Raising Our Level When We Do the Three Things Well
Greetings respected Teacher!
Greetings all fellow practitioners!
It seems that the past eleven years of practicing cultivation have gone by in just a blink of an eye. Teacher has given me so very much. However, I often feel that the state of my cultivation has been only average, and unworthy of our venerable Teacher's salvation. Today, I come to you with a respectful and gracious heart to give Teacher my report and share my experiences with fellow practitioners.
1. Learning Falun Dafa
I was a researcher at an institute. Because of many years of atheist eduction from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), I too was an atheist. In 1998, my husband suddenly developed liver cancer. Not only was his surgery unsuccessful, but it caused his condition to take a turn for the worse. I was in a terrible panic. In such a hopeless situation, I began wanting to pray to God for blessing, but I knew not to whom to pray or how to pray.
It was at this time when things seemed hopeless that a colleague from work visited me and my husband and introduced Falun Gong to us. The next day, he brought us several books containing Teacher's lectures given from many regions, although Zhuan Falun was not among them. My husband read all the books as he recuperated at home. After a few days, he began to have incessant diarrhea and body dehydration, and so he was taken to the hospital for fluid infusions and began to recover. During his hospital stay, he vomited a large amount of sticky sputum-like substance. After that, he regained his appetite, his body began to recover, and he was able to go back to work in less than a month.
Actually, I, too, was plagued by illnesses throughout my body. Even though I did not come down with any fatal illness like my husband, the constant illness was still agonizing enough that I thought I might be better dead than alive. Every day my headaches were so severe I had trouble keeping my eyes open. On top of that, the pain in my back and legs made climbing the steps a strenuous chore. I also had constipation, poor hearing, nearsightedness and blurred vision. It's as though every single part of my body had become worn out. Every day was a struggle.
After my husband's recovery, my worries lessened as well. I began to read Teacher's books and was immediately profoundly struck by them. Everything that Teacher taught was so right and reasonable. Later on, I asked others for help and acquired all of Teacher's lectures including Zhuan Falun. I read all of them. Though I hadn't finished reading Zhuan Falun all the way through for the first time yet, my body was already beginning to be purified. From then on, I became more clearheaded, my constipation went away, and I was able to walk briskly. I understood that my husband's recovery was due to Teacher purifying his body. Following that, my two daughters also began to walk the path of Dafa. They became stronger and healthier as they cultivated as well! Teacher saved my entire family, a deed I can never repay. The one thing I can do is to be ever more steadfast and follow Teacher's standard to do well the three things.
2. As Dafa Practitioners We Must Be Dignified and Upright
After July 20, 1999, television stations unceasingly slandered Dafa, fabricated evidence, and framed Dafa and Teacher. At that time, I did not even know of the existence of the Minghui website (Chinese version of Clearwisdom.net). As Teacher was met with disaster, I became impatient. With no other alternatives, I bought a radio, hoping to hear from American stations or radio stations from other countries for any news about Teacher, but to no avail. Then one day, every department at work held a joint meeting where every person was expected to make known their positions on Falun Gong in reports to upper management. When the meeting began, no one spoke. I knew they were all waiting for me to declare my position. Because my family benefited so much from Dafa, I tried to spread the word about how good Dafa is pretty much everywhere I went, and so everyone knew that I was a practitioner. Hence I had to be the first one to speak up. I said, "I admit, I practice Falun Dafa. This everyone already knows. We started practicing when people in our family were sick, and everyone has seen the miracles of this practice. We practiced it because it improved our health and for no other hidden purposes. If anyone wishes to force me to do something [against Dafa], I will not be afraid. I will still practice!"
After I made my point, there were quite a few co-workers who advised me, "You are the leader (chief engineer) of a group.. How can you make such a declaration? Don't you know you'd only be going against the tide?" My tears fell. I felt that Teacher was really wronged! How can he be treated in such a way? It was only later on that I learned that a colleague who had begun practicing Dafa because of my influence made his declaration to stop practicing. There were a few others who practiced in secret, but were too afraid to admit that they practiced. My husband was afraid to even tell me what statement he declared. As a result, I was at the point where it was just me standing against the high waves. However, unexpectedly, the report that my work unit submitted declared that there was no one practicing Falun Dafa. So just like that, I found myself safe during the time of the brutal persecution.
