Perhaps you’ll agree with me that the student who concentrated on the “sin” would be more likely to give in to temptation. Why? Because he demonstrated that sin and temptation were more powerful in his mind than purity. How did he demonstrate that? By keeping the sin active in his mind, where it could easily take form someday. He could have chosen instead to concentrate on purity, as his master did, but in this case, he let the sin be more vivid to him.
Attachments Can Be Obstructive
Since you know that your thoughts and emotions help create your environment, here’s a warning: if your thought, emotion, or attitude binds you to a person or a particular situation, you make change impossible. What are the ties that bind? Anger, hate, resentment, criticism, jealousy, lust, hurt (self pity), to name just a few. It’s a common misconception that most of our attachments center on objects, and that we have to get rid of attachments. The truth is, our attitudes and feelings about the objects are more binding than the objects themselves.
For example, we may feel attached to an object or person or situation because we like feeling comfortable and fear change. In this case fear is the attachment, not the object itself. If we fear the unknown, then we tend to cling to what we have, and remain afraid of anything new. Unfortunately, we will even cling to something that hurts us, whether it’s an object or an attitude.