My Understanding of Various Causes of Long-Term Sickness Karma (Part 5 of 5)
(Continued from Part 4)
18. Lack of Resilience Turns Petty Issue into a Major Problem
Some practitioners have not experienced serious hardships, and their tolerance for hardship is low. Understanding the Fa principles regarding going through hardship is not easy for them, and they are hard-pressed to reach the realm of “...he takes hardship as joy.” (“Realms,” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
“What is xinxing? It includes de (a type of matter), tolerance, enlightenment quality, sacrifice, giving up ordinary people’s different desires and attachments, being able to suffer hardships, and so on. It encompasses various things.”
All practitioners have read this paragraph many times, but many do not remember that suffering hardship is a key element of xinxing.
I saw one practitioner who was suffering sickness karma. Other practitioners under similar situations were not bothered at all, and they endured the pain, studied the Fa, and did the exercises as usual. Their symptoms stopped in a couple of days. But the sickness karma was a big deal for this particular practitioner. She was in bed for two weeks, and she could only listen to Master’s lectures because she could not read the book. Moreover, she often got distracted while listening.
She finally recovered two weeks later. She paid back the karma, but failed to raise her xinxing level. In fact, she moved further from the realm of “he takes hardship as joy,” and complained about her suffering, describing it instead as interference or persecution—not an opportunity to gain mighty virtue. Because she did not pass the xinxing test, the tribulations returned. Eventually, a small amount of trouble grew into a big problem.
Some people passively endure hardship, but fail to elevate their xinxing. Their practices belong to the worldly side-paths, and have nothing to do with Dafa cultivation, which directly changes our hearts. One practitioner complained about her suffering, and she was not even at the level of a worldly side-path. Unable to gain a deeper understanding of the Fa, she remained at a perceptual level for a long time.
19. Overindulging Children Invites Sickness Karma
Many other practitioners (and non-practitioners alike) have spoiled their children, and some have ruined these young disciples.
One middle-aged practitioner recently passed away. Master gave me the chance to see the excuses that the old forces used to kill her. Among the reasons was “spoiling a young disciple with love.”
A practitioner who was familiar with her case told me her story. Although I discovered that her issues apply to many others, I will focus on her story:
Her daughter had good inborn quality, and was meant to cultivate Dafa and achieve her own right fruit. When this daughter was little, she followed her mother to Tiananmen Square to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong. This mother came from a humble background, and she had suffered serious hardships. But she tried her best to shield her daughter from any such hardship. It seems that this mother had a wrong understanding of the following teaching from Zhuan Falun:
“We should treat everyone in the same way. We must be good to our parents and children and be considerate of others in all respects” (Lecture Six).
She thought, “I will make sure my daughter does not suffer from hardships or get bullied. That will be good for her. I will be considerate of her needs in all respects and satisfy her desires. I will be frugal so that my daughter's life is not negatively affected in any way.”
Actually, the mother’s realm was at the lowest level, even for ordinary people... to spoil with love. People used to say, “Spoiling is killing.” From high levels, the practitioner had confused good and bad. The daughter could recite Master’s poems from Hong Yin. For example, “Let joy be found in hardship” (“Tempering the Will”). But she failed to conduct herself by the same principle.
Master said, “...you should not do something just because you want to” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun). But under the mother’s indulgence, the girl did everything at will and became very stubborn. As she grew up, she became less like a cultivator. As a young girl, she could recite some poems from Hong Yin, but she indulged in extravagant food and games. She was lazy and pursued comfort. Then as a grown woman, she stopped cultivating.
Master also said, “If you suffer too much, you will be unable to practice cultivation” (Lecture Two, Zhuan Falun).
In the eyes of other practitioners, petty hardships and a little karma are nothing. But to the girl, they were too much to endure. How could she then practice cultivation? Her mother passed away due to sickness karma, and it became a traumatic experience for the girl. It is now very difficult for the daughter to return to Dafa in this lifetime. In her future life, the Fa will have already rectified the human world, and the harsh environment will no longer be there. It will then be even harder for her to cultivate and return to her origin.
Thus, a potentially enlightened being with great inborn quality was ruined in this world. That was a huge sin, and essentially the same as destroying fellow practitioners. But the mother seemed to have used “love” to do the damage. But looking at it from a higher level, was her approach rooted in genuine compassion?
Some young disciples are diligent when they are little. But as they grow up, they sometimes lose interest. Some still practice Dafa on and off. Others stop altogether. They therefore become victims of other practitioners’ polluted notions. This phenomenon is especially true for children from affluent families.
Some middle-aged and elderly practitioners deny the fact that they spoil their children and grandchildren. Their understanding of the Fa stays at the human level, and they compare their xinxing using the standards of everyday people. They may spend much effort reading the books and doing the exercises, but they fail to improve their understandings of the Fa and raise their xinxing. As a result, their sickness karma may linger on for years.
On top of that, they often fail to give little disciples a good cultivation environment. And they really have a hard time with sickness karma. We must all fundamentally change these habits of conventional thinking. Cultivation is about changing oneself.
