Dafa Gave Me a New Life: The Cultivation Story of an Illiterate Person
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I am a 46-year-old female Dafa practitioner. I have been practicing Falun Dafa since 1997. My life has been full of poverty, frustration, and illness since I was born. My mother was frequently sick, and my father was a gambler and a drinker. He fought with my mother and there was no peace at home. My family lived in poverty and we didn't have enough food to eat. I had only a pair of cloth shoes that I was reluctant to wear, so I worked in the fields barefoot. One time my foot got stabbed and I lost a lot of blood. In order to take care of my brothers and sisters and our home, I didn't have a chance to attend school.
After I married at age twenty, my fate got even worse. I was not only living in poverty, but also suffered from many illnesses, including trigeminal neuralgia, frequent severe headaches caused by lack of appetite, insomnia, low blood pressure, and low blood sugar. I often passed out while doing work in the fields. I suffered recurrent appendicitis three times a year, with each occurrence requiring ten to fifteen days of treatment including injections and infusions of fluids. I also had an irregular heart beat, frequent nose bleeds, and recurrent skin allergies that covered my skin with groups of blisters that were very itchy. In short, my body was in very bad condition. Suffering from neurasthenia, I was unable to fall asleep at night. My condition was so painful that I thought of committing suicide. I kept thinking about the meaning of life. I thought too that my family and relatives were not my real family, and that my home was not my real home. I often thought of becoming a monk, longing to practice cultivation in a temple, which may be the reason I finally began practicing Dafa.
1. The Wonder of Dafa
My future seemed hopeless, and then I obtained Falun Dafa. On the first day of practicing Dafa, Master purified my body. When I was doing the exercise "Penetrating the Two Cosmic Extremes," I felt tingling in my hands, like electricity. When I was doing the sitting mediation at a fellow practitioner's home, I suddenly had a stomachache, and then went to the outhouse, where I vomited and had diarrhea. After I came back inside, I threw up again all over the floor. I returned home after 10:00 p.m., when everything became normal, and all of my illnesses disappeared. Since then I have not had any sickness karma. This was the first time I had ever felt the joy of being free of illness.
The happiness in my heart of being illness-free can not be described in words. I had undergone much suffering from childhood through adulthood. I was glad to have stayed alive despite the many tribulations. It was because there was a good thing waiting for me. I was excited! At the practice site, I listened to practitioners reading the Fa every day. I had never attended school and I didn't even know how to write my own name. All of the practitioners had their own book to read and they knew that I was illiterate, so they didn't give me a book. I was worried, pained, and felt inferior, but didn't dare to ask for a book, for fear of being teased. But I wanted to have a copy of Zhuan Falun. One time, I attended a Falun Dafa experience sharing conference in another village. There were Dafa books being sold there and I immediately bought Zhuan Falun and Essentials for Further Advancement.
After I returned home, I was holding the precious book, and I was excited that I finally obtained it. Even if I could not read it, I would still look at it every day. Master saw my determination and sincerity, and manifested the wonder of Dafa to me. While I was looking at the book, I heard Master teaching the Fa to me, and then I just listened while following the words in the book. Wherever I looked was where Master was reading. Every day I read the book by listening to Master reading. In this way, after about two months, I could read the books on my own, as I knew all the words. I often shed tears, conjoining my hands to say thank you Master! Thank you Master!
I didn't know what my predestined relationship was with Master and Dafa. Master let good fortune fall upon me, as after practicing Dafa, my destitute life turned around. My husband had been a bricklayer, doing construction work for a living, which was a tiring job that didn't produce much money. After starting to practice Dafa, he began to receive contracted construction work, and our income suddenly increased many times, and I no longer needed to work. After my child left home for school, I had plenty of time to study the Fa every day at home. I studied at least two lectures of Zhuan Falun per day, and also memorized many articles in Essentials for Further Advancement. It laid a strong foundation for later in opposing the persecution, validating Dafa, and saving sentient beings.
