Keep Searching Inside Without Reservation
Fellow practitioners suggested that I share how my husband began cultivating in Dafa. I hesitated for some time before deciding to write this sharing. Actually, this process helped me improve in my own cultivation. Yes, I had taken a detour, but all of this improved my understanding.
1. Wishing that my Husband Would Obtain the Fa
Among everyday people it can be said that my husband is a good person with a kind heart. He believes in reincarnation and retribution, but was doubtful about the cultivation phenomena mentioned in Dafa. After the Chinese Communist Party began to persecute Falun Gong in 1999, the deviated notions about Dafa "being involved in politics" seemed to strongly influence him. Because he had experienced the Tiananment Square Massacre and had suffered from it, as soon as politics was mentioned, he would always distance himself. He knew that Dafa is good. In validating the Fa, my husband helped practitioners with many tasks, but he still didn't cultivate. This worried me, and I was afraid he'd miss this opportunity to be saved. At that time, I did not realize that my worry was a mix of many notions, including fear, selfishness and sentimentality.
At that time, I had just immigrated to Canada. We had to make a living. Not long after our arrival, the 9/11 incident happened, and it was difficult to find a job. In Mainland China, I was manager of a large financial institution and had a successful career. As a cultivator, I did not accept any bribes as many other people around me did, so I remained uncorrupted. After I came to Canada, I worked and took care of my family. In my everyday life, I tried my best to live by the Falun Dafa principles. I hoped that my husband would see the beauty of Dafa through me and hence obtain the Fa. I hoped and watched year after year, but he didn't seem to take the step into cultivation. My efforts didn't make a dent in his determination not to cultivate. Alas, this did not stop him from letting me know that I did not do well enough in my cultivation.
I remember that once, when I felt wronged, I shared this situation with my mother, who is also a practitioner. She said, "Look within! Search yourself." I complained that I already did all that I should, and yielded all that I should. I didn't see what more I could do, implying that I had already handled the situation perfectly. After hearing this, my mother simply repeated, "Look within! Search yourself." I truly felt wronged and realized that there was no one else I could complain to.
Actually my husband has a very good side. For instance, when we were short of money, I still took some of our funds to mail letters and CDs to China and sent faxes. He never complained about this and even helped to seal envelopes and put on stamps. He drove me to different post office boxes to dispatch the mail and even wrote a program that could find fax numbers in China. However, I turned a blind eye to this and one-sidedly emphasized my own effort, complaining about not receiving any payback for my contribution. I always wanted to hear praise, but was unwilling to listen to criticism. On the surface, I was working hard for my husband to obtain the Fa, but in essence, I was holding on to my notion of protecting myself.
Master said in "Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles:"
"You have grown used to focusing on other people's shortcomings, and never take examining your own self seriously. When others' cultivation one day meets with success, what about you? Why won't you accept criticism, and why do you keep focusing on other people? Why not cultivate inward and examine your own self? Why do you get agitated when you are criticized? How many of you seated here can keep at ease when someone points at you out of the blue and berates you? How many of you can stay unruffled and search for the reason on your part when faced with others' criticism and chiding?"
I felt deeply ashamed, but couldn't identify where exactly I went wrong. I didn't know how I could do better.
2. After Compassionate Thought I Realized, "We are all Master's Children"
I hoped to go to the Experience Sharing Conference in Houston. Because the airline ticket cost over $500, my husband was against me going. Later, he agreed that our son and I could go. Sometime later he bought an expensive ticket of over $2,000 to go along with us. In this process, I understood what "compassion" is.
Looking back, I had a deep-rooted notion that I was able to obtain the Fa and my husband could not because of his poor enlightenment quality. I thought that I was better than others. This notion was difficult to detect. I lacked true compassion and this was the obstacle preventing my husband from obtaining the Fa.
It was already very valuable for him to agree that my son and I could go to the experience sharing conference, but asking him to go with us seemed impossible at the time. Yet, in the afternoon, just before we were to leave, a thought entered my head, "We are all Master's children, yet he is still lost. I should bring him back to Master's side." As soon as I had this thought, my tears came out, and my heart was full of compassion and a sense of responsibility. I didn't even have to say much, my husband had decided to go to the Conference.
However because it was a last minute purchase, the ticket price had soared from $500 to over $2,000. My husband said since there would be many more conferences, if he could not make it this time, he would go the next time. I thought to myself, "If he can obtain the Fa one day earlier, then it definitely should not be delayed simply due to the money issue. Though there are many conferences, what about the opportunity for cultivation? Will it wait?" I realized that Dafa is priceless and a cultivator cannot judge if something should be done based on money. There is only one standard for making a judgment, and that is the Fa's requirement.
Master said in Zhuan Falun,
"In our discipline, we have you temper your character right in the thick of ordinary people fighting for profit, and what you truly improve is your character. When you can let go of the attachment, then you can let go of anything, and then when you're asked to let go of the material thing you'll definitely be able to. But if you can't let go of the attachment, then you won't be able to let go of anything, so the true purpose of cultivation is to cultivate your mind."
As soon as I understood the Fa principle, my husband changed his mind and said, "Let's use all our cash, debit card and credit card. If it's enough to buy the ticket, then I'll come with you."
