Cultivating Amidst Hardships
(Clearwisdom.net) Over the past ten years, I have tumbled along the road of cultivation, experiencing karma elimination, suffering through tribulations, tests, and family conflicts. I felt the blessings when Teacher cleansed my body so that I was without illness. Moreover, I have felt the immense joy of being a Dafa practitioner, helping Teacher during the Fa-rectification period.
I started practicing Falun Dafa on February 27, 1996 after I saw a video of Teacher's lecture. When I first got the ticket to watch the lectures, I was very happy and wished for that day to come sooner. After the first night of watching the lecture, I didn't even know how I got home. My mind was blank. I walked into my home and sat on the sofa for a long time, wondering how I had lived during the past several decades. After that day, I attended the video lecture series one after another. I attended seven series, each lasting nine days. The more I listened, the more I liked to listen and I couldn't get enough of it. Each day I studied the Fa. I copied the text in the morning, went to group study in the afternoon, and attended group exercises in the evening.
In less than a month of practicing Falun Gong, I stopped wearing the glasses which I had worn for over ten years. Even now, I never wear glasses when I read Dafa books, regardless of day or night. I don't need to wear glasses for sewing either. Twenty days into practicing, Teacher cleansed my body. When doing the third exercise, "Penetrating the Two Cosmic Extremes," as my hands moved down, I felt that my whole body was cold from top to bottom. That feeling lasted for over 20 days and then disappeared. I had suffered from headaches for over 20 years that no medicine could cure, but they soon disappeared as well. For the first time in my life, I was without any illness and felt light throughout my whole body.
On July 20, 1999, the wicked CCP started persecuting Falun Gong throughout the whole country. The programs on TV were full of lies and deception, slandering Falun Gong. As I watched TV, I would criticize the programs out loud. My husband scolded me, but I still kept talking. He grabbed me by the arms and pushed me out of the room, but I still came back in and kept on talking. With regard to the so-called Tiananmen self immolation, which was definitely staged by the government to frame Falun Gong, I said that I have worked in a hospital for over 20 years, and have never seen a burn patient wrapped so tightly. How could a person sing when the air tube was cut open? The burn ward doesn't allow anyone to go in without putting on isolation suits; what if the patients got an infection? When my husband kept on scolding me, I said to myself, "Teacher, how many people can understand you?" I cried. At night, I even cried as I read Zhuan Falun. I continued to read the books and do the exercises every day.
In 2000, a fellow practitioner told me about Teacher's article, "The Knowing Heart" (from Essentials for Further Advancement II.) I was so happy, as if I heard Teacher's voice and saw Teacher himself. That same evening I went to the fellow practitioner's home and we studied the article together several times. Each of us made a copy and I memorized it that night. It is still fresh in my memory today. Later, Teacher published "Rationality." It says,
"Stepping forward to validate the Fa using many different approaches is a magnificent act..." and
"The actions they are now adopting in the persecution of Dafa and its students are extremely evil and shameful, and they fear these will be exposed. You must let the world's people know about their evilness this is saving people, as well." (Essentials for Further Advancement II)
After reading this article, I immediately thought about writing down the government's crimes and sending it out to let people know. I wanted to clarify the truth and let others know the facts about Dafa. At that time, nobody was making materials, so I decided to make them myself. At that time I was taking care of my grandchild and mother-in-law, who was over eighty years old.
I wrote truth-clarification materials at night and had my relatives take me to make copies. In the evening, I would write the addresses and stamp the envelopes. Even if the time passed midnight, I would still finish them. I wanted to send them out early, so more people could learn the truth. During the day, when I took my grandchild out, I would hand them out. I don't know how many copies I have distributed or mailed. I sent out over a thousand copies to people in the surrounding counties, including government officials and villagers. I also posted a few thousand copies around the county.
As the Fa-rectification progresses, more materials are becoming available, but the requirements on us have also increased. When my mother-in-law had surgery for stomach cancer, I needed to take care of her. I also had to look after my grandchild and do all the household chores. My husband was also against me practicing Dafa. At that time I thought, "My mother-in-law has six children of her own. Her daughter and other daughter-in-law are also not working and they are young. Why does it have to be me to take care of her?" In addition, when I was giving birth to my two children in the 70s, my mother-in-law lived very close to me and did not even come to take care of me for one day. I had already started practicing Falun Dafa when my mother-in-law needed me. I was required to take care my grandchild as well as my mother-in-law. After I prepared meals for the child, I had to prepare separate meals for my mother-in-law, because she needed to eat soft food and multiple smaller meals after the surgery. I also had to do all the household chores. I asked myself if I was afraid of the hardship. The answer was, "No." After my daughter came home from work, I could go out and get the materials and give them to fellow practitioners. I would make time to distribute truth-clarification materials and letters, and clarify the truth to people face to face. At night, I would study the Fa, copy the lectures, and do the exercises. I only got 2 to 4 hours of sleep each day, but I was full of energy during the day and didn't feel tired at all. This was the path Teacher had arranged for me. With Teacher's protection and help, I was able to walk the path well. My mother-in-law also obtained the Fa. She especially liked to listen to Teacher's lectures. From the time she went into the hospital to her death, family members were worried and wanted to give her medicine for pain. But she didn't feel pain and didn't need the shots. She benefited greatly from the Fa.
