I have noticed that some practitioners find it hard to identify their human emotions, which of course are directly related to the tribulations that they encounter. I would like to share my thoughts on this topic, in the hope of helping others avoid the trap of human emotions.
Dafa practitioners encounter some tribulations unaware of the true factors behind them, which are often their human emotions. When a tribulation or test leaves us feeling wonderful, pleasant, comfortable, and satisfied—such as the good feelings shared between and man and a woman—it is especially hard to detect the negative factors at play.
Since we cultivate in a dimension that is steeped in emotion—and our emotions are inextricably connected to our various attachments—the old forces use our emotions to create all kinds of tribulations for us. That's why emotions are often referred to as “demons.”
Although our emotions manifest in a myriad of ways in our day-to-day lives, only a Dafa practitioner who studies the Fa well will be able to correctly detect them, and eliminate them. If we fail to detect them, we will be constantly interfered with.
One manifestation of emotion is the romantic love between a man and woman. The old forces use this attachment as an excuse to persecute Dafa practitioners. The love that I am referring to is not the love between a husband and wife—which in and of itself is also an attachment, but the improper relations between a man and a woman who aren't husband and wife. These emotions are sometimes very hard to detect, as they manifest in subtle ways that leave us feeling good, admired, valued, missed, longed for, emotionally close, and so on.
The moral standard that gods have dictated for mankind is on a giant down-slide. All kinds of immoral relationships are popping up in society, and many are even considered “fashionable,” like being a man's mistress, or boasting about multiple illicit affairs or “flings.” People openly brag about being admired by the opposite sex, filling themselves with human pride. Aberrations like this permeate the news and gossip columns, causing some people to think that these things represent normal behavior.
As Dafa practitioners who cultivate in the thick of ordinary society, we must refrain from any form of immoral behavior. Not only should we not act like everyday people, we should also eliminate the very notions and excuses that allow us to go along with the tide.
There are three main points that I would like to clarify:
1. The notion of “friendship” or a “close relationship” between a man and a woman never existed in traditional Chinese culture or history. This is a notion borne out of a modern, twisted mindset. Likewise, the notion of a “pure friendship” between a man and woman doesn't exist at all, as feelings, emotions, desires, and lust will always wind up polluting the relationship.
2. Both male and female practitioners should watch their behavior, especially when we work with each other on various Dafa projects. If we don't guard our character while working together, we may be interfered with. Of course, we should not avoid any situation that requires us to work with the opposite sex.
3. Although it is not realistic to live in the human world without emotions, we should balance things well with the opposite sex. This can best be accomplished by maintaining a proper emotional and physical distance. If we ourselves remain clear, we will help bring clarity to the relationship. If we are confused on the matter, we will in turn confuse the other person. The ancients always extolled a man who could keep his relationship with a woman as simple as clear water. I feel that this idea can serve as a reference for our own behaviour.
In my area, a female practitioner was very warm and friendly to other practitioners. She wanted to do her best to help fellow practitioners, especially some male practitioners who just made it out of prisons. She wanted them to feel the warmth between fellow practitioners and help them catch up with the progress of the Fa-rectification through collaborations.
These male practitioners experienced long term persecution. It was remarkable and difficult for them to pull through. Some were forced to divorce during the persecution. Some were single. Once their environment switched from a brutal to a lax one, cultivators might let their guard down if they are not so alert.
When dealing with such a considerate female practitioner, their emotions evolved from gratefulness and admiration to fondness, dependence and love. They shared everything. In the beginning, all they talked about were cultivation issues. In the end, lust emerged. Some had inappropriate thoughts towards the female practitioner, who was married.
Among them, one looked for phone calls from the female practitioner every day after he moved to another city. He wanted to consult with her about everything that happened to him, big or small. Later, this practitioner woke up. He made up his mind to remove those evil thoughts. These are true stories. Maybe the female practitioner didn't sense it or maybe she sensed it more or less. However, wasn't such a result deviated from her intentions?
Helping fellow practitioners is a great thing that comes with a lot of mighty virtue. However, the meticulous consideration between fellow practitioners of the opposite sex or overly frequent interactions may not be a good thing. Human attachments may be magnified and taken advantage of by the evil. My personal understanding is that aside from the must-have communications and sharing for collaborations, we should refrain from talking about irrelevant things. The extent must be controlled well.
For a lot of ordinary people, obtaining admiration from many people of the opposite sex is a great joy. It can satisfy one's vanity and desire. However, it is a huge tribulation for cultivators. It simply shows that our field cannot suppress the demon of lust.
If a cultivator is admired by many, he or she must be alert and look inward. Some coordinators have been recognized by others due to their sacrifices, capabilities or commitment. Their attachments of fame and personal gain may grow unknowingly, especially if they are surrounded by acknowledgment and praises. If there are many members of the opposite sex around, lust may grow big in a flattering environment. We need to be extra alert.
We should consider the opposite sex's desire of us as a wake-up call. It definitely doesn't deserve lingering or recalling for pleasure. We should change our notions but not become angry at others. Once we sense it, we should bring it up immediately, kindly, but firmly decline and put an end to any hope of the other person. This is to be truly kind to fellow practitioners and responsible for our own cultivation.
