(Clearwisdom.net) At the end of 2002 when I was 30 years old, I suffered from lymphatic cancer. The illness had first manifested in my stomach, necessitating removal of two thirds of my stomach, followed by chemotherapy. By June 2003, the cancer cells had metastasized. My doctor told me that I could live for three months, or at most another six months. I was not a pretty picture then - I had gone from about 140 lbs. to 110 lbs. and lost all my hair. My face and hands had black spots. I was unable to eat or drink, except for a little rice broth every day. I was struggling just to live. Right at this moment between life and death, someone introduced me to Falun Dafa.
A neighbor at my parents' home is a Dafa practitioner. She knew I was suffering from this serious illness. She took pity on me for suffering at such a young age. One day she came to my parents' home and said to my mother that she thought she could help me. My mother then told me that practicing Dafa could save my life. I asked, "Is it Falun Gong?" My mother said that it was. I said, "No!" My mother then said, "She is so kind and wants to rescue you. What do you want me to say to her?" I said, "Just tell her that I am practicing another qigong." In fact I did not practice any qigong then.
That night, two hard, thumb-sized lumps appeared on my neck. I was scared and cried out. My ward mate had told me there were more lymph nodes in the neck and armpits, and one could survive for only a few days once the lymph nodes protrude from the body. I told my mother, "I cannot live much longer since the lymph nodes are already protruding from my body!" My mother immediately stood up from the sofa and went out the door after she heard what I said. She brought back a copy of the book Zhuan Falun. She told me that other people told her that reading this book could save my life.
Actually I did not believe that one book could save my life. However, I was afraid of death, so no matter what, I felt I must grab at every straw in my situation. With this intention I began to read Zhuan Falun. I read through Lecture One the same day. The first thing I did the next morning was to feel the lumps on my neck; the lumps had shrunk a lot.
I was so joyful and said to myself, "Hey, it really works!" I rushed to continue my reading. The neck lumps disappeared on the third day. Now I somewhat believed, but still didn't understand what the Fa is.
That night my mother and I went to the home of the practitioner who gave me the book. With her counsel, I finally had a preliminary understanding about the Fa. I still kept taking traditional Chinese medicine then. On the seventh day my medicine bottle all of a sudden cracked of its own accord. I thought that this meant perhaps I should stop taking the medicine, but I still took that day's dose. Thirty minutes later I ate a little food. Suddenly I felt nauseous and started vomiting. What I vomited was the medicine, and nothing else. This was really inconceivable! I had taken the medicine first then eaten, but I lost no food, merely the medicine. Then I understood Teacher was revealing to me that I should not take the medicine again. From that time on I intensified my understanding of the Fa and practiced with more determination.
By the time I had read all of Zhuan Falun, my eating had improved. I had difficulty before even keeping down a small amount of liquid food, but by then I could eat whatever I wanted. It only took ten days! I felt so happy. After only one month, I noticed new hair growth on my bald head. I also gained some weight. My physical improvements intensified my beliefs in the Fa and added additional understanding of the Fa. Then I truly began to cultivate. Teacher said,
"...but we do not treat illness here. We are purifying your body, and the term is not "healing illness," either. We just call it "purifying the body," and we clean out the bodies of true practitioners."
"The body purification will be done only for those who come to truly learn the practice and the Fa." (Zhuan Falun 2000 translation version)
I came to understand that Teacher does not cure illness for ordinary people, but purifies the bodies of genuine practitioners. A huge physical change happened in me. Merciful Teacher already considered me a practitioner. But, am I a genuine practitioner?
Actually, I was still not yet clear what cultivating meant. What I did know was that whenever I did things according to the book's requirement I would feel physically well. Thus, at that time I passed many tests with lots of endurance since I dared not do things in disobedience to the Fa.
Every day I went to the practitioner's home to tell them what happened to me that day and how I had thought and acted, based on the Fa. The practitioner led me and helped me to learn more of the Fa and taught me how to deal with everything according to the Fa. She was actually leading me to gradually enter real cultivation. But at that time I did not realize this was genuine cultivation. I had "cultivated" this way without clearly realizing it. Only after my physical body had completely recovered and I became a normal healthy person did I realize how fortunate I was to begin Dafa practice.
