Every Step Leaves a Lotus: Cultivation Experiences in My Home Environment
(Clearwisdom.net) Taking this opportunity of sharing experiences, I want to share my experience about cultivation in my home environment.
Breaking Through the Attachment of Lust
During the first few months after I obtained the Fa, I did not truly understand what personal cultivation was, and thought it was for healing and fitness and being a good person in society. After having passed through that period, I got to know what true cultivation was and enlightened to what marital life should be. Monks from temples are forced to cut themselves off from lust to cultivate. Although we practice Dafa in everyday society, it is only a different cultivation situation. We eventually need to abandon the attachment to lust. Since I had decided to truly cultivate, I should not conduct myself as an ordinary person. How to deal with it? I needed to eliminate the attachment to lust.
I do not want this thing. Having made the choice, I no longer had that physiological reaction. In addition, it seemed that Master also purified my husband who does not practice cultivation, just as our home environment was purified. Thus, I stepped into a new cultivation state. My husband and I were both in our forties that year.
Actually, before I reached that state, Master had already made many arrangements to help me care less about these issues and give them up. Just as the example of getting rid of the attachment to meat, I cannot eat it anymore. This is a result of elevating one's cultivation state, not a forced issue.
In some periods, in order to keep that state, I needed to send forth righteous thoughts to clear my cultivation field. At the beginning, I was on high alert. Every night when we were going to bed, I would send righteous thoughts. As a result, my husband quickly went to bed and fell asleep at once.
We did not go along with the corrupt behavior in society. Whenever that kind of program came on the television, we would immediately change the channel. I do not think about these things, so neither does my husband. Gradually we naturally developed the following state: he considerately sleeps in another bedroom because he doesn't want his snoring to affect me. Sometimes when a relative visits and we have to sleep under the same blanket, he is also well-behaved; usually when he changes his underclothes, he politely avoids me. My husband has not started to practice cultivation yet. He is neither old nor having an extramarital affair. He even thinks he doesn't believe in God, but I can feel that he respects my cultivation. He and I have no barriers between us, we look after each other and always exchange our experiences. This is the family harmony that results from practicing Falun Dafa.
I have been in the state of eliminating the attachment to lust for nearly thirteen years. During this period, there are several points that I have deep feelings about.
Lust is a negative matter that exists in other dimensions. At this human level, no matter what form it appears in, once you begin going along with this kind of thinking, it can easily control you. Therefore, we need to keep our main consciousness clear, restrain its interference constantly and use righteous thoughts to clean it out. Gradually I can reach the state of: "Looking, but caring not to see" and "Listening, but caring not to hear." ( "Abiding in the Dao," Hong Yin ) However, when you least expect it, your gaps can be taken advantage of. One time when I was speaking to a fellow practitioner on my cell phone, I walked into a shop without paying any attention to what is was. After I finished talking, I suddenly realized that I had entered a "health products" store. All the counters and walls were covered with disgusting things. I almost jumped out of there. Those bad things were taunting me. Therefore, it's very important to use righteous thoughts to clean out this bad matter in order to keep a clean mind.
Although I don't think I have the attachment to lust, sometimes I may think of it; or it appears in my dream which makes me feel very sick and annoyed. How can I still have such kind of thinking? After I studied the Fa I realized that the universe has not all been purified yet, thus all kinds of bad matter still exist in the universe. The gaps between our particles are large, so negative matter may pass through our bodies and affect us. Once you accept that message and think that it is yours, you become passive and go along with it. This is an old force arrangement to undermine and destroy our belief. Therefore, we should be aware that this is not part of our true selves, it's not our main consciousness. We need to clean it out, restrain it and eliminate it. In addition to those factors that we've accumulated from our various reincarnated lifetimes, there are also those elements that the old forces forcibly added onto us; we should not acknowledge them at all, and eliminate all of it with strong righteous thoughts.
