Stories from a Food Shop
I have owned a food shop for five years now.
Teacher has said:
"Every Falun Gong practitioner is a member of society, and each has his own job or career. It's only that they go to the park to do Falun Gong exercises for half an hour or an hour every morning, and then they go to work" ("Some Thoughts of Mine").
With Master's teachings in mind, I have kept my shop in fairly good working order while still persisting with group Fa study at night and practice of the exercises in the morning together with a fellow Dafa practitioner. During the day we work as usual, and we frequently exchange our cultivation experiences when we have free time. In this way we have established a stable truth-clarification environment under the compassionate protection of Teacher.
I have tried to improve the effects of my efforts to clarify the truth and save sentient beings by paying special attention to the state of mind of the people with whom I interact. I send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the elements in their minds that prevent them from understanding the truth of Dafa, and through this I have been successful in enabling them to enlighten. Teacher has said:
"It's hard to save people nowadays. You have to explain things to them by following the logic of their attachments. For the sake of saving them, don't create any obstacles for them." ("Touring North America to Teach the Fa")
"Every person you come into contact with in society is someone to clarify the truth to, and what's manifest in clarifying the truth is Dafa disciples' mercy and their salvation of the world's people." ("To All Students at the Nordic Fa Conference")
I have clarified the truth at every opportunity. Usually I chat for a while with customers before clarifying the truth to them. In this way they are more compelled to believe me and, most important of all, I find a suitable starting point for truth-clarification.
Once I chatted with a retired army veteran. In the process of talking to her I discovered that she did not know much about Falun Gong. She told me that all of her family members were serving in the army, except for her mother. One day her father returned home from a conference, with the news that China was going to launch an attack on Taiwan, and that all who served in the army were to be signed up, but her mother didn't want her family to be signed up. I said to her, "That is because your mother doesn't want to part with you, right?" "Yes!" she exclaimed. I took the opportunity to say, "It seems that the Taiwan issue cannot be solved without a war, but the people will suffer if a war begins." "Yes, that's right," she said. I said, "You see the Falun Gong practitioners are trying to solve their problems through peacefully appealing, isn't that righteous? But the authorities, instead of finding a solution, simply punish them by arresting and beating them, and sentencing them to ¡®re-education through labor' terms, even though their activities are legal. Isn't belief a personal freedom, and isn't appealing an individual right?" She said, "In the army, every person was forced to express hatred towards Falun Gong and write guarantee statements vowing not to practice Falun Gong. Even my mother, an ignorant farmer, was also forced to do that. She was so busy with the household all the time that she didn't know at all what Falun Gong is! It's so terrible and ridiculous!" I continued, "Right, Jiang Zemin is trying to eliminate those who are against him through a national campaign of terror. The self-immolation incident* in Tiananmen Square was fabricated by him." Step-by-step I told her the truth of the self-immolation incident. Hearing this, she angrily denounced Jiang's regime. In the end I said to her, "You can tell all this to your mother and other family members when you are home." She wholeheartedly agreed with me.
I didn't give up on any of the people who I had karmic relationships with. One day, a lady bought 3 kilos of food from my shop. After a while she came back again and said that the food was short by half a kilo, but I didn't compensate her because the other two fellow practitioners witnessed that I had given her the correct amount. When I saw her again, I took the chance to greet her. But she still insisted that I had cut her order that day. I said to her, "I am not attached to that small amount of food, but I am afraid of losing a friend. I will send you a half-kilo in a couple of days, as soon as I produce the food." She was very happy to hear that. In the end, her mind was balanced when I sent her the food. Now she enjoys chatting with me each time she passes by my shop. She even gladly accepted Zhuan Falun when I gave it to her. In the past few years, more than twenty people have obtained Dafa or read Zhuan Falun and listened to Teacher's lectures, and my shop has become well known. More and more people have come to my shop to buy food and they have become aware of my practice of Falun Gong. One day, a thirty-year-old lady came to my shop and asked me to teach her the Falun Gong exercises. She already had the book Zhuan Falun, so I told her to read the book first and gave her a VCD containing the exercise instructions. Now she understands the importance of searching inward when encountering problems, and she is much healthier than before. She usually comes to my shop to exchange cultivation experiences with me or asks for experience-sharing and truth-clarification materials.
One day a former practitioner who had enlightened along an evil path came to my shop. Her words caused me to be a little angry, but with the thought that I should not be driven to anger, I promptly adjusted my mind and said to her, "I know a story about a group of golden fish who enjoyed swimming and playing along the bank of a river. Among them was one who thought herself to be much more beautiful than all the others. She was so happy about this thought that she would jump out of the water in excitement. One day, the conceited beautiful fish jumped so high that she threw herself onto the bank. Without her friends by her side, she struggled on the bank and was unable to return to the water. At this crucial moment, the friends whom she thought to be ugly helped her return to the river. Her life was saved and she came back to her friends." Hearing this story, the practitioner suddenly realized her problem. After that, she went back to her old group of fellow practitioners to exchange ideas and borrow books to read. Now she often comes to my shop and talks with me about cultivation experiences. Fellow practitioners told me, "She realized her attachments in the end. Your food shop is playing a very important role." I said, "It is arranged by Teacher."
In my continuous and penetrating truth-clarification, I see in the eyes of sentient beings that they are longing to be saved. I will not disappoint the compassionate salvation of Teacher and the hopes that sentient beings have placed on me. I will cherish my time and do even better and better.
* In January 2001, state-controlled media across China reported that five so-called Falun Gong practitioners had set themselves on fire on Tiananmen Square. Through slow-motion analysis of the footage, numerous independent agencies have concluded that the entire event was staged. The footage can be downloaded from www.faluninfo.net