(Minghui.org) My wife, also a Falun Dafa practitioner, suffered from illness symptoms that recently worsened. She told me that she planned to check into a hospital, and even considered undergoing surgery.

Since I experienced illness karma myself, I understood that she may not be receptive if I suggested she not check into a hospital. We were also not in the same city. After careful consideration, I shared my thoughts with her, “You may remember that I lacked righteous thoughts when I had come down with illness karma. I did not listen to the advice from my mother, also a practitioner.” 

I continued, “I visited three hospitals, and the diagnosis became more serious each time. Eventually, it almost became an incurable illness. I finally enlightened, and walked through the tribulations with righteous thoughts. The conditions of the practitioners around me who went to a hospital for treatment usually deteriorated—but those who maintained righteous thoughts, and did not go to the hospital recovered. I’m not forcing you to not go to the hospital. But you should remember that the symptoms are not really illness. Medications will only contaminate your body. They will not solve the fundamental problem. Please, look within, and see what your cultivation problem is.”

My wife told me that the pain worsened a few days later, and she could not bear it anymore. So I sent a second message, “You may feel upset if I criticize you and claim that you have not truly been on the cultivation path throughout the past years. However, how many times were you actually moving backwards, but felt you were moving forward? You should really think it through with a calm mind. If you go to a hospital are you passing the test? It’s similar to not knowing the answer to a question during an exam. You are not only not putting in enough effort, but you also want to take shortcuts in different ways. Even if you do well with the issue now by visiting a hospital, you may face bigger problems later. “

I continued, “It will be even more difficult to pass the test when all the karma accumulates. Please do not look outward, but look within to find your omissions. This is the only way. How many times have you made irrational decisions over the years? You often used human notions or even Chinese Communist Party (CCP) thinking to evaluate issues, which caused interference and damage to others—but you did not realize it. Please use Dafa’s principles to evaluate the situation, and think about your tribulations seriously. It is really up to you whether you want to pass the test or not.”

I also spoke of the factors that caused my wife’s illness karma, “By persecuting practitioners they are committing crimes. I hope you will make the right choice and have a good future.”

My Accident Highlights My Wife’s Issue

I was involved in a car accident not long after that. The passenger side windshield and storage box broke. Fortunately, I was fine, and went to work as usual. I thanked Master repeatedly in my heart. 

I told my wife about this experience and shared my thoughts, “Sometimes there is a period of time between life and death that gives us an opportunity to reflect and rectify ourselves. Sometimes just a moment decides whether we can truly let go of everything and treat everything with the Fa standards. I reminded you a few times that you and your family often talk about whether other people are right or wrong.” 

I continued, “Didn’t you realize you were really talking about yourselves? Have you truly rectified yourself in this regard? Are you still living with your good feelings and attachments as before? If so, you won’t realize that many things you say and do contradict the Fa. You won’t let go of your attachments easily and rectifying yourself would be just empty talk. I suggest you come to our place and my mother and I can help you. A good environment is also important for cultivation.”

Taking Hardship as Joy

I worked at a practitioner’s company when my wife suffered from illness karma. I felt that the living and working environment was extremely difficult compared to my previous job—but I was able to find and eliminate some attachments. However, my illness karma suddenly appeared to relapse. I wanted to give up this job, but I also realized it was no accident that I came here and I should consider this as an opportunity to make a breakthrough. Although I did not quit the job, I could not find the root cause of my attachments. Until one day, I asked myself, “Have you been able to take hardship as joy?” At that moment, my heart suddenly lit up and those hardships turned into warmth and gratitude for the cultivation opportunity!

If Truly Rectifying Oneself, Nothing Can Stop Us

A practitioner had illness karma at the same time my wife did. He did not want to go to a hospital, but his family insisted. Eventually he underwent surgery and was bedridden. Another practitioner and I visited him. The other practitioner encouraged him, “You are a cultivator. You should stand up.” I also told him, “You should sincerely look within. If you can truly rectify yourself, nothing can stop you.”

Another female practitioner developed a sore on her waist and wanted to go to a hospital. My mother and another practitioner went to her home to study the Fa and exchange experiences with her. I asked my mother to remind the practitioner that the more we suffer physically and mentally, the more selfishness we may need to eliminate.

A practitioner who was my childhood playmate, recited the Fa, but was always interfered with by illness karma. Once we talked about my mother, and I prepared some materials beforehand in case we needed to use them to help others in times of difficulties. He said in a disapproving tone, “I don’t believe that someone can really prepare things for others.” I was stunned to hear this. I wondered if he hadn’t eliminated selfishness and did not change fundamentally. Soon afterwards, this practitioner’s symptom suddenly worsened. I invited him to come to my place for Fa-study and experience sharing. He thanked me, but refused.

Improving Xinxing and Eliminating Omissions

When we suffer from the illness karma, we should consider it a good opportunity to improve our xinxing and eliminate our omissions in cultivation. Certainly we should deny the persecution that has been forced on us. However, some practitioners just blindly reject and deny it, vowing to rectify themselves within the Fa, but do not truly look within. They just want to avoid the pain, but don’t truly want to get rid of their fundamental attachment. This is only deceiving oneself and others.

If we cannot take hardship as joy, we will suffer greatly during our tribulations. The pain and suffering are provoking our attachments, and the attachments are rooted in selfishness. The suffering does not appear without reason. The more we want to avoid suffering, the more suffering we may experience. The suffering consumes our righteous thoughts, which in turn makes us feel even more painful and more unwilling to endure the suffering. The selfishness grows stronger, as well as the suffering. This leads to a vicious cycle and a dead end.

On the other hand, if we take the suffering lightly and focus on looking within to find our omissions, we can not only rectify ourselves and raise our levels but also transform the pain and eliminate the suffering. Everything turns into a good thing. Selflessness frees us from suffering. However, the more we suffer, the greater our selfishness becomes.

Master said,

“If you don’t use righteous thoughts to guide yourself, and if you cannot manage to conduct yourself and look at the world and others according to the standard of a cultivator, like a Dafa disciple does, then you are the same as an ordinary person.” (What is a Dafa Disciple, Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)

When practitioners come down with illness karma, the people around them play a very important role. Some enlighten them with upright faith and the Fa principles to strengthen their righteous thoughts and break through the tribulations. Some may mislead them with their own human notions and misunderstandings of the Fa. This may lead the practitioners to deviate from the Fa and trap them in deeper tribulations. 

Master also warned us,

“I will tell you, regardless of what your thinking is, anytime you serve to sabotage a Dafa disciple’s project or something that Dafa disciples should do, you are acting as a demon. It doesn’t matter that you may be thinking, “I’m a Dafa disciple, and I have done a lot.” The old forces are nevertheless writing entries into your ledger, one by one.” (What is a Dafa Disciple, Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)

“So when they persecute you, there is nothing Master can do, for they have a handle to grab onto: “Look at this being and what he’s like. Is this your disciple? He’s so lacking. Shouldn’t we straighten him out? You don’t want to straighten him out and yet he’s affecting us and affecting others, so we’d better straighten him out fast!” What I think is: The only path that lies before you, the disciples of Dafa, is one of real cultivation. There is no other path.” ( What is a Dafa Disciple, Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)

Editor’s note: This article only represents the author’s understanding in their current cultivation state meant for sharing among practitioners so that we can “Compare with one another in study, in cultivation.” (“Solid Cultivation,” Hong Yin)