2. Using Our Own Personal Experiences to Validate the Fa
Every day I bathed in the magnificence of Dafa, learned and understood many principles of good conduct, and came to understand the true meaning of life. I demanded of myself that I live my life always in accordance with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. My introverted personality and low self-esteem gradually changed from being obtuse to becoming optimistic, talkative, and thinking rationally. I also learned how to speak logically, and how to use a computer. Especially when I validated Dafa with Master's blessing, words came easily and I talked eloquently. On one occasion, I clarified the truth to people outside our village, and a nearby person listened and said, "How did you become so knowledgeable and capable of talking? Do you still remember me?" I said, "I don't know you." He said, "I worked with the father of your child a few years ago and I had dinner at your house, and you didn't dare to raise your head up when serving the food and didn't dare to talk." I said, "The change in me is a result of the wisdom of Dafa that was given to me, as I have not attended a day of school, and I didn't even know how to write my own name." I used my own personal experience to validate Dafa, and the people listening admired the wonders of Dafa.
After July 20, 1999, when the persecution of Dafa began and Master was confronted with injustice and accusations, Dafa disciples in my village were called to the police station and the township government for brainwashing. I used my own personal experience to validate the wonders and magnificence of Dafa. The police at the station and cadres of the township government used Dafa books to test me many times to see if I knew the words of Falun Dafa books. Some covered up most of the words with their hands and only revealed two words to test me. I read the passage out loud accurately, and people who were present said, "It is true, Falun Dafa is so good, continue the practice."
With continued diligence in practicing Dafa, tests came one after the other. My husband once said to me that his sister wanted to build a house, and asked us to help out. Without hesitation, I said, "No problem." I stopped thinking about it until after my husband's sister demolished her old house, and then laid the foundation to build a new house. I thought that it was time for my sister-in-law's two eldest sons to get married soon. The house's foundation was eight main rooms, with an additional two rooms in the east wing and two rooms in the west wing, and altogether there were twelve rooms in the house. They then told us that they had only four thousand yuan. My husband's brother offered to help and prepared to buy brick, but his wife refused to help, so it seemed we had to help pay to build the twelve room house.
This was a big test for me. Since I was a child, I had always lived in poverty and I had a strong attachment to money. I had a difficult time discarding this attachment. The more I thought about it, the more I felt I was being treated unfairly, digging up past incidents and complaining. "We were so poor before that we couldn't even afford to eat brine vegetables, and I was so skinny, weighing about 90 pounds. When they had money, all they did was eat and play cards every day. They have never helped us out and never even bought my child a pair of shoes or a piece of clothing." My husband was embarrassed, and tried to get me to agree to help. During those few days I was really in a heart-wrenching and agonizing state, in the process of removing this attachment. However, I did have one unshakable thought, which was that I cannot undermine Dafa. My sister-in-law is an everyday person and won't hold back. If I did not agree to help, the house would not have been built, and she would blame me. Inevitably she would talk badly about me in our nearby area, and this would reflect badly on Dafa, since everyone knew that I was a practitioner.
I said to my husband, "Let me tell you, if I did not practice Dafa, I would not have given them a penny. You have to make them understand that because I practice Dafa, I agreed to help out. You must let them know that Dafa is good." Indeed, my husband repeated my exact words to his sister, and his sister's family, and they were convinced and believed that Dafa was good. I barely passed this test. The house continued to be built, and Master saw that my xinxing did not really rise up, and so I was given another test.
I went to the house where they were working on inlaid tiles. Since they were still short of a few boxes of ceramic tiles, they wanted me to buy them. I thought, "It is only a few boxes of tiles, and they still want us to pay for them?" I immediately realized that it was a test, and without delay I went into town and bought the tiles, so finally I passed the test.
Looking back now, I am very ashamed of myself, Master has given me so much and didn't request a penny. All tests are intended for our improvement and to eliminate our attachments, but I still didn't want to abandon the attachments, and it caused unnecessary worry for Master!
I repeatedly studied the Fa, and read where Master said,
"If something is yours, nobody will take it away, and if something isn't yours, you won't be able to get it even by fighting for it." (Zhuan Falun)
There is another quote that I said repeatedly,
"There is sacrifice in forbearance, and a complete sacrifice is a higher principle of non-omission." ("Perfect Harmony" from Essentials for Further Advancement)
I thought if I owed her from my past life, then the debt was paid off. If I did not owe her, and then compensated her because of Dafa, then I just let it follow the course of nature. My xinxing ascended by enlightening to the principles of the Fa. I felt composed and well-balanced. Master later let me validate this principle of the Fa. One day, my husband said, "My second sister is really bad. We helped to build her house, and now her son is getting married and has asked me to borrow money. I didn't loan her the money." I thought, "I would not have cared if you loaned her money." I then realized that I had relinquished my attachment to money. When I really raised my level as a result of cultivation, the following year, my husband earned much more, and we were also able to build our own house.
