Reflections: True Cultivation After Twice Passing Life and Death Tribulations
(Minghui.org) Greetings esteemed Master and fellow practitioners!
Nearly 20 years have passed since I obtained the Fa. My cultivation path has not been too rocky, but has also not been very smooth. Yet, I deeply felt Master’s merciful protection along the way.
The First Life and Death Tribulation
A car accident in 1995 changed me from being an atheist into a person who believed in the existence of gods. This laid the foundation for me to attain the Fa in 1997.
I was involved in another car accident in 2005, which truly was a life or death test. I felt as if two sharp swords were cutting into my body along both sides of my spine, from my neck down to my waist. I felt excruciating pain, which forced me to collapse onto the steering wheel, and I was in total paralysis.
I was rushed to the hospital. During that night, I woke up four times and felt that I was on the brink of death each time. My fight against dying was most difficult.
“When disciples have ample righteous thoughtsMaster has the power to turn back the tide”(“The Master-Disciple Bond” from Hong Yin, Volume II)
Despite the excruciating pain, I felt the extraordinary power of Dafa. Every one of my thoughts was continually on the Fa. Tears of happiness kept covering my face, and appreciation of Master's compassion was continually on my mind. I could sit up by the next morning.
The doctor and nurses did not understand when they saw me sitting up, so I talked to them about Falun Dafa. My righteous belief in Master helped me survive this test. I had completely recovered one month later.
Mighty Power of Righteous Thoughts
I only had a rough idea at the time about the existence of the old forces, the difference in thoughts among humans and gods, and what are righteous thoughts. I acknowledged them but did not have a clear understanding of these concepts. My surviving the tribulation helped me to truly understand them, which in turn gave me a deeper comprehension of the power of righteous thoughts. I could also clearly feel that my understanding of the principles of the Fa reached a new realm.
I later joined NTD television and other Dafa truth clarification projects, and have been a member of them for nearly ten years. I had my xinxing uplifted and tried to maintain righteous thoughts when facing conflicts with other practitioners. I kept reminding myself when facing the old forces’ interference that I should not be taken advantage of. Therefore, I did not experience any large tribulation, but small ones seemed to appear nonstop.
The Second Life and Death Tribulation
I participated in the Hong Kong Falun Gong parade in 2014. After that trip, I started to have symptoms of menopause. After bleeding nonstop for 50 days, I was pale and extremely weak and had difficulty breathing and standing up straight.
My mother, my elder sister, and her family came to Japan on a vacation. They could not understand why I refused to go to a hospital for treatment of my medical condition. I shared my understanding of the principles of the Fa with them, as well as my cultivation experience from over the past dozen years. They saw my firmness, so they no longer pressured me.
I did not slack off in my cultivation. I studied the Fa, practiced the exercises, sent righteous thoughts, and looked within, but my health continued to worsen. My body's ability to endure this medical condition was stretched to the limit. However, my mind was very clear. I had no doubt that if I failed this time I had a problem with my cultivation.
I said in front of Master’s photo, “I definitely won’t acknowledge any arrangement made by the old forces. I believe that I can resolve my own karma if it is mine, but I can never accept the karma which is forcibly pushed onto me by the old forces. Life or death can only be decided by Master.”
My heart thumped after this thought and I realized that I had passed this test.
When I opened my eyes the next day it took some time to realize where I was. All of the illness and old age symptoms were gone, and I realized that Master had helped me.
Master granted me another chance to feel the true belief in Master and the Fa. My mother and the rest of my family were filled with admiration and gratitude to Dafa after I spoke of what I had just experienced.
Passing through these two life and death tribulations helped me gain more confidence in my cultivation. However, the attachment of pride was growing within me.
Protective Attitude and Behavior
Before embarking on my cultivation path I was growing up to be an opinionated person.
During the Cultural Revolution, my father was categorized as “stinky number nine” [the lowest social class to be persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)], and his own father’s family belonged to “black five classes” [people who owned factories or land or intellectuals who were on the CCP persecution list], thus he was persecuted. This left deep scars in my mind from when I was young.
I tasted human well-being, ruthlessness, and the hypocrisy of social realities. My experience was beyond my age. I was confident in myself, and I trusted my judgment about society. I thought that everything relied on my fighting to get ahead. Since I was quite young, my self-awareness was very high.
I did not easily trust anyone. My sense of self-protection and avoiding harm was very strong. I gradually became a very independent person with a sharp voice and I did not care about the feelings of others.
In the early stages of my cultivation, I thought about the type of predestined relationship that had caused me to cultivate, and who I was in my reincarnated lives. Those things resulted in additional attachments.
After interacting with local practitioners, I got to know them very well. I then developed a concept of how to deal with them and with the problems I faced. I heard quite a few rumors and stories about certain practitioners who could not endure any form of persecution and then sold out other practitioners.
My competitiveness stemmed from strongly wanting to protect myself. The human notions of complaining, feeling unbalanced, and looking down upon others were growing bigger within me after each accident that occurred around me.
I did not treat these things as elements I should face correctly to improve myself. Instead, I kept complaining about why those people did not cultivate themselves, always made trouble, and interfered with others.
Meanwhile, my sense of responsibility occupied a very important position in my life philosophy. I criticized irresponsible people, complained, and was sarcastic about many things that were not righteous in my environment. I was upset with and complained about those practitioners who could not maintain righteous behavior. Due to my childhood experience, I hated or was angry with those people who could only talk a lot, shout slogans, and use logic learned from indoctrination by the CCP. I used Cultural Revolution methods to harm other people.
