Minghui Fahui | I Experienced the Wonder of Happiness within Bitterness
(Minghui.org) I invited my in-laws to live with us after I started to practice Falun Gong. At that time, my relatives and friends told me not to. They said it is very hard to get along with mothers-in-law. Yet I thought that I am learning Dafa already—as long as I am forbearing, how hard can it be? But things were not as simple as what I had thought. After my in-laws moved in with us, my husband's three older sisters moved in, too. They all have their own opinions. My husband often had disagreements with his sisters, but I remained silent and did not get involved. Yet I did not let go of the negative thoughts about them in my heart. I remembered their faults and thought ill of this family. My fellow practitioners commented that I was not doing well in terms of family relationships. I was troubled too; I did not know how to overcome this hurdle.
– The author
Greeting the Compassionate Master!
Greeting my fellow practitioners!
From the end of 1998 until now, I have always been following Master's Fa-rectification progress. However, due to various reasons, my path has not been a smooth one. I went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong in 2000 and was detained and fined; I was sent to forced labor camp in 2002 because I was caught giving out Dafa flyers; a fellow practitioner was accused of spreading Dafa materials in 2010 and I was dragged in and detained and fined, and so on. I experienced fear, resentment, bitterness, and weariness. I seldom felt happy.
Yet in the last two years, under Master's compassionate care and guidance, as I became more mature in my cultivation, I experienced a wonderful feeling and joy every time my xinxing and realm elevated, and also happiness and the sense of freedom after I had let go of my attachments.
I will share my cultivation improvements in two main areas. Please kindly point out anything inappropriate.
1. Helping fellow practitioners is also a way of cultivating myself
Ms. Li and I had a strong predestined relationship. Ms. Li is 62 years old; she is very kind, simple, and honest; she is not very opinionated, and she has a very mellow temperament. We met in June 2009. Ms. Li lives in a forest management area about 50 kilometers away. There are no schools near where she lives so she accompanies her granddaughter to school in our town. We were introduced to each other by another practitioner.
Ms. Li started to practice Falun Gong very early; however, due to her own environment and pressure from many sources, she gradually gave up cultivation. When I met her, she had not studied the Fa or done the exercises for several years. But she did not give up Dafa in her heart. She still knew that Dafa and the Master are good.
After I learned of her circumstances, I went to visit her and studied the Fa with her. Ms. Li had only one year of schooling, so she relied on listening to Master's lectures to study the Fa prior to July 20, 1999 (when the persecution began). We started by reading Zhuan Falun. We read one lecture a day. It took us over three hours to read one lecture. There were many words Ms. Li did not know. She only recognized a word here and a word there, and could not even read one complete sentence. I am an impetuous person. To read the Fa with Ms. Li, I used all of my tolerance to control my impatience. I corrected her one character at a time. Like this, I finished reading Zhuan Falun with her once and stopped studying the Fa with her. I told her to study by herself at home. I visited her often and delivered Master's new articles and Minghui newsletters. I took her with us when we had group activities. I never left her behind.
In the end of 2010, Ms. Li bought an apartment in our community, so we lived very close and met often. Since that time, we were never separated until she moved back to her hometown.
We have group study at my home once a week. Ms. Li came every week, but she often arrived late. Since she did not recognize many characters, she usually had to repeat the same sentence several times to get it right. Sometimes other practitioners would lose their patience and say something unkind to her, but she never let those comments bother her. Ms. Li is very slow at studying the Fa—she could not even finish reading one lecture by herself at home and she had to constantly check the dictionary when she read. I invited her to my home to read the Fa together. Slowly, Ms. Li was able to read complete sentences a lot more smoothly.
One time during Fa study, when she read “If a phone call comes or someone knocks on the door” (Zhuan Falun), she read the character “knock” as “drum,” I had a good laugh about it. I said: “Sister Li, you make me laugh! We all know 'beat the drum,' we read as 'knock on the door,' not 'drum on the door!'” Ms. Li said frankly: “I thought this character read as 'drum.'” Through this incident I began reflecting upon myself: if it were me, even if I did not know this character, I would still had guessed this character right. However, Ms. Li did not care, she never tried to pretend. I found my attachment to vanity and my attitude of getting around in the society. From Ms. Li, I found my shortcoming.
