Letting Go of the Notion “We Will Age as We Get Older”
(Minghui.org) Master cherishes Dafa disciples. He has saved us from hell, arranged our cultivation paths to elevate our xinxing, adjusts our bodies and protects us at all times. What for? It is because we bear responsibilities and historic missions.
It has been 20 odd years since our revered Master started to teach the Fa, and many practitioners have also been cultivating in Dafa for a long time. Whether we have been diligent or not in cultivation, we can see that there are physical changes in every practitioner on different levels.
Some practitioners in their 80s or 90s look 20 years younger and are still very energetic and busy doing the three things. However, there are also practitioners who have aged a lot in their appearance.
I would like to share some of my understanding of the issue of how practitioners deal with natural aging.
Practitioners' Life Cycle
The universe goes through a cycle of formation, stasis, degeneration and destruction. The length of each stage varies a lot in different dimensions. For an everyday person in the human world, his life goes through birth, old age, illness and death. No one can escape the path, no matter how famous or wealthy one may be.
As cultivators, we must do away with the notion that one would naturally age as one gets older. Since we started to practice Dafa, Master removed the bulk of our karma, rearranged our lives and pushed us to a very high level. We are no longer beings in the three realms or the old universes.
Although we are still cultivating in everyday people's society, and the tribulations and physical pain we experience are more or less the same as those of everyday people. However, they are only a fraction of our own karma, which were arranged for us to elevate our xinxing at different cultivation stages.
“A little bit of tribulation is arranged at different levels, and this is especially so for practitioners in the process of their cultivation, that’s all your own karma, they’re your own tribulations, and they’re placed for you at different levels to help you improve. As long as you improve your character you’ll be able to get through them.” (The Seventh Talk, Zhuan Falun, 2003 Translation Version)
Therefore, it is a good thing when we come across any trouble or tribulation. Part of such things may appear in the process of natural aging, and we may show similar signs as everyday people. But, if we are not careful, we could slip into everyday people's mindsets and walk a path arranged by the old forces. The key point is whether we firmly believe in Master, and always use the Fa to measure everything we think or do.
My Teeth Reminded Me that I Cultivate
My husband is a dentist and runs a dental clinic. It is therefore very convenient for me to have dental problems fixed.
A few years ago, one of my molars on the right side started to ache all of a sudden. As we have a family dental clinic, I had it treated, and the dentist put on a crown.
Soon after, a molar on the left side also showed cracks, so I went through the same procedure. It took quite some time to get it fixed. I thought: It's good that I have all my teeth problems fixed.
However, it didn't take long before four of my bottom front teeth turned black in color and another molar on the upper right started aching badly, with a small lump growing next to it.
Only then did I start to think: I am a cultivator. How poor has my understanding been!
At that time, I had been practicing cultivation for 18 years and never took any medication during those years. I have also pulled through a few life and death tribulations with the help of my firm belief in Master and Dafa. I often say to fellow practitioners: I never bother with hospitals, medications, dietary supplements, health supplements, folk prescriptions or things like that, because they have nothing to do with me.
However, I failed to think that my husband is also a doctor. Seeking treatment with him is the same as seeking treatment in a hospital. Am I regarding myself as an everyday person? In fact, Master had dropped hints to me again and again, but I did not enlighten to them.
As a cultivator, I should view my toothache as a good thing for elevating my xinxing and looking within. I could see a number of attachments I still had: I'm pretty fussy about what I eat, and the taste of food. I was pursuing a happy and comfortable life. I have also done poorly with my cultivation of speech.
I'm determined to let go of all these attachments. I said to myself: For the debts I owed, I would repay them, but I would not allow evil to interfere with me in doing the three things.
There is a saying that goes: “Toothache is not an illness, but it's overwhelmingly painful.”
Seeing that I was in enormous pain, my husband tried a number of times to talk me into having it treated. I also knew that the pain would be gone as soon as he drilled open my tooth and applied some painkiller. However, I'm a cultivator of forbearance, and I must pull through this test. I told my husband not to worry about me and I would leave everything for my Master to take care of. A few days later, the pain was gone.
Due to the work requirement, I had an X-ray taken of my teeth a few months later. The doctor was surprised when I told him that I was in my late 60s, because the x-ray showed that I had a set of very healthy teeth, with the roots, the gum and the crowns all in perfect condition, including the molar that had a lump next to it.
Furthermore, the four lower front teeth that had turned dark black in color had also become normal again. The senior dentist said he had never seen anything like this. But I knew these were manifestations of the extraordinary power of Dafa.
Last year, the root of one of my molars swelled, pushing up the molar and it became very loose. It was very painful and I could not eat. I looked within immediately and found an attachment to eating meat.
Actually I didn't like eating meat since childhood, and had no interest in tasting any kind of meat. After I started cultivation, I felt I could eat meat, and the craving began to grow.
