(Minghui.org) I have met several fellow practitioners who suffered from physical tribulations in the past few years. Some of them passed their tests and recovered, while others failed their tests and passed away.
One lesson to be learned from this is to truly cultivate ourselves based on the Fa and remove our attachments, so that we can avoid unnecessary losses and prevent the evil from taking advantage of our loopholes.
When we look within and cultivate ourselves, however, the fundamental goal is not to avoid persecution by the old forces. It is for genuine cultivation and a prerequisite for us to better validate Dafa and save sentient beings.
Here, I want to share with fellow practitioners several cases of practitioners suffering from physical karma. I hope that through these cases, we can improve our understandings on this matter together.
I visited a fellow practitioner who suffered from sickness karma. She was very open and willing to share her thoughts with me. She told me that she had recited the book Zhuan Falun (the main book of Falun Dafa) from memory many times. But it surprised me when she said that she couldn't remember the corresponding Fa whenever she would encounter a xinxing test.
She said that her physical condition had lasted for more than six months. She told me that several practitioners had visited her before I did. They talked about their own experiences or their understanding of the Fa. Before they left, they all asked her to study the Fa more, send righteous thoughts, and look inward more frequently. But none of the practitioners really listened to her or helped her identify her specific problems, and none of what they said truly resonated with her or was remembered by that practitioner.
A few months later, I heard that this practitioner passed away.
The conversation I had with her the other day really prompted me to think about how to better help fellow practitioners when they are in tribulation.
“So as for how you can help the person, what you can do is, first off, to help him understand things from the Fa and improve. And another thing is to have all of you send righteous thoughts together, and do more of what a Dafa disciple should do to save sentient beings. All these things can help the person.” (Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference)
Master made it very clear in his teaching that we need to help fellow practitioners do well in the three things.
I also realized that most practitioners who underwent physical tribulations had failed to do the three things well. When the illusion of sickness karma appeared, they felt helpless and easily surrendered to it, without ever thinking about the reason why it appeared in the first place.
On the other hand, the evil doesn't only persecute and interfere with Dafa disciples with sickness karma, they also use other persecution forms, such as illegal arrests, financial devastation, family conflicts, television programs, or electronic games. The question we all need to ask ourselves is this: why can they persecute us?
“It is thus all the harder to, while being subjected to ordeals imposed by the old forces, manage to walk the path correctly. And this is even more so for the Dafa disciples in mainland China. For them, amidst the tremendously harsh persecution, every single thought and idea is critical. Whether you’ve done well or not; whether or not you’ve been susceptible to being persecuted; whether or not you’ve handled things correctly and to what degree you have been persecuted—all of this is directly connected to how you have walked your path and how you have thought about things.” (“What is a Dafa Disciple,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
From this Fa teaching, I understand that Dafa disciples must be serious about any issue we encounter in our cultivation. Not only should we think about if we are doing the right thing, but also the intent behind why we are doing it – whether we do it for the benefit of ourselves, or to assist Master in rectifying the Fa and saving people.
In addition, we also have to seriously examine whether every thought we have amid the tribulation is in line with the standards of Dafa.
Take the deceased practitioner as an example. Although she could recite Zhuan Falun, she didn't know how to apply the Fa in her daily cultivation. And this may have prevented her from truly assimilating to the Fa or cultivating herself.
One practitioner's sickness karma lasted about eight or nine days. She said that her righteous thoughts remained strong during the process. Although she felt her righteous thoughts weakening on the third day, she was able to pick up after studying the Fa.
She sent forth righteous thoughts together with another practitioner for two days, lasting more than four hours each time. At one time, this practitioner felt hungry while sending righteous thoughts. She said in her heart, “Evil old forces, I will continue to eliminate you after I have some food!”
After going through the tribulation, she said that reciting the Fa during that period really strengthened her righteous thoughts and helped her pull through.
She also said that through looking within, she identified some of her attachments that caused her to not meet the standards of Dafa, and which the old forces took advantage of.
She said that she had lowered her cultivation standards and had not attended group Fa-study for a long time. Thus, she did not notice her shortcomings easily, nor could she quickly rectify them even if she did find her problem. After a long time, this state of indulgence was exploited by the evil. She finally realized how important the group cultivation environment is.
With a lax cultivation state, she spent a lot of time watching TV dramas and reading celebrity gossip on her smartphone. She immediately stopped doing this after realizing her addiction.
She identified her resentment toward her son, as she always complained that her son treated his parents-in-law much better than he treated her. She realized that this is a human sentiment and worked hard to restrain the notion.
She also had the attachment to profit, in that she worked extremely hard to make money. After letting go of the pursuit for self-interest, her mind became calmer and she could take things more lightly.
Lastly, she was confused about whether she had heart disease. She told me that she was released three times following her arrests after she exhibited some heart condition each time.
We know that the condition was an illusion created by Master to help her. But she herself became confused as to whether the heart condition was real. Through cultivation experience sharing and studies of related Fa lectures, she finally had a clearer understanding of the Fa and eliminated her notion.
This practitioner also shared with me some of the things she enlightened to from this tribulation.
1. It is imperative to clearly understand the Fa principles when we face interference and persecution. Dafa harmonizes and encompasses everything. We must listen to Master, study the Fa diligently, and share our experiences with fellow practitioners.
2. We must firmly believe in Master and Dafa. Doing so will help us maintain a rational and stable mentality when facing interference. Although the uncomfortable feelings in her mind continued through this entire period, she did not seek relief with ordinary people's methods.
3. We must be more open-minded. When we are not clear in some aspects of the Fa principles, we should speak out our thoughts and ask for help from fellow practitioners. This will also give us more opportunities to enlighten to Master's teachings.
4. Never compromise with the evil. At the final stage of her sickness tribulation, she made up her mind to fight against the old forces to the end. Her endurance to hardship dramatically improved and she finally quickly got out of the dilemma.
Some time ago, I met two other practitioners, who were also interfered with by evil forces with sickness karma. One of them never joined a Fa-study group because none were available around her. Another one stopped going because their Fa-study group was dissolved about two months before we met.
Both of them admitted that they lowered the standards for their cultivation in many aspects. They did not pay attention to their thoughts and behaviors that did not meet the standards of Dafa. Nor did they realize that their negative thoughts resulted from interference. From the perspective of cultivation, they basically remained in the state of personal cultivation. They thought only about themselves, not the big picture of Fa- rectification and our responsibility to save sentient beings.
A few days later, these two practitioners passed away.
From their stories, I think it's really important that we pay close attention to our cultivation states and align every single thought we have with the Fa. We also have to be clear that we don't cultivate for the old forces; we cultivate on the path arranged by Master. We have the responsibility to cultivate ourselves well, fulfill our mission to assist Master in Fa-rectification, and save sentient beings.