I am 56 years old this year. In 1995, I was fortunate to learn about Falun Gong while accompanying my mother to my sister's house for medical treatment. Through studying the Fa, my attitude changed from griping to being without any resentment, from feeling exhaustion and pain to taking hardship as joy. I treated my mother with compassion and my attitude changed dramatically. My xinxing and enlightenment capacity have also gradually elevated.

I had already retired when I obtained the Fa. I had been taking care of my half paralyzed mother at home. My mother sustained a brain hemorrhage in June 1994. She lost her eyesight in both eyes, was paralyzed on one side of her body, and became bed ridden, but unexpectedly she became quite alert and slept very little. She was noisy and uncomfortable day and night. If it wasn't pain here or an itch there, it would be too cold or too hot, or else she needed some water or something to eat, etc. ... 24 hours a day nonstop. She also needed hand holding from time to time, otherwise she would be frightened. Doctors in the hospital told me, "Usually patients like your mother do not say much and are very quiet. I haven't seen one like her, screaming and yelling." During the month that I took care of my mother when she was hospitalized, I never had a good night's sleep. After we returned home, she still yelled constantly. I felt very tired, resentful and bitter. I lost my temper often.

After I started to practice Falun Dafa, I was very excited. I recognized it as a predestined opportunity that comes only once in a millennium. This Dafa is simply so good. I could not let go of the book since I enjoyed reading it so much. I performed all the housework that my mother demanded of me, but only grudgingly. I constantly talked back to her. She would say a sentence, and I would come back with one. Sometimes I even said more than her. I wanted to read the book when I finally finished my chores, but as soon as I picked up the book, my mother would start screaming and yelling again. She never lost her voice regardless of how long she had been screaming. It was really unbearable. Finally my sister said, "This is not going to work. Let me take care of mom during the evening so you can go to the assistance center for the group Fa study." Finally I could participate in the 2 hour-long group Fa study. I was elated.

I was deeply moved by the group Fa study. In this environment, I saw that many practitioners could recite the book Zhuan Falun proficiently. In comparison, I saw my lack of Fa study. I made up my mind to study the Fa more. I started to read, memorize and copy Zhuan Falun. Regardless of how tired I was taking care of my mother, I squeezed in as much time as possible to study the Fa and recite the Fa. I always put the book next to me when I did housework or cooking. Whenever I forgot and could not recite further, I would take a quick peep at the book. I utilized all these bits and pieces of time to study and recite Fa.

During the group Fa study, practitioners all talked about their own understandings and enlightenment, how they look within when encountering tribulations, how to find their inadequacies according to Dafa, how to guide their cultivation with Dafa, and how they passed the tests. Only then did I begin to understand what cultivation is, and how to cultivate. Before, even though I also studied the Fa and read the book, I did not check my conduct and speech against the Fa, and I did not use the Fa as a guide to deal with problems. Consequently, I always felt unbalanced and perplexed. Through studying the Fa I gradually understood the importance of measuring myself with the Fa, and looking within whenever encountering problems. It was not coincidental that my mother treated me this way, and it was all due to the karmic debt that I owed. Once I went out to take a bath and my nephew's girlfriend was at home. She helped my mother to the bathroom. My mother was very grateful and thanked her repeatedly. She even asked me to give her 100 yuan. I asked my mother, "You were so nice to someone else who only looked after you once. Why have I never heard a good word from you even though I have been taking care of you for so long?" My mother said, "Ask yourself, don't ask me." I realized then that it was Master using my mother's mouth to give me a hint, telling me to look inside myself. All my suffering and tribulations were caused by own karma accumulated generation after generation. The debt had to be repaid, and I must endure my own karma. After I improved my understanding, I felt much more poised when waiting on my mother. I did not nurse any grievance, and I was able to treat myself as a practitioner.

But cultivation is never smooth sailing. The tribulations became bigger and more severe as I raised my levels. My mother tried various ways to make me suffer. She yelled about being hungry not only during the day, but at night as well. She would be very hungry, especially in the middle of the night. How could she be that hungry after having a good meal at dinner time? But if I did not prepare food for her, then she would scream loudly. In order not to wake up my neighbors, I ended up preparing the food for her. I prepared ready-made cakes and pastries, but she refused to eat them, and insisted on a cooked hot meal. As soon as I finished cooking and brought the food to her, she would either decline or go back to sleep. Regardless of how hard I tried, I could not wake her up. Once she troubled me for a whole evening, and when I served her the food, she said, "I did not ask for it. I don't know who asked for it, but it was not me." I could not take it any more, and the tone of my voice was no longer genial, "I did the cooking for you. You'd better eat it whether you like it or not. Otherwise it will get cold and then I will have to heat it up again." My mother said grudgingly, "It was not me who asked for the food, don't you dare blame me." As soon as I heard her words, I suddenly realized that this was an opportunity arranged by Master for me to raise my xinxing. Yet I did not grasp the opportunity and lost my temper. I was full of regret.