I also considered the situation from my husband's perspective: Whether he was unsatisfied and had an extramarital affair since we had been in that state for so many years. Later, I realized that thinking was wrong because I was thinking about this from the angle of an everyday person. Human beings do not live among everyday people to be human, but to return to their original, true selves. Feeding into others' lust is not good for them. My elevated thinking was actually helping him to build a good foundation for future cultivation. He once told me that he felt it was blasphemous to me if he did that thing. The attitude that a sentient being displays to a Dafa disciple is actually to position his or her place in the future. We should look at these issues from a higher perspective, and practice that in every aspect in society.
"To attain a healthy body and truly make progress to high levels, you must practice cultivation by truly following our xinxing standard." ("Lecture Four," Zhuan Falun, Translation Version 2000)
A practitioner should know the standards among different levels and the final standard. Once you make a decision, keep it no matter how your surroundings change. Everyday people are filled with lust, but practitioners should be different from them. We need to gradually cut off lust. When we do not keep the principles of the Fa foremost in our thoughts, it is easy to get lost. Once we are aware of the standards, we need to require ourselves to meet them and try our best to reach that level.
Walking Out of the Trouble of Sentimentality
In the beginning, when I became a practitioner I hadn't reached that level. My major is liberal arts. Before practicing cultivation, I was always influenced by literature, not expecting much in the material life but with a vivid life of the mind. However, my husband's major is science and engineering, and I always felt that his thinking was too logical and even robotic. In the past I often felt frustration and even anger.
After practicing cultivation, I became truly healthy and understood many principles. I was always in a good mood and became kind to my family. As I constantly dropped attachments, I was able to resolve many things that I couldn't in the past, and our relationship became very warm. At the same time, Master enlightened me through a dream. In that dream, I was eager to fly up to the sky. However, my husband closely held onto me, and instead took me dancing, but the dance floor was surrounded by barriers. We were famished and he went out to search for food. After a long time, he came back, holding some soil, and told me that we could use the soil to plant crops to harvest food. I understood from the dream that sentimentality was not the correct path for a practitioner.
I needed to "trim the hedges" of sentimentality. The following process was to pass the tests. It was really difficult and hard for me because my husband was my heart and everything in my life. Thus, I was put through different tests, through which I truly understood what the forge was. After having passed through a number of tribulations to help me eliminate my attachment to sentimentality, I was given a test in a dream. In the dream, someone told me: My husband had been arrested and was burnt to death on a tree. His body was already burnt into carbon. The person asked if I wanted to see his remains. I remained undisturbed and asked them to take care of his body. Later, a group of people came. Some demanded to divide the company's assets, I replied yes; my sister-in-law wanted to take the house that I lived in, and I replied yes. A pregnant woman told me that the child in her womb was my husband's and asked me to raise the child, and I replied yes. After answering "yes" to everything without any hesitation, the people in my dream stood in line and continuously saluted and thanked me with their hands folder or bowing to me. However, in the dream I felt that it was not those people appreciating me, it was the beings in my world who greatly appreciated me because they had all been upgraded when I upgraded my xinxing.
"As a cultivator, if you can't let go of emotion, all of your behavior is human behavior. Valuing emotion is in fact defending emotion. And in that case, you are just an ordinary human being. If you can let go of it, then you are no longer a part of it, and are a god. That's the principle." ( "Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference in Australia" May 2-3, 1999)
In my opinion, today sentimentality is false, variable, irrational and irresponsible. It is just a god designed for human beings. It is a dark, sticky and and odorous substance. Once you go along with it, it will encase you and you will be manipulated by it.
"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. ." ("Cultivator's Avoidances," Essentials for Further Advancement )
See through karma, get rid of affection for family, cultivate out of the Three Realms and just consider the predestined relationships between my husband and me in this human life. During these years, I thought of him more as a sentient being rather than my husband. I am no longer irrational and swayed by sentimentality, am no longer moved by lust, no longer have resentment or a sense of injustice. I am no longer moved by happiness. Instead we have respect for each other, mutual understanding, and support for each other. Everything is very natural. Letting sentimentality go, our relationship is naturally stable.
