Resisting Temptation: My New Understanding of Tolerance
As cultivators, we must be able to endure when we are humiliated and insulted. Although we may not be able to endure every single time, everyone understands this principle. I realize there is another meaning of tolerance which we may not always be aware of. That is to resist temptation.
We live in the big dye vat of ordinary human society. From time to time, there are temptations, such as fame and self-interests. We must endure and resist being moved. When we are humiliated or insulted, the Fa requires us not only to be calm on the surface but also in our minds. The requirement for dealing with temptations is the same.
Resisting Temptation to Lust
For example, when there is a temptation to lust, not only must we resist it on the surface, but also in the heart. Only then can we meet the requirement of the Fa. This kind of tolerance is not very apparent. It is difficult to recognize, because they seem to bring us comfort and pleasure, which is less relevant to tolerance.
There was a story about Di Renjie who was one of the most celebrated officials of the Tang Dynasty. He went to the capital to attend the imperial exam when he was young. He met a beautiful young woman in a hotel. The woman tried to seduce him. Although it was a challenge to completely stay unmoved, he eventually managed to resist the temptation. That was a great virtue. He later became a prime minister.
Di Renjie was an ordinary person. We should have a higher standard and discipline ourselves with the requirements of the Fa. When we are faced with lust, we should be clear that it is by no means a good thing. We should control ourselves and resist. We can send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate it.
In a broader sense, everything that interferes with us can play a demonic role, whether it is good or bad. I used to like to memorize ancient poetry. But I have found that they often interfere with me when I study the Fa or send forth righteous thoughts. They can stir my mind. My thoughts often got tempted to go astray with them, that is to say, I failed to resist it.
It is indeed difficult to cultivate. The interference is ever-changing. Studying the Fa, or even better memorizing the Fa, is the only way to eliminate interference. The more difficult it is to endure, the more important it is to endure, because that is the opportunity for us to improve.