Overcoming the Tribulation of Sickness Karma with Righteous Thoughts
(Clearwisdom.net) My name is Yunxia. After undergoing recent “xinxing” tribulations, I deeply understand that Dafa cultivation is most serious, and I have truly experienced how dangerous it is to hold human attachments in one hand, while cultivating Buddhahood with the other. I suffered greatly from illness karma, to the point of being at the brink of death.
It was in October 1998 that I was fortunate to start practicing Falun Dafa while I was suffering from various illness. I had bronchitis, in which I coughed and gasped all year round, along with serious diabetes, arthritis, in which I couldn't carry anything in my hands, and cramps in both hands and feet. All this endless pain and suffering made each day seem like a year to me.
Only a few months after I started cultivation practice, I truly enjoyed the state of being released from illness, for Master cleaned up my body from head to toe. Also, I got rid of all the bad habits, including smoking, that I was addicted to for 35 years, and playing cards, with which I gambled to kill time. Above all, I found the truth of life.
But after the persecution of Falun Gong began on July 20, 1999, I became lax in my cultivation practice. I was hit by fear, indecisiveness, and was totally lost. Yet with the warning and help of my younger sister (also a practitioner) who encouraged and inspired me, I was able to study the “Fa” more and to send forth righteous thoughts more often. Eventually, I returned to my cultivation path. I tried to do the “three things” well and closely follow the process of Fa-rectification.
During November 2006, I ignored Fa-study due to family trivialities. Thus, I encountered successive xinxing tribulations, which I failed, five times, to pass well. With one tribulation not yet passed, the second immediately arrived. Hence, it was getting harder each time. I was stuck in human thoughts and emotions, feeling frustration that my son was not as obedient and my mother-in-law was annoying. On November 27, signs of illness karma started to appear. I coughed and gasped so severely that I could not sleep at night. Within a single day, the tissues I used filled up a whole bucket. I did not eat for four or five days and I lost all my energy. With both hands and feet cramping, I could not even sit still. My son pressured me to see a doctor but I told him, “I know what is going on here. I can make it through this tribulation, and if not, then the doctors and hospitals won't be of any help. My Teacher taught us clearly about sickness karma when he imparted the Fa.” Hearing this, my son didn't reply.
The next day a Buddhist believer in our village came to visit me. He said, “Do not cultivate Falun Gong any more for your Law Wheel has already been deformed and the mechanisms placed in you by your Master are all gone too. I will give you something.” I did not reply, but thought that if he did not have an opened celestial eye, how did he know this? It must be interference again! Then he continued, “ I will teach you some curses tomorrow.” I suddenly remembered the Fa principle that Master taught in “Zhuan Falun:” “...in cultivation you need to commit to one discipline.” I enlightened and immediately answered, “Thanks but no thanks. I won't take anything from you. All I want is Dafa.” With these righteous words and thoughts, I became steadfast. He never showed up again.
However not long after this, I dropped from my level and found my face ashen when looking in the mirror. All my hair turned gray, my lips turned dark, and I had wrinkles all over on my face. I went up to a fellow practitioner and uttered breathlessly that he should cultivate diligently instead of slacking off like I had. At that time my whole body was shivering, while gasping for breath. This practitioner's wife happened to be at home, so I sobbed to her, “See? I've got all my illnesses back for not cultivating diligently and upgrading xinxing. I was just like this before cultivation. When I cultivated diligently, I was illness free, even not taking any medicine for years. See? Dafa is great and wonderful! But at the same time, we must be dignified and strict as well. Please do not interfere with your husband's cultivation any more, for practitioners have to strictly follow the Fa's requirements.” After saying this, I wailed. The fellow practitioner inspired me and said, “ You can't be like this! Remember? Last time, you told me to stand up straight where I fell, right? And you have to do the same.” I then thought, “That is right. We should not be afraid of falling, but we have to get up immediately. All the divine beings are watching me, while the old forces are staring covetously as well. I won't provide them with any loopholes. I am a Dafa Disciple in the Fa-rectification Period and I will not allow the old forces to interfere with me. I shall be steadfast.” Master's lectures started emerging in my brain, scene after scene. Then I felt I was renewed with energy and confidence.
