Tales from the Practice of Medicine: Tolerance (Part 1)

Xu Yulin

PureInsight | October 17, 2005

[PureInsight.org] I have been practicing medicine for more than ten years. I read medical textbooks and journals all the time. But I find that many times I actually learn the most from my own patients. As I help them eliminate their suffering, I also benefit from my interactions with them. In the process of our dealings, I have come to learn more about myself.

He came to see me because he wanted to stop drinking and smoking. Because of his addictions and loss of self-control, even though he is only a middle-aged man, he appeared much older.

What causes a person to willingly give up his own body and let alcohol and tobacco take over his life? How does a person first adopt such unhealthy habits? When a person does those things, is he consciously or unconsciously destroying himself? Is it really so gut-wrenchingly painful to give them up? I think of these questions often.

My patient told me, "It is just so hard to give up my habits. I smoke two packs of cigarettes and drink almost a full bottle of liquor a day. I can't give them up. Otherwise I would feel worse than being dead…." He also told me, "I have heard many good things about you. Because of your outstanding reputation, maybe you can find a way to help me give up my habits. But before we start the treatment, I have several demands. First, don't lecture me. Actually because of my own experiences, I might know about how things are supposed to work in theory better than you do, unless you have some theory that I haven't heard of before. Secondly, I refuse to take Chinese herbal medicine. I am worried that the herbal medicine might have negative reactions with all kinds of western medicine that I am taking. I might feel bad. In addition, whenever I get a whiff of the smell of the Chinese herbal medicine soup, I want to throw up. There is no way I can force it down my throat. Thirdly, don't introduce things like Yoga meditation, breathing exercises or Qigong exercise to me. I have tried all of them and nothing works. Fourthly, when you administer acupuncture on me, your needles must not cause me any pain. I came to see you because of your reputation. It should be a piece of cake for you not to cause me any pain with your needles. Otherwise, I could just pay $25 and find some schmuck in Chinatown to treat me."

I was a little taken back by his aggressive posture and sharp words. Before I started to cultivate, I was very rebellious and defensive. My first reaction was to defend myself and deal with him by using all kinds of sharp ways that I had used to deal with people when I was an everyday person. I was getting ready to launch a counter attack. Just then, I woke up and told myself, "No, I can't do that. It won't do."

I told myself, "He is a patient. He has the right to say whatever he wants to say and make his own demands. As a medical doctor who is also a Falun Dafa cultivator, how can I not have even this little bit of tolerance?" So I calmly replied, "OK, that is fine. I will try my best."

I then told him, "Since you came to see me today, it shows that you already know all the theoretical stuff. So there is no need for me to say anything there. You don't need to take Chinese herbal medicine. If you can get rid of your addictions with your own will and determination, that is of course a good thing. Practicing meditation is one of the things that can help every single person improve his or her health. Whether it works or not depends not on if you practice it. It actually depends on whether you believe it or not. I can't guarantee that my acupuncture needles won't cause you any pain because there is not a universal standard to measure pain in acupuncture treatments. Whether your own body is sensitive to acupuncture is the key. Everyone's situation is different. It depends on your own body." When he saw that I had given my answers to him in a calm manner with a smile on my face, he didn't say anything. He just nodded his head in agreement.

After I administered acupuncture on him, he fell asleep and I left the room.

When I looked back what had happened, I felt shaken up from the bottom of my heart. What constitutes truly thinking of others? Not getting moved by other's tones, attitudes and conducts and truly doing our best to get something done, isn't that also an area that we should strive to perfect and harmonize?

(To be continued)

Translated from: http://zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2005/10/10/34166.html

Add new comment