By Changing My Conventional Thinking I Eliminated My Fundamental Attachment
(Minghui.org) Master said,
“...you will not be informed of a tribulation or conflict ahead of time. How can you practice cultivation if you are told everything? It will not serve any use. They usually occur unexpectedly so that they can test one’s xinxing and make one’s xinxing truly improve. Only then can it be seen whether one can maintain one’s xinxing. Therefore, when a conflict arises, it does not occur accidentally.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
In October 2020 as I was making lunch for my family, I seemed to stagger and began to have vertigo. I quickly finished and lay down. The discomfort was hard to describe. I could not move and I could barely think.
After a while I slowly realized, “I can’t keep laying down like this. I have to get up.” But I couldn’t move. I picked up Zhuan Falun, which was next to my pillow.
I opened the book, looked at Master’s portrait, and said, “Master, I must make it to the end, I must hold on.” Then it occurred to me it was disrespectful to speak to Master while lying down. I had to sit up. Feeling a little better, I slowly stood up. I struggled for a while and gradually felt better.
The next morning, I was able to get up and make breakfast and felt fine. I began to think about what had happened the day before. While looking inward, I wondered what the issue was. It suddenly occurred to me it could be a symptom of high blood pressure. That thought was wrong.
I thought about my family—my parents, my brother, my husband, my sister-in-law, and her daughter—all had been diagnosed with high blood pressure. I thought about the threat and consequences of that condition and started to get dizzy again.
This went on for a few days. I realized that, if I thought I had high blood pressure, it might actually happen.
“As a practitioner, if you always think that it is an illness, you are actually asking for it. If you ask for an illness, it will come inside your body. As a practitioner, your xinxing level should be high.” (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)
Prior to this, when I had problems with my teeth or eyes, although I denied it, I actually endured it internally. Because of that, I slowly accepted the abnormal conditions. Was I able to do differently this time? I kept looking inward while reciting the Fa over and over. I kept encouraging myself and boosting my confidence with what Master said:
“No matter how much I say, you still have to walk the path of cultivation yourselves. To walk this path well and progress to its end--nothing is more extraordinary. I say that because during the journey you will have hardships, tests of every sort, unforeseen ordeals, and you will have unexpected interference from all kinds of attachments and emotion. The interference will come from family, society, good friends, and even fellow cultivators. And along with this there is interference from changes in the state of human society and from human notions that were formed in society. All of those things can drag you back to being like an ordinary person. But if you can break through all of it, you can advance towards godhood. So as a cultivator, what is truly remarkable is when you can be steadfast and have righteous thoughts so firm that nothing can sway you. Be solid and firm like diamond, or granite, and then nothing can affect you--evil will be afraid at the mere sight of you. If upon encountering trying circumstances your thinking can be truly righteous, then, when faced with the evil’s persecution and when faced with interference, just one sentence of yours fortified with steadfast righteous thoughts can instantly make the evil disintegrate (applause), and it will make those who are being used by the evil turn and flee, it will make the evil’s persecution of you dissolve, and it will make the evil’s interfering with you disappear without a trace. One thought born of righteous faith is all it takes. And whoever can hold firm that righteous thought and go the distance will become a magnificent god forged by Dafa.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. International Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. VII)
I recited this Fa over and over every day, and I was able to steady my mind and firm up my determination.
Changing My Mindset
While we were sharing experiences, a fellow practitioner told me not to think that what I was experiencing was illness. She reminded me Dafa disciples do not have illnesses, that the symptoms are all illusions. Illnesses are bodily conditions of everyday people. She urged me to abandon my conventional way of thinking.
I realized that conventional human thinking was the culprit—and made me think I had an illness whenever something happened to my body. Playing back the incident in my head, I realized my first thought was righteous: “I can’t fall down, I must make it to the end!” So I did not fall.
However, my second thought deviated from the righteous path and went back to thinking about human “illness.” As a result, I began to feel dizzy every day.
