People with Other Diseases
Case 34. Jenny Fan
Jenny Fan, 56, is a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine who practices acupuncture in San Francisco. On April 27, 1998, she was admitted to San Francisco General Hospital with a severe cerebral hemorrhage. She was listed as the most critical patient in the hospital and received round-the-clock emergency care. She was so critically ill that it would normally take years to recover if she survived at all. Her doctors warned her that she could have a relapse at any moment, which would endanger her life. She was totally dependent on medication and suffered unbearable misery. Soon after practicing Falun Dafa, she fully recovered and went back to her clinical work. Her dramatic recovery led some of her patients to become Falun Dafa practitioners.
Before I came to the United States, I taught Traditional Chinese Medicine for 25 years in a medical school in China. I immigrated to the United States in 1993, soon passed the certification examination, and started practicing acupuncture in California. I loved my profession and always tried my best to relieve the suffering of my patients. However, because of overwork and other difficulties in my life, my own health deteriorated. On April 27, 1998, I became very sick and had an emergency admission to San Francisco General Hospital. I was diagnosed as having a cerebral hemorrhage, was listed as the most critical patient, and received round-the-clock intensive care. During my hospitalization, there were group consultations with doctors, professors, and interns more than a dozen times every day. I went through repeated CT scans, MRIs, lumbar punctures, cerebral angiograms, and blood tests. The suffering from the headaches and the treatments was unbearable. My eyesight deteriorated rapidly due to the brightly flashing lights used in the treatment. I couldn't distinguish colors and couldn't recognize cars and people in the parking lot from the window. You can't imagine how terrible I felt at that time. What was I going to do with my patients, my daughter, and my beloved career?
I was extremely weak when I was discharged from the hospital and went home for rehabilitation. I couldn't walk 100 yards on my own, couldn't recognize street signs, and couldn't keep up with the change of traffic lights. My blood pressure was as high as 280/160 and my blood sugar level was 470! Almost all of my internal organs were malfunctioning.
At this desperate moment, I found Falun Dafa, and my life changed completely. On the morning of July 4, 1998, I saw several Chinese and American students doing some slow-moving exercises on the oval lawn at Stanford University. Their concentration, serenity, and benevolent expressions attracted me. I walked over and found out they were practicing Falun Dafa. One practitioner recommended that I read a book called Zhuan Falun. He also taught me the exercises on the spot. To my surprise, I was able to practice for an hour that morning. In the evening, I attended group study for four hours. It was simply a miracle for a critically ill person like me to sit and study for such a long time.
With great eagerness, I read Zhuan Fa1un and listened to the tape recording of Master Li's lectures. I also watched Master Li's lectures on video and practiced the exercises every morning. Miraculously, my health improved rapidly. From reading the book, I realized the fundamental cause of illness and made up my mind to meet the standards of a genuine practitioner. I decided to forget about my illness and to concentrate on practicing Falun Dafa. Soon, I stopped taking all medicines. I considered it a non-issue as my focus was on cultivation and practice. My headaches subsided noticeably every day. I clearly felt layers of pain being pushed out from the inner brain, to the skull, and to the scalp, then disappearing. Also, my eyesight recovered rapidly. In the beginning, I couldn't read Zhuan Falun. However, once I wanted very much to read the book, a miracle happened. Every line of words started to enlarge when I read. Before long, I was able to read all of Zhuan Falun, even without the glasses that I had been using for 40 years. People around me were amazed when they saw the changes in me.
When I left the hospital, my doctor warned me that the illness could endanger my life at any time. This terrified my family. However, routine check-ups showed an improvement in my health. My doctor asked me how I recovered so fast. I told him it was Falun Dafa that saved me and gave me a second life.
After I fully recovered and returned to my job, I told my patients about Falun Dafa and my experience. Some of them began to practice. Because I am a doctor, whenever I see my patients suffering from illness and hopelessly struggling with pain, I also feel pain. Birth, aging, illness and death--who can escape from them? Even a doctor cannot avoid getting sick. I had always been searching for a way that would completely get rid of illnesses and enable people to become healthy. I could not find it in medical science. Medicine can only temporarily control illness. It can never reach its roots. Now I have found the way in Falun Dafa and have experienced its depth first hand. Falun Dafa has given me so much. It not only transformed me from a dying person into a healthy one, but also changed me into a cultivator, walking into a bright future.