Each time when I read the section about “Eating Meat” in Zhuan Falun, I would think that I had no attachment in this respect, and therefore I never paid any attention to cultivation in this regard. But my attachment to eating meat had grown stronger and stronger.
One day, I made myself a bowl of braised pork in brown sauce. I enjoyed it very much and had a strong attachment to it. Master dropped hints a number of times, but I failed to pay much attention to the problem. Now I have had another “warning stick.” After I found my problem, the molar was back to normal three days later.
As time went on, I forgot about the lesson. One day, we had a recreational event at work, followed by a feast. I took a big piece of braised pork and told a colleague sitting next to me, “This meat is very tasty and good for your complexion.”
That evening, the molar I had trouble with started to ache again and became loose. I developed the attachment to meat again.
I felt I had let Master down and was determined to let go of all my attachments to any kind of food and desire. After breakfast on the third day, I realized that I was actually eating with the aching molar, but there was no pain at all. The molar became normal without me realizing it.
I treated my toothache, and the discoloring of my teeth as elimination of karma, as a way that Master was helping me improve my xinxing. At the same time, I also let go of some bad substances and attachments in eating and cultivation of speech. Now, at 71, I still have a very good set of healthy teeth.
Age Is Only a Number
In the last five or six years, I have experienced some “aging” symptoms. Apart from the teeth problems, I had numbness in my right toe, failing eyesight and some deafness in my right ear. If I read a bit longer, my eyes would become blurry as if they were covered with a layer of something. This had directly interfered with my Fa study, which is not a small issue.
“Dual cultivation of nature and longevity means that while cultivating your character, you are also cultivating longevity, or in other words, you are transforming your innate body. While your body is transforming and human cells are being gradually replaced by high-energy matter, the aging process slows down. Your body will show signs of returning to youth, returning gradually and transforming gradually. When it’s finally completely replaced by high-energy matter, your body will have been entirely transformed into another kind of physical body. That kind of body, like I said, will have gone beyond the Five Elements, it won’t be within the Five Elements anymore. And your body will never degenerate.” (The Fifth Talk, Zhuan Falun, 2003 Translation Version)
I thought to myself: I must negate all the arrangements by the old forces and treat the various symptoms with righteous thoughts of a Dafa practitioner.
After I looked within and let go of my attachments, all those symptoms disappeared and everything was back to normal. Now, my eyesight is as clear as when I was young, the numbness in my toe has long gone away and my hearing is also back to normal.
For a while, I always felt that I was trapped in the process of aging as if I was controlled by a kind of bad substance. I had troubles one after another, which directly interfered with my doing the three things. So I sent forth righteous thoughts more often and for a longer time.
One morning, as I was sending righteous thoughts, I saw a few bad things running in front of me. I started chasing them. They ran to a big square and hid in a quiet place. But, I found them and ran over to them. I pointed to them and shouted “Eliminate.” Instantly they exploded, like a black mushroom cloud that went up in the sky.
I thought: “I have destroyed them at last.” But the cloud suddenly spread out and formed a black wok as big as the sky, and I was trapped underneath it. I panicked and didn't know what to do.
Just then I heard a voice in the air: “Jump out!” I knew it was Master helping me. I jumped up and instantly saw a completely new world, where the sky was clear and the sun was shining. I took a breath in relief. Suddenly, I saw a sea of flowers in front of me. It was so beautiful! I knew that Master was encouraging me and had helped me jump out of the restraint of the old forces.
A few days ago, I was sharing with a fellow practitioner about the issue of aging. I found that I had a big fear of aging, even death. I hoped that I could stay young and good-looking. All these are deep-rooted attachments to pursuit, which I had not paid much attention to in the past. The fellow practitioner said he had similar attachments too.
I have noticed that many fellow practitioners in our local area have done very well in passing big tests and tribulations, as well as in saving sentient beings, but have not paid much attention to the issue of aging and have displayed signs of such symptoms.
I realized that the root cause of our fear in aging lies in selfishness, and our desire for a healthy and long life, attachments to fame, self-interest and human sentiment, as well as the pursuit of many other things in the human world.
Talking about desires, I have not paid much attention to this attachment in the past. An everyday person has a multitude of desires for things in this human world. Sometimes such desires become stronger and stronger and they would stubbornly try to achieve a particular desire, and along the way they would develop many attachments to combative mentality, jealousy, showing-off, etc. For a cultivator, it is so important to let go of all these desires.
Let us review some of Master's teachings together.
“To be a cultivator, you have to cultivate yourself right there in the environment of ordinary people, you have to temper yourself there, and bit by bit get rid of your attachments and all those different desires you have.” (The First Talk, Zhuan Falun, 2003 Translation Version)