(Clearwisdom.net) I am a Dafa disciple who started practicing Falun Dafa in 1996. In the years that followed however, I took a detour on my path of cultivation and didn't resume the practice until early 2007. Upon my return at the beginning, I was very diligent as I felt that I should cherish the opportunity to cultivate, especially given that I had fallen far behind. As such, every day I urged myself to do the three things well. I was able to sense the changes in my mind and body and I felt I was illuminated by Dafa's halo at every moment while the morality in the human world was going downhill at lightening speed. If practitioners fail to hold themselves to a high standard, it is very easy for them to deviate and slip onto the wrong path. As a matter of fact, I am such an example.

Today in China, as long as you are young and single with a stable job, numerous people would want to set you up with a date. My college sweetheart broke up with me after I resumed my cultivation and since then many people offered to find me a new girlfriend. I politely declined because I didn't have any plans to get married in the near future. However, I knew clearly that I still had attachments to desire and lust, and possessed very bad thoughts from time to time. The old forces took this opportunity to exploit and amplify my attachments, which resulted in a grave mistake that I should never have made.

In the autumn of 2008, a former middle-school classmate whom I hadn't seen for years invited me to dinner to catch up on old times. Figuring that this could be an opportunity to save him, I brought some truth-clarification materials and went to meet with him. During the meeting, to my surprise, his girlfriend wanted to introduce her younger sister, a nurse, to me. Having no intention of dating anyone, I said no. But she insisted that I get to know her sister, saying, "I'm not asking you to marry her. Just for you to meet her. What's the big deal about this?" There were many other friends present, and I didn't want to hurt her feelings, so I agreed with much hesitation. I thought this could be a chance to clarify the facts to her sister. I could never have imagined that I would be dragged down and make a mistake that should never have happened, leaving a stain on my cultivation path.

Since both my girlfriend and her friends are non-practitioners, whenever we got together, everything they talked about were things filled with attachments and desires. At the beginning, I felt very uncomfortable with their conversations, but gradually I became willing to listen. Occasionally, I even joined them in the conversation or argued with them. Thus, I started to feel the decline of my xinxing level every day.

What was most shameful and despicable was something driven by my desire, I slept with my girlfriend, a grave mistake I should never have made. I'd like to share my experiences and understandings below.

1. Wrong Basis at the Very Beginning

Looking back, I have realized that it was an inappropriate idea to date a person for the purpose of clarifying the facts to her, which is a complete deviation from the Fa. Seeing clearly my attachments to lust and desires and my longing for a married life, the old forces set up this trap to have me commit a wrongdoing, hoping to eventually destroy me.

2. Thinking from the Perspective of the Fa Principles

Since my girlfriend was very receptive upon learning of my cultivation, we soon started dating. At that time, some fellow practitioners advised me not to date a non-practitioner and asked me to think about the matter seriously. There were also other practitioners who suggested I make the decision myself and be aware that the point of the matter was not about whether I had a non-practitioner girlfriend. Despite my fellow practitioners' advice however, I failed to consider this issue from the perspective of the Fa. I told myself that many practitioners, including younger ones, still cultivated very well even though they had non-practitioner spouses. I thought I would be able to do the same when in fact I was just finding an excuse to cover up my attachments to desires and lust.

Through Fa study and experience sharing, I gradually realized my problem. When fellow practitioners pointed out my issue, they were offering me advice based on the Fa. However, I failed to measure myself against the Fa and didn't realize the seriousness of the matter. I was looking for practitioners' words that were favorable to me so I could justify my behavior. I was too obsessed with my attachments and believed what I did was right. I was thus deviating from the Fa.

3. Possessing the Attachment to Desire, I Should Have Strengthened My Guard

When I was still a college student, I knew that I had very strong attachments to desire and lust, especially with the influence of current society. Nowadays college students are very casual in terms of sex and they spread pornography among each other. I was therefore swimming in pornography. After I resumed my cultivation in 2007, I worked hard to get rid of these attachments, but bad thoughts and ideas still popped up in my mind from time to time.

Just when I was eliminating this attachment, I started dating my girlfriend. I thought to myself, "Wouldn't it be nice if I could save her and at the same time discard my attachment to lust?" My fellow practitioners commented that I was presenting a loophole for the old forces to exploit. How right they were! If I had strong righteous thoughts, I would be able to achieve what I was hoping for, but I could not maintain strong righteous thoughts at every moment. No wonder I made this horrendous mistake.

Master said,

"Yet if a cultivator or an everyday person who cannot even make fundamental sacrifices also discusses this principle, he is actually undermining the Fa by making excuses for the attachments he cannot let go of." ("Non-Omission," from Essentials for Further Advancement)

The old forces with all kinds of demons and low-level beings are monitoring us, hoping to spot our loopholes. When we fail to maintain strong righteous thoughts, we are offering our loopholes to them so they can exploit and amplify our attachments. It is too late for regrets when we make mistakes and fall.