Kindness and enmity go along with karma; gain and loss occur unconsciously.
It's Important to be Rational
I was illegally detained and placed in a forced labor camp at the beginning of the persecution. In the last several months of the detention, my husband didn't come to visit me. My daughter told me that her grandmother was suffering from encephalatrophy and had became unreasonable and that her father cried hard on his bed and was having an IV drip. I understood how difficult things were for him then. His mother was ill and most needed his care, our daughter was forcibly suspended from school and needed his close supervision. In addition to the troubles from his company, he was eager to have my help. My unlawful detention was a huge pressure on him. Now, he was also ill, so everything was really hard for him. When I was about to be released, my daughter told me that there was a woman hanging around her father, and warned me to mentally prepare myself so I could deal with the situation.
When I was released, my husband came to pick me up. His face seemed as cold as an ice sculpture. He didn't say much and immediately returned to his office. As soon as he left, the first thing I did was to look for Zhuan Falun in the hiding place. It had been kept well hidden even though my home had been ransacked so many times. Looking at Master's picture, how long I had not seen Master! I held the book, got onto my knees, bursting into tears and cried. In the forced labor camp, in a weakened moment I had allowed myself to be compromised by the evil. Thus I felt I had lost my home in Heaven. My husband had left me, so I felt that I lost my home in the human world. I felt I had nowhere to go. How hopeless I was then! During those days, I stayed at home alone, sitting in meditation and waiting for Master to take me away. One morning passed, one afternoon passed; two days passed, three days passed. Master didn't take me away. I calmed down and began to think rationally, realizing that I needed to face everything.
I should deal with the issue in my family first. Since my husband hadn't returned home and had someone else, my first thought was that we needed to divorce. Although I had passed through many tests since beginning cultivation and took lightly the affection among family members, I still felt great pain when I decided to leave him. I asked a fellow practitioner for help who had practiced for many years. He asked me why I was considering a divorce. Enlightening, I said, "If I get a divorce, it will have a bad effect in society. In addition, after the divorce, our relationship may be severed; it will destroy him. I also don't want to see any further hurt done to my daughter. Moreover, after getting a divorce the situation would be awkward for our families and there may be many troubles. And of course I still have affection for him . . ." Could my sentimental attachment be the real cause for this divorce? I came to a decision: All the above are the reasons that I absolutely cannot divorce. How could I even think or speak about it at that time? I also had some confusion about what was really going on. After I calmed down, I understood: The mindset that entertains the wish to divorce is human sentimentality such as anger, complaint, abhorrence, retaliation and desperation. The thinking that denies any thought of divorce is my main consciousness that is being rational and clear. That is the real me, thinking about the impact on Dafa, saving my husband, my child and my cultivation environment. This is not only being responsible to others but also acting as a mature and responsible practitioner. The expression of sentimentality is evil, demonic interference, selfishness and acting recklessly.
Becoming level-headed, I knew what to do. I cannot cause any losses to Dafa, society, fellow practitioners and sentient beings. I came to this decision and Dafa gave me the power.
First I wrote a letter to my husband, in which I sincerely reviewed my faults, talked about the pros and cons of choosing between me and the other woman entirely from the angle of thinking about him and expressed my sincere wish of reconciling with him. Later, I went to his company. He told me many details about the other woman, that she was only a housekeeper and that they didn't develop a physical relationship, and allowed me to talk with that woman. Bringing a heart of thinking about her, understanding her pain of being divorced due to her own husband's extra-marital affair and feeling much sympathy for her economic woes after being laid-off from work, I asked her to consider what she was doing. I told her that Dafa is good and that Dafa disciples were all good people but are subjected to the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) persecution. She could identify with me. I thanked her for all her help during this most difficult time for my family. I also said that women should respect themselves and act responsibly. At the same time, I clearly told her that she wouldn't obtain what she wanted in my family. I said, "My husband won't divorce me and my daughter wouldn't accept you." She quite clearly understood that, but wouldn't leave because she wanted to get some benefits from my family-- property to live off of. I seriously told her that she had come in when a Dafa disciple was being persecuted and that she didn't want the responsibility of breaking up my family. I also told her that I would ask my husband to send her away. Then I returned to my husband and told him about the conversation between us. Several days later, my husband sent her away.