(Adapted from Dr. Fan's presentation at the 1999 Chicago Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference.)
Case 35. Bruce Pettinari
Bruce Pettinari, 46, is a resident of Boston. He was very unhealthy for a long time before discovering Falun Dafa. He had multiple diseases and syndromes such as petit-mal epilepsy, fainting spells, migraines, depression, inability to properly chew food, learning disabilities, autistic tendency, sleep apnea, and a foot injury that severely limited his range of motion. Six months after he started practicing Falun Dafa, his ability to stand and support himself improved significantly. His medical support group was surprised by his change. One doctor who had been following his progress for some time concluded that Falun Dafa contributed to putting him back on his feet. A member of the doctor's staff was moved to tears by his progress.
Having been born into a world of poverty with a predisposition for illness, I believed this was my lot in life. When I was 10 years old, I was said to have petit-mal epilepsy, and that this was the cause of my fainting spells and migraines. The treatment with Valium [a sedative drug] was the beginning of a long period of my being under the influence of one substance or another. My learning disabilities, autistic tendency, and early onset of major depression all went unaddressed. An inability to properly chew food went undiagnosed until my thirties. It was then that the pain in my jaw became so severe that I finally was forced into a treatment that required two reconstructive surgeries.
Then, I began to scrutinize another condition from my childhood. I had not been able to breathe well while sleeping or through my nose during the day. This was later diagnosed as moderate to severe sleep apnea and a deviated septum. Surgery corrected the deviation, and I was given a machine to assist my breathing at night. On top of all these and other things, I was daily challenged with a foot injury that severely limited my range of motion.
Being dependent on my medical support system, supplements, and medicines was my way of life. I had worn out many of my social contacts and had not worked at a fu1l-time job in over eight years. Feeling isolated and vulnerable, I found myself living in a very unhealthy situation. I gave myself an opportunity to look back at the medical establishment and its support system, which now appeared to be both helping and hindering me. I was tired of having so many unanswered issues in my life. To stand on my own two feet without pain seemed so far away.
While looking for a new living place in a weekly flyer, I saw an advertisement for free Qigong lessons. This led me to contact a Falun Dafa practitioner. Over the next two days, I went to a practice site in the morning to learn the five exercises. And on the third day, I had the opportunity to attend a 9-Day Falun Dafa Seminar. The change I was looking for had come and in a big way.
During those first days of contact with Dafa, I believed that I had a predestined relationship with Falun Dafa, as Master Li said in Zhuan Falun (page 2), "Of course we believe in predestined relationships." I've always wanted to find a way back home to the Cosmos since I can remember. The feeling that I was in this world, but not really belonging here has shaped my life. When I read on page 5 of Zhuan Falun, "One should return to his original true self, and that is the genuine purpose of being human," I knew I was onto something new and great.
Still plagued with poor health and depression, I pushed on through those early weeks of practice. Even though I could not walk very well, I knew I was on my way to being a cultivator. Then I read on page 146 of Zhuan Falun, "Whether you can practice cultivation all depends upon whether you can endure, sacrifice and suffer." I now understood that I was paying off my karma. The practice of Falun Dafa has changed my outlook and led to glowing good health in my body, mind, and spirit.
Having decided that I was not disabled and that I merely faced my karma in the form of tribulations, I rose every morning without an alarm at 4:30 and seemed to flow in one movement to the practice site over 10 miles away for the next three months. Having the opportunity to share with other practitioners helped my practice. I found that I was more likely to make it through all five exercises when I was with them and being outside at the practice site. I was no longer looking for anyone to heal me. The shifts and adjustments to make my cultivation successful had already started. I saw that it was up to me to raise myself through understanding the Fa (Buddha Law) and raise my Xinxing (mind-nature, moral quality).
Having embarked on this new path, I am discovering more each day the importance of understanding the Fa. I was reminded of the following quote from Zhuan Falun, "Historically cultivation practice requires one not to engage in two cultivation ways." While giving these concepts some time to take hold in my consciousness, I began to clean my apartment and cut free from my previous spiritual path of nine years. After three months of daily practice and reading Dafa books, I walked into my freshly painted and carpeted old apartment, and all I could see were Dafa posters radiating the emblem of Falun Dafa. The remnants of my past life before I attained Dafa were mostly gone. The clutter of my multi-spiritual pursuits no longer clogged the channels of my life. The flood of change had washed away my old teachers and self-help gurus. Their books and artifacts were nowhere in sight.
