Cultivation Notes: The Test of Life and Death

Tian Zhen

PureInsight | October 10, 2009

[] This is the experience sharing of a veteran Dafa practitioner who passed the test of life and death. In this critical period of saving sentient beings, once there appears the state of illness karma, it is the persecution forced upon practitioners by the evil to take advantage of our loopholes. However, what kind of loophole does a practitioner have that makes them suffer such illness karma? I am not very clear about this, and therefore, refrain from making any judgment. What I will talk about here, however, are the things directly related to the test of the life and death for a fellow practitioner. I found that I was enlightened on more than one aspect on this subject. The female practitioners mentioned in this paper are much older than me, and I should customarily refer to them as “Aunts,” yet, for the sake of convenience, I will refer to them by using pseudonym names.

Jun, a fellow practitioner, has been very steadfast in her Dafa cultivation and put her heart into doing the three things. However, in October of 2008, she suddenly fell to the ground manifesting the state of serious illness karma. She was taken to the hospital where her daughter works as a doctor and the diagnose was “intestine cancer.” As a matter of fact, as Dafa disciples, if we can deal with such tribulations truly with righteous thoughts, this would just become an illusion. However, when the human mentality prevails, things become different. Her family persuaded her to have surgery, including her husband who is also a practitioner. When facing this persuasion from her family, it was even harder to handle her thoughts as a practitioner regarding life and death. Jun finally had the surgery. After the surgery, she shared with her fellow practitioner Ping, and her righteous thoughts became stronger and she resisted undergoing chemotherapy. At the beginning, without her righteous thoughts predominating, she was unable to pass the test very well; however, since her faith in Dafa was quite firm after all, the old forces were unable to have further influence and sicken her human body. With care from Master, Jun recovered quickly, which far exceeded the expectations, experience and knowledge of the doctor. The hospital was even prepared to write a story about her recovery to boast about how effective their medical skills were.

After a few months, Jun recovered very well and was again able to finish the entire five sets of exercises. Witnessing the magnificence of Dafa, her daughter, son-in-law, and the family’s housekeeper all started to practice one after another. All of her friends who went to see her agreed to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations. Jun had finally passed the test. Although, this process wasn’t smooth, she was able to regain her physical health. Moreover, because of this, people around her started to practice and were thus saved, turning a bad thing into something good. If she was unable to maintain her human body, the consequences would have been beyond imagination: Those who were destined to start practicing Dafa would have been blocked and lost their opportunities, and those everyday people who should have been saved would not have the opportunity through witnessing her changes.

To everyday people, cancer is often a fatal disease, a way to repay karma during the process of birth, old age, sickness and death. To practitioners who have eliminated the attachment to life and death, it may be a huge tribulation, a test of life and death. However, at this critical period of time, this kind of tribulation is forced upon us by the old forces. Actually, to practitioners who have already eliminated the attachment to life and death, the state of illness karma by developing cancer is the same as the illness karma of a headache and fever, which shouldn’t disturb us at all. Of course, taking a step back, if we truly have eliminated the issue of life and death, we wouldn’t have this kind of illness karma, as the old forces dare not force tribulations upon us if they can’t find any loopholes. In addition, the remaining old forces are so jealous of us having a human body that they are desperate; once we have loopholes, they can attempt to eliminate the human bodies of individual practitioners. Therefore, it is critical that we don’t allow any loopholes in our cultivation.

Ping stated that Jun passed the test due to her firm belief in Dafa. However, I don’t think her righteous thoughts were firm and strong enough. Otherwise, she would have understood clearly that she was a magnificent Dafa Disciple when she was facing the tribulation of “intestine cancer.” Master then would have provided the best arrangement, and she wouldn’t have been disturbed by her human mentality or seeking help from everyday people.

Jun was aware that she passed the test of life and death, yet she does not feel well at present and hoped she would discover her problems. Once, she asked Ping, “I know that I had loopholes as I had such serious illness karma; but why can’t I find them?” Once she realized she should look inward, things lead her in a more positive direction.

Ping shared that the tribulation of Jun was probably caused by her issue of being too attached to small matters. For example, her heart would be disturbed when hearing something unclear. If a practitioner shared a sentence by Master and Jun didn’t have any impression of it, she would become anxious and look to find the sentence everywhere, not stopping until she found it within the Dafa books. However, I thought that her problem was primarily that she was too attached to a comfortable family life. Her husband and children all treated her extremely well. Her husband attended to most of the housework. After her surgery, she could only have a small bite of food at each meal; therefore, she had to eat more meals. Her husband cooked for her eight times a day. If she didn’t fall asleep at night, nobody thought of her as annoying. On the contrary, all reminded her to study the Fa. Her daughter even sometimes read the Fa to her. She said that she encountered no tribulations within her family. It was quite possible that she was too attached to this kind of comfortable family life, and the old forces found an excuse to persecute her. Of course, this is just my understanding and a reminder to her. She still needs to look inward on her own. It is not the case that the old forces will take advantage of a loophole if the family environment is good. We need to examine the specific situation and whether the practitioner has very righteous thoughts. No matter what, this kind of evil persecution cannot be acknowledged. When we look inward, we cannot forget to firmly oppose the vicious test forced upon us by the old forces.

