My Understanding of “Sickness Karma”
(Minghui.org) There were several articles in the Minghui Weekly Vol. 912 about sickness karma. I appreciated these experience sharing articles because the practitioners had a very good understanding of the topic. In light of these articles, I would like to share my own experience, and those of practitioners around me, on the topic of sickness karma.
Getting Rid of the Notion of “Being Sick”
I have an older sister who is deaf and mute. When I was young, every time she came to my house, I wouldn’t touch anything that she'd touched, and I wouldn’t eat anything that she'd eaten, either. This was because I was afraid of being deaf like her. After I grew up, in a casual conversation, my oldest sister mentioned behaving like that too, and I then realized that I wasn’t the only person who had such a mentality. My oldest sister did too. Later, after I started to cultivate Falun Dafa, I recognized that it is a notion and an attachment of fear.
I used to be very upset, as I didn’t know how to get rid of this attachment. When I saw people with freckles or people with vitiligo riding on the bus, I stayed far away from them as I was afraid that they would touch me and I would become like them. I wanted to get rid of the attachment, but didn’t know how to remove it from the root. When I studied the Fa continuously, I realized that I needed to get rid of my notions and change my concept of illness. Only then would I be able to get rid of the attachment.
“And once the person is frightened, it’s an attachment—fear—which has to be dealt with, then. And so the greater the person’s fear, the more it will seem that he has some condition. He simply must be made to break the attachment, learn a lesson, and grow from it spiritually by letting go of his fears.” (The Sixth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
When the attachment of fear came up again, I told myself that that was not me; it was the notion that was fearful. I practice Dafa and I won’t be ill. Some years ago when I went out with a practitioner, we had a minor car accident and my left leg was injured. The bone underneath the knee was hit, and it bled and hurt a lot. I cleaned it with water and it took a long time to heal. Finally it seemed to be alright, but then the wound began to ooze pus.
In fact, this happened because of my attachment of fear—the fear of having an infection. As a result, the fear brought me trouble and the wound just wouldn’t heal. It looked alright on the surface, but after a few days, foul smelling pus seeped out. Even in the winter I had to roll up my pants to keep it exposed to the air. I dared not take a shower for fear of water getting into the wound. I was worried.
This condition lasted for a long time until one day as I studied the Fa, I realized that to completely let go of fear meant to not even look at the wound or take care of it. I rolled down my pants and didn’t check whether any pus was seeping whatsoever. I just didn’t think of infection. If I had to take a shower, I just went ahead. A few days later, the wound miraculously healed. I realized that having fear was actually a pursuit.
“If a practitioner always thinks he is ill, he is in fact asking for it—asking to be ill. And then that illness can push its way in. A practitioner’s plane of thought should be high. You shouldn’t always worry that something ails you, for your fear is an attachment and will bring you trouble just the same as other attachments. In spiritual practice you must eliminate karma, and that is painful. A higher energy like gong is most definitely not something gained through comfort and ease. Without suffering, there would be no way to break your attachments.” (The Sixth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
After I got past this tribulation, I understood that the oozing pus was a false alarm that was caused by my fear. My suffering was a good thing, because I was paying off karma.
There was another incident that taught me about karma elimination.
One day in the summer of 1999, I was preparing a meal for my parents. I was holding a big pot of congee and accidentally slipped. The boiling hot congee poured over my left leg and the burning pain made me cry. My father, who was also a practitioner, said jokingly, “Isn’t it a good thing that you’re paying off karma? Why cry?” I wiped away the tears. Yes, he was right. The pain became more bearable. I washed my leg with cold water and after a week or so it was healed. Although a lot of blisters had formed, there was no scarring.
These tribulations happened in the early stage of my cultivation. We treated them as good things because they helped us reduce karma. However, now that we are at the later stage of cultivation, we feel helpless and stressed when physical tribulations occur.
Now that I think of it, it is strange that each time I paid off karma, my left leg and foot often hurt. Then one day I had a dream in which I was in the early days of the Republic of China, a chaotic period of time. I was a man and lived in an attic in Yunnan Province. Some people were chasing me and I hid upstairs. They chased after me and beat me, poking me with long bamboo poles. I became angry and ran downstairs and grabbed one of them by his head. I used force to twist the person’s head, putting his neck on my left knee. I strangled the person who beat me, killing him. After I woke up, I realized that the recurring pain in my left leg was for the karma I committed at that time. Because of Falun Dafa, I only suffer a little for the karma of killing someone. It is Teacher who has borne the sin for me! The suffering is meant for me to elevate my character.