Everything calmed down but the atmosphere at home was very stark. I vented all the anger, hate and complaint upon my husband. But he only replied with one sentence, "It's not my fault! I only wanted to live on." His words shocked me and made me calm down. I thought carefully over the past year: After the CCP started the irrational persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners on July 20, 1999, I went to Beijing to appeal. Within four days, my husband experienced having our peaceful home being ransacked seven times. After I came back, his employers cooperated with the evil and forbade him from going to work for two weeks. He had to go with me to the police department every day and suffered numerous trials from early morning to the wee hours of next morning. At that time, his mother suffered illness, his wife was illegally arrested, his daughter was suspended from school, he himself also suffered illness, in addition there was trouble from his company and the pressure from the surrounding environment in China due to the CCP's slander. He was suffering things similar to what Master described about enduring the toughest hardships of all. How could an ordinary person pass through this? Realizing that, all my complaints disappeared. The evil was trying to persecute Dafa, practitioners and sentient beings. Dafa disciples' relatives had also suffered so much. The only thing I could do was to smooth over his wounds because he was just a seriously wounded and stray lamb.
I broke through the things that the old forces forcibly pushed upon me. Outwardly it seemed nothing had happened except the issue regarding divorce. Because I didn't look deeply inside to find the root of what had caused me to even consider a divorce, sometimes I still found myself thinking about divorce. I admired those families where husband and wife were both practitioners, and also those who cultivated quietly alone. It wasn't until I read Master's "Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students" (April 12, 2004) that I understood this issue. Master said,
"As for divorce, I've told you to conform to ordinary society as much as possible; today, whether it's getting divorced or getting married, I won't say anything. I discuss things in terms of Fa's principles. But I'll tell you, those things won't be allowed in the future. They result from the current state of modern society. I can't force you to do things a certain way, but the lives of the future won't be allowed to do this, nor would they [if they could]."
I enlightened that divorce was the bad outcome of the old universe and that it was destroying the normal conditions for living that gods had arranged for humans. Lust ranks top among all evil things. Human beings get divorced due to lust and become more lustful due to divorce. Lust leads humans to lose the natural arrangement for living and finally achieves the goal that the evil is striving for: to push sentient beings down so far that they will be eliminated and to interfere with Master's Fa-rectification and saving sentient beings. This is not only a personal cultivation affair, but also an issue that Fa-rectification will remedy. When Fa-rectification reaches the human world, humankind will turn away from wicked things. Then what about the behavior of Dafa disciples during the period of Fa-rectification?
Having experienced all these things, I feel that I now have more compassion and less demon nature. I am more rational and less willful; and I have more tolerance and am less narrow-minded.
The conditions of our family and surroundings change as our minds change and we elevate. As long as we are in line with the Fa's principles, everything goes smoothly. However, the incidents that happen in the family always remind me to look inward and change my ordinary human notions.
As my daughter grew up, we had to face the issues of her entering a higher school, obtaining employment and her marriage. When it was time for my daughter to go to college, she should have entered a good local college, but my husband always wanted to have my daughter and I avoid our local surroundings. He hoped that my daughter would attend colleges in other cities and I went with her in order to not let the evil persecute us. We both tried to do as he wished, but could not find a good school away from home. Considering the reasoning behind this decision, it was still going along with the attachment of being afraid. Should the innocent and just be afraid of evil? After another four years, my daughter was ready to get a job. My husband and I discussed what she should do, and decided to let it be decided by Master. As a result, just ten days later after she graduated, Master arranged a good job that was beyond our expectations. As for her marriage, my daughter has her own thoughts. Since she is pure, she wishes to remain pure.
