Awakening to Genuine Cultivation Through an Illness Tribulation
(Minghui.org) I began practicing Falun Gong in 1997, and within a month, all my chronic illnesses were gone. Before, I was not living a good lifestyle. I drank a liter of hard liquor and smoked 3-4 packs of cigarettes a day. But through practicing Dafa, I was able to quit both of these addictions. For the first time in my life I felt healthy, and was grateful for Falun Dafa.
These positive changes were reflected in my work, and at home. I earned recognition at my job for being a hard working and dedicated employee, and my family life was harmonious.
In the spring of 2016, my vision became blurry, and I developed numbness in my hands and feet. Skin ulcers appeared on my lower extremities. I lost a lot of weight.
My family urged me to seek medical attention. Since I did not treat these things as a cultivator should, I went to the hospital and was diagnosed with diabetes with systemic complications. At risk of losing my feet, I checked into the hospital, and was there for two weeks.
After my release, the doctors put me on daily medication. My blood sugar was very high, and I was hemorrhaging under my eyes. My vision deteriorated to 20/100—I couldn't even see my feet when I walked. The numbness in my legs and feet increased as my sensitivity decreased. In addition, I started to have urinary retention and constipation, and my lower extremities were covered with ulcers.
A practitioner came to visit me on November 30, 2017. The first thing she said was “Why are you still taking medication?!”
Her words went straight to my heart, and I felt ashamed. “Why am I still taking medication?” I thought. “Didn't I regain my health after practicing Falun Gong? After 20 years of cultivation, how could my health get worse?”
As I reflected on it, a chill ran down my spine. After all these years, I was not a genuine practitioner! I did not have complete faith in Master Li, and Dafa.
Indulging My Attachments
When the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began persecuting Falun Gong in July of 1999, I slacked off in my cultivation. I was not diligent in studying the Fa, doing the exercises, or sending righteous thoughts. I spent less time clarifying the truth and exposing the persecution. My xinxing fell as my human attachments to things like competitiveness, showing off, fame, sentimentality, etc., got stronger.
For example, people in my town were building new, courtyard-style houses. Due to my attachments to profit and showing off, I had to build a bigger one. But I covered up these attachments and made excuses, telling myself that it gave me the chance to talk about Falun Gong with construction workers.
I spent less time on my responsibilities as a Dafa disciple, and instead started new hobbies: root carving, gardening, collecting stones, etc. Many of these indulgences directly contradicted the Fa's requirements.
Since I studied less and less, I would lose my temper over simple things, and even use foul language. Master Li often used ordinary people's words to enlighten me: “You are a cultivator, you should not lose control, nor speak that way. Are you aligned with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance?” But I did not listen and kept doing what I was doing.
I even started gossiping and became a picky eater. I also made excuses for not sending righteous thoughts four times a day. When I was busy building my home, I didn't bother to send them at all.
Yet when my health deteriorated, I wanted a quick recovery, so I gave out Falun Gong pamphlets around the clock. But since my intentions were not pure, my xinxing did not elevate, and my health did not improve.
When interference appears, one needs to cultivate, and look within. I asked myself: “Am I a genuine practitioner? Am I worthy of the title of Fa-Rectification Dafa Disciple, with the responsibility to save sentient beings?”
When I began the practice years before, Master cleansed my body and restored my health. He endured so much for my sake. What have I done for Dafa? Or the sentient beings in my cosmic body? Have I considered other practitioners?
“Whether you can let go of ordinary human attachments is a fatal test on your way to becoming a truly extraordinary being. Every disciple who truly cultivates must pass it, for it is the dividing line between a cultivator and an everyday person.” (“True Cultivation” from The Essentials for Further Advancement)
A Change of Heart
I decided right then I would be a genuine Falun Gong practitioner.
With this strong righteous thought, I felt a sudden numbness in my toes. Puss oozed out of them, soaking into my socks. My room smelled foul.
I knew it was the old forces' doing, and that I needed to use righteous thoughts to eliminate them. I begged Master Li for wisdom, and the power to overcome this.
I remembered that Dafa is both compassionate, and dignified. So I touched my ulcer-covered feet and spoke to them gently.
“Lives and elements that are causing my health problems—please leave quickly. I am a cultivator watched over by Master Li. I will endure my own karma, but I don't recognize your persecution, and will no longer allow you to damage my body.
“It is not that I lack compassion for you. You will be blessed if you remember Falun Dafa is good. If you don't leave now, I will eliminate you.”