Because of this incident, my husband is very supportive of Dafa. When my two younger brothers built houses and got married, my husband took the initiative to help. When I went out to do Fa-rectification work, he did not interfere. Sometimes he worried about me, and even followed me to protect me. My two younger brothers, two sisters-in-law, and my sister all respected me. My mother practices Dafa, and they support her. My home has been a practice site, creating a good environment for nearby fellow practitioners to study the Fa and to share cultivation experiences. My sisters-in-law had looked down on me and bullied me, but I took the initiative to be friendly and nice to them. When faced with financial complications, no matter how big my loss was, I had to safeguard Dafa, and they really felt the magnificence of Dafa. The two families have a harmonious relationship, and now both my husband's side of the family and my side of the family believe that Dafa is good.
3. The Power of Going out to Validate the Fa and Cooperating with the Strength of One Whole Body
It took a lot of strength to overcome all the hardships and impediments after the persecution began. Not only to firmly believe in Dafa, but also at the same time to validate the Fa, oppose the persecution, and save sentient beings. Dafa disciples carry great missions. Personal cultivation and Fa-rectification cultivation should be interrelated.
In the early stages of the persecution, there were many practitioners unable to step forward. I was always thinking of how to validate Dafa. I prepared myself to go outside to write truth-clarification phrases in public places, and so I learned and practiced how to write "Falun Dafa is Good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is Good" at home. I developed confidence after seeing that my handwriting looked pretty good after going over it a few times. In the evening, I tied a sponge onto a wooden stick, dipped the sponge in red paint, then held the stick up and wrote "Falun Dafa is Good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is Good" on street light poles. With Master's blessing, the words looked large and upright. Even fellow practitioners were amazed that I wrote it.
I was afraid in the beginning, but after a while the fear became less and less. I later bought a bucket of paint and put it in my bike basket and went out to write. I later used spray paint, which made the writing even more convenient.
In the beginning I created posters, and later made cloth banners. My whole house was full of cloth banners. In winter I placed banners on the heater to warm the cloth up. I gave the banners to fellow practitioners for whoever wanted to use them, and it raised the whole group's cultivation level, and more and more fellow practitioners came out to validate Dafa.
After the "Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party" was published, we began to persuade people to withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). We started with the local village, and subsequently went to the market square to encourage people to withdraw from the CCP. Practitioners came out to participate, and we coordinated well as one whole body. At that time we were able to persuade more than a thousand sentient beings to denounce the CCP in a week. All the local long-term vendor stand owners withdrew from the CCP a few years ago. Sometimes, a few fellow practitioners coordinated to go miles away to distribute truth-clarification materials and to persuade sentient beings to withdraw from the CCP. Now, during the day, our local practitioners go out to post truth-clarification posters, hang cloth banners, and distribute truth-clarification materials, while clarifying the truth to the people they come across, and persuade them to withdraw from the CCP. Practitioners have been doing very well.
4. Letting Go of Sentimentality, and Having Compassion Toward all Sentient Beings
I always believed that I had already let go of sentimentality toward my family, particularly my husband. After studying the Fa, I analyzed myself and realized that my sentimentality toward my husband was still quite deep. When I enlightened to it, I hurried to eliminate the attachment. My thought was that I should treat my husband with compassion, the same way I treat all sentient beings. As a result, when I meditated in the courtyard the next morning, he stood next to me to help drive off mosquitoes and flies for a long time before he left. I realized this was the compassion of Master to let me enlighten to the principles of the Fa.
I still have a lot of attachments that should be eliminated, and there are still many sentient beings waiting to be saved. Dafa has given me a lot, and I have contributed too little. My life was given by Dafa, so what else can I not let go of?
Master, please be assured, I promise that within this limited time, I will genuinely cultivate myself well, and save sentient beings with compassion. I will not disappoint Master and I will fulfill my prehistoric vows.