Soon after this time, I began to notice more people looking at me and trying to make contact. And exciting things started to happen. Three months ago, I found a short-term caretaker job at a 1720s estate. I also had an opportunity to go to a five-day Falun Dafa group-study session in Toronto in October 1998. While in Toronto, I had the good fortune to spend many hours with fellow practitioners and hear their experiences. Upon seeing their efforts to understand the Fa (Buddha Law) better, I resolved to spend more time studying the Fa with fellow practitioners upon returning to Boston. No sooner did I get home, than I was off again to New York City to attend a group practice in Central Park and in front of the United Nations. It was there that I met Master Li at an impromptu event.
My medical support group has been surprised but very pleased with the changes in me. One doctor who had been following my progress for some time now concluded that Falun Dafa contributed to putting me back on my feet. When I went for a physical at that time, one of the doctor's staff and I were both moved to tears over my progress.
In the past couple of months, I've reflected on what good fortune I have had. It has been six months since I started practicing Falun Dafa, and my ability to stand and support myself has improved significantly. I am no longer taking any medication. I trust that through my growing understanding of the Fa, my journey on the path of true cultivation has begun. I remind myself as I continue my practice: it's all uphill from here.
(Adapted from Mr. Pettinari's article written in I999.)
Case 36. Jian-Deng Lai
Jian-Deng Lai, M.D., 53, is a physician living in Taipei, Taiwan. He suffered tremendously from various diseases, including a gastric ulcer, gastric hemorrhage, chronic back pain, iritis, dizziness, and sciatica. For about a decade, he suffered from severe iritis in the spring every year and from back pain year round. Though being a medical doctor and having easy access to the best medical treatment available, he could not get his diseases cured. After learning Falun Dafa in March 1997, his health improved and his illness disappeared.
As a physician in otolaryngology [specialization in ear, nose, and throat diseases], I have a certain degree of understanding of the treatments for various illnesses and their effects. People think that modern medicine is much more advanced than in the past, but the treatments can only relieve the superficial symptoms. It is nearly impossible to really cure illnesses. I also have a fair knowledge about a variety of Western and Eastern religions from my past experiences. After practicing Falun Dafa, however, I discovered this to be the most profound science and spiritual teaching I have ever encountered. The changes that happened to me in the past few years are living proof.
Since childhood, I have had both severe and minor illnesses, one after another. During the 10 years prior to my practicing Falun Dafa, my health deteriorated so badly that I felt ill all the time. I suffered from a gastric ulcer, gastric hemorrhage, chronic back pain, iritis [an inflammatory disease of the circular pigmented membrane behind the cornea], dizziness, and sciatica. Those illnesses, which emerged one after another, produced intense suffering. The medical treatments could not really eliminate those diseases, which recurred after a period of time.
The most terrible disease I ever had was iritis. The first time it occurred, my eyeballs became reddened for two days and then suddenly developed pus inside. My eyes were extremely swollen and sore. I could not open them or see anything. My eyeballs were filled with pus. I could distinguish only light and dark, but was unable to determine the shape of any object. In addition to the physical pain, the fear of losing my eyesight was beyond words. At that time, I was fortunate enough to find an ophthalmologist who was able to inject medicine directly into the tissue surrounding my eyeballs. After having injections for more than 10 consecutive days, the pain was alleviated. However, I experienced a relapse of iritis every spring since it first occurred, with it usually lasting for more than a month at a time. Each year, the same injection was needed to keep the illness under control. After suffering from this seasonal illness for more than decade, I became extremely worried about the side effects of the injections. They could cause kidney problems, and I might become dependent on dialysis. I was so scared that I became uneasy and turned pale at the mere mention of this illness.
Besides the seasonal terror described above, I also suffered intense, year-round pain of an undetermined cause in my back for more than two decades. A car accident 10 years ago made the pain much worse, especially during the winter, when I would feel pain lying down, turning over, getting up, and even sometimes just lying stationary in bed. When riding in a car, I could not endure jolts, and I had to lift my body up by using both hands to avoid the vibration of the running car. Even on level ground at home, I could not walk steadily due to my back pain. There was no position in which I did not feel pain. Before I started practicing Data, I suffered in this way for about a decade.
