Looking Inward to Overcome Interference from Sickness Karma
(Minghui.org) I went through a long period of sickness karma interference between late June and early November. It started with flu-like symptoms, then my ears became blocked, causing loss of hearing in my right ear for over three months. I believe that this was interference caused by loopholes in my personal cultivation.
Throughout the four months, I did not stop the pace of truth clarification, or take time off work. It was a difficult period of cultivation because I had to continuously look inward searching for attachments and eliminate them with real action. Step by step, I kept digging into my xinxing issues.
Giving Up Comfort
The first issue was an attachment to comfort. My daughters left home for school in New York, while at the same time, several Dafa projects I had been working on no longer needed my commitment. While searching for other opportunities to clarify the truth, I found that I had a lot more available time. For months, I slept for 7-8 hours per day, spent a lot of time on cooking and eating, and also became attached to marital life.
I spent a lot of time on Fa study and daily exercise, but I became absent-minded when studying the Fa, doing the exercises, and sending righteous thoughts. Those times were so precious when my children were still at home, so I was fully focused. Now with more free time, I did not cherish them as much as I should have. This has been a long-term struggle, but I learned to watch my thoughts and bring myself back as soon as possible.
The attachment to sleep and food was gradually abandoned. As long as I did not eat too much at dinner, I had no problem getting up early. A month ago, a practitioner suggested studying the Fa together over the phone after sending righteous thoughts at 2:00 a.m. very early each morning. It worked surprisingly well. At the beginning, I went back to sleep after studying. Now, most of the time I can finish the two hours of exercise right after Fa study. My daily sleeping time has dropped from 8 hours to 5 hours.
I recently went to a remote city to clarify the truth. On a Friday morning, I left the city at 3:00 a.m. and came back to work before 7:00 a.m. I did not feel sleepy at all during the three hours and forty five minutes of driving. It was a big advance in overcoming my attachment to sleep, food, water, and fear of the long-distance drive.
Fear of Betrayal
The second attachment was the fear of family betrayal. As a child, I'd witnessed my father betray my mother for a younger woman when he was in his fifties. My older brother betrayed his wife for a young girl while in his forties. In my mind, the human world is full of lies. This was the fundamental attachment that made me start cultivating 18 years ago. In 2011, I witnessed the crisis of two practitioner families after both male practitioners in their forties fell for a 26-year-old female practitioner. I lost trust towards all practitioners around me, including my own husband. I was thinking that this could sooner or later happen in our marriage, since I believed that all men have this problem. Because of this, I constantly got into conflicts with my husband and I questioned whether I should have married him. I wished that I had stayed single so that I would have had more time for personal cultivation.
During a quarrel with my husband three months ago, he asked me, “Are you really considering divorce? If so, it will not end well.” Without answering him, I sat down and started to meditate. My mind gradually calmed down, and I asked myself, is divorce a practical solution?
At that very special moment in my life, I thought about all the mainstream clubs that I visited to clarify the truth of Falun Dafa. Those noble people celebrated wedding anniversaries at club meetings just like birthdays. I used to wonder why they did that. A great answer emerged during meditation. Marriage is more than personal life. It is the foundation of human society. It is an example to our children that we are able to resolve conflicts. It is like working for an institute for 17 years or running a family business for three generations. When you can make a career or business go for so long, it is truly a success. The anniversary is a symbol of the success of maintaining the marriage. Every couple needs to go through these conflicts to reach this success.
Tears came to my eyes. With this clear answer, I realized that marriage is not about personal feelings. It is a responsibility, regardless of whether I am happy or not. With this clear answer, I told my husband that I would not mention divorce again. We have since not had fights with each other.
Thinking the Worst
Digging deeper into this fear, I found my attachment of always planning for the worst. Longing for a good human life is fine for everyday people, but for practitioners, all tribulations are for our improvement. We should thus change our mindsets. One day, when my husband yelled at me for no reason, my bad ear was suddenly able to hear again, although just partially. Through this incident, I realized that I should change my human notions and regard being mistreated as a good thing. If I have to choose between being insulted by someone and getting sick, I would rather be insulted.
The beginning of this sickness karma also coincided with a conflict with a project coordinator. He was not active on a certain project, but was not allowing me to take the lead.
I have been working on this project for 17 years, by pushing and dragging him behind the scenes. We have lagged behind so much that we have blocked the progress of the whole U.S. Although I care for this project like caring for my own baby, I have no intention nor energy to take it over. For years, I have been worried about the future of this team, especially when the coordinator was not diligent.
This fear still haunts me as I write this article, forcing me to dig deeper for the reason. Am I attached to truth-clarification or to this project itself? There are many ways to clarify the truth. If this coordinator or this project fails, I can find other ways, or another practitioner will take over. I cannot change the path of others. Worrying about it only creates endless trouble for myself. I always want things to develop in my preferred direction. When it does not happen that way, I become upset or do extra work to save it. It is time for me to re-evaluate the situation and to allocate time and energy where they are truly needed.
Jealousy and Sentimentality
The complaint towards the coordinator also has the element of jealousy because I did more work than him but my dedication was never recognized. It also contains the attachment of sentiment, because we have been working together for 17 years and I regard him as family. I have painstakingly tried to help him for years. I need to let him go, let him take his own path, even if he quits cultivating. Everyone has to take his or her own path.
The last attachment that I discovered was that of having a mentality of superiority. I was born with talent in math and science. My parents sent me to a bad high school, but I won a top prize in a national competition. Because of that, I went to a top university in China, then came to a prestigious research institute in the U.S. for graduate school. When I graduated, the institute, which was ranked as No. 1 in the world that year, offered me a permanent job as a staff member. Whenever I clarify the truth to people, I always present myself as a scientist. The proud expression on my face always made people think I was a professor, but I am not. I did not lie about my job, but people do misinterpret it.
One day I suddenly realized that people often praised me when I clarified the truth, and my ears always felt worse afterward. I decided to present myself with a lower profile. I adjusted my personal introduction clarifying the truth, then sent it out to several groups. Two days later, my ears completely recovered.
Still Looking Inward
In summary, I've learned never to give up during a long-lasting sick karma tribulation. We should keep looking inward and keep improving. Cultivation is serious and is for the long term. I still struggle with some of these attachments, and I hope that this article will serve as a reminder to myself and other practitioners who might still be experiencing sickness karma.
Category: Improving Oneself