Whenever I Think of Teacher
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings, revered Teacher! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I am a Falun Gong practitioner from Teacher's hometown Changchun City, Jilin Province. It is a great honor to have been born in this sacred city and to have the opportunity to meet Teacher in person, to listen to Teacher imparting the Fa in person, to cultivate during Teacher's Fa-rectification, helping save sentient beings and returning to my true self.
Revered Teacher Leading the Way
Shortly after I started practicing Falun Gong in late 1995, I had a very strange dream. I stood on top of a sea of towering trees with foliage made of thorns that prevented me from moving at all. I was petrified. I stood absolutely still, afraid of moving. Then a man appeared before me about three steps away. He began to walk through the thick foliage of thorns to create a path. With each step he took, he flattened the thorns and created footprints that were safe to walk on. After making several such painful steps, the man turned around and pointed at the footprints, signaling me to step on the footprints. There was an endless sea of thorns before us, but the man created endless footprints for me to follow despite his pain. Thus, the man led me on at the expense of his own pain. When I watched Teacher's Fa lecture videotapes, I was shocked to suddenly realize that the man in my dream was Teacher!
It has been 12 years since I started practicing Falun Gong. It is Teacher who created a path among a sea of thorns to lead us on our way home. Despite adversities, dangers and obstacles, we have managed to progress in our respective cultivation step by step under Teacher's tutelage. When looking back at the path I have taken, I am deeply moved by Teacher's compassion and teaching.
Minding Etiquette and Minor Details
I have visited Teacher's home in Changchun. It had an old, run-down exterior and was very sparsely furnished. Teacher set a good example for treasuring natural resources and leading a simple, frugal lifestyle. Later I read the "Recalling Teacher's Compassion" series published on the Minghui website. I was very touched, but I also realized that I should learn from Teacher in terms of minding etiquette and minor details.
During an early winter, the temperature suddenly dropped overnight and a bag of sweet potatoes froze. I was taught by the elders that frozen sweet potatoes were inedible and must be thrown away. I was reluctant to throw away the sweet potatoes. I suddenly remembered a true story about Teacher when He was living in Changchun. One autumn when Teacher's wife was making Chinese sauerkraut, she threw away the outer leaves of the napa cabbages because the leaves were damaged. But Teacher picked the leaves from the trashcan and told her that they were still edible. With that in mind, I doubted if Teacher would approve of my throwing away the frozen sweet potatoes. I decided to steam the entire bag of frozen sweet potatoes. They turned out tasting even better than unfrozen sweet potatoes. I have learned from this experience that not throwing away food is not just about saving money or being frugal, but about treasuring life. As long as there is still a ray of hope in a life, I should have the compassion of saving it. As long as there is still a chance, I should give each life the opportunity to fulfill its value.
I also tried to educate my daughter the same way Teacher educated his daughter. I once told my daughter a story about Teacher. When Teacher first arrived in Beijing to impart the Fa, he had difficulties making ends meet. When Teacher's daughter needed a new pair of shoes, Teacher bought a used pair of shoes from a second-hand vendor on the streets of Beijing. An enlightened being's great virtue will be naturally manifested in every minor detail. My daughter must have kept the story at heart because she has dressed simply but appropriately after graduating from college. She has no interest in designer apparel or bags like many modern young women.
One day I was leaving home 30 minutes before a local Fa conference when the telephone rang. After spending ten minutes talking on the phone, I hurried downstairs and thought I would definitely be late. I felt slightly guilty for keeping fellow practitioners waiting, but I comforted myself that it was because of the phone call. But I suddenly remembered Teacher again. Teacher always arrived early for each Fa lecture and never kept any practitioner waiting. I should forgive others when they keep me waiting, but I should never keep anyone waiting. I ran all the way to the bus station. Just when I was about to hail a taxi, a bus arrived. There were four bus stops and five traffic lights to my destination. It turned out that we had green lights all the way to my destination. I ended up being the first practitioner to arrive. Since then, I have been very conscious about keeping my word and being more thoughtful of others even in minor details. By minding details and etiquette, I believe that I am cultivating myself and assimilating to the Fa.
Saving Sentient Beings out of Compassion
One day I shopped in a store and took the opportunity to clarify the truth about Falun Gong and the cruel persecution of Falun Gong to the store-owner. She didn't believe that such a horrible persecution could happen around her. I told her about my own experience as a victim of the persecution, which brought her to tears. Before I left, we exchanged phone numbers. Since then, if I went shopping or headed her way, I would stop by and talk to her or bring her new truth-clarification materials. She would think of me and call me if I hadn't called on her for a few days.
One day she called me and told me she had run into a problem. She asked me to stop by when I had a chance. Looking out the window, I saw the gusty wind twirling a lot of sand in the air. At first, I hesitated in leaving my comfortable home, but I remembered that she had been divorced for many years and it must be difficult for her to run a business and care for a child all by herself. She didn't go to her relatives or friends. Instead, she came to me when she ran into trouble. It goes to show that she had placed high hopes in a Falun Gong practitioner. Deep down, she must be asking the Fa for help! How could I not go see her merely because of the bad weather? How could I not be compassionate?
I put a scarf on my head and braved the sand storm that had turned the sky to an earthy yellow shade. I lowered my head and struggled to move against the wind. The gusty wind kept pushing me backward and made it difficult to breathe. On my way to her store, I kept thinking of a poem. Teacher said,
"Worrying about all things in the human world,
Laboring the heart over hardships in heaven."
("High Places Are Extremely Cold" from Hong Yin)
I remembered that Teacher has to carry a lot of karma that we had created over many lives in order to save us. In fact, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Teacher has endured far more than we will ever know...
Once at her store, she was shocked and deeply moved at the same time. I spit out the sand in my mouth and told her that it was Teacher who encouraged me to come to her in her time of need. I tried to comfort her and encourage her. I explained to her that every person came for the Fa. A few days later, I called on her again to bring her a Falun Gong amulet (1) as a gift. She unwrapped the gift anxiously and put it on immediately. Next she gave me a hug and patted me on the back. "My sister, you are like my real sister!"
We had many family members in our many past lives. They are all waiting for Teacher's salvation!
A Will as Strong as Diamond
One day I was preparing truth-clarification materials when I looked up and saw with my Celestial Eye a giant demon outside the window. The demon was so big that I couldn't see its entire head. In fact, I saw only its two large tusks in the window. It told me in a cold voice, "Just two days ago we beat two Falun Gong practitioners to death. Are you not afraid?" I started sending forth righteous thoughts and then left with a bag of truth-clarifying materials on my back. Once I got on a bus, I kept sending forth righteous thoughts. Teacher's Fa kept popping up in my mind. Teacher said,
"Once your thought is righteous, evil will collapse"
("What's There to Fear" from Hong Yin II)
"I am rooted in the universe. If anyone can harm you, he or she would be able to harm me. Put simply, that person would be able to harm this universe." ("Characteristics of Falun Dafa" from Lecture One of Zhuan Falun)
At that moment, I felt that my body, made of diamond in another dimension, kept expanding and sending out energy that melted all the evil beings. I felt myself filled with the Fa's energy and all the evil elements in other dimensions no longer existed. At that moment, I had a better understanding of the Fa -- mind and matter is one thing. When a Falun Gong practitioner has a will as strong as diamond in the human realm, her body in another dimension will become diamond, and her universe will become as strong as diamond as well. I felt the powerful force of Teacher's Fa-rectification, but no words can describe its mighty power. We Falun Gong practitioners have come to the human realm to assist Teacher in Fa-rectification. It is also our responsibility to rectify everything that is unrighteous.
Eliminating the Attachment of Selfishness
Shortly after I started practicing Falun Gong, I knew I must attain the realm of selflessness and altruism to become a righteous enlightened being. While cultivating during the Fa-rectification, I realized that all the problems I encountered resulted from the fundamental characteristic of the old universe --- selfishness.
Not long ago, the local police unlawfully arrested many practitioners. I became worried for my personal safety and wondered if it would be safe to browse the Internet with my home cable connection. Because of my wavering mentality, my computer failed. I decided not to use the Internet at home. Instead, I went to a fellow practitioner's home to get on the Internet and downloaded everything I needed onto a portable disk. As a result, I didn't delay any truth-clarification production work.
After making several trips to the practitioner's home, I began to question my behavior. The fellow practitioner also uses a cable connection. If it is not safe for me to use my cable connection at home, then it is not safe for him either. The local police know where I live. Now that I kept going to his place, the local police would find him too! I am putting him at risk, so as to protect my personal safety! In other words, I am avoiding danger and bringing him danger. How can I be so selfish? I finally faced my selfish mindset. It is precisely because of selfishness that the old universe has become degenerated! It is a characteristic that the new universe has purged. It is a characteristic that must be eliminated by the Fa-rectification. We have decided to follow Teacher in Fa-rectification for the sake of the entire universe's safety. This is why we risked coming down to the human realm. Why am I holding fast to the secular attachment of selfishness? I should present to Teacher my pure, clean heart! It is shameful that I dare not clarify the truth, produce truth-clarification materials or step out for the Fa, in order to protect my personal safety. It is shameful that I watch sentient beings weeded out and do nothing, in order to protect my personal safety. Once I rectified my mind, my computer began working again, and I could browse the Internet normally.
On my cultivation path, I have thought of Teacher numerous times at pivotal moments. The instant I think of Teacher, I feel enveloped with immense compassion, wisdom and power. Everything comes from Teacher! I tell myself repeatedly that I want nothing but Teacher and the Fa because everything I have comes from Teacher and the Fa.