Taiwanese Entrepreneur Returns to the Farming Profession and Achieves Success with Newfound Wisdom from Falun Dafa
(Minghui.org) Mr. Wu Ching-Chong was raised in a poor farming family in Taiwan. Seeing the indescribable toil and poverty of farmers during his childhood, Mr. Wu was determined that he would do anything but farming when he grew up. Surprisingly, he farmed a field of nine hectares (approx. 22 acres) after he got married and started a family. Despite his minimal education (only a high school graduate), he became an agricultural expert and has received awards almost every year for his excellent products. His success has surprised many of the well-educated top agricultural experts. What made Mr. Wu change course to become a farmer and have such outstanding achievements? He said, “I was enlightened to agricultural knowledge and its mysteries from the book Zhuan Falun. Falun Dafa has opened the door to wisdom for me and changed my life.”
Aspiration in Childhood: Never Become a Farmer
Mr. Wu's family have been farmers for generations. Having inherited a lot of debt, Mr. Wu's father did not have a good income and the income was unsteady, as the harvest is greatly dependent upon the weather. In his memory, he did not have a happy childhood. Like many typical farmer's kids, he and his younger brother had to help do the farming every day. He was already driving small farming tractors at age 12. His two older sisters had to leave home for work after finishing their elementary school. The hardships they encountered were indescribable. He swore in his heart, “I would rather die than become a farmer when I grow up.” In order to improve the family's financial condition, his father switched careers to do cement work for a living and left the farming job to his mother.
Taiwan's economy began to take off in the 1970s, when the exporting business was booming. Mr. Wu's parents used a portion of their land to grow matsutake mushrooms for export when he was in middle school. Matsutake mushrooms grow very fast during the summer. He and his younger brother thus had to rush home at lunch hour to help their mother harvest the mushrooms so that they could be delivered to buyers by noon. They often missed the first hour of the afternoon classes. They often had to eat the unsalable mushrooms. His family's financial situation did improve somewhat after all the hard work they had done.
Mr. Wu had outstanding grades in middle school. As his parents wished, he passed the examination to attend the class for gifted children in Yilan High School. He also had good grades in high school. His parents and teachers believed that he would pass the college entrance examination and study in one of the best colleges. But this young man had a different thought, “What would I do after college? For the time being, my younger brother is studying at an expensive vocational college. My parents cannot afford another tuition.” Thus, he decided to reject any college offers.
His teachers were surprised at his decision. His father was enraged and required him to take the entrance examination the next year. He refused the request, but unwillingly followed his father's advice to take an examination for a position in the Farmers Association. It was considered a “guaranteed job” and the salary for this position was almost double that of other positions in government organizations. Getting this job was very difficult as many people always tried to squeeze themselves into this crowded door. The probability of acceptance was only six percent.
Mr. Wu unexpectedly passed the examination and interview. Any person would be happy to get this job. But this erratic young man felt troubled when he thought that he had to perform this tedious work for life. Early one morning before he was scheduled to report to work, he quietly packed his luggage and left home. He worked as a temporary worker in a pear field at Lishan Village, Luodong Township for two months.
Mr. Wu then went to work at his brother-in-law's beverage factory in Taipei. Within one month after he started, he foresaw the promising prospects of this business. He went home and convinced his father of the potential. His father used their land as collateral for a secured loan of NTD $2.3 million (approx. USD $77,000) for his investment. At that time, this amount could buy a very good store in Yilan County, Taiwan.
Success in Business, But Loss in Enjoyment
Mr. Wu always purchased good quality materials to make beverages. As expected, his business prospered and quickly opened up the markets to about 80 percent of schools in Yilan County. He was only 20. He slowly learned good business skills and was gradually known in his field. He was terribly busy and had to work past midnight every day.
He earned his first $5 million NTD when he was 25. He got married in the same year. Because of his active temperament, he was also busily engaged in social services through the Youth Corps and other governmental volunteer groups. He made many friends through the activities. He socialized with them often and came home after midnight. One time, when a friend curiously asked him what the circles marked on his calendar meant, he said, “When I came home after midnight, my wife circled the day on the calendar.” The friend laughed, “Wow! No wonder the calendar is covered with circles.”