I understood that Teacher created such an environment for me so that I could take advantage of the situation, not to live a comfortable life, but to better clarify the truth. Therefore, I used every opportunity at work to talk to people about Falun Gong. I often needed to entertain clients for business. At such dinners, Falun Gong was a hot topic. When the subject was brought up, I would straightforwardly tell them not to listen to the propaganda. I told them that Falun Gong is good; everyone in my family practices. I also talked to them about the miracles I had experienced. Many people came to understand the truth this way. There were also a few who refused to listen. Since they had their reputation at stake, there was not much more that I could say to them.
Around co-workers, I told them about the wonders of Dafa. One person told me, "I really enjoyed you telling me this." There was also another person who told me, "These days they offer a ten-yuan reward for each practitioner that gets reported; you should keep quiet." So I replied, "Oh, like anyone cares about ten yuan these days."
One night our work unit manager called me and said, "Please just do your practice at home. We can't have you going around every day saying all these things." I knew my manager was looking out for me, because once I clarified the truth to him as well, and he expressed that he, too, would practice if he weren't so busy. I didn't say anything to upset him, but I thought that if everyone just secretly practiced at home, who would be there to validate the Fa? I decided to just let him say what he wants, and I'll do what I need to do.
I also often made long distance phone calls to my former schoolmates to clarify the truth. I dared to say anything to them without hesitation and fortunately there were no incidents.
When I was on business trips, I clarified the truth on the train. There was a young man who was very interested in Dafa. I told him of the miracles of Dafa and explained to him from a scientific standpoint why it isn't superstition. He asked me questions, and I answered them one after another. The train had long extinguished the lights, but he was still intently talking with me. Finally at one o'clock in the morning, he couldn't help but smile even though he could not understand why. I knew that this life had understood the truth, and I was happy.
From 1999 to 2001 was the most intense period of the evil persecution. All local sources of truth-clarification materials were destroyed, all equipment was confiscated, and fellow practitioners were being illegally arrested one after another. As we lost the sources of truth-clarification materials, I thought that my place was relatively safe, and I should help fellow practitioners during this time of crisis. (I was also about to retire soon.)
In early 2001, I purchased a computer and a laser printer. At that time computers were still expensive (over 10,000 yuan each). The person I asked to help with the purchase told me that it was not a good time to buy a computer and advised that I should wait a while until the prices fell. I replied that we can't wait, we have to buy even if it is expensive. So just like that, we purchased all the required equipment. With Teacher's aid, I quickly found the local practitioner-coordinator's site. After we talked, the local practitioners naturally welcomed me. In the time of need, it was Teacher who arranged for me to fill this vacancy. So just like that, the truth-clarification materials and posted notices once again appeared. It was really something that the evil feared. Dafa practitioners are unstoppable. We will never fall under pressure, never disperse before the threat of capture. We really are the forces of heaven who answer Teacher's call!
In a time of such terrible persecution, we could still have such a safe environment. My greatest understanding has to be that when we are upright and dignified in doing what Dafa practitioners are meant to do, no one will dare to interfere! Despite our still having many ordinary human attachments, as long as we can comply with the demands of our current level of Fa, we can still overcome our obstacles.
3. "After passing the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!"
After my husband began practicing Dafa, his body recovered quickly. When he traveled with his colleagues, he walked in front of them like a healthy young man. It really had a great effect in promoting the Fa. His healthy condition persisted for over three years, but he could still not completely let go of his former illness. The doctor asked him to regularly come for examinations, and so he did. At first I accompanied him. Later on, no matter what I said to him he would still not enlighten to his problem, and so I left him to attend his checkups on his own. He also had many attachments such as fame, self-interest, and social status, which he could not let go of. In November 2001, his illness finally returned and he passed away the following year in March.
When nursing my husband, no matter how difficult and how tedious, I always tried to attend to his needs as much as possible. I wholeheartedly wanted him to get better, afraid that his passing would be a loss for Dafa, but in the end he still passed away. From then on, I experienced that Dafa could save people, but it is also very solemn. When it comes down to a certain point, what has to happen happens.
I understood the principles clearly, but after my husband passed away my mood immediately declined. It was as if everything came to an end, and many ordinary human attachments began surfacing. One day, my daughter came to me and said, "Mother, I dreamed that we had a hole in house and a giant rat crawled in through it." After hearing this, I immediately knew that such a dream wasn't good. I realized that my cultivation state wasn't good, but at the same time, I couldn't help myself. I didn't know what would happen.
It was within a few days after I got back that a co-worker called and told me, "This morning people from the Public Security Bureau came to find you, but you weren't home. So they sealed your office!" I knew it was Teacher who used my colleague's mouth to point out my shortcomings (because my computer and printer were in the office).
