When lust arises in meditation, can that be because somebody has lustful thoughts about me?

This question came up in the Online 10-day Retreat Nov 3, 2020, guided by Delson Armstrong. Day 7 was part of a daily 30-minute discussion on the suttas, the Dhamma talk and reflections.

Slightly edited to improve readability

The only thing you’re able to be able to ‘control’, is how those thoughts are arising and how to  deal with the thoughts. The idea that the mind can be affected by another person’s lust  for another individual, I don’t see that as accurate. I don’t see that as in alignment with the dhamma.

Insofar as being able to influence people through one’s mind, through using telepathic or psychic powers, that also I don’t see in alignment with the dhamma. Because it’s more about communicating the dhamma, it’s more about being able to influence in a way that is wholesome. But the idea that something unwholesome, like somebody has lust for another person and that can initiate lust in the other person, that can only be insofar as you’re reading the other person’s mind.

So, if you can be aware that that there’s lust in that person, you are aware of that lust, but it is not in you. It’s just the awareness of lust in that mind. Personally, in my experience and understanding, I don’t see it as a way where somebody’s lust for you can initiate lust in yourself. Unless you are reading that person’s mind and are aware of lust in that person, but in that awareness of the lust in that person, that doesn’t ignite lust in you. And it depends on whether you’re open to that lust.

Watch it here

Category: Online Retreat
Tags: Day 7 online retreat, hindrances