Practicing True Cultivation with Young Practitioners
1. Greetings, Teacher! Greetings, fellow practitioners! My name is Yinyin. I'm 10 years old.
I'm now a fourth grader. Every day after school my younger sister and I study the Fa with our mother for half an hour. I understand we all came from Heaven, and the purpose of cultivation is to return to where we came from. But the process is not easy. For instance, one time I made a mistake and my class did not get an award because of what I had done. My classmates blamed me. I did not lose my temper, however, but instead looked inward and saw my own carelessness.
Cultivation has made me healthy. Besides seeing dentists, I have never had to take any medicine. Sometimes during karma elimination it was uncomfortable. My mother reminded me not to pay attention to it but study the Fa more and do the exercises more. Teacher has already taken off a lot of karma from my body. A while ago I had symptoms of the H1N1 flu. I ignored it and did the one-hour sitting meditation and studied the Fa as usual, and the symptoms were gone in one day. I knew Teacher had looked after me.
Among the five sets of exercises, the most difficult one for me has been the sitting meditation. In the past, my legs often slipped down. But recently, I have been able to do nearly an hour. By the end, my legs hurt. Since I know I need to get rid of these bad things before going back to my true home, I have been able to endure to the end. Of course, I know that I should also look at what I have not done well. Once, my legs hurt very badly after only sitting for half an hour. I remembered that day I did not control my temper well and I argued with my younger sister. No wonder my legs hurt so much.
Besides returning to our true home, we should also save sentient beings. During Dafa activities, I help to distribute truth clarification materials, such as information on relinquishing membership in the Chinese Communist Party. At the beginning, I was not as brave as my younger sister and brother, but my mother helped to encourage me, telling me that people from my kingdom were waiting for me. So, I got my courage up and asked my sister to go with me at the beginning. Later, I could do it on my own.
When Shen Yun Performing Arts came to our local area, I also helped to distribute Shen Yun fliers. Once, we were distributing them in front of the zoo. Although it was very cold, we passed out all the materials we brought because our only thoughts were that everyone should get a flyer so that more people would know the magnificence of the show. I would say to passersby: "Greetings! This is about Shen Yun Performing Arts from the United States." Many people praised me.
I know I still have a lot on which to improve. For example, when I do the exercises, I often forget to close my eyes. I have not been very brave in clarifying the truth to my teachers and classmates. I still have the mentality of showing off, zealotry, fear, etc. I used to be jealous of my sister, who won the Judo championship. Later, I let it go. Teacher said we are practitioners in the Fa-rectification period. I ought to seize the opportunity, validate the Fa well, and let the whole world know Falun Dafa is good.
Thank you, Teacher! Thank you, everyone!
2. Greetings, Teacher! Greetings, fellow practitioners! My name is Honglian and I am nine years old.
My mother said that when I was little, I was very stubborn and always did what I thought was right--even if it wasn't. I know cultivation can lift us up so that we can return to our true home. I know we need to eliminate karma. But still, sometimes I fought with my younger brother. As a consequence, my mother often ordered us to kneel down in front of Teacher's picture and think about what we had done wrong.
My mother said I am a very careful person, so I often cannot bear my older sister's carelessness. Sometimes, I felt that I was the older sister and I lost my patience with her. My mother told me: "Everything was arranged in its order, and the purpose is to let you go back to your true home. She is arranged to be the older sister. You are the second because you need to learn to listen to others." Sometimes, I did not understand what my mother said. But I remembered Teacher taught us to endure, so I did not keep arguing. I know I have an attachment that I do not want other people to control me.
When I was younger, we once went to Hong Kong to attend a parade. There were not enough seats in the car to take all of us, so one person in our family had to go separately. My mother felt that I was the most independent child, so she asked some other practitioners to take me. I missed my mother so much that I even cried. The practitioner who took care of me praised me and said she had not seen any child as strong as me. I think that was because I knew the purpose of our trip to Hong Kong was to validate the Fa.
When Shen Yun came here this year, my mother brought us together to distribute materials on the performance. Sometimes, we did it for a long time. I was tired, but I hoped that everyone would go to see Shen Yun.
During my cultivation, sometimes I have done well and sometimes not. Sometimes, I endured when someone kicked me at school. If I fell down, I would think about what I had done wrong. I knew I must have said something wrong when I had a toothache. Many classmates of mine like to play video games, but I know that a cultivator should not play violent games. There are also many things I did not do well. For instance, sometimes I have lost my temper and hit or insulted others. I knew I should not have done those things, but sometimes I failed to control my temper. I know that I should study the Fa more.
Thank you, Teacher! Thank you, everyone!
3. Greetings, Teacher! Greetings, fellow practitioners! My name is Hongfa. I'm 6 years old.
Teacher has told us to do the exercises but they are painful, especially the sitting exercise. Only recently have I been able to sit for one hour. I often cried while doing the sitting exercise, but I did not give up, because I knew that if I did not do well, I could not get rid of my karma and I would not be able to go back to my true home. So, I just held my legs with my hands.
At home, sometimes I argued or fought with my older sister. Sometimes when I was not good, my mother hit my hands. I did not want her to hit me, so I said to her, "You are going to give me de (virture)!" But she said: "If I don't teach you well, I would not be a good mother and would give more de to others later." So, it appears to me that my mother is very strict.
In school I often helped my teacher. If a classmate hit me, I would try not to hit back. I wash my own lunch box at home. I know cultivation can lead us to our true home.
At last I would like to recite a poem from Hong Yin:
"Cultivating gong has a path
mind is the way
On the boundless sea of Dafa
hardship is your ferry"
("Falun Dafa" from Hong Yin, translation version A)
Thank you, Teacher! Thank you, everyone!
