A Beam of Light in the Shadow of a Terminal Illness
(Clearwisdom.net) My husband and I are both new practitioners who learned Dafa the latter half of 2009. Fellow practitioners encouraged us to share our experiences.
1. Hope Appeared During Our Tribulations
Three months after we got married, and before we learned Dafa, my husband was diagnosed with chronic inflammation of the kidneys. He relied mainly on hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis to stay alive. At that time, both of us were still in our 20's. Before we had a chance to feel joyful about being newlyweds, all the dreams we had in our lives were suddenly shattered. The blow was too much to bear, and the pain tortured us and our family day in and day out.
I gradually became numb while my tears continued to fall, as I just could not understand why this happened. I had been a nice, simple, well behaved, and friendly person since I was young, and I had not done anything bad. My husband is a down-to-earth person. He believed in Buddhism, had a kind heart, and was friendly to others. I truly did not know why we had to suffer so much. I wished heaven would give me an answer.
When I was immersed in pain and sorrow and could not pull myself out, two practitioners in my company brought us the book Zhuan Falun, which brought hope for our lives.
At the time, we were not familiar with Falun Dafa. Other than the horrifying Tiananmen Square self-immolation, which we later found out had been staged by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), we knew almost nothing about it. I told my husband to just find out what it was, and not take it too seriously.
At first, I was afraid that the practitioners might want us to pay a tuition or membership fee, but it could not be further from the truth. They were the first among all our colleagues to visit us, and they did so repeatedly and always cared about us. Despite their busy work schedule, they found time to deliver books and informational materials to us, and bought an MP3 player for us. We were truly moved.
I am not sure if it was because their actions moved us, but my husband picked up Zhuan Falun one day and read it. Afterwards, he told me excitedly: “It is a very good book. You should read it too.” I hesitated and asked, “Is that so?”
My husband and his family used to worship a Bodhisattva, and they had her statue set up at home and prayed to her every day. My husband knew a lot about Buddhism and religious matters. I used to be an atheist, but because of his influence, I became somewhat of a believer. I thought that the book must be truly good if he said so. I picked it up that night, and was truly drawn to it. I sighed in my heart, “Wow, so this is how it is.” Many puzzles about life and fate that I had for a long time, seemed to suddenly be resolved. The first day I finished one-third of the book, feeling that my long suppressed heart was refreshed. The next day I was anxiously waiting at work during the day to read it, and I read it at night. I finished the book in three days, and my mind became totally clear. Many of the questions in my life were answered.
It turned out that life is not as gloomy as I thought. What I was faced with was not that bad. A person has accumulated too much karma in his past lives, and his fate is not unchangeable. This let me see the hope in my life.
2. I Learned Dafa and Began to Cultivate
Right after finishing the book, I asked my husband if he knew where we could learn the exercises. I resolutely told him that by all means we had to learn it. He was also very much touched after reading Zhuan Falun. It used to be that every time he went to the temple, he brought back some scriptures and read them with great interest. After reading Zhuan Falun, he said that it was much easier to understand, more encompassing and systematic than all the other scriptures he had ever read. Many things were validated in the book.
He called the practitioners and asked them for information about the five exercises. The practitioners were happy to hear that we were interested, and came to teach us. When crossing the legs, my husband easily managed the double lotus position. I had some difficulty at first, but after working on it for a week, I was able to do the same. Fellow practitioners said that we had a predestined relationship with Dafa, which encouraged us greatly.
In the ensuing days, my husband and I both worked very hard. We studied the Fa until about 10:00 in the evenings, and did the exercises afterwards. We started with holding the law wheel for one minute, then two minutes, and finally we were able to do the whole thing. Crossing the legs was the same, going from five minutes to ten, and finally to an hour. Our movements changed from not so accurate to accurate. A month later, we felt distinctive changes in the condition of our bodies. My frequent migraines were gone, I was no longer gloomy all day, I felt fulfilled, my appetite improved, I became energetic, and my facial complexion looked good. My colleagues all became curious as to why I felt so wonderful after my tribulations. My husband also saw hope from his despair, and became much happier and healthier.
Teacher asked us not only to study Dafa, but to also responsibly cultivate and improve our mind. After I studied the Fa for a while, I gradually realized the inner meaning of
“Physical pains count little as suffering, Indeed, cultivating mind is hardest.”