Mt. Wu bought a large plot of land in Tri-Star Township, on which he built a spacious house and grew flowers in the garden. He planned to start enjoying his life at 45. This hospitable man had so many friends that he had to buy a tea house to entertain them. He became well known locally and earned several titles. Then, the pursuit of power started beckoning him. Because of his wealth and reputation, many friends encouraged him to join the political election races. Although he was hesitant, he was indeed lost amidst money and power and could find no direction in his life.
Quietly Thinking: What Is the Meaning of My Life?
Mr. Wu's health suddenly changed at 31. He suffered from painful sciatica. He knew in his heart that the disease was attributed to his heavy drinking and moving of thousands of cases of beverages daily when he started the business. He visited many doctors, Chinese and Western, in vain. He even saw fortune tellers and also thought of seeking folks in China for treatment. Mr. Wu also had suffered from “atopic dermatitis” for years. His whole body itched during the summer, for which he also had visited many doctors for treatment to no avail. He took steroid medicine even though he knew it was harmful. After all efforts ended up in vain, he started to calm down and ponder, “What is the meaning of my life?”
His good friend Mr. Lin, who was also a volunteer, had the same puzzle about life. They together searched for knowledge and answers. Mr. Lin was very much interested in qigong and had practiced it for some time. One day, Mr. Lin was surprised that one of his qigong classmates emitted extremely strong energy. Mr. Lin asked, “Your energy field has become so strong. What have you done this week?” This classmate replied that he had been practicing Falun Gong. Feeling it was inconceivable, Mr. Lin could not wait to share this information with Mr. Wu. They thus started searching everywhere for Falun Gong practitioners and finally located one in Yilan. Both of them started practicing Falun Gong around the Dragon Boat Festival holiday (May 5 Lunar Calendar) in 1997.
Mr. Wu said, “After finishing the first lecture of the 9-day lectures on DVD, he was very happy and excited. He clearly told himself that this is exactly what he had searched for.” He has studied the “Fa” and practiced the exercises daily since he finished the 9-day lectures. One day, after he had been practicing Falun Gong for a month, his sciatica suddenly relapsed. He was first somewhat nervous, but he then remembered what Master said in the lectures.
“Maybe you think that by practicing qigong you healed some area of your body that had a problem, or that maybe some qigong master healed it for you, and that now it’s relapsed. That’s because he didn’t heal it, he only put it off for you. It’s still right where it was, so the health problem didn’t surface back then but it would later on. We have to dig all of those out, drive them all out for you, and completely get rid of them at the root. So you’ll think that your problem has relapsed, and this is eliminating karma at the root—that’s why you have reactions. Some people will have localized reactions in their bodies, maybe one part hurts, or maybe it’s some other part, and all kinds of unpleasant sensations will come up. It’s all normal.” (Zhuan Falun)
His mood was immediately stabilized and the sciatica problem disappeared two days later. For the past ten-plus years, his sciatica and atopic dermatitis have never relapsed again. He said, “I could only carry 20 kilograms at most before I practiced Falun Gong. I can now carry up to 60 kilograms of merchandise.”
Tired of going along with business customers perfunctorily, Mr. Wu decided to change careers and returned to the life of a farmer. He recalled, “My enlightenment was not good enough because I had just obtained Dafa at the time. I didn't realize that cultivation is not affected regardless of which field of work we are in, as long as we follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Actually, it will help improve our business. My example is proof, in that over the past few years I have not only successfully marketed my own products but have also developed agricultural tourism.”
Once the decision was made, Mr. Wu was determined to work diligently. He raised many agricultural questions to experts, with the spirit of an inquisitor who always gets to the true answers to questions. Unable to answer the difficult questions, those experts suggested that he consult with a top agricultural expert, Mr. Chan, who studied in Japan.
Mr. Chan was conceited and pretentious. In two hours of vigorous discussions with Mr. Wu, this haughty expert found himself excited, and curiously asked Wu, “Which field did you study in college? The advanced issues I am talking about here are inextricable to many agricultural experts. How can you answer them fluently without even thinking much? You can even debate with a different view.” Mr. Wu said, “I am a high school graduate.” Mr. Chan was surprised and asked, “Where did you obtain this knowledge?” Wu replied, “What my Master wrote in Zhuan Falun exceeds yours, both in details and in content.”