Every day, Ms. Li and I studied the Fa together in the morning and went out in the afternoon to tell people on the street the truth about Falun Gong. Ms. Li had a lot of household chores and her work pace was extremely slow. Also, her xinxing had not moved up enough, so she never arrived on time in the afternoon. She was arriving late every day—10 minutes, 20 minutes, sometimes even half an hour. I restrained myself at the beginning and did not scold her for being late. I thought this was to help me eliminate my impatience. In fact it was. One day, I waited for her for a long time under the blazing midday sun, but she did not show up. I got angry this time and called her twice. She eventually showed up, smiling. She said: “I am late again.” It would have been better if she did not smile. Upon seeing her smile, I exploded, shouting: “Since when were you ever early? You are the slowest one in our area. Ah, why did Master put you and me together?! You don't have to come tomorrow—I am not working with you anymore, I can't take it anymore.” Yet Ms. Li did not get angry at me. She said slowly: “I know you cannot control your temper today.” I was flustered and exasperated, I said: “I don't want to tolerate you anymore, I tolerated you for a whole year already!” Ms. Li smiled again. I cried. I was so upset at her and scolded her some more.
Later that day, we went to a neighborhood and left some Shen Yun DVDs for the residents there, then we went home. At home, after some reflection, I realized I was wrong to lose my temper at Ms. Li, however, I could not just let her arrive late every time. I should point out her shortcomings. During our morning Fa study the next day, I said calmly: “Sister Li, Dafa practitioners should be considerate of others at all time. It is not right for you to keep wasting other people's time! You take your time doing things, but certain things are different! If Master said he is taking us home at 8 o'clock tomorrow morning and you arrive at 9 o'clock, can you still make it?” From that day on, Ms. Li never arrived late again. My temperament also calmed down a lot.
Ms. Li said she is not good at talking to people, so she wanted to distribute truth-clarifying materials instead. At that time, we had a very good breakthrough at clarifying the truth face to face in our community. All of us were able to do it, but very few pamphlets were distributed. Ms. Li had never stopped handing out pamphlets after she started, not even on Chinese New Year. Prior to this, I never gave out pamphlets in public. I was sentenced to labor camp in 2002 because I was reported for passing out Dafa materials in public. I had this obstacle in my heart and had not yet had a breakthrough. During the day, Ms. Li and I went to clarify the truth to people. She would go out to distribute pamphlets at night by herself. After a while, Ms. Li and I decided we would not go out at night, as it was hard to find our way. We instead decided to distribute pamphlets during the day, together.
By starting passing out Dafa materials in public again, I overcame the fear that was in me for the past seven years. I was getting bolder and bolder about it, too, and my path was getting wider and wider. I even delivered bundles and bundles of pamphlets directly to some construction sites. One time, when we went to a construction site, there was a deep, long ditch between the gate and the workshop. We would have to walk around the construction site for quite some distance to get to the workshop. I was a little scared and wanted to turn back. I asked Ms. Li: “Are we still going in?” Without a second thought, Ms. Li said: “What are you here for?” and started to walk in. I followed her. We got to the workshop smoothly and left bundles of truth-clarifying materials.
After the 2012 Shen Yun DVD came out, the Minghui website made an announcement encouraging us to give the DVDs to sentient beings in person. Ms. Li and I started giving out Shen Yun DVDs. In the beginning, we were afraid to give them to adults. We waited at street corners before school let out in the afternoon, and gave the DVDs to school children. We gradually had the courage to give them to women, but not men. Eventually, we would openly give a DVD to whoever talked to us. If Ms. Li were not with me, I don't know how long it would have taken me to get to this step.
