(Clearwisdom.net) I began to practice Falun Dafa in 1997. Practitioners then seldom mentioned the term "illness karma" during group exercises or Fa study. They used "eliminating karma" instead.

Master said in Zhuan Falun, "Once you bring up the word 'illness,' I am unwilling to listen."

Master's fashen look after us every day. When we practitioners feel uncomfortable somewhere, it is a process of eliminating karma, which is then transformed into de. From the Fa, I understand that when we endure it without complaint, our xinxing improves and gong increases, thus making it actually neither a test nor a tribulation, but an opportunity for us to improve. (Of course, there is a difference in cultivation between the Fa-rectification cultivation period and that prior to 1999, as Master instructed us, but in my opinion, xinxing improvement is essentially the same.)

We all know from Master's teachings that when sending righteous thoughts we use supernatural abilities to do things, including eradicating vicious beings in other dimensions that damage Dafa. Also when sending righteous thoughts, we are eliminating our thought karma [and impure thoughts]. But Master did not teach us to send righteous thoughts using supernatural abilities to eliminate others' or our own karma. Prior to the beginning of the persecution on July 20, 1999, there were practitioners who had gained supernatural abilities through cultivation and practitioners who had entered the phase of gradual enlightenment. No matter what, I never heard that when any practitioners were eliminating karma did they use supernatural abilities to eliminate their karma or invite a group of fellow practitioners to help them do it. Practitioners did not dare to do that, because Master said,

"In regards to treating illness, I am not teaching you to treat illnesses. No genuine Falun Dafa disciples should treat illnesses for others. Once you treat an illness, all things in your body from Falun Dafa will be taken back by my fashen." (Zhuan Falun)

Then, will the principles of Dafa change because of the old forces' persecution? In my opinion, we cannot even think this way. We have been cultivating in Dafa following the same principles till today. If we do not acknowledge the existence of the old forces, then why do we relate our eliminating karma to the old forces? I would like to share how I dealt with this.

Once I began to practice, I experienced occasions of karma elimination before and after July 20, 1999. Regardless of how severe it appeared, it normally passed quickly and lasted no more than three days and did not affect my ability to do the three things at all. These occurrences only allowed me to better understand my body's karma elimination. I would never send righteous thoughts toward my physical body's problems, to eliminate the so-called old forces' persecution. The reason: I considered those dark minions and low-level beings doomed for destruction anyway. With hardly any time to hide themselves before me, how is it possible for them to create any "illness karma" on my body?

I also found that karma elimination did not happen when I did poorly in truth-clarification, but instead occurred when I clarified the truth relatively well. In my understanding, a cultivator has karma before he reaches enlightenment. Without karma, there would be no existence of elements for cultivation. In addition, the old cosmos has a principle of mutual-generation and mutual-inhibition, though that will change in the future. When the three things are done well, when gong increases and karma is to be eliminated, we have to suffer a little bit, either physically or in the form of interpersonal conflicts, so our xinxing can be raised through the process.

About two weeks ago at work I suddenly itched all over. The more I scratched, the itchier it became. I even broke the skin and made it bleed, but the itch even penetrated my heart. I became immediately alert, thinking: "The itch is not part of me; my hands are controlled by my main consciousness. Then, why should the itch control my hands and make them scratch?" I stopped scratching and continued doing my job, regardless of how itchy I felt.

On the way home after work, I explained the facts about Dafa to people and distributed DVDs as usual. That evening, while studying the Fa or reading Minghui/Clearwisdom articles, I was still very itchy, but I did not pay attention to it and just continued with what I was doing. As I slept, however, my main consciousness was not strong enough, and I scratched. When I got up in the morning, I found scratches all over except on my head. There were also bloody spots on my pajamas. It felt as though I had psoriasis. This incident was as terrifying as it appeared. The itchiness went up to my neck.

