My Faith Saw Me Through a Life-and-Death Test
(Minghui.org) About a year ago, I experienced a life-and-death test. I didn't plan to write about it. However, I decided to share my experience, which validates the amazing power of Falun Dafa.
One day in August 2016, I suddenly experienced symptoms of severe illness. My stomach became extremely upset. I couldn't sit up and I was so nauseous that I kept vomiting. I was soaked with sweat. I knew the old forces planned to take my life. This went on that entire day. The symptoms stopped for two days, but then resumed and were worse. My abdomen became so swollen that I looked like I was pregnant. My mid-section was hard and numb. Unbearable pain tortured me every second. My tummy felt like it was being burned with fire and pierced with needles. The slightest movement caused sharp pain. It was hard to breathe. I couldn't sit or lie down. I felt like I was about to die.
Fellow practitioners took turns and stayed with me every day. We studied the Fa, shared our understanding, did the exercises and sent forth righteous thoughts. I endured the pain. When I studied the lectures in Zhuan Falun I refused to lie down, no matter how painful it was. The pain was so excruciating that I couldn't lie down to sleep at night, but had to lean against my bed. This went on for almost three months.
I began to look like a skeleton. However, I knew Master was strengthening me and I was filled with righteous thoughts. I strongly believed in Master and Dafa. During the worst days, I wasn't afraid of death, but instead felt calm. I didn't worry that I had a serious disease, or even think about going to a hospital.
Master told us,
“True cultivators have no illnesses.” (Explaining the Fa for Falun Dafa Assistants in Changchun from Explaining the Content of Falun Dafa)
I strongly believe what Master said. I told the old forces, “I will follow Master no matter what you try to do to me. I don't acknowledge you.” I remained firm with my thought: My faith will never waver even if I lose my life, because I'm here for Dafa.
I understood what Master taught,
“In the face of tests one’s true nature is revealedAchieve Consummation, becoming a Buddha, Dao, or God” (True Nature Revealed from Essentials for Further Advancement)
I felt that I wouldn't be able to pass this test if I didn't have 100% strong faith in Master and Dafa. Even 99% wouldn't be enough.
The old forces began to play games with me, seriously interfering with my mind. Sometimes I had thoughts about dying, but I refused to recognize them. I rejected these thoughts as soon as they surfaced. When I questioned my willpower and ability to endure hardship, I remembered the following Fa,
“A Great Enlightened One fears no hardshipHaving forged an adamantine willFree of attachment to living or dyingHe walks the path of Fa-rectificationconfident and poised” (Righteous Thoughts and Righteous Actions from Hong Yin II)
I realized that I'm a cultivator. How could I possibly lack willpower? I often recited this poem during the three months of physical suffering.
The other practitioners were worried about me, so some of them spent the night with me and sent forth righteous thoughts for me. All the practitioners in our area formed one body. They treated my issue as if it were their issue. With their patient help, I looked inward unconditionally and examined all my attachments. I asked myself, “Is my reputation more important than my life and my cultivation?” I was determined to expose all my mistakes and attachments, because the one who was afraid of being exposed wasn't me, but the old forces. They would die when I fully exposed them. This was a process of denying the old forces.
I told the other practitioners all the mistakes I'd made in regards to lust, and told them that I was afraid of letting others know that I had made these mistakes. My attachment to reputation was hidden. I realized the only way to break through this was to let go of all my attachments and follow what Master taught. I knew that I did the right thing by exposing them.
I also found many other attachments, including showing off, validating myself and my accomplishments. I had treated any accomplishment I'd achieved through Dafa projects as cultivation, but the truth was I barely studied the Fa, did the exercises or sent forth righteous thoughts. It was equivalent to a non-cultivator doing Dafa projects. As I exposed these attachments, they disappeared, because they weren't part of me. My true self is composed of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance. These acquired notions have nothing to do with me.
Even though I identified my attachments, my symptoms didn't change. One day, a fellow practitioner picked up Zhuan Falun and asked Master to help us. He opened the book and saw the section about “practicing only one cultivation way.” When he told me about it, I immediately saw my loophole. There was a local practitioner whose celestial eye was open. She and another practitioner came up with something they called, “dashing to the heavens and clarifying the facts to Buddhas”. They would worship various Buddhas first and then clarify the facts to them. I was involved in this. Since I had worshiped various Buddhas, they wanted to take charge of me. The old forces must be trying to take my life for what I did.
I was reading “Practicing Only One Cultivation Way” in Zhuan Falun with fellow practitioners one day, when the excruciating pain hit me again. It was so terrible that I couldn't help rolling over in bed. The other practitioners immediately sent forth righteous thoughts for me. That evening several practitioners came to read this section of the book with me and to send forth righteous thoughts. However, my pain was still very bad until midnight. The next day, another practitioner suggested I write a solemn declaration to void what I had done. I immediately wrote it. She submitted my statement and it was published online. The pain in my stomach got better.
A child practitioner saw Master write these words for us: “Study the Fa, Do Exercises, Send Forth Righteous Thoughts and Save Sentient Beings.” My faith became stronger when I heard this. I realized I should deny the old forces' arrangements in my thoughts as well as in my behavior, and do all three things well.
Even though my abdomen remained swollen, I managed to distribute truth clarification materials in the evening. Local practitioners accompanied me. The first evening, I could hardly move my legs because of the extra weight I carried in my abdomen. As I persisted, I could walk farther and farther each evening, and felt lighter and lighter. Eventually I was able to ride my bike. I knew Master was encouraging me to continue. I went to a market to clarify the truth with the other practitioners.
During those three months, I cried in front of Master's portrait several times. I sincerely apologized for my mistakes and regretted what I had done. I stayed firm in my faith. Finally, I noticed that my navel could move up and down. I realized Master was helping me cleanse my body. My stomach slowly became flatter and flatter.
As Master wrote in his poem,“When disciples have ample righteous thoughtsMaster has the power to turn back the tide” (The Master-Disciple Bond from Hong Yin II)
I finally returned to normal! My experience proves that Master can do anything! I continued to look inward unconditionally.
As Master said,
“Take a bottle that’s filled with filth, cap it tightly, and throw it into water, and it’ll sink right down to the bottom. Then dump out that filth inside it, and the more you dump out, the more it’ll float up. And when it’s dumped all the way out it’ll float all the way up.” (Zhuan Falun)
No words can describe the depth of my gratitude to Master. I got on my knees and thanked Master for giving me a second life! I also thank my fellow practitioners from the bottom of my heart for helping me through my difficult time! I couldn't have done it without you! Thank you!