Ms. Li understood her mission after Master's article “20th Anniversary Fa Teaching” on May 13, 2012, New York was published. She wanted to go back to her hometown and look for former fellow practitioners. The day after her granddaughter's school went on break, Ms. Li went back to her hometown. She took over ten copies of Master's article “20th Anniversary Fa Teaching,” two large bags of truth-clarifying materials, the book Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, and Shen Yun DVDs. This time, she helped nine fellow practitioners come back to cultivation. She also introduced the Fa to a new practitioner and established a study group at her home. She led the group studying during the day and took her fellow practitioners to distribute pamphlets in neighboring forestry stations. Ms. Li came back twenty days later. She had 4,500 yuan that fellow practitioners in her area had donated for printing Dafa materials, and a list of several dozen names that declared their withdrawal from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations. Seeing Ms. Li putting her whole heart into saving sentient beings, I was touched and said: “Sister Li, you are great, you are doing great!” Ms. Li said as she had done nothing special: “I didn't do much. Master made the plan, I only did the talking and legwork.”
Ms. Li put her granddaughter in the school dormitory and went back home. She said there were many people who still do not know the truth, so she has to go back, or else there wouldn't be much time left.
Ms. Li and I had fulfilled our predestined relationship for now. Recalling the days I spent with Ms. Li, I realized I had gained a lot. On the surface, I was helping Ms. Li come back to cultivation. But, in fact, it is Master who put Ms. Li by my side to help me cultivate. I want to thank Master's care and compassion. At the same time, I deeply understand the importance of helping fellow practitioners come back to cultivation.
2. After searching within and cultivating myself, the “cunning one” died
I invited my in-laws to live with us after I started to practice Falun Gong. At that time, my relatives and friends told me not to. Their reasoning was that it is very hard to get along with mothers-in-law. I thought: I am learning Dafa already—as long as I am forbearing, how hard can it be? However, things were not as simple as what I had thought. After my in-laws moved in with us, my husband's three older sisters moved in as well. They all have their own opinions. My in-laws have their own income. The three older sisters complained that their parents spend too much on the family, or my husband and I did not spend enough on the family. Since that time, I lost the feeling of “home.” I felt that I would rather do some work outside than stay at home.
My husband often had disagreements with his sisters. I remained silent and did not get involved, since I did not see this home as my own. I thought: I am a Dafa disciple, I have to be a good person. I cannot run into conflict with them, or I would damage Dafa disciples' image. Yet, I did not let go of the negative thoughts about them in my heart. I remembered their faults and thought ill of this family. My fellow practitioners commented that I was not doing well in terms of family relationships, and I was troubled too. I did not know how to overcome this hurdle.
At the end of 2010, my mother-in-law, 83, became ill. The diagnosis was late-stage lung cancer. My home became more bustling. The three older sisters came and went constantly; their husbands and children followed; I quit my job to take care of my mother-in-law, and I had to cook for a dozen people every day. In many different ways, the three sisters asked how much savings my mother-in-law had. They were also planning how to allocate my in-laws' income. Conflicts erupted one after another. I knew that as a cultivator, I must control my xinxing and make good use of this cultivation environment. I tolerated them again and again. I remained quiet no matter what they said. I searched within for any attachments that had turned up so that I could eliminate them. I had very good hearing during that time. The sisters sometimes closed the door and talked quietly. My husband could not hear anything, but I was able to hear every word as if they were talking in front of me. My heart churned like ocean waves, with waves going higher, but I was able to hold them down.
Finally one day, the situation intensified. My husband and his sister had an argument about the sisters transferring my in-laws' savings into another account. Upon hearing this, I felt that this was unfair and was disappointed in them, but I still comforted my husband: “You will not lose what's yours or get what's not yours.” However, my husband would not listen, saying he still had to take care of his 80-year-old father, that no one knew his father's fate, and that the sisters had no right to divide their parents' property since the sisters did not care for or do anything for their parents! Since then, they had one small argument every three days and one big argument every five days. They all had their reasons and did not care for their sick mother's feelings. I tried to calm them down when they started to argue, but later I understood that maybe they owe each other something from past lifetimes. Nothing happens without a reason. I stopped getting involved, and let them argue. Whenever I had time, I would read Zhuan Falun to my mother-in-law. I read the book to her a dozen times.