4. Greetings, Teacher! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I'm from Taipei. I have been cultivating in the Fa for the past ten years. My children just shared their experiences. Now, I would like to share my experience teaching young practitioners.
Teacher said: "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." ("Cultivators' Avoidances" from Essentials for Further Advancement) During these years of cultivating with my children, I can feel my improvement step by step while validating the Fa.
I married and had children soon after I graduated from college. My mother and mother-in-law sometimes helped me look after my children when I was busy.
My second child was often challenging. She is sensitive and easily loses her temper when things are not explained well to her or not done well. I had a feeling we must owe each other. In the past, I did not look inward and instead complained about this child being difficult. At the time, I was pursuing my degree in childhood education and re-learned my parental position from a non-practitioner's point of view. Meanwhile, I saw my attachments--I was thinking too much about myself and did not consider others. I did not respect my children as independent beings. On the surface, I was following the Fa to teach them, but in fact, I did not understand the Fa very well.
I was pregnant again with my third child. Most people think having three children will allow no time for clarifying the truth. But in my case, I joined NTDTV work at that time.
With three children, I understand I need to cultivate myself through this environment. But sometimes I went to another extreme and thought about things too much. For example, I thought: "My children do not know what the Duanwu Festival is. Let me show them how to make Zong Zi (a type of steamed rice dumpling for the festival)." Then I made myself too busy, after working a full day. I also thought: "I only bought clothes for the older child but not the younger one. Maybe she will think this is unfair." So I bought more clothes and discovered later they were totally wasted. I did not create a proper environment for cultivation, and I did not help my children learn cultivation from daily life.
One needs to continue to improve during cultivation. I stayed on one level for too long and eventually developed new attachments and barriers for my Fa validation work. I thought about it and thought that it showed that I was not firm enough on the Fa, and I did not cultivate diligently and was seeking comfort. I knew that I should make a better way for validating the Fa.
During the past few years, when my thoughts were righteous and I helped my children understand the duty of Dafa practitioners, I did well with my NTDTV work and other Dafa activities. My children also gave me some suggestions on the programs and they were aware of their own cultivation paths.
In daily life, I treated my children as fellow practitioners. First, I started from a very basic human perspective of the Fa, encouraging them to be responsible, true, and considerate and to look at the bright side of life. I required them to sit upright, write neatly, not to waste food when eating, dress nicely, and look into other people' eyes when speaking to them.
In school, they were taught modern science. I never directly denied these things. I just let them know there exist higher level truths and other dimensions, and the only way to really know them is to improve our own levels.
For children's entertainment, I tried to select suitable programs that we could watch together and discuss. Faced with many strange cartoon characters, I told them that only real beauty won't change with time. Meanwhile, I taught them that it takes courage to insist on what is right.
Every night before the children went to sleep, I read a historical story and an article from the book Cultivation. Then, we discussed how to face similar things in our lives, and this enhances their understanding of the Fa.
Many times, these young practitioners cultivate better than I. Sometimes I lost temper with my husband, and my oldest daughter would remind me: "You should hold your temper." When I asked her once how she held her temper when my husband criticized her, the ten-year-old took a deep breath and said wisely: "Take a deep breath just like this, and it will pass."
When I was busy with Dafa work, my oldest child, who had a lot of homework herself, would tell the younger ones: "Don't disturb Mother. Ask me if you have questions." When we went to distribute Shen Yun fliers without having our meals, my younger daughter said: "Saving people is more important. We can eat later." One time I did not mind my temper and hit my oldest daughter when she was not paying attention to her homework. My younger daughter cried and said to me: "Don't hit her, please. You can hit me." When her older sister could not bear the pain during the sitting exercise and put her legs down, her younger brother got more worried than I. He cried and said: "Put your legs back. I want you to go back to heaven. Put your legs back."
Early this year, I brought them with me to distribute Shen Yun fliers. At the beginning, they were nervous about handing out fliers, but later they asked me what specifically they should say. At the ticket center, the zoo, in front of schools, or in a taxi, I saw their hands holding out hope for mankind, and I saw how they lifted their hands higher to reach more people. I wanted to say to Teacher: "Teacher, they are your young practitioners. Thank you for giving me such wonderful children."
I know we are only parents of our children in this lifetime. But affection, nonetheless, developed over the years. A few years ago, I dreamed that the time of separation had arrived. In the dream, I hugged my two daughters and told them that we were going home, and that I needed to go first. The two girls cried and cried, and my heart hurt like it was being sheared by a knife. With righteous thoughts, I told them: "Teacher will arrange a good place for you to go." I left without turning back. Then I woke up.
"If you want to practice cultivation, human sentimentality must be relinquished. Of course, in practicing cultivation in ordinary human society, we should respect parents and educate our children. Under all circumstances, we must be good and kind to others, not to mention to our family members. We should treat everyone in the same way. We must be good to our parents and children and be considerate of others in all respects. Such a heart is thus unselfish, and it is a heart of kindness and benevolence. Sentimentality is something of everyday people, and everyday people just live for it." (Zhuan Falun)
I often remind myself not to become attached to human sentimentality and make more troubles for my and my children's cultivation.
My three children are from three different places. The status of my own cultivation has often reflected on them. When I study the Fa with a clear mind and do the exercises daily, my children automatically do the same, except the youngest one occasionally needs more encouragement. On Sundays, I try to bring them to group Fa study as long as I don't need to film programs. Occasionally, they make noise during the group, and when I lecture them, I often see my own attachments.
Finally, let's encourage each other with Hong Yin:
"Study the Fa and gain the Fa,
Focus on how you study and cultivate,
Let each and every thing
be measured against the Fa.
Only then, with that,
is it actually cultivation."
("Solid Cultivation" from Hong Yin)
Thank you, Teacher! Thank you, everyone!