Fundamental Changes--Going From Being a Shrew to a Falun Dafa Practitioner
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I am a woman in her sixties who lives in the countryside. I began practicing Falun Dafa in early 1999. Before I obtained the Fa, my body was not healthy and I had many health problems, including bronchitis, cystitis, arthritis, frozen shoulder, swelling all over my body, and other symptoms. The doctor later told me that the whole body swelling might be caused by uremia. At the time, I was suffering tremendously day after day. After I started cultivating in Falun Dafa, all of my illnesses disappeared. I truly experienced the wonderful state of being illness-free. I know that I would already have died without Dafa. Compassionate Master saved me. Master and Dafa gave me a new life. I not only have a healthy body, but also a happy mind. My moral standard has been greatly improved.
Improving the Environment at Home to Save Sentient Beings
After I started studying the Fa, I understood that the meaning of life is to return to our true self, instead of simply living a comfortable life in the human world. I firmly followed Master's requirements to be a good person, and to be a practitioner who is even better than a good person. I clearly knew that I did not have a good relationship with my family members, so I started to handle the family relationship better.
Before I started cultivating in Dafa, I had a very bad temper and frequently fought with my family members. I was just like a shrew, and created a lot of tension for the family environment. I was born in a poor family in countryside. My father passed away when I was 18. My elder sister got married early. My mother led me, two of my younger sisters, and one younger brother to live a difficult life. I took on the family responsibilities very early. I gradually formed the personalty of not wanting to be insulted and being hard on people if I was right, in order to protect the interests of my family and myself. But after I started cultivating in Dafa, I actively assimilated to Dafa, followed Master's teachings, and fundamentally changed my temper and personality.
For example, my two younger sisters and I helped my mother to raise our young brother, and helped him to build a new house and get married. But after he got married, he and his wife treated my mother badly and frequently yelled at and even beat her. I could not tolerate this behavior and tried to discipline them. They not only didn't listen to me, but also scolded me and my two sisters very badly. I sued my brother and his wife. My brother bribed the court officials, but I didn't bribe them. In the end I lost the case. I was extremely angry. I took my mother to the court and shouted at the deputy judge. Later, whenever I thought of this thing, I would run a high fever and need medical treatment. I could not get over this tribulation for almost 20 years. After I started Falun Dafa cultivation practice, I changed fundamentally. I burned the “plaintiff paper” that I had saved for many years. At the same time, I took the initiative to improve the relationship with my brother and sister-in-law. I also helped their family to withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its related organizations. Because of my fundamental changes, they witnessed the greatness of Falun Dafa. In addition, when my brother 's family was away for work, they let me and my husband take care of their home and live there. This could never have happened before I cultivated in Dafa.
I previously had many conflicts with my two uncles' families. My fourth aunt introduced her nephew to my third younger sister, and they got married. But they frequently fought with each other after they were married. My sister suffered a mental disorder because of the huge pressure that she was under. She frequently ran out of the house in the cold winter. I was very angry about this. I fought with my fourth aunt all the time and resented my fourth uncle's family for many years. We didn't talk to each other and didn't visit each other. After I began cultivating, I improved my relationship with my fourth uncle's family. When my uncle got sick, my husband and I bought gifts and visited him. We also chatted with his five children. Our relationship improved. I also persuaded his entire family to withdraw from the CCP.
A cousin of my second uncle had slapped me in the face shortly after my father died because of things that I had said. I scolded him and hated him. After I cultivated in Dafa, I reconciled with him and also persuaded him to quit the CCP.
I also had a bad relationship with my mother-in-law in the past. We even started scolding each other. I was really a shrew at the time. After I started cultivating in Falun Dafa, I was strict with myself, following the principles, “Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance.” I realized that I did many things poorly before, and I stopped scolding my mother-in-law. Even when she yelled at me, I didn't say a word. In addition, I asked my mother-in-law to live with me so that I could take good care of her. When my mother-in-law got sick and was paralyzed, I fed her three meals every day. Sometimes when I fed her, she spat out the food all over me or even on my face. I smiled and endured it.
My mother-in-law had many children, including two sons and four daughters. The family's relationships were complicated. I had a bad relationship with them since I was angry that they didn't help take care of my mother-in-law. After I cultivated in the Fa and improved my xinxing, everything changed. I took the initiative to support my mother-in-law, which touched them. They all gave us money, but I didn't accept it, and said, “It won't cost too much to take care of my mother-in-law. You should rest assured. We will take good care of her.” My brother-in-law said, “You Falun Gong practitioners are all good people. I also want to be a good person.” Once when he went to collect his salary, the officer made a mistake and gave him one thousand yuan too much. When he found out after going back home, he went back and returned the money. We clarified the truth to all of the family members and persuaded them to quit the CCP.
I also had a bad relationship with my husband before I cultivated in Dafa. I hurt him with bad words. No matter where we were, no matter how many people were there, whenever I disagreed with him, I shouted at him loudly and often threatened to divorce him. I didn't listen to anyone's persuasion. Since we both started to cultivate in the Fa, we understood the principles for being a good person. I knew I was wrong and no longer argued with him. Sometimes my husband joked that he still wanted me to scold him. I smiled, “No way. I won't give you my virtue.”
Since I started cultivating, I have also improved my relationship with the neighbors. When my mother-in-law was still alive, she was bitten by a dog from a neighbor's house. We did not ask the neighbor to pay the medical expense. Instead, my husband and I took my mother-in-law to see the doctor.
The villagers all witnessed my fundamental changes after I began Falun Dafa cultivation practice. They said that I had become a totally different person.
I realized that in this corrupted world, if people like me didn't study Dafa, there was no telling how bad off we could be. I deeply understood that Master saved me, and the boundless power of Dafa changed me. Only Dafa could have changed me. I am very fortunate to have met Master and Dafa in this life.