My grandchild also obtained the Fa. I often take her with me when I go out to pick up or distribute truth-clarification materials. One time we waited for three hours on the sidewalk and she did not make a fuss once, although she was only two years old then. Every time I took her out to play, she would remind me to take some truth-clarification materials or letters. When we were out she would tell me where the mailboxes were, so I could send the letters. In the evenings, I would read Zhuan Falun to her, and when we were outside, we would recite Fa. She really likes it when I recite one sentence and she recites the next. When she plays by herself at home, she says to herself, "Waist-drum formations, Gods steeped in the Fa, Every sound of the Fa drums pipes Zhen Shan Ren...." ("Waist-Drum Troupe" from Hong Yin, Volume II)
Twice, she started to have a fever around 3:00 p.m., and it would rise up to 39 oC by the evening. My husband told me to take her to the hospital, but my granddaughter said to him, "All you know is to go to the hospital. It is Teacher eliminating karma for me." She asked me if she was right. I replied, "Yes." I asked her if it would be okay not taking her to the hospital. She said she would not take any medicine or injections. I asked her if she wanted to study the Fa with me. She replied, "Yes," so we read Zhuan Falun. After a while, she fell asleep. By 2:00 a.m. the next morning, her temperature had returned to normal again. In the morning when she woke up, she said, "I am fine now." There was another time her eyes became very red. Her mother (a non-practitioner) bought some eye drops for her, but she wouldn't use them. She said Teacher was eliminating karma for her and there was no need to do anything. After three days, everything was normal again.
She started attending pre-school at three and a half years old. One day she told me, "A kid took my seat, and I let him. Isn't it the same as using another seat? Another kid pushed me to the ground, but I didn't hit back." I replied, "You did right. This is to improve xinxing. You have followed Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance as Teacher said. You are a good child." Every time she tells me these sort of things, I would give her a very positive response to encourage her.
Ever since I started cultivation, most of my tribulations came from my family. Rarely was there any interference from external sources. When my granddaughter started kindergarten and my mother-in-law passed away, it appeared that I had more time, and my mind also relaxed. The old forces took advantage of this loophole and used it to interfere with me. I was followed and taken to the police station. They asked me where I got the truth-clarification materials, so I told them that I found them on the street. They did not believe me, as they could not find any on the street. I told them that there must be a good reason. "Not anyone can pick them up," I said. I was sent to a brainwashing center. At the beginning of my sentence, I was full of righteous thoughts, and sent forth righteous thoughts every hour. I told myself that I would not tell them anything about fellow practitioners or material production sites. I was determined to endure everything, no matter what. I did not waver when the persecution was most brutal in the past, but I was fooled by their fake kindness. I did what a practitioner should not do, and I was deeply saddened.
Fellow practitioners have given me much encouragement and caring. When I was in the brainwashing center, two practitioners (one of them did not even know me; they had just heard of me) came to visit, bringing clothes and other things. The jail head told them that they did not know where I was, and the practitioners replied, "No matter where she is, her heart won't change." When I heard this, my whole body shook and tears came down. It was Teacher's hint for me. Fellow practitioner's trust, tolerance and selflessness helped me to realize the power of Dafa. How could I not cleanse myself with the Fa and merge myself within the Fa?
Some practitioners could not understand me; some who have known me for years had distanced themselves from me. I was depressed. I cried and hated myself for not doing well. I knew this was the cause of the misunderstandings. From it, I learned that some practitioners have great intolerance towards each other. I told myself to look at others' strong points and compare them to my shortcomings. Only then could I tolerate every practitioner on the cultivation path led by Teacher, so that we could walk well hand-in-hand.
After I returned from the brainwashing center, I had a dream. In the dream, I saw a large river, one that you could not see across, and the water was green. I stood alone on the shore. It seemed that there was a Fa conference on the other side of river, but as I looked across I could not see anything. How could I get across the river? With just one thought, I lifted up into the air and flew over. Just as I was about to land, I woke up. My understanding was that Teacher did not give up on me. Others were having a Fa conference while I was left behind, but Teacher led me there. The next step was for me to walk; otherwise it wouldn't be me that is cultivating.
I have read all of Teacher's lectures over the years, some of which I have read twice. I started to memorize Zhuan Falun. I thought if I can memorize the Fa, I would able to use it to judge things and would be able to do better. However, my husband wouldn't let me study the Fa or do the exercises after I returned from the brainwashing center. He claimed that I had destroyed our family. So I would read and do the exercises when he was sleeping, so that he wouldn't interfere with me. Then I thought, to hide from him is not right either, so I started to read and do the exercises openly. My husband then took away my books, so I shouted for Teacher and tried to get my books back. He then pushed me to the ground and left the room. It was very late at night. I decided to leave home so that I would have an environment where I could study and practice in the open. I took some simple things and went to a relative's home. The next day, I asked my relative to rent a place for me. When my daughter found out, she told me not to move and said she would talk with her father about me returning home. I said, "I only ask to able to read and practice the exercises freely, and not be interfered with when I go out." With our joint efforts, my husband agreed. Now I am able to cultivate openly, clarify the truth, distribute materials, and do all the things a practitioner should do during the Fa-rectification period.
It is Dafa that has opened my mind so that I could think of others first. It is Teacher that has given me the opportunity to return to my true self. It is the great Buddha Fa that has helped me get rid of selfish notions and let me be a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple, even though I was full of sins. I will look within, cultivate myself and do well in the three things.