The Way I Handle My Marriage (With Editor's Note)
(Clearwisdom.net) I have read many articles by fellow practitioners on their views about marriage, and here I want to share my own experience on the topic.
I had a bitter marriage and ten years have passed since I was divorced. It all happened before I started practicing cultivation, and I swore I would never get married again. After I started practicing cultivation, I became more determined not to marry again. I have been homeless and drifting around since 2000, when I went to appeal for Falun Dafa in Beijing, and I have been working as housemaid or doing other odd jobs to support my daughter's schooling. Between jobs I would stay in fellow practitioners' homes. I've always felt uneasy about this as I know I have caused them too much inconvenience. Here I would like to express my appreciation to all the fellow practitioners who have helped me.
In 2003 when I was working at a seniors' center, a worker fell in love with me and proposed marriage. I refused him right away and told this to a practitioner I trusted. To my surprise, she seemed upset, saying that this would not have happened if I wasn't wanting it to happen deep down inside.
A few days later she said to me, "You may talk to him and help him obtain the Fa." I felt uneasy about her suggestion and didn't know if it was appropriate to do so, but I respected her opinion a lot. (Note from the editor: A practitioner should take the Fa as Master.) She was one of the coordinators in my city and had done very well in the forced labor camp, so I agreed to talk to my suiter and told him that Dafa was good, that my health had improved after I started practicing, and about many benefits other practitioners had experienced. He was unexpectedly stubborn. He said he'd rather learn from Lei Feng [a soldier lauded as a selfless role model in the 1950s in China] and he could be a good person that way too. A few days later, the practitioner came and said to me, "Don't talk to him anymore, for, if you dropped to an ordinary person's level, wouldn't it be my fault?" I thought she was right. I had reached a level where I was able to see, in other dimensions, shiny palaces and pavilions and the golden crown I was wearing. I went straight to the man and told him that I couldn't get further involved with him. I saw him frowning and left before he could say anything. I didn't spare a thought for him. The only thing in my mind was that I couldn't lose my focus and drop down because of him.
A few days went by before he met me and said, "If you agree to marry me, I will jump in." He meant he would start practicing cultivation. I said, "You may start practicing cultivation, but I can't promise you anything." Disappointed, he turned and left. Later, another fellow practitioner learned about this and said to me, "You have pushed away a person who might be able to obtain the Fa. If he finds an ordinary person as his life partner, he will miss out on his chance. Since he wanted to join you in cultivating, how could you drop down?" I was speechless and didn't know what to do next. At that moment, I heard the sound of him sobbing coming from the hallway. (He was not at the seniors' center at the time.) I figured it was his master soul that was crying, so I agreed to talk to him again. He started to study the Fa and do the exercises, and was surprised at how fast Master adjusted his body. "It's exactly as the book says. So there is indeed Gods up there!" he exclaimed. One day, I was not at the center. He went to the other two practitioners for doing the exercises, but those two practitioners were busy and didn't want to do it then. He had not learned to do all five sets of exercises yet, so when I returned, he asked me to do them with him. However, I had finished doing the exercises for that day, so I said to him, "You go ahead and do the second exercise, and I'll send righteous thoughts right beside you."
Since then we always studied the Fa and did the exercises together. As time went by, people began to gossip. "See? They wouldn't move in with one another as we suggested, and yet they are always together. Who knows what they are doing." When gossip like that reached the ears of fellow practitioners, some of them thought it was not a big deal, some reprimanded me, and some even avoided me. I didn't try to explain it to any of them, only felt I had not done well in holding on to the noble goal while tending to details. I knew I couldn't break up with him a third time, because that would give him the impression that I was playing games with him. Then, another practitioner came forward and said, "Dafa practitioners have their families, too. It is not like when one starts practicing cultivation he won't want a family anymore. As long as he can let go of everything in his heart, he will be able to pass any test." Inspired, we went to have our marriage registered.
