Whatever I Encounter Is Good for Me
(Minghui.org) I am in my 80s and started my cultivation in Falun Gong in 1997. Over the past 20 plus years, I have had so many enlightening experiences, and I’ve gained a fuller understanding of the Fa teachings. Looking back, I can’t help but appreciate Master’s protection, reminders, guidance, and support every step of the way.
Words fail me when I try to express my gratitude. What follows are just a few of my many experiences.
“So whether it is good things or bad things you run into, so long as you cultivate in Dafa, they are all positive, to be sure.”(Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005)
Learning from Falling Twice
I recently fell twice. At my age, the falls would have been serious for an ordinary person, but I was fine.
The first time I fell was on the sidewalk outside the Chinese Embassy. I passed out from the fall. A fellow practitioner helped me up and asked me to call for Master, but I couldn’t hear what she said. When I came to, I found I was injured all over. At home, I looked in the mirror and didn't recognize myself. My forehead was completely swollen. However, I didn't go to the hospital.
Although I could not raise one of my arms or lift one of my legs, I persisted in studying the Fa and doing the exercises. After a week I had recovered. New skin grew on my forehead, with no scars. Someone said that I even looked younger and prettier than I had before. My skin did indeed feel smoother and had fewer wrinkles.
One day, I handed a pamphlet about Falun Gong to a middle-aged woman in a parking lot. She seemed to be in a hurry and ignored me. I said to her, “Please take this pamphlet.” She asked, “Is it about Falun Gong? Tell me, what is so good about Falun Gong?”
At first, I was not sure how to answer her. I said, “You are right. I practice Falun Gong. But can you guess how old I am?”
She looked at me and said, “Seventy?” I told her, “I am in my eighties.” She was shocked, and said, “Falun Dafa must be great.” Then she took the pamphlet and also agreed to withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Even at my age, I hear and see well and don't have age spots on my hands or face. Maybe Master did something to make me look younger. Regardless, the lady was really impressed with Falun Gong.
Another time, near the end of last year, Shen Yun was coming to my city. So I went out with other practitioners to hang Shen Yun pamphlets on people’s doors. It was then that I fell again.
When it happened, I immediately called to Master: “Master, I am fine.” I didn’t tell anybody about the fall and just continued distributing the Shen Yun information. When I got home, I hurt all over and could only lie on my back, not on my side at all. But I continued to do the exercises and study the Fa every day.
After two or three days, I no longer felt any pain. In addition, my breathing was better than before. In fact, I had experienced breathing problems due to a heart condition for years. Suddenly I had no breathing problems at all. It felt as if Master performed bypass surgery on my heart.
Through two falls, Master helped me to pay back some the karmic debts I accumulated in previous lives.
Words Unpleasant to the Ears
There is a saying in Chinese: “Heartfelt advice may offend ears.” Indeed, I still find it hard sometimes to listen to advice from others. After thinking it over for some time, I realized that there was a big gap between my level and the requirements of the Fa.
One day I went out with another practitioner to talk with people and encourage them to withdraw from the CCP. Out of nowhere, my colleague said to me, “You are not like a practitioner. You act like you are not serious about cultivation.”
I didn't reflect on his comments and casually replied, “Well, I thought I had put in a lot of effort.” Then we went home.
As I thought more about what he said, I felt upset. How could he say that? I have been practicing Falun Dafa for 20 years, and I was one of the most veteran practitioners in my city. I did not even waver after the persecution started. I was one of the first to establish an information materials production site, and I had prepared pamphlets for many years. During that time, the police had harassed me and even tried to take me into custody.
After I left China, I went out every day to clarify the truth and to encourage people to withdraw from the CCP. I have never slacked off. I have been to tourist spots as well as the Chinese embassy to talk with people. I was really upset by what he said and felt like complaining to someone.
Yet I am a cultivator, after all. I knew it was not accidental that I heard those words. I needed to look inward.
Master taught us:
“As gods see it, for a cultivator to be right or wrong in the human world is not important in the least, whereas eliminating the attachments that come from human thinking is important, and it is precisely your managing to eliminate those attachments rooted in your human thinking as you cultivate that counts as important. (Applause) If you can manage to handle things calmly no matter how wronged you may feel, if you can remain unmoved and not try to come up with some kind of excuse for yourself, then with many things you won’t even need to argue. That’s because on your path of cultivation there is nothing that is by chance. So, when you get into a heated exchange and it stirs things up in you, or you get into a conflict over something that concerns your vital interests, perhaps the factors behind it were put there by Master. Maybe you only get upset when it’s a case of someone saying something that really provokes you or hits a sore spot. And maybe the person really did treat you wrongfully. But, those words weren’t necessarily said by that person. Perhaps they were said by me. (Everyone laughs) I want to see how you handle things at the time. When you butt heads with that person, it actually equates to butting heads with me.” (“Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan” from Teaching the Fa at the Conference X)
I realized that I can't have any negative thoughts about the practitioner’s remarks—I just needed to look inward. And when I did, I found many attachments: I don't like hardship, I seek comfort, I like to show off, I look down on other people, and I have many pursuits.
When we were outside distributing pamphlets or talking with people, for example, I’d be checking the time and noting how many pamphlets we had left or how many people we had helped withdraw from the CCP. It was always me who called it a day. I usually left earlier than my peers.
At home, I was bossy and often caught up in fights with my family. As a woman, I wasn't gentle or virtuous. Although I said that I would “run” to catch up with fellow practitioners, I didn’t get up early in the morning; I slept in and let a couple of hours go by before getting up. Sometimes, I spent a couple of hours playing chess with my family. I was very engrossed in the games and had a lot of fun. I regretted doing it every time, but a few days later, I played again. I don't even think that I acted like a practitioner. I needed someone to hammer it home for me that I wasn't diligent.
Looking inward is not easy. I found tons of issues with myself, but I was not sure if I had identified the fundamental issues. What does it mean in terms of my behavior in day-to-day life? Master seemed to have read my mind, and I encountered more and more tests.
Sometime in February this year, I went out with three other practitioners to tell people the facts about Falun Gong and the persecution in China. One of them asked me on our way there, “What time will we finish today?” I replied, “I don't' care. It’s up to you guys.”
At the end of the day when we were about to leave for home, an older lady approached us. She looked like she came from China. She refused the pamphlets we offered her and refused to withdraw from the CCP. I offered her a CD about the harvesting of organs from imprisoned practitioners in China, but she ignored me and just kept walking. Then she turned and asked, “Can you tell me what this is about? I don't want to watch it myself.”
So I talked to her about why people should withdraw from the CCP. I compared the CCP to a sinking ship and said I was trying to let the people who are on board to abandon ship for their own safety. The communists have done a lot of bad things, I said, and one day they will be held accountable. No one wants to go down with them. She then agreed to withdraw from the CCP.
On our way home, the other practitioner said to me that if we had gone home earlier, that lady would have missed the chance to meet with us. I realized that the woman was a test by Master—Master gave me a “stick warning.”
One morning after breakfast, I stood in front of Master's portrait, and with my hands in the heshi position, said to Master: “I have not done well. I need to do better. I want to improve, to be a genuine practitioner.”
When I looked up, I saw Master smiling at me. It was a kind of smile that I had never seen before—so merciful and full of compassion. I felt a warm current throughout my whole body and I cried. Were they tears of gratitude or shame? I am still not sure. I only know that I couldn't stop my tears from flowing.