(Minghui.org) Several Falun Dafa practitioners in my area have experienced illness karma. Although we helped our fellow practitioners send forth righteous thoughts, some of them still passed away in pain and helplessness as the illness seemed to drag on and on. There has always been some sharing in regard to this kind of situation on the Minghui website.
I began Dafa cultivation for the sake of healing illness and keeping fit, as my health was poor. I’m in my 80s now and as I look back, it has been very difficult for me to cultivate in this respect. However, under benevolent Master’s (Master Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa) protection and empowerment, I have made breakthroughs and overcome trials multiple times. I’d like to write out my experience to share with older practitioners in particular.
Beginning Dafa Cultivation Due to Illness
I began Falun Dafa cultivation in the Fall of 1998. At that time, I was retired and had developed a long list of about 12 different illnesses. The most severe included heart disease, lumbar disc herniation, vertigo, eye problems and tuberculosis.
I was dizzy all the time, and I felt constant back and leg pain. I couldn’t open my eyes. Since small particles grew inside my eyelids, I had to go to the hospital twice a year to scrape them, otherwise I didn’t dare to open my eyes all day long. Because of dizziness, my husband didn’t want me to go out by myself, so he had to accompany me when I went out for a walk.
When I went out, I always saw several people practicing a certain type of exercise together in front of a big shopping mall. Sometimes I’d run into acquaintances and old colleagues. When they saw how sick I was, they invited me to join them by saying that this practice was so wonderful. After I talked with them a few times, I decided to give the exercises a try.
When I saw the Falun emblem hanging up at the practice site, a scary feeling suddenly arose and I felt a bit uneasy. I think that subconsciously I felt that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) wouldn’t tolerate this practice. I now believe that these complex notions became the obstacles for me to assimilate to Dafa.
The first time I read Zhuan Falun, I could hardly stick it out to the end of the book. But still, I went to the practice site every day to take part in the group exercise. After a few months, even though I only did the standing exercises and had read three chapters of Zhuan Falun, I already experienced great health transformations. I actually no longer felt dizzy. These positive changes made me really excited. Thus, I decided to carry on with the practice, and read Zhuan Falun more carefully this time.
However, on July 20, 1999, the former CCP leader Jiang Zemin and his group launched the overwhelming suppression of Falun Dafa. Earlier in life I had experienced the Anti-Rightist movement. The fear of being innocent, but defamed by the CCP made me back down to evil. I had to pack up my Dafa books and put them away and didn’t dare to practice anymore. I also refused to meet with practitioners who came to see me and ignored their actions of appealing to the government to reflect the true situation about Falun Dafa.
Due to the fear that I had developed as a result of several CCP purges, I had changed from a simple, unassuming rural girl of 18 years old when I first came into the city to a shrewd old lady who only wanted to protect myself. I knew clearly deep down that Falun Dafa was good, and that Master was the best and most righteous. But at that time, since I’d just come into Dafa, I knew very few Fa-principles and lacked righteous thoughts. Thus, I didn’t dare to speak up for Dafa and Master. Now, I feel guilty for my cowardice and selfishness back then. I let Master down.
Resuming Cultivation and Breaking Through Fundamental Attachments
When I stopped practicing, my health declined dramatically. My heart disease, high blood pressure, back problems, and other illnesses relapsed – every single one of them. Especially my heart disease and lumbar disc herniation, these relapses occurred more often than the others.
In early 2002, when I had a heart attack, I was taken to the Emergency Room and spent eight hours there before it was determined that I would survive. Faced with this life-threatening danger, I began to remember Dafa and Master. I went all over the place to look for practitioners. For the sake of healing my illnesses, I finally returned to Dafa cultivation.
1. Eliminating Thought Karma in Fa-Study
The reason I rejoined Falun Dafa cultivation was impure. In addition, under the distorted thinking and notions resulting from brainwashing by the evil CCP culture, I experienced a lot of interference during Fa-study. I understood the importance of studying the Fa well, but my thought karma was very strong. At the group Fa-study, despite the fact that I came from a teaching background, I stumbled while reading the Fa, often missing, adding, or mispronouncing words. I couldn’t take it to heart when reading the Fa at home alone. I was so worried. I truly wanted to study the Fa well, but what to do?
