Some Experiences of Cultivating in My Specific Environment
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners all over the world!
My family owns a business. As the saying goes, "Nine out of ten merchants are fraudulent." For a period of time, I was sick of the environment I was in. I felt bitter and annoyed back then, precisely because I didn't study the Fa well and I tended to look at things with a human mindset. As I studied the Fa more and improved my xinxing, I realized that any environment is meant for Dafa disciples to cultivate in, and anyone can cultivate well in his or her specific environment. Such a cultivation process is one during which a life ascends from a human being to a divine being. The key is how to walk this formless cultivation path well, validate the Fa, and save sentient beings, fulfilling the grand vows and pledges we made in history.
1. Studying the Fa and Improving Xinxing in My Specific Environment
"All professions in human society should exist. It is the human heart that is indecent, rather than one's occupation. There was a saying in the old days: 'Nine out of ten merchants are fraudulent.' That is a saying made by everyday people. I would say that it is a matter of the human heart." (Lecture Four from Zhuan Falun, 2000 translation version)
As a Dafa disciple, our cultivation and our personal lives are intermingled. One thing we face as merchants are material interests. There lies the issue of whether we can take our interests lightly or even let them go. Non-practitioners live for money, but cultivators don't. When others are coy, we aren't. When others deceive or fight for money, we don't. We just follow the course of nature. Being able to become a Dafa disciple in this life, we should not only rectify ourselves, but also do well and serve as role models for future generations. Nowadays, non-practitioners are accumulating more and more karma even though they're already soaked with enormous karma. Dafa disciples' responsibilities are not limited to personal consummation, but also include walking a righteous path for future people to follow.
I help out in our family-owned store and cultivate myself in this environment. People think that selling authentic goods is not as profitable as selling counterfeit commodities and customers will not come to shop without being given some type of kickback. But as practitioners, we should follow Master's teachings:
"Gods and Buddhas walk the earth,
Bringing worry to the wicked and evil.
Dafa, the solution for a troubled world,
Puts a stop to its downward slide." ("Illuminating All," Hong Yin Vol. II)
We should maintain our integrity and virtue. In business dealings, we should be honest and never deceive customers. I am able to get along with our customers, employees, and fellow merchants. I told my non-practitioner husband that "what belongs to you will never be lost and what doesn't belong to you, you can never obtain." He thought that was well said. Since we conform to the universal characteristics of Truth-Compassion-Forbearance, our not-so-big business got better and better, truly a blessing of Dafa.
During the process of my cultivation, there have been so many attachments I needed to abandon. There are times when it is extremely difficult to pass a test. One day it appeared that I was able to let go of an attachment, only to discover that the very next day I was still bothered by it. Whenever I had difficulty relinquishing an attachment, I recited the following passage from Master's teachings:
"Did you know that in order to save you the Buddha once begged for food among everyday people? Today, I once again make the door wide open, and teach this Dafa to save you. I have never felt bitter for the numerous hardships I have suffered. Then what do you have that still can't be abandoned? Can you bring to heaven the things deep down inside that you cannot let go of?" ("True Cultivation," Essentials for Further Advancement)
My tears would often run down my face as I recited the above passage. I felt there was nothing I couldn't let go of because I chose to cultivate and Master was helping me remove those attachments. I studied the Fa every day, passed one test after another, and relinquished one attachment after another. Now, looking back it is so true that those tribulations are nothing.
2. Saving Sentient Beings in my Specific Environment
I understand that everything of mine, including my cultivation environment, has long been arranged for me. I no longer worry about whether something was arranged by the old forces. I came to understand that it doesn't matter who arranged my path, and that the key is to walk it well. If I am selfish and obsessed with myself, then I will be walking a path arranged by the old forces. On the other hand, if I follow Master's requirements in everything I do and harmonize what Master wants, then I am walking a path arranged by Master.
How could I make good use of my environment to save sentient beings and assist Master? I no longer see the customers and people I encounter every day as targets from whom to make money. I know it is not easy for every predestined person to walk into my shop, as they are all beings coming for the Fa. Master has arranged the representatives of giant celestial bodies to come to me. I cannot disregard Master's orderly arrangement--I must save those people. As a matter of fact, Master is doing everything for us. We are simply fulfilling our responsibilities and vows and cultivating ourselves during the process.
Thus, every supplier and buyer becomes a person I must save. It is a must for me to grasp every opportunity to clarify the truth and assist them to do the three withdrawals (withdrawing from the Chinese Communist Party and its two youth organizations) every day. I start a conversation based on the other person's receptivity and am able to speak from different angles. It is great if I can make a person understand the truth and do the three withdrawals in just one conversation. But if I can't, I give the person a DVD of the Shen Yun Performing Arts show. When we have a chance to meet again, I then follow up with him or her. I have found that many people are moved by the Shen Yun performances, and the evil factors controlling them get removed by the energy Master bestowed on the performances. Naturally, it becomes much easier when I advise the person again to do the three withdrawals.
