(Minghui.org) I started practicing Falun Dafa in 1996 and I’m now in my 70s. Most practitioners in our area are in their 60s or older, except for a few younger folks.

A few days ago, two elderly practitioners in our area developed symptoms of “sickness karma.” One is in her 80s and was taken to the hospital by her family members. I went to see her shortly after she was discharged. Her family members told me not to talk to her for long since “she does not remember anything.” I chatted with her for a little while, encouraging her to keep sending forth righteous thoughts and to walk the path Master Li (Dafa’s founder) has arranged for her.

I later went to see the other practitioner, who is in her 70s. She appeared to be in very good spirits and her family members were also very supportive of her practicing Falun Dafa. So, we had a fairly long chat.

From sharing with the two practitioners, I noticed a couple of common issues among elderly practitioners. The first one is that they are confused as to why they are exhibiting sickness symptoms after having been practicing Falun Dafa for over 20 years. The other issue is that when they come across such tribulations, instead of thinking of what Master has taught us, they turn to fellow practitioners’ sharing of how to overcome similar tribulations. I would like to share some of my understanding of these issues.

Why Do Practitioners Develop “Sickness Karma”?

With regard to the first issue, we know there have been cases of terminally ill non-practitioners recovered after sincerely reciting “Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” The reason is that those patients understood that Dafa is good, so Master and Dafa removed their karma and cured their diseases such as cancer.

We are Dafa disciples who have been cultivating for over 20 years. Why is it that we still experience severe “sickness karma”? I think such confusion is a very serious matter.

In the early days of our cultivation, we all felt very light and healthy; some practitioners completely recovered from their illnesses, and some others also developed certain supernatural abilities. We went through these wonderful stages in the past. Why is it that we don’t seem to have such experiences now?

My understanding is that Master has separated the part of us that has cultivated well from the part of us that is still cultivating. We are now cultivating towards the surface level where there is remaining karma accumulated from our past lives over tens of thousands of years. They may appear huge and are interfering with our righteous thoughts. In fact, all these are for elevating our xinxing in cultivation.

Master said, “We stress holistic improvement and holistic upgrade.” (Lecture Two, Zhuan Falun)

We are all waiting until we complete our cultivation as one body and return to each of our own paradises. That is the completion of the Great Consummation. My understanding is that those who departed the human world early have not reached great consummation.

Falun Dafa is a cultivation of mind and body, and a practitioner’s life can be prolonged during the process, and many elderly practitioners’ lives have also been extended for cultivation. When they developed some symptoms, their family members took them to the hospital for treatment. But many still passed away shortly after. The reason is that their life was extended for cultivation, and if they failed to use the extended time for cultivation and instead became attached to human notions, it would be very hard for them to pull through in difficult situations.

Oftentimes, we are aware of our attachments and stubborn notions, all stemming from fame, personal interests, and human sentiments, but we find it hard to admit them.

My understanding is that every cultivator would be tested in a life-death situation or even a number of such trials. While in such a situation, we should keep strong righteous thoughts and look inward. A Dafa cultivator’s destiny is arranged by Master.

Master said,

“What’s meant by, “Having heard the Dao in the morning, a person can die at dusk”? Does it mean that if someone hears the Dao in the morning, he’ll die in the evening? No. What it means is, if he heard the Dao in the morning, he wouldn’t be afraid even if he were to die in the evening. That’s its true meaning.” (Teachings at the Conference of Changchun Assistants)

We have been cultivating in Dafa for 20-some years, so what are we afraid of?

How to Deal with “Sickness Karma”?

There is an elderly practitioner in our local area, who is in her 80s and used to teach at a university. She wrote a letter to her children in which she said something like: “I’m a Dafa cultivator. Should I develop any physical symptoms, do not take me to the hospital. I am a Dafa disciple, and my destiny is taken care of by our Master. I will do things according to the Fa’s requirements and I will handle my personal affairs myself.”

She gave a copy of her letter to both her son and her daughter, to make sure they understood her advance directive for medical decisions should she become incapacitated.

As Dafa cultivators, we should always look within under any circumstances and check if we have not done well enough in our cultivation. We should let go of human notions so that the dark minions and rotten ghosts would not have any excuse to interfere with us. We should have 100% faith in Master and the Fa and truly believe that our righteous thoughts are powerful. If we can do all this, then we will be able to pull through any test. We must not ruin our path of cultivation due to our own wrong way of thinking, even just for a moment.

As for the second issue that some practitioners turn to sharing articles for guidance instead of focusing on Fa study when in a tribulation, my personal understanding is that sharing articles provides us with a window to see how other practitioners cultivate, how they pulled through tests, and how they do well the three things required of Dafa disciples so that we can draw lessons to help us improve faster and to keep up with the progress of Fa-rectification.

As Dafa cultivators, when we encounter issues, we should always think of what the Fa principles are and what Master has taught us, and how we should deal with the situation in the mindset of a Dafa cultivator. If we always copy what other practitioners have done in similar situations, it is not cultivation and there won’t be any real improvement on our part.

Sharing articles is not the Fa, and we should be very clear-headed and always check our thoughts and actions against the Fa principles and know how to walk our own path well. If we keep failing in tests in our cultivation, we might ruin our cultivation path, or even go in the wrong direction. This is a very serious matter.

Have Faith in the Fa

Quite a number of our local elderly practitioners have passed away in recent years, and this has also had an effect on other elderly practitioners around them. The key point is that we must look at things from the perspective of a veteran Dafa practitioner and we must change our human notions. This is also a matter of having full faith in Master and Dafa.

Take a fellow practitioner in our Fa study group for example. She is in her 60s. One evening, she suddenly showed symptoms of myocardial infarction and felt as if she was dying. At that moment, she thought that she is a Dafa practitioner and that she was going through a life-death test. She was determined to measure herself against the Fa’s requirements and to leave everything else for Master to decide. She started to do the sitting meditation. She did it for 40 minutes. She remained calm while her pajamas got all wet from the cold sweat. Then, she felt light and well. The next day, she was feeling normal and went to work as usual.

When her family members heard about this, they became very concerned about her health and took her to a hospital in Beijing for a checkup. The cardiologists there all got a shock when they saw what happened to her heart – one of the main blood vessels in her heart was completely blocked, but a capillary next to it expanded and replaced the blocked vessel. Doctors said that if she felt fine, there was no need for any treatment. All doctors and her family members thought it was miraculous what happened in her heart.

It is crucial to have strong righteous faith in Master and Dafa under any circumstances. We should always listen to what Master has told us and always follow Master. This is the experience I learned when I went through life-death tests of sickness karma myself.

The above is only my personal understanding. Please kindly point out anything improper in the sharing.

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 in studying, compare in cultivating.” (“Solid Cultivation,” Hong Yin)