I saw that fellow practitioners’ sharing articles on the website mentioned copying and memorizing the Fa. I felt that memorizing and reciting the Fa alone wouldn’t suffice, so I began to hand copy the Fa. When I copied Zhuan Falun the second time, I became more attentive in Fa-study. By the time I copied the book for the fourth time, I was able to recite it at the same time. It took me 16 months to finish both copying and reciting Zhuan Falun once. Empowered by Master, I finally made a breakthrough in Fa-study. I truly came to feel the happiness of being immersed in the Fa, which helped me in working with fellow practitioners to do the three things.
After that, I began to copy other Dafa books. From 2005 up to now, I have never stopped copying the books. For the past 10 years, I have managed to copy all 46 Dafa books. Among them, I have copied Zhuan Falun 15 times, Essentials for Further Advancement at least 10 times, Guiding the Voyage, Teachings From a Tour of North America, and Teachings Given on Lantern Festival Day, 2003 three times for each book. While I was copying the Hong Yin series, I also memorized and recited them.
Through intensive Fa-study and copying and reciting the Fa, I felt my understanding of Dafa become more in-depth and my belief in Master and Dafa gradually became firm. When I studied the Fa, I could also see Fa principles and inner meanings. Especially for the past few years, as soon as my attachments and notions popped up, I’d catch them right away. Whereas a few years back, it took me a while to realize what they were.
2. Overcoming My Fundamental Attachment: the Pursuit of Being Illness-Free
Before practicing, I was very ill. The reason why I began Dafa cultivation was solely for healing my illnesses. As soon as I felt discomfort, I thought that a relapse of my illnesses had occurred. This was my strong notion that I’d held onto, as often enough, I couldn’t treat myself as a practitioner. In terms of how to treat illness karma, Master has lectured a lot on this subject. I could also understand what Master said, and knew to ask for his help when facing danger. However, it had formed a fundamental attachment of mine. When I got through a trial, I always lacked righteous thoughts and was subjected to interference from all kinds of thought karma. Then the test ended up dragging on and on, which made it very difficult for me to move forward amid the illness karma tribulations time after time.
One night in 2005 I suddenly felt discomfort in my heart. My chest was tight and I had shortness of breath to the point where I felt suffocated and experienced shivers throughout my body. It also seemed like my head was swollen and heavy. I was extremely weak and almost lost consciousness. Even though I felt terrible, I didn’t want to take any medicine. I struggled really hard to sit up, then I asked for Master’s help. After reciting the Fa-rectification formulas, I gradually regained full consciousness. Then I realized that my clothes were totally soaked. I thought that since I had practiced for a little more than three years, I should not have any relapse of illness. But why would this happen? There must be something I’d done wrong.
Thinking back on what I’d done recently, I suddenly remembered that I played Mahjong with a group of people. My husband enjoyed playing Mahjong and he had my students play with him every Friday for half a day. Because he was short one player, I stepped up and played with them. Though I knew I shouldn’t have done so, I still felt that I did not have a choice. I felt regretful and didn’t want to do it again. However, when the same situation occurred again, I let them convince me to join in once again.
Was this a practitioner’s behavior? After I enlightened to that, I immediately admitted my mistake to Master and told Him that I would never do it again. But subconsciously, I still looked at my situation as a relapse of an “illness.” Because of that, it took me five hours before my symptoms resolved.
Several months later, several relatives came to visit me and I spent the whole day entertaining them. We finished chatting around 10 p.m. and they went to bed. It was only then that I remembered it was time to send forth righteous thoughts. However, I felt so dizzy that I couldn’t move. Then I began to throw up to the point where my clothes became soaked. I suddenly remembered to ask for Master’s help to strengthen my righteous thoughts and I was able to stand up and lean against the wall.
