Divorce Is Not the Path Master Has Arranged for Me
(Clearwisdom.net) When I first started to practice Falun Gong, all my illnesses disappeared. I became optimistic and cheerful and was very happy with my life and work. My husband was also very supportive of my Falun Gong practice. However, after the persecution started on July 20, 1999, he became very worried and was against me going out to contact other practitioners and was very much against my clarifying the facts. My husband is a well-known scholar and is usually very busy. For me, apart from work and household chores, what I think about most is how to do well the three things. I thought, "He has his career and I have my goals. We will not interfere with each other and can live in peace." But a cultivation path is not always smooth, and I have encountered repeated disturbances in my family life.
The first disturbance
After the CCP's crime of harvesting Falun Gong practitioners' organs was made public, I stepped up my efforts to clarify the facts and tried to reduce my household chores. Each time my husband came back from a busines trip, I was not happy, because when he was at home my movements were somewhat restricted. Once by accident I found that he had some lewd photos in his computer that he had downloaded from the Internet. When I confronted him about it, he turned around and blamed me for not providing any family warmth. In the end he even suggested that we should divorce. I thought that he was clearly in the wrong and yet he proposed to divorce me! What sort of morals do we have left in society?!
According to the requirements of Dafa, as a practitioner I should not argue with everyday people and should practice tolerance, but I felt I could not lose face, and in order to protect my dignity, I was not willing to make peace with him of my own accord. On the other hand, I could not let go of sentiment. I thought, "For 30 years, I have sacrificed my own career for the sake of his and for our son, and I have given all my energy and heart to our family. How could he be so heartless?" I was very sad and heartbroken but at the same time very angry. I could not sleep that night, tossing and turning in agony. In the end I decided that if he wanted a divorce, then I'd let him have it. I would not submit to him.
Master said, "Some couples have fought almost to the point of divorce because one of them does cultivation exercises." (The Fourth Talk, Zhuan Falun, 2003 Translation Version) But Master did not say that we could divorce; instead he told us that when other people treat us badly, we should be very forgiving and not act like ordinary people. We should not measure ourselves against the principles of ordinary people but against higher level principels, because there's also the issue of transforming karma involved. I understood the Fa principles, but it was rather difficult to put them into practice. I read the section "Loss and Gain" and "Transformation of Karma" in Lecture Four in Zhuan Falun again and again, and I recited "Genuine Cultivation." As I read, my heart was deeply touched and I felt very ashamed. I said to Master that I did not want to hold on to all that dirty stuff in me and asked him to help me. I was determined to conduct myself and cultivate myself according to the Fa. At last I plucked up my courage and said to my husband, "Maybe I have not done well enough. I have focused too much on what I want to do and ignored your feelings." This resolved the conflict.
The second disturbance
Due to my attachments and the fact that when I clarified the facts my heart was not pure enough, I was arrested and taken to the local police station. The police wanted to detain me. Under Master's protection and hint, I let go of fear, and with the support of fellow practitioners' constant righteous thoughts, the police failed to keep me in custody. When I got home, my family members blamed me in front of my husband, saying that I was interfering with his career and the future of our son. My husband joined in and said to me sarcastically, "You can really look death calmly in the face, can you? Do you want to be a saint?" I said to him, "You are a learned scholar. Members of your family died because of the persecution during the Culture Revolution. Today, the CCP is ruthlessly persecuting so many Falun Gong practitioners. What wrong have we done by upholding justice and exposing the persecution?" To my surprise, he went into a rage and smacked the table. He also spoke impolitely about Master.
I felt I had not done anything wrong, but here was another tribulation.
Master told us that when there are conflicts, we must look within ourselves, whether we are in the wrong or not. I calmed down and started to look for loopholes in myself. I found that I had a mentality of being an everyday person's type of heroine. My father used to do underground work for the CCP. In the pursuit of the so-called "truth," he completely disregarded his own life and safety. (He has now awakened.) I really admired his daring spirit and his fearless integrity. This feeling fits in with everyday people's mentality. As Dafa disciples created by the Fa, it is not wrong to let go of life and death from the perspective of the Fa at a certain level, but letting go of life and death does not mean acknowledging the arrangements of the old forces, even less should we acknowledge the old forces' persecuting us to death. According to the Fa principles at an even higher level during the Fa-rectification period, Dafa disciples shoulder the mission to save sentient beings. Being incarcerated or "dying a martyr's death" are not the paths Master has arranged for us; they are old forces' arrangements. We are here to assist Master in saving sentient beings and to realize our pre-historic pledges, so we must elevate our understanding beyond everyday people and we must understand the Fa from the Fa and measure our conduct against the Fa.
I found yet another attachment. I always talked about saving people, but deep in my heart I put my consummation and cultivation as the top priority, placing them above my family. Although I thought I did not cultivate well and I could not save my family members, still I could not get over the fact that I had not relinquished my selfishness. When I looked within, I found that it was true that I did not have much consideration for others. At home I often said things that were hurtful to others and I tended to put on an air that I was superior to others. I thought that no matter how knowledgeable my husband was he was still just an everyday person, and what he knew was far from what I have learned in the Fa. I did not show due respect for him and his achievements, and I held onto a strong fighting mentality. Whenever I did not agree with certain ideas, I would show that they were not worth even a glance and negated them completely. I also had jealousy and a show-off mentality and did not do as Master told us:
"If you are always compassionate and friendly to others, if you always consider other people when you do things, and whenever you have issues with other people you first think about whether they can take it or whether it will cause them harm, then you won't have any problem. So, when you cultivate you should follow high and even higher standards." (The Fourth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
"Always consider other people when you do things." This simple sentence reflects the noble realm of a selfless, enlightened being. It is the highest requirement for us as cultivators. To be able to do this, we need to let go of our human attachments step by step in our cultivation.
