Bian Que, a renowned physician of ancient China, once had a conversation with the King of Weiwen. When the king asked about his siblings’ medical skills, Bian said his eldest brother was the best, followed by his second brother, and that he himself was the worst.
The king then asked why.
“My elder brother detects illness based on a person’s inner spirit, so he can remove the illness before it forms. He is known only within my family. My second brother cures illness at its early onset, so he is known in my village. For me, I use acupuncture, prescribe medicines, and follow-up with therapies for muscle and skin. So I happen to be known by many people, even in other countries.”
This example explains a key principle of Chinese medicine—that is, illness is closely related to a person’s inner spirit. Instead of dealing with illnesses after they fully develop, adjusting one’s character can treat illness at a much earlier stage.
Such rationale was also described in Huangdi Neijing (Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor), the earliest book of Chinese medicine.
An excerpt from the book says “[a]n excellent doctor cures illness before illness exists, a good doctor cures illness as it comes into existence, while a mediocre doctor treats illness after it develops.”
Unconventional Means of Treatment
For these reasons, traditional Chinese medicine improved a patient’s health by focusing on his or her mind as well as lifestyle.
Mei Cheng, a famous poet in the Han Dynasty, described a story in his famous anecdote “Qi Fa.” After the prince of Chu fell ill, a guest from the Kingdom of Wu visited him and they had an interesting conversation.
More specifically, the guest said the prince was sick because he had indulged himself too much in pleasure, lust, and other forms of decadence. Moreover, he did not need acupuncture or medicine to be cured; instead, appropriate discussions and proper advice were enough to improve his condition.
The guest then elaborated on how the guqin (an ancient, plucked musical instrument) made of natural materials could produce beautiful melodies, how well-cooked dishes could satisfy one’s taste, how a large feast could give people joy, and how hunting could provide physical exercise naturally.
As he listened to these pleasant things, the prince’s expression became less tense. The guest continued describing the large celebrations and festivals that would come after hunting. Listening to this made the prince willing to stand up.
The guest then described in beautiful detail watching the tide at Guangling (in today’s Jiangsu Province), followed by profound teachings from the ancient sages on how to restore natural order in the world.
By then, the prince was standing as he held the edge of his desk. “Your words have cleansed my mind and awakened me, as if I have heard teachings from the great sages themselves,” he said.
Nowadays when they study Chinese medicine, people often think about methods such as acupuncture or herbal medicine. In fact, there are many other ways of improving health and curing illnesses through harmonizing the mind and body.
Lushi Chunqiu (Master Lu’s Spring and Autumn Annals) recorded a story in the chapter on Loyalty. The King of Qi was sick and he invited Wen Zhi of Song to treat him. After examining the symptoms, Wen knew the only way to treat the illness was to trigger the king’s anger. He intentionally missed several scheduled appointments and later verbally insulted the king. In the end, the king’s illness was cured, as expected.
Hua Tuo used a similar method to cure a county chief’s illness. He left a letter to the official condemning all the wrongdoings he had committed in the past. The official was furious and vomited out one liter of extravasated blood. His illness was then gone.
Healing a Person vs. Healing Society
Sun Simiao was a renowned physician in the Tang Dynasty. His thinking proposed a relationship between curing a person and curing a society.
Famous scholars such as Song Zhiwen, Meng Shen, and Lu Zhaolin respected Sun and regarded him as a teacher. Lu, a famous poet during the Tang Dynasty, learned lessons on self-improvement, astronomy, and medicine from Sun Simiao.
Lu once asked, “When a great doctor treats illnesses, how does it work?”
Sun replied, “A person who is good at following the heavenly laws must involve worldly affairs. Someone who understands the human body well also has to obey heavenly laws. The four seasons and Five Elements alternate constantly in cycles. The heavenly laws have various manifestations: harmony as rain, wrath as wind, coalescence as fog, and diffusion as rainbows.
“Similarly, a human being has four limbs and five internal organs. The body moves during the day and rests at night, taking in essence and energy while discharging waste. This is how the human body works. We talk about yin and yang. In fact, the human body functions in a way similar to the heavens, and the two are connected. That is, the yin and yang of the human body are essentially the same as that of nature. When the human body is out of balance, abnormal symptoms will surface, with the root cause being inside the body.
“It is the same with heaven and earth. When the stars are off track, the motion of the sun or moon is uncoordinated, and the climate will be off-kilter—rivers could dry up. This is caused by deviating from the heavenly laws.
