China Fahui | My Wife and Son Are Also Sentient Beings
(Minghui.org) Greetings, revered Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners.
Falun Dafa saved my once devastated family and turned it into a happy and harmonious one.
The Old Days
We live in a small township in Inner Mongolia. I have a good job which brings in a decent income. However, both my wife's and my personality are completely opposite. We argued very often.
My wife was tough and stubborn. I wasn't very generous, either. We would often smash plates and bowls when we fought. I would feel depressed for a few days after each fight. I would brim with anger as I sat on the bed. Our fights got more and more intense.
My son started skipping school when he grew up. He was also addicted to computer games. He frequently played computer games for days at Internet bars and didn't come home. My wife would look for him after work, checking all Internet bars in town.
If she found our son, she would scold him. If she couldn't find him, she would return home and give me a hard time. Sometimes she simply sat by the roadside and cried. We fought many times over our son. Her harsh words left scars in my heart.
As if this was not enough, we found out that our son stole money from home. After giving him a good spanking, we learned that it was not the first time. On previous occasions he had stolen both small amounts and large amounts. I dropped onto the sofa and cried: Haven't I raised a thief?
I felt life was miserable and wondered: why is life so full of suffering? What's the point in living with such an unpleasant wife and a thieving son?
After fighting with each other, my wife and I usually shouted at the same time: “Divorce! Absolutely!” However, each time we were persuaded by our relatives and friends, “Why do you want to end your marriage? Your son is now grown up. Do you want to find another spouse after divorce? Every family carries on this way. Just endure it, and things will get better when you are older.”
Although we didn't divorce, I made my own plans: I started saving my own money. I thought, “I cannot be penniless after divorce. I need to save some money up. Once I have enough money, I'll leave her.”
My wife saw through my scheme and started her own preparations: She hid away our bank deposit book and stashed away all valuables in the household.
Our quality of life declined rapidly. We both would expect the other to do all the housework: No one cooked. We both ate leftovers resentfully. I developed various health issues such as: difficulty breathing, headaches, and stomach aches.. I was not even 30 years old.
I weighed less than 110 pounds. I couldn't die, but couldn't afford to live, either. I didn't know how to lead my life.
Master Put Me on the Right Path
I started practicing Falun Dafa in the summer of 1996. I was so happy! Even when I was riding a bicycle or walking on the street, I had the urge to shout, “I have hope now!” I studied the Fa and practiced the exercises. My life was joyous and full of meaning.
Through studying the Fa I learned how to improve my temperament and started changing for the better. Although my wife still criticized me and gave me a hard time, I tried my best to make her happy.
For quite a while, whenever I got home after work, she would start again, “We both work and are tired. Why should I cook?” I said, “Yes, you take a rest now. I'll cook.” She then blamed me after I finished cooking, “look how dirty you've made the kitchen! Are you a pig?”
I enlightened that this was not because I didn't do a good job cooking. It was because I couldn't accept criticism. I was a very competitive person before I started my cultivation. So long as I had a certain attachment, she would seek to provoke it. Isn't this good for my cultivation?
I, however, endured in pain. I couldn't achieve the higher realm of forbearance as required by the Fa. My family tribulations wouldn't cease.
Once I bought some braised pork in soy sauce, a dish I quite like. At dinner time, however, it was nowhere to be seen. I asked, “Where's my pork?” My wife replied: “Pork? Don't you want anything else?” I eventually found the pork in the trash.
“That was expensive. How could you just throw it away like that?” I protested.
“What kind of distinguished person eats this! You're such a villager!” my wife fired back.
I knew that she didn't mean it; she simply wanted to give me a hard time. I thought, “I must pass this test well.” I smiled. When tribulations come, they usually come as a landslide. The first several seconds are hardest, really unbearable, then the tribulation doesn't seem to affect me as much.
I was initially quite attached to nice foods, something my wife would frequently give me a hard time about. She cooked very simple dishes and often gave me leftovers.
“You are treating me as a donkey. As long as there's grass, the donkey won't die.” I half joked.
She responded, “And you still calling yourself a cultivator?”
I realized that all I needed was enough food so I could continue my cultivation. I would remind myself at each meal: Just have enough to fill my stomach.
Having grown up in a poor family, I always looked forward to and loved the Chinese New Year festivities. The celebrations and good food cheered me up. However, my wife would turn each New Year celebration sour.