Conflicts among fellow practitioners often made me depressed. I knew that when problems appeared that I should deal with them using a practitioner’s mindset, but resentment and dissatisfaction hidden within me made me fail to take care of the matters in harmonious ways. Instead, the old forces used our attachments to generate gaps.
I knew these principles and warned myself not to be driven by human notions, but I failed to do that. That struggle exhausted me physically and mentally. More and more I felt disgusted with some people, and even tried to avoid looking at them.
Cultivation is like rowing a boat in the river. It either moves forward or backward. Those resentments that had been stored up for a long time had not been adjusted over time, so they grew exponentially. I finally came down with a similar sickness karma, just like the last time.
The Third Life and Death Tribulation
I developed symptoms similar to those of my previous tribulation in late December 2016. Although it was of lesser extent, my weakness was worse. The pain I had suffered the last time was still in my mind. Thus, the fear of pain was so strong that my illness worsened. This worsening of my sickness came from my pursuit.
Studying the Fa, practicing the exercises, and sending righteous thoughts were the hope that would change my current state. I kept enduring the pain so I could pass the tribulation but to no avail. My understanding of the principles of the Fa had reached a dead end.
I looked within to determine why I was able to pass the last two life and death tribulations, but not this time. I looked at each step I had taken the last time and realized that the requirements for me at each stage had changed.
This made me realize that I had not gained a clear understanding of the principles of the Fa when dealing with the previous incidents. I only had human resilience and the righteous belief in Master. Maybe that was enough to help me pull through previously.
We were near the end of the Fa-rectification, and my personality elements that were not in line with the Fa became more and more noticeable. It was hard to have a new breakthrough if I had not solidly cultivated.
Our cultivation was arranged by Master. It was set at the realm we should reach, and at which stage. Master pushed everyone who had obtained the Fa prior to July 20, 1999, to his consummation position.
“But when you are faced with various situations, and when your virtue and xinxing are all moving toward Consummation, you need to solidly improve your xinxing, and only then will it be all right.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference”)
I realized that Master was not only simply suffering for us. He hoped that we could accomplish our missions and establish our own Fa principles which could be acknowledged by the cosmos’ Fa. I failed to catch up. I thought I was solidly cultivating, but upon looking back, I was not solidly cultivating.
I thought that if I could not learn what real cultivation is from a fundamental perspective, and if I only broke through this tribulation on the surface, then I would not make it this time.
“Each of your attachments could cause your cultivation to fail. Each of your attachments could result in physical issues, and lead your once-firm faith in Dafa to waver. In other words, to tell you the truth, no one intends for your cultivation to be a success and no one is giving thought to how your cultivation goes. The old forces want only to complete what they want to see completed, and that’s it. And as for those who are carrying out the specifics, inflicting harm, and playing negative roles, they want to bring you down and to ruin this affair, as they don’t know how this affair is going to conclude. Evil is just evil, after all. Master is the only one who is steering your cultivation toward consummation; Master is the only one truly doing so.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2015 West Coast Fa Conference”)
I suddenly realized that the old forces were taking advantage of my self-esteem to deepen the gap between myself and fellow practitioners, so that we would be destroyed by mutual distrust and conflicts. I suddenly understood and was able to accept all the tribulations.
I felt that those people whom I had treated as enemies may not really understand their situations, and they may also suffer from the same hostile state. I instantly felt that my mind had broadened. I gained a true feeling of what was called real compassion.
“The outside pressures that Dafa disciples face are tests as well as opportunities to be more diligent, while the internal conflicts and pressures among Dafa disciples are, likewise, tests and opportunities to be more diligent.” (“A Congratulatory Letter to the Fa Conference of Europe”)
By looking deeply inward, I found that my self-esteem had reached a high level. I was using the Fa principles that I understood to measure everything around me, rather than using the fundamental Fa principles. Hence, what I said lacked the power to be accepted by others. I then did not have the patience to make them understand. This was actually my attachment to competitiveness.
I was forced to endure the physical pain against my will and it seemed as if I was cultivating within tribulations arranged by the old forces. This was not what I wanted! It was difficult to get a handle on how to truly deny the old forces' arrangements. I felt a pain that surpassed my physical pain.
Every day I struggled with whether to continue cultivating or to give up. In the battle of right versus evil, I firmly held onto the thought that my main conscience had to control myself. It was truly hard to maintain righteous thoughts all the time when in tribulations. In the previous tribulations, I did not know how much willpower was required. The process of understanding the current tribulation gave me greater understanding.
I realized that Master was pulling me upward. Fa-rectification was approaching its end, but I was still crawling. The standard that I should have already reached had not been achieved, thus Master had to push me forward. My present health problem was in the last stage of my human body being replaced by a divine body. I had to have righteous thoughts to catch up.
“Dafa is the Law of the cosmos, and it is what brings life into being and makes greatness possible. To learn it, it’s necessary that you study it with all due seriousness and mental calm, and do so consistently, while also ensuring that you understand what you are reading. Only when you ensure that your conduct as a person—and as a cultivator—abides by the Fa are you a Dafa disciple.” (“A Congratulatory Letter to the Fa Conference of Argentina”)
Each attachment was like a boat connected with a cable to other boats and the shore. Only when each cable was cut could we set sail and reach our destination.
(Presented at the 2017 Japan Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference)