My Understandings about the Family Environment
(Clearwisdom.net) Teacher said in "Teaching the Fa in Canada, 2006",
"The work and family environments that you spend time in are both settings in which you are to cultivate yourselves, are part of the path you must walk, are what you must handle, and handle correctly at that. None of these should be glossed over."
I would like to share my understanding on how to deal with one's family environment and walk one's own cultivation path.
1. Harmonize and Cherish the Family Environment
Family is very important to a person. For Dafa practitioners, it is not only where we live, but also where we cultivate.
First, the family is our own cultivation environment. We do the exercises and study the Fa at home. For most of the Dafa practitioners in China, home is almost the only place where they can study the Fa and do the exercises. Family is also an important place for us to cultivate our xinxing. Every family member has his or her own personality and character, as well as the common traits of society. "Xinxing" conflicts and clashes may occur at any time. Dafa practitioner's attachments, especially affection for family members, are completely exposed in the home environment. Our true xinxing is clearly demonstrated. With the clashes in our human hearts, interests and concepts, family members provide us with the biggest help in eliminating karma, getting rid of attachments and raising our xinxing. From a certain angle, it is fair to say that the family is the best environment for us to cultivate our xinxing.
At the same time, family is also our Fa-validation environment. Our family members are the sentient beings that have the strongest predestined relationships with us. They are the people to whom we should spread the Fa to first, as well as clarify the truth to and save. Therefore, our validation of the Fa should start at our home.
A good family cultivation environment is extremely important for us to do well the three things. However, this environment may not be established in one night. It may not be smooth sailing. Because Dafa is being persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the homes of Dafa practitioners are under severe pressure and being tested. A good family cultivation environment is established gradually when practitioners use the Fa as guidance for cultivation, and use righteous thoughts to eliminate the evil, continuously cultivating xinxing and harmonizing their families as well as their cultivation.
A family harmonized by Dafa is a window for spreading the Fa. Every family member has friends and relatives, which forms a large family network. People in this network can see the benevolence and wonderfulness of Dafa through the window of practitioners' homes. Thereby, our cultivation environment can extend and spread out via this network. Of course, this network is not based on predestined relationships or emotion, but due to a predestined relationship in the Fa.
2. Replace Affection with Benevolence
"Ordinary people just live for emotion" (Zhuan Falun). Affection for family members is the emotion that ordinary people cherish most. The family is actually immersed in a sea of affection. Emotion is selfish. For Dafa disciples who are cultivating towards selflessness and altruism, affection is an attachment that must be eliminated. It is hard to give up fame and money or affection. When facing our family who is full of affection, getting rid of affection in our cultivation is a very difficult and painful process. However, we must do it!
We live within our family not for affection but because of a predestined relationship. Our family members have this special predestined relationship with us because of Dafa. Therefore, in order to save them and have them obtain the Fa, we must jump out of affection and replace it with benevolence. The principles to harmonize our homes are "Truthfulness, Benevolence, Forbearance." We should use benevolence to replace affection and clarify the truth about Dafa to our family members in order to save them.
First, we should let them see that we are following the teachings of Dafa and trying to become better people. We need to fulfill our responsibilities as sons or daughters, husbands or wives, or as parents, and let our family members feel the sincerity, kindness, selflessness of a Dafa practitioner and the righteousness of Dafa. Extending from that, we should clarify the truth to our family members to let them understand what Falun Gong is, and realize the greatness and sacredness of Dafa. We should give them the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party and help them understand the evil nature of the CCP. Of course, the most important thing is to help them to start cultivating and study the Fa.
When we truly have righteous thoughts and righteous actions from the Fa, our family will form a big Dafa energy field. This energy field will help our family members respect Dafa and their human hearts will return to righteousness. Our affection will gradually fade and we will develop benevolence, and our homes will be harmonized to a righteous cultivation environment.
Many practitioners in our region have already harmonized their homes and many of their family members are cultivating, studying Dafa and doing Dafa work. There are many moving stories. One practitioner's daughter is a school teacher. When her boss asked her to join the CCP, she replied, "My mother was taken to a forced labor camp by the party because she did the Falun Gong exercises and wanted to be a good person. Why should I join the CCP?" Another practitioner was illegally arrested. Her son works at Xi'an, the capital city of Shaanxi Province. His company wanted to promote him to become a manager, so they asked him to make a declaration and disown his mother. He told them openly, "I am proud to have a mother who practices Falun Gong!"
3. Following the Fa by Looking Inward
When a cultivator encounters a conflict at home, that is an opportunity to raise up his or her xinxing, so it is a good thing. As long as we consider ourselves to be cultivators, follow the Fa by looking inward, find our own gaps and attachments and are always considerate to our family members, these conflicts can easily be resolved. The process of resolving a conflict is the process of raising our xinxing and improving our family environment.
Correctly facing our family environment is a path that we must walk. It is a narrow path, but we must walk it well and correctly. When dealing with family issues, we must not be extreme or take extreme actions, as Teacher warned us in "Take the Middle Way" from Essentials for Further Advancement. Otherwise, it will not only jeopardize our own cultivation and the salvation of our family members, but it will also cause a negative impact toward Dafa. A young practitioner obtained the Fa when he was away from home. Six months later, he returned home and his wife was very happy. But at night, when it was time to go to bed, he made a separate bed for him and claimed that he needed to get rid of the desire for sex and lust. The anger of his wife made it impossible for him to have a peaceful home. Another practitioner was put into a forced labor camp. When her father visited her and asked her to stop practicing Falun Gong, she did not explain anything to him. Instead, in order to show her firmness and complete separation from affection, she told her father, "My parents are in heaven. You are not my real father!" Her father thus left with great sorrow.
I want to say that being able to deal with the family environment correctly is as important as being able to deal with the work environment. Both of them are part of the path we must walk, which is arranged by our Teacher. None of these should be glossed over. I want to use an analogy of "the flowers are blooming inside the wall but the fragrance can only be smelled outside" to remind those cultivators who have not yet harmonized their family environment, that the flower of benevolence from a Dafa practitioner should not spread the fragrance just outside or inside, but on both sides. Its fragrance should be everywhere!
Above is my understanding from my own mistakes. Please kindly point out my gaps.