Upon arriving home, I sat down and sent forth righteous thoughts. I added a thought of clearing up my mind and eliminating acquired notions. After that, I practiced the fifth exercise set, the meditation. But at this time, I could only meditate a little more than ten minutes. Following that, I again sent forth righteous thoughts. Later I enlightened that I could not let myself gasp and cough all the time. Wasn't this abetting the old forces and walking on the path they arranged for me? No, I shouldn't be like this. I had to eliminate it. So, after I coughed, I then sent forth a thought to eliminate a dark minion, and after another cough I sent, again, another thought to dissolve a rotten demon. Thus within two days, I could sleep at night for about ten minutes. I had a dream in which a voice told me, “You see it? This is your tomb. Go and have a look. I walked to this direction and came to a wasteland where only weeds grew. In the middle of the land was a big tomb with a large pit beside it. I said, “What a shabby place! I will not stay here.” And I stepped back. By this time, I woke up and was startled. How dangerous it was! Even the tomb was ready for me!
I then realized it was Master who enlightened me and let me know that while I was cultivating the Fa, I had human attachments firmly grasped in my hands. Hence my xinxing could not be raised. If I did not live according to the Fa's principles and requirements, I would not become divine, and instead could only remain human, a being who suffers from birth, aging, illness, and death. If I couldn't keep on doing well, then I would play a negative role in validating the Fa and fail in saving sentient beings, which would bring about great loss or damage to the Fa. Was this allowed? Absolutely not! Cultivation practice is very serious, and the Fa is very compassionate, but strict and awesome as well.
My mind was clear with righteous thoughts and I had physical energy so I acted righteously. I made great changes every day. I practiced the five sets of exercises. I went to visit my mother, who did not publicly oppose Dafa, yet she would say something against it every now and then. This was a very good chance for me to validate Dafa to her. I rode on a motorbike to her home. Upon stepping in the room, I cried aloud, gasping and shaking at the same time, “Aren't you seeing it? You always urged us not to practice, and this is the result of not practicing well and not following Master's words.” My parents were both shocked. My mother replied in a rush, “I never said you shouldn't cultivate. I know that this cultivation practice is really good. I just do not want you to be arrested and suffer all the tortures.” My father told me, “Go and sit on the Kang (a brick-and-mud made bed especially for Northern Chinese) and I will cook you some noodles and eggs.” I answered, “I do not have any appetite. I've almost had nothing for four or five days.” My father (also a practitioner) then said, “No problem, you can eat them all.” And it was really odd that I finished the whole bowl of noodles plus two eggs. My younger brother, not a practitioner, pressured me to go to the hospital. I then countered, “You know little about cultivation. In our books it talks a lot about illness karma. If I treat it righteously, I will make it, but if I fail I will not survive, even in hospitals. Cultivation practice is indeed very serious, more serious than anything in the human world. And this time I did not do well, so I got all the old illnesses back. Also, in fact because your third elder sister did not do well, she passed away.” I used this opportunity to change their notions against Dafa, as I knew it was definitely good for them. My mother and younger brother kept silent and I knew they were thinking. I comforted them with words and rode back home. On my way home, I cried out loud, “Falun Dafa is good!”
That night I slept well. Again, I had a dream in which I was walking and came to a well which was not round but square. I passed it, but when I looked back I fell down into the well. Inside the well there were many bricks. I stepped on them, and with great effort, I climbed out. After I woke up, I then knew it was Master's hint that the path of validating the Fa is not easy to walk on at all. It was dangerous. I breathed a sigh of relief.
When I could not sleep, I sat up and sent forth righteous thoughts, and practiced meditation and sent forth righteous thoughts again. I then looked within from the Fa perspective. I examined carefully, one attachment after another. When I found one, I sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate it, knowing that this thought was not me, but an acquired notion that I had let go of. All I wanted was the original self which is my true self. Two days later, I was able to practice the exercises with no difficulty. I felt so wonderful and in great ease while practicing, so whenever I had time I would practice. Thus within seven days I totally recovered.
When a practitioner came again to visit me, she said, “You've made it! You are great! Do you know that you really scared me the other day? (Her celestial eye was open) I saw your body was just as weak and feeble as mud, and there were four or five evil round things seizing you tightly. And your main soul was nowhere to be found. But I didn't dare to tell you at that time, so I sent forth righteous thoughts for you to eliminate all the dark minions and rotten demons. And hopefully together with your strong righteous thoughts, their vile attempts of persecuting you has failed.” Wow! How risky it was! My experience improved my understanding about the danger brought about by practicing while holding tightly to human attachments. And I also was enlightened by the principle, “When disciples have ample righteous thoughts, Master has the power to turn back the tide” (“The Master-Disciple Bond” from Hong Yin II, translation version A).