My father once joined us for Chinese New Year. I was so excited: I swept the floor, washed the dishes and helped prepare the vegetables... I told my wife, “Let's not argue this time. I want my father to have a great Chinese New Year!”
She said, “It was you who caused trouble every past year!”
I replied against my will, “You are right.”
However, very soon, she lost her temper. She threw some dishes and refused to cook the New Year's dinner. She sat on the bed and started watching TV.
My father was in tears, “Is this because she's not happy that I'm here this year?”
I said, “No. No. That's not the case. Her temper is like this.”
I thought, “If I hadn't practiced Falun Dafa, anything could have happened as a result of this.” I knew that this came as a result of my attachment to celebrating the New Year. It was hard to let go! I finally abandoned the attachment after many years.
What I often encountered at home was: I would have peace at home if I didn't study the Fa or practice the exercises. However, once I started studying or exercising, my wife would come over and direct me to do this or that. She wouldn't stop until I lost my temper.
For example, I burned incense for Master; she said that I made the house black. I bowed to Master's picture; she murmured “superstition.” She even kicked my buttocks a few times when I was bowing.
I respectfully placed some fruit before Master's picture; she immediately grabbed one and took a bite: “Who has seen Buddha? Fruit is to be eaten by people!”
I told her stories of cultivation and reincarnation; she would stare at me: “Stop! Shut up. Even if others can succeed in their cultivation, you won't!”
“Why?” I asked.
“Because of your severe demon nature. Your state is unstable.”
“But that's past, right?”
“You haven't improved much.”
I realized that Master used her mouth to give me hints: I should try my best to improve and give up the human mindset.
My son was no easier than my wife. He was a teenager then, but had one girlfriend after another. He often came in after midnight and slept until past 11 am. He would then wake up, eat a little, then leave and return to the Internet bar. He would turn his face whenever he saw me. He wouldn't even greet me. It was rare that we had a family dinner with all three of us present.
It was drizzling one night, and our son was still out after 9 pm. My wife was frustrated again, “Why do you just read your book? You don't even go out and find our son.” I replied, “If I find him, so what? He will leave soon once again.”
“Are you behaving like a dad? What have you done for your son? What have you taken care of at home?”
I thought, “Am I being selfish? I have to improve.”
I didn't argue with my wife. I left home to search for my son.
There was practically no one on the dimly-lit street. I crossed the street and heard a noise behind me. Before I could turn around to see what was going on, I was flung through the air.
I realized, “I've just been hit by a car.”
I then thought, “I'm fine. I will be fine!”
Severe leg pain traveled to my brain. I felt as if I had broken bones and was bleeding. I reinforced my positive thoughts and thought, “I'm going to be fine.” I stood up, didn't check my legs, but simply walked towards the motorcycle which was about 30 feet away.
The driver squatted down and was holding his head. I asked him, “Are you OK?”
He said, “I've got a really bad headache.” (He was apparently pretending hoping to not be held accountable)
I told him, “You can go now. I'm a Falun Dafa practitioner.”
He immediately stood up, “Are you really fine?”
“Of course! If I didn't cultivate Falun Dafa, I would be lying down there and would refuse to get up. I would stay in a hospital and refuse to leave. Remember Falun Dafa is good. Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.”
The driver said, “Yes, yes. I have met a good person today.”
Before we said goodbye, he knelt down and said, “Let me bow to you.”
I stopped him, “No need to bow to me. Just tell your family and friends to remember Falun Dafa is good. Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.”
He replied with gratitude, “Yes, I'll remember to. ” He then shouted, “Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good!”
I checked my left leg and saw that it was black and blue. My pants and top were also torn apart. My son saw me and was not sympathetic, “Who told you to go out and look for me? You think I wouldn't know how to get home myself?”
My wife was watching TV. She also blamed me, “How come you were hit by a car? You are not competent at anything!”
I knew what had happened. I immediately sat down to meditate. I pressed my palms together and thanked Master for saving my life. I was immersed in gratitude and happiness.
Helping My Wife and Son to Think Positively about Dafa
My wife warned me after the persecution began in July 1999, “Just stay home and practice! Don't bring me any trouble.” She would force any practitioner out the door if she saw them at home.
Once she learned that I clarified the truth to others; she became angry. She threw my Dafa books and exercise cassettes to the floor. I was angry, too, “Don't you know that Dafa is good? Even if others don't know, you should know! If you want a divorce, fine! If you want to stop my practice, no way!”