During these past several years, I have been making truth-clarifying materials. At first my daughter and I didn't tell my husband because we were afraid that he would worry or might interfere with us. We kept doing this for several years. Later, I thought it over and changed my mind. Since we were doing the best and most just things - to save people, then why did we always conceal this? First I showed him my laptop. Whenever I had problems with the laptop and I asked fellow practitioners for help, he asked why I didn't ask him for help, and he started to take on the responsibility of repairing it. Then, when I put the printer out on the desk, he had no problem with this, and also helped to maintain it and even bought paper. Finding out that I was printing Dafa materials, he said nothing but just reminded me to be careful. At last, I showed him the overseas websites. It has been nine years since the CCP blocked the Internet in China, so he knew nothing about those websites. When he started to view them he became happy. He always posted supportive messages onto the websites, and even sent letters to the CCP's leaders at different levels. However, I became concerned. Our computers that we do Dafa work with shouldn't be used by ordinary people. How to deal with this? Either to stop him or ask him to bring his own laptop home? What would he think of this? Finally, I said to my laptop, "Laptop, you are a Fa implement that can overcome the evil, no one can poison or interfere with you. My husband was using ordinary means to fight against the persecution. What he did was a good thing. I should support him." The laptop always performs well.
My husband was also persecuted by the CCP for many years. He set up his company based on his research. However, the human world has become bad during these years, and it's hard to even be just and fair. It's the same with his company. I always look at everything from the standards of a Dafa practitioner and told him that we would rather earn nothing rather than do bad things. He understood and follows this as well and uses the starting point of Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance when he conducts business. Therefore, he never does underhanded things or trades unfairly. If the CCP's officials interfere, he then stops his company and focuses on his research. As a result, he's earned little. I've felt pressed under the economic strain and always urged him to do things. But he just kept on doing his research. Certainly, it was the evil who persecuted him financially and also brought pressure on me.
Later, Master enlightened me when I studied the Fa. Morals hold little value for ordinary people these days. However, my husband prefers to take the high moral ground rather than pursue money. He has suffered so much but is pleased by his moral behavior. How rare this is! Since he is my husband it isn't wrong to help him do something to earn money. But the goal should not be for my comfort, for that is my selfish heart! Then, I told him, "Don't worry. I am always with you." As my mindset changed and elevated, my daughter and I earned more money at our jobs. And so we have passed through these nine years. He said many times that he would repay our daughter and me because we both suffered so much with him. He also said that without me, he couldn't have survived. In this way he expressed the happiness and appreciation from deep within his heart.
Master said many times that everything we encounter are good things no matter what practitioners encounter. However, in some specific affairs, I was unwilling to follow that Fa principle, especially in conflicts regarding benefits.
Once when my husband was not at home, a person called to ask for re-payment of a debt. After getting more details, I met with her. I told her that we planned to repay the debt, but the government had destroyed my family's private enterprise which caused our investment to turn into a debt. It was not because we handled the company badly or made a bad investment, but because the abnormal chain of debts blocked us from recouping our profits. I clarified the facts about the persecution of Falun Gong to her, and I also told her how the CCP illegally persecuted me. Finally, I used the savings I had set aside from my salary to repay her. She became quite sympathetic and told me that I could repay the money still owed to her later. A bad affair turned into a good one, but I was still not clear on the Fa's principle.