The story I had heard is as follows: when the practitioners in the area had been told of my bad physical condition they discussed for three days whether or not to rescue me and why they should do so. Teacher said in the Fa,
"As to seriously ill patients, we do not let them attend the classes since they cannot give up the attachment to having illnesses cured or the idea of being ill." (Zhuang Falun)
However, Teacher also tells us there are different understandings on different levels. From the basic point of the Fa-rectification, if my health improved, it would verify that the Fa could save people's lives. What they were trying to do was not just to rescue me but to verify the divine power of the Fa with the example of me becoming healthy through Dafa practice, thereby to have more people's lives be saved by the Fa.
I encountered problems when it was my turn to validate the Fa. Because of the bad circumstances in Mainland China and the insane persecution, in addition to the terrible surroundings, my fear, self-centeredness, pride and all kinds of attachments surfaced. Initially, I only dared to validate the Fa to my family members. Since in the past I had my severe health problems people often asked me, "How is your health now?" Truth is the first word in the principles of "Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance." Even though I could only understand their superficial meanings, based on my conscience as a human being I had to tell the truth, "Learning Falun Gong saved my life!" I stepped forward, taking my first step on the path of validating the Fa this way, based on my conscience.
At that time I did not actually realize that it was validating the Fa and that Dafa practitioners must validate the Fa. Later on, through studying the Fa I realized our practitioners' responsibilities during the period of Fa-rectification. I kept upgrading myself by studying the Fa on my own as well as with the help of other practitioners. I started to change my attitude from passivity to taking the initiative. I was previously just an average person who was validating the Fa. Now I know that I am a Dafa practitioner and validating the Fa and rescuing sentient beings is my responsibility. Teacher said,
"So a Dafa disciple's responsibilities aren't for the sake of personal Consummation, but to save sentient beings while validating the Fa--that is a Dafa disciple's historic mission." ("Touring North America to Teach the Fa")
So far, the fellow practitioners' determination of validating the Fa by saving my life is gradually being implemented.
Because of my specific circumstances I have achieved relatively good Fa-validation results. But I did not realize that it was in fact the steady practice under the guidance of fellow practitioners that had an improving effect on my health. I could rescue a person only by telling facts, not because I had a powerful ability. Due to my misunderstanding, my feeling of happiness and showing off expanded gradually. Sometimes I even looked down on other practitioners.
At this time my mother-in-law suddenly suffered a stroke that led to partial paralysis. Seeing her suffer, I wanted her to learn Falun Dafa. I ignorantly thought since the other practitioners were able to lead me onto the path of true practice to become healthy, I would also be able to help my mother-in-law. In actuality I found I had learned too little of the Fa. I could not help my mother-in-law from the Fa at all.
I realized that my practice was not solid. Most of my comprehension of the Fa was just a feeling. What I did was to merely validate the Fa via my physical changes. Fellow practitioners had created these advantages for me; this did not come from my own practice efforts. The reason for the other practitioners' ability to help me was based on solid foundation in the Fa during their personal practice stage and their time spent spreading the Fa. They had already learned the way to solve my problems from having thoroughly absorbed Teacher's Fa. My amazing recovery lay in the fact that there were genuine practitioners around the time of my struggle with life and death from my illness and I had a good practice environment close by. Then I was just fortunate to be able to validate the Fa through my recovery.
Falun Dafa and Teacher saved my life. Teacher said,
"There is a criterion, however, that the life prolonged beyond your predestined time to live is completely reserved for your practice." (Zhuang Falun)
I must make use of my prolonged life in this present time of Fa rectification, to fulfill the three things, which Teacher requires. However, the only way to follow the process of Fa-rectification and do the three things well is by learning more of the Fa and mastering more of the Fa, so that I can have more wisdom to clarify the truth and expose the evil. With fellow practitioners' encouragement, I later read Teacher's lectures and articles from different periods. Again with other practitioners' assistance I was gradually able to clarify the truth and do the three things well according to Teacher's requirement. I am doing better and better.
I understand that only when we do the three things well can we better understand the Fa, and only when we diligently study the Fa can we truly do well in the three things that Master requires. My life was prolonged because of Dafa. I should have a clearer understanding of what I am living for. There is only one answer: My life is for validating Dafa and saving more sentient beings.
Please be merciful and point out any inappropriate understandings.