My Understanding of Eliminating Sickness Karma in Cultivation Practice
(Clearwisdom.net) I would like to share my gradual understanding of how to deal with sickness karma and other aspects of cultivation. Please compassionately correct me if you find anything that is not aligned with the principles of the Fa.
Since the first half of this year, I have had several conditions that I considered sickness karma. I had been thinking that while eliminating karma, I should meet the requirement as long as I conduct myself as a practitioner and do not regard it as an illness. I started to become slightly puzzled in my mind when I was in the state of eliminating sickness karma for as long as 10 to 20 days last June. During that time, I could not do anything except study the Fa and practice the exercises. Of course, my dilemma was not due to any doubt of the Fa, because Teacher has clearly told us in the article "Expounding on the Fa," "When a tribulation arrives, if you, a disciple, can truly maintain an unshakable calm or be determined to meet different requirements at different levels, this should be sufficient for you to pass the test. If it continues endlessly and if there do not exist other problems in your xinxing or conduct, it must be that the evil demons are exploiting the loopholes caused by your lack of control." I knew there were principles of the Fa that I should enlighten to, but I simply could not enlighten to anything at that time.
This situation lasted without further improvement until one day another practitioner told me a cultivation story of an elderly woman practitioner. When the elderly woman experienced the elimination of karma on her legs and a gruesome-looking thing like ringworm grew on her skin, she said to it: "This is not my Teacher's arrangement of eliminating karma, you should die quickly!" Very soon the ringworm disappeared. It was strange that my physical discomfort also disappeared when this practitioner finished telling me the cultivation story, and I was a bit surprised by what had happened to me. Don't we have to eliminate our own karma? I realized that my understanding of the Fa in terms of sickness karma was limited. Teacher did talk about eliminating karma, and I simply thought that we have to eliminate our own karma and eliminating sickness karma meant suffering without regarding it as a disease. However, at the root of my sub-consciousness, I regarded eliminating sickness karma as "passively enduring one's own karma." Now I have become aware that we must actively eliminate karma instead of passively enduring the karma.
After a while, my body had the discomfort again. Some practitioners said, "In fact, we have transcended the Five Elements long ago and we should not have any sickness karma. It must be the interference of the evil when we are in the state of experiencing sickness karma, so we have to send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the evils behind the sickness karma." The understanding of these practitioners made sense to me. We are in the Fa-rectification period and it is different from cultivation in the peaceful and normal period. Especially after reading practitioners' understanding of sickness karma on Clearwisdom Net, I kept sending forth righteous thoughts whenever I had physical discomfort and thought at the same time: "The path of my cultivation is arranged by my Teacher, the evil is not allowed to use any excuse to interfere with my cultivation, and I do not accept any arrangement of the evil old forces." I kept sending forth righteous thoughts, but strangely, that did not seem to have much effect. I still felt physically uncomfortable, and had to stay in bed. When the pain got very intense, I was not even able to study the Fa.
I kept thinking about it over and over, but still could not find the solution to my puzzle.
I moved from one place to another and was surprised that the mosquitoes around my new home were really fierce. These mosquitoes attacked and bit me everywhere, and everyday my body was seriously bitten and swollen. Other practitioners and I kept sending righteous thoughts to eliminate the evils behind these mosquitoes every day. But just as Teacher has told us, there are no role models and no references in the path of one's own cultivation (paraphrase of the meaning, not Teacher's exact words). Everyday, we kept sending righteous thoughts to eliminate the evils that controlled those mosquitoes, but those "black airplanes" still continued to bite us. When we were practicing, the itch really disturbed our minds. When I thought that this was the interference from the evil, I just wanted to kill those mosquitoes. They even dared to interfere with us while we were sending forth righteous thoughts. This situation lasted about a month, until one day when I was practicing the sitting meditation, I suddenly enlightened to the real purpose of the interference from the mosquitoes. They interfered with my sitting meditation to prevent me from getting into the tranquil state, so as to disturb my mind and heart; once my mind is disturbed and moved, the cultivation energy I practice will be affected. Their interference with my sending forth righteous thoughts is actually to directly interfere with my effort to eliminate the evils, since once my mind and heart moves, the effect of eliminating the evils will be restrained and weakened. When I became aware of the real purpose of those mosquitoes' interference, my mind became very clear. Therefore, when I was doing the sitting meditation again, no matter how they bit me, my mind and heart simply wouldn't move a bit because I now knew that this was exactly the trap they want me to fall into. When I was sending forth righteous thoughts that night, I calmed myself down and silently recited verses of eliminating evil single-mindedly with nothing else in mind. I heard the mosquitoes flying over my face, but they did not bite me.
On the third day, I was again in a very uncomfortable state. While I was in bed, I suddenly understood that whether it is my own karma or external interference, the common purpose is to interfere with my cultivation and to prevent me from doing the things that I am supposed to do as a Dafa disciple. Therefore, I got out of the bed and stood up, the pain and discomfort disappeared very quickly afterwards.
It was only at this moment that I really found the answer to my puzzle in the Fa.
I wrote a letter to a practitioner with whom I had conflicts with before and said: "It was not until yesterday that I suddenly realized why I kept wondering why you were always angry with me for some unexplainable reasons. It is because we are both Dafa disciples and we both have our own attachments to let go of. If we are always in a harmonious state, we will never be able to upgrade ourselves. So my words and deeds would intentionally or unintentionally disturb your mind and your intense displeasure would also disturb my mind. These were exactly the opportunities that Teacher used to expose our attachments, to let us recognize them, and eliminate them, whereas the right or wrong of the issue itself became secondary. Thus we must not get ourselves trapped into arguing about who is right or wrong, because the conflict itself is simply a superficial matter. The real meaning of its existence is to expose our attachments and show us the elements to be improved in our cultivation."
Only when we step outside of the conflict itself and see the real purpose of its existence, are we able to see the true meaning of its occurrence and make diligent advancement in the Fa.