(Minghui.org) I am a Falun Dafa practitioner who started practicing Falun Dafa in 1997. I would like to share how I overcame a severe tribulation three years ago.
A Battle with Demons
Three years ago, the husband of a practitioner named Amei, suffered a stroke. Some practitioners from our area went to her home to help care for her husband. Two months later, some practitioners returned and mentioned that the cultivation environment at Amei’s home was not ideal.
I paid little attention to this news until one night, two days later, I was about to fall asleep when thoughts of Amei suddenly appeared in my mind. While trying to recall the details of her appearance, I heard an unpleasant sound in my mind. An extreme sense of fear hit me. Then, I was awakened, drenched in a cold sweat, afraid, and unable to go back to sleep. I did some Dafa exercises before I was able to calm down.
Thereafter, I felt compelled to recall Amei’s appearance. However, her features continued to elude my memory. Each time I tried to recall Amei, a state of extreme fear would resurface. By the third night, my body and legs felt physically weak. To relieve my symptoms, I ventured from my room and ate a snack.
However, they only worsened. My legs and body began to tremble uncontrollably, as though several demons had seized my body, and were shaking it like crazy. I could not stand up, sit down or lie flat. I could not even study the Fa, so I silently sent forth righteous thoughts and asked Master Li (Dafa’s founder) for help. My elderly mother also helped me send forth righteous thoughts. I was only able to grab some sleep in the early hours of dawn when the symptoms abated.
From then on, I suffered severe intermittent trembling every day, which left me unable to eat or sleep. I lost a lot of weight. However, the sudden onset left me little time to search within for failings in my character, I knew true Dafa practitioners would stand fast, and not succumb to this false illusion.
During the day, I continued to venture outdoors to clarify the facts of the persecution. At night, I would drag my exhausted body to study the Fa and send forth righteous thoughts with my mother. I fought against these demons every time a trembling episode occurred. Each time, the demons would resist with increasing ferocity, causing my tremors to increase further. All my remaining strength and time were spent sending forth righteous thoughts in order to repel them.
This situation continued for a few days, driving me to the brink of exhaustion. Finally, during a battle with the demons, my resolve weakened, and I thought about giving up and resigning myself to fate. But as soon as this thought appeared, Dafa’s power reinforced my determination. Master cherishes each and every practitioner. How could I give up so easily? I am a Dafa disciple, cultivating on the path to enlightenment!
At this time, I recalled Master’s words,
“What’s important for cultivators is righteous thoughts. When you have strong righteous thoughts, you are able to withstand anything and do anything. That’s because you are a cultivator: someone who is on a divine path and who is not controlled by the factors of ordinary people or low-level principles.” (Teachings at the Conference in Los Angeles)
I started sending righteous thoughts to eliminate interfering demons. They had no right to torment me. My omissions would be corrected while I continue on my cultivation path. With strengthened righteous thoughts I continued to send forth righteous thoughts until the demons backed down.
One night a few days later, my mother and I were sitting together on the bed, sending forth righteous thoughts, when an image of my mother lying across the sofa, her hair in a mess and looking tired, appeared before me. Surprised, I opened my eyes, only to see my mother sending forth righteous thoughts beside me. I realized this was a form of interference and ignored it, refocusing my attention on sending forth righteous thoughts.
Yet after a while, I received a call from my younger brother. This was unusual as he refrained from calling late at night. I reluctantly answered my phone, only to hear his unrestrained laughter over the speaker. I asked, “Is something wrong?” He replied, “Everything is alright, I was just having a drink.” I immediately realized that this was more interference from the demons tormenting me.
At this time, I remembered Master’s teachings, “Dafa disciples’ righteous thoughts are powerful.” (“Dafa Disciples’ Righteous Thoughts are Powerful,” The Essentials of Diligent Progress II) I felt Master supporting me and providing energy to my body, boosting my confidence to overcome this illness karma.
Recognizing the Point of Difficulty: Walking Out of the Ordeal
A few days later, this unpleasant illness subsided. But what followed was another form of persecution by these demons. I found myself unable to eat or sleep well. My legs continued to feel weak and I trembled. Worse still, I felt let down and depressed. I was sorely tempted to vent my emotional state by shouting at the sky. However, a Dafa practitioner had to uphold the dignity of Dafa, so I endured the temptation. To cope I would recite, “Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” I also recited parts of Master’s lectures and Hong Yin. During this period, I came to realize why ordinary people suffering from depression choose to commit suicide.
I began to search within for the cause behind this tribulation. First, I carefully went through my collection of books and papers, removing anything about the teachings of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). I even threw out a recent group photo with my classmates after I discovered a small Party flag in one classmate’s hands. Afterward, my body and mind felt light and relaxed. I thought my actions had rooted out the cause of my tribulation.