With marriage came interference. My husband started as an ordinary person, so he had a strong desire, and sometimes I couldn't help but go along. I really felt trapped and even thought I should run off, but then how would ordinary people see me? Master taught us,
"... ordinary people just live for emotion. Then if you're a practitioner, a higher person, you can't use this logic to evaluate things, and you need to break out of this stuff."(The Sixth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
I kept a thought in my mind, "I have to break through this critical pass!" Miraculously, he would fall asleep. However, there were also times when that thought didn't work and he did what he wanted to do. When he did so, he would suffer loose bowels, sometimes three times a day. I told him that he shouldn't do it anymore and that he should take it lightly. He retorted that Master said it should be taken lightly, not forbidden. I knew this was because he just started practicing, but I was a veteran practitioner and I should pass this test. Master said,
"...a typical person who's within the range of your field, like for example, the people around you when you're at home, you can restrain those other people. Your whole family might be under the effects of your restraining." (The Sixth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
I kept sending forth righteous thoughts in silence. As a result, he came to understand that practitioners are different from everyday people. Master gives us a healthy body for us to practice cultivation, not to enjoy an ordinary person's life. Therefore, he found a job that required him to do a night shift. Now our relationship is increasingly harmonious, with each of us thoughtful of the other. I always try to do more house chores so that he can feel the kindness of a Dafa practitioner.
[Editor's note: The way the practitioner thinks and acts in this article reflects her good will and her intention to help another person to obtain the Fa. However, Master has published teachings in this respect, and we hope fellow practitioners with similar thoughts read Master's teachings again. (See the following.) From the perspective of beings' levels and cultivation, the cultivated parts of veteran practitioners are very strong and perfect. Their bodies and characters are at very high levels, whereas ordinary people and new practitioners are still at the level of the human world, or close to the level of the human world. They are still dominated by the human side, the side that has not been cultivated, and are filled with karma and muddy substances. We are living in the human world, so it is true we should think about how we should cultivate while conforming to the human way of life. Meanwhile, as cultivators, we should think more from Heaven's perspective. Gods show mercy toward human beings, yet they will not regard themselves as being human. When a veteran practitioner marries an everyday person or a new practitioner, it is like a bond between a god and a human being. Will that happen in Heaven? We should all think about it rationally, so that we may do better in cultivating ourselves on the Fa in the final stage of Fa-rectification cultivation.]
The following is a quote from Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference (1999)
Question: Some students want to use their marriages as a way to have people learn the Fa. How will Teacher's Law Bodies arrange this?
Teacher: About this matter, I want to tell everyone this: Don't mix together your personal life with cultivation, and don't mix your work with cultivation. Cultivation is very serious. Dafa is solemn. It's not like we have to beg people to obtain the Fa. If they don't want to, so be it. Certainly the student's intention is good, thinking, "I'll sacrifice my marriage so that you can obtain the Fa." I can see that the intention is excellent. But I think you don't necessarily have to handle it like that. The Fa is solemn, and your sacrifice for him would then mean that he obtained the Fa out of pursuing something; he would be learning the Fa only to gain something, and that wouldn't work for him, since he didn't qualify from the outset. It's not that Dafa has to be obtained by him. Some people say: "Teacher, you should teach your Fa such-and-such way. Why don't Buddhas save people such-and-such way?" Do you think Buddhas have nothing better to do and are obligated to save you? Buddhas are compassionate toward human beings, but they are great gods! Their compassion is absolutely not the kind of humanized compassion that people imagine; the compassion man speaks of and imagines is merely kindness. Buddhas are kind, for sure. But that compassion is a manifestation of the great power of Buddha Fa. No matter how bad a person may be or how wicked something may be, things as strong as iron and steel will melt before the mighty power and compassion of Buddha Fa. That's why demons are scared when they see it--they are really afraid. They will melt away and vanish. This is absolutely different from what man imagines.