(Minghui.org) I have been a Falun Dafa practitioner for 22 years. When I first started cultivating I was quite diligent but, gradually, I slacked off. 

I still felt I was cultivating well because I continued to study the Fa, send righteous thoughts, and clarify the truth, although I was treating these tasks like routine work. Actually, I already had some problems with my cultivation but I didn't consider them to be too serious.

I recently experienced severe sickness karma. It was a heavy blow that forced me to pay attention to my cultivation state and to look within for omissions. I adjusted my behavior and soon the sickness karma disappeared.

My tribulation started when I thought I was experiencing menopausal symptoms. Cardiac problems also started two years ago but were not serious. I didn’t think about what was happening. I continued doing my practice and distributed truth-clarifying brochures. 

Recently, the symptoms became worse. I am a physician, so I realized that my situation was quite serious. I had some early symptoms of heart failure, such as coughing and urinary incontinence. In addition, I had a stroke and occasionally had difficulty in controlling my saliva. 

I was shocked and didn’t know why I was manifesting symptoms of severe sickness. I felt nervous and did more of the exercises, including doing the sitting meditation for two hours, but there seemed to be no effect at all. 

At that time, I even thought about taking some medication. But I realized that if I took medicine, however, my 20 years of cultivation would have been in vain. I wouldn't be a cultivator anymore. I am a veteran practitioner and shouldn’t damage Dafa’s reputation, so I decided to not take any medicine or go to a hospital.

I looked within for my shortcomings. As a physician, I know if an ordinary person doesn’t receive treatment early, the disease will advance and could become fatal. I asked myself whether I was worried about death, as it seemed the sickness karma wanted to kill me.

I then became clear that I wasn't afraid of death, so I started to memorize one of Master Li's poems, 

“A Great Enlightened One fears no hardshipHaving forged an adamantine willFree of attachment to living or dyingHe walks the path of Fa-rectificationconfident and poised” (“Righteous Thoughts and Righteous Actions”, Hong Yin Vol. II English Translation Version A) (Confirmed)

I then started memorizing Lunyu. I had previously tried to memorize it but gave up before learning it completely. I also looked within and found attachments like laziness, seeking comfort, unwillingness to suffer, wanting to profit, and fear. 

I realized that the biggest problem I had was not paying enough attention to sending righteous thoughts, which was why the evil entities persecuted me.

I usually didn't send righteous thoughts at all four prescribed times, nor did I cross my legs or do the hand gestures. I often felt it was too tiresome and time-consuming. I also sent them while doing housework. I thought there shouldn’t be any problem as long as I managed to send righteous thoughts. 

Now I understand that my status was not OK if I didn't follow Master’s requirements due to laziness. 

Cultivation is a serious undertaking. I realized that I routinely did the exercises but neglected to truly recognize their importance. 

As cultivators, of course, we don’t have diseases. The old forces, however, can produce fake sickness symptoms. If a practitioner doesn’t follow Master's requirements, the sickness karma could seriously hinder his progress and even take his life.

I improved my behavior by crossing my legs and holding my palm erect when I send righteous thoughts and also do them on time. By doing the exercises and memorizing Hong Yin and Lunyu, the severe sickness karma disappeared within three days.

After this test, I realized that cultivation is very serious and we can’t take anything for granted. We need, instead, to do what Master asks of us; and only by doing so can we be considered genuine Dafa disciples.