The Happiness of a Free Mind and Body -- the Cultivation Story of a Polio Sufferer
Greetings to Reverent Master, Greetings to Fellow Practitioners!
I am Chen Fengmei, 47, from Taidong, Taiwan, and a tailor by trade. I have practiced Falun Dafa for almost four years. Even though I need crutches to walk, I have no difficulty moving around. My external body does not restrict me, and my mind and spirit are free. All this is the result of my practicing Falun Dafa. Now I would like to share my cultivation experience.
Suffering illness at three; walking with crutches
When I was three years old, I contracted polio. After that, I had to walk with crutches. I had to give up attending high school because of my handicap. My mother sent me to be trained as a tailor, so that I could support myself. Time flies: four years of apprenticeship and more than twenty years of working as a tailor went by. In spite of my difficulty moving around, I had a regular income from my specialized skills and lived quite comfortably. My life, however, was like a pond of still water. I was often puzzled about why and for whom I was living.
During those years, in order to seek inner peace, I associated myself with some religious groups that had compassion towards handicapped people. I was unable to get more involved however, because I felt there was an invisible wall that I could not break through. The purpose of life remained unclear to me.
Happy to encounter Falun Dafa; poking through the cloud and seeing the blue sky
I remember that my elder brother first began to learn Falun Dafa in January 2001. He introduced me to Zhuan Falun. I eagerly finished the entire book within a week. Suddenly I realized that this was what I had been waiting for all my life. I believe many fellow practitioners have had the same feeling. I started my cultivation right then.
Cultivation means that one has to study the Fa, cultivate the mind, and do the exercises. Knowing that the Fa is precious, I had no difficulty studying, although I had only a sixth grade education. When I read the book repeatedly, the Fa principles again and again unlocked my cultivated side, as if veils were lifted layer after layer. Practicing the exercises, however, was difficult for me. I learned the exercises by watching the videotape at home. Without crutches, I had to do the standing exercises by leaning on the armrest of a sofa. From the beginning, I could see Master's image teaching me the correct hand movements. After I had practiced for a while, I once saw lotus flowers and Faluns in my hands. I could feel Master's boundless compassion. Another time when I was doing the exercises, I saw myself in another dimension, walking freely without crutches. I was moved to tears. I knew Master was encouraging me, and I became more diligent in my cultivation.
Changing my attitude and viewing my handicap with an untroubled mind
I learned to use crutches when I was five. My parents treated me the same as other children, sending me to school and assigning me housework to do. When I became more mature, I could not help complaining about how unfair that was, seeing all my classmates walk and run with ease. Particularly when I was unhappy, my resentment became even stronger. After obtaining the Fa, I read in Zhuan Falun,
"When our humankind evolves to this extent today, almost everyone is born with karma built upon karma, and everyone's body has quite a lot of karma."
I thought this was how I was to pay what I previously owed. So I accepted the fact calmly and began to live my life fully.
My brother once found an experience-sharing article from the Internet for me. It was a cultivation story about a handicapped practitioner from northeastern China. He did not complain at all about his deformity. Instead, he was very diligent in his cultivation, clarifying the truth to resist the persecution. Falun Dafa manifested miraculously in him. The article touched me tremendously. I felt that I was so fortunate to have obtained Falun Dafa. I hoped more people could have the same fortune.
Melting into the Fa and receiving benefits in both mind and body
One day the owner of the costume factory where I used to work called me. He wanted me to come back and help finishing a line of products. I accepted. When I got there, he was not anxious to put me to work. He asked me instead, "How come you have changed so much?" It was a compliment on the absence of my complaining personality.
After practicing Falun Dafa, I often reconsidered my behavior. I could calmly treat things that I once complained about. With my boss's reminder, I began to notice that my manner of speaking has changed gradually. I went back to work there, but I was no longer concerned about wages and the amount of work. I did what the boss asked me to do and offered as help as much as I could. After my attitude changed, the work opportunities came one after another. I also got along very well with my colleagues.
My xinxing improved gradually, and I rarely caught a cold. Before practicing Falun Dafa, I often had colds, felt dizzy, and had to take pain pills for my migraine headaches.
Breaking through human mentalities and stepping forward bravely to validate the Fa
I obtained Falun Dafa after the persecution of Falun Gong started. I seldom attended the group studies and never joined the group exercises. I depended on my brother for information or obtaining articles from the Internet. When I learned of the cruel persecution against Falun Gong practitioners in China, I participated in mailing truth-clarifying materials to China. I also tried to make calls to China, but I stopped because I was too nervous.
In 2003, when the Security Bureau in China detained Taiwan practitioner Lin Xiaokai, fellow practitioners organized a bicycle tour around the island to appeal for Lin Xiaokai's rescue. Taidong was one of the stops that had a press conference. To get all the preparations completed, practitioners needed to participate fully.
Normally, except for going to work and back home, I seldom went to public places or participated in public activities. From studying the Fa principles, I realized that this was an opportunity to step forward and validate the Fa. Striving to eliminate the mental obstacles, I drove my three-wheeled motorcycle and participated in all the activities with the group. At the end of the activities, I was able to give truth-clarifying materials to people comfortably and talk to strangers with ease. When I got home, I found I could meditate with double-crossed legs. Later, I registered to attend the Fa-conference at the end of the year. With the help of fellow practitioners, I broke through the limitations of my physical body and participated in Falun Dafa activities, joining my fellow practitioners.
Sharing in learning and sharing in cultivating, striving to be diligent, doing the three things well as Falun Dafa practitioners should
On September 1, 2004, with the encouragement of fellow practitioners, I attended a nine-day seminar for the first time. After that, I read several of Master's new articles in succession. It was like a stick warning to me. After I read more cultivation stories from A Journey to Ultimate Health published on the Minghui website, I saw my weaknesses and fellow practitioners' diligence. I felt that I was far behind. I needed to hurry and catch up. The exercise site is the environment for group cultivation. I asked my brother to order a custom-made chair for me. Using that chair, I have started going to practice the exercises with the group every morning since November 11. When I do the standing exercises, I use the chair to support my body. It is still inconvenient and my feet also hurt very much after I get home every day, but I could really stay with fellow practitioners, knowing what we should do as one body in the process of the Fa-rectification and what I could do without waiting for and depending on others. Now I study the Fa and find time to go out to clarify the truth every day, no matter how busy I am at work. I require myself to do well the three things Master asked.
Master says in Zhuan Falun,
"When it's difficult to endure, you can endure it. When it's impossible to do, you can do it."
I use these words to encourage myself, and I would like to use these words to encourage all other fellow practitioners.
Thank you, Master! Thank you all!
(Article presented at the 2005 Taiwan Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)
January 12, 2005