My firm words shocked her. She was speechless and simply looked at me. She never meddled in my cultivation after that, and no longer drove away other practitioners when they came to visit.
It's so easy for the old forces to harm people in family settings. We would be dealt heavy blows and severe defeat if we didn't act with the power of the Fa and righteous thoughts and righteous actions.
Even during the most difficult time, I firmly believed: It is I who changes you, not you who changes me. I play the leading role in my family. My wife can make decisions on money. She can be in charge of anything else, but I guide the family to align with the Fa.
I wouldn't allow the old forces to control my family members and put me in a powerless position. Master didn't ask us to cultivate like this. Dafa disciples are good people and are tolerant. But good people shouldn't be bullied, they need to live with dignity.
Whenever sending forth righteous thoughts I would think, “Completely negate all of the old force's arrangements! Eliminate all distorted substances in the dimensions of my wife and son. Dissolve the evil factors that control them. Their lives have come for the Fa. They should have a good future. My family members are predestined to be with me. I will be able to change them and save them.”
I guarded my xinxing at the same time and didn't make any excuses for not improving. The Fa provided great guidance.
I remembered Master's Fa in “Teaching the Fa at the Conference in the Midwest-U.S.:”
“We all have to guard our xinxing. Other people may do wrong, but we cannot. If you can guard your xinxing these things will pass after a while. They won’t last long. In the end, he will surely change as a result of your own breakthrough in cultivation levels. It’s sure to be like that!”
I believed that my family situation would change for sure. I even thought they should be able to obtain the Fa in the future.
What I was anxious about during those years was how to help my wife and son to see through the Chinese Communist Party (CCP's) lies and see Dafa in a positive light. No matter what I told them, they would just respond with CCP propaganda.
I thought, “If I cannot even save my own family members, how can I save others? How can I validate the beauty and power of Dafa?”
Master told us in Essentials for Further Advancement: “Pacify the external by cultivating the internal.”
I believed that my righteous field, behavior and character influences and drives everything around me. The bottom line was: I should understand the Fa on a rational level and improve based on the Fa. The more I understood, the more attachments I let go of, and the faster I improved.
Tied to our families we are by strings of emotion, being pulled here and there. An ordinary person may be driven insane by emotions. A cultivator without strong righteous thoughts may even be exhausted and find it hard to advance in his cultivation.
I was greatly attached to emotions before I started my cultivation. Afterwards, I was also deeply hurt. For a long time, I had this complaint: I have treated my wife and son so nicely. Yet, why do they still treat me so poorly? I have given so much for the family, yet they still give me such a hard time. I felt a sense of unfairness.
Master said in Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Houston:
“There’s something that holds for all of you, and that is, whether you come into a household, or come into the world, it’s just like staying in a hotel: you just stay briefly for a night, and then you head off the next day. Who recognizes whom in the next life? Among those around you are the husbands that you loved affectionately in your previous lives and other family members. Do you recognize them? Do they recognize you?”
I read the above paragraph many, many times. I thought it was a heavenly secret. I enlightened that even though it looked like love, hatred, emotions and revenge, living beings simply came to settle karmic debts. If they couldn't get out of the three realms, the ending was only one: reincarnation until destruction.
The human world is nothing more than a platform for settling karmic debts. If Master didn't reveal this heavenly secret, if I hadn't encountered Dafa, how could I have survived? I relaxed after enlightening to the above. It was easier for me to handle family matters and relationships.
I realized that the less I was attached to my son, the more changes occurred to him. I shouldn't focus on his shortcomings, but instead focus on his strengths. He was also a sentient being. Who is he going to be in the next life? Who was he in his previous life? I cannot make decisions for him, but I can provide a positive influence. Only the Buddha Fa can ultimately help him.
I became more compassionate to my son after I elevated my understanding. I was more considerate of him. For example, I did his laundry for him. I would remind him to bundle up when it was cold.
There was an instance where he was unhappy when he saw us eating congee (rice porridge), as he prefers rice. My wife would say, “Mom will cook rice for you.”
I was initially turned off by this, “Children should be obedient – this has always been the way in our family. How can this rule be reversed?”
My wife took my son's side, “And, you call yourself a cultivator? It's rare that our son eats at home. You don't care; you have had your meal.”
