(Clearwisdom.net) I was very distressed after reading two articles, "Lessons from Sickness Tribulations" and "Take Control of Every Thought and Cherish the Opportunity to Cultivate." Several fellow practitioners in our area have died after getting illness symptoms, and there remain people who are still interfered by sickness and unable to escape their abnormal states.
In fact, this arrangement of the old forces has severely interfered with the three things that Falun Dafa practitioners should do well, thus affecting everyday people's understanding of truth of Dafa. From sharing with fellow practitioners, I realized that when the evil persecutes practitioners with the "elimination of sickness karma," we all know to get rid of it with righteous thoughts, but we often cannot induce the desired result. I think the occurrence of this situation is very likely brought on by our unconscious acknowledgements of the arrangements of the evil, and so we are allowing it to take advantage of this loophole.
The author of the aforementioned article affirms in his writing: "We came to the understanding that his death may be a test for us all to see if we will continue to cultivate after seeing a diligent fellow practitioner pass away."
My understanding is that, in today's process of Fa-rectification, the issue is not of passing tests, but of the evil's interference and harm. Dafa practitioners are saving sentient beings, the most important and sacred thing. However, the old forces want to destroy everything using the excuses of "tribulations," "passing tests" and "eliminating karma" to "help Dafa practitioners advance."
When Teacher answered the question, "Why do the old forces dare to kill Dafa disciples in the persecution?" He said,
"What's their goal? To have you see that studying Dafa isn't like having some kind of insurance and that you still need to do well, and that not doing well is a problem. So they're doing that kind of thing, and it's because they see personal cultivation as more important than validating the Fa. Also, they're doing these things in this time during Fa-rectification when Dafa disciples are urgently needed in saving sentient beings--aren't they causing serious trouble? How many beings can a Dafa disciple save while he's in this world, right? Isn't that doing something bad?" (Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference)
As Dafa practitioners in the Fa-rectification period, it is our great mission to perform the three things well in accordance with Teacher's requirements and save sentient beings. What the old forces are doing during this period is not only tormenting Dafa practitioner's individual bodies and lives, but interfering with and damaging the prospects of the salvation of the sentient beings. This means they are actually cruelly killing sentient beings and impairing the Fa-rectification. We must comprehensively negate the arrangements of the old forces and absolutely reject their persecution of Dafa practitioners through the "elimination of sickness karma," or we will be allowing them to use this excuse to damage the Fa-rectification. We must also have a clear understanding of this issue, for even the slightest ambiguity is enough to create loopholes the evil can take advantage of to bring loss to the Fa-rectification.
A while ago, I myself had continuing symptoms of "eliminating sickness karma," and I would now like to share my understandings on this matter.
On a night in May 2004, I suddenly felt acute pain on the right side of my back, and it did not subside even after a lengthy period of time. Afterwards, I started to vomit, and once in a while I even acted somewhat unbalanced. I realized it was the interference of the evil, so I tried to maintain firm thoughts and clear-headedness. I sent forth righteous thoughts to weed out the evil, and, at the same time, I asked Teacher for help. The situation gradually improved, and because I had to go to work on the following day, I reminded myself, "All my colleagues know I practice Falun Gong, I cannot have these symptoms at work. Will that not damage the image of Dafa?" And then I sent forth these righteous thoughts: "No matter how painful it is, it must not affect my work." As expected, I was fine at work, and I did not even feel tired after having slept little the previous night. But after arriving home, I felt the discomfort again on and off, and this was the norm for several days until it finally disappeared.
Not long after that, I started having black stools on consecutive occasions. I once had a duodenal ulcer before practicing Falun Gong, and when my illness became serious, I had digestive tract hemorrhage, which caused black stools. But it had only happened once or twice and never lasted long, so I did not pay attention to this reoccurrence of symptoms at first. Two days later, I lost an excessive amount of blood, which is usually a sign of an internal organ hemorrhage. I started to breathe heavily while climbing stairs, and I immediately felt dizzy whenever I sat down. Afterwards, my face grew yellow and my palpitation sped up, and although I sent forth righteous thoughts throughout that period, it had no apparent impact. It was then that I began wondering, "Had I signed a pact with the old forces to pass away early?"
