seen. The amount of money some practitioners spend on saving sentient beings is very little compared to how much they spend in their daily lives. This is an important loophole that the old forces have taken advantage of during the last eight years of Fa-rectification period cultivation. Although we don't acknowledge the old forces and their tests, as a cultivator, if we are attached to material things for a long time, aren't we acknowledging the old forces? All human desires and pursuits were arranged by the old forces. If we don't give up these attachments, we are actually strengthening them, which means that we are cultivating following the old forces' arrangements.
There are also some practitioners around me who emit strong smells of ginger, onions, and garlic from their mouths when they speak. During Fa conferences and at group Fa studies, these odors make it difficult for other practitioners to remain tranquil. Some of the practitioners who have these odors have cultivated for more than 10 years, yet they are still carelessly eating ginger, onions, and garlic.
In Master's lectures, he has been clear why cultivators should not eat onions, ginger, and garlic. "Onions, ginger, and garlic can also stimulate a person's desires, and when you eat a lot of them you can get hooked." "It would seriously interfere with other people's practice." "A lot of beings that are developed from the human body through cultivation get really bothered by such foul odors." (Zhuan Falun, Lecture Seven) Master also said, "I'm teaching the Law to practitioners--it's not like I'm just randomly telling ordinary people how to live their lives."(Zhuan Falun, Lecture Seven) As genuine cultivators, we should follow the requirements of the Fa and treat ourselves strictly. If the beings we've cultivated in our bodies leave our bodies because of our attachment to these smells and tastes, the issue can be very serious. Where will these beings go? Also, the bad beings in the universe will try to use this opportunity to enter and stay in our body. This can create serious interference and cause damage to our cultivation. We have asked for them ourselves. In Fa-rectification cultivation, the practitioners who have been seriously interfered with for a long time should look inward for their shortcomings, which have been caused by their lack of attention to detail, and their attachments, which have been used to cover up their selfishness for a long time.
The odors of ginger, onions, and garlic emitted by some practitioners are extremely strong during Fa studies and group exercises. It puts the practitioners around them in a difficult position. If they point it out directly, it may not be well received. If they don't point it out, it becomes really difficult to endure. The situation threatens the group cultivation environment. How can the practitioners study the Fa and do the exercises with a calm mind when they are enduring and suffering from such distracting, terrible smells? This interference comes directly from some practitioners' lack of control of their own diet and lack of consideration for others. This has been going on for over ten years.
Dafa cultivation doesn't have rigid restrictions for its practitioners. It all depends on the disciples' hearts towards Dafa. If the disciples have good enlightenment qualities, they can fundamentally change their understandings and meet the requirements for cultivators with rationality. On different cultivation levels, they can use the Fa as a yardstick to guide and restrict themselves. On the other hand, if the practitioners freely pursue their desires and attachments, they have actually given up cultivation. I hope the practitioners who have not paid attention to cultivating themselves can focus on improving themselves and make positive changes.
The above is some of my understanding. Please kindly point out anything biased or inappropriate.