One day during her recovery process, she felt like she was being suffocated and coughed up some blood. She started to worry again and suspected that the cancer cells had spread to her lungs. To Dafa cultivators, this kind of worry is using human notions to handle tribulations. Her husband said, “It seems that the second test comes since the first test wasn’t passed well.” He immediately called Ping who had been studying the Fa very well. Her thoughts were always very righteous, and she talked directly to the point if she discussed another’s problem. Jun likes to share with her and is willing to listen, even though her human side is sometimes a little unwilling to digest Ping’s words.

Once seeing Ping, Jun’s husband said, “Can you persuade her to check in to the hospital? She only listens to you.” Once Ping heard that, she became alert, “This seems like a test for me as well. The Fa is here, so why does she only listen to me? Cultivation cannot be replaced by anybody. I will not make the decision for you. If you firmly believe in Master and Dafa, you will follow the requirements of the Fa. However, if you treat yourself as an everyday person, of course you should go to the hospital when sick. You have to decide which path to take.” Jun was a little embarrassed and said, “What you say is a little hard for me to take.” Ping then said, “After cultivating for so many years, and at this age, why can’t you let go of life and death? Think about it, whether alive or dead, we are gods in Dafa. The best way is to allow Master to arrange everything. What else are you worried about?”

The knot in Jun’s heart was eventually untangled. Later, her daughter took her to hospital for a check up. It turned out that nothing serious had happened, but the capillary in the bronchial tube was slightly broken. The so-called test was just an illusion. However, if she was still attached to her human mentality, things may not have been as simple as such an illusion.

Later, Ping mentioned the process of Jun’s passing the test of life and death to another fellow practitioner by the name of Xiu. Xiu was really touched and said, “Well, if I were in your position, I probably wouldn’t talk to her so directly, although I would remind her about looking inward, eliminating her human mentality, and the attachment to life and death. Instead, I would tell her indirectly and gently. This way, it might not be as effective as your words.” Xiu had worked in a government office for a very long time and hasn’t eliminated her habit of covering herself up, which was developed among the officials of the CCP. However, she is clear that those thoughts are deviated human notions.

There is no doubt that fellow practitioners should treat each other with compassion. Yet, this doesn’t mean that you have to point out the problems indirectly and talk ambiguously. It is not compassion at all to cover yourself up when facing practitioners. Talking directly doesn’t mean you have no compassion. On the contrary, you may talk directly because you do it out of compassion, since that is truly being considerate to others. People can be truly touched when listening to direct words. This way, others can look inward to find attachments. Of course, the direct words have to be on the Fa. Some people may feel that it is easier for others to accept them if you indirectly express yourself. Yes, it is easier to accept, yet, what indeed has been accepted? Is it something that has been wrapped up by impure things? How could such things have a good effect?

The more indirect, the more true meanings are covered, the more deviated the information, and the less powerful the effect. Therefore, it won’t have the power to directly impact listeners. Talking ambiguously itself is caused by human notions. It is a manifestation of selfishly protecting oneself, unconsciously pleasing others, and being afraid of losing our own interests. Practitioners should not have an issue over personal interests. However, because some have developed such a notion and a mode of self-protection among everyday people, those notions and behaviors will manifest during the interaction with other fellow practitioners. If the listener has the attachment to covering up human mentalities, ambiguous talking will thus reinforce one’s own selfishness. Of course, talking directly does not mean to be rude, unfriendly or angry if the listener doesn’t change. When you are truly compassionate, those kinds of things will not happen.

Talking ambiguously is very common in mainland China. Very few Chinese people can talk to each other directly and frankly.

In “Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference,” Teacher said:

“In other societies, when two people meet in person, they are able to speak openly about anything, and even if they didn't know each other before, they are able to speak sincerely and frankly. That's simply impossible for people in the mainland. So, the students that have come from the mainland do things and interact with others differently from how people do outside China. The reality is that Chinese people who were made to ‘struggle’ against and denounce each other in multiple political campaigns by the wicked Party have, after having experienced such persecution, sealed themselves off by force of habit; and that has especially been the case during the persecution of Dafa disciples.”

Master has also talked in this regard in “Lecture to Australian Practitioners.” We cannot leave room for the poison from the wicked CCP culture in our head and behavior.

The test of life and death to a practitioner is something of his or her own, not to mention the enormous impact on the cosmos and those lives in different dimensions. Even in this dimension, Dafa disciples should think about how to face the test of life and death, how to face the tribulations forced upon us by the old forces, how to treat fellow practitioners dealing with illness karma, how to truly help them, and how much positive impact we can have on saving sentient beings through breaking through the test of life and death forced onto us by the evil.

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