I was unsure as to what I should include in sending righteous thoughts at this moment. My main concern was to not allow my situation to negatively impact my relatives. With this thought, my dizziness subsided, and I also stopped vomiting. Gradually, my mind became clear. I thought: It was probably because I mingled with them for the whole day, without studying the Fa or sending forth righteous thoughts, that I had this relapse. Only after I did the exercises in the morning did I feel normal once again. But why did the “illness symptoms” drag on for so long this time? Since I had frequent relapses before I started practicing, my thoughts were not those of a Falun Dafa practitioner at this time and I saw the situation as a relapse again.
Another time I was handing out truth-clarification materials on a campus. Just as I was placing the materials in the basket of a bicycle, I heard something from behind. When I turned around, I suddenly felt dizzy and fell to the ground, hitting my head on the curb. Then two female students came over to pick me up from the ground. They asked how I was. Right then, my righteous thoughts came forth. I said, “I am fine. Don’t worry about me.” Then, indeed, I turned out to be fine.
On my way home, I didn’t recall that Master said tribulations came about because debts needed to be repaid. I attributed the reason why I felt dizzy to having a relapse again. I still wasn’t assured and touched my head. It should have been fine, but suddenly I felt a big bump, which didn’t disappear until more than 10 days later. After that, I looked inward and found where I fell short. First, I considered that I had a relapse of dizziness, secondly, a bump appeared on my head due to my suspicion. I decided to rectify myself.
On another occasion I handed out informational materials in the hallway of a residential building. It was nighttime and the lights were out. I inadvertently missed a step on the stairs and fell all the way to the bottom. My head hit the iron railing of the stairs as I fell. I asked Master for help and thought to myself: I have Master, I’ll be fine. Then I quickly sat up while holding the handrail. After that, I stood up and tried to walk a few steps. Seeing that I was fine, I headed home. This time, I didn’t worry about my legs or head and I finally felt I had a bit of righteous thoughts.
I enlightened to my fundamental attachment to having illness. I also paid attention to sending forth righteous thoughts in regards to this attachment for a long time. However, I couldn’t completely get rid of it, but rather went back and forth with it multiple times. I thought I must pass this trial to eliminate this fundamental attachment. Master said,
“The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa can shatter all lies, and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts.” (“Drive Out Interference,” Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I studied the Fa intensively, spending more than five hours on studying and copying the Fa every day. Sometimes I studied one lecture of Zhuan Falun and a booklet of Master’s new lectures in one day. I also picked out a few passages of the Fa and recited them when I had time. Through intensive Fa-study and reciting the Fa, my righteous thoughts became ample. For a long time, I haven’t been interfered with by illness karma. In addition, I let go of the thought of being ill in my mind.
3. Breaking Through the Fundamental Attachment of Pursuit
I realized that I had a strong attachment to pursuit, which impacted me in passing trials. I had a long-term problem in terms of aching in my legs. After I began to practice, especially at the very beginning, I felt that my whole body was light, the same with my legs. However, when I started some renovation work at home eight years ago, I slacked off on doing the three things. At that time, my legs began to ache again.
Sometimes it got better and sometimes it was worse. But it all came down to the fact that my negative thoughts had gained the upper hand. Often enough, I’d recall the pain I had from before and hoped I could get better through doing the exercises. I was so attached to the outcome of doing the exercises. Sometimes I did Holding the Wheel or the Falun Standing Stance exercises one more time, thinking that doing more exercises would be beneficial to me and help me recover from my leg pain.
For a while, I developed the attachment of zealotry when my legs hurt less. When it got a bit worse, I got confused and forgot all about improving my xinxing, let alone firm up my faith in Master and Dafa. As I didn’t manage to improve my xinxing, I was stuck in this state for quite a few years.
Later on, with fellow practitioners’ constant reminding, sharing, and help, I began to copy and recite the Fa intensively and kept in mind at all times what Master said, “...you are here free of intentions.” (The Second Talk, Zhuan Falun)
When negative things popped up again, I eliminated them immediately. This attachment to pursuit also surfaced in other areas, with thoughts such as: Since I did well in Fa-study and sending forth righteous thoughts, would I go up one level in my cultivation? Since I did the exercises well, would I get a bit better?