I would insist, “We cannot allow our son to behave like this. Who's the father here?”
My son saw that my wife and I were about to start an argument. He then started leaving home. After our son left the house she vented all her anger on me. She threw the chopsticks on the table – the meal was over.
Was I wrong? What was I wrong about? I analyzed myself for any shortcomings and realized: I was wrong.
Master told us in Zhuan Falun:
“You should always be benevolent and kind to others, and consider others when doing anything. Whenever you encounter a problem, you should first consider whether others can put up with this matter or if it will hurt anyone. In doing so, there will not be any problems.”
I realized that I shouldn't have such rigid notions. It was just a meal. If I changed myself, I would be in harmony with my son. Wasn't it the case?
The next time we had congee, I said to my son, “I'll fry some rice for you. Just a moment.” My son initially took me up on my offer and sat by as I cooked his meal for him.
After having cooked a few meals for him he changed, “Dad. You don't need to bother. I'll eat what you eat.”
I smiled, “Are you sure? Let's not starve our dear son.”
My wife commented, “Now that's a cultivator.”
I often brought an air of spring to my family: I sang songs composed by Dafa disciples, I did the Dafa exercises, I told them more about Falun Dafa, and I told them reincarnation stories.
They changed from objecting and mocking me to listening respectfully. Then they started joining the discussion and offering their thoughts. I knew that they were changing. More importantly, I have changed. I was closer and closer to divine standards.
The most obvious change in my son was that he could discuss his problems with me. He was once dumped by his girlfriend. He refused to eat or drink, but simply lay in bed and even cried. My wife was very worried. She asked me, “What can we do about it?”
Seeing how painful my son felt, I said to him, “Son, you were so nice to her, but she dumped you. What does this tell us? Emotions are not something we can rely on.” I told him Master's Fa and how to be a human being, as well as how to handle such issues well... He felt much better, got out of bed and ate his meal.
It took me a long time to find an effective way to educate my son. If I was tough, he was even tougher. If I was angry, he was angrier.
Master told us in Zhuan Falun:
“Some people will lose their temper in disciplining children and yell at them, making quite a scene. You should not be that way in disciplining children, and neither should you, yourselves get really upset. You should educate children with reason so that you can really teach them well. If you cannot even get over a trifle and lose your temper easily, how can you expect to increase your gong?”
Master has taught us how to educate our children rationally. What is rationality? I realized that my emphasis was not on how well I educated my son, but on what my son was currently like.
The process of educating my son required rationality and wisdom. I should have placed myself higher when disciplining my son. I should have a peaceful state of mind. I should discuss things with him respectfully. I should put myself in his shoes. In this way, my words would carry the power of compassion. I wouldn't annoy him, as he'd feel my kindness.
My son once didn't come home for two days. He didn't answer my wife's calls, either. My wife started cursing me. I told her, “Don't be angry. Let me show you.”
I had a strong thought, “All evil factors controlling this will disintegrate! He's a good living being. He must answer my call and come home immediately. I will guide him. He shouldn't affect me.”
My son answered my call. I said, “Son, you haven't been home for two days. Do you want me to send you some food?” My son immediately said, “No. No.”
I said, “Dad misses you. Come home and have a good meal, you can then continue your games. Does that work?”
“I want to play a little bit longer.”
“Should I call a taxi for you? You should think about how your parents feel?”
After he returned, I asked him, “If your future son treats you this way – staying in Internet bars all day long – how will you feel? This is not the right way for a young person to lead his life, is it?”
My son said, “Right.”
A friend overheard our conversation and was surprised, “How come you are so polite to you son? If I were you, I would have slapped him long ago.”
I responded, “my Master told us to be nice to everyone, including our children.”
All sentient beings are equal; my son is no exception. Regardless of who it is, the laws of the universe evaluate everyone just the same. Once I lectured my son for a long time, and he didn't come home for a whole day.
I called him and said, “Son. Why do I keep making the same mistake?”
He said, “What?”
“Why do I always drive my son mad?”
He laughed and said, “You have been frowning at me for several days. Then you said I was wrong.”
“Dad was wrong. Dad didn't cultivate well.”
After he returned home, I talked to him calmly, “Son, did you think that I was apologizing to you over the phone? My Master said, 'If a son disrespects his parents, they will trade places in the next life. This is how it cycles on and on.' (Zhuan Falun) Your children will treat you the same way you treat me. What goes around comes around. This is a heavenly principle. Do you understand?”