The scholarly Chan, who disapproved of cultivation, thought it was inconceivable and impossible that one single book could contain so much advanced agricultural expertise. Recommended by Mr. Wu to read and seeing his wife in tears each time after reading Zhuan Falun, Mr. Chan later curiously read a few pages, and was deeply moved. He thus started practicing cultivation and obtained the Fa.
They jointly developed a new growing method called "Cultivation by Bacteria Management and Nutrition Enrichment." This method allows plants to grow with their own original nutrient factors and values without adding any growth hormones or chemicals. Mr. Wu said that many people think it is inconceivable. But Mr. Chan and I have been truly enlightened to much agricultural knowledge from the book Zhuan Falun.
A Frequent Recipient of Farming Awards
After returning to the farmland, Mr. Wu first planted Yin-liu flowers, which is a crop of high economic value. He won a championship the first time he exported the crop to Singapore. In 2001, he again received an outstanding award in Taiwan. He also grew onions and pears. He was selected as the Tri-Star Township exemplary farmer. He started growing rice, which is considered a low value crop, five years ago. He has employed his cultivating method to successfully grow rice, flowers, and fruit. He also selflessly shares his experiences with other farmers. Some of them have even won awards.
In addition to farming, Mr. Wu has successfully marketed his own crops. He also used a contract management approach to successfully develop agricultural tourism. Over the past few years, he has won awards and praise almost every year, and has received exemplary farmer awards several times. On Farmers Day, February 4, 2012, he received an outstanding professional farmer award, which has only been offered once in Yilan County. He has won many titles.
Mr. Wu said, “Cultivation has a great influence on me. Because of cultivation, I know how to experience the value of life. I treat agricultural products sincerely and practically. I do not apply, intentionally or unintentionally, any approach which destroys the plant essence or the land's ecological system. Because of cultivation, I do things that truly allow the agricultural business to grow strong roots and survive forever.”
“My Family Became More Harmonious Because of Dafa”
Mr. Wu's wife saw big changes in her husband in the first six months he had been practicing Falun Gong. She also started practicing cultivation. Their two sons and one daughter also followed their footsteps. Mr. Wu said, “My wife has changed greatly since she became a practitioner. Because I was busy in my business, we used to argue frequently over the children's educational issues or other domestic trifles. We now look inside ourselves first when tribulations or conflicts arise, and then calmly share our understandings on the principles of the Fa. My wife even reminds me often of things I need to finish. She has quietly taken care of many things on the farm at home. I appreciate her support and dedication. Our children have also become better. Our family has become more harmonious.”
Everyone in town knows that all of the Wu family are Falun Gong practitioners. Wu exemplified, “When I call to have a gas cylinder replaced, the venders will ask who Wu Ching-Chong is and where he lives. But if I tell them that I am a Falun Gong practitioner, the gas cylinder is immediately delivered without further questions.”
“My Parents Changed Their Attitude”
When Mr. Wu decided to give up his business in 1997, his father angrily said, “You have done business well and have earned a high status in our locale. Now you want to change course to become a farmer who does not have a promising future. Why?” With a feeling of being kicked down to the mud from the sky, his father refused to talk to him for three years, until one day. When Mr. Wu's father overheard a conversation between an agricultural council and a county official, that Mr. Wu Ching-Chong from Tri-Star Township had done very well, he was overjoyed and realized that his son had also been very successful in the farming business. He was very proud of his son and they since started communicating with each other.
Mr. Wu told his father about Falun Dafa and the physical and spiritual benefits he has received from practicing Falun Gong. His parents have observed that their son has worked hard in farming, treated people sincerely, and handled things responsibly since he started practicing Falun Gong. Mr. Wu has treated his parents more sensibly and with understanding. He also contributes more to society. After witnessing those wonderful improvements in their son, Mr. Wu's parents also started practicing Falun Gong. Both were nearly eighty years old and not healthy, due to longtime toil and emotional conflicts between siblings. Since they began practicing cultivation, they have been happy and healthy. They no longer get upset over trivial matters.
Mr. Wu said, “Practicing Falun Dafa has benefited me, body and soul. My family has become harmonious. Before cultivation, I used to follow the crowd and chase fame and wealth in society. I was busy without direction. After beginning cultivation, I now understand the true meaning of life and have found my own goal, that is the direction of life. From Dafa, I have found the true home for my body and my mind. To benefit people directly or indirectly, I will be glad to share my experiences with them. I naturally do this because I follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance when dealing with people and situations.”