I had a feeling that the situation wasn't good. I immediately prepared some cash to take with me, and left my home. The only ones left at home were my divorced daughter and her two-year-old child. Even though I could not let go of my feelings, I steeled my heart and left. First I went out of town and stopped by to rest in my younger sister's home. What I really worried about, however, was my daughter that I left behind. I knew that the phones at home would have been monitored, but because of my attachments to affection, I was constantly anxious to contact my daughter. It would actually have been a very unsafe thing to do. The first time I attempted to call her the minutes ran out on my phone card. I still could not enlighten and spent another 100 yuan to purchase a new card, but that time it would simply not connect me. I finally enlightened to the issue, and that it was Teacher who stopped me from making these mistakes for my safety. My daughter later called and told me that the police often came by our home to harass us. In an attempt to force me to return home, they put my daughter under surveillance, restricting her freedom. The situation was critical. My sister said to me, "It looks like you have to step forward!" I did not know what to do, so I sought Teacher's help. Then that night I had a dream. I dreamed that I was trudging along a muddy road with difficulty, when suddenly a van heading in the opposite direction stopped in front of me. The driver stepped out of the van and said to me, "Step in, I came to pick you up!" I said, "I am traveling with a child, is there enough room in the van?" The driver immediately opened the side door and said, "We can fold the seat down, there's enough room!" After I woke, as I thought of this vivid dream, I could feel myself immersed in warmth. On the same day a fellow practitioner made contact, with a place to send me. From that moment on I began a homeless life.
In the beginning, the intolerable loneliness made the days pass as though they were years. Then my work unit began to tighten the pressure on us. My daughter told me on the phone of the terrible events that occurred one after another. They first halted my salary, then they seized our home, and finally they discharged me from work. It's as though they were forcing us to our end. Our family was already broken up, and yet they still wanted to sever all our means of survival. They simply wanted us dead! My level of endurance has never been so tested and I felt that things couldn't possibly get any worse. Suddenly a thought hit me that aren't all these material things? What can't I let go of? I steeled my heart and thought; that's it! I'm letting go of everything! Let them do as they please! As long as Teacher doesn't fire me, I won't care who does! At that instant, the evil immediately dispersed. All worries left me. I felt amazed at what just happened.
I knew that it was Teacher who helped me. Otherwise I would have been living every day in extreme sorrow and anxiety until I could no longer go on. Even though the persecution was still ongoing, I felt relaxed, without worries. It's as though I entered into a new realm in cultivation, and no matter where I stayed, I always organized a group Fa study and cultivation environment for fellow practitioners. I once again stepped into the tide of helping local practitioners in clarifying the truth to sentient beings. From that moment, I have truly experienced how wondrous our cultivation environment has been. Everything has changed for the better due to a single thought.
4. Several Understandings and Incidents on My Cultivation Path
1) Letting Go of the Attachment of Affection for My Children
I raised both my daughters since the day they were born. I was involved in every aspect from their lives from their education to their work, even in their parenthood. I would much rather suffer myself rather than seeing them taken advantage of. After I began my cultivation, I understood from Teacher's lectures that we are brought together only in this lifetime. It was easier said than done however. Giving up such an intense affection was really not easy.
After I started cultivation there was a time when my daughter regularly and sometimes even fiercely talked back to me. That time I was really hurt, thinking how could I have raised her such an ungrateful daughter. At the time I didn't draw the comparison of my life with Teacher's Fa. I only became more and more angry. I was ready to throw her out of my life and forever not bother with her!
Then there was another time that she went against me. I was furious saying, "I am your mother no matter what. You're not the mother; I am!" Afterward, it was this phrase that awakened me. I began to think, aren't these the words of an ordinary person? How could a cultivator use a human mentality to decide what is right or wrong? Maybe in a previous life she could have been my mother. Letting go of affection doesn't mean there is only hatred left. Isn't hatred just another form of affection? I normally liked to criticize others, and did so to my daughters with lesser leniency. I normally thought this or that treatment was befitting for me. But was this the right attitude of a cultivator? After I discovered this attachment, I gradually began to change myself. These days, I seldom criticize others. Even when I feel offended, I just let it pass. I lost a few nitpicks and gained a lot more peace and tranquility. My family became more harmonious, and my daughters no longer found conflict with me.
I experienced that no matter what a cultivator encounters, it is never by chance. If you did not have such an attachment, you would not have encountered such a situation. When facing a problem, we shouldn't entangle ourselves in identifying who or what is right or wrong. What if it is right? Then again what if it's wrong? Instead we should search inward and find that attachment. That is the true weapon for resolving any problem.