Cultivating Oneself Well to Better Save Sentient Beings
For the past ten plus years, my husband and I have not stopped cultivating. Sometimes we did well. Sometimes we did not do very well. But we clearly know that we have a great responsibility to do the three things well, especially clarifying the truth and saving sentient beings. We also understand that we must cultivate ourselves well in order to better save sentient beings.
Shortly after I started to cultivate in Dafa, all my illnesses disappeared. But later my body had the reaction of illness karma. I used to have one or two symptoms of tracheitis every year. Initially I thought Master got rid of my karma. But later after I studied and better understood the Fa principles, I understood that all the symptoms of illness karma were illusions during the Fa-Rectification period. It was mainly because I had the attachment and was taken advantage of by the old forces to persecute me. So I studied the Fa with a calm mind and looked inward. Master also enlightened me in my dreams and helped me to see that I didn't do well with “tolerance.” I looked inward and found that I did not meet Master's requirement of tolerance in some things that I did. Sometimes I still got angry when I thought of some things. Since I got angry, I still had the competitive mentality. After I found my competitive mentality, I also found that I still harbored hatred towards some people. Master taught us in Zhuan Falun of the Fa principle that as long as people have karma, they will have illness. My understanding was that the “karma” Master talked about also included the “karma” created when people get angry. Those impure matters still existed in my body, which was the reason for the illusion of illness karma.
I thought that I had gotten rid of the attachment for a period of time. One day I was chatting with a non-practitioner. I thought my words were good for her, but she suddenly became irritated. I started to search inward. I was shocked about what I found. I still had the fundamental attachments to fame, profit, and affection, with hatred and resentment mixed in. After I found my attachments, I was determined to get rid of them.
By studying the Fa and searching inward, I found the root cause of why I had symptoms of tracheitis. I even strengthened my righteous thoughts for cultivating in Dafa. After these changes, I no longer had those symptoms. Through many years of cultivation, I know I should look at my every thought and eliminate those bad thoughts and notions. I should cultivate firmly and truly, and lay a good foundation for doing the three things well.
Since Jiang's regime colluded with the CCP to persecute Falun Gong, several practitioners in our village were also harassed and persecuted. However, my husband and I never left Dafa. We didn't relax or slack off in doing the three things, especially in clarifying the truth and saving sentient beings.
In the beginning, I took advantage of taking care of parents-in-law to clarify the truth to those relatives and neighbors who came to visit them. Later, my husband and I, as well as other practitioners, went out together to clarify the truth. During the past few years, we have talked to every family in our village, about 1500 people. When meeting people who came to our village to do business, I also actively talked to them about Falun Gong. We also went to farmers' markets to clarify the truth. During the course of clarifying the truth, I went through a process of going from not knowing what to say to knowing, and from speaking timidly to doing so openly and with dignity. In the process of advising others to quit the CCP, some quit, while others did not. I felt very uncomfortable at the beginning when others said they didn't want to quit the CCP. I have learned to calm down as time has gone by.
When I met a stranger, I first chatted with him in order to reduce the distance between us. And then I would ask them about school and if they joined in the CCP and affiliated organizations. If he said he hadn't joined any of the organizations, I would tell him to recite “Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” If he had joined one or more of these organizations and had not yet quit, I introduced the Nine Commentaries to him and asked him to quit the CCP. Many people indeed quit, most using an alias, though some did use their real names.
I was not anxious while talking to people who didn't want to quit. For example, I talked to a girl about quitting the CCP and its affiliated organizations. After hearing what I said, she agreed to quit. However, after she went home and talked to her parents about it, her father became very angry, saying that the school would expel her if she quit. Her father came to my home, and didn't agree to letting his daughter quit no matter what I said. Finally, I peeled her daughter's name tag off from the list in front of him. After a period of time, I talked to them again about quitting the CCP. I said, “You see, there are so many natural disasters and man-made calamities. Your daughter would like to quit the evil organizations. There is no need to declare it publicly at school.” Her father finally agreed.
During the course of clarifying the truth, I always remembered Master's words, “Validate the Fa with rationality, clarify the truth with wisdom, spread the Fa and save people with mercy.” (“Rationality” from Essentials for Further Advancement II). I also met some people who would not listen to the truth. For example, I met a woman in a farmers' market. When I started to talk to her about the truth, she shouted, “The party is good. There is no charge to plant the fields. You are against the party...” No matter what I said to her, she just did not want to listen. I had to leave and wait for another chance to help her in the future. On another day, I met a young man in his thirties when I went to visit my relatives. When I talked to him about Falun Gong, he took out his cell phone at once, saying that he would report me to the police. I said that I was completely doing this for his own good, but he didn't listen at all. When I ran into such a situation, I used the rationality and wisdom endowed by Master to avoid unnecessary losses.
Besides talking to people face to face about the truth, I also distributed materials with several other practitioners. This year we distributed Shen Yun DVDs. At the same time, we found time to study the Fa calmly. We shared understandings with each other when there was a problem. We would now like to encourage those practitioners who fell behind to catch up. We are planning to form a Fa-study group.
Dafa has boundless power. It can change everything and rectify all that is not righteous. That is how I became a Dafa disciple, when I was once a bad-tempered shrew. I want to sincerely express my appreciation for Master's compassionate salvation.
Although I have validated the Fa and done the three things relatively well, I know that I am still far from what Master requires. I hope that we can all do as Master asks, "...always cultivating as if you were just starting..." ("Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference")
I also understand the importance of my responsibility through studying the Fa. Dafa practitioners' mission is to assist Master in Fa-rectification and save sentient beings. At the final moment of the last stage, I can only be worthy of the title of Dafa disciple by doing better.