Looking Inward During a Severe Sickness Tribulation
(Minghui.org) I experienced severe sickness karma after I came back from the Fa conference in Washington DC this year. For about two days I endured a near-death tribulation, with physical suffering and mental confusion, until I overcame the test with firm faith in Master [Li Hongzhi] and Dafa. I would not have been able to pull through without Master's compassionate protection and the extraordinary power of Dafa, as well as kind help and encouragement from my fellow practitioners.
I had experienced similar sickness karma a number of times in the past, and each time it felt as if something suddenly got into my body and started to spread. When it reached my abdomen, my belly felt full and tight; when it moved to my stomach it felt like a stream of air being pushed into it. I found it hard to breathe and had sharp pain in my chest and abdomen. I could neither sit up nor lie down.
The latest tribulation started one evening. After I finished Fa study and ate, I went online to join the truth-clarification phone team. As soon as I sat down, I felt the substance coming into me again. So I asked the practitioners online to tell the coordinator that I needed to rest and would not be able to join that night.
One practitioner asked if I was all right. Before I could reply, my whole body was seized with pain. I went to lie down and started sending righteous thoughts to negate all interference. After that I started reciting the Fa. But it went from bad to worse. So I asked Master to help me while looking within.
When I experienced sickness karma in the past, I would feel better as long as I kept strong righteous thoughts and recited the Fa or asked Master to help me when it was too hard for me to bear. This time, however, nothing seemed to work, no matter how hard I tried.
I started looking within, but without any clear direction in mind. I wondered, “Is it because I still tend to complain about others? But nothing like this has happened lately. Besides, I have let go of many of my human attachments since I came back from the Fa conference.”
I felt very cold even though I had wrapped myself in warm clothes and a wool blanket. At the same time, I felt something hot in my stomach, which made me nauseous, but I could not spit anything out. I kept changing positions to reduce the discomfort, but nothing helped. I was in such pain that I was sweating all over.
I said to Master in my heart: “Master, I cannot see where my loopholes are. Please give me a hint and I will do my best to rectify myself.”
Gradually I fell asleep and had a dream. I seemed to be in a room eating sweet, delicious candies, when all of a sudden, the place was on fire. But I didn't want to leave those sweet candies. When I finally walked out, I saw a banquet with plenty of delicious food on the table. Just as I sat down at the table, I heard a voice say, “Your Falun Gong people have all gone. Why are you still here?”
I was startled and looked around. I saw a local practitioner next to me and thought. “See, there are still practitioners here.”
I was not in any hurry to leave and sat down at the table again.
When I woke up from the dream, I realized that it was a hint. I could see that I still had an attachment to food. I thought of the rice porridge and kimchi I'd eaten that evening. I had indulged myself in the same type of food for days. When I was hungry, I would open the fridge and eat kimchi by itself as a snack. I felt I could not do without spicy food. I began to wonder if it was because of this strong attachment that I was suffering such a tribulation.
I admitted to Master in my heart that I was doing really poorly. I could let go of my attachment to rich food like fish and meat, and yet I was still attached to spicy food.
The practitioner in my dream was someone I didn't think was diligent in cultivation and who was still greatly attached to comfort. I thought she only paid attention to raising her child with all the advantages, instead of being diligent in her own cultivation.
I wondered if Master was giving me a hint so that I could see a true reflection of myself through this fellow practitioner. I didn't look inward more deeply at that point and only saw my own attachment on the surface.
I thought I had at last found my loopholes. However, I was still suffering and the radiating pains reminded me of the symptoms I once had when I suffered pancreatitis years ago.
I started to ask Master for help again when the pain became unbearable. My mind was unstable and my righteous thoughts were sometimes strong and sometimes weak. It was like that the whole night. I felt a bit better after I got up the next morning, but I still couldn't eat anything. I could not focus when I studied the Fa and was half asleep when I was listening to Master's Fa teachings. All kinds of things were jumbled together in my mind as I tried to send righteous thoughts. I felt helpless.
I messaged some local practitioners around lunchtime, asking them to strengthen me with righteous thoughts. They sent me messages, encouraging me to keep strong righteous thoughts and firm faith in Master and the Fa.
A practitioner called me around 3:00 p.m. to say that he would pick me up to go to another practitioner's place for group Fa study and to send righteous thoughts together.
Thinking that his place was pretty far from mine and it was raining, I decided to drive there myself.
I managed to get to the practitioner's home, but collapsed due to pain as soon as I got there. Everyone was surprised that I was able to drive there on my own in my condition.
We sat down in a circle and studied the Fa together. I could not sit up straight and tears ran down my face when the pain became unbearable. But I felt very calm inside. After we finished reading one lecture, we sent righteous thoughts together.
Although I was still in pain, I felt much better with a clear understanding of the Fa principles in my mind.
I shared what I had been through over the past 24 hours, including how my mind was unstable and how I looked within to search for my loopholes. I also told them that I used to love to eat sashimi before I started Dafa cultivation, and that I might have accumulated many such beings in my stomach. When I was young, a neighbor gave me a folk prescription for my heart disease. He told me that I should eat the hearts of live snakes and he even asked someone to get me more than 20 such snakes. Every morning, someone would come to my place to kill a snake so that I could eat its heart. I accumulated much karma unwittingly by doing such things.
Other practitioners also shared their understandings and how they overcame their sickness karma. I looked within as I listened to them share their experiences.
Their experiences made me realize my attachment to my children. I had tried everything I could think of to encourage them to start practicing Dafa, but with very little success. Sometimes I even resorted to drastic measures, especially when it came to my daughter. When she refused to study the Fa, I would confiscate her belongings, even her handkerchiefs.
My daughter grew up in Western society and her Chinese is not very good. She rejected my way of thinking and even kept me at arm's length and thought I was violating her human rights. In the end, she said she would rather give up her iPhone, iPad, and computer than study the Fa. I was devastated.
I realized that I had failed to treat them as sentient beings and only worried that they might lose this precious opportunity if they continued to follow the crowd in everyday society.
I shared with fellow practitioners every loophole I could see in myself and all the potential attachments that might have brought about the sickness tribulation I was suffering.
At first, my voice was weak and soft, and I had to place my hand on my belly to ease the pain. Gradually, my voice became loud and clear and my back straightened up. I put aside the small quilt around my shoulders and smiled as I talked.
Seeing how quickly I'd changed, the other practitioners asked how I was feeling. Only then did I realize that I was completely back to normal. I felt quite emotional and extremely grateful to our great and compassionate Master and the magical power of Dafa. I was also very grateful to fellow practitioners for their help.
The next day when I got up to do the exercises around 5:00 a.m., I still felt a bit of pain in my abdomen. So I started with the sitting meditation, then went on to do the other four exercises. When I finished, I felt very good and full of energy.
Through that bout of sickness tribulation, I have truly realized that cultivation is a very serious matter. At the last stage of this critical moment, every single thought we have and even a single attachment determine whether we will succeed in cultivation or drop down. We must walk our cultivation path righteously.