2) Recovering from a Serious Leg Injury in Three Days
One evening around 7:00 p.m. when the day began to darken, I went out to distribute truth-clarification materials. Because I was walking rather fast, I encountered a flight of stairs in front of me resulting in a serious fall. I immediately felt that the bones in my leg had been fractured and I could not get up. I immediately called out to Teacher, "Teacher please save me! Teacher please save me! I can't lose my leg!" (I normally wouldn't yell out if it wasn't serious.)
As I called out I slowly began to crawl back up. My leg and foot was completely numb, but it wasn't extremely painful. I tried to walk, and it seemed that I could still take a few steps. I thought: the evil tries to persecute me, but as long as I can stand up, I will continue forward. Then I walked another block dragging my leg, until I was able to distribute all the materials in hand. Then the pain finally hit me, and I walked home grinding my teeth. When I took off my shoelaces, I noticed that there was an egg-sized protrusion on the back of my foot. As I took off my shoe, my entire foot turned purple. My foot was completely incapacitated that night.
My daughter suggested to me that maybe I should rub it. I disagreed, afraid that it might turn into a serious bone fracture. Because I was using human reasoning, it would have to comply with the human situation. As a cultivator, I should be using supernormal reasoning. I still couldn't practice the exercises, because my foot was still incapacitated. The next night Teacher helped me treat the injury. As soon as I fell asleep, it felt as though someone twisted my leg and the sharp pain immediately woke me up. A little bit later, as I fell asleep once more, it happened again. It happened five or six times throughout the night. When I got up in the morning, I was able to cross my legs in the lotus position, and I could stand up and walk again! When I had twisted my leg before, it took months to recover. This time the initial injury was far more serious, but it healed in only three days. Once more I received Teacher's aid, yet another testimony to the miracles of Dafa.
However, I still felt dejected thinking that in doing something so righteous, how could the evil still have persecuted me? I could not understand. Later on in the "Fa Teaching at the 2008 New York Conference," I took note of a section of Teacher's lecture:
"No matter what it is you have encountered as you've gone about validating the Fa, it is all, I will tell you, a good thing--and that's especially so in these years of persecution--for those things have come about specifically because you do cultivation. Those ordeals and the suffering, no matter how great or harsh you find them to be, are good things, because they take place solely on account of your cultivation. A person can eliminate karma and shed human attachments when he goes through ordeals, and through ordeals he can improve. Whether your motive is to save sentient beings, to validate the Fa, or to make progress in your own cultivation, they are ordeals all the same. They aren't supposed to make way for you just because you think, 'I'm doing this for Dafa' or 'I'm doing this to save sentient beings.' You know that Master may look at it that way, but the forces of the old cosmos and its beings won't see it that way, and that is part of the challenge you face. It is precisely because of this that those ordeals came into being, and this is the hardest thing Dafa disciples have had to deal with." ("Fa Teaching at the 2008 New York Conference"
After reading this, I began to weep. I understood Teacher's pains for his disciples. I saw the difficulty in saving sentient beings. I also noticed that I still had so many bad human thoughts. I really was unworthy to measure up to Teacher's compassion. Teacher's lecture gave me new motivation for saving sentient beings. From then on, I again found resolve.
3) Saving People with Compassion and Disintegrating Evil
Send forth righteous thoughts, study the Fa well, and clarify the truth to save sentient beings; these constitute the path that Teacher set for us in our cultivation. As Dafa practitioners, we must strictly follow Teacher's standards to do them. In doing these things, we often encountered this or that problem. I felt that Teacher has already taught to us all the miracles of Buddha Fa. We should already possess the ability to protect ourselves and not trouble Teacher under normal circumstances, because Teacher has already endured so much for us. I often met with dangerous situations, but I was able to resolve them by myself. Due to the limitation of this article, I will give only one such instance.
One night, I was distributing truth-clarification pamphlets. I stuck one of them on the window of a luxury vehicle. In doing so I accidentally dropped a pamphlet, so I bent over to pick it up. It was then that the driver saw me. I kept walking after I picked up the pamphlet without noticing the driver. After walking ten paces or so, I heard a voice behind me: "Stop! What did you put on my car window?" I stopped and turned to answer him. I told him, "There's good information on that pamphlet, you will understand after you read it." He spoke back fiercely, "Come back here this instant!" Then a thought flashed through my mind: I was doing this for so many years without any incident, would I really be arrested this time? No! I refuse to recognize it! He has found out anyway. I should simply go over and speak to him frankly. I shouldn't evade him! My entire thought process didn't take long. As I walked toward him I was prepared.
