A Young Practitioner Overcomes Internet Obsession Through Diligent Cultivation
(Minghui.org) As a young practitioner who started practicing Falun Dafa before 1999, I spent my childhood and youth in Dafa. The persecution of Dafa that also started in 1999 brought out my attachment to fear. Such fear and an ostrich-like mentality, in turn, led to my attachment to the Internet. At the same time, I was aware of Dafa's goodness from the bottom of my heart. Thus, with one foot in the door of cultivation and the other out, I have stumbled through so many years.
I always had the thought: “I know Master can save me in the end. I cannot give up hope and must overcome my Internet addiction at some point. Nothing but Dafa can guide me back to my true home.”
Sometimes I would cultivate diligently for a while. Then, due to a relaxed mindset and the feeling of elation, I would slack off and succumb to my Internet addiction and ordinary people's entertainment. Sometimes I participated in Dafa activities to save people with a limited span of righteous thoughts. When I returned home, I quickly relapsed and indulged myself in the Internet again.
The Root Cause: Lust and Qing
I realized at an early stage that the root cause of my addiction to ordinary people's entertainment on the Internet was lust. From fitness training to delectable food on the Internet, lust was the origin of many things that caused me to indulge myself and go downhill. I once thought, “Why can't I give up reading online novels, watching online shows, and listening to ordinary people's music?” The answer was lust and qing.
I examined the fictional characters and plots that appealed to my human mentalities, such as the seemingly cool gangster heroes, salacious beauties, and the shootout scenes. They were all immersed in lust and violence. Digging deeper, I realized they were degraded matter in other dimensions that appealed to my human notions and thought karma as a result of my prolonged exposure to the Internet.
Master pointed out to us,
“Nowadays, some people are not only bent solely on profit, but they even stop at no evil. They will do all kinds of evil things for money, and they will also commit murder, pay someone to kill, practice homosexuality, and abuse drugs. They do all kinds of things.” (Zhuan Falun)
After living like an ordinary person for a long time, I had started to see the bad things—such as murder, violence, and pornography—as good. Although I would not admit it superficially, I tended to agree that they were appealing and satisfying.
Master said, “If you find that one of their sentences makes sense, well, something will come to you and be added to your gong.” (Zhuan Falun)
One Incident Awakens Me
One day, I talked to a friend I met on the Internet about Falun Dafa for the first time. She did not say much at the time but, little by little, she stopped communicating with me. We had been good friends on the Internet. I had become attached to her and considered her even more important than my family and real-life friends. In the months I'd spent chatting with her on the Internet, I rarely studied the Fa and sometimes did so only a couple of times a week. When I tried to search within, I was able to find lust and qing in my heart. But I often lied to myself, “I am unable to get rid of lust and qing for the time being. So let me move on and look for other things to cultivate instead.” I was actually just pretending to cultivate.
Master taught us:
“Those who are attached to lust are no different from wicked people. While reciting the scriptures, they even cast furtive glances; they are far from the Dao and are wicked, everyday people.” (“Cultivator's Avoidances” from Essentials For Further Advancement)
One day I was overwhelmed by a feeling of sadness when, out of the blue, I thought, “I must study the Fa. I cannot live like this any longer.” I thus resumed my daily Fa study.
At the same time, my online friend kept distancing herself and eventually cut off all communication with me. I could not let go of it and kept bugging her, to no avail.
After quite some time, I happened to learn that she'd had some hardships, so I decided to try again to talk to her about Dafa. At that moment, I felt the qing I harbored dissipate all at once. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I realized that no matter what kind of predestined relationship I had with her, I should connect her to Dafa, the most sacred predestined relationship of all.
Master revealed to us:
“Actually, human beings are passively attached to emotion. And when you are attached to it, it will create all kinds of attachments in your mind. From those attachments, all kinds of notions or even degenerate notions will be generated. You might suddenly like a particular mannerism of that person or maybe his appearance, and then for quite some time you are infatuated with those things. Or perhaps you just like a person’s attitude and manner, and then a notion forms over time so that you just like his particular manner. Then, as that thing gradually becomes stronger and stronger, it will come to control your mind. After your like for something forms a notion, it will grow stronger and stronger. And if that mental state is one that’s warped, slowly that degenerate thought will develop and expand, becoming even more warped.” (Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference)
After reading this paragraph, I knew it was exactly my state of mind when I was infatuated with her and the Internet in general. Initially, I liked her for being soft-spoken and gentle. Later, I liked the fact that she cared for me and thought I should care for her in return. Then, it evolved into an obsession based on qing. It was similar to how I became obsessed with the Internet. Once the degraded matter formed in other dimensions, it started to control my mind. It led to a sad situation where, even though I did not find anything particularly useful or interesting, I kept going back to the Internet and could not break free from it.
Although she has not openly expressed her opinion of Dafa so far, I asked myself, “As a being who came for the Fa, she has not been awakened by the truth. It must be caused by my limited cultivation level.” Therefore, I decided to advance more diligently in my own cultivation. I could not give up on a being who came to this world with a tremendous hope and faith in Dafa. I was determined to do the three things well every day. I started to do all the exercises every day, study the Fa well, send righteous thoughts with a firm and focused mind, and participate in Dafa projects wholeheartedly.
Eliminating Attachments and Getting Out from Under the Shadow
At the beginning, the thought karma made me really depressed. The qing in my heart sobbed and pleaded with me to get in touch with her. I endured the suffering passively, and, when I was at rock bottom, I pleaded, “Master, please help me!” I kept reciting that for a long time, and the situation gradually improved. When it came back, I kept reciting “Falun Dafa is good” over and over. My mind became clearer and clearer, and a sense of happiness started to come over me. Along with my daily practice and Fa study, I was able to get out from under the shadow of the past. It helped solidify my determination to advance more diligently.
Later, when my attachments—such as lust, the urge to get on the Internet, the thought of lying, and the desire to indulge in food and overeating—came to interfere, I thought, “Would it really solve anything if I gave in to temporary satisfaction? Today's indulgence will cause karma for the future. Won't it create further difficulty in my cultivation?”
“In the past, I would succumb to the desire to chat with her on the Internet and felt happy when she flattered me. What did I get in the end when she suddenly turned her back on me? How much would I deviate in my cultivation down the road if I chose the present, transient pleasure? There is no way I would trade my cultivation status gained over the past many years for the fleeting satisfaction of the present.”
With that thought, my heart calmed down.
In my understanding, it was Master's power and blessing that raised and transformed little Dafa disciples into young disciples. From now on, we must be responsible for our own behavior as we cultivate. In the final stage of Fa-rectification, young Dafa practitioners obsessed with the Internet and interference should awaken right away and start advancing diligently. Don't be negligent when it comes to cultivation.