I knew a cultivator should not think about things with human notions. This happening to me was, instead, a good thing, and implied that my cultivated gong was making a breakthrough toward the surface; my surface physical body was being transformed into high energy substances. The karma from a not-well cultivated body would be pushed out through all the pores. I became aware of the despair manifested in the itchiness, since it could only control my hands while I was asleep and create the illusion of "psoriasis." When my consciousness was clear, the itch would certainly not control my hands. I treated it lightly and continued to do my job as if nothing had happened. Master said in Zhuan Falun,

"There is one point to make to everyone: No matter how much you suffer from the 'illness,' I hope that you will continue to come, because it is difficult to obtain the Fa."

My understanding is that, since Master had such requirements for new practitioners, how could I--who have practiced for more than 10 years--lay around at home without going to work or doing the three things well?

The afternoon after I got to work, while doing my job, the itch became weaker and weaker. It went from itching everywhere except my face to a few random spots, and it could not control my hands. I slept well that night. The illusion of "psoriasis" diminished after I woke up the next morning. The broken skin from scratching had normal scars, and the itchy feeling was also gone. Several days later, my skin had completely recovered.

This and several other incidents of karma elimination have made me comprehend that, no matter how painful or how itchy it appears, it does not have any effect on us, so we should not pay attention to it and still do the three things well, and it will soon diminish. I also realized that Master has eliminated most of the karma from my several lifetimes and left only a little bit for me to overcome and to endure, so I should improve my xinxing in the process. With the raising of my xinxing level, Master will transform the karma he eliminated--and also the little bit I endured--into de and then transform it into gong.

When karma elimination arrives, if the pain prevents me from going to work and won't let me do the three things, it means I have acknowledged it (the karma) and I have lowered my xinxing level to that of a common person who ought to have illnesses. Doing that might lead to imminent danger.

What's worse, if we are unable to endure even that little bit of suffering and believe that it is due to the old forces' interference whenever we have any bodily issues--thereby disbelieving that Master looks after our physical body--we have actually passed our body to the old forces to look after. Whenever there is an issue I first think about the old forces and "send righteous thoughts" towards "the old forces' persecution," which, in my opinion, is actually the most dangerous. Because, when you believe it is the old forces' persecution, you actually pursue it and it will actually come to look after you. It is like someone who always thinks he has animal possession: he is actually pursuing it.

From my understanding, when a cultivator reaches a very high realm, if he has an impure thought, then the matter this thought creates will be an impure life. Then, all lives in his whole dimension space are impure matters (living beings), which is equivalent to one creating "the old forces" while "sending righteous thoughts" to eliminate the old forces. Even if one has temporarily halted the karma elimination, he didn't fundamentally pass that test. Karma is still accumulated there and only postponed. It will return with bigger karma and may be even harder to overcome.

In my understanding, some suffering is not necessarily a bad thing for a cultivator. What is the big deal if one suffers that little bit of pain? If you treat it lightly, it's nothing. Master said in Zhuan Falun, "If a Buddha waved his hand once, all of humankind's diseases could be wiped out; this is absolutely achievable."

I realized that Buddha's capacity to endure can instantly eliminate everyone's karma in the world. If Master were to endure all the karma while I don't want to suffer anything on my cultivation path, how could I ever reach the standard of Consummation? If I don't eliminate any karma accumulated from life after life, how could I have virtue to offer sentient beings salvation? As Master reminds us, cultivation is a serious matter; it is important to have a correct mindset when issues arise.

Having experienced karma elimination several times, I truly understand another realm inherent in Master's words, "...he takes hardship as joy." ("Realms" in Essentials for Further Advancement) During my karma elimination, especially at the beginning of my cultivation, I was happy--I knew Master was taking care of me. The joy was beyond description. During other occasions later on when I had karma elimination (once every several months or once a year), I had further understandings on the Fa. With karma eliminated, my xinxing improves and gong increases. This means I am closer to my original home, and thus I try to treat it as joy.