Right after I walked up to him, he immediately tore the pamphlet off of his car. In an interrogating manner, he said to me, "Speak now! Where did you get this? Who asked you to do this?" I thought to myself that I can't let him interrogate me like this; I should reverse the conversation. So I cheerfully took another two steps toward him and patted him on the shoulder. "Young man, you needn't be so loud and upset. You don't know yet how important this material is to you. Look at all the natural calamities around you. It's even more so for drivers. You should take care of your safety. Why don't you take another look at the pamphlet and let me explain to you what it is? It's telling you how to save yourself when real disaster strikes. Why would you still act in such a way toward me?"
As I spoke with him, his expression changed from hostile to calm and finally he smiled and said, "Ma'am you say you're against the Chinese Communist Party, but can you really succeed?" I replied: "Young man, you're wrong about that. I'm already retired, so no one would offer me a position as an official regardless of who's in power. I just do this for you, so that at the decisive moment you can be saved!" At that moment he stopped and took up the pamphlet to read it by the dim light. It was as if he was fixated on it, not taking his eyes off it. I think it was too dark to read, and yet he was still staring at it.
4) Overcoming Illness and Karma
Every cultivator's path is different, without role models. However, of all practitioners' situations I've seen, the interference of illness and karma was commonplace among older practitioners. The main issue is still a lack of faith in Teacher and in the Fa. Once they're faced with illnesses they became afraid. With the pressure of ordinary peoples' influences around them or from their family to add on top of that, they would start taking medicine and go to hospitals. Once that happens, the conditions would worsen and in some cases would lead to death. To see fellow practitioners facing these similar situations one after another, it really pains my heart.
Because during a cultivator's cultivation, every moment will be a test for your faith in Teacher and in the Fa. It could be a test manifested in the physical body or in specific attachments. I believe when the illness comes as a result of karma, choosing to take medicine or to go to a hospital is an indication of abandoning the trial. If this test fails and the next one comes, both trials combined would have a more serious effect, making it even harder to pass. Failure would eventually lead to the case that I mentioned before. The base cause is lack of faith in Teacher or in the Fa. Teacher has said cultivators don't have illnesses. Why would you not believe it? I am really worried for these practitioners. I would next like to share with fellow practitioners, especially the older ones, one of my experiences with karma induced illness.
Before I took up cultivation, I had serious pains in my legs and back. I had difficulty climbing steps. After I began my cultivation, the problem seemed to go away. When I became homeless, I lived outside and my legs began to ache again. The pain was worse than torture, causing me to cry at times. The strange thing is when I distributed pamphlets, I was able to climb steps in many buildings over seven stories high without trouble. When I returned home at night, I could not fall asleep because of the pain. It only felt a little better after doing the sitting exercise. On some nights, I would have to do the sitting exercise three times. I went entire nights without sleeping on some occasions. During the daytime I still did what I needed to do, and it gradually got better. After a while the conditions returned, and this back and forth continued three more times, but the conditions were getting better each cycle.
During the last time my back and legs felt pain, one day I suddenly had a bloody stool. There was so much blood in the toilet. My daughters became very frighten and constantly asked me, where do I feel pain? In the stomach, or the abdomen? I said, "I feel fine." They asked, "Why was there so much blood?" I said, "It doesn't matter where it came from. All of you relax, I am not ill!" I really thought so in my mind. After three days of bloody stools, on the fourth day it stopped. Then it happened again on the fifth day, and finally it never happened again. After the bloody stools, my back and legs felt relieved, and my body was no longer burdened.
What was the reason? As long as we believe in Teacher and in the Fa, and do whatever Teacher tells us to do, we can never go wrong. It's still easier said than done. When the time comes, some people still ask, "What if I refuse medicine and pass away?" It will come down to you alone either believing or not believing. Cultivation lies in cultivating one's heart.
In my cultivation, I have encountered so many events and miracles that I cannot mention them all. In the entire course of my cultivation, every event and every situation would not have been possible without Teacher looking after me. For instance, my salary was halted by the wicked CCP for over eight years; yet, I feel that I'm spending more money than ever these days. Although my life is more destitute than others, I'm also more relaxed and unburdened with an environment for cultivation free of worries. I owe it all to Teacher for granting me a path leading to my successful cultivation!
I've written this article based on my true feelings. I ask my fellow practitioners to please feel free to point out any incorrect understandings.