He looked at me and didn't say anything. But I knew that my words had made an impact on him.
For many years, my wife tried to stop me from clarifying the truth. She would try both the carrot and stick approaches, “Living with you is scary. Do you have to tell people about Falun Gong? If the police find out, isn't our family going to be destroyed?”
I said, “I know it has its risks. However, there'll be a weeding out in the future. How can I not help others? Let's take for example the friends in your circle, isn't it just too sad if they are victims when the disaster comes? Only the truth can save them.”
She knew that she couldn't stop me. So she said, “Then from now on, I'm going to help you. Let's see who dares to arrest you?” She started helping me distribute materials. She also helped persuade people to quit the CCP by saying, “Quit, quit! The CCP is no good at all...”
Master told us, “Don't look at the negative side of other people. You should always look at their positive side.” (“Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festivalat the U.S. West Fa Conference”)
I focused on the positive side of my wife and son and didn't argue about human principles with them. After all, there isn't much to argue about when it comes to family chores, I refrained from criticizing them.
I found that when my righteous thoughts were strong, I could really change my surroundings. When I smiled, the environment was full of sunshine. When I wasn't happy, my surroundings were cloudy. If my field was righteous, everything else was changing. Our existence was the hope for sentient beings to obtain salvation.
For some time, I was singing a song “What's the Meaning of Life” from Hong Yin III when cooking:
“A hundred years of human life, for whom so busy?Fame, fortune, and feelings toward family arouse deep anxietyWhen the music stops and the drama is over, who am I?Heaven speaks not, leaving us confusedDafa is spreading all around youLearn the truth to guide your lost courseWe awaken people so they can distinguish good from evilAnd find their true selves to return to the heavens”
My wife said, “The lyrics are so well written. Please give me a copy. I want to sing the song, too.” I wrote the song down and stuck it to the wall of our kitchen. She memorized it.
Once when doing the grocery shopping she said to the vendor woman, “Let me offer you a poem:
'A hundred years of human life, for whom so busy?Fame, fortune, and feelings toward family arouse deep anxietyWhen the music stops and the drama is over, who am I?Heaven speaks not, leaving us confused'
The woman was very surprised, “You wrote it?”
I said, “These are Dafa's lyrics. Isn't it good?”
“Good, yes good,” the woman said.
“Then please remember Falun Dafa is good; Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good,” I said.
“I will,” the woman replied.
My wife continued reciting Master's poem:
“Dafa is spreading all around youLearn the truth to guide your lost courseWe awaken people so they can distinguish good from evilAnd find their true selves to return to the heavens”
The woman said, “You are such a happy couple!” We helped her quit the CCP organizations. We then went home after doing the shopping.
Each time before a business trip, my wife would burn incense for Master and murmur to herself. I asked, “What are you saying?” She said, “I'm asking Master Li to bless me for a safe trip and for more money for our family.”
I said, “Buddhas don't take care of people's wealth.”
She said, “Buddhas are in charge of everything. Look at you. Who would have been able to handle you? Only Mr. Li can.”
I said, “What do you think? Will I succeed in my cultivation?”
“Of course you will!” Then she was a little bit sad, “So, if you succeed in your cultivation, what will I do?”
“You can cultivate, too!” I encouraged her, “People have all come to this world for cultivation. This is a heavenly secret.”
She was a little bit concerned, “But I cannot cross my legs.”
I said, “That's not an issue. Study the Fa and guard your xinxing. That's more important.”
I also told my son, “You should tell all your friends 'Falun Dafa is good and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.' If they believe it, they will be saved.”
My son nodded.
I offered, “If you cannot explain it clearly, just take them home for me to tell them.”
After that, I once called my son to ask him to come home. He said, “I'm not going back now.” I asked him what he was doing. He said, “I'm with my friends and telling them that 'such and such' is good and 'such and such' is good.'” I knew he was referring to the words I told him: “Falun Dafa is good and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.”
I knew that no matter how he explained the truth, what happened in other dimensions must have been soul-stirring.
My family went through drastic changes before and after I started my cultivation. If it wasn't for Master, I would never have been able to bring harmony and joy to my family.
My every step and each improvement bears Master's giving and sacrifice. Every new understanding stems from Master's help. There are no words to describe just how compassionate Master is.
Thank you, Master! Thank you fellow practitioners.