I realized the severity of the problem, and so I calmed down to look inwards, seeking the knowledge of whether or not I feared death and whether the old forces were taking advantage of such a loophole. After a peaceful consideration, I enlightened to the truth that, as a practitioner, I am not afraid of death. But even so I cannot consent to any previous arrangements or pacts with the old forces. If a Dafa practitioner dies, what will his or her relatives, friends, classmates and colleagues think of Dafa? We have done so much to let people who have been poisoned by the propaganda understand the truth, but will this not simply propel them back down the wrong path? Some people may even turn to the opposite side, and then countless lives would be destroyed! We must not authorize this arrangement. Or not only will we lose the chance to save sentient beings, but we will also be used by the old forces to do perverse deeds. Would we not be aiding the old forces then? With these thoughts in mind, I sent forth righteous thoughts: "Admit under no circumstances the old forces' arrangements. Clear away all the evil interference." After I finished sending forth righteous thoughts, I suddenly grew energetic, and all the "symptoms of illness" quickly vanished.
Afterwards, I felt something was amiss. I recalled the process of ridding myself of the interference of "sickness karma" and how oftentimes I could not achieve the proper effect after sending forth righteous thoughts to clear away the evil, and this made me feel a bit enervated. So where was my problem? I calmed down to study the Fa and to look inwards, and I finally discovered that the problem was that certain fellow practitioners, including myself, had not understood the meaning of Fa-rectification well enough.
As practitioners, our cultivation is now focused on validating the Fa and saving sentient beings. During this process, we improve ourselves, walk on our own paths well and establish Dafa practitioners' mighty virtue, and this is really what Teacher wants us to achieve. However, it seems as though we still retain certain habits and understandings from the stage of personal cultivation deep in our consciousness such as looking inwards to check our xinxing (1) when there is a problem, suffering to eliminate our karma, cultivating ourselves during tribulations, passing tests in our cultivation and so on.
Because of this kind of understanding, when the tribulation of "sickness karma" arises, we unconsciously think that it is reasonable, that it is to "eliminate our karma" and that we are undertaking a "tribulation" or a "test." Thereby, we then look inwards and cultivate ourselves. But isn't this accepting the arrangements of the old forces? When we send forth righteous thoughts with other things in mind, can the effect be desirable? And so the evil takes advantage of our loopholes again and again. It is not wrong to cultivate ourselves during the interference, but this should be to eliminate the interference and harms of the evil, not to pass the so called "tests" in their arrangement.
Furthermore, when we send forth righteous thoughts to clear away the interference of "sickness karma," need we proceed under the guise of eliminating other things? It is almost as though we are saying, "I am eliminating you only because you have interfered with my truth clarification and the salvation of sentient beings, but it does not matter if my own karma is not cleared." Are we not recognizing their arrangements again? With the arrangements of the old forces, why must we distinguish between good and bad, extinguishing them when we can find reasons to do so, but feeling unconfident and lacking energy otherwise. Actually, our unclear understanding of the old forces and their interference is the cause of our lack of energy when sending forth righteous thoughts, which then produces those undesirable effects.
"When you encounter ordeals during your cultivation, you have got to cultivate yourself and look at yourself--that doesn't mean acknowledging the ordeals arranged by the old forces and trying to do well amidst the ordeals they've arranged, that's not the case. We negate even the very emergence of the old forces and everything that they've arranged; we don't even acknowledge their existence. We're fundamentally negating all of their things, and all of, and only, the things you do while negating and getting rid of them is mighty-virtue. It's not that you're cultivating amidst the ordeals they created. Rather, you are to walk your own path well while not acknowledging them, not even acknowledging the elimination of their ordeals' manifestations."
(Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference)
We must negate all the arrangements of the old forces, even their existence. And whatever they do during this Fa-rectification and no matter the form that the interference manifests, we must not acknowledge it and firmly eliminate it. We need not find reasons for the interference, but only clear them away in an open and dignified way. Moreover, we do not aim to conquer the ordeals caused by the old forces' persecution and to eliminate the ordeals themselves. Instead, we must completely eliminate the entirely of the old forces and disallow their existence.
We must do the three things well as required by Teacher in an open and dignified way: validate Dafa, save the sentient beings and walk on our own path well.
This is my limited understanding. Please kindly correct me if there are any mistakes.
(1) xinxing: heart or mind nature, moral character