Understanding What It Means to “Change My Conventional Mentalities”
(Minghui.org) I started practicing Falun Gong at the end of 1994. In the past twenty-plus years, I have experienced the elimination of sickness karma many times and usually did well.
Most recently, however, it was very different—the symptoms of illness came and went many times, and I did not totally recover until I finally better understood what “sickness karma” is. I'd like to share my experience with fellow practitioners.
Be Steadfast When Facing Ordeals
At 2 a.m. on August 31, 2013, I woke up with chest pain. No matter how I changed my position, it just didn't help. So that I wouldn’t wake up my mother in the same bed, I sat on the sofa and started to send forth righteous thoughts. About half an hour later, I felt better.
But when my family and I were listening to Master's lecture the next morning, I felt something in my chest was wrong again. And it got worse and worse. At night, I could hardly lie still.
I started to do the exercises. In the past, it had worked every time I felt something was wrong with me. But this time it didn't. Instead, while I was doing the stretching in the first exercise, I felt awful, as if my bones itched. When I went to sleep that night, my back started to hurt, too.
The next afternoon, I went home. I studied the Fa and did the exercises as usual, but I didn't get any better. I hurt, itched, and felt bloated but couldn't tell if it was on my skin or under my skin. I started to wonder which organ was the problem...
Then, all of a sudden, I realized I shouldn't treat myself as an ordinary person—I was a practitioner who shouldn't have illness. I knew it must be the old forces in another dimension that were making use of my loopholes to persecute me.
But what were my loopholes? I started to look inward and discovered that I didn't study the Fa or do the exercises as diligently as I used to. Although I still did clarify the truth, I didn't do my best. And I didn't send forth righteous thoughts as many times as before. Overall, I had slacked off. That, I thought, must be the loophole.
However, after two or three days, I still didn't get any better. I knew that it must be that I hadn't discovered the real loophole. I comforted myself by reminding myself that, no matter what, I would get better and that it would just take more time. Master said, “As to this principle, some may understand it all at once, while others may enlighten to it and understand it gradually.” (Zhuan Falun)
A few more days passed, but I didn’t improve. I told fellow practitioners about my situation, and they started to help me by sending forth righteous thoughts with me. But that did not help.
I thought maybe this time it wasn’t sickness karma but something I had to endure. After all, not all ordeals disappear just because one is a cultivator. Master said:
“Fa-rectification is utterly solemn. When you first took up cultivation Master at that time did for you everything that should have been done. Now it's up to you to battle through tests with righteous thoughts. Master can help you when your righteous thoughts are sufficient.” (Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles)
Since I had tried everything I could think of, the last thing was to be steadfast in my belief. I tried to eliminate all other thoughts, thinking only of doing the three things well.
I then felt I was getting better.
Changing My Conventional Mentalities to Be a True Practitioner
Two days later, the severe symptoms came back again. Over the next ten days, my mind was full of all kinds strange thoughts. I was afraid that I would affect fellow practitioners, and I was scared that my husband, who didn't practice Falun Gong, would misunderstand Falun Gong because of me.
I read Teaching the Fa in San Francisco and noticed that Master talked about sickness karma. He said:
“Deal with everything you are faced with as a cultivator, and you will be able to overcome anything. (Applause) You should ask yourself: if a divine being were faced with this problem, how would he handle it? When you can't make it through, that's what you should be thinking. Just try to make it through and handle it that way, and see what happens.”
Suddenly I understood that I shouldn't think like a regular person. I realized how much of an attachment I had and that that attachment must be the root. I was not thinking like a true practitioner.
When I looked inward more deeply, I saw my impatience, self-righteousness, and fear of losing face. My vanity made me feel embarrassed, because I couldn't pass the ordeal as a veteran practitioner. Master said, “...matter and mind are one and the same” (Zhuan Falun). I had to stop all these thoughts before they got out of control.
I tried my best to participate in group Fa study and to send forth righteous thoughts. I also kept reciting “Falun Dafa is good. Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance is good.” One day I realized that, because the human body is a universe, all I needed to do was to rectify my universe with the Fa. I soon felt better, and it seemed I had passed the ordeal.
Finding the Real Root
Unexpectedly, all my illness symptoms returned two days later. If anything touched my skin, it hurt and itched. I couldn't even sleep well at night.
What on earth was it? What was my real problem?
I started to read Zhuan Falun, starting on page one, on the night of September 17. When I read,
“I do not talk about healing illnesses here, and neither will we heal illnesses. As a genuine cultivator, however, you cannot cultivate with an ill body. I will purify your body.”
“We will purify their bodies and enable them to cultivate toward high levels.” (Zhuan Falun)
I realized that my body was not the same as an ordinary person’s, that Master had purified it. Even though I had many illness symptoms, they were actually “illusions.” Whether I could tell they were illusions depended on my belief in Dafa. Actually, when my health went wrong, I worried a lot and almost forgot I was a practitioner. I thought the “illusions” were real.
I thought it was really a good chance for me to improve myself. The old forces use illusions to try to direct us to the path they’ve arranged. However, that path won't lead us to a higher level. As a Dafa practitioner, we must not follow their arrangements.
The old forces saw my loopholes and made use of them. One day when I was doing the exercises, a paragraph appeared in my mind:
“Whenever a tribulation comes, you do not see it with the side of your original nature but view it completely with your human side. Evil demons then capitalize on this point and inflict endless interference and damage, leaving students in long-term tribulations. As a matter of fact, this results from an inadequate understanding of the Fa by your human side. You have humanly restrained your divine side; in other words, you have restrained the parts that have been successfully cultivated and have prevented them from doing Fa-rectification. How can the uncultivated side restrain your main thoughts or the side that has already attained the Fa? Having humanly fostered the evil demons, you allow them to capitalize on the loopholes in the Fa. When a tribulation arrives, if you, a disciple, can truly maintain an unshakable calm or be determined to meet different requirements at different levels, this should be sufficient for you to pass the test. If it continues endlessly and if there do not exist other problems in your xinxing or conduct, it must be that the evil demons are capitalizing on the weak spots caused by your lack of control. After all, a cultivator is not an ordinary human. So why doesn’t the side of you that is your original nature rectify the Fa?” (Essentials for Further Advancement)
I asked myself: If the parts that have been successfully cultivated are divine, would a divine person think like a human? If the divine side controls the body, how would it treat interference and illusions? Would a divine being have illnesses? Isn't it a problem of changing our conventional mentalities? If all my sides are successfully cultivated, would I still think like a human being?
This enlightenment made me so happy. It seemed that I suddenly understood a lot of things. And I truly understood the meaning of “The other things that I have said are merely interpreting Zhuan Falun” (Lecture in Sydney).
“Truly understanding” doesn't mean “how do I explain” it but “how do I apply it to my actions.”
I was a little sad at the same time, because it took me ten years to understand this!