There was a story from when Teacher spread the Fa in the early days. Teacher left the lecture hall and came out to the foyer to take a break. He walked over to heal someone in a wheelchair. Teacher smiled and said, “OK, you can stand up now.” The person didn't stand up. Teacher encouraged him, “You’re alright. You can stand up now and walk a few steps.” The person stood up and walked forward a few steps. Teacher said to him, “Walk some more and a little bit faster.” The person walked around his wheelchair. (The sharing is entitled Recalling the Days When I Attended Master's Lectures.)
There are countless miraculous stories of Dafa in those early days. Of course, cultivation has come to the present day and the standard of the Fa is also high. But as our character improves, Teacher can do anything for us.
“Nothing has changed. Master is still the same Master he was at the beginning, and the Fa of the universe will never change. (Enthusiastic applause) It’s just that during this persecution, during this so-called “test,” some people have gotten rid of their attachments while others have not, and some have actually increased their attachments. This is how they have acted during this so-called “test.” It is you who are changing; it is Dafa disciples who are changing. And if you are not changing in the positive direction, you are changing in the negative direction, for sure.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2014 San Francisco Fa Conference”)
I must use the Fa to rectify and correct myself. When I let go of the fear of getting sick, there is no concept of illness in my head. All tribulations and pains are actually good things. When I don’t care about the false visions of sickness karma, and don’t even entertain the thought of leaving the world in the midst of suffering, it is certain that I can make a breakthrough.
Righteous Thoughts Will Strengthen One’s Mind
I knew about a practitioner whose husband was illegally detained, and she needed to take care of her child. When she experienced the false vision of sickness karma, she was painfully resisting it. She held on to the thought of not dying. She said to herself that she wanted to follow Teacher to the end and wouldn’t do anything negative to affect Dafa.
She enlightened that since Teacher had already cleansed her physical body, she was healthy. When she got rid of her notion, it helped to correct her thinking and spiritually, she was able to do what she needed to do. She didn’t continue to seek comfort while she was actually suffering; on the contrary, she went against it. When her stomach was upset, she ate all kinds of fried food and drank cold water (which Chinese people usually try to avoid). In a few days, she recovered. Of course, in the process, this practitioner was able to find the loophole that she'd created in the first place and correct herself. She asked Teacher to help when she was in the most desperate moment. “I felt ashamed for asking Teacher so many times to help me. But I still needed to ask him for help,” she said. But this was how the practitioner made it through her tribulation. It was easier to say than to do.
“Material and mental phenomena are the same in nature.” (The First Talk, Zhuan Falun)
I think that only when we rectify our thoughts and put our words into action can we say that we have truly improved.
There was an article entitled Actively Negating the Old Forces' Persecution in the Minghui Weekly Vol. 912. In the article, there was this dialog:
“I asked, 'It’s a great opportunity to improve your xinxing when you feel sick. Since it’s a good thing, why are you scared?' 'I’m not,' she replied. I suggested, 'If you were not scared, then you should face it candidly with a smile.' She then said, 'I can’t possibly smile when I’m like this.' Still, her notion had not changed and there was still fear.”
I don’t know what others feel when they read the exchange. For me, I felt that if the practitioner could truly smile when she was faced with sickness karma, she was no longer passive; instead, she was actively dealing with the issue. This change of notion comes from understanding the Fa, not a surface-level understanding. If she could put her understanding into real action, it would be truly getting rid of that notion!
“What is true faith? You’re merely saying with your mouth that you have faith, but in your heart you don’t actually have faith. Why do I say that? Because when you truly have faith your actions match your words.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Europe”)
This made me recall a character named Xiaomei in an animation. She lived with her sister and father. One day they moved into an empty house which had been uninhabited for a long time. There were many coal worms in the house. The two sisters were very afraid of the worms and were teased for it. When they were not afraid of the worms anymore, their laughter helped to make the worms go away.
“It’s known that illness is actually seventy percent psychological and thirty percent physical. When a person’s health takes a turn for the worse, it’s usually that he is first worn down mentally, stressed out, and having trouble coping.” (The Sixth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
The process of helping practitioners is also the process of how we make improvements ourselves. Practitioners that are in midst of sickness karma are also suffering, so we need to encourage them to move on. We need to use our understanding of the Fa to tackle issues in their minds and give them the time to correct themselves. We cannot casually define something for practitioners, and nor should we judge them by thinking that they will not pass the tribulations. This kind of negative mentality will not play a positive role. Didn’t Teacher say:
“When disciples have ample righteous thoughtsMaster has the power to turn back the tide”(Hong Yin, Vol. II, Translation Version A)
Please point out anything that is not in accordance with the Fa.