However, my symptoms recurred within a day. I started searching within again and uncovered my attachment to finding fault with my mother. We had different ways of dealing with things and she had her own stubborn opinions. As a result, I frequently found fault with her. This was a serious failing, and I resolved to see my mother as a reflection of myself in the future. I would reflect on myself more and strive to improve in cultivation alongside her.
I also identified a strong love for my daughter. My biggest worry was my daughter’s lack of interest in finding a suitable husband. I reasoned this could be her fate, or maybe the most ideal arrangement for my cultivation path in this life. I should stop worrying and let this attachment go! Although my daughter was a bookworm, she refused to read Dafa books and this became a point of contention for me. However, this was also an attachment that I should remove. Due to security reasons, I uninstalled WeChat from my phone. My daughter refused to accept my decision and became very angry. Hence, I compromised and bought another mobile phone and installed WeChat so I could continue remote communication with her.
These seemingly trivial things had unintentionally nourished my human emotional attachments. I resolved to fix my shortcomings and talked to my daughter about removing my presence from WeChat entirely. To my surprise, she easily agreed. Things go smoothly if we do them according to the principles of the Fa. I was overcome with joy, thinking I had finally found the trigger for my illness karma.
However, this illness karma continued to haunt me. I studied the Fa daily, memorized the Fa while walking, and listened to fellow practitioners’ experience sharing while I did household chores. I fought against my condition hoping for a cure to this “illness”. I found and rectified gaps in my cultivation for the sake of this “illness,” and studied the Fa to find a way to get rid of this “illness”. My motivations were not right, but I did not perceive this at the time.
Three months later, with support and help from Master and fellow practitioners, my physical condition finally improved. However, I still spent my days suffering from weakness, tremors, and severe insomnia. By that point, I was so tired that each day felt like a year. My anxiety over my condition was also growing.
One afternoon after sending forth righteous thoughts at the scheduled hour, I prepared to continue sending righteous thoughts for myself. But when I opened my eyes, I saw my mother preparing to stand up as if all was well. My attachment resurfaced and I scolded my mother, “You refuse to help me, do you know how hard it is for me? Don’t think I’m fine just because my condition is not visible. You are the person closest to me, if you don’t help me, who will?” I broke out into tears while talking, before losing control and sobbing out loud.
Unexpectedly, my mother slowly replied, “The issue does not warrant that much urgency. Aren’t feelings of urgency also an obsession?” Her words struck me deeply. I had yet to pass this test, yet I was still courting new attachments. I did not act according to the principles of the Fa. I stopped crying and renewed my determination to do better.
On yet another day, I participated in a Fa study group. A fellow practitioner asked me with concern, “How are you?” In the face of her concern, the feeling of being unfairly treated welled up. With a bitter and helpless tone, I replied, “There is no way out!” This fellow practitioner immediately glared at me as I quickly covered my mouth. “Master, I was wrong. These are not my true thoughts and I do not accept them.” Despite the seriousness of cultivation, I had failed to maintain my character. I regretted my earlier words and felt deeply ashamed.
This incident left me greatly shaken and uncovered the core attachment which I had harbored from the start of this entire tribulation, an attachment to rid myself of this illness karma.
According to Master,
“This is similar to how in energy practice you are taught to put your mind on practicing, not on the energy you will get from it. If you can be free of intent as you practice and simply focus on perfecting your character, you will make spiritual breakthroughs and naturally come to have whatever is meant to be. It’s only fitting to call whatever occupies your mind, or that you cling to, an “attachment.” (The Second Talk, Zhuan Falun)
After reviewing Master’s teachings, I realized that I had not started out with the correct intentions. Each attempt to search inwards was only so I could eliminate this illness. Fellow practitioners encouraged me, “It’s okay. The more hopeless the situation, the higher the chance things may improve. You have Master and the Fa by your side, what is there to fear? Don’t lose faith.” From then on, I stopped thinking about my “illness” and stopped monitoring the condition of my health.
I started viewing the ordeal as an opportunity to improve my character, changing my approach from passive acceptance to active contribution. I left all my previous notions behind and earnestly focused on doing the three things well. As I took up more work, my body began to fill with vitality. I started chatting and laughing with fellow practitioners, and my cultivation state improved drastically. Much later, when I thought to look for signs of my illness karma, I found it had disappeared without a trace.
Even though this tribulation resulted in many acts of embarrassment, even though I stumbled many times, in retrospect I realized this test had not been hard. However, I was most gratified that throughout, I continued to clarify the facts and save sentient beings despite my pain. I continued to study the Fa, did the exercises, and sent forth righteous thoughts despite my physical weakness. This tribulation improved my character, tempered my will, and helped me advance much further on my cultivation path. As long as one firmly believes in Master and the Fa, there are no obstacles that cannot be overcome.
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