In the past few years, a group of people came after learning the truth. Then another group arrived. I don't know how many people have learned the truth. Some even began to cultivate and there are many touching stories.
Once, a supplier came to my shop from a distant place. After accepting the goods, I handed him a cup of water and began to clarify the truth to him, from the staged Tiananmen self-immolation incident to the three withdrawals. As I talked, he listened quietly, but soon he became anxious, saying, "Why didn't you tell me about these big things earlier? I came here last year. Why didn't tell me then?" He told me that he was a veteran and that he became a Party member while he was in the army. His three brothers were also Party members. He asked me to do the three withdrawals for all of them and promised to talk to his brothers about this upon his return. He took some truth clarification materials and a CD of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party when he left. He kept thanking me and waving to me as his car drove away. From this incident, I reflected on myself: this sentient being should have been saved last year, yet I waited until this year. This sentient being had waited in pain for one year. If it were not for Master's patient waiting, he would have missed this opportunity. Even now when I think back to the eager look on his face, I still want to cry. This incident really motivated me to become more diligent, and I am determined not to miss any single person with a predestined relationship.
There is another thing that I still remember clearly. Two strong men who learned the facts from me earlier came to my shop again. When they saw me, they showed me a big sack, "Please give us more." I knew what they wanted. One of them said, "Anything goes, VCDs, brochures, whatever, that is good. The CD you gave me last time was taken by others even before I got a chance to finish it. Everyone in my factory wanted to watch it, and we had to take turns. This time, when they knew I was coming here, they reminded me again and again to bring back something." I was extremely moved and felt the urgency of time and the eagerness of sentient beings longing to be saved. I have come to have a deeper understanding of Dafa disciples' responsibilities. I didn't have a whole sack of truth clarification materials, but I did give him what I had then.
3. Making It Through under Master's Care
The most profound feeling I have after more than a dozen years of cultivation is that, without Master's care, I wouldn't be the person I am today. Words can never express my gratitude for Master's mercy and blessings.
After the persecution began in July 1999, everyone was forced to declare their stance against Falun Gong.
That night there was a thunderstorm. During meditation, I saw clearly a sharp sword falling from the sky with a beam of light and cutting loose the rope that tied me up. The broken rope fell and turned into pieces of a python's dead body. I knew that Master saw that I had a heart to cultivate, so he helped me remove the evil in other dimensions, which enabled me to walk steadily in the days that followed. I deeply felt that during the most difficult times, Master has been watching his disciples all the time, never leaving them alone, even for a moment.
In 2004 during a police plot to arrest me, I escaped with Master's care. Almost all the officers from the local police station came to my home, attempting to send me to a detention center. I said without thinking, "What you say doesn't count!" They were shocked, "Whose words count then?" I told them, "My Master's." They came up to me and tried to drag me to the police car. I didn't have any fear, just one thought, "Master is by my side. Everything will be determined by Master."
As a result, two young men were not able to move me, an elderly lady close to 60. My feet were firmly grounded and did not budge at all. I knew that it was a battle between evil and righteousness in other dimensions. Under Master's care, I clarified the truth to them for almost three hours. Gradually, these lives changed. By the time they left, they no longer had evil looks, and everyone had a smile on his face. I stepped out the door to send them off and reminded them again and again to remember: "Falun Dafa is good and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good." I advised them about the principle of evil provoking retribution and good being rewarded and asked them never to participate in the persecution again. They nodded their heads and drove away. From then on, the local police never harassed me again, nor did they harass any other local practitioners. The positive environment in my local area is a natural result of Master's Fa-rectification and the good work of our local practitioners in validating the Fa.
Later, whenever I ran into the police station chief or police officers, I greeted them with kindness. They would casually ask, "Are you still practicing [Falun Gong]?" After I said I was, they would say, "Then practice it well." When the police station needed some renovation work done, the police chief said, "We better get people from that practitioner's family to do this job." Not long after, the police station got a new police chief. When he saw my husband, he asked, "Is your wife still practicing?" My husband replied without hesitation, "Yes, yes! Why not practice such a good Gong?" When the new police chief asked if my husband also practiced Falun Gong, he said, "I'm almost there!" As a matter of fact, my husband took up the practice last year.
During all these years, I have experienced numerous incidents where I escaped danger with Master's care and protection. A few days would not be enough for me to write down all these stories. I am sure every true cultivator has similar experiences. When we treat ourselves as particles of Dafa and are doing the most sacred things in the most difficult times, we are truly melting into the Fa and we can really feel that Master is always by our side protecting us. The might and sacredness of the Fa will then be shown to us.
What I will never forget is that, even when I was not diligent, Master was still taking my hand and flying me up to the sky. There were no reprimands, just a compassionate look on Master's face. This dream reminds me to remember Master's compassionate salvation and my responsibilities and vows, and to remain diligent.