We Should Remove the Attachment to Eating
(Minghui.org) The Book of Rites says, “Food and drink, [and] men and women, are the great desires of human beings.” Confucianism advocates a ritual control of desire. Abstaining from excessive desires for food and drink and sexual relations between men and women is something that the sages from ancient times to the present have needed to work on. Taoism says that if one can abstain from the desires of appetite, and men and women, one’s longevity will be equal to that of heaven.
This is to say, lust and gluttony are both strong human desires. The ancient Chinese knew that they had to constantly be strict with and improve themselves in these areas, so the requirements for practitioners can only be higher. Regarding the attachment to lust, practitioners have written many experience-sharing articles and paid a lot of attention to eliminating it. Yet some do not pay enough attention to the desire for food and drink. Neglect of this attachment has led to many problems and even caused very serious situations, yet some practitioners don’t realize the cause.
In Zhuan Falun, Master Li talked about “the issues of one’s desire and lust” in the sixth lecture and “The Issue of Eating Meat” in the seventh lecture. In my own cultivation practice, I found that eliminating the attachment to appetite is no easier than the attachment to lust. Sometimes, it is even more difficult. Moreover, we have this physical body and need to eat every day, so how do we meet the standard of a practitioner?
After reciting the section “The Issue of Eating Meat” in Zhuan Falun several times, I became more clear about the Fa’s requirements in this regard. And I realized that I had not met the standard.
Master also said:
“Eating, but caring not to taste—The palate’s attachments severed.Doing, but without pursuit—So constant, abiding in the Dao.Calm, but without strain of thought—The truly wondrous can be seen.”(“Abiding in the Dao,” Hong Yin)
This Fa principle is so clear, but have I done it myself?
I saw an article on the Minghui website in which a practitioner shared that he had recently become fatter. He realized that practitioners should not be like this and that he should not tarnish the image of a Dafa disciple. Some practitioners may wonder what this has to do with the image of a Dafa disciple. Let me give some examples.
One day when I was handing out truth-clarification brochures at a park, two young men walked by and saw the picture of a meditating practitioner on the cover. They seemed to have little interest and quickly walked past. One of them then turned around and said, “Give me a brochure; you’re so fit and slim. Is it because you are doing this? I have to show it to my mother so she can also become slim.” He took the brochure and read it as he walked.
Another time, I saw an NTDTV broadcast of practitioners participating in a large parade, along with many other groups. They interviewed the organizer, who was not a practitioner. His impression was that Falun Gong practitioners looked healthy, that there were no obese people in our group, and that he could see the impact of learning Falun Gong on practitioners’ health.
In my own practice, I found that having an attachment to food not only leads to obesity but also to disorders of the stomach, intestines, mouth, teeth, and entire digestive system. This manifests in the practitioner’s body in the form of “sickness karma” in these areas. More serious ones will directly affect their ability to validate the Fa.
One practitioner could not control his desire to eat during the New Year period. He had a fierce desire to eat at night, which led to sleeplessness afterwards, and then he could not get up in the morning to do the exercises with us in the park. If such a desire to eat is not removed, it can have a great impact on the practitioner’s cultivation state. If we do not realize the seriousness of this problem, it is very unfortunate.
I also found that this obsession can seriously interfere with one's efficiency at work, especially when working at home in front of the computer. If one can’t control one's constant snacking, it becomes a source of interference. This kind of strong attachment is definitely not one’s true self. The desire is actually a substance that is alive and exists in the body. It is cunning and will find opportunities to appear and control the body when one is vulnerable or relaxed.
Digestion of food by the human body requires a lot of energy. Excessive use of energy will affect one's health, and such long-term overconsumption of energy will affect one's life span. By preserving human energy, people live longer. But when one eats too much, he finds himself starting to want to rest, with the mind slowing down and the body becoming heavier. Then he becomes lazy and sleepy. At that time, the energy from diligent cultivation and the sense of urgency to save people have gone. This is one of the evil's tricks to gradually weaken the physical body, which then affects one mentally.
We have a Fa-study group on Sundays, and we take a break in the middle. A few years ago, the break was only a few minutes long, as practitioners were eager to read the Fa. Rarely did anyone bring anything to eat. Now, people often bring food and invite others to eat together.
I used to think that group Fa study is a sacred and solemn event, and time is limited. How could I think about eating? But recently, I noticed I started to think of bringing something to eat when I was leaving home on Sundays. It’s not that those who bring food are attached and those who don’t are not. Rather, it is the presence of this substance in the [energy] field that causes this phenomenon to occur. This means the practitioners’ attachment to eating is strong enough for this kind of phenomenon to appear.
The body needs to eat. It is difficult to not care about the taste of food and to sever the attachment to eating. Especially nowadays, there are all kinds of delicious foods, snacks, etc. This is a quagmire set up by the old forces to interfere with Dafa disciples’ cultivation. They also try to hold all sentient beings back and make them addicted to the pleasures of the world and forget to return to their true homes in heaven. Master mentioned the desires to smoking, drinking, and eating meat in Zhuan Falun, so we cannot underestimate them.
Grains grow by absorbing the essence of heaven and earth, and they are naturally recycled back into essence after people eat them. But the way a practitioner replenishes energy is not only through food like ordinary people. As I continue to practice, I find that the body of a practitioner changes greatly and that the replenishment of energy requires very little ordinary food. The real energy is replenished very quickly through doing the Dafa exercises and the sitting meditation.
Some time ago when I was practicing the fifth exercise in the morning, I reached the state of tranquility and concentration (ding). After entering that state, I clearly felt the energy of the universe continuously being gathered into my body. My body started to heat up from head to toe. After the exercise, I felt my body was full of energy!
I realized that this was Master reminding me of the importance of the sitting meditation and the natural absorption of energy by a practitioner’s body while sitting in the double-lotus position. And this energy is clean, without the “vulgarity” of earthly food. If you have eaten a lot, practicing the exercises can also speed up digestion and transform the food into essence, so you are full of energy when reading, working, and studying.
I was once exhausted and uncomfortable after a day’s work. My mind was in turmoil, I couldn’t calm down, and I had no energy. I wanted to take a break, lie down, and sleep for a while. But this time, instead of lying down, I chose to do the sitting meditation, trying to quiet my mind and eliminate distracting thoughts. Gradually, I felt energy come to me. As this energy increased, I had more strength to exclude the distractions in my mind, and my body began to recover automatically. When I finished the meditation about an hour and a half later, I felt renewed!