(Minghui.org) A practitioner once shared the importance of our first thought when encountering tribulations. She said she had projectile vomited after having a snack, but recovered quickly after negating the tribulation and refusing to acknowledge the old forces' persecution.

At another time, she had a sudden, sharp pain on her leg at midnight, like an electric shock. The pain continued until she finished doing the Falun Dafa exercises. She looked inward and thought it was caused by her anger with one of her children a few days prior.

When I first heard her story, I felt that this practitioner had strong righteous thoughts. The process of how she negated the tribulation is a very familiar experience to me. But a few days later, after I gave it some more thought, I had a different understanding of how we should handle tribulations when it happens.

Cultivating by Dafa, Not the Old Forces' Arrangements

We often hear people talk about how to follow the course of nature. As cultivators, we refer to the laws of nature as the characteristics of the universe. By conforming to the characteristics of the universe, we can do things well. But if we deviate from the characteristics of the universe, we cannot get things done or do them well.

While cultivating in ordinary people's society, we must conform to the Fa principle at this level. On the other hand, the Fa has different requirements and manifestations at different levels. As cultivators, it becomes part of our cultivation to enlighten to what's the correct Fa principle in everything we do. If we do everything based on the Fa, we can do thing well.

With that said, when we look at the aforementioned practitioner's experience again, we may have a different perspective.

The practitioner was angry with her child, and after she returned home, she was still indignant and complaining in her mind – this was not in line with the Fa. So her leg pain or uncomfortable feelings could very well have come from the karma she generated when she became angry.

We should look within under all circumstances. But what that practitioner did had an underlying message that she first acknowledged the old forces and then negated them.

The old forces often tend to interfere with our cultivation with harsh punishment, if we don't do things by their standards. If we think the pain was caused by the old forces and we look within because of that, then the process of negating the old forces becomes: “What did I do wrong to make the old forces unhappy, so they made us suffer?” In order to relieve the pain caused by the old forces, we tried to figure out the reason. After we figured it out, the pain would disappear.

To give an analogy which may not be completely relevant, the old forces are like those sham qigong Masters. When our Master held his classes, the old forces also held sham qigong classes nearby. This was to see whom we listen to.

In fact, our cultivation is a process of assimilating to the characteristics of the universe, rather than a process of satisfying the old forces. Letting the old forces take charge of our cultivation is like a child trying to satisfy his rude parents – how can we expect a rude parent to bring up a good child? If we cultivate this way, we only get closer to the old forces, not the Heavens.