A Schoolteacher's Weathered Cultivation Path
(Minghui.org) My mother-in-law taught me the Falun Gong exercises in March 1996. As soon as I learned the Falun Standing Stance (the second exercise), I felt a Falun rotating between my arms. How wonderful!
I started reading Dafa books and studying the Fa whenever I had the time, such as when riding the bus to work, taking a break, doing housework, and after dinner. Studying the Fa became the focus of my life. I could feel Falun spinning all over my body, and more than ten illnesses have since disappeared without my noticing.
My child had very poor health, and my husband had suffered multiple injuries at work and underwent a craniotomy. He also had heart, brain, and kidney problems. Because he had a bad temper, I had to constantly guard against beatings and abuse when he became drunk. Under such living conditions, my health had deteriorated, and heart, liver, kidney, and colon problems appeared one after another. I grew numb while painstakingly supporting the broken family.
I have now obtained the Fa. Starting from small everyday things, I conducted myself according to the Fa's standards:
“Study the Fa and gain the Fa, Focus on how you study and cultivate, Let each and every thing be measured against the Fa. Only then, with that, is it actually cultivation.” (“Solid Cultivation” from Hong Yin)
Breaking Through Family Tribulations
1. Studying the Fa and Cultivating the Mind
After obtaining the Fa, I undertook all of our housework, but my husband was still not satisfied. A fellow practitioner said, “You didn't put your heart into it, so you are nice to him only on the surface.” She was right, because every day after I finished all the housework, I locked myself in a room as soon as possible to study the Fa. The starting point of my Fa study and practice were all based on “me.”
“To fulfill the Fa, you must first of all be a good person. When you’re being a good person, that is an act of fulfilling the Fa.”
“That’s because the conduct of each student in everyday people’s society represents Falun Dafa [in people’s minds]. Isn’t that right?” (“Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Singapore”)
Attaining altruism is a process of constantly removing one's attachments. I have found the process long and painful. Amidst conflicts, I have elevated from having the endurance of an everyday person to manifesting a cultivator's forbearance, and finally to becoming truly considerate of others.
Only in his forties, my ill husband had to stay at home all day. With no medical insurance, his condition could become critical at any moment. How painful it was for him!
I subsequently learned to look at things from my husband's standpoint while continually looking inside. This helped me remove many human thoughts, such as resentment, indifference, dislike for his being unclean, and vanity. I became able to reject human thoughts as soon as they surfaced. This way, I was cleansed of layers and layers of illusions.
Through constant Fa study and improvement, I became able to replace bad thoughts with righteous thoughts. As a result, my true compassion emerged unknowingly. After the bad substances were removed, I finally experienced lightness in my heart.
2. Compassion Melts Demon-Nature
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started the brutal persecution of Falun Gong in 1999. I went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong around the Chinese New Year holidays in 2000. The police arrested and detained me after I returned. I lost my job and income, and many other forms of persecution followed.
As a result, at home, my husband smashed furniture, flipped tables, swore at Master Li and Dafa, held a kitchen knife above my head, and even reported me to the local police station. No matter what happened, I stayed calm and held the firm thought, "We are husband and wife in this lifetime. He must be someone to be saved, and by no means someone who came here to damage the Fa. Therefore, no matter what he says, I will not invoke his negativity. I will treat him with compassion no matter what. But on principle issues such as trying to stop me from practicing Falun Gong or watching me, I will never compromise."
My husband's monthly salary was less than 500 yuan, and mine was only 200 yuan. I determined that our low income was the cause of his despair, so I wanted to give my sick husband extra care and forbearance, and show great consideration toward this poor life soaked in hardship.
I undertook all of our housework. I measured his blood pressure and gave him haircuts with great care. When I bought him shoes and clothing that cost a little more, he looked at me in tears and asked, “Am I worthy of wearing these?” I answered, “As long as I'm here, even if you have no job, I will not let you dress shabbily.”
I felt that my compassion cultivated in Dafa gradually melted his demon-nature. His whole person was changing, and his attitude toward Dafa changed even more conspicuously.
He started treating my fellow practitioners well, received those whom he had never met before, and was willing to provide temporary shelter to those who had become homeless to avoid persecution. In the past, I had to hide from him when I did work to validate Dafa, but he began taking the initiative to accompany me to put up truth-clarification leaflets in the neighborhood.
His inner self changed greatly, too. To save the two-yuan bus fare, he would often walk several stops. When picking up his paycheck at work one day, he refused to accept the 4,000 yuan worker's compensation that his manager worked hard to obtain for him, saying that he couldn't accept special treatment from his workplace, which was undergoing financial difficulties. He did this even though he needed the money and was extremely exhausted from work.
Who could imagine that such an impoverished, ill, and hot-tempered man would stare at me with a pair of innocent childlike eyes and ask me over and over again, “Did I do it right?”
“You are remarkable! You did it right!” I exclaimed silently, “Ah, the great Buddha Fa! You have not only given me a new life and saved a suffering family, but also helped a being full of karmic debts reach an extraordinary realm!”
In January 2003, my husband left the world with a smile on his face after accomplishing his mission for this lifetime. Master said,
“Be diligent, Dafa disciples! Although in your cultivation it is painful to get rid of your human attachments, this path is a sacred one.” (“To the Ukraine Fa Conference,” from The Essentials of Diligent Progress Vol. III)
Doing What I Should Do Amidst Persecution
1. Going to Beijing to Safeguard the Fa
After three years of cultivation practice, Dafa has taken root in my heart. Witnessing the sudden change, I came to realize that the climate had turned against us. Master said,
“It is under the circumstance of demonic interference that you can demonstrate whether you can continue your cultivation, be really enlightened to the Tao, be unaffected by interference, and be sure-footed in this school of practice. The great waves shift the sand, and that is what cultivation practice is all about. What is left in the end will be genuine gold.”
