(Minghui.org) I've recently read several experience sharing articles about practitioners who had illness tribulations for a long time and did not know what to do. Some felt completely helpless or even lost their lives.

I would like to share my own experiences. I coughed for nearly three years and only recently did I realize that it was because my thoughts were not pure. I also realized that I was afraid of getting ill or dying.

Rooting Out Hidden Attachments

I started to cough nearly three years ago. I had difficulty breathing and sometimes wheezed. As a veteran practitioner, I knew I did not have illness and just thought it could be karma or the old forces' interference. So I decided to focus on studying the Fa, looking within, and sending forth righteous thoughts. I also talked to people about Falun Gong.

However, the symptoms did not improve and seemed to get worse. I was confused: If an everyday person could benefit from reciting “Falun Dafa is good,”,why didn't it work for me?

When I looked inward further, I found that, when I experienced minor illnesses or tribulations, I was steadfast enough to overcome them, but I was not steadfast enough to overcome major ones.

When my situation did not improve after I sent forth righteous thoughts for a long time, I began to worry that I had asthma or that I might die. After so many years of cultivating, I was surprised that I still had such thoughts, but these notions apparently still existed.

My mother suffered from severe asthma before she died. When my older sister developed asthma several years ago, she said she would probably suffer like our mother did when she got old. When I began having asthma symptoms, thoughts about getting ill and dying surfaced

Deep Attachments

Thoughts about illness had been deeply buried in my mind for many years. I did not know they existed, or I chose to ignore them. I considered them normal and did not remember that I was a practitioner and get rid of them. When I sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate them, my thoughts were not pure and they did not work.

When looked back, I wondered why, after so many years of cultivating, I still had these thoughts. On the one hand it was because of my poor enlightenment quality; on the other hand, it showed how serious cultivation is. No wonder some ancient enlightened beings said that they would rather save animals than human beings.

I was able to identify more attachments. For example, I used to casually joke about things. I didn't think it was a big deal because no one took what I said seriously. But when I examined myself, I realized that, as a practitioner, I should be strict with myself and cultivate my speech.

In “Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan,” Master said,

“And with some people, it’s even to the point that if they do something wrong and others kindly point it out, they make excuses for themselves. As soon as their error comes up they try to explain it away, telling bald-faced lies and trying to find some external reason for it. Is this kind of behavior, which is beneath even ordinary people, befitting a Dafa disciple?”

When I read this, I felt that I might also have these issues. They may look trivial, but this is not the behavior of a Dafa disciple, and acting this way may cause us problems.

I think other practitioners may have similar issues. If deep in our minds we still fear illness or death, it can be a loophole that the old forces can take advantage of. Some practitioners who still think that they're ill have gone to hospitals; others who have these thoughts but did not seek medical treatment may have difficulty overcoming these tribulations. Even if other practitioners send forth righteous thoughts to help them, the results may be limited.

Maintain a Higher Standard

Why didn't I notice these attachments after so many years of cultivating? I could claim that it was due to poor Fa-study. But why did it take me 20 years to notice them? One reason could be that I did not focus deeply when I studied the Fa. Instead, I considered it merely a task to fulfill every day. I thought it was enough just to read the Fa. In fact, only when I truly put my heart into it and let the Fa principles sink into my mind can they really guide me on a daily basis.

Something else I noticed is that we need to remain undisturbed. Whenever we are moved by feelings, such as pride, anger, worry, fear, or lust, it is linked to an attachment in us. We need to ask ourselves: Would a divine being behave this way? What is the root of these notions? If we can recognize these issues and truly focus on getting rid of them, we will surely improve.

When our mind is pure, out righteous thoughts are powerful. The old forces and other elements will have no excuses to interfere. For example, if we are not disturbed when we have illness symptoms or other tests, the old forces won't have anything to use against us.