3. Master Looks After Us at all Times
During this trip, we experienced miracles. We had used up all our money to buy the airline tickets. What to do now? Just when we were at a loss at the Houston airport, a fellow practitioner, whom we had never met before, saw us and asked us to stay in his home. When we called to cancel our hotel booking, we were told somebody else already had canceled it.
During the next three days, I noticed that whenever my husband had some extra time, some practitioners came to greet and talk to him. This broke through the shell of his human notions. We knew some of these practitioners. Each of their discussion topics was unique; ranging from science, the principle of receiving however much one puts in, the persecution, personal experiences of healing illnesses through practicing Dafa, miraculous changes in their child after the child obtained the Fa, and so on. There was even an everyday person who talked about how remarkable the Dafa disciples are for validating the Fa.
As I watched people talking to my husband, I couldn't help being amazed by Master's ingenious arrangements. I understood Master's sentence in Zhuan Falun: "The cultivation is up to you, gong is up to the master." When we do things with a sincere heart, all things are arranged by Master.
4. Developing Complacency
This experience allowed my husband to move "closer" to Dafa, but not "enter" it yet. On the surface, he seemed hindered by practitioners not cultivating so well, but after searching inside, I found the root was still related to me.
My husband began to study the Fa with me, and I became complacent. On the one hand, I began to ask him to study the Fa a lot, while on the other hand, I didn't cultivate my speech as much as I did in the past. I felt that since he was now a practitioner, I could share whatever was on my mind with him directly. I failed to consider that he was still a new practitioner. Although I corrected myself in time, my complaints about other practitioners had caused my husband to be stuck at the borderline of being a practitioner for a long time.
Master reminded us in Zhuan Falun:
"In the process of cultivating in other settings, too, you have to be careful that you don't get too engrossed. Demons will probably manipulate that kind of attachment."
So, at that time, I had not truly search inside. I still held the thought that his enlightenment quality was too poor, and I felt helpless.
5. On the Path of Validating the Fa
At that time I went to the Epoch Times office daily. Though we were still financially tight, my husband agreed for me to become a full-time Epoch Times staff member. Epoch Times still had a shortage of manpower, so working for sixteen hours a day was a normal routine. Especially sometimes when the phone rang in the middle of the night, my husband would be awakened and couldn't get back to sleep. This had driven him to the verge of mental collapse. As this dragged on, he began to lose his temper. When he woke up during the night, he would get really mad.
I lived in fear every day, being afraid of him becoming angry again. Yet, I could not let go of the Epoch Times work. At that time, I already forgot about my husband's support for me to work full time for the Epoch Times, I just felt really, really tired. In my mind I often complained about my husband's lack of understanding. I felt really bitter. In order to maintain harmony on the surface, I often coaxed him. I thought I had done pretty well, but now I realize I wasn't within the Fa.
"There are many religious groups today who say: "Oh, look at how good things are with us here. Everyone is very caring and loving towards one another." What are they loving, though? (Audience laughs) They love attachments, love happiness in the mortal world, and love maintaining that human pleasantness among people. Is that cultivation? It's not! Absolutely not. That's only a shield used to protect human attachments." ("Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital")
After understanding the true meaning of Master's lecture, I realized that not talking to my husband about his problem of keeping "human harmony" was not compassionate, and almost deceptive. If one day I reached consummation, what would happen to him? Didn't I hurt him? By that time, he had already become disgusted with my "indoctrination" and didn't want to talk to me about cultivation topics.
In answering practitioners' questions in "Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles", Master said, "Cultivation is a very involved thing, and getting rid of human attachments is the hardest. Try harder to look inside yourself, and just look for your own attachments." He also said, "So as your master, I can only encourage you to look within, and when problems arise, try to find your own shortcomings."
Upon searching inside, I saw my selfish heart. On the surface it was for validating the Fa, but in essence, I didn't follow Master's teaching:
"A Dafa disciple should consider others first in everything he does. Whenever something happens or whenever a situation comes about, even if it's a minor thing, my first thought is of others, for it's already become natural for me--I just think of others first." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Boston")
I realized my husband had indeed paid a lot for me to participate in projects validating the Fa. In return I had little consideration for him. I always wanted his total understanding, but didn't really think about the situation from his point of view.
6. Dig Out the Root and Search Inside Again
Finally one day, I discovered that deep down I had one thought, "He won't be able to obtain the Fa in this lifetime." I was shocked and scared at that moment by my own thought. I had always hoped for him to obtain the Fa, but my fundamental thought was like this. I understood what I did was only surface work. I finally understood why my husband was saying I didn't do enough. I understood that this thought was my true thought at the core of my being.
After realizing this, I studied the Fa more and tried to eliminate it from its root. After that, my husband truly entered Dafa. I asked him then, "Have you found answers to the questions you had about practicing Dafa in the past?" He replied, "I never had any doubts."
"During your cultivation practice, I will use every means to expose all of your attachments and dig them out at their roots." ("Digging Out the Roots" from Essentials for Further Advancement)
I now know in my heart what truly makes the difference is a cultivator's thought, and not just the actions and words on the surface. What had hindered my husband from obtaining the Fa was none other than my own attachments and notions.
Please kindly point out any inappropriateness in my sharing.
I am thankful for Master's compassionate saving of us all and his ingenious arrangements!
Thank you Master!
Thank you fellow practitioners!