“'It remains a question of whether they can understand your Dafa itself while they are in the midst of confusion and tribulations.' It involves such an issue, so there will be interference and tests.” (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)
I will prove myself to be a piece of genuine gold. I will stay firmly resolute!
I persisted in Fa study and practice every day, and I validated Dafa with my everyday conduct. No matter how terrifying the evil looked, I always held a sense of privilege of practicing Dafa deep in my heart. I was always cheerful and did not fear any form of persecution.
During the Chinese New Year of 2000, I deliberated between going to Beijing to safeguard Dafa or staying home to maintain my good career position (I was a candidate for school principal) and salary. Should I give consideration to my ill husband and already impoverished family? I thought, “Dafa has given me a healthy body and mind. Now, Master is being denounced and Dafa is being damaged. How could I stay home comfortably and not have the courage to speak up for justice? Can I celebrate Chinese New Year at home comfortably? No!”
After the New Years Day's dinner, I rode a bus overnight and arrived at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. But before I could start the exercises, I was arrested by patrolling police officers and taken to the Qianmen Police Station. I was later transferred to my local police station and detained there for 15 days.
What followed was multifold persecution, including my salary being cut to 200 yuan per month (which would cover only the minimum living expenses), revocation of my Party membership and dean position, and removal of my qualification for raises. All my honors were revoked, and the principal was criticized and forced to write a self-criticism report. I became an object of “concern” for the education department, police station, neighborhood committee, and district 610 Office.
2. Validating Dafa at the Workplace
I was not fooled by the illusions. The persecution is nothing but an external form. Master said,
“Just by staying unaffected you will be able to handle all situations.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Conference in the Midwest-U.S.”)
As long as I stay steadfast, unmoved by it, and determined to do the three things well, all forms of persecution will prove to be nothing but a process of tempering genuine gold.
Every day I carried truth-clarification materials in my bag and gave them away on my way to and from work and during lunchtime near the school. I did the same near home after dinner and during holidays, and sometimes I rode a bus to distribute materials in other neighborhoods.
At work, I persisted in validating Dafa and being a good person. I did not care what others did, but I must do what I am supposed to do. I often chatted with other teachers and paved the road for saving them.
During this period of time, I resisted harassment from different levels of evil institutions, including the 610 Office, and I made sure all forms of persecution would end in vain.
In a new development, the veteran principal who followed the Party's persecution had to retire early. He was replaced by a younger woman who understood Dafa practitioners very well, and was very sympathetic towards us.
The veteran director of education was transferred, too. The new director was said to have sat in my class and had a good impression of me. I understood that after letting go of everything, “After passing the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!" (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun) indeed happened! This is truly a manifestation of “Cultivation depends on one’s own efforts, while the transformation of gong is done by one’s master.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)
I visited the new principal and found her very happy. She told me not to worry and gave me permission to get in touch with other teachers at will and guide their teaching. Later, she obtained consent from the director of education and arranged for me to teach class again.
My cultivation environment was getting better and better, but the larger environment was still wrought with evil, and continued to interfere with me. I was arrested three times while at school. The party secretary and school principal gave guarantees to their higher authorities to spare me from attending brainwashing classes. In addition, they asked the school's gatekeeper to hold the police officers at the gate and inform the principal's office immediately if this should happen in the future.
They also told me that they would notify me to hide if the police came again. When I was persecuted in 2002, the authorities at my workplace coordinated with the neighborhood committee and police station and jointly helped me avoid being sentenced to forced labor. Of course, that manifested as an opportunity for people to position themselves. In reality, it was Master who had the say.
As my work environment improved, I started to clarify the facts and save people. I first visited individuals at their homes, and persuaded the principal and the vice principal to quit the Communist Party and its affiliated organizations. I then visited school staff and teachers at every level, including the secretary of the Communist Youth League, to persuade them to quit, too. Almost everyone I spoke to agreed to quit. I also wrote a letter to the director of the education department and visited him in person at the headquarters. I asked him not to continue persecuting us, which would do harm to himself. He agreed immediately.
At the same time, I clarified the facts to my relatives, classmates, and students, and persuaded them to withdraw from the Party, as well as to strangers, by relating my personal stories. As long as Master arranged a person with a predestined relationship to see me, I would do whatever I could to save them. Especially in the detention center and the labor camp, I persisted in clarifying the facts and saving people. To save a deputy division head of the labor camp, I stayed in contact with him for about a year until he quit the Party and its affiliated organizations.
I met a relative from another town during my mother's funeral. He was the secretary of the Municipal Committee of Political and Legislative Affairs in a city. I clarified the facts to him, and he agreed to quit.
We must face workplace and family cultivation environments with righteous thoughts. The path appeared to be so long and painful, but the lightness and happiness after removing layers and layers of the human shell was so wonderful that words cannot describe it.
What an honor it is for a being full of karma to have the fortune to come across Dafa! Without cleansing oneself in the Fa, how can one become an enlightened being in the new cosmos?
“The path a Dafa disciple takes is a glorious history, and this history has to be created by his own enlightening.” (“Path” from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
Thank you, merciful and esteemed Master, for scooping me up from Hell and purifying me.