During the group Fa study, I shared my situation with my fellow practitioners. Everyone helped me to understand it from the basis of the Fa and I made further advances. Master said in "Zhuan Falun:"

"Why do you encounter these problems? They are all caused by your own karma. We have already eliminated for you many, numerous pieces of it, leaving only that tiny bit which is divided into tribulations at different levels for upgrading your xinxing, tempering your mind, and removing your different attachments. These are all your own tribulations that we use to improve your xinxing, and you will be able to overcome them. As long as you upgrade your xinxing, you can overcome them. Unless you, yourself do not want to do so, you can make it, provided you want to overcome them."

Master also said:

"So we must practice cultivation in this complex environment and be able to endure the toughest hardships of all. Meanwhile, we must have a heart of great forbearance."

"Whether you can practice cultivation all depends upon whether you can endure, sacrifice, and suffer. If you can commit your mind, no difficulties can stop you. I would say that there is not a problem." (Zhuan Falun)

With Master's words in mind I suddenly became clear. Yes, I had already retired from work, and I no longer had a "complex work environment." I only had a home environment, and there were only my mother and I, two of us. If my mother did not help me to raise my levels, who would? My mother and I lived in a small residential unit of only a dozen square meters. Even though the space was small, it was truly an excellent environment for cultivation. Everything needed for cultivation was present. It required that I work for it, that I endure, enlighten, abandon my attachments and raise my xinxing. I should treat every incident as an opportunity for raising my level, genuinely treat this environment as a cultivation environment, and constantly temper myself to ascend.

There were many such tests, but I overcame them one after another. Not long after I raised my xinxing, my mother ceased to make a nuisance of herself or cause me further troubles. Sometimes she even helped me with my Fa study and exercises. It was an effort for me to recite Zhuan Falun. I could not remember the words even after I repeatedly read them and tried to memorize them. Often after I memorized the next sentence, I would forget the previous sentence. Once I tried to memorize this sentence, "During the process of transforming karma, to keep yourself under control--unlike an everyday person who would mess things up--" (Zhuan Falun). I just could not remember the next sentence. My mother said to me, "Come on, you are so dim-witted. It's "you should always maintain a heart of benevolence and a mind of kindness." I turned the book to that page where Master speaks of this, and she was right. I was very surprised. My mother was always so absent-minded. If you ask her how old she is, she would reply 8 years old! How could she remember this sentence in Zhuan Falun without missing one word? She could even remind me when I could not memorize it. Later I understood that it was Master who was helping me to study the Fa and memorize the Fa. After a while, she started to wake me up again in the middle of the night. I asked her what did she need. She would reply, "nothing." But as soon as I got back to sleep, she would wake me up again. On asking her why, she would always give the same answer, "nothing." She woke me up repeatedly. I was really baffled. After a while I was no longer sleepy, and since I could not fall asleep, I decided to do the meditation exercise. As soon as I started the meditation exercise, mother fell asleep right away. I suddenly realized that it was Master telling me to practice the exercises. From then on, I would do the exercises every night and mother no longer bothered me. After a while, mother started to yell again in the middle of the night. I told her, "I am doing the exercise," but she still yelled out. Finally my daughter woke up and said, "Now I cannot sleep anymore. I might as well do the meditation." As soon as my daughter started the exercise, mother went back to sleep soundly. My daughter could not do the full lotus position, but in this way she could quickly do it for one full hour.

During that period of cultivating and tempering my xinxing, I had more profound understandings of what genuine cultivation is. It is just like Master said:

"Only when you are studying the Fa and cultivating your heart and mind in addition to the means of reaching Consummation--the exercises, and truly changing yourself fundamentally while improving your xinxing and elevating your level--can it be called true cultivation practice." ("What Is Cultivation Practice,"Essentials for Further Advancement)

Study the Fa so that it can guide us to genuinely cultivate. Only if we measure ourselves with the Fa when we encounter difficulties, and do so according to the requirements of the Fa, will it be considered cultivation. Master said:

"When you are overcoming a real hardship or tribulation, you try it. When it is difficult to endure, try to endure it. When it looks impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is possible. If you can actually do it, you will indeed find: 'After passing the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!'" (Zhuan Falun)

Once mother held my hand and said, "All these years I caused you a lot of trouble and grief, now you owe me nothing; it is me who owes you. After I get well I will repay you. I like to listen to Dafa. Can you read Dafa to me every day? After my illness is healed, I will for sure take up the practice too."

Master talks about two factors related to cultivation. One is suffering, and the other is enlightenment. Whether we can endure hardship depends on how well we enlighten throughout the process. For those who make trouble for us, Master said, "Instead of being angry with him, you should thank him in your heart and thank him sincerely." (Zhuan Falun) If mother did not make trouble for me, I wouldn't have the right cultivation environment. Now I no longer have the slightest grievance towards mother. Instead I feel truly grateful to her from my heart.

Looking back at the path that I have taken, wasn't my experience of taking care of mother my cultivation path? During the process, through Fa study, I raised my xinxing and enlightenment little by little and passed one test after another. I really cherish this Fa of the cosmos left to us by Master, as well as the group Fa study environment. From now on, I will take control of every opportunity to raise my level, treat myself as a practitioner at all times, and persevere in cultivating Dafa until reaching consummation.