In order to eliminate this thought karma, while studying the Fa intensively, I also strengthened my sending forth righteous thoughts. I not only maintained sending forth righteous thoughts at the four set times, but also joined our local sending forth righteous thoughts at our three set times. In addition, I tried to extend the time in sending forth righteous thoughts. When coming across tribulations, I’d spend the whole day studying the Fa and sending forth righteous thoughts. At night, I didn’t take off my clothes to sleep, but rather just lay down on my duvet to take a nap when I felt exhausted. Through my persistent efforts, these attachments greatly subsided.
Experiencing the Wonder of Being Strengthened by Master
At the end of this past September, I suddenly had diarrhea and ended up going to the washroom a dozen times at night. I’d had this gastroenteritis for most of my life and went through several trials in this respect. I never thought about whether I had completely healed. In the beginning, I didn’t pay much attention to it. However, after having diarrhea for three days in a row, I began to recall what Master said,
“..."good and bad outcomes come from a person's one thought."” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. V)
Master also said,
“Human or divine—the difference lies in one thought. If what arises is a righteous thought, and you take the position that all of this is false, that it’s the old forces meddling, and you remind yourself of how long you’ve cultivated Dafa for and that no such thing is possible, if that thought truly comes from within, instantly the problem will vanish.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
After I had this thought, I immediately got better.
After Master saw my righteous thoughts coming forth, he began to empower and encourage me, to have me see the miraculousness of how He cleaned up my body. At 9 a.m., when I sent forth righteous thoughts, soon enough, I entered into tranquility. Then I saw flowers in front of me, a moment of red, followed by yellow, purple, green, and blue. It was so colorful and beautiful. Then something like a black cloud came out of my body, it began to roll, and it was swallowed up by the flowers. In the end, my whole dimensional field became bright. After I came out of tranquility, I realized that 48 minutes had passed. I truly appreciated Master for having cleansed my body once again and I became teary-eyed.
The next day, at 9 a.m., the same scene appeared when I sent forth righteous thoughts. This time it lasted 40 minutes.
On day three, at 3 p.m., this miraculous scene appeared again when I sent forth righteous thoughts. It lasted for half an hour. Right then, the whole dimensional field was covered by red light. My body felt light and my mind was clear. It was such a wonderful feeling, which I had never experienced before. I was in tears and truly appreciated benevolent Master’s saving grace from deep down.
Thinking back on how I passed the trial, I came to understand that senior practitioners normally have more preconceived notions than practitioners of other age groups. Their attachment to the pursuit of having their illnesses cured is hard to get rid of. As a result, it has held them back from being diligent. With karma coming up to the surface of the body, evil beings can also take advantage of that to interfere with them. That’s how these practitioners were subjected to the interference from illness karma tribulations from time to time. But as long as we firmly believe in Master and Dafa, Master will empower us. Through persistent and intensive Fa-study and reciting the Fa, as well as the power of Dafa, by looking inwards at all times, we’ll be able to pass every trial and tribulation.
Amid tribulations, we need unshakable faith in Master and Dafa. Dispelling and eliminating negative thoughts is the key. I also finally understood the fundamental issue, which is: how could we possibly quickly improve ourselves while holding onto the principles of the old cosmos? I realized that I had previously responded to trials by wanting to just increase my Fa study time and forget about my illnesses and attachment to pursuit or improving my xinxing. Doing this always put me in the state of performing self-cultivation out of selfishness. Now, we all must fundamentally change this state of mind and only think from the standpoint of assisting Master in rectifying the Fa, truly holding ourselves to Master’s requirements to cultivate ourselves to be altruistic. Only by being rational and having faith in Master and Dafa, cultivating ourselves solidly, can we accomplish our mission of saving sentient beings and catch up with the Fa-rectification process, to return home with Master.
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