(Minghui.org) I started to experience back pain on April 29 and it was hard for me to walk or stand up. The pain was indescribable and I was unable to fall asleep at night. I started to listen to the audio lectures of Master Li, the founder of Falun Dafa, and my husband told me to look inward. However, I didn’t think I needed to. At night, I was unable to use the bathroom and had to ask my husband for help. I did my regular household chores in the morning, but my back still hurt. I thought to myself: Regardless of any attachments, the old forces cannot interfere with me. Only Master is in control of my body. My legs started trembling in pain while doing the fourth exercise. 

I was unable to straighten my back one day while doing the laundry. I started to deny all the pain, but in reality, I burst out into tears and said: “Can I really overcome this tribulation?” I started to grow resentment in my heart and thought that it wasn’t fair that I was doing all the housework. I was thinking like an ordinary person; the thought that no one truly cared for me appeared in my mind. My daughter passed by and asked if I was okay. I said: “It pains me so much that I hold grudges against you and your father. Help me send forth righteous thoughts and bring me Master’s lectures. It hurts me so much that I can’t move.” My daughter said: “Calm down and let me read the Fa to you.”

While listening to my daughter reading the Fa, I began to think this was significant interference in my cultivation. Though I was unable to properly study the Fa or practice the exercises, deep down inside I denied this interference. While sleeping at night, I felt a big lump as big as a rice bowl in my stomach. I started to get anxious, thinking that I might have a tumor growing in my stomach. I began to eliminate this thought and regarded this occurrence as something good. I thought to myself: If an ordinary person who just started cultivating can be healed from cancer, what am I to be afraid of? I have been cultivating for 20 years and Master will help me as long as I firmly believe in Him and the Fa. 

Cultivators are often quite fragile during difficult times and I kept thinking: “Why can’t I overcome this tribulation? When will this end?”

Master said: 

“When many of you are going through a test—be it what you call a test of “illness karma” or some other trouble—you can’t identify what your attachment is, and you can’t figure out what exactly the cause is, then let me tell you about something: Dafa disciples absolutely cannot fall short of the standard. When you are about to pass a test, when you’ve almost gotten through it, but there’s one attachment that you haven’t removed, then it will prevent you from meeting the standard and passing the test. If you cultivate well, you will be able to pass it, right? But you simply cannot pass it and so you remain there. That thing may not be something big, though—that attachment is not big, it’s quite small. But because you just cannot perceive it, you are unable to pass the test and you keep staying at the same spot. This is not to say that you have cultivated poorly. You just haven’t thought the matter over seriously and haven’t come to realize that that thing is not in line with cultivation! And if something is not in line with the state of a cultivator or with what a cultivator should have, then it’s a problem!” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2014 San Francisco Fa Conference”)

Upon reading this passage of Fa, I felt very encouraged and my heart warmed. Master was strengthening my righteous thoughts during my tribulations. It’s not that I’ve cultivated poorly, I just have many attachments that I have yet to relinquish.

I put down the book and started thinking rationally. I realized that the pain in my legs was tied to an attachment I’m harboring. I immediately thought about how I have been resenting my husband and how it had become quite strong. When this thought emerged, the pain in my legs subsided, but it still hurt a bit occasionally. Then I thought further: “Where did I go wrong? What am I so attached to?”

While cooking at night, I was cutting a batch of vegetables. When it was cut in half, I saw that the vegetables all had rotted cores. I thought: “Is this because my heart has not assimilated to the Fa? On the surface I look quite diligent, but deep down inside I still have to break through many human notions. I was not cultivating genuinely by abiding by Master’s Fa. I wasn’t taking cultivation seriously. Just because I do the three things doesn’t mean that I’m truly cultivating. I need to cultivate my heart and strictly adhere to the Fa; cultivation is not child’s play. Every thought and notion need to be on the Fa and everything happens for a reason. Everything I encounter is an opportunity for me to cultivate and improve.”

Though I persisted in studying the Fa and practicing the exercises for 20 days, my cultivation state was still not good. One day my daughter said: “Mom, seeing how your cultivation state has not improved, you probably have not found the root cause of your problems. This is serious interference.” I told her that I could not find the root cause of my problems. In the past, whenever my husband told me to look inward, I used the excuse of not being able to see what’s happening in the back of my head. In reality, this was my notion playing out: Not admitting to my mistakes and thinking that I’ve cultivated very well. 

While practicing the second exercise one day, I thought about how poorly my father-in-law treated me. Suddenly, I realized that this was a strong attachment to resentment. I was oblivious to how this resentment had grown to be so big. 

I resented how we had to provide for him financially all these years, and deep down inside I have been very unwilling to help him out. I was far from the standard of a genuine cultivator, a person with high moral standards. On the surface I looked very filial, but that was not my true intention. I would get upset when my husband suggested we visit my father-in-law. I would often say: “Why are we always going there? It is a waste of time. We should make use of the time to study the Fa.” However my true intention was to avoid my husband giving more money to my father-in-law. If my husband insisted to go and visit, I would tag along and not let him give his father any money. I wasn’t able to let go of this attachment. 

I finally found the root of my attachment. I thought it was fine to treat my father-in-law poorly since he did not treat me well. I did not perceive these small attachments and eventually the resentment slowly accumulated and became a huge tribulation. Amidst the huge tribulation, I was oblivious and could not find the root cause. I was mentally tired and it resulted in me not believing in Master and the Fa. 

After finding the root of my resentment, the discomfort in my body completely disappeared. 

After experiencing this physical discomfort, I became more alert and realized that cultivation is very serious. We will not improve if we don’t relinquish our attachments. 

Looking back on my cultivation path of more than 20 years, the definition of “diligence” to me has been to seek comfort in life and seek good health. It seemed to me if I slacked off studying the Fa, my health would be poor. As a result, I was selfish and studied the Fa with pursuit. I have found my deep-rooted attachments of resentment, fame and profit, jealousy, and the mentality of showing off. I need to eliminate these attachments and enlighten to the truth that good things or bad things are all truly good things.

Chinese version available

Category: Improving Oneself