Helping Others Is Helping Myself
(Minghui.org) I started practicing Falun Dafa in January 2014. I feel so ashamed when I talk about my early cultivation experiences. Even though I obtained the Fa so late, I didn't cultivate diligently until June 2015, when a whole family of practitioners moved into my residential community. Since then, I have studied the Fa and done the exercises every day.
My Notions Change
In April 2017, when a practitioner showed symptoms of illness karma, several practitioners and I went to study the Fa and send forth righteous thoughts with her. Her state improved several days later, but one day she suddenly showed signs of more serious illness karma—her belly hurt and her legs were swollen. We sent forth righteous thoughts more often, while she looked inside to identify her problems.
While I was sending forth righteous thoughts, Master's Fa was imprinted in my mind:
“And human notions change, The degenerate things purged, Brightness now shines forth.” (“Born Anew” from Hong Yin)
We shared our understandings about Dafa and our cultivation experiences. She started to practice before 1999 when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began the persecution of Falun Gong. She did pretty well in validating the Fa and even the police admired her. At Tiananmen Square, the police hit her so hard that her eyeball came out, but she immediately picked it up and put it back in place. She had one thought: “No problem, I am a Dafa practitioner. I have Master!” And there was really no problem at all. She experienced many miraculous things.
In recent years, however, she'd slacked off in studying the Fa, doing the exercises and sending forth righteous thoughts, because she spent so much time taking care of her grandchild. Although she did things to tell people the facts about Falun Dafa and save people, she was not as diligent as before. Many human attachments also surfaced.
Our experience sharing made her realize her problems. She knelt down in front of Master's picture and burst into tears, “Master, your disciple is not doing well and not living up to your expectations.”
Not long after that, I came to realize my own problem while I was sending forth righteous thoughts. Wasn't Master giving me a hint, too? Before I became a cultivator, I had a partnership business, but running it became more difficult as time went by, so after I started to practice Falun Dafa, I just ignored my business and focused on studying the Fa.
However, I always had this goal in mind: I wanted to change my current status and repay the debts through Fa study. I was aware that this thought was not right, but I didn't change it fundamentally. This time Master was giving me another hint and wanted me to change my human pursuit. Aware of this, I sent forth righteous thoughts immediately to eliminate it.
This experience unlocked my heart. It's true that helping others is helping myself. Tears streamed down my face when I came to understand this. Thank you, Master!
Correcting the Exercise Movements
Something that happened to me in August 2017 made me better see Master's compassion.
An elderly couple, both practitioners, were not doing the exercise movements correctly. Our local coordinator asked me to do the exercises with them and help correct them. I had a quick temper and was impatient, so on my way to see them, I reminded myself to be patient.
Actually the old lady's movements were fine, but her husband's weren't. He even fell down while doing them. I helped him correct his movements one by one. Sometimes it took a dozen times to adjust just one movement, but he still couldn't do it properly. I asked Master to strengthen him so that he could do well. We tried the following day because it was too much to do all in one day. He was very attentive, too.
When it came to the fourth exercise, I thought to myself, “My own movements might not be accurate, either. Maybe I could ask the old lady to help me fix them.”
We later discovered that my movements really were not all that accurate. We watched Master's teaching video and followed Master's movements to correct our own. I expressed my great thanks to Master in my heart.
Am I really just helping others? I am actually helping myself. Once again I realized this principle: helping others is helping myself. Master's compassion is boundless. He can arrange for anyone and anything to help practitioners improve in their cultivation.
Master Adds Gas to My Car and Encourages Me
I have a car. When local practitioners asked me for a ride, I never refused. But as time went by, it started to bother me, and I thought that too much of my time was being wasted.
One time a local coordinator asked me to go with her somewhere. It was a bit far away, and it was noon. I was not that happy about it, but I promised I'd take her. On our way there, we listened to Master's Fa lectures. As I was listening to “Upgrading Xinxing,” I was aware of my own problems. Master said:
“As practitioners, you will suddenly come across conflicts. What should you do? You should always maintain a heart of compassion and kindness. Then, when you run into a problem, you will be able to do well because it gives you room to buffer the confrontation. 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. Therefore, in cultivation practice you should follow a higher and higher standard for yourself.” (Zhuan Falun)
I suddenly enlightened: Wasn't the coordinator doing this for others? She certainly wasn't doing it for herself. Was my thought a human attachment and selfish? My closed heart suddenly saw the light: Master wanted me to improve.
On our way back, I noticed that the gas gauge never moved. Master is watching me all the time and in all occasions.
“Do you realize that as long as you’re a cultivator, in any environment or under any circumstances, I will use any troubles or unpleasant things you come across—even if they involve work for Dafa, or no matter how good or sacred you think they are—to eliminate your attachments and expose your demon-nature so that it can be eliminated, for your improvement is what’s most important.” (“Further Understanding” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
I truly sensed Master's boundless compassion through my personal experience. Helping others is indeed helping myself.