(Minghui.org) In the past few years, some elderly practitioners in my area have encountered various cases of illness karma. Some suffered for long periods of time before passing away. Others sought medical treatments at hospitals to little effect.

Some practitioners who experienced these tribulations were very diligent in doing the three things and willing to endure hardships. But cultivation is very serious – in the end, what matters the most is what's in our hearts, not how many things we may do on the surface.

In addition to attachments, there were also many human notions present which could have prevented some practitioners from being able to pull through these tests. I’d like to share some of my thoughts below.

Eliminating the Notion that “I’m Not Doing Well in My Cultivation”

From my perspective, a common obstacle that many fellow practitioners with illness karma encountered was this: They felt that they fell short in cultivation, and thus were “not deserving” of the miraculous turnarounds experienced by practitioners who they believe to be more diligent.

Some of these practitioners had languished in their ailments for a long time, becoming very self-conflicted about what to do next. Ultimately, in order not to taint Dafa's reputation, many of them resorted to ordinary people's methods to temporarily alleviate their pain.

But the longer their illnesses dragged on, the less confident they became in their own cultivation. It's a situation that outsiders can only imagine the sensation of, as even though it is all an illusion, the manifestations of illness karma in this plane are very lifelike.

Master told us,

“when the old forces test people they are not fooling around. They mean business. Their thinking is, “It’s not my wish that you become divine. Once I see your human thinking, I am definitely going to bring you down. So now that you’ve said it’s an illness, I’m really going to make that part of your body seem just like that—right down to the X-rays and lab results.”” (Fa Teaching at the 2019 New York Fa Conference, Team Yellow Translation)

Though these practitioners believed in Master, they did not believe in themselves, to the point that some of them even refrained from asking fellow practitioners for help, thinking that it was a waste of fellow practitioners’ time. Various negative thoughts filled their minds, further clouding their judgment.

Such a mindset is wrong to have, in my opinion. Regardless of what the old forces are trying to plan, Master takes care of all practitioners; it's a matter of faith that determines if we can accept this care. But such self-deprecating thoughts can prevent someone from having strong faith in Master.

If we think about it, even people who don’t practice Falun Dafa receive blessings for reciting “Falun Dafa is good” – not to mention the fact that we are practitioners who assist Master in the Fa rectification. Master is the one who has helped us through all our trials and tribulations.

Master said,

“Cultivation depends on one’s own efforts, while the transformation of gong is done by one’s master.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun, 2014 Translation)

Some practitioners' thoughts about their cultivation and illness karma are rather complicated. This makes it hard for them to wholly believe. And the more their thinking goes in the general direction of “I have not cultivated myself well,” the more the old forces can amplify such a mindset.

Recently, a fellow practitioner in her 70s fell ill, and was bedridden for five days. She was unable to eat or drink and vomited bile. Her already-slim build made her appear even more frail in her sickly state.

On the third day, she felt she was about to die. In her dreams, evil forces started to interfere with her cultivation by conjuring up various illusions for her, such as a young female practitioner going out to do the three things, only to drop dead once she returned home. She also saw other similar scenes, all created by the old forces in an attempt to scare her.

Just as she became scared in her dream, she heard Master's voice calling from the distance, “The Fa is here with you …...”

The practitioner woke up immediately and said to herself, “I am a Dafa practitioner. Master is with me. Dafa is with me.”

Then she made an effort to stand up and do the exercises as normal. During the middle of the second set, her daughter came home.

“Mom, you haven't eaten for days,” said her daughter, worried. “You've got to lie down and rest first!”

“As a practitioner, I have to do the exercises,” the practitioner replied. “This is truly believing in Master. This is what'll help me recover. You'll see.”

“Mom, you're really something,” said the daughter. She left the room so as to not bother her mother.

On the fifth day, this practitioner made a full recovery, allowing her family to witness the power of Dafa.

This practitioner has a maid who helps her do household chores. The maid also practices Dafa. One day, the maid's husband had a stroke; he was paralyzed, with his teeth clenched and foaming around his mouth. He was taken to the hospital to be resuscitated.

As he was aware that his wife enjoyed good health because of her practice, he asked to listen to Master's Fa lectures. In three days, he was able to walk around and even climb the stairs in the hospital. A week later, he returned home.

Later on, he learned he did not have just one, but a dozen blood clots in his brain. Through his speedy recovery, many people were able to experience the power of Dafa.

The Human Notion of “Health-Conscious” Food

Some practitioners, especially elderly ones, harbor the human notion of needing to eat wellness-conscious food to maintain their health. Some are attached to the well-being of their children and grandchildren, to the point of being very particular about their nutrition as well.

Dafa cultivates one’s mind and body. As Dafa practitioners, our bodies have been transformed by the high-energy matter that is a fruit of our cultivation. We don’t lack any nutritional elements in our bodies and need to keep a righteous mindset in this regard.

When Perception Can Shape Reality

In some cases, the manifestation of sickness karma can change based on what the practitioner thinks of their own situation. For example, there was a practitioner who was experiencing swelling in his legs, which disappeared after he received some medical treatment.

Afterwards, he began to equivocate between the two approaches: “Going to the hospital does work. While I do believe that righteous thoughts can be helpful, at the same time, I still want to follow the doctor's treatment plan.”