At that time, I did not know how I would keep on living. I learned Falun Dafa, and I really experienced the power of this practice. Falun Dafa completely changed my life. During the past two years, I no longer needed the medicine that I had used for more than 10 years. However, my health is continuing to improve, which could not have been achieved by taking medicine.
As a physician, I had a very good understanding of illness, and it was simple for me to get medication. During those years, the amount of medicine I took was many times more than that taken by an average person. However, the root of my sickness was not removed. Before cultivating and practicing Falun Dafa, I tried to use the everyday person's medical techniques to eradicate the sicknesses. After studying Falun Dafa, I realized that the genuine way to eliminate sickness completely is through cultivation practice.
Falun Dafa gave me a new understanding about cultivation practice. Although I had tried a variety of religions, I never experienced such a deep feeling when reading religious books. Dabbling in various religions for several decades, I could not become free from illness. Now, I have not only eliminated my illnesses, but I also have a clear goal for my life. I have changed my mindset and have found my own shortcomings. My life now has less hatred, arguments, complaints, and attachments. I did not know what I wanted before, but now I am clearly aware that cultivation and practice toward high levels is what I choose to do.
(Adapted from Dr. Lai's presentation at the 1999 Taiwan Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference.)
Case 37. Zek Halu
Zek Halu, 51, is a health consultant in London, United Kingdom. Since starting to practice Falun Gong in 1998, he has witnessed tremendous changes, both physically and mentally. Most of his injuries from years of sports and martial arts have healed, as have his tennis elbow, computer wrist, shoulder, and knee. His sinuses have been unblocked, and the lumps in his throat have also disappeared. His back and neck are no longer painful. He is stronger and more calm.
I was born in communist Czechoslovakia 51 years ago. Since my childhood in Prague, I have searched for the spiritual meaning of life, and have had many masters and teachers. Deep inside, in a place I feared to enter, there was a strong wish to be a good person. Just to be a good person. Just to have that chance. Just once in this lifetime.
I want to tell you what I learned and how I changed since I started Falun Gong cultivation 11 months ago--how I became a better person. For most of my life since I was 16, I could not weigh more than 67 kg. In the last six months, I have put on 10% more weight, and now weigh 74 kg. I feel stronger, and I am much calmer. I do more work every day, and I put up with tribulations that previously would have confused me for days or weeks. We have three grown children. Our two daughters, who are in their 20s, have returned home to live with us. They tell me I am easier to live with, am kinder to my family and to other people, and do not get as angry as I used to. Before I found Falun Gong, even a small thing could make me angry, and I would fly into a rage seemingly without reason. I no longer drive myself as hard.
In February, when I visited my 80-year-old mother in Prague, she asked me what had happened to my gray hair. Did I dye my hair? Of course I did not! My hair has changed color. Most of the injuries from years of sports and martial arts have healed, including my tennis elbow, computer wrist, shoulder, and knee. My sinuses have unblocked, and the lumps in my throat have also disappeared. My back and neck are no longer painful. Now I take neither remedies nor health or therapy treatments of any kind. I have never felt as good as I do now.
My eyesight has also improved, I wear no glasses, and I can see clearly what is in front of me. My wife says I can see other things more clearly as well. Now I can sit quietly in meditation and can quietly listen to others.
Sometimes, I can see that everyone is suffering. I used to set goals regarding my prosperity, spirituality, relationships, wealth, and health--all of which I had to surpass. Now I take things more lightly; they're not such a big deal. I am learning to live the life of cultivation. It is the greatest adventure available to anyone. I am learning to let things happen naturally, so there is a greater ease in our family. I have become more tolerant of other people's ways. I let people do what they want without insisting that my way is the best one for them. For me, that is a big change! I no longer think I know what is the best way for other people to live their lives. I let them work it out for themselves.
I am grateful for the opportunity to change my life according to Falun Dafa and to give my life meaning again. Now, I have an even greater gift than I could ever have imagined. I can become more than a good person. For that, I thank you Master Li.
(Adapted from Mr. Halu's presentation at the 1999 London Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference.)
Case 38. Mei-Yun Tian
Mei-Yun Tian, 47, is a social worker who lives in Taipei, Taiwan. She had been bothered by different types of diseases since her youth, including headaches, a uterine tumor, a heart problem, and kidney disease. She received treatments from both Western and Chinese medicine and also tried various Qigong practices. In November 1997, she encountered Falun Dafa and started her cultivation practice. Not only did she regain her health through the practice, but also harmony reappeared in her family.