(“Tempering the will” from Hong Yin)
As I advanced in my Fa study, I found that many things I did were incorrect when evaluated by Dafa's standards. For example, in the workplace, one has to mind one’s speech and not make arbitrary comments, or pursue things too vigorously, and we should be more tolerant of family members. At first it was indeed very difficult for me to do things correctly. Sometimes I knew clearly I was wrong, but just could not help it.
I remember that about two months after I learned Dafa, I fought frequently with my husband, and my relationship with my family was not good, either. Teacher wanted us to look inward first, but every time when conflicts occurred, I always found it very difficult to control myself. When fighting with my husband, neither of us would yield, but we regretted it afterwards and knew that we did not do well. When we had a fight again, I consciously tried to control myself, forcing myself not to fight back. I did manage to control myself, but the process was painful. On the one hand, my relationship with my parents was not smooth. On the other hand, while my husband suffered from his bad health, I could not do well and caused him emotional pain all the time. I was exhausted, feeling that I was unable to follow Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and almost lost faith in myself. Luckily I maintained my presence at the group Fa study. I resolved many of my problems in sharing experiences with fellow practitioners. Fellow practitioners asked me to memorize “What is Forbearance (Ren)?“ from Essentials for Further Advancement:
“Forbearance is the key to improving one’s xinxing. To endure with anger, grievance, or tears is the forbearance of an everyday person who is attached to his concerns. To endure completely without anger or grievance is the forbearance of a cultivator.”
I realized that my past forbearance was not true forbearance and my endurance was not true endurance. To endure without anger or grievance will not be so painful. My mind should be calm and peaceful when faced with conflicts.
As far as my family members, just as fellow practitioners said, I needed to learn how to balance my relationship with them. As a practitioner, one first has to be a good person. One should care about their family members, be unselfish, and always think of others. I did not do it well. Quite often I did not think of others and felt it was not that important. As a matter of fact, no matter what my own situation is, there is no excuse for not actively helping and caring for family members. Just as my husband said to me: “You need to listen to them no matter how much you dislike what they say, because they are not practitioners. What they say and do are all from an ordinary person's perspective. They are your family members, so we have to handle things well. We need to do the best we can to conform to ordinary people’s state to cultivate. We need to be able to balance it well.”
It was soon 2010, and it has been over half a year since I began studying Dafa. I find that my mind has become calmer and more peaceful. When faced with sudden conflicts I can calmly deal with them, and honestly look inward. My attitude has changed, too. In the beginning we studied the Fa and did the exercises so that my husband could cure his illnesses. I was later able to forget about the attachment of life and death, and cultivated only to get back to my original self. In the meantime, I became more and more confident.
The relationship with my family members also improved. I used to not think of others. Gradually I was able to in dealing with my family members, as well as my colleagues, and I always reminded myself to not be affected by human emotion.
My fighting with my husband also lessened. I realized that because subconsciously I began studying Dafa for the health of my husband, when he was not diligent I would be extra anxious, which resulted in a lot of conflicts between us. I enlightened from the Fa that true cultivation depends on oneself. You cannot change a person’s fate. Whether the person will succeed or not, or if he can persist, all depend on himself. In the meantime, my husband also looked inward. Both of us remind each other of any deficiencies and we have helped each other.
I have also experienced the wonderfulness of cultivation in Dafa. When you use true benevolence from your heart to treat others, you will be rewarded with the same. For example, since I learned Dafa, I learned to always treat my parents-in-law with kindness, as though they were my own parents. One day, I accidentally heard my mother-in-law praising me in front of other relatives, and I felt flattered but moved.
All these made me more steadfast in my belief in Dafa and grateful to Teacher. Teacher taught us such a good cultivation method, and we shall never disappoint him.
Cultivation is not an easy matter, and one needs to endure. Luckily, my husband and I learned Dafa simultaneously, so we can help each other improve, point out each other’s deficiencies, and encourage each other to work harder.
I have gradually improved myself by enlightening through conflicts and disagreements. If you are a new practitioner, as long as you recognize your mistakes and deficiencies, you will be able to correct them, because Dafa is just wonderful. When you keep correcting yourself, and try hard to follow Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, your heart will gradually become calm and tranquil.
“Cultivating gong has a path
mind is the way
On the boundless sea of Dafa
hardship is your ferry” (“Falun Dafa” from Hong Yin).
The path of cultivation is long and winding, but we shall persist until the end.