“Therefore, when a good doctor treats patients, he dredges with herbs and saves with [acupuncture] needles; when a sage helps in the world, he guides with virtue and assists with governmental affairs, so that everything returns to the heavenly laws and the right path. That is, physical problems can be alleviated and disasters in nature can be salvaged. A great doctor cures illness before its formation; an average doctor cures illness before its onset; a mediocre one cures illness after its appearance.”
He also pointed out, “A good doctor helps the world and saves people with no thought of fame or fortune. He acts decisively and pays attention to details. He is wise and flexible and honest. He remains unchanged when faced with material gain, and he has no regrets because he maintains good conduct.”
The Pandemic Era
Falun Dafa is a cultivation practice based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. Rooted in the divinely inspired traditional values, it has not only improved the physical health of about 100 million practitioners around the world but also their mental wellbeing.
Inside China, however, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has been suppressing it since July 1999 with defamatory propaganda and unjust treatment of its practitioners.
Like the historical figures discussed, however, many people who embrace traditional values and support the innocent practitioners have received blessings.
Below is an example reported on the Minghui website.
Dong Nguyen is a Vietnamese-Chinese physician in Houston, Texas. On August 3, 2020, he wore a mask and went out alone to buy lottery tickets. That afternoon, he started to cough and developed a fever. The cough kept him awake all night. He knew he had contracted the coronavirus.
Dong is a registered acupuncturist in the United States and has experience in both clinical treatment and teaching acupuncture. But when he caught the virus, he was helpless, even with everything he had learned.
Concerned about him, his wife and son took him to the emergency room the next day, where it was confirmed he had the coronavirus and immediately hospitalised. The doctor prescribed intravenous antibiotics and three to four oral medications, including drugs for the treatment of high blood sugar. He had never had diabetes, but his blood sugar level was as high as 400 mg/dl—while the normal level was less than 140 mg/dl.
That night, he was short of breath. He kept coughing and fell into a coma. In just a few days, he had to be put on a ventilator.
On August 5, even with the medications, he was having extreme difficulty breathing. His lungs were about to rupture, and his body was starved of oxygen. He was transferred to the intensive care unit. Even with the ventilator operating at maximum intensity, he still felt unable to breathe. After two more days, his condition continued to deteriorate. He knew that if he continued to stay in the hospital, he would probably die.
He then remembered his friend Dr. Giao Nguyen.
On a Saturday in March 2020, Dong was at the weekly meeting of the Online Vietnamese Theosophical Association. A Falun Dafa practitioner from Saigon, Vietnam, named Truc Lam, talked about the meditation practice at the meeting. Dong was very interested. He was in contact with Giao, a Falun Dafa practitioner who also lived in Houston. He began to read Zhuan Falun, the main book of Falun Dafa, with Giao online. In the meantime, he learned the Falun Dafa exercises online.
Over the phone, Giao told him that, whenever he found himself in a crisis, he should recite the phrases “Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” Giao also said, “You have just started to learn the exercises and the Dafa teachings. To learn Falun Dafa, you should cultivate your heart, look inward, and let go of your attachments.”
Now that Dong was in critical condition, he called Giao on August 7, who comforted him over the phone and told him, “Don’t worry too much. Let go of your fears and worries and sincerely recite, ‘Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.’” After the call, Dong Nguyen began to recite the phrases over and over. Indeed, he felt better, and he suddenly had the thought to go home to meditate. At around 2 p.m. that afternoon, he left the hospital with the ventilator.
The day after his discharge from the hospital, on August 8, he was still using the ventilator. But he stopped taking medicine that morning and began to meditate while sitting in bed. He felt much better after meditating.
On August 10, he felt even better and stopped using the ventilator. He was able to do the Falun Dafa standing exercises. Soon, his coughing subsided and his oxygen level rose to 85%. His blood pressure and blood sugar went back to normal.
Three days later, he’d recovered completely from the coronavirus.
Dong felt lucky that he got his life back with a piece of information he came across by chance. He initially thought that he just needed to learn the exercises and read the teachings of Falun Dafa, and that would be all. He did not understand why he needed to recite the phrases.
Only after this life-and-death incident did he realise that practicing Falun Dafa does not just involve exercising and book reading—the important part is to cultivate one’s character and let go of attachments.
When one recites the phrases, one will be in harmony with the powerful energy of the cosmos, aligning himself or herself with the universe’s characteristics. As a practitioner works harder at letting go of attachments, they will be more in sync with the nature of the universe and achieve the ideal state mentioned above—of being able to stop any illnesses before they even take root.
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