Once I was doing a Fa-rectification project in the same room with a young person of the opposite sex. I could feel that the desire was very strong. After unsuccessfully resisting my bad thoughts, I shared openly with the other. I said that we shouldn't have inappropriate thoughts towards each other. The fellow practitioner didn't speak, but her face was red and she looked ashamed. In that instant, the desire disappeared. That fellow practitioner and I were calm and undisturbed.
Once similar situations occur, if we expose the inappropriate thoughts and don't cover them up, removing them can be quite quick. We shouldn't be afraid of hurting others' “feelings.” In fact, if we can evaluate this from a perspective void of such feelings, we are then considerate out of compassion. Fellow practitioners can all handle the situation righteously. If some are really hurt or at loss, we don't have to make a big deal out of it. We are fellow practitioners. Sometimes we don't understand each other, but we will all think it through after we calm down.
Over the years, we have seen that those practitioners who made actual mistakes in handling sexual relations or those who had desire during collaborations appeared very casual when dealing with one another, without much respect. This demonstrates that the fellow practitioners are already too immersed in their “feelings.” There is no compassion. They are deluded by emotions. Once this happens, we should be alert, look inward and help fellow practitioners righteously.
The predestined relationship between a couple is arranged by the divine. Gods endorse those who stay truthful to their spouses, rich or poor. A good person can stay loyal to his/her spouse. Dafa disciples should be even more so, not only in terms of behaviour, but also in terms of thoughts.
A wife took a trip to another city and had favourable impression towards another male practitioner. Her husband, a practitioner, was told in his dream: your wife has betrayed you. No wonder a Chinese proverb says: “Once a thought emerges, heaven and earth all know it.”
When we have a high morality and traditional notions, resisting and eliminating inappropriate thoughts will become quite easy.
Master told us:
“Validate the Fa with rationality, clarify the truth with wisdom, spread the Fa and save people with mercy—this is establishing the mighty virtue of an Enlightened Being.” (“Rationality” in Essentials for Further Advancement II)
When we interact with either fellow practitioners or sentient beings, we should be guided by compassion, not emotions. Emotions are unstable, unreliable, limited and impure. From the perspectives of high levels, emotions are dirty substances in the three realms. Emotions are the fire that can burn someone up and the drugs that can make people lose sanity.
If we treat fellow practitioners with emotions and lust, we are adding bad substances to others and are causing them hardship to remain rational and clear-headed. Within emotions, one can hardly achieve the state of cultivating and looking inward. Practitioners choose to collaborate when they “like” each other. The collaboration falls short when their feelings are hurt. Even if they force themselves to work together, a lot of complaints and blames exist.
If we treat others with emotion, then others may develop emotion as well. The emotion between members of the opposite sex are lust and desires. Those who are immersed in emotion usually cannot see any inappropriateness. When we treat fellow practitioners with compassion, others will purify the field as well.
“The Buddha-light illuminates everywhere and rectifies all abnormalities.” (Zhuan Falun)
When divine beings are together, how can they have human lust and emotions? We shouldn't have emotions towards one another. We should advance together diligently and help one another compassionately.
Ordinary people have emotions. They will emotionally treat, protect or even interfere with cultivators. However, we shouldn't react to them with emotion. If we do so, then our family members' emotion will be even stronger. Sometimes it protects us, but at other times, it may interfere with us. If we use emotion to save sentient beings, they may be unstable. Today they seem to understand the truth. Tomorrow they may be confused again or even join the persecution.
When we use emotion, we are being selfish and in pursuit. Emotion will only bring disappointment. Qi cannot control Qi. How can emotion control emotion? Only compassion is pure and clean. Bounded with selfless wisdom and enormous power, it can control emotion, eliminate the evil substance that blocks sentient being's salvation, and effectively save sentient beings.
How can we cultivate compassion? My personal understanding is that first, we should see through the real nature of sentient beings and life. They are all kings and lords from the heavens. They have come to this world to obtain salvation. The love, hatred and emotions are simply the ingredients in the drama.
Maybe we see a very common person in front of us. He or she may be the king or lord of a gigantic universe. If we can see fellow practitioners and sentient beings from this perspective, we will be able to be truly responsible for their life and future. Compassion will come. We shouldn't treat anyone differently, including our fellow practitioners and family members. Discrimination is emotion. Compassion means that we care about the ultimate life.
At the same time, we should cultivate kindness in solid cultivation. Master told us in Zhuan Falun:
“Because the cultivation of Shan can generate great, benevolent compassion, and when compassion develops one will find all beings suffering, the Buddha School thus develops an aspiration to offer salvation to all beings.”
We should cleanse any anxiety, aggressiveness or hatred in ourselves in a timely manner. Then, we should fundamentally inspire people's Buddha nature. Ordinary people and our family members will not be interfered with by emotion. When they become rational and clear-headed, how can they not help us and cooperate with us? In the field of tremendous compassion, righteous thoughts will be strong. The demon of lust will be disintegrated. Sentient beings are saved. Tribulations disappear.
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