Weathering the Storm and Striving Forward in Cultivation Together as Husband and Wife
(Clearwisdom.net) When we saw the call for articles for the Fifth Internet Experience Sharing Conference for Practitioners in China, both my husband and I felt we needed to do a brief summary of our cultivation during these years of persecution. Numerous things have happened in our cultivation. As husband and wife, we'd like to report to Master and fellow disciples how the two of us have helped and encouraged each other and made it through these years of cultivation guided by the principles of Dafa.
Predestined to Cultivate
Before cultivation, my husband and I had a very good relationship, and everyone thought we were a affectionate couple. However, I still felt a little regret, as we lacked a "common language." Career-wise, I had majored in liberal arts and he in science, and we knew nothing about each other's profession. In terms of personalities, I was introverted and he was outgoing. When it came to family backgrounds, I was from an urban family and his much larger family was from a rural area. Moreover, I was a skinny person that suffered from various kinds of illnesses, while he was a strong man who was always very energetic. The biggest issue facing us at the time was that he wanted to become a father again. We once had a child who unfortunately died prematurely. I was really reluctant to try again to have another baby as I wasn't sure of the outcome. I often cried because of this.
Just when I was feeling helpless, I was fortunate enough to learn about Falun Dafa and formally began my cultivation in 1995. I soon realized that the whole purpose for me to live in this world was to obtain Dafa! Everything in my life changed for the better! My husband and I were able to have a new bright and healthy child, and our home was often filled with laughter. The tremendous changes in me were a great surprise to my husband. Even though he had not started cultivation practice at that time, he was very supportive of me in my Fa study and exercises. He enthusiastically introduced Falun Gong to everyone he met. In 1998, he also started cultivation in Dafa. From then on, we cultivated together and went through a peaceful period of personal cultivation.
Weathering the Storm Together
In July 1999, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began its persecution of Falun Gong and blanketed the whole country with horror. In the beginning, we were confused and hesitant about what we should do. Moreover, we had a very strong attachment of fear.
In 2001, I was in three detention centers and one brainwashing center. After I was released, my company refused to let me have my position back, and instead designated a person to monitor me around the clock. In order to avoid further persecution, I managed to leave home and return to my hometown. At the beginning, I wasn't able to get in touch with my husband, so I hand wrote truth-clarification materials and mailed them out on my own. Not long after, my husband learned of my whereabouts, so he came to see me and brought me different kinds of informational materials. He also bought dozens of envelopes and sheets of stamps from the wholesale market. When he came to see me on the weekend, we often went to the city together to mail out truth-clarification letters in large quantities.
The first time my husband and I went to the city together, we saw that the biggest Xinhua Bookstore in the city was having a book exhibition. The entire hall was full of evil books that slandered Falun Dafa. We sent forth righteous thoughts right away to eliminate the evil, not allowing it to poison sentient beings. A few days later, when I went by myself to send out letters again, I saw that evil book exhibition was no longer there. Both of us were really impressed. This was in 2001, when practitioners had just learned how to send forth righteous thoughts. Through this experience, we truly felt the power of righteous thoughts. My relatives in my hometown were all very understanding and supportive of us. They believed Dafa is good and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good. Sometimes they also helped us mail the truth-clarification letters.
I moved from place to place for three years, during which time my husband and I had very few opportunities to see each other. Yet we both persevered in doing truth clarification. In addition to providing me with materials, my husband also worked with other practitioners and mailed out many informational letters. I didn't get to see my son very often, either. The only times I could see him were during the Chinese New Year period, when our family of three reunited. Every time I heard our boy read Master's new articles or Zhuan Falun in his delicate, childish voice or when I saw him skillfully fold truth-clarification materials, insert them into envelopes, and apply stamps, I would exchange a smile with my husband. That feeling was truly wonderful.
