Maintaining a Righteous Mind Amidst Tribulations
(Clearwisdom.net) Master has given us numerous lectures on how a genuine practitioner should break through sickness karma and how to negate the old forces’ persecution by using strong righteous thoughts. However, I still saw many veteran practitioners mired in symptoms of sickness. Some even passed away. I’d like to share my experiences of passing the tribulation of sickness karma and hope it will be of some help to those still struggling to get overcome it.
Last March I began to develop severe symptoms of what appeared to be a stroke. I was slow in moving around and responding to people. I suffered from headaches, and had intense pain in my neck. I managed to live like this for more than a month until my colleagues urged me to get an MRI done at the hospital.
The results from the scan indicated a brain hemorrhage and deformation of my cervical vertebrae. I was immediately told that I should stay in the hospital. But my wife, also a practitioner, was determined to have me stay at home. She believed that only Master could save me. I knew that as a practitioner I should not approach this issue with ordinary people's notions, but I was also unsure that my condition would improve if I chose to stay at home.
I eventually agreed with my wife and decided to rest at home. We invited a practitioner, who is a physician, to come and talk to us and share his understanding on the issue. Instead of discussing the results from my MRI, he spoke of his understandings of the Fa principles. After a few hours of sharing with him, I became calmer.
My employer arranged a physical examination for all employees in mid-July, so I had another MRI scan. The result showed that my brain hemorrhage had almost disappeared, and my cervical vertebrae had returned to normal. Many of my colleagues were amazed at my recovery without any medical intervention.
This tribulation brought me the following realizations:
Maintaining strong righteous thoughts
Master said, “... in your future cultivation practice you will run into all kinds of tribulations” (Zhuan Falun). My understanding is that we should face tribulations with a calm mind; otherwise there’s no way we can pass them.
My work colleagues were extremely concerned for me when I chose not to stay in the hospital. One person even told my son to feel free to call him anytime if he was concerned about my health.
I practiced the exercises every morning at home. One day, when doing the fourth exercise, “Falun Heavenly Circuit,” my right hand suddenly felt numb. I remained calm, and reminded myself that I am a practitioner. With this thought, the numb feeling soon disappeared.
Cultivation is serious, and no tribulation can be passed without strict tests. The second morning before my routine exercises I used the restroom. As I turned on the lights I saw a few wiggly lines in my left eye. When I began the second exercise, “Falun Standing Stance,” Master's words suddenly flashed in my mind:
“... once some of you feel physical discomfort somewhere, you will think that you are ill. You always fail to treat yourselves as practitioners, for if this happens to you, you will consider it an illness. Why are there so many troubles? Let me tell you that a lot of it has already been removed for you, and your tribulations are already quite trivial. If it were not removed for you, you might already have dropped dead had you encountered this trouble. Perhaps you would never be able to get out of your bed. When you meet with a little trouble, you will feel uncomfortable. But how can it be that comfortable?” (Zhuan Falun)
I immediately came to understand that cultivators should remain unmoved, no matter what we encounter.
Studying the Fa with a focused mind
I thought I did well with Fa-study and had a clear understanding of the Fa, since I had been cultivating for more than 15 years. I was shocked when a practitioner said to me, “You didn’t do a good job studying the Fa.” Why did she have this impression after we just met for the very first time? I realized that it must be Master using her mouth to point out my problems.
Reflecting on the way I read Dafa books, I discovered that I failed to study the Fa with a focused mind. I was more interested in acquiring new knowledge than comprehending the Fa from the perspective of the Fa. I also liked to think about what was going on in my work or life while I was reading the Fa. When I came across passages where Master pointed out attachments other practitioners may have, I would think that I was immune from those problems. I didn’t want to seriously face my numerous desires and attachments. I was obsessed with my capabilities and harbored attachments to my reputation, show-off mentality, jealousy and lust.
Master said, “The only way to gain a good understanding of Dafa is to study it without any intention” (“Learning the Fa” from Essentials for Further Advancements).
I should regard Master and Dafa with a humble heart and soberly face my shortcomings. Moreover, I need to use the Fa to correct my impure thoughts and behavior.
Sending righteous thoughts with no pursuit
Many practitioners think to send forth righteous thoughts when they are stricken with sickness karma. But, why do some see immediate improvements while others fail to see any effect, even after a prolonged period of suffering? After going through a sickness karma tribulation, I have come to a new understanding. We cannot have pursuit in our minds while sending forth righteous thoughts. Such a sacred thing is not used to just remove our physical pain. It may help a little when other practitioners also send forth righteous thoughts for the concerned practitioner, but eventually it is up to him or her to pass the test with righteous thoughts. If the practitioner only seeks to get rid of their pain and suffering, then they are not going to see any improvement.
We must remain firm when we send forth righteous thoughts. It’s no good to develop doubts when we see no apparent improvement to our situation. Some practitioners fail to look inward to identify their attachments and shortcomings, and are unwilling to face tribulations with a righteous mind. The more our minds fall short, the bigger the tribulations will become.
Maintaining a strong main consciousness
Master said in “Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference,”
“It is thus primarily students who haven’t been very diligent, who don’t study the Fa frequently, or whose minds are elsewhere while studying Fa who have been interfered with the most and persecuted the worst. That’s always the case.”
During the past fifteen years of cultivation, I was seldom able to enter tranquility while practicing the exercises, and my mind was often elsewhere while sending forth righteous thoughts.
I’d like to remind practitioners to pay attention to purging bad thoughts in our minds during the first five minutes of sending righteous thoughts. Only by doing this can we maintain a strong main consciousness and remain levelheaded.
Not becoming too dependent on other practitioners’ help
Those experiencing tribulations often hope to get help from other practitioners; but we should be aware not to become too dependent on external factors. Practitioners are there to help us improve our understandings of the Fa. Cultivation is all about cultivating ourselves. Only when we relinquish our tendency to depend on other practitioners can their help really work.
It is not always easy to detect our desire to depend on practitioners to help us pass tests. If we don’t pay attention, such an attachment may bring us trouble. While I experienced sickness karma, a Chinese medicine doctor, also a practitioner, came to see me. Noticing the deformation of my cervical vertebrae, he offered to fix things for me. Even though I didn’t feel as though it was right to do so, I still agreed to have him help me. My condition then worsened the next day. By the third day, I couldn’t even get out of bed in the morning. I knew I did wrong and was determined to pass the test with righteous thoughts. When I corrected my thoughts, I was completely fine by the afternoon.
Minghui articles are a great help
I had a dream one time, where I broke out of a locked dark room, and saw a giant Falun and a large metal hammer standing by the door. I couldn’t recognize any of the words engraved on the Falun. When I woke up, I had no idea what the dream was about. Then, a few days later I came across an article published on the Minghui website about negating the old forces' persecution in the form of sickness karma using righteous thoughts. I immediately understood my dream and knew that I should destroy the old forces’ arrangement. I sat in the meditation position, erected my right palm, and asked Master to strengthen my righteous thoughts. After a few moments, I felt a jolt and saw golden lights beaming around me. My body then became very light.
As Fa-rectification period practitioners, we shoulder important historic missions. The old forces have made meticulous arrangements for each of us. These come in numerous forms such as sickness karma, financial losses, imprisonment and labor camp terms, all of which are intended to destroy us. As long as we truly believe in Master and Dafa, we can negate the old forces’ arrangements and assist Master in the Fa-rectification process.