My mother-in-law could not recognize anyone before she passed away. The exception was, whenever she saw me, she would point at me and say weakly: “You are good, Dafa is good!” The sisters claimed that I made their mother “psychotic.” After my mother-in-law passed away, my husband and I paid all the expenses. The sisters were still not content. They wanted to split my mother-in-laws' funeral check from her former employment agency. This time, my husband had had enough and chased his three sisters out of our home. He forbade them to ever come to our home again. Finally my household went back to the quiet and peaceful past that we had not had for the past 10 years. It felt like home again. I still had something that I could not understand in my mind. Looking at Master's photo, I mumbled to myself: “Master, all Dafa disciples have to be good people—their families should be in harmony—then how come my home is like this? Where have I gone wrong?” That night, when I was reading Zhuan Falun, Master pointed out to me,
“If you practice Qigong and attain the Tao, what about those unpaid debts you owe others? They will not allow it or let you practice Qigong. However, it is also a phenomenon at a certain level, which will not be allowed to exist after a period of time. Namely, after the debts are worn out, it will no longer be allowed to come to interfere again.” (Zhuan Falun)
This obstacle passed, I searched within. Even though I eliminated many attachments during this time I did not do so solidly. There seemed to be something wrapped around me that did not get eliminated completely. I thought hard, but could not find it. How would I eliminate it if I could not find the root? I fell into a different kind of confusion.
After Master's article “20th Anniversary Fa Teaching” was published, it had a tremendous effect on me. Master said,
“Especially notable are the notions that one forms, or habits of thought that one forms, which make it very hard for a person to recognize when human thinking is unconsciously at work. And if one can’t recognize it, how is one to get rid of it? This is particularly challenging in the setting of China, where the evil Party has destroyed traditional Chinese culture and rigged up its own evil Party stuff instead—what we refer to as “the culture of the Party.” It’s indeed going to be hard to recognize the Truth of the cosmos when one uses the habits of thought bred by that culture. And one won’t even be able to recognize that certain bad thinking and behavior are at odds with universal values. If one can’t recognize bad thinking for what it is, then what can be done? There is no other way but to act according to Dafa.” (“20th Anniversary Fa Teaching”)
I started to spend more time studying the Fa. My original self was slowly awakened when I was reading Zhuan Falun (volume II) “Buddha Nature”.
Since I was very young, nobody had ever said I was foolish. When I just started elementary school, my teacher told my parents I was “sharp but petty minded.” I did not know what “sharp but petty minded “ was. Sharp is sharp, why “petty minded?” I could not understand. After I joined the workforce, my colleagues said I was clever, and called me “sneaky” behind my back. I still could not understand why they called me that. From youth to adulthood, I have never bullied nor hurt anyone. I never took advantage of others, so why did they call me “sneaky?” Relatives from my husband's side called me “clever,” that one of me is more capable than three of my husband. I was able to manage a factory with 50 employees smoothly, I was thoughtful and thorough, both my upper level management and the coworkers I managed all praised me. I thought that this was my “ability,” I reacted quickly and adjusted well to changes. Those who interacted with me all said that I was smart, and I thought myself the same too. After I started to cultivate, some fellow practitioners told me I was smart. I said Dafa gave me the talent to bring out my abilities. However, after I searched within, I felt that was not right. I should have understood more Fa if Dafa gave me the talent, but I was not understanding the Fa with this talent.
“As Master sees it, your each and every thought, and your every single action, reveals to me what your heart is like. What I least like are those who are all talk and no action. Nor do I like those who are cunning. What I like are those who are honest and simple, sincere and down-to-earth. I also hope that you can all, after so many years of cultivating, positively grow in wisdom and not grow so much in terms of knowing how to deal with worldly matters or how to conduct yourself as a human being leading a worldly life.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference”)
Master was talking about me. I am the cunning one and the one who knows how to deal with worldly matters and how to conduct myself as a human being leading a worldly life. I had studied the Fa but was not yet in the Fa. I thought hard, searching within myself for an answer. I did not want to be like this. I had no idea how I became like this.