20. Inability to Eliminate Long-Standing Desires Worsens Sickness Karma
In cultivation, the attachment to lust is a most important tribulation to pass. This has been discussed by many practitioners, and it will not be repeated here. But there are many other aspects of the attachment of desire.
Master mentioned in Zhuan Falun about “...giving up ordinary people’s different desires…” (Lecture One). Many older practitioners have read this, but they still struggle to search within themselves.
The desire to eat delicious foods, hear only compliments, watch shows that everyday people like, yearn for material goods and comfort through money, and so on are everyday people's attachments to desire. And some practitioners have become so accustomed to these that such attachments become imperceptible and deeply rooted longings for a comfortable life.
Actually, such practitioners should pay a visit to those who are steadfast to see if they can endure and cultivate in that kind of environment. Master said, “… it doesn’t make any difference whether you have it or not, you’ve passed this test” (Lectures in the United States).
Is it achievable? In a more affluent practitioner’s environment, can one avoid feeling envious? In a poor practitioner’s environment, can one continue without feelings of unfairness? Can one continue to cultivate diligently and with a sense of contentment? It would be amazing if one could do so, for one would have passed the tribulation of attachment to material goods and the enjoyment of ordinary people.
But in reality, abandoning such emotions is unachievable for many practitioners. Once their living standards are lowered, they are unable to handle their desire to eat delicious food. Their other desires soon surface thereafter, and their inability to extricate themselves from their comfortable lives emerges.
This is a typical example: Originally, there was a practitioner who was able to endure much hardship, and he had cultivated to the state of the “Pure-White Body” (Lecture Eight, Zhuan Falun). Later, however, his living environment improved, and the pressure in his life diminished. Thus, his desire for the comfortable life gradually arose, and along with it, various attachments. With this, his character fell. He is now unable to bear any suffering, and his body has even become dark with karma and illness. This caused him to lose faith in cultivation.
21. Failing to Form a Whole-Body Prolongs Sickness Karma
Some practitioners choose to cultivate within a small circle of like-minded practitioners, disregarding other important local group activities. Such practitioners suffer from long-term sickness karma, and they refuse to meet other practitioners for experience sharing. These practitioners have separated themselves from the rest of the body of practitioners. The more they persist in separation, the harder it becomes for them to overcome such tribulations, which manifest in the repeated occurrences of illness. There is no elevation in their understanding of Fa principles, and no change in character. Hence, the cause of their tribulations remains.
Some practitioners find their shortcomings by reading experience sharing articles on the Minghui website. However, they only perceive the slight gaps in their actions, and their surface-level character deficiencies. If we could immerse ourselves into these articles (and imagine ourselves within such situations), we would be able to detect our deep-seated shortcomings and work on removing them.
Reading fellow practitioners' experience sharing articles in this way gives one the ability to experience a similar tribulation, learn from the lesson, and remove any previously undetected attachments. In this way, one can elevate quickly.
For practitioners who feel as if they are not improving, I suggest they try to emulate those diligent practitioners who share their experiences on Minghui. Such an approach should not be perceived as “deliberately finding hardships,” or the search for a role model. To "Compare in studying, compare in cultivating,” (“Solid Cultivation,” from Hong Yin), one may discover their inability to bear the suffering from that tribulation, which may then expose many attachments. At that point, one should follow Master’s teaching, “When it’s difficult to endure, you can endure it. When it’s impossible to do, you can do it” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun).
Try your best, and you will succeed. First, your ability to endure hardships will increase. Second, your character will elevate, as will your understanding of Fa principles. This will result in major breakthroughs for your cultivation, and a gradual elevation in levels.
While assisting each other in elevation, we should pay attention and not look down on each other. To treat others with contempt is to look down on ourselves, because we are all part of the whole. We must have broad acceptance of others, and treat them as if they are part of our own world; we are all part of each others'. This is the structure of the universe, and fellow practitioners are just like each others' right hands. If everyone had such thoughts, the old forces would have retreated by now. Any notions that prevent practitioners from forming a single body will become loopholes for the old forces to use in escalating the persecution.
If only we Dafa practitioners could achieve the state as described by Master in Zhuan Falun,
“…thousands of energy channels will join together and turn one’s body into one without any energy channels or acupuncture points …” (Lecture Eight).
By coordinating together as a whole, there will be no gaps for the evil to take advantage of, and the persecution will naturally disappear. Achieving this, however, requires everyone to work together while letting go of selfishness, personal thoughts, and desires.
With regard to practitioners who suffer from chronic sickness karma, some have a variety of factors behind their conditions. Yet others have serious deficiencies, like those addressed above, and are in perilous situations. If these practitioners do not take the necessary steps to open up, acknowledge these loopholes, and make corrections, efforts by fellow practitioners may be in vain.
In “The Master-Disciple Bond” from Hong Yin Volume II, Master taught,
“When disciples have ample righteous thoughtsMaster has the power to turn back the tide”
By truly recognizing this in our hearts and actions, we will be able to overcome serious tribulations.
Such sickness karma in fact, results from our inability to clear previous tribulations, and in our failure to pass these tribulations. Over time, these tribulations accumulate to become major life and death trials. Such a lesson is one from which other practitioners could learn.
The above are my personal understandings. Kindly correct any mistakes.