Breaking Through Sickness Karma with Solid Cultivation
(Minghui.org) Several practitioners in my area passed away recently, and I would like to share my understanding about this.
I believe the root cause of not cultivating solidly is a lack of firm belief in Master and the Fa.
Many practitioners spend a lot of time working on Dafa projects, but how often does one read the Fa? Also, there is a big difference between studying the Fa and studying the Fa well. When we substitute doing things for solid cultivation, it is the same as human beings doing divine things.
The Need to Look Inward
Even though Yue did the three things and studied the Fa well, he was injured in a car accident and passed away shortly thereafter. I remember that when he read the Fa, he used a back brace to sit upright because his back hurt. He frequently measured his blood pressure. One time, when the gauge was inaccurate, he did not enlighten and went to a hospital to have it recalibrated. When asked why he had medicine at his place, he said it was for others. Whenever a fellow practitioner tried to talk to him, he had multiple excuses ready before they could finish one sentence.
His common refrains included “No, it’s not what you think, it wasn’t like that...here’s how that thing happened, my thought process at the time was…, I didn’t have any other way,” and so on. Regardless, he never saw fault in himself. Human notions blocked him from gaining clarity, prevented his divine side from rectifying the Fa, and allowed layers of easily-eliminated evil elements to accumulate until his body was taken from him.
When another practitioner, Mei, had illness symptoms, practitioners reminded her to look inward. She said, “What am I supposed to look for? I'm cultivating pretty well. I can’t find anything!” It is dangerous when a practitioner holds on to his or her attachments and does not look inward.
Master said, “For a cultivator, looking within is a magical tool.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference” in Teaching the Fa at the Conference IX)
There is another practitioner in our Fa-study group who could keep her legs crossed for an hour–the shortest among the group. I once told her that everyone else could keep their legs crossed for an hour and a half and asked whether she was willing to take the challenge head-on and increase her endurance. She agreed. After just a week, she managed to do it. Facing this kind of advice, some people eagerly forge ahead despite knowing the difficulty; thus, they can be more diligent.
Gaining Clarity with Righteous Thoughts and Righteous Actions
Practitioner Feng's legs became swollen. With Master’s compassionate protection and fellow practitioners’ righteous thoughts, she made it through the test of life and death over the course of nine days without sleep or being able to eat or drink. However, when she felt she was well, she slacked off, and the sickness karma returned. Her legs were swollen and stiff, and her face was pale. Her eyes were filled with confusion and helplessness at the old forces’ persecution instead of a thirst for life and firm belief in Master and the Fa. I couldn’t bear the sight and told her, “If we just hold on to our belief in Master and the Fa, there is no tribulation that can’t be overcome.”
Other practitioners reminded her to have strong righteous thoughts, to read the Fa and do the exercises more often, and to reject the old forces’ arrangements. She agreed to every suggestion. However, one sentence of hers revealed her true state of mind: “I can’t do anything more to stop the old forces. I’m just waiting for Master to take away my tribulations.”
She once said, “I've asked Master for help. I've done the three things. Why haven't I seen any improvement? Why doesn't it work?” With the attachment of pursuit and the desire for things to improve more quickly, how can one get better? Trying to remove attachments and studying the Fa with these notions does not reflect breakthroughs from within. If one hangs onto attachments for a long time, it may become a loophole for the old forces to take advantage.
Feng also said that in the ten-plus years she had cultivated, she never had any tests. When I asked whether the conflicts she had with her husband were tests, she said no. When I asked what she considered to be tests, she said her current tribulation was one. She only considered major tribulations as tests and ignored the everyday cultivation of xinxing.
“… many people have really done poorly. They constantly make all sorts of mistakes, and have even grown used to it, and consider it nothing; even when ordeals come they don’t realize where the problem lies, as they have become accustomed to it and consider [their attachments] just little things. But it’s cultivation—whatever happened to being “free of gaps” (wu-lou)? There are no little things.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2015 West Coast Fa Conference”)
When one is filled with divine thoughts, the divine will strengthen him, and there is no place for evil to stay. Why does Master tell us repeatedly to study the Fa more? It is the Fa of the universe–isn’t it better the more of it one contains? For a person who is about to become a God to be controlled by the old forces and notions like “This doesn’t work, that’s not good, I can’t stand it, I’m not handy at this,” and so on, how pitiable it is! Those notions confuse our true selves and make it difficult to pull ourselves out of them. I sincerely hope Feng can find her true self and strengthen her righteous thoughts.
Practitioner Dong had illness symptoms, and her condition was up and down. She was too weak to walk and lacked righteous thoughts even with fellow practitioners present. When they asked her to eat, she said, “Don’t you hurt me.” She took eating as harming her. Whenever other practitioners left, she was low-spirited and lost. She was hospitalized and passed away after only a few days. Before she passed away, she often said, “I don't want to live anymore. I’m going to see Master.” Wasn't she giving the old forces a reason to persecute her?
The author of an article published on Minghui.org shared her experiences of passing a sickness test. When she was in severe pain, she read three lectures of Zhuan Falun every day and did the exercises twice a day. By my calculations, she practically spent her entire day immersed in the Fa. Thus, there was no room for the evil to persecute her. She had strong righteous thoughts, did not acknowledge the persecution, and did what she should do each and every day. In just a few days, she was back to normal.
Removing Reliance on the Coordinator
Over the past 18 years, Master has given us many opportunities to mature, through which we should have become self-reliant while forming a whole body to increase our overall strength. Do we need to ask the coordinator about everything? Each practitioner should be able to handle things on their own based on the Fa and walk his or her own path. Master arrangers each person’s path for himself, not for the coordinator.
Some practitioners feel that the coordinator has a strong field, has cultivated well, and has ample righteous thoughts. Those are the result of their cultivation; a coordinator should first and foremost be a cultivator. One article mentioned that a coordinator is not a person in charge, a parent, or a teacher. A coordinator also needs to right his mind, keep his attitude in check, become part of the whole, and assimilate to the Fa in order to elevate his xinxing and cultivate himself well. If everyone asks the coordinator, it would take up a lot of his time and make it difficult for him to study the Fa well and maintain clarity.
These attachments of reliance and idolization may also lead to the coordinator developing the attachments of zealotry and showing off, potentially contributing to bigger losses.
Each of us has the responsibility to cooperate with each other smoothly and augment each others' weaknesses or strengths. If we don't cultivate well individually, it may harm the coordinator and in turn affect the entire group of local practitioners.
Examining Every Thought
Why does Master ask us to pay attention to every thought of ours? My understanding is that every thought is a test. In order to cultivate every thought, we need to read the Fa well. If one’s mind is filled with the Fa, human notions will not be able to interfere. If one evaluates everything with the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, one’s mind will be full of righteous thoughts. Whatever one does will be on the Fa.
We should look at everything with a cultivator's heart and compassion. If we haven't done something well, we should look inward. Instead of getting trapped and blaming ourselves, we should stride forward diligently. We should be able to accept criticism and correct ourselves.
Everything we encounter in cultivation is a good thing, so we shouldn't try to hide our attachments or look for excuses to justify them. Master said in Zhuan Falun, “I hope that after going home everyone will make the best use of his or her time for genuine cultivation practice.”
I also wrote this article for myself. I still have a lot of attachments I need to remove. Before the end of Fa-rectification, let’s not wait but cultivate solidly.