This is just like Master said,
“All of those things can drag you back to being like an ordinary person.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. International Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. VII)
Then how should a Dafa disciple look at abnormal bodily conditions? I remembered:
“Regardless of whether it’s the old forces’ arrangements or karma, we should first of all examine ourselves. I ask you to cleanse yourselves first even when you send righteous thoughts. Look at yourself first, and if you discover that you have a problem, take care of it. With that the old forces won’t be able to do anything; when they can’t find anything to hold against you they will back off.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. VI)
Master made it very clear. In my understanding, when abnormal conditions surface, an everyday person sees a doctor and takes medicine, while a cultivator should look inward. It was easy to change conventional thinking when I was young or when the abnormality was minor, but when the tribulation was great, it was an ordeal.
I told myself, “I want to believe in Master and remove my conventional human thoughts about illness. Dafa disciples are immune.”
With this clear understanding of the Fa, whenever the thought of illness surfaced, I recited Master’s Fa to suppress it. By doing this, I made it through and changed my mindset about illness. Just like Master said, “When it’s impossible to do, you can do it.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
I also pondered a question during the process: What is the significance of faith?
After I obtained the Fa, I was full of joy, a joy from the bottom of my heart. After that, on my long path of cultivation, no matter what difficulties I encountered, my faith in Master and Dafa has always sustained me. I always feel fulfilled and that I have something to look forward to.
Through this test of sickness karma, I saw another issue. Whenever a problem arose I immediately became diligent. When there was no problem, I slacked off. Why? After pondering on it, I found the problem: Subconsciously, I still yearned for a happy life free of illnesses and conflicts. My cultivation was driven by a yearning for the good life.
“What’s a fundamental attachment, then? Human beings acquire many notions in this world and are, as a consequence, driven by these notions to pursue what they yearn for. But when a person comes to this world, it is karmic arrangements that determine his course of life and what will be gained and lost in it. How could a person’s notions determine each stage of his life? So those so-called "beautiful dreams and wishes" become pursuits that can never be realized, despite painful attachments.” (“Towards Consummation,” Essentials for Further Advancement II)
The stages of one’s life are determined by karmic relationships. There is no such thing as walking away without paying back the karma one owes. We practitioners should look at things differently from everyday people.
In the midst of conflicts with everyday people, fellow practitioners, or family, we are to eliminate karma and ascend. In the process we practice our faith without compromise, strengthen our faith, eradicate the pursuits of everyday people, and assimilate into the Fa.
As a practitioner, one must be clear that Dafa is not to be used to eliminate our troubles in society, in our family, or among practitioners and that Dafa is not to be used to protect or prolong one’s life. Dafa is for people to get rid of all human perceptions, especially when sickness karma strikes, to be able to do what Master says, “...they don’t have the concept of life and death at all.” (“Teaching the Fa in New York City,” Lectures in the United States)
Master also said,
“The reason I ask you to study the Fa more, eliminate more of your attachments, and let go of various human notions, is to allow you to not just take a portion away with you, but to reach Consummation.” (“Melt Into the Fa,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
Reflecting on a Fellow Practitioner's Experience
I thought of fellow practitioner Amy (an alias to protect her privacy) and her last days. Amy had been haunted by sickness karma and could not let go of her human thoughts. She became blind and was on dialysis for eight years.
In August 2020, Amy made up her mind not to use human means to sustain her physical body. She stopped all treatment, studied the Fa for a long time every day, and viewed the sickness karma as a practitioner.
I asked her, “Have you really made up your mind this time? Have you thought about the two possible outcomes?” She said she would never go down the path of the past. I imagine during the process Amy’s thoughts might have also wandered, just like my first thought was righteous but my second thought was off.
During Amy’s last two and a half days, practitioner Betty (an alias) stayed with her to read the Fa with her. According to Betty, Amy could not walk on her own, but she kept reciting aloud Master’s poem
“Righteous Thoughts and Righteous Actions
A Great Enlightened One fears no hardshipHaving forged an adamantine willFree of attachment to living or dyingHe walks the path of Fa-rectificationconfident and poised”(Hong Yin Vol. II, The Grand Verses, English Translation Version A)
She moved one step as she recited one verse. Betty looked at her and cried. That weekend Amy’s daughter came and took her to the hospital despite her protests. When they returned home, Amy passed away peacefully.