For more than 20 years, I have had an admiration for the Tao. I tried many cultivation ways in the Taoist School, but I always got confused and frustrated. I often asked myself: How could I get to my true home? Where is my home anyway? I felt totally lost. I was sad for not knowing the way home.
At the end of November 1997, I got a phone call from a friend telling me about Falun Dafa. I started to read Zhuan Falun. When I got to the sentence, "One should return to one's original, true self; this is the real purpose of being human," I was greatly shocked. That was a completely new teaching, which I had never heard before. I realized that I had found the most precious thing--the Truth. Suddenly, my confusion was completely wiped out. I broke into tears of happiness and immediately registered for the local Nine-Day Falun Dafa Seminar.
Many types of diseases had bothered me since my youth. I had splitting headaches, a heart problem, a uterine tumor, a kidney problem, and a pelvic problem. Like my husband said, I took medicines, both Western and Chinese, 300 days out of the year, but they did not help much. I lost confidence in them. I also tried many forms of Qigong, but found them unhelpful. At that time, I did not know that my suffering was actually caused by karma, and it could not be eradicated by medicine. Medicine could treat the symptoms of my diseases, but would not be able to remove the root cause of my misery. My heart was filled with disappointments. I felt powerless. I lost interest in life, since all I could feel was pain.
During the first month of studying the Fa (Buddha Law), I could only read a few pages a day because of the soreness in my eyes. But to my surprise, my physical condition slowly started to change. Initially, I had a severe headache and even started to throw up. But after the violent throwing up, my headache went away and then my urinary system started to be purified. I felt chilly all over, and I would quiver and shake when I urinated. There was blood in my urine, and my eyes felt like they were burning. I knew these were the symptoms of bodily purification, and I decided to bear the pain. Five days later, I felt like I was reborn. After waking up in the morning, I discovered the world around me was so beautiful. My back was no longer bent, and my body felt very light. I was filled with happiness. Since then, I have never needed any medicine.
Through cultivation of Xinxing (mind-nature, moral quality), I changed my attitude toward my husband. Three years ago, before I learned Falun Dafa, our family went deeply into debt overnight. For me, this was a disaster. Overwhelmed by hatred and anger, I put all the blame on my husband. Our relationship worsened, and we would not talk to each other. We were almost like strangers. After I learned Falun Dafa, I realized that I should think from his point of view; after all, he, too, was working very hard for this family. From Falun Dafa, I learned how to face criticism with selflessness and forgiveness. Then, to my shame, I discovered that I had been a very aggressive person. When I was right, I never forgave others. I also realized that my actions were caused by my strong attachments, which I should eliminate. Our teacher said that women should be tender. I tried to change my attitude from the bottom of my heart. I tried to be tender to my husband. As I became a better wife and mother, the hatred and anger in me also vanished.
My older son is now 18 years old. After he learned Falun Dafa, he studied harder at school and enjoyed doing volunteer work. His classmates called him "the boy of sunshine." His teachers praised him. My younger son, who is 13-year-old, also learned Dafa with us. He is treating himself as a practitioner every moment. All these changes my sons were very surprising. I now know that Falun Dafa has grown in their hearts, so I have more confidence in them and less worry.
As I continued to study Dafa, I became more aware of its greatness. My mind also became calmer and more tranquil. Whenever there are conflicts, I try to look inside myself according to the Fa (Buddha Law). I ask myself, "Is your Xinxing upright? Are you fair enough? Are you honest and sincere?" When I treat everything with a calm mind, I find it is not difficult to pass through a tribulation. I feel very lucky for being able to cultivate and practice Dafa. I will cherish this opportunity and regard the Fa as the teacher. Through genuine and solid cultivation, I hope I can return to my long missed home!
(Adapted from Ms. Tian's presentation at the 1999 Taiwan Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference.)
Case 39. Jen-Tong Shih
Jen-Tong Shih, 56, is a Buddhist nun from Gao Shong, Taiwan. During her cultivation in traditional Buddhism, she traveled around barefoot with an alms-bowl and a sleeping bag and hoped to find a teacher who could genuinely guide her to reach Consummation. Because her cultivation practice was only focusing on the mind without cultivating the body, her body was weak. For years, she had many illnesses. One day, a Falun Dafa practitioner sent her the book Zhuan Falun. She realized that, finally, she had found the teacher she was seeking. All her illnesses soon disappeared after cultivating Falun Dafa.
