PureInsight | March 12, 2019
[PureInsight.org] I am a western practitioner. I was born in 1951 and have a career as a woodworker in the San Juan Islands of Washington State where I have lived for 41 years with my spouse and children. I began practicing Falun Dafa in 2004.
I have had some encounters with sickness karma including physical issues of a defective heart valve, chronic pain, blindness, blunt force trauma injury to the neck and spine, skin cancer, and infection. I have also had mental issues of humiliation, remorse, doubt, confusion, fear, and depression, which I also consider as kinds of illness.
The first test I encountered I did not handle well and ended up having heart surgery. During recovery I was very confused about whether or not I could understand or continue cultivation practice. It was a dark time and a very low point. After considerable reflection, I understood that Master had made a new arrangement for me, one that allowed me to find my way forward. Master has stated that the Fa has infinite ways to rescue a person if they have a heart for cultivation.
The breakthrough came as I was reading Zhuan Falun. Suddenly it seemed as if there was only one word on the page, and that word was “resentment”. I could see clearly how that attachment permeated all my thoughts and interactions. I could see how the heart of resentment made the heart of the body deformed. Just as the physical heart was defective and not moving blood, so too the heart for cultivation was restricted by resentment.
I must add that the heart failure was a form of mercy and blessing because in the minutes that I considered myself dead I gained an inexplicable peace of mind and clarity regarding what is important. Indeed, it made it very hard for me to reengage with the material world for about three years. I can joke now that it really helps to have been dead!
Since then I have learned other valuable lessons, and I will list the ones that helped me the most. I will not describe all the events in detail but just give the important aspects.
The First Thought Can Determine the Outcome
This is a fundamental mind state and requires practice. Serious or even deadly events happen fast, and this positive thought must become automatic. I was fortunate to have a hint with a small accident a few days before the much bigger accident, and my state of mind was alert.
Remember to Think from Within the Fa Principles
It is very difficult to handle injuries and pain with cultivation practice when one is immersed in a world of pharmaceuticals and western medical practice, especially if one’s family does not understand or accept Dafa. I have an agreement with my spouse. As long as I am conscious, I get to choose; if I am unconscious, she gets to choose. I do make a distinction between standard first aid and hygiene versus states of karma elimination.
One thing I do when I experience symptoms of illness or pain is to have the thought that I am already on the other side of it, done with it, and what I am experiencing is just the field of illness or karma as it dissipates.
I will relate a short incident here that happened recently. I had just pulled out onto the road when I went blind in the right eye. I pulled over and was having many thoughts including how will I get home?! Then I thought of Master Li's story about interference from an entity in Zhuan Falun. He said “I would just clear them up.” So I thought, “Okay, I will just clear it up,” and shortly my sight returned. It still hurt, and I could see a shadow moving across my vision occasionally, but it improved over time. Sometimes it takes days to resolve these kinds of things, and this leads into the next subject.
I have been amazed at how swiftly fear can evaporate my stability and confidence in Dafa. I try to hold the thought, “What is there to fear?” When I answer that, I can usually work through it. In the case where fear lingers, I rely on sending forth righteous thoughts.
I had a clear vivid dream of a past life in which I was a terrifying person, one whose profession was torture. After that there was no pain or tribulation, large or small, that I did not cherish because I knew it was there to eliminate karma, mercifully divided into parts that I could endure. I also make sure to include gratitude for blessings, foremost being the mystery of encountering Dafa, being able to engage with it, and hanging on to it. You might wonder how I can live with the knowledge that I did such terrible things. I was allowed to view another lifetime where the situation was reversed and I died as a child from equally terrifying circumstances of torture, thus balancing the debt.
Maybe at the top of my list is balance. This has been the central most important element for making my practice stable.
Balancing cultivation practice with work, family, and community enables me to make progress and good choices. I found that if I do as Master advises and maintain a normal balanced life, many tribulations are averted, and opportunities to validate Dafa are arranged.
For me it ultimately boils down to faith and to my mind. Faith includes the elements of trust and confidence. It is a constant task for me to build faith against fear and doubt. It is always a big boost to faith when I overcome sickness karma or a tribulation, but I know it cannot depend on those kinds of validations; it has to exist and be nurtured in the heart.
Ironically, the biggest challenge to my faith has been allowing the actions of Dafa Practitioners to affect me. I think Masterr said in Stability of the Fa in Essentials for Further Advancement, “Let me tell you again that an outsider can never damage the Fa. Only students can damage the Fa—remember this!” Encountering zealotry, misdeeds, or strong opinions and personalities had a strong effect on my faith in the beginning. I finally had the insight that practitioners are not the practice; it is the Fa, the Way, that remains true, and all practitioners are just students, struggling with their individual cultivation path, making breakthroughs or mistakes in line with their unique arrangements. Now I am clear about how to practice in an open, dignified, and natural way and find that people will approach me with inquiries more often.
In these subsequent years of practice I have had other encounters where I am aware that I would have lost my life, but instead, as described by Master, a body of Karma was killed. This is another state of faith, to remember that no matter what happens or how bad it seems, I have been spared a worse outcome by my practice, and gratitude is the response I maintain.
This is my present level and understanding. One thing I know is that understandings evolve and grow, and I am looking forward to that!
Translated from https://www.zhengjian.org/node/249519