The Story of My "Older Sister"
(Clearwisdom.net) One day in January 2005, a woman in her fifties came to our Falun Dafa exercise practice site at six o'clock in the morning. Upon arrival, she immediately sat with us to send forth righteous thoughts. It appeared that she could comfortably sit in the double lotus position (the sitting position for the fifth Falun Dafa exercise, where one leg is crossed on top of the other). After we had finished the exercises, I asked her how long she had been practicing and how it was that I had never met her before. She replied that this was her first day and she had only read six pages of the Falun Dafa text, Zhuan Falun over a period of two days. She is the main character of this story. Since she is older than most of us, we all call her "older sister" and her husband "older brother."
"Older sister" did not have a formal education. She started to act in plays at age thirteen. She said she had a natural talent in acting, language, and sewing. She is pretty good at playing any type of character. She learned to read from memorizing her lines and learning different languages. But she only knows a limited number of Chinese characters.
Traditional plays are mostly based on historical stories about loyalty, piety, virtue and righteousness. Thus "older sister" has a deep understanding of traditional values. She is a very kind, righteous and gracious person. But she has a bad temper. "Older sister" had a hard life. Her parents divorced when she was still very young and so she grew up with her father and stepmother. She did not have a happy childhood and she went through many hardships. Perhaps those hardships established a foundation for her cultivation in her later years.
In February of 2004, she found an abnormality in her breast. She was diagnosed with breast cancer. "Older brother" tried to get hold of the best medicine available for her, yet they all had a foul smell and taste, but nevertheless she continued to take all sorts of Chinese medicines. However, the effect was limited. Ever since her illness, she never had a good nights sleep. She had to take sleeping pills that resulted in drowsiness and confusion. She felt bad physically and mentally.
In January of 2005, a friend introduced Falun Dafa to "older sister" and her husband. This friend also gave her a copy of Zhuan Falun and told her that many genuine practitioners recovered from terminal illnesses without taking any medicine. "Older sister" half believed and half doubted what she heard. That night, she spent half an hour reading Zhuan Falun. Because she does not know all the characters, she read very slowly. She read three pages, but she slept really well that night and felt pretty good the next day. Since she had not had a good night's sleep since her illness, she was a little moved. She thought she would try again. She read another three pages the second night and again she slept very well. She was so excited and amazed by the power of Falun Dafa; she came to believe this would save her life. On the morning of the third day, she found the Falun Dafa exercise site.
Ever since "older sister" started practicing Falun Gong, she has always been the first one to arrive at the practice site and she always practices for the full two hours. "Old brother" worries that she goes out so early in the morning, so he came with her. As a result, he also started to practice. Every day, the two of them arrive at the practice site before anyone else, never missing a single day. Only after a week of practicing Falun Dafa did "older sister" start to tell her friends and family members about the practice. She used herself as an example. She wanted all her friends and family to know about such a wonderful practice. Although she spoke well, it seems that few of them have the same standard of enlightenment quality as her.
The second day "older sister" started the practice; she asked about the meaning of sending forth righteous thoughts and why we do it. We told her about the purpose, meaning, time and mnemonics. Since then she does it everyday without letting up. One day in March, we were sharing some experiences about informing people about the practice and the persecution. "Older sister" did not seem to understand. We thought since she was a new practitioner it would be difficult to ask her to immediately participate in the activities that we take part in to allow people to learn about the practice and the horrific persecution, so at first we did not tell her the importance of such activities. But she took the initiative and asked. She does not know how to write and she cannot ride a bicycle. So she would drag her small shopping cart, walk to fellow practitioners' home, and take home hundreds and thousands of Falun Dafa materials already placed in envelopes. She would then put stamps on them and mail them out. Her daughter has a computer, so she asked some technicians to install a software program used for clarifying the truth about Falun Dafa on it. Although she does not know how to operate the computer, she asks her daughter to help her and to use the Internet as a means to let more people learn the truth.
For the entire first week that "older sister" started practicing, she slept very well. On the evening of the eighth day she saw some expensive Chinese medicine made of musk at home. She thought, "It is a waste not to eat such expensive medicine. Maybe my illness will be cured even faster if I take the medicine and practice Falun Gong." So she took several pills, but she could not sleep well the whole night. The next morning, she woke up with coughing and other cold symptoms. She then took some cold medicine. On the way to the practice site, she vomited all the medicine out. After two hours of practice, her whole body felt better. She immediately enlightened to that she no longer needs to take medicine.
"Older sister" is a very good actor. Whenever there is a play, the theatrical troupe boss would ask her to play. In the past, she would get angry and started scolding if something upset her. There is one time after she started practicing Falun Dafa when the boss threw a fit at her for no reason, but she did not get angry and stayed calm. She said she felt that her character had changed. One time she had very bad stomachache right before the taping. She thought, "Teacher, I came all the way to play. But my stomach hurts so bad that I cannot play. How embarrassing is it for me to get paid for doing nothing?" Suddenly, her stomach stopped hurting and she was able to finish taping. She remembered that Teacher had said in his lectures once, that one could ask Teacher for help when in need and that is also a test of whether one believes in Teacher or not.
Because "older sister" cannot read very well, she is very slow when it comes to reading. Some of the concepts in Zhuan Falun are not easily understood, such as molecules, atoms, the universe, time-space, micro-cosmos, and macro-cosmos, etc. We tried our best to explain them to her and she seemed to gain a better understanding. We often download articles from Falun Dafa related websites and pass them around at the practice site. Although "older sister" reads slowly, she remembers the complete contents after reading the article only once. I truly admire her ability.
Her illness karma manifests on her body in the way that she could see it everyday. She is being tested daily. Sometimes she would think about using medicine to help speed the recovery. But on her second thought, she realizes that there is no need for any bandage or medicine.
Many cultivators' tests come from those around us. Her husband occasionally would say something unkind to her, and "older sister" would feel very bad and she would tell us about it. We told her that that was her tests and she needed to eliminate karma and pass the test in order to improve. Because she is new to cultivation, we try our best to help her. Whenever she has tests, we do our best to tell her how to approach it from perspective of the principles taught in Falun Dafa. She has very good enlightenment quality; she can usually immediately enlighten to it. When we later share our understandings, she could always speak from the' perspective of the teachings laid out in Falun Dafa. Although she read slowly, it does not interfere with her understanding of Falun Dafa's principles. Her character improves very quickly. Her complexion improved daily, and she looks younger too. Her face shows an appearance of kindness and compassion.
She told her husband, "Falun Gong has saved my life. Otherwise, I would still be in bed waiting to die. I would be suffering and you would be suffering too. You should thank Falun Dafa." She also thanks Falun Dafa for giving her a new perspective on life - to return to ones true self. She said she would do her best in The Three Things and not waste the new life that Teacher Li, the founder of Falun Dafa, has given her. Thank you, merciful Teacher.