In fact, those swollen legs may just be a false appearance. The pain may have felt very real, but that was part of passing the test in cultivation. How could the process of eliminating karma be a comfortable one? But when we believe that these illusions are true, then our human notions and attachments might arise as well.

A fellow practitioner had his celestial eye opened two weeks after taking up Dafa. While meditating, he saw that he was holding a planet in each of his hands and that his body was as huge as the universe. Such a revelation indicates that, even in the early stages of our cultivation, Master has already elevated us to very high levels. Even though we may seem to possess symptoms of various ailments on the outside, we are no longer at the level of everyday humans.

I have read an experience sharing by a new practitioner where she wrote about her illness karma and how she passed the test. The old forces' interference caused her to become unable to see or hear; during that time, she could not read or listen to the Fa or the sharings of other practitioners.

Many practitioners came to her home to send righteous thoughts for her, but her condition hardly seemed to improve – in fact, the symptoms even became worse. After an extended time period, fellow practitioners began to worry about whether she would be able to pass the test.

The new practitioner did not give up and firmly believed in Master and Dafa. Soon enough, Master opened up her celestial ears so that she could hear the evil beings plotting. They spoke amongst themselves and said that they did not have enough strength to continue the persecution; they were about to give up.

Emboldened, she asked fellow practitioners to continue to send righteous thoughts for her. Her situation finally turned around after 90% of the evil elements in other dimensions were eliminated. Her experiences was, in actuality, a serious test for every practitioner involved.

Supporting and Encouraging Those Suffering Through Illness Karma

Many years ago, a fellow practitioner had uremia. For years, he was very weak and had persistent itches all over his body, which made it hard for him to calm down. He rarely studied the Fa or did the exercises on his own as a result.

When I visited him around Chinese New Year, I suggested that we do the exercises together and he agreed. After the first set, I could feel that each and every movement was hard for him. So I said to him, “You're doing great.”

In the following sets, I kept on encouraging him. Before I left, I told him that I really enjoyed doing the exercises with him today.

“Did you know?” he asked me. “I haven't done the exercises in about two years! It's really very difficult for me. But I could feel your compassion, so I did the exercises with you.”

On another day, I went to visit him. It just so happened that fellow practitioners were at his home that day for group Fa study, but he had isolated himself from everyone else, lying in bed in his room. Other fellow practitioners said that he had been like this for quite a while, and that they had tried to get him to change, to no avail. Since I was here, they asked me to try and persuade him.

I told him that I would be happy to sit with him and read the book with him. He agreed. When we read, I realized he tended to skip lines or read the wrong words, and seemed to have low self-esteem because of that. So I started read aloud with him, pointing at each and every word.

It was rather slow and a laborious process, but he managed to finish an entire lecture like this. Seeing his effort was very moving for me.

A local practitioner dropped out of cultivation for a long while but later returned. However, due to a prior car accident, she had to use a wheelchair. Later, as a result of the old forces’ persecution, she also became incontinent. She told me that she could see countless worms crawling on the wall, in addition to her numerous creditors from other dimensions.

One day, I visited her and planned to study the Fa with her. She smelled like urine and kept skipping lines while reading the book. As she was extremely weak, I sat by her side and let her lean on my shoulder as I pointed at each word to help her follow the sentences. She was earnest and made an effort to continue; her sincere heart toward the Fa impressed me very much.

An elderly fellow practitioner became paralyzed from the waist down and had been bedridden for over six years. Her younger sister, who was not a practitioner, helped take care of her in her daily life. When her sister was tired, she would curse at the practitioner. This practitioner could not eat anything sugary – and actually could not eat much, if at all. She also had to rely on her daily insulin shot.

Due to the frequent cursing by her younger sister, this practitioner's self-esteem was low and she had lost confidence in her own cultivation. I am sad to say that I was one of the people around her who grew impatient and criticized her harshly.

But Master has not given up on her. A fellow practitioner saw with their celestial eye that Master's hand in other dimensions had scooped dark goo out of her stomach. Master also hinted to me that I should be more considerate and understanding to her.

I realized that confidence is important in our cultivation; Master is the one who truly helps us in all aspects of cultivation. As I improved and started to encourage this practitioner more and more, her confidence also started to recover by increments

Master said,

“When this compassionate goodness emerges, its strength is without equal, and it will disintegrate any bad factors. The greater the compassion, the greater the power.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IX)

Practitioners going through illness karma all wish to do better. We should be more patient and more encouraging to them so that they will have more and more confidence and righteous thoughts. We must not let them feel inferior to us, or that they did not cultivate well. Once we help them get rid of these negative thoughts, things would start to improve.

Although the old forces have seized upon fellow practitioners’ loopholes to persecute them, we must not acknowledge their existence, nor can we act helplessly or hopelessly.

When some practitioners were targeted by the old forces for not being diligent in their cultivation, we can also help them and guide them to participate in different projects to save people, but without pressuring them too much.

We should involve them in doing small things that are within their limited ability. Once their hearts are focused on validating the Fa, there are so many other things they can do. A little bit every day can accumulate to a sizable amount. The key is how devoted the practitioners are – how long we can keep this up for.

As long as we live in this human world, we will be able to contribute to Fa-rectification and make a positive impact. We should help fellow practitioners pass the test of the illness karma and not acknowledge their persecution by the old forces.

Above is my limited understanding. Fellow practitioners, please kindly point it out if there is anything inappropriate.