Helping Others Is Helping Ourselves
(Clearwisdom.net) My mother is a farmer who lives in the countryside. She is 60 years old and has received very little education. In the past few years she has not read a single book. Early this year she started to practice Falun Gong. To help her, I read Zhuan Falun with her every day, but she read so slowly that it would take us more than three hours just to read one lecture. Busy as I was every day, I had to be patient when I studied the Fa with her. In addition to her slowness in reading, she would frequently read wrong words and I needed to correct her constantly.
Actually, I do not agree with reading too fast. When I study the Fa with fellow practitioners, if they read too fast, I remind them: "Please read the Fa with a stable and relaxed mind. Read word by word and try not to be too fast." My slow reading was a test of their patience when they studied the Fa with me. When I read the Fa with my mother, on the contrary, my patience was tested by her slowness in reading. Sometimes I could not even help complaining. "She is my mother. I must help her, but I am so busy that I can hardly spare time for helping new practitioners. " In this way we just carried on.
We remained in such a state for a short amount of time. One day, when I was reading the Fa with her I found I was no longer as impatient as before and was in a stable and peaceful mindset. My impatience and hastiness were gone as if I were completely renewed. Apparently I underwent a significant improvement in my cultivation. When I turned my eyes upon my mother, she was simply reading as slowly as before. A subtle enlightened thought came to me at that moment: "It is not that I am helping my mother. On the contrary, she is helping me." Now my mother is able to read the Fa fluently and correctly.
Not long ago, a fellow practitoner who had just escaped from detention lived in my home for a period of about one month to escape further persecution from the Chinese Communist Party. At that time my mother was unable to get up at 3 a.m. to do the Falun Gong exercises. Seeing us get up to do the exercises, she decided to join us. She has kept this up for several months without any breaks.
During that month, the fellow practitioner shared many experiences in his cultivation with my mother, including his experience of passing the test of sickness karma. My mother learned quite a lot from their conversations. After the fellow practitioner left, my mother said to me: "Do you know what I thought when he first came to our home?" I said: "No." She said: "When he came, I thought: 'I already have bad health and have to cook for you every day, but now you bring one more person here.' I wondered if I would be able to carry the burden, but I did not mention this to you." Seeing her energetic state, I asked her: "So, how are you now? After taking care of us for one month, did your health worsen or improve?" Smiling, she said: "It has improved." I said: "So, as you can see, helping others is helping yourself. Isn't that right?" She smiled.
I think some Fa study groups are somehow biased toward certain practitioners when studying the Fa. They select practitioners who read well and do not want to study with those who cannot read well. Also some practitioners are selective of which Fa study groups to join and will not study with groups whom they think are illiterate. Some study groups do not want to accept new practitioners because they do not trust new practitioners and think they may bring danger to the Fa study group. In my opinion, if practitioners can really give up their selfishness and be considerate of others before themselves, they will assimilate to the Fa. It is suspicion, fear, and selfishness that bring danger to us. If new practitioners can study the Fa with old practitioners, in the pure field of selflessness, they are bound to improve very quickly. Maybe they will be able to clarify the truth, distribute truth clarification materials and save sentient beings.
Fellow practitioners, please kindly point out anything improper.