China Fahui | The Cultivation Path My Son and I Have Walked
(Minghui.org) Greetings, Benevolent Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I was so happy that the annual Minghui Experience Sharing Conference for Mainland Falun Dafa practitioners was being held. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you the cultivation story of my child and me.
Obtaining the Fa
The first time I heard about Falun Dafa was when I was six months pregnant, in September 1996. I learned that Falun Dafa teaches Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. At that time, I was apprehensive about the world in which my child would be born, where morality was quickly going downhill. I searched high and low for methods I could use to educate my child so he would grow up to be kind, optimistic, humorous, and elegant.
I went back to work in July 1997, when my son was six months old. One day I was talking about the meaning of life with one of my colleagues when he suggested that I read the book Zhuan Falun. When I read the three characters of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, I felt like I was seeing a beacon on the dark sea. These words were like three beams of light shining right into the depth of my heart. They filled me with joy and brightness, and I knew at that point that I would follow Dafa's teachings in raising my son.
I moved my child back home from my in-laws' place in May 1999. I brought him in front of Master Li's portrait (the founder of Falun Dafa) and told him that this was our Teacher. At two and a half years old, with his little hands clutched in front of his chest, he bowed to Master joyfully, again and again. I was touched and knew he would be in good hands. From the very beginning, Master's lectures were always playing for him to listen to. Whenever we got home, all I had to do was to turn on the audio recording and continue on with what I had to do, while he played. I didn’t have to do too much with him. Every now and then I used real-life examples to teach him how to be a good person.
I once said to him, “You are a Falun Dafa disciple and should be patient with others. For example, in kindergarten, when children get angry and upset, you should not fight with them. When they feel better, you can play together again.” When he was picked up from kindergarten one night, he said, “Mom, I did it today! My friend was screaming at me, but I just played on my own, waiting for him to calm down. Then I played with him again.”
I was very pleased, “Good boy, you did the right thing. There is a saying called 'A prime minister’s heart is big enough to pull a boat in. A general's forehead is big enough to run horses.' He replied, “Mom, there is also a sentence, 'Beyond the Five Elements, and Leaving the Three Realms'.” (Zhuan Falun)
My son’s kindergarten teacher commented, “He is such a nice kid. Nowadays, children are very spoiled and self-centered. But your son has empathy. He helps anyone who is in trouble.” At an open house for parents, the blackboard chalk eraser fell to the ground while the teacher was teaching. My son stood up, walked over and picked up the eraser for the teacher. One of the parents said, “Look at that child! He is such a teacher’s pet. He knows how to please the teacher.” I knew he was just being helpful.
I was very sad after the persecution was initiated by former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) head Jiang Zemin in July 1999. One day at dinner I said to him, “Son, you may not know it, but you are luckier than other children.” He came down from his chair, walked over to me, put his hands on mine, and said to me. “I know, Mom.” He went on to say,
“Ordinary people know me not,I sit amidst Mystery;Where there is profit and desire, there I am not,After others pass away, only I remain.”(“The Awakened” from Hong Yin)
I felt wonder and had tears in my eyes upon hearing this!
He often asked me to read Hong Yin, Essentials for Further Advancement, and other teachings at bedtime. I sometimes had to read them again and again until he fell asleep. When I was illegally sent to a forced labor camp in 2001, I asked his grandmother to read Hong Yin to him at bedtime. My mother-in-law later told me that he could recite all of the Hong Yin poems.
In late 2003, when I returned from the forced labor camp, my child was just starting the first grade. During the three years I was away, he did not study the Fa at all. However, Falun Dafa had brought him good fortune. His peers and teachers appreciated his kindness. He was elected the class monitor. Another pupil wanted the job very badly, and my son was ready to give up the title for her. But the teacher insisted on appointing him.
His teacher had always wanted to meet the parents who raised him, and she finally had the opportunity after my release halfway through the semester. She once held him and said, “If only you were my son, how wonderful it would be!” I started to study the Fa and do the exercises with my child again.
My son was seriously injured in grade school. One of his classmates kicked him in the groin area, which caused black and blue bruising. It was painful for him to pass urine for a week. Another time, a peer wrapped a skipping rope around his neck and pulled hard. His neck turned purple as a result. But he did not tell the teacher, nor let me complain to the teacher or the parents. He said that the pupil did not do it on purpose.
While he was in the fifth grade, during a parent-teacher interview, the teacher told me that he was very capable, but did not like to go out to play with his peers during recess. The teacher was worried about that. I went home to ask him, and he explained, “The area is so small, and yet there are so many people, I don't want to hurt others. I don't want to be hurt by others, either. I don’t mind not going out. I am fine.”
Junior High School
When my child was young, I tended to talk down to him. When he started junior high school in September 2008, we had some disagreements over something. I criticized him until he cried. He complained, “You parents are always right. It doesn't matter what I say!” His reaction made me stop and look within. I realized that I was being authoritarian, judgmental, and overpowering. When I criticized him, I did not stop until I made him cry. This was my demon nature at work!
