Western Practitioner: Letting Go of the Attachment to Illness
Greetings to Revered Master and fellow Dafa practitioners!
I would like to share with you my experience of letting go of the attachment to illness and to the state of non-omission that followed.
I started the cultivation way of Falun Gong in 1999. At that time I was seriously ill with a progressive heart disease. My family doctor did not give me much hope that my condition would improve and this view was confirmed by a cardiovascular specialist. The future looked bleak. I was surviving by taking medicine, the effect of which was that other parts of my body were not functioning properly. My general health was very poor and although the medicine was a factor in keeping me alive, it was actually shortening my life.
In August 1999 I started reading Zhuan Falun in the hope that it might heal my illness. I soon gave up this thinking when I reached page two where Master is quite clear that:
"...you must be here to genuinely study this Dafa, if you hold various attachments and come to gain supernormal abilities, have illnesses cured, listen to some theories, or come with some ill intentions, that will not work at all." ("Lecture One" in Zhuan Falun, March 2000 translation version)
I continued reading the book, and it had a profound effect on me. I no longer had any uncomfortable feelings and I made the decision to give up taking medicine. My thinking completely changed to wanting to live by this new way of life, and I was already convinced that I was being cared for by the Fa.
I continued reading Zhuan Falun repeatedly and followed Masters guidelines of letting go of attachments as best I could. However the attachment to the illness or having been ill was stronger than I could cope with. I had previously adjusted my daily routine to that of a sick person. Many of my friends and family still regarded me as a sick person even though they could see that I had returned to good health and that I was now a changed person. Through this I may not have let go of the attachment to the illness completely.
In the article "Non-Omission" (Essentials for Further Advancement), Master says,
"There is sacrifice in forbearance. Being able to make sacrifices is the result of improving in ones cultivation. The Fa has different levels. A cultivators understanding of the Fa is his understanding of the Fa at his cultivation level. Different cultivators understand the Fa differently because they are at different levels."
These words indicated that I needed to upgrade my cultivation level. I had to look inside. I realized that I was not putting others before myself and I needed to develop compassion and tolerance.
I read Zhuan Falun frequently. I tried to develop compassionate thinking and to be careful that anything I said did not wrongly affect others. I tried to be calmer when encountering conflicts and to persist in studying the Fa.
When I needed to renew my driving license, I paid a mandatory visit to my family doctor. My doctor was aware of my cultivation of Falun Gong. My husband, who is also a practitioner, had clarified the truth to him, and at his request, gave him the book Zhuan Falun. While I waited to be called for the examination, a state of acute anxiety overcame me. My thinking was that if any trace of illness was detected, it might affect the doctors view of Falun Gong. The doctor performed the usual perfunctory tests on me and declared that apart from my slightly high blood pressure, I was in a remarkably good state of health.
When I looked inside I realized that my thinking before entering the examination was at an everyday persons level. Again Masters words came to mind,
"The Fa has different requirements for cultivators at different levels. Sacrifice is evidenced by ones being detached from ordinary human attachments. If a person can indeed calmly abandon everything with his heart being unaffected, he is actually at that level already. Yet cultivation practice is to improve yourself: You are already able to abandon the attachment, so why not also abandon the fear of attachment, itself? Isnt abandonment without omission a higher sacrifice?" ("Non-Omission" in Essentials for Further Advancement)
Again, I needed to improve my cultivation state. This time I focused more emphasis on getting rid of the attachments to fear and anxiety. I had cultivated as best as I could by enduring conflicts. Now I try to just cultivate and allow everything to unfold while trying to cultivate benevolence through compassionate thoughts and actions. I believe I am making progress because recently I paid another mandatory visit to my doctor. This time I did not experience any anxiety or fear. On completion of the medical examination the doctor told me I had the health of a young person.
I believe that on the first visit to my doctor Master used the situation to expose my lingering attachment to the illness as well as an attachment and disposition to the state of illness. On the second visit I felt that I had cultivated beyond this state. I had been made aware of the necessity to practice cultivation with a clear mind rather than looking at my cultivation in an everyday manner.
Thank you Master. Thank you all.