Next, my husband wanted me to declare my intention. Either I had to stop going out to clarify the facts or we would get a divorce. I did not give in to his threat. I did not and could not make any promise to my husband that was against Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. I only said to him, "I will be responsible for this family." At the same time, I thought to myself, "Deny any arrangement by the old forces. Dafa disciples' validating the Fa and clarifying the facts are the most righteous and most sacred missions in the universe. I should not be persecuted and my family should not be 'implicated.' I should not divorce. I should be able to maintain normal family relationships."
Of course before I came to this understanding, I did think about a divorce. But in the end I denied the divorce option, because a divorce would have a negative impact on Dafa. Besides, without a family environment, I would face many difficulties in validating the Fa, and my husband might be inclined to do bad things against Dafa practitioners. So I decided that I would keep a strong will and demonstrate great tolerance. In order to validate Dafa, I would keep looking within and endure humiliation. Whenever there were conflicts in the family, I would say to myself, "Endure humiliation; it is hard to endure, but you can endure."
My husband stopped forcing me to take a stand and our life returned to normal again.
The third disturbance
I continued to do well the three things, but I did not tell him about some of the things I did.
This made me feel a bit uneasy, and I worried that he might again want to get a divorce, especially if he found out what I was doing. So I started to think about our properties. Because I had this unkind thought, my older sister suggested that I deposit a sum of money in her name, so at least I could save my own salary. Most everyday people would probably do things this way. One day my husband suddenly made it clear that he wanted to change our plans and not purchase a bigger house. He said, "We could purchase an apartment offered by my employer. It's a good deal. If we do not divorce, we could choose a bigger one, otherwise we could get a smaller one. I have already signed a contract and paid the deposit." When I heard that, I could not help feeling very angry: How could he go back on his word like that and be so untrustworthy? His moral character had changed so much for the worse!
When I calmed down to study the Fa I realized that I had caused the problem, that it was a manifestation of my unrighteous thoughts in this dimension. I should let go of my attachments, especially my greed for personal gain and money. Getting a divorce or not is not the most important consideration; the key point is how I walk my path and follow what Master has arranged for me and how I conduct myself according to the Fa in an aboveboard manner as a cultivator. Otherwise, how do I demonstrate that I have been cultivating for the past ten odd years?
It worked. A day later, my husband withdrew his proposal and went back to our original plans.
The fourth disturbance
Before the Olympic Games, the evil intensified the persecution of Falun Gong and the local police called my husband again and again to ask if I was at home and put pressure on him. My husband got very nervous and worried. He shouted at me, "Because of you I cannot work in peace, and my research project has been jeopardized. Let's get a divorce!" I asked him what I did that had actually damaged the family. He could not think of anything to say.
I controlled myself and did not say anything. I thought there was no point in saying anything else. I sat down in front of my desk in my room and looked at Master's photo for a long time. Did I really need to take the path of divorce? If that's the case, then so be it. I calmed down and went to my husband and said, "All right, for the sake of your work, I can move out, but I need a week to get ready." I went to a fellow practitioner's house. On the way I thought, "Indeed, for so many years, ever since the persecution started, he has been under so much pressure. He is worried and lives in fear of possible misfortunes every day. If our being separated can free him from all this, then I shall feel happy for him. I have firm beliefs and have the Fa in my heart, and I also have Master holding my hand and guiding me on the path toward godhood, so I can endure any tribulations. But he and those who have not obtained the Fa are to be pitied." At that moment, I did not feel any pain for myself; I did not feel any resentment or grievance, just compassion for him.
Thank you, Master! At last I had started to think of others and to escape sentimentality. I remember when I first started to practice cultivation I had such a narrow understanding about letting go of human sentiments: If I did not have any feelings for him I couldn't imagine living with him even for one more day. It would be impossible. Now I truly understood that only by having compassion can we let go of sentiments. Compassion is so noble and so beautiful. It is such a free and unrestrained realm. In the past I was always like what Master said, "Out of selfishness and anger he complains about unfairness towards himself." But now I felt I began to understand: "With no discontentment or hatred, he takes hardship as joy." (From "Realm" in Essentials for Further Advancement)
The next day I wrote him a note and left it on his desk with Master's teachings. I asked him to write a proper divorce agreement and told him that, while in the past I had been apprehensive about asking him to read Master's Fa, it was now time. I told him that it was not important whether we divorced or not; what was important was that he not reject Dafa.
Several days passed, and I still looked after him as usual. To date, he has never mentioned divorce again. Gradually he has started to call me by my pet name again, and when he is away on business, he calls me almost every day.
I will verify my promise by being responsible for this family. I will be responsible for him and for them, and for them to obtain the Fa in the future. My husband has said that he will quit the CCP.
Study the Fa well and cultivate ourselves well. Only then can we truly benefit our families. Divorce is not the path Master has arranged for me.
October 18, 2008