I asked myself what I thought about Amy’s last choice. Would her life continue to be prolonged if she discontinued the medication slowly? No. That would be looking at things from the perspective of an everyday person. It was wishful human thinking.
There's a saying, “Every medicine has a side effect.” Weaning off the medication would still confine oneself to the human concept of seeking medical treatment.
As practitioners, we cannot do that. The more we go on like that, the further away we are from the goal of our practice.
Master told us,
“What’s cultivation? We just want to cleanse, cleanse step by step, all the way up. Cleanse it—it’s as simple as that!” Yet when manifest at different levels, it becomes paving the way, having troubles, enduring hardships, eliminating karma, cultivating, and so on, cultivating one way, practicing another way...” (Teachings Given on Lantern Festival Day, 2003)
But Master said we could go to the hospital. I feel that is Master’s compassion, but it does not mean that the standard of cultivation is lowered for practitioners.
“If you view it in human ways, then the old forces will think you’d better go to the hospital or see a doctor.” (Fa Teaching at the 2019 New York Fa Conference)
Master also said,
“A person’s every thought is built on a long period of cultivation. Everyday people’s thoughts are extremely complicated and they have all kinds of attachments. How could they not be scared at the critical moment of life and death?” (“Teaching the Fa in New York City,” Lectures in the United States)
In fact, a fellow practitioner had sensed Amy’s departure many times during her last year, only this practitioner did not understand it at that time.
In her last two or three months, Amy said many times that the progress of Fa-rectification had come to its end and that we must seize the time. She donated all her savings to Dafa projects and seized every possible opportunity to share her understandings with fellow practitioners and everyday people around her. She looked inward, eliminated attachments, and also completed the Dafa project she was involved in perfectly. Many people admired her
Master said, “"Everything in the cosmos has a certain predetermination to it"...” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. V)
When I think about it, Amy's passing had little to do with her discontinuing medication. Her clear understanding of the Fa and her firm choice determined her position.
When we read Zhuan Falun every day, have we understood this sentence:
“There is no precondition for practicing cultivation, and one should practice cultivation if one wants to.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)
I think this is the code of conduct for Dafa disciples. If we believe in Dafa, we must practice it without compromise; we cannot be hindered by our physical bodies.
“...in spiritual practice one is supposed to become “free of omissions.”” (Fa Teaching at the 2019 New York Fa Conference, Team Yellow Translation)
Master also said,
“Each person’s situation is unique. But I would like you to know one thing: now that you have Dafa with you, you have gained the Fa, and your life belongs to the Great Way, so you should forge ahead without any doubt, with righteous thoughts and actions, and do things as I have taught you.” (2018 Fa Teaching Given in Washington, D.C., Team Yellow Translation)
Amy put Master’s Fa principles into action and forged ahead.
A few days later, Betty had a dream. Several practitioners were standing next to Amy's casket. Suddenly the lid of the casket opened and Amy sat up. I wept when I heard this.
In my understanding, at the end of Amy’s life, she finally understood what was required of her. With her firm belief in the Fa, she let go of life and death and transcended her human shell.
“The most difficult test for people, the test that must be passed during cultivation, is to let go of life and death. Of course, not everyone has to be confronted with the test of losing his life, but it’s not altogether impossible that this will happen. When each person faces his own most difficult test, when he is tested to see whether he can let go of his biggest attachment, he is in fact being tested on whether he can let it go. If he is able to let go of life and death, he is a god; if he isn’t able to let go of life and death, he is human.” (Teachings at the Conference in Australia)
After passing my sickness karma test, I understood that cultivation is about removing all human perceptions and cultivating righteous faith in Dafa, no matter what difficulties one is facing.
Now that the Fa-rectification has come to an end, Master’s compassion is for his disciples and also for the world. As a Dafa disciple, we should be vigorous and diligent!
In the days to come, no matter what hardships I encounter, I will follow the Fa principles of Falun Dafa. I will not go awry. I will practice cultivation to the end and follow Master home.