With Master's compassionate care, I made it through these three years of destitution
A Small Information Production Site
In 2005, my husband and I set up a small information materials production site in our home. My husband was responsible for the maintenance of the machines and purchase of supplies and accessories needed to make the materials. I took care of downloading, printing, copying, and assembling them, as well as uploading lists of people that had made the "Three Withdrawals" ( withdrawing from the Chinese Communist Party, the Communist Youth League, and the Young Pioneers) to the overseas website. After the materials were finished, my husband and I delivered them to fellow practitioners. The biggest difficulty we faced was problems with the computer and the "all-in-one" machine that worked as printer, copier, and scanner. My husband didn't know how to troubleshoot the problems, so he often had to take the machines to repair shops. In this process, many of our attachments were exposed. My attachment of depending on him was very obvious. Every time the machine stopped working, I would count on him to solve all the problems. My husband, who is a bit quick-tempered, sometimes couldn't put up with me. Therefore, whenever there was a problem with the machine, there was often a "problem" between my husband and me. We would complain about each other, feeling the other party didn't have the righteous thoughts, calmness, and kindness a cultivator should possess.
My husband was very busy at work and he often went on business trips. When I had to make materials all by myself, sometimes I wished I had someone who was knowledgeable and skillful to help me keep the machines running smoothly. My attachment of depending on other people and searching outward had become very serious.
Through Fa study, I gradually came to see my attachments. When I treated the problems from the perspective of a cultivator, my wisdom naturally came forth and my righteous thoughts took effect. The machine turned out to be just fine, and I was able to make materials of better quality. Just at this time, I came across a practitioner who happened to have the kind of skills I wished I had. I was surprised to learn that she had not known anything about technology before. With determination in Dafa, this practitioner learned everything all by herself during the process of making materials to save sentient beings. Both my husband and I saw our gap and were determined to steadfastly cultivate ourselves as well. Our cooperation became better and better, and our small information production site kept running smoothly.
In early 2008, the local government launched a mass arrest of practitioners, ostensibly to "maintain order" during the Olympic Torch Relay. Several practitioners near us were taken away. When I learned of this news one day at noon, I had just returned home from delivering materials to fellow practitioners. I immediately sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate all the evil interfering with Dafa and to strengthen the arrested practitioners. My husband and I did not waver. Instead, we made more materials, as some people lost their sources of materials because of the practitioners that were arrested.
Advising People to Withdraw from the CCP and Its Affiliated Associations
At the end of 2004, the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party was published. As a result, practitioners' cultivation also entered a new phrase. When we first started doing the Three Withdrawals, my husband and I didn't see good results. Oftentimes the person we talked to simply ignored us or blamed us for "getting involved in politics." We were very confused and also frustrated. In the past when we clarified the facts to people, we felt that most of them were very receptive. How come it was so difficult to do the Three Withdrawals?
We measured ourselves against the requirements of Dafa and found a couple of issues. First, we had omissions in our own cultivation. The fundamental purpose of getting people to quit the CCP and its youth organizations is to save those poisoned by the CCP. However, we didn't have a clear understanding of this when we advised them, so people thought we were trying to overthrow the CCP. Second, we didn't have a calm mind and lacked the righteousness a practitioner should have when we asked them to withdraw from the CCP and its affiliated groups. As a result, our words were not pure enough and could not move people. Lastly, we were too monotone when talking to people. We spent too much time emphasizing "Prophesy" and "Retribution" without considering each individual person's mentality and way of thinking.
After realizing this, we spent more time studying the Fa, as well as the Nine Commentaries and Disintegrate the Party Culture. We also read articles published on the Clearwisdom website and shared experiences with other practitioners at group Fa study. Gradually we were able to do help people do the Three Withdrawals with ease. These past several years, whenever we have gone out to visit relatives or friends, we have had one thing in mind: to advise people to quit the CCP and its affiliated associations. More than 100 of our relatives have made the Three Withdrawals. In addition, we also persuaded some friends and strangers with predestined relationships to do the same. Due to the nature of my husband's job, he gets to meet all kinds of people, many of whom he has persuaded to quit the CCP, including managers of state-owned companies and private companies, technicians, workers, drivers, and fellow passengers.
We encountered many unforgettable things along the way. A young man was fortunate to hear my husband clarify the truth to him when he was dying from cancer. Along with his wife, he quit the CCP. Two days later he passed away peacefully. This incident really touched us, and we truly felt the urgency and sacredness of saving sentient beings. Another time when my husband was on a business trip, he met six self-employed individuals. With a thought to save them, my husband clarified the truth to them. They all listened quietly and quit the CCP and its affiliated associations. I was deeply moved when my husband told me of this.