My name is Jen-Tong Shih, the name I received after becoming a Buddhist nun. Previously, I was a Buddhist disciple. Now I'm a Falun Dafa practitioner.
I had been an abbot and a manager in a Buddhist temple since I left my family and became a nun. However, I did not feel right in traditional Buddhism, and was deeply worried that I had not found the genuine way home. I was afraid of misleading other people and myself, and I did not wish to spend the rest of my life in the temple. The things taught were not what I had been looking for in cultivation. I felt that I couldn't change the environment in temples, but I could start by changing myself. I left the temple without hesitation.
I continued the nun's way of collecting alms with an alms-bowl and traveling around on foot. I traveled from one town to another under the hot sun, barefoot, carrying all of my belongings (an umbrella, a sleeping bag, and some other necessities) on my back. The soles of my feet were bruised and cracked from stepping on the hot asphalt and trampling on the gravel roads. It was so painful. I have slept in a graveyard and also under trees. It is difficult to describe with words the tribulations that I suffered in my body and mind.
What was the purpose of all this? I was hoping to find a genuine way home, a genuine teacher who could take me back to my true home. In the beginning of 1998, a Falun Dafa practitioner sent me the book Zhuan Falun. When I came back to my small thatched shed, I raised the book above my head with wholehearted respect. As soon as I opened the book and saw Master Li's picture, my tears welled up. For some reason, Teacher's identity and origin were clear to me. I positively felt that the teacher I was looking for was right in front of me. Now, when I look back, it was as described in one of Master Li's poems, "Yuan Gui Sheng Guo" (Perfectly Return to Holy Status):
Looking for Master for years,
Finally getting to see,
Obtaining the Fa and cultivating to go back,
Attaining Consummation and returning with Master.
I understood the boundless inner meanings of Dafa in the book. This is the great Buddha Fa that reappeared in the human world.
Not only have I found the genuine teacher and a genuine cultivation way, but also my physical condition was greatly changed after I learned Falun Dafa. I had been weak and sick since I was young. In traditional Buddhism, one only cultivates the mind, not the body. Therefore, I was entangled in many illnesses after becoming a nun. However, as a nun, the lay Buddhists provided all my needs in daily life. I felt as if I had to cultivate very hard for that reason, and I felt guilty for the extra burden caused by my medical expenses. My efforts of all those years trying to heal my diseases were in vain. I was very upset with the entire situation. The diseases had already hindered my cultivation, and I felt tired both mentally and physically.
Because Falun Dafa cultivates both body and mind, my body soon recovered after starting to practice. I am a totally new person, full of energy and happy from the bottom of my heart. I have gotten out of the sea of hardships that was filled with painful illnesses for so many years. I can now spend more time on studying the Fa (Buddha Law). This is the power of Falun Dafa and the mighty virtue of Master Li. Now, not only do I continue to cultivate myself, but I also promote Falun Dafa everywhere I go and share my experiences with others.
(Adapted from Ms. Shih's presentation at the 1999 Taiwan Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference.)
Case 40. Tonggui Ye
Tonggui Ye, 40, is an engineer who lives in Toronto, Canada. Since he was a college student, he was heavily addicted to cigarettes, smoking two-and-one-half packs per day. Everyone in his family suffered a lot from his smoking. Although he tried many ways to quit, he was so addicted that they were all in vain. After he witnessed the physical changes of his wife and daughter from their practice of Falun Dafa and listening to Master Li's lectures, he also became a genuine practitioner. Finally, he quit smoking due to the power of Falun Dafa. He also experienced dramatic physical improvement after going through bodily purification.
Having been cultivating for two years, I sincerely feel the power of Falun Dafa. I would like to share two things that happened to me.