4. The Way the Old Forces Amplify Our Attachments to Desire and Lust Is Like Boiling a Frog Starting with Lukewarm Water

I once read an article written by a fellow practitioner saying that the way the old forces persecuted those who were released from labor camps and prisons is like boiling a frog starting with lukewarm water so that the frog never detects the increase in temperature. My understanding of the metaphor is that if we do not stay alert, we can't even detect the persecution. The Fa-rectification process has progressed to this stage and most practitioners have a relatively clear understanding of the Fa principles. Therefore, the old forces don't dare to persecute practitioners out in the open as in the past. Instead, they have turned to a more inconspicuous and secretive tactics. For instance, they lure you to do something to amplify your attachments. Using the excuse of testing you, they destroy those they feel don't meet the requirements of qualified Dafa disciples.

At the beginning my relationship with my girlfriend, I was still conducting myself well. However, ordinary people's thoughts and behaviors had a big impact on me. Nowadays it is very rare to find a woman who dresses appropriately in public places. When I just started dating, a friend asked if I had already had sex with my girlfriend. I said no, but his words moved me. I felt that people today were too causal in this regard and I told myself not to make these mistakes. I now realize that the old forces clearly saw my impure thoughts. Not long after, many of my friends who were around my age hinted to me that it was no big deal if I decided to sleep with her. Even a lot of parents commented that I was really a good kid as I hadn't moved in together with my girlfriend after such a long time. I felt very embarrassed every time this issue was brought up.

I gradually loosened my guard against my desires and lust after repeatedly hearing the same remarks by people around me. At my weakest moment, I committed this sin knowingly and used the excuse that we would get married sooner or later to comfort myself. From my example, it shows that the old forces would never dare to persecute you if you maintain strong righteous thoughts. Before they do anything to you, they gradually destroy your righteous thoughts. When you are dominated by evil thoughts, they begin to attack you.

5. We Must Confront Our Mistakes with Determination and Righteous Thoughts

What shocked me the most was that I learned of many young disciples who made the same mistake as I did, and as a result some even stopped cultivating. For those practitioners who didn't go through such a tribulation, it may be hard to imagine the kind of pressure and shame we felt when resuming cultivation and having to face Master and fellow practitioners.

I can understand how they feel, just like what Master said,

"Such a person's sore spots are going to be sensitive when they're hit upon, and sometimes the person will even defend himself with some kind of argument, fearing scorn." ("Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference")

It is indeed a shame. Once we realize the seriousness of a mistake, the shame we feel is beyond description. If some of these practitioners don't have the determination to relinquish such attachments, it's very hard for them to refrain from making the same mistake. Because we once harbored this evil, it only becomes even more difficult to rid ourselves of the attachment to lust.

Master said,

"The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa can shatter all lies, and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts." ("Drive Out Interference," from Essentials for Further Advancement II)

But if we lack the determination, it is extremely difficult to do well.

This requires us to study the Fa more and gain a clear understanding of our attachments to lust. We should understand that such attachments are not our true thoughts, but notions acquired in society. We need to repel them in our minds. In this way we can we truly walk out of the shadow of feeling shameful and be determined to do well. "When you can stay steadfast we can eliminate karma." ("The Sixth Talk," Zhuan Falun)

At the same time, we should send forth righteous thoughts more often to cleanse our own field and the evil factors, including our thought karma and the old forces' arrangements. When I made up my mind to cultivate well, I followed my fellow practitioners' advice, that is, to add a thought while sending forth righteous thoughts to eliminate my attachments to lust. As a result, my attachments didn't surface that often.

Moreover, young Dafa disciples should practice the exercises more often so our bodies can transform more quickly and gain stronger energy, which will then help suppress our lust and desire. Before I made this mistake, I didn't pay much attention to exercises. Living by myself with a busy job and a full agenda of Dafa projects, I found enough excuses not to do the exercises on a regular basis. As a result, my body couldn't transform and I often felt a strong desire in the morning and at night. Now that I persist in doing the exercises every day, my desires are getting much weaker. Therefore, young Dafa disciples should not slack off in practicing the exercises.

6. A Fly Will Not Touch an Egg Without Cracks

Lastly, I hope fellow practitioners can help those who have made the same mistake. We are one body. Once these practitioners come to their senses, they will know that such a mistake is shameful in the eyes of Master and fellow practitioners. As a result, they will feel deep regret and not stop blaming themselves, and will immerse themselves in great pain. If they can't resolve this issue and become numb to the matter, they will continue going downhill and even give up cultivation. I want to tell those who made such mistakes that even though this is disappointing and painful, we must pay close attention, and the best remedy will be to expose what we did.

Master said,

"Don't dwell on your past mistakes--if you've made mistakes, then do well from now on. Don't think about the things that have happened. Think about how to do well from now on, and become truly responsible to yourself and to sentient beings." ("Touring North America to Teach the Fa")

If we can't clearly see our mistakes and still hide or dare not face our attachments, this is not what Master wants to see.

As the Fa-rectification process progresses to this stage, I feel very ashamed of myself for making this grave mistake. Assisting Master in the Fa-rectification and saving sentient beings is our historical mission and purpose. I hope to become worthy again of the title of Dafa disciple by confronting my mistake and taking responsibility for what I did. At the same time, I will work even harder to do the three things and make up for the loss I caused to Dafa. I can only be more diligent to return the salvation that Master has bestowed upon me.

I hope this article can warn and encourage those, especially younger people, who made similar mistakes. Please kindly point out anything inappropriate.