(Minghui.org) I developed a severe skin rash this January. At times, my body was covered in rashes of different sizes. It was so itchy that I couldn't fall asleep sometimes. The rash disappeared in April, but then pustules appeared on the back of my right hand, left foot and shins. Pus oozed out of them when they ruptured. They then festered. I was in great pain. It was very unsightly, and I had difficulty walking.

I tried my best to do the three things well, continue to look inward, and eliminate the interference and persecution with righteous thoughts. There were times when my righteous thoughts were not so strong, and that was when life became unbearable.

The tribulations thrust upon me from other dimensions were difficult to bear. My body is quite sensitive, and I could feel the pressure from other dimensions weighing down on me. The large amount of karma, coupled with the persecution from other dimensions made it difficult for me to carry on in my cultivation. While I was walking on a road one time, I felt the karma crashing down on me. The pain was so severe that I could barely walk. I kept telling myself, “I'm walking towards Master.” That thought helped me to reach my destination.

What I endured was only a small piece of my immense karma, as Master has eliminated a lot of it for me. When I felt that it was too difficult to break through a test, Master gave me hints so I could get up and keep going after stumbling.

When my sickness karma was at its peak, quite a few articles were published on Minghui about practitioners overcoming sickness karma with righteous thoughts. Thank you, Master, for showing me those articles. They have proved instrumental in my cultivation.

The following is what I learned from this experience.

Believing in Master Helped Me to Break Through the Tribulation

The practitioners' sharings that I read all mentioned their unconditional respect for and steadfast belief in Master. I realized that this is the most important factor in overcoming sickness karma.

In one article, “Reflections on Eliminating Sickness Karma Interference”, the practitioner describes how his biggest omission when dealing with the old forces was that he hadn't believed in Master and Dafa and had somehow acknowledged the persecution from the old forces. After the practitioner realized this and managed to overcome his tribulation of sickness karma, he saw Master appear in a dream. Master patted him on the back and said benevolently, “You blamed me for not taking care of you, but I was actually with you all the time to see whether or not you could get over it.”

Master has looked after us since the very beginning, so how could the false appearance of sickness karma be so strong? I knew this was not a correct thought to have and that I had to identify the root cause and eliminate it. I realized that I was using human sentimentality to ask for Master's help. Only when we are up to a practitioner's standard can Master help us. How could we ask Master to remove all of our tribulations for us? If it is persecution, we should negate it. We should always look inward and improve ourselves; only then can we call ourselves true practitioners; only then can we completely eliminate the interference.

We need to remember that Master is always with us when we are going through difficult times. We must cultivate ourselves and maintain strong righteous thoughts.

Looking Inward and Getting Rid of Fundamental Attachments

When I first read Zhuan Falun, tears kept streaming down my face. I was excitedly shouting in my mind: “I finally found it! I found it!” I even wrote in my journal, “Today is the day of my rebirth.”

I was about to enter college at the time, and even though I was elated at having found Dafa, I still felt that cultivation was too grueling. I was thinking about enjoying my college life and then starting cultivation later. Deep in my heart, I knew that the words in Zhuan Falun were the truth. So I put the book on my bedside table and read it before going to sleep.

It was miraculous that whenever I opened the book, I would be reading a page that talked about some issues that I was encountering at the time. This phenomena lasted until 2001, when Master published the article “Fa-Rectification Period Dafa Disciples.” Like an alarm bell, I was awoken from my lackluster cultivation state and started to cultivate more diligently.

Master talked about fundamental attachments in “Towards Consummation” from Essentials for Further Advancement II. Master also pointed out the importance of “...always cultivating as if you were just starting...” in “Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference.” I used to think that those teachings didn't have too much to do with me, since the reason I started to practice Dafa was because I had a good understanding of the Fa and didn't have any pursuit.

While struggling through my tribulation, I realized that I hadn't let go of my attachments to fame, money and sentimentality. I always wanted to find a good job to obtain a higher social status and become popular. I paid a lot of attention to my appearance and lifestyle.

A part of me was filled with pure righteous thoughts that came from the Fa, while the other part of me was just an ordinary person, attached to human notions and constantly pursuing what I longed for. I was covering up the human notions with the excuse of validating the Fa. I was thinking that for practitioners to show others the beauty and benefits of Dafa, they need to have a respectable social status. As a result, I could not devote myself fully to doing the three things diligently.

Master said:

“If you are a true practitioner of Falun Dafa, and when you can give up your attachments, each of you will have reactions from this point on. Those who cannot give up their attachments may claim that they have released them, but in fact they have not given them up. It is thus very difficult to achieve. There are also people who later understand the content of my lectures. They begin to let go of their attachments and their bodies are purified. While others’ bodies all feel light, these people just begin to heal their illnesses and feel uncomfortable. In every class there are such people who lag behind with poorer enlightenment quality. Therefore, it is all normal no matter what you encounter.” (Zhuan Falun)

I realized that I was one of those practitioners who was lagging behind. I was grateful that this tribulation helped me to identify my fundamental attachments and reminded me to be more diligent.

Going Through Tribulations Proved Beneficial in My Cultivation

Although I tried hard to do the three things, it was difficult for me to let go of the notion of “illness.” I felt like I could no longer tolerate the pain. I went to the hospital with a family member and took some Chinese medicine. But instead of getting better, the symptoms intensified. I then realized that no medicine could help me, and thought to myself, “I really should stop thinking about the “illness” and focus on my cultivation.” My condition improved greatly after that.

I looked inward every day and found quite a few attachments that had been deeply hidden. Also, before this tribulation, studying the Fa was like a task that I forced myself to complete. Going through the tribulation made me appreciate the value of Dafa again. I was very fortunate to have become Master's disciple. After this realization, I could immerse myself in the Fa while studying the Fa. Just like Master said:

“Aren't they great things, then? So whether it is good things or bad things you run into, so long as you cultivate in Dafa, they are all positive, to be sure.” (“Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005”)

It was like waking up from a dream. I truly believe that passing through tribulations is good for one's cultivation.

Completely Eliminating the Old Forces' Interference

I was very clear that I needed to completely negate the old forces' arrangements while experiencing the tribulation. I sent forth righteous thoughts to remove attachments to pursuing a full recovery from the “illness,” to fearing the old forces' persecution and to eliminate them. I would walk only the path arranged by Master.

Master told us in Zhuan Falun:

“You should always maintain a heart of compassion and kindness. Then, when you run into a problem, you will be able to do well because it gives you room to buffer the confrontation.”

I learned the importance of maintaining a kind heart while experiencing tribulations, as the power of compassion can melt all evil.

The article “My Take on 'Sickness'” recently published Minghui discussed the importance of negating the old forces. The practitioner explained how their first thought was to eliminate the old forces whenever the old forces persecuted them and whenever they had abnormal symptoms on their body. Compared to this practitioner's resolute determination to eliminate the old forces, I still have a long way to go.

During the three-month period of my tribulation of sickness karma, there were several times when I thought that I could no longer endure it. I called several fellow practitioners, and although they had to go out of town during the day, they hurried back at night to study the Fa with me. Their pure compassion shined through.

When going through tribulations, no matter how difficult it is, how desperate we feel, and when we don't see any light at the end of the tunnel, we must keep Master in our minds and try our best to move forward in cultivation!