One time when I studied the Fa, Master said,
"Why are there so many problems all of a sudden? This person himself might not get it. Because of his good inborn quality, he has reached a certain level that brings about this situation. Yet how can that be a practitioner's final criterion for completing cultivation? It is far from the end of cultivation practice! You must continue to upgrade yourself. Because of that little amount of your inborn quality you have reached this state. In order to ascend further, the standard must be raised as well." ("Lecture Four," Zhuan Falun)
At once I understood. Problems are our opportunity to upgrade. The person we have problems with is the person we need to save. Problems are good things. Having overcome my notions, there were more good things. If there was a certain situation that my husband couldn't easily deal with, he would ask me to handle it. Every time I dealt with this, I would keep righteous thoughts, look objectively at the situation and consider it from the angle that I should treat each sentient being fairly, solve the conflict and clarify the truth to save them at the same time. My husband was confused about why those persons whom he felt it was so hard to communicate with became easygoing with me. I felt it was because I used these opportunities to clarify the truth. There was once a technology partner who wanted to immediately settle accounts due to the illness of his parent. My husband argued with him, and felt that he couldn't deal with this anymore. He called on me to handle it, and I smoothly solved it. My husband wanted to return him 1,500 yuan. That period was the hardest time for me. The evil seriously persecuted Dafa disciples in matters of our finances and incomes and caused a lot of hardship for us. I didn't want to borrow money from others. With the help of fellow practitioners, I sold my daughter's piano and got enough money to cover it. I bought a plant as a gift and went to the hospital to visit that person's parent. I gave the money back and clarified the truth about Falun Gong to him. He told me that he would forever stand on my side regarding the issue of Falun Gong.
Over the past several years, I kept on clarifying the truth. Many people around me awoke and came into Dafa, except my husband. I knew that it was because I had done badly in many aspects. At the beginning of my obtaining the Fa, I tried to force him to practice. Due to my strong attachment to sentimentality, I said many words that I should not have said. Then I gave up that attachment, but the negative effects didn't disappear. After the persecution began, he generally did well. I became more eager to have him practice Dafa so that his technology could be used for Dafa. As a result, it brought troubles. The evil investigated him and ransacked his workplace in order to prevent him from helping Dafa. From this affair, I deeply realized that all obstacles to clarifying the truth in ordinary people's society are caused by Dafa disciples' thoughts. My husband believes in science rather than God. All of his relatives have benefited from the evil CCP. It has been more than ten years since he was seriously persecuted by the evil CCP. But he is still within the CCP's culture and is hoping that the CCP would right a wrong for him. Whenever I clarified truth to his family, he would stop me. I felt how hard it is to save sentient beings. There was one period of time that I didn't keep clarifying the truth to him, and just like that, I went to another extreme; my thoughts kept wavering between being happy or sad according to his performance.
After I studied the Fa, my understanding elevated, and my notions were cleaned out. Aren't all sentient beings here for Dafa? It's my notions that block sentient beings from obtaining the Fa. What does the CCP's culture amount to? What does science amount to? Didn't a lot of Dafa disciples obtain the Fa under that environment? Master gives us opportunities,
"I still want to wait for some time, see what they are like when the more microscopic matter that damages mankind has been cleaned up, and then make a decision. After all, they did come to obtain the Fa." ("A Dialogue with Time," Essentials for Further Advancement )
Then, I was no longer affected by his performance and held the attitude that the evil will be entirely eliminated after continuously sending forth righteous thoughts and clarifying the truth, and that sentient beings will finally awaken because all sentient beings came to obtain the Fa.
Although my little family has just three members, it is a big cultivation field. There were all kinds of stones on the path of my cultivation during the past thirteen years. Looking back on the journey that I have passed through, it is a road to Heaven which is direct, narrow and filled with white jade. I quickly climbed up it. Every step left my blood and my tears. How painful it was at that time. But looking back, the blood and tears have already turned into flowers. Today as I'm writing this experience sharing paper, I really see that every step to Heaven leaves a lotus.
As I once more edit this article and look inside myself, I find Master is smiling, smiling. Master looks very happy, and my tears are flowing. Even as I write this, I cannot stop my tears from flowing. Master helps purify us at every level, and enables us to be great and holy. I know that I still have many attachments to let go of, and that I haven't been pure enough. However, I know the objective. I will strive forward vigorously and report more good news to Master.
Thank you, Master! Thank you fellow practitioners who encouraged me to write this experience sharing paper.