Some Reflections on Cultivation
1. How My Son and I Began Practicing Falun Gong
My child and I both began to practice Falun Gong in 1998. Before that, I had incurred a debt of over 10,000 yuan because of my attachment to building a house. I was unemployed at the time, and when my child was four years old he developed an incurable disease. In an effort to find a cure for my child, I went everywhere to borrow money and incurred another debt of over 2,000 yuan. I could not work and also take care of my child, so we had a lot of financial difficulties. We were living off 80 yuan a month that was provided by our relatives. Our rent at that time was 40 yuan, which left us with only 40 yuan for all other living expenses.
It pained my heart that even though my child was very young, he had to have two big bowls of traditional Chinese medicine every day. We had so little money and it was hard to get the medicine, so when he was having difficulty keeping his medicine down, I would put another bowl near him to catch the medicine in case he vomited, and then I fed it to him again. He also had to take a handful of pills each day. Even so, his condition did not improve. His face was so swollen that he could hardly open his eyes. When he couldn't urinate, he cried out in pain and I had to take him to a hospital.
Seeing that we had no hope in sight, a kindhearted person suggested that we go to a Falun Gong exercise site because there were people whose illnesses were healed from practicing Falun Gong. I suggested it to my son and he agreed readily.
At the time, I didn't know much about Falun Gong, but I thought about how much he had suffered at such a young age and I was willing to do whatever it took to give him a chance at life. When my son and I arrived at the exercise site, I couldn't stop the tears from running down my face. I wasn't sure if I was desperate, excited, sad or happy.
At the exercise site, my son learned the exercises as diligently as an adult. While doing the holding-the-wheel posture and the sitting meditation, he said that he would do his best. The others he could manage to finish without much of a problem. After less than a month, even though he stopped taking all his medication, the swelling he was experiencing subsided and he became just as normal as the next child. Now, he is a handsome young man. This is how my child and I began to practice. It was Teacher who gave us new lives.
2. Some Reflections on Cultivation
After July 20, 1999, when the persecution started, despite the pressure, we continued to go to the exercise site in the morning to do the exercises. However, the following day, I overslept for no apparent reason. When I woke up, it was just about the time when we usually finished the morning exercises. There were police vehicles at our exercise site, but they didn't find anybody at all at the exercise site. We thanked Teacher in our hearts for his benevolent protection.
In my everyday life I am very busy. I have to drop off and pick up my son, I have to go to work, cook meals and help my son with his homework. I am usually so busy that I do not get to bed until around 1:00 in the morning. I was exhausted and felt that I was just barely getting by, much less studying the Fa and doing the exercises. Finally one day I came to understand that I needed to focus on the Fa and do the exercises. So now I only have two meals a day and after I drop off my son at school in the mornings, I seize the time to do the exercises. Then after I drop off my son at school in the afternoons, I use that time to study the Fa and then pick up my son when he is done.
I didn't lose weight after I started having only two meals a day. In fact now my skin looks rosy and has a fair complexion. My cousin asked me, "Cousin, what kind of make-up are you wearing? Your skin looks very delicate." I told her what it says in Zhuan Falun:
"After a period of cultivation practice, our Falun Dafa practitioners look quite different in appearance. Their skin becomes delicate and reddish-white. For the elderly, wrinkles become fewer or even extremely few, which is a common phenomenon."
One day in 2001, I had an argument with my neighbor. She cursed at me and said very hurtful things. I remembered that Teacher said, "One should not fight back when being punched or insulted," so I didn't get angry. I was very calm and said to her in a kind way, "You should stop. This is not good for you." But then she cursed at me even more. In spite of that, I was sincerely smiling at her the whole time. Later I did the sitting meditation. When I opened up my eyes and checked the time, 40 minutes had passed. I felt pretty at ease even though I had only been able to sit for 30 minutes before. It was just as Teacher said in Zhuan Falun, "One's gong level is as high as one's xinxing level."
Since the persecution started, truth-clarification materials have been very hard for us to get. Practitioners had to go a few hundred kilometers away to get the materials. At that time, the material center was large. After it was destroyed by the CCP, we found another material center which was even farther away. However, even after much effort, practitioners were only able to return with small amounts of materials. After that, assuming a lot of risk, practitioners had to find a place to photocopy them. With hints from Teacher and with the help of fellow practitioners, we set up our own material-printing center. By working with each other and harmonizing with each other quietly, we have made it through three years of hardship.
During the Beijing Olympics, the CCP manipulated people from our local community management committee to go to our homes to harass us. I remembered Teacher's words in "Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students":
"Even if the sky were to fall, a cultivator's righteous thoughts would stay unshaken--that is cultivation, and that is remarkable."
I turned the bad situation into something good by walking on the path that Teacher has arranged. I clarified the truth to people who came to harass me and, after that, they did not harass me anymore.
My decade of cultivation has been guided by the words from Zhuan Falun,
"the entire cultivation process for a practitioner is one of constantly giving up human attachments."
Teacher has told us time after time that practitioners should look within when problems arise. I feel that if a practitioner doesn't know how to look within, this means that he doesn't know how to cultivate. Cultivation is about cultivating ourselves, and only by getting rid of every human attachment can one be a god. Every environment we are in is an environment for us to cultivate and an opportunity to look within. We need to dig out every human attachment, get rid of it, and cultivate it out. When we run into difficult situations, we should think of others first and strive to be selfless.