What Is Tribulation
(Clearwisdom.net) Master said in "True Cultivation", Essentials for Further Advancement,
"My truly cultivating disciples, what I have taught you is the Fa for cultivation of Buddha and Dao. Nonetheless, you pour out your grievances to me over the loss of your worldly interests, rather than feeling upset for being unable to let go of ordinary human attachments. Is this cultivation? Whether you can let go of ordinary human attachments is a fatal test on your way to becoming a truly extraordinary being. Every disciple who truly cultivates must pass it, for it is the dividing line between a cultivator and an everyday person."
According to my understanding, "tribulation" is infringement upon one's reputation, self-interest, and emotion; "tribulation" is a blow to one's attachments; "tribulation" is a challenge to one's selfishness.
Two people at work may be transferred to a location far from their homes. Zhang San may feel sad and depressed, while Li Si does not. Because of Zhang San's attachments, this became a "tribulation" to Zhang San, but it is not a tribulation to Li Si.
If a wild bird is caught and put into a cage, it will be extremely agitated because it has been used to living a free life. Being put in a cage is a "tribulation" for this bird. On the other hand, if you release a bird which has been brought up in a cage, it will starve to death because it is used to living in a cage. So being set free is a "tribulation" for it.
When I was young, I practiced martial arts in a martial arts center. The coach would hit or kick us if our movements were even slightly incorrect. The students always hit or kicked each other during fighting classes or playing. But I had never felt being hit to be a tribulation.
If Dafa disciples let go of any concerns for reputation, self-interest, and emotion, and get rid of all attachments, will tribulations still exist? Everyday people's lives are arranged based on their karma. What practitioners have experienced is arranged according to our attachments, otherwise there will be no such arrangement.
Master said in "Expounding on the Fa", Essentials for Further Advancement
"Whenever a tribulation comes, you do not see it with the side of your original nature but view it completely with your human side. Evil demons then capitalize on this point and inflict endless interference and damage, leaving students in long-term tribulations. "
Suppose that Zhang San is a practitioner, and, instead of focusing on the inconvenience he tries to get rid of his attachment. Then the tribulation will no longer exist. On the other hand, if he doesn't look inside himself, but dwells on it, then the "tribulation" will continue to haunt him.
When we get rid of any concerns or desires for reputation, self-interest, and emotion, as well as various attachments, and are able to attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism, the only purpose for us to live in the human world will be to offer salvation to the sentient beings and to safeguard the cosmos. Then we'll not perceive anything that may appear to infringe on us as a "tribulation." It will be an action of benevolence and greatness.
For example, during the 16th Party Congress in China, officials from the communities, security sections, and police stations came to Dafa practitioners' homes everyday. Some practitioners had to deal with officials from several branches of government. Under such a situation, some practitioners felt that tribulation was approaching, while others saw it as a precious opportunity to save people. The not so steadfast practitioners thought about themselves, while the latter thought about the sentient beings. Just as Master said in Teaching the Fa at the Washington, D.C. Fa Conference, July 22, 2002,
"The different states of their cultivation result in their different perceptions. Some might think the situation is grim; for some people the situation might seem to have already eased up; and some people might think that it's precisely a great opportunity to save sentient beings and clarify the truth. People's different grasps of and comprehension of the Fa lead to different perceptions of the current situation, and all that's happening is targeting different human thoughts. "
The above is my personal understanding. Please kindly point out any mistakes.