Striving Forward in Cultivation Together with a Young Dafa Disciple
(Clearwisdom.net) Several months after my daughter was born, my husband was fortunate to begin cultivating. He often played Master's lecture videos at home, so our little girl was also able to listen to the Fa. When she grew older she practiced the exercises together with my husband. I had then not yet truly began cultivation, but my third eye was open. I could see things such as lights, Falun and flowers in other dimensions, so I was supportive of my daughter in her practice.
1. Entering the Path of Cultivation
I didn't formally begin cultivation until 1998, when my husband urged me one day to watch one of Master's lecture videos at another practitioner's home. Work prevented me from being there on time, and when I arrived at the practitioner's home I heard a man's voice say, "Why did you arrive late?" I looked around and didn't see anyone talking to me. Everyone was attentively watching the video lecture. I thought it must be Master talking to me. From that point on I tried to always make sure I was on time when there were group activities like this, and I usually brought our daughter along.
Our daughter was six years old and in first grade when the persecution began in 1999. Since she could already recognize some Chinese characters, my husband and I often read Dafa books to her, but we didn't formally ask her to practice the exercises. The following year the persecution became even more rampant, and my husband was often harassed by the authorities. Later in 2000 he decided to leave home to avoid further persecution.
I became a single parent. Being quick-tempered and entertaining a strong pursuit of fame and material interest back then, I had high expectations for my daughter. I didn't spend much time studying the Fa myself, yet I devoted a significant amount of time focusing on our daughter's schoolwork, though I failed to guide her reasonably and rationally in Fa study. Instead, I often forced her to read the Fa and scolded her if she didn't pay attention, which made her oppose reading the Fa. Eventually I realized that my forcing her wouldn't change her mind. Gradually I adjusted my attitude and advised her gently to study the Fa. This worked well, and our daughter often talked to her schoolmates about Dafa.
2. Being More Determined and Diligent when Encountering Tribulations
Because I was too obsessed with our daughter's academic performance, her grades went up or down with my xinxing level. When I couldn't calm down to find my shortcomings I often scolded her for not listening to me. She felt extremely pressured each time we discussed grades. When I managed at times to guard my xinxing, my daughter would go out with me to distribute truth-clarification materials, rain or shine, and we encouraged each other and would get the job done safely.
One day in 2003 I was reported to the police when my daughter and I were distributing the materials in the countryside. While I spoke with the police, my daughter ran home to put away our Dafa books, and then found other family members to come and rescue me.
Even though I managed to escape from the police, I developed a strong fear. Three days later I was arrested and sentenced to one year of forced labor. My daughter was in third grade, and my detention was a heavy blow for her. At school her principal forced her to promise no longer to practice Falun Gong. My husband was still homeless, and our daughter went to live with my mother-in-law. Everyone in my mother-in-law's home treated our daughter nicely, but they had a lot of misunderstandings about Dafa and my arrest. This made our daughter depressed, and she became overly sensitive, fearing that her own safety might be compromised. But since she has been practicing cultivation for a long time, she still knew deep in her heart that Dafa was good. When I returned from the labor camp she told me she would still practice Falun Gong together with me. Our daughter had grown much more mature in that year, also learned to ride a bike and take care of herself.
I didn't rush to find a job after my release, but instead stayed home to intensely study the Fa. I also urged our daughter to read the Fa. She memorized and recited the whole book Zhuan Falun over the summer. I also reminded her to practice the exercises regularly. As a result, her righteous thoughts became stronger and stronger. In 2004 my husband was arrested and thrown into a forced labor camp. I took our daughter to visit my husband twice. Each time she managed to deliver Master's most recent articles to him, fortified with her strong righteous thoughts. Those articles greatly encouraged my husband and other detained practitioners.
3. Abandoning Attachments to Personal Interests
Because I failed to remove my attachments to personal interest quickly enough, my daughter was also negatively affected, as children mirror adults. I realized that if I didn't purge my addiction to self-interest, I would only invite much more trouble. I decided to address this in my daily life. I shared my thoughts with my daughter, and we both realized the consequences of clinging to our attachments. Studying the Fa is the most powerful weapon, so we used every opportunity to read the Fa together. Now we can take money and personal advantages lightly. We also know that even though we're not attached to those things, we can still make good use of them to validate the Fa and save sentient beings.
4. Relinquishing Emotions and Striving Forward Together
In "Cultivators' Avoidances" (from Essentials for Further Advancement), Master said,
"Those who are attached to affection for family will definitely be burned, entangled, and tormented by it. Pulled by the threads of affection and plagued by them throughout their lives, they will find it too late to regret at the end of their lives."
The more a practitioner's affection for a certain person is exhibited, the more trouble that person may encounter.
During one spring, for close to two months my daughter couldn't stop coughing, and the symptoms worsened at night. Even though I knew that as a practitioner my daughter would recover on her own, I didn't realize that my affection for her would prolong her tribulation. I remembered to send righteous thoughts, but it didn't seem to help much. I then resorted to non-practitioners' methods of having her eat certain foods to help alleviate her symptoms. Sometimes I even yelled at her, complaining about why she couldn't control her cough.
Seeing that I couldn't become aware of my affections, Master gave me hints in a dream. I dreamed of being on the roof of a big bus. I looked inside the bus through the ventilation hole and saw it was set up just like my home. Our daughter was lying in bed, and I dropped her some food. After I woke up I suddenly had an insight. Why can't I improve based on the Fa together with my daughter? Even though I didn't give her any medicine, I still tried to offer her special foods to make her feel better. I was still clinging to human notions. How can the evil thus refrain from persecuting us? I immediately shared my understandings with our daughter and at the same time intensified sending righteous thoughts. Within a few days her cough disappeared. But I had not completely let go of my attachment, and our daughter developed a fever several days later. Again, I sent righteous thoughts, and she soon was rid of her ailment.
Loneliness is also an emotion. When my husband and I were being persecuted, our daughter had no one with whom to share her feelings and thoughts, fearing that other people would hurt her. As she studied the Fa more and more, she was able to discern good from bad in society, and also found that she wasn't interested in what other people talked about and discussed. Because she didn't have friends with common interests, she could only express her anguish to me. She often wanted me to chat with her and finally she resorted to watching TV to free herself from loneliness. I was worried, but couldn't find a better solution. After all she was still a child and lacked self-control. I tried to get her to study the Fa or practice the exercises, but she was just unhappy. Later I realized that I could no longer have things continue like this. This summer I spent morning and evening time together with her studying Master's lectures from different places. We both gained a better understanding of the Fa-rectification and realized the urgency and importance of saving sentient beings. My daughter often asked to go out with me to distribute materials. Sometimes she even went out by herself. One day she suddenly said to me, "Mom, I no longer feel lonely. I feel so blessed and happy to be a little Dafa disciple." She can now concentrate on her schoolwork without distraction and can also study without much difficulty. At the same time she manages to make use of every opportunity to study the Fa. As a result, her grades have improved quickly. She often says she's a happy little Dafa disciple.