Some Thoughts on “Sickness Karma”
(Minghui.org) People have different reactions to pain. A non-practitioner might be afraid that they're sick and go to a hospital. Some practitioners think that pain means their karma is being eliminated because “In spiritual practice you must eliminate karma, and that is painful.” (The Sixth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
Other practitioners may think that their gong is increasing because Master said, “...it’s not only these channels alone, for they crisscross, and at times the whole body will feel like an electric current is going through it, or like it is cold, hot, numb, heavy, rotating, and so on.” (Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Houston)
Other practitioners might think the pain is caused by an attachment they have and that they need to look inward and eliminate it.
Practitioners are grateful for Master's help because we all know, “Going through hardship and suffering is an outstanding opportunity to remove karma, be cleansed of sin, purify the body, elevate your plane of thought, and rise in level—it’s an extraordinarily good thing.” (“The Closer to the End, the More Diligent You Should Be,” The Essentials of Diligent Progress III)
However, “...one thought can determine the outcome of things, for better or for worse.” (The Fourth Talk, Zhuan Falun) The outcome depends on whether we use human notions or divine thoughts.
Master said, “...a being's choice is up to him, even if he made some kind of vow in history. At critical moments it's still up to him what he wants to do.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A.,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol II) Our reaction to unexpected pain may determine what we have to face next.
One 60-year-old practitioner began menstruating soon after she started practicing. She thought that she was sick and went to the hospital. Doctors said nothing was wrong, but she was still worried. So, she spent 5000 yuan and had her ovaries removed. As she continued to read the Fa, she realized that her period returned just as Master mentioned in Zhuan Falun. It was actually a good thing, but she imposed a tribulation on herself.
Everyone tries to protect themselves. So, when tribulations happen, one may handle it like an everyday person.
Some practitioners think that the discomfort they experience is sickness karma arranged by the old forces instead of the manifestation of being purified or one's gong increasing. If he examined himself, he may find that he has an attachment to the fear of sickness.
If someone thinks they're sick, the old forces will arrange for sickness to manifest. They will give you whatever you are afraid of or whatever you're attached to. “Don't you think you're sick?” All right, they will make it look like sickness. If you still don't enlighten, you'll become even more afraid of sickness, and they'll make it worse. If you don't have strong righteous thoughts, you may find yourself walking on the path arranged by the old forces.
We often send forth righteous thoughts toward the symptoms. If the symptoms don't lessen, some practitioners may begin to doubt the Fa and Master. They even complain. Have you thought about this: the purpose of your sending forth righteous thoughts is to eliminate the delusion that makes you uncomfortable. But your attachment to comfort and ease gives the old forces a chance to take advantage of your loopholes. As the result, your human notions cause you trouble and tribulations.
What is interference from the old forces? What are the tests that we need to face and pass? Master has said it clearly in the Fa:
“If you're doing Dafa things and something happens during a critical time for saving sentient beings, then it must be interference. You need to evaluate it rationally. Don't be attached and think, "Whenever I suffer or don't feel well, it must be interference. I can't accept it if I'm suffering or don't feel well. I have to send righteous thoughts."” (“Teaching and explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference”, Collected Fa Teachings, Vol III)
Master also said,
“I am against all that the old forces do. I don’t accept any of it. And even less so should Dafa disciples be made to endure such suffering.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2013 Greater New York Fa Conference”)
Master has not arranged sickness karma for us because Master has pushed us past that stage in cultivation. Master also said: “I’d prefer not to even hear the word “illness.”” (The Second Talk, Zhuan Falun) So, why do we always think that we are sick?
In an article published on Minghui.org, the wife had a tumor on her abdomen and asked her husband to have a look. The husband said, “I won't, because it's an illusion created by the old forces.”
The practitioners who have passed the test of “sickness karma” appreciate Master's endurance for us and other practitioners' righteous thoughts. But from another angle, our “sickness” wasted fellow practitioners' time that could have been spent on saving people, and it also made Master worry about us. So, being “sick” interfered with our ability to save people, and it's not what Master wants.
Why do we always think that sickness is interference or persecution? Why can't it be the manifestation of “purifying the body” or “increasing gong”? Isn't it because we don't want to endure the pain and we don't want to face the pressure from our family members who push us to go to the hospital? Will this mentality help us to improve or drag us down?
“Why do Dafa disciples need to cultivate, pass tests, have strong righteous thoughts, and go through suffering? Only those things can be considered cultivation. In fact, cultivation is about coming here to suffer, not coming here to be protected in the human world. When one studies Dafa he will be protected, but cultivating Dafa also requires one to endure suffering.” (Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005)
It's not wrong if practitioners wish to feel comfortable while doing the three things. But Master doesn't just want us to save people; he also wants us to improve ourselves. We can do the three things well only if we improve ourselves.
When we endure suffering, our xinxing is improving. I feel this is part of forbearance. I believe that forbearance includes tolerance, endurance, forgiveness, and persistence. A cultivator's endurance is different from that of an everyday person, because for a cultivator, endurance is a way to improve and a means for us to return to our true selves.
I always believe that for a cultivator, anything we encounter is good. So, I always treat the physical pains as eliminating karma, purifying the body, and increasing gong, which are all good things. I believe that it's a process through which the human body transforms into a divine body. If the pain is severe, it's because a lot of karma is being eliminated and the changes are great. So, although it's painful, I'm happy.
A few days ago, I had severe pain in my brain when I meditated. I thought a layer of the celestial body is being purified, and then I felt calm. The pain was gone a few seconds later. My understanding is that the pain was an indicator that I had reached a certain level; when my xinxing improved, I passed that level.
Last August I began having periodic headaches, each of which lasted one or two days. When they came, I kept repeating, “Falun Dafa is good; Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” I pictured all the particles in my field being rectified and assimilated with the Fa. When the pain was very bad, I asked Master for help. An everyday person would not be able to endure such great pain. I felt fortunate to be a practitioner and appreciated Master's help.
I asked another practitioner, “If '...a warm current suddenly flows through your entire body, from head to toe' (The Fourth Talk, Zhuan Falun), what would you think?” He said, “Master must be purifying my body.” Then I asked, “What if you have periodic headaches?” He said, “Then it's persecution from the old forces, and I would not acknowledge it.”
Both of these are physical feelings. When they feel comfortable, many practitioners believe that Master is helping and encouraging them. But if they have pain, they believe it's interference from the old forces. Master said, “Some of you mistake the unpleasant sensations in your bodies for medical conditions,...” (The Sixth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
I never had negative thoughts when the pain came. I always thought of it as purifying the body. The pain kept weakening. A few days ago, it felt like pain was about to start. I said to myself, “My body will be purified again.” This time it didn't come. I believe it was because that layer of my body was almost finished being cleansed.
When I don't feel comfortable, no matter what I encounter, I should treat it with righteous thoughts. Even if the old forces try to persecute me, they cannot do anything. They have nothing to do with me.
Some tests went on for months or even years. I know they were due to a problem with my xinxing. What Master looks at is whether we have righteous thoughts during tribulations. Master is in charge of everything.
These are my understandings at my current level. Please correct me if there is anything inappropriate.