“A notion, once formed, will control you for the duration of your life, influencing your thinking and even the full gamut of emotions, such as your happiness, anger, sorrow, and joy. It is formed postnatally. If this thing persists for some time, it will become part of a person’s thinking, melding into the brain of that person’s true self, at which point it will shape his temperament.” (“Buddha Nature” from Zhuan Falun volume II)
Actually, they are not my notions. Those notions were so strong that they had become my temperament.
One day, all of a sudden, my father-in-law announced that he did not want to live anymore, and that he hurt everywhere. My husband did not say anything. I replied: “Please take a lighter view of things. If you commit suicide, your son and I would surely take the blame, your three daughters would accuse us of abusing you and that we were the cause of your death.” My father-in-law did not say anything and just laughed. A few days later, my father-in-law started in again, saying he did not want to live anymore, that he was uncomfortable all over and it would be easier just to take some poison and die. This time, I said half jokingly: “Then lets get what you have said notarized, so that if you die, everybody would know how you died.” I later searched within myself: why has my father-in-law talked about this in front of me. Which attachment is he aiming at? Fear? Fear of responsibility? Afraid of misunderstanding? Hurting my image?
I searched for a long time but still could not find the root, so I gave up. I picked up Zhuan Falun volume II again and started to read “Buddha Nature.” As I read,
“Karma doesn’t have the standard Zhen Shan Ren; it evaluates things according to the standard held at the time when notions were formed. It may turn a person into what ordinary people call a “cunning fellow” or “worldly” person. When this happens, it is a case of different forms of thought-karma produced as a person cultivates acting up, and they will impede cultivation. If people were not impeded by karma, cultivation would be easy. Karma such as this was formed under specific circumstances and in the context of the moral standards of the past few years, so it evaluates things in light of those standards. If large amounts of this material are formed, the person will be under its sway for the rest of his life. When the notion that was developed thinks that something is good or bad, that person will think so as well and think that things should be done accordingly. But his real self no longer exists. His real self is completely encased and smothered by his unkind, acquired notions. He no longer has his own, true standard for telling good from bad.” (“Buddha Nature” from Zhuan Falun volume II)
My whole body shook. I had found it, I found it! I understood completely, the attachment that had troubled me for many years. I found its root—the cunning, clever, perfectionist person is not me, not the real me. It is the notion, the thought-karma, the really “cunning one.” I felt completely relaxed as if I had let go of a very heavy load. I saw my unchanged, honest, pure, and compassionate self. I also recognized how sneaky the “cunning one” was. I had it in me and was deceived by it for over 40 years. I do not want to keep it anymore, I sentenced it to death immediately. Just like this, the “cunning one” died.
I read “Buddha Nature” again and again. The more I read the more I felt the greatness of Master and the state of ordinary human beings. Once I eliminated the notions that had formed in me after I was born, I saw and thought differently. One day, a fellow practitioner and I were walking on the street and doing truth clarifying. The fellow practitioner saw her former colleague walk out from a reflexology treatment center, and said with a sigh: “I used to have a good impression of him and respected him. I can't imagine he also wants go to places like that.” (Many reflexology centers in mainland China are partners in the sex trade). If I were my old self, I would have agreed with her that her former colleague had committed a crime. After listening to her, I said calmly: “People who walk out of there might not be what you think they are; maybe he went in for business or to look for someone.”
I had changed, just like Master said: “Upon walking outside of this auditorium, many of us will feel like different people. Your outlook will be guaranteed to change. You will know how to conduct yourselves in the future and will no longer be in a muddleheaded way. It is guaranteed to be this way” Zhuan Falun, English version, 2nd edition.
It is true; I changed, my notions had changed, and I didn't feel cultivation as hardship. I experienced the wonder of happiness within bitterness!
Here, I would like to give thanks for Master's compassionate salvation. I cannot find words to express my gratitude to Master. I can only be more diligent, more diligent, and more diligent!
(The Ninth Experience Sharing by Dafa Disciples in Mainland China)