My Understanding of Sickness Karma
(Minghui.org) Several practitioners I know have experienced sickness karma recently. Some developed serious symptoms of illness, and some even passed away. The following is my understanding of why they were not able to pull themselves out of the false appearance of being ill.
Sincerely Believing in Master and Dafa
“...behave like an upstanding and noble Dafa disciple who has no resentment or attachments, and leave it to Master to arrange whether you stay or go.” (“Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles”)
Some practitioners say they believe in Master, but their behavior is often the opposite. For example, some waver when symptoms of illness go on for a long time. They begin to think they have various illnesses, such as heart disease or high blood pressure. They work to eliminate the symptoms by doing the exercises more often and ask other practitioners to send forth righteous thoughts for them. But by doing so, their cultivation was focused on the appearance of being ill, and not on genuine cultivation.
Believing in Master and Dafa doesn't mean that one should not take medicine or stay away from the hospital. It requires us to let go of our attachments and human notions of sickness karma. It's not until we can let go of our attachments, including to life and death, and treat everything as opportunities to improve ourselves, that all the false manifestations of illness will disappear.
We know from the Fa that the factors in everyone's journey of cultivation are complicated, and we can't see the true reasons behind our experiencing sickness karma. However, as long as we firmly believe in Master and Dafa and treat ourselves as genuine cultivators, will we be able to make a breakthrough.
My Sickness Tribulation
With regards to my own situation, my left shoulder had been in pain for almost a year, and it hurt every time I did the exercises. I'd been looking inward and eliminating my attachments, but not much had changed.
I thought that it related to my reluctance to work hard, and a grievance against my parents. Their housecleaner had resigned because they couldn't get along, so I had to do the cleaning. While I cleaned the house I kept complaining, thinking that my parents were interfering with my cultivation. When I entered my parents' room, I saw a charm they'd bought to protect the house, a terrible-looking snake with two heads. I immediately decided to move out.
When my shoulder started hurting. At first I thought it was because I had worked so hard when I cleaned the house and that I would be fine after some rest. But I later thought that the snake charm was interfering with me, so I sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the evil factors behind it.
When I actually looked within I found my attachments to comfort, grievance against my parents, fear of being interfered with, and selfishness. I listened to Master's lectures while I cleaned the house, which wasn't respectful to Master. In addition, I had forgotten that Master is protecting his disciples when I thought the snake charm could affect me.
The pain didn't go away though. As time went by, I hadn't found the root of my problem.
I recently had a dream, where I was taking care of a customer who placed two credit cards on the table. When my husband approached the table I covered the cards with a piece of paper. After I woke up, I realized that I had been covering something up.
While I was doing the exercises that morning, I remembered a mistake I made in 2002 when I was held in a brainwashing center. I always thought that I did pretty well while I was held there, but when I recounted the details carefully, I realized that I did something that I shouldn't have done.
A practitioner named Mei [alias] had left her home to avoid being persecuted. She called and asked me to send her some money. The police found me by tracing her phone calls, and took me to a brainwashing center.
The police kept pressuring me to tell them where Mei was, saying she would be fine, and that we would both be released after they found her. They threatened me by saying that if they couldn't find Mei, they would arrest all the other practitioners in our city and place Mei on the national wanted list.
Mei also kept calling other practitioners to find out what had happened. Her phone calls caused trouble for many practitioners. When the police searched Mei's home they found her phonebook with other practitioners' contact details. The police then monitored the other practitioners.
To avoid more practitioners being persecuted, I decided to do something. I told the police to stop monitoring the other practitioners and to find the only person (a non-practitioner) who would know of Mei's location.
I wrote a note for the non-practitioner to deliver to Mei. In my note I asked Mei to stay firm in her cultivation, face the persecution openly and compassionately, and stop doing anything that would cause trouble for her fellow practitioners.
Because I didn't know the non-practitioner's exact address, the police took me near his home so I could show them where he lived. I thought the police wouldn't do much to a non-practitioner and my top priority was to prevent further losses for other practitioners. However, before the non-practitioner could find Mei, she came back to visit her children and was arrested at the train station.
After I was released from the brainwashing center, I felt depressed and guilty for telling the police about the non-practitioner, because he was detained for several days and interrogated.
“No matter what the situation, do not cooperate with the evil’s demands, orders, or what it instigates. If everyone does this the environment won’t be this way.” (“Dafa Disciples’ Righteous Thoughts are Powerful” from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I published a solemn declaration on the Minghui website, making void my inappropriate words and behavior.
I was a fairly new practitioner at the time and didn't have a deep understanding of the Fa. I didn't think I had done poorly while in custody. My mistake happened years ago, and was deeply hidden, so I had never dug it out and eliminated my attachment.
Changing Our Mentality
Some practitioners still linger in their initial understanding of the Fa, and haven't improved through solid cultivation. When they encounter tribulations, they don't know what to do. They lose their righteous thoughts, and behave like everyday people.
“To consummate yourself, reaping Buddhahood,Let joy be found in hardship.” (“Tempering the Will” from Hong Yin) (English Translation Version A)
Although some practitioners say that illness is a false appearance, they still cling to their human notions and end up believing that they are truly sick. They assume that the tribulation is a “sickness,” instead of eliminating their human notions and remembering they are cultivators.
The way we practitioners handle any manifestations of “illness” should be different from that of non-practitioners. For example, cultivators shouldn't think that suffering is bad, for it may be manifestations of things changing in other dimensions. We all know that doing the exercises requires enduring a little suffering. The exercises not only improve our physical bodies, but also purify the sentient beings in the cosmos we represent. Isn't suffering a good thing then?
“This is something I often say: once you take up Dafa, whatever it is you encounter--good or bad--it is a good thing (applause), for it came about only because you cultivate in Dafa. Some students experience all sorts of hardships after taking up Dafa. If you didn't cultivate, those tribulations would lead to your destruction. But precisely because you do cultivate in Dafa, even though the pressure you face is great when the hardships come at you earlier than they would have, and the tests of your xinxing are tough to pass--and sometimes the tests may be huge--when all is said and done, those hardships are all things you need to overcome, they are accounts you need to settle, tabs that you need to pay. (Audience laughs) Aren't they great things, then? So whether it is good things or bad things you run into, so long as you cultivate in Dafa, they are all positive, to be sure.” (“Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005”)
Another misunderstanding is that some practitioners think that their “illness” will be gone as long as they look inward, so they may think that looking inward is a way to free themselves from any sickness tribulation. Even though when they examined themselves they identified many attachments, their symptoms of sickness did not stop. As the symptoms continued, they even began to doubt Dafa, and their sickness became worse. Their fundamental problem may be that they didn't treat themselves as cultivators.
Looking inward is not a guarantee that your illness will be eliminated.
“The root of your health problem has been plucked out now, and only that little bit of black qi is left, coming out on its own, so that you have a little hardship and go through some difficulty. If you didn’t bear anything it really wouldn’t work.” (The Second Talk from Zhuan Falun) (Translation Edition (Feb. 2003, North America))
By looking inward, cultivators can eliminate their attachments and human notions, change themselves fundamentally, and genuinely improve. The true meaning of cultivation is to walk out of human notions and head towards the divine.