I wasn’t sure how to admit to him that I was wrong, even though I knew that I was. I realized that I was a Falun Dafa practitioner and he was too. We were both trying to do better. I must do better in front of my own child, so I apologized to him. This was the first time that I formally apologized to him and admitted that I had made a mistake. He immediately replied, “Mom, I didn’t do well either. Please don’t be upset.” I felt the beauty of looking inward. I had to search within even with my own child. I cannot assume that I am superior to him and just talk down to him.
At this age, he no longer followed me everywhere. He stayed at home when I went out. In the second half of the year, I was once again illegally arrested and held in detention for two weeks. He went with fellow practitioners to demand my release. When I came back, I was in a rather depressed state because I could not get out of the shadow of being detained. I also ignored his feelings and did not realize my selfishness.
When I went out, I turned off my phone. When I called him, he kept asking, “Mom, where are you?” For security reasons, I could not tell him. So I often just told him not to ask any longer. When I was under a lot of pressure, I asked him to help send righteous thoughts. He gradually started keeping to himself a lot and didn't even go out with his friends.
Looking back on those days, I was neglecting him, which caused him to feel lonely, depressed, and helpless. I was being too self-centered and did not try to understand his feelings. I was looking at things from only my own point of view. Fortunately, he had been studying the Fa and doing the exercises. Master had always been looking after him!
When he started high school, he suddenly “understood a lot of things,” to use his words. I no longer forced my opinions on him, but instead tried to discuss things with him. I also found that he referred to the Falun Dafa teachings to guide his daily life. I remember an incident when he did something anonymously to help out a classmate. He chose not to say anything about it, and the beneficiary didn't know. I was very touched when I heard the story.
He brought home an application form for an award when he was in grade 11. In one of the items, they asked for the applicant's political affiliation [the hidden rule was that one needed to be a CCP Youth League member to qualify]. He was hesitant and not sure if he should pursue the award. But I thought that since we were Dafa disciples, we deserved to be recognized, “If we are the best, we should be acknowledged.” So he filled out the form leaving the space blank. At the end of the semester, he received the award. He said that he didn't care much about the outcome. His teacher double checked with him as to whether he had joined the Youth League, and he just replied that he never did.
From primary school to high school, all of my son's teachers commented that he was very attentive. Because he had to read the Fa and do the exercises, the time available for his homework was limited. He often completed his homework as soon as he came home from school. He left high school a year early to enter a very good university. His teacher and other parents were sad to see him go.
When my son went to the university, he lived very far away, so we could only study the Fa and share our understandings during the holidays. I told him one day that I'd like to buy a car, and he told me a story. He had won a car in an event. The organizer then called him to pick it up, but he declined. The organizer reassured him that it was not a hoax and that lawyers would be present to notarize it. He still refused to claim it. In the end, they offered to give him cash instead, in case he didn't want a car. He still refused the offer. They asked him why, and he replied by saying that he had his beliefs. He said that the offer re-entered his mind to haunt him later in the day. After all, it was a lot of money. At that time, I had no job because of the persecution, and our family had no money to buy an apartment or a car. It was very tempting.
I was moved and said that he should have taken the offer and saved it for use in Dafa activities. He said that it was not as simple as that and that there might be other sticky issues. He was also not sure how we could donate to Dafa. And besides, Master said: “Now that I’ve gotten this for nothing, how much virtue will I have to give back in return?” (Zhuan Falun)
I found that my son had become an introvert after he went to secondary school. He didn't want to study the Fa with me, much less with other fellow practitioners. He also didn't talk about doing truth clarification work. I wanted him to be outstanding and make us proud, in school and as a cultivator. I wanted to look good!
This was my own attachment to fame. I sometimes got upset because he looked so unmotivated, and I nagged him and got into arguments with him.
He was angry with me one day before he returned to school. He started listing many of my shortcomings, such as lack of faith in Master and the Fa, not being respectful of Dafa, not sticking to one discipline, self-centeredness, not examining myself, and being attached to my own notions.
I calmed down after he left and realized that Master was using him to remind me. I knew I needed to look inward and do better. I had attempted to remind him not to be trapped in personal cultivation, but it turned out that it was an opportunity for me to reflect on myself. I realized that I needed to focus on cultivating myself. I was so grateful to him!
My son and I don't have many conversations about mundane, daily things. Our conversations are now all about our cultivation. As soon as I start to talk about something which is driven by my human attachments, he stops me. He said that if we don't have much to talk about, it would be fine to simply not say anything. I had hoped that he would turn out to be this or that, but I am now convinced that no matter what he does, he will just be fine because he has Master and Dafa.
I am truly indebted to Master, who has given me such a fellow practitioner. Thank you for your protection and saving grace.