(Minghui.org) I often hear about how practitioners had illness karma and gave the old forces loopholes to persecute them. I would like to share some of my thoughts and understandings about this.

Sickness karma is a test of life and death, and there are many reasons why we practitioners fail to pass this test. I believe illness karma is a type of persecution that is invisible in this dimension, but is worse than incarceration. Practitioners who are going through illness karma and the fellow practitioners in the same areas should consider taking the following five steps:

First, think about your cultivation status and ask whether or not you genuinely believe in Master and the Fa. Do you truly believe that Master has arranged the best path for your cultivation to help you elevate and eliminate your attachments? Can you genuinely reach the level in which, like Master said,

“... you completely let go of everything, behave like an upstanding and noble Dafa disciple who has no resentment or attachments, and leave it to Master to arrange whether you stay or go.” (“Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles”)

Second, ask yourself whether or not you are still afraid of death? Master said,

“When you are truly able to let go of the thought of life and death, you can truly go there. This is the difference between a human and a God. If you can let go of life and death, you’re a God; if you can’t let go of life and death, you’re a human—this is the difference.” (“Teaching the Fa in New York City” from Lectures in the United States)

Master also told us,

“Of course, being able to let go of life and death doesn’t equate to actually dying: the purpose of cultivating is to remove human attachments.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference in Australia”)

Fellow practitioners who have had severe illness karma probably have all said they would deny the old forces' arrangements and only agree to Master's arrangements, but many still lost their lives in this world. Did Master not help them? Of course he did. Think about going through tribulations: How much did you trust Master and the Fa? Were you truly able to say:

“What’s there to fear? My body would still sit there even with my head cut off.” (“Huge Exposure” from Essentials for Further Advancement)

Whether or not you can face the attachment to life and the fear of death with a peaceful mind is determined by your cultivation status. Search inside with no human notions and ask how much you are still scared of death: To what degree do you still desire protection? To what degree can you let go of fame and sentiments? How much have you forgotten about yourself?

Some Dafa disciples rely totally on Master's mercy and protection, but still hold tightly to their attachments of competition, jealousy, lust, self-protection, and showing off, etc. Some have even lost their faith in Master. Should cultivators be afraid of death? This is a loophole.

Third, search inside to see if you are frightened of living. When suffering from severe illness karma, some practitioners want to die quickly to end the misery. This human desire proves that they did not want to endure. Cultivators have many tasks to do, and not wanting to live is also a loophole.

Fourth, practitioners who live in the same areas study the Fa and do the exercises with practitioners with illness karma. Sometimes, however, the results are not ideal. Many say that we must have righteous thoughts and follow Master's arrangement, deny the old forces' arrangements, let go of life and death, search inside, etc. For those who are going through the tribulations, that simply sounds like a lecture.

Why not be straightforward and talk about letting go of life and death? If practitioners are afraid to even talk about it, they have not let go of the attachment. In the midst of suffering, practitioners can feel miserable, lose hope, and realize how desperately they want to survive. If we talk to them about the serious topic of life and death, it might help them to begin to search inside for their fear of death. After finding where they fall short, they might be able to completely let go of it.

Finally, think about whether or not we have reached the standard for Dafa disciples. We do not know how our cultivation paths are arranged and to which realm we will eventually reach, so we should not preoccupy ourselves by thinking about these matters at all. We should only strictly discipline ourselves from the perspectives of the Fa, search inside ourselves, and do our tasks well. When faced with tests and difficulties, keep our minds tranquil and let go of all of our attachments including the fear of death. We should always remember to strive hard to treat ourselves as Dafa disciples to fulfill our vows that we made in history with no pursuits.

These are my personal thoughts. Please point out anything that is not appropriate.