Once we met a little girl with sadness in her eyes. I clarified the truth to her with a smile on my face. She listened attentively and kept nodding her head. She agreed to quit the Young Pioneers before waving goodbye. Her eyes were lit up brightly. My husband was sending forth righteous thoughts at her side and he said with surprise, "This girl looks like a brand new person!" There have been many such examples. Sentient beings are all coming for the Fa, and they should not miss out on this opportunity, which they have been awaiting for ages.
This summer, prior to holding the Olympics, the CCP went all out to interfere with practitioners' truth clarification. We thus had an even better understanding of how important it was to do the Three Withdrawals to save people. One day, my husband and I explained the truth to the driver of our taxi. We talked about the collapsed mud brick houses in the earthquake and the hardships people are having to endure. When we mentioned how the CCP has spent public money to present an "unprecedented Olympics" with all the luxury and extravagance, the driver immediately said, "Yes, it's indeed unprecedented. Can you find any other country that treats its own people like this? How can it not be unprecedented?" My husband and I smiled at his response and we successfully persuaded him to make the Three Withdrawals. Today, when the evil has become less and less, we should make even greater efforts to save people.
Looking Within and Cultivating Ourselves
From 1999 to 2008, my husband and I have walked through Fa-rectification period cultivation together for over nine years. We once calmly stood up to 610 Office personnel and shared the wonderfulness of Dafa with them. We once worked together to rip off a propaganda poster that slandered Dafa. We once coordinated with each other to make truth-clarification materials and distributed them together. Looking back at our cultivation path, we truly feel the greatness of Dafa and the blessing of being a practitioner. At the same time, we also see omissions in ourselves and realize the importance for practitioners to look within unconditionally.
As a husband and wife, we'd like to share in this section how we have dealt with issues arising at home and how we rectified our deviated notions and behaviors under the guidance of Dafa.
After I lost my job due to the persecution, I didn't go out to find a new one. I am a very quiet person to begin with and I became even quieter now that I stayed home. In contrast, my husband is an outgoing person that likes to socialize. With the advancements in his career, he became busier and busier with his work and social life. We often quarreled because of our differences. I felt he didn't make good use of time to study the Fa. I was also upset when he often treated friends to lunches or dinners. In my eyes, he spent money mindlessly. But he felt I was narrow-minded and stingy. Well, these were all trivial issues in our life together, but we did sometimes get really mad because of them.
After numerous arguments between my husband and me, I finally realized that I not only failed to look within as a practitioner should do, I didn't even achieve a non-practitioner's state of reflecting on one's shortcomings. Master asks us to look inward unconditionally. Every practitioner has his own cultivation environment and every practitioner has his own cultivation path. We are all Dafa disciples in the Fa-rectification period. As a particle of Dafa, any issues we face are for us to cultivate. How can we not cultivate ourselves?
At the beginning of our cultivation, Master wrote the article "Sage" in Essentials For Further Advancement:
"He is on a Providential mission in this world as well as in heaven above. He has bountiful virtue and also maintains a benevolent heart; he is full of great aspirations while minding minor details. With broad knowledge of the laws and principles, he is able to unravel uncertainties. Offering salvation to the world and its people, he builds up his merit naturally."
Cultivation is to solidly cultivate ourselves, especially when we bear such a sacred mission as mentioned in the above passage of the Fa. After realizing our problems, my husband and I both became calm and peaceful, and everything changed for the better.
Striving Forward Together
When I wrote down the title, "Weathering the Storm and Striving Forward in Cultivation Together as Husband and Wife," I was actually a bit uneasy because we hadn't been that diligent in the past. However, my husband said that Dafa disciples are a single body. We cultivate in Dafa and grow mature in Dafa. He really hopes that all Dafa disciples can strive forward together. I agree with him and kept the title. I hope we are worthy of Master's expectations and the sacred title of "Fa-rectification Period Dafa Disciple."