The first thing is that I quit smoking! Cigarettes have accompanied me since my undergraduate years when I was only about 18. In the beginning, my classmates playfully gave me one or two cigarettes to smoke. Gradually, I became hooked. During the years of my Master's degree studies, all I met were single men. We often chatted to kill time and cigarettes were always with us. Before long, my craving for cigarettes became stronger: from a few cigarettes a day to a pack a day, then to two-and-a-half pack a day. In those days, I inhaled the smoke deeply and blew it out of my nose. I wouldn't feel good if the cigarettes were not strong. My nostrils, teeth, and fingers were all yellowish. My home was always filled with smoke. The elders, my wife, and daughter coughed frequently. When my wife told me that she could not take the smoke any longer and asked me to quit, I often got irritated and replied, "This is the only pleasure I have. Why can't you let me keep it? If you can't take it, then get out of my way." We quarreled over smoking issues all the time. My wife hid my cigarettes many times, but I bought more when I couldn't find them. Later, when I was not allowed to smoke at home, I smoked outdoors or in the bathroom. When I continued my graduate study for my Ph.D. degree in Beijing, I was again living in a singles' dormitory. Cigarettes were my inseparable partners more than ever. Whenever I took a break, the ashtray would soon fill up with cigarette butts. My wife often advised me in her letters that smoking would hurt me physically, that I'd better take charge of myself, quit smoking, and save that money for my mother. No matter what she said, I still did as I pleased, since she could not see me smoking. Half of the monthly salary, which was already low, would be consumed by purchasing cigarettes. Consequently, I couldn't assist my family even though both my wife and child were ill and short of money. At that time, I already felt smoking was not right, but I couldn't quit. Eventually, I started to cough like a consumptive patient and was very skinny. Seeing my health was getting worse, when I went home during Chinese New Year, my wife advised me to be determined. She helped me think of everything tasty to keep my attention away from cigarettes. She prepared candies, cakes, and all kinds of snacks as a substitute when I felt like smoking. Yet, I was very addicted to it. I could skip meals for a whole day, but it was so hard for me to stop smoking for just half an hour. I also started to experience damage to my health. I tried to quit many times, but it was not that easy. My longest endurance was only half a day before I smoked again. I tried to sleep through it, tried to forget about it, but nothing helped. My powerlessness distressed me. Only after getting involved with Falun Dafa could I break away from this misery. That's the mighty power of Dafa.
It was late October 1996. I sensed the power of the Great Law when I saw the physical changes in my wife and daughter after their cultivating Falun Dafa. After I saw Master Li in person, I was determined to cultivate. As I still smoked every day, my wife asked me why, since I was now a cultivator. I told her that this would be the last attachment I gave up, but I'd reduce the packs. One afternoon in January 1997, we attended a group study that covered Lecture 7. Regarding smoking, Master Li mentioned, "Don't we practitioners want to purify our bodies? We shall constantly purify our bodies and constantly progress toward higher levels. Yet you still put that into your body, so aren't you going the opposite direction from the rest of us? Furthermore, it is also a strong desire. Some people also know that it is not good, but they just cannot quit. In fact, let me tell you, that they do not have correct thoughts to guide themselves, and it will not be easy for them to quit that way. As a practitioner, why don't you take it as an attachment to be abandoned, and see if you can quit. I advise everyone that if you truly want to practice cultivation, you should quit smoking from now on, and it is guaranteed that you can do it." I thought at the moment, "I am determined to give up smoking this time." The next morning, I told my wife, "I'll quit smoking from now on." But my wife never believed what I said anymore. She said, "If you really quit smoking, I'll quit eating." I said, "This time is real. From this moment on, I will never touch cigarettes anymore except in dreams, where I've been tested many times."
The second thing is the elimination of sickness karma. My body had been full of problems due to years of bachelor life, irregular mealtimes, and the nature of my job. I had a gastric ulcer, piles, bone spurs, and so on. Back in China I used to take medicine to control the physical problems. After I came to the United States, I felt well and I didn't experience any physical illnesses for half a year. I contentedly thought they were all healed. Shortly after I practiced Falun Dafa, all these diseases flared up. Though fiercely painful, I knew I was going through bodily purification. Each one would last, at most, two-to-three days, and then never recurred. The most unforgettable one was the elimination of my piles karma. One night I suddenly felt the pain of piles, and it got stronger and stronger. It was so painful that I kept sweating. I couldn't stand or sit, but could only crawl on the floor. Meanwhile, I was vomiting and purging in the bathroom. Very soon, I had a strange feeling in the spot where I used to have piles. My wife is an experienced nurse. When she checked, she saw the piles were swollen up, purple and blue. This episode lasted for two days and disappeared completely on the third day, leaving not even a trace of the piles at the spot.
I comprehend that, along the road of cultivation, there are no critical moments we can't endure as long as we follow the guidance of Dafa and regard ourselves as genuine practitioners.
(Adapted from Dr. Ye's article written in January 1999)