I recited Master's words:
“During the Fa-rectification of the cosmos, I can make a reasonable arrangement for those of you who don't interfere with my validating the Fa; I can have you become beings in the future. Those of you who seek a benevolent resolution should leave me and wait in my surroundings. If you really cannot leave me, then don't have any part in interfering with me. In the future I will be able to achieve Consummation, and I will offer you a benevolent resolution. Those who are completely bad, who still interfere with me and who cannot remain, will, according to the standards, have to be eliminated. Even if I don't eliminate you, the Law of the cosmos won't let you remain." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York")
I said to these beings: “I practice Falun Gong, and follow Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. Master opened my meridians when I first began cultivation, and my circulatory and nervous systems have been smoothed out.
“From this moment on, I believe in Master Li and Dafa one hundred percent. I will have nothing further to do with you.”
I told them that although I have shortcomings and human attachments, I am now truly a genuine Dafa practitioner, in full control of my body. All my attachments and mistakes will be corrected by Dafa. Other lives are not allowed to be part of my cultivation, or to use sickness karma to interfere with me. If they do, I will eliminate them. “You harmed my body because of my mistakes. I need my health to save more sentient beings and let them know the goodness of Dafa.”
After sending righteous thoughts for two and a half hours, the redness in my ulcerous feet faded. Puss stopped flowing, and scabs formed over 80 percent of the wound. The swelling went down as well.
I stopped taking medicine. Although my wife was upset over this and called our relatives to put pressure on me, I did not yield. She stopped eating, and would not listen to reason. She even threatened to end our marriage, saying that I had to choose between her, and Dafa.
"You are my wife, an important part of my life. I will take care of you. You have to eat,” I told her. “If you want, you can be a good wife to me - our future is bright. If you force me to choose, I can only choose Dafa. I won't stop you if you want to leave me. It's up to you.”
My heart was calm. I cooked food for her and cared for her. She started eating a few days later.
My ulcers were still oozing blood and pus, and my vision still blurry, but my heart was firm.
I again remembered Master's words:
“Tis not that the journey of cultivation is painful, Karma from generation upon generation is blocking you. Steel your will, eliminate karma, cultivate xinxing, and become a Buddha who keeps forever the human body. ("Cause and Effect," Hong Yin)
Yes! I am a genuine Falun Gong practitioner, and nothing can shake my will!
Witnessing my recovery process, my wife became my supporter. If I forgot to send righteous thoughts, she would give a shout: “It's time, do the important thing!”
“Whether you can let go of ordinary human attachments is a fatal test on your way to becoming a truly extraordinary being. Every disciple who truly cultivates must pass it, for it is the dividing line between a cultivator and an everyday person...You must remember this: Cultivation itself is not painful—the key lies in your inability to let go of ordinary human attachments. Only when you are about to let go of your reputation, interests, and feelings will you feel pain.” (“True Cultivation” from The Essentials for Further Advancement)
This experience was a big test for me. Only by having complete faith in Master and Dafa was I able to overcome it.
As I focused anew, and spent more time studying the Fa, my xinxing elevated. My mind became clear. I continued sending righteous thoughts to eliminate interference, and my body changed tremendously.
My blood sugar became steady, and I ate whatever was put in front of me. I gained almost 20 pounds in one year. I used to drink a lot of water because of my high blood sugar but now drink normally. My urinary retention and constipation went away.
My vision went from 20/100 to 20/30.
My feet have recovered, and the skin is smooth. I used to wear two pairs of socks in the winter to stay warm, but now one is fine. Because of my skin ulcers, my room had a foul smell. But I no longer have that body odor, and live a normal life.
In the past, my understanding of the Fa had been rather shallow, and I did not completely let go of my human side. I was not diligent with my cultivation. This caused my physical condition to deteriorate over time.
After a year of suffering from sickness karma, I finally woke up.
“The time for actual cultivation in studying Dafa is limited. Many students have realized that they need to hurry up and diligently make continual progress. Yet some students do not treasure their time, and focus their minds on tangential issues.” (Awakening, Essentials For Further Advancement)
From this experience, I now realize that, as long as I put my heart into it and cultivate diligently, my xinxing and gong will elevate, and the old forces will not be able to interfere in my cultivation. Searching within oneself is not just something we say, it is to actively eliminate our attachments.
If we can clearly distinguish between our human thoughts and the righteous thoughts of a cultivator, Master will help us. Our supernatural abilities will emerge only when we reach the standards of a cultivator.
Master Li said,
“We emphasize one point: If you cannot relinquish the attachment or concern for illness, we cannot do anything and will be unable to help you.” (Zhuan Falun)
I hope my experience can be used as a wake-up call for other practitioners suffering from sickness karma, and interference. It is an opportunity to look within, and ask ourselves: Do I believe in Master and the Fa? Am I living up to the standards of a cultivator? Am I a genuine cultivator?
We are on the path of higher cultivation. Like Master Li said:
“...you have to truly hold yourself to the requirements for a cultivator. Even though sometimes you still can't quite get there yet, you've got to at least have those righteous thoughts, and you've got to cultivate yourselves.” ("Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference")