(Clearwisdom.net) For the past week I've endured some sickness karma in the form of a general head and chest cold. From this experience I've learned much about myself and the seriousness of cultivation practice.

My cold began last week with a sore throat. It was a holiday weekend so I had time off. To pass the time, I played a rather violent video game that a friend had lent me. I usually don't play video games, but temptation got a hold of me. Young practitioners, pay attention: video games aren't worth your time. I remember hearing that Master has said playing such violent video games can generate karma. Sure enough, after several hours of play, I began to feel ill and uncomfortable. Fortunately, the karma was immediately manifesting so I could quickly eliminate it and learn from it. I also thought about something Master said:

"Haven't we addressed that matter does not become extinct? Within a specific dimension, what a person has done or what a person does with a wave of his hand is all material existence, and anything he does will leave an image and a message. In another dimension it does not become extinct and will stay there forever."

(Lecture 2, The Supernormal Ability of Precognition and Retrocognition in Zhuan Falun)

I realized that everything I was doing was creating a material barrier that I now had to break through. What kind of roadblocks had I been putting up in my cultivation practice? So, feeling a bit ill and a little bit guilty, I tried to go to sleep for the night But no matter how hard I tried, I wasn't able to. Then I realized I hadn't done all the exercises for the day! So I got out of bed and finished the exercises. Afterwards I felt much lighter. I promised myself I wouldn't play that game anymore and fell asleep almost immediately.

The next day I woke up and felt much better. So, with all that newfound energy, I sat down and played the video game some more. Looking back I really can't imagine how I could have been so foolish, but I can't try to save face here. I have to tell the story like it happened, so others, as well as myself, can learn from my mistakes. When I was done playing I felt even worse than I had the day before. There wasn't any mystery or second-guessing left about it. I knew indulging in that demon nature was making me sick. I promised myself that was the end of that.

The next day I played the game again and of course I began to feel worse. I knew I wasn't being diligent enough and I knew I had to truly look inside and find out why. The first thing I did was to put the game away so I wouldn't be tempted. Then I read other sharings from practitioners. I realized that I needed to use my spare time better. Even if I read a lecture in Zhuan Falun and finished the exercises, if I had more time in the day, I should study the Fa more or practice more. I shouldn't indulge myself in time wasting activities. But I still felt like I hadn't touched on my fundamental attachment that was causing my complacency. And I still felt sick. At first I thought it was because I just had to endure it and pay back the karma, but then I began to feel I needed to dig deeper. About a week later, I read this in Zhuan Falun:

"If a person were allowed to have no illness and live comfortably, he would not even be interested in becoming an immortal--even if he were asked. How wonderful it would be if one could suffer no illness or hardship and have whatever one wants! It would really be a world of immortals. But you dropped to this level because you became corrupt, so you will not be comfortable." (Lecture 2 "The Supernormal Ability of Precognition and Retrocognition")

I realized that this was describing perfectly how I had been behaving. I realized that on some level, I was thinking, "If I practice Dafa, I'll never get sick and always have a light, healthy body; I'll get into all the schools I want; everywhere I go people will like me because I'm such a good person; and I'll stay young and beautiful forever and ever!" How far is that from the standard of a cultivator? Good things come from practicing Dafa, but they're not for the purpose of living well among everyday people. They're for cultivation practice. They're for aiding Master in Fa-Rectification.

The trap I found myself in was that I thought I was being diligent. I studied a lecture a day, I sent forth righteous thoughts, I did the exercises, and I do a lot of truth clarification work. But I still wasn't totally committed to cultivation practice. I was thinking of my responsibilities as a Dafa disciple as work, and when I finished my work, I could take a break and do something else. Really, though, Dafa is what I should enjoy doing. I shouldn't be thinking that I need a break from that. Of course cultivation is a step-by-step process and as one moves along, the standard gets raised. But when it came time for me to take my step forward, I stumbled along with my own attachments. Fortunately, Master gave me a stick warning.

After I came to this realization, my sinuses cleared and I could breath easily again. It was just in time for me to see Divine Performing Arts, too. Master really takes very good care of his disciples. I hope fellow disciples can learn from my experiences. Writing this sharing has also been a good process of improving myself.

Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners!