Tales From the Practice of Medicine: Self-Reflection

Yu Ling

PureInsight | July 5, 2004

[PureInsight.org] Denise came to my clinic because she suffered from aching muscles and wrists. She could not even take a cup of water. If you looked at her from the side, you would think she frowned like an old lady. Actually, she is only 45 years old.

Normally, aching wrists are related to occupation. Therefore, I asked her about her occupation. She shook her head and said, "It has nothing to do with my occupation."

Looking at her, I could not help think of an old Chinese expression: "Immersed in the sea of pain." It is used to describe people who suffer continuously and immensely in their lives. Her two eyes told me plainly that she has cried forever. Her empty and absent-minded glare made me feel sad for her.

In her medical history, there is thick line she drew under this sentence: "I am afraid of acupuncture and I dislike acupuncture." We both were silent. I understood now she was in so much pain and probably had already sought all the western medical help that she could get. Now she had no choice but to come see a traditional Chinese medical doctor. However, this underlined sentence told me her fear. To help her relax, I took out a 0.5-centimeter-long ear needle and showed it to her. It was only a little bit longer than her fingernail, so she could be reassured. Before she realized what I was doing, I had already inserted the needle into an acupuncture point on the wrist. Next, I inserted another needle into her Baihui acupuncture point. When I turned around and was about to leave the room, she exclaimed, "But you haven't asked me anything yet!"

I asked her, "Is there anything you would like to tell me?"

"This is really my last straw. I have tried Western medicine treatments. They tried everything, such as surgeries and X-rays. When they couldn't find the problem, they then gave me a lot of prescriptions. Then I felt more pain…"

I listened to her very patiently and then told her, "Don't think too much. Try to relax and take a nap."

After several days, she looked better and told me her hand had gotten better. She didn't drop the fork on the ground anymore when eating her meals. Like the previous time, I checked her pulse, looked at her tongue, and acupunctured her wrist and Baihui point. But this time I applied the needle a little bit deeper. When I was leaving the room, she called me back and said, "Other doctors ask many things. Why didn't you even ask me anything but simply took a look at me?"

I answered, "Your facial expressions tell it all."

She wanted to say something but didn't. She stared for a long time at the portrait of Bodhisattva Guanyin on the wall. It was a Falun Dafa cultivator's traditional Chinese brush painting artwork.

In later treatments, I found that she complained less and less about her pain. Her symptoms were gradually reduced. I told her that she didn't need to come for acupuncture any more. Then she told me, "I don't know why. Ever since I came to see you for my illness, I have been having dreams every night. They were all connected like a series of movies…"

"In my first dream, I was a Buddhist monk. At a grand and very solemn Fa conference, I was wearing a precious cassock. Next to me a little monk held an oil pot. When he accidentally spilled the oil on my cassock, I immediately lost my temper and scolded him, calling him stupid. Although I regretted at heart that I could not control my temper on such a serious and sacred occasion, I kept talking and exaggerating the price of my cassock. In my heart, I hated myself for taking this little thing so seriously and forgetting that a cultivator ought to remove all attachments. That little monk was so scared by my scolding that he didn't know what to do. He knelt down on the floor. I felt that I had been terrible, but I looked pleased that he knelt down to me."

"The following night I dreamed of standing on a stage continuously scolding others for their mistakes. I refuted others' opinions as complete nonsense. I criticized their points based on Buddhist theories in a condescending matter. All the while, it was clear to me that I was only an eloquent fraud as a cultivator."

"Now I know that in my current life that little monk who knelt to me is my 24-year-old paralyzed son. Since he was born, my hair has slowly turned gray, one section after another, and my health has been deteriorating. I have suffered so much for him, yet he has treated me with disrespect all the time. I realize now I have been paying back for having mistreated him in the previous life. I've carried him on my back when he was little and pushed his wheelchair since he grew up. Now that he is big and tall, I no longer have the strength to push his wheelchair. My two hands don't seem to belong to me. They are painful and numb. Yet he still complains that I'm not pushing his wheelchair at an appropriate speed. My two hands are so tired that they were like the little monk's hands that accidentally spilled the oil on my cassock --- out of control."

"Oh, if I had not been so mean and picky towards other people, I might not have been in such a sorry state now."

After listening to her account, I thought that perhaps it was not an ordinary dream. Perhaps the dream had revealed the truth. I should remind myself to be kinder and more tolerant to others from now on.

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2004/6/11/27552.html

Add new comment