A Hot-Tempered Youth Becomes a Gentle Father Through Cultivation
(Minghui.org) From his memory Yiyuan Chen lived in a world where his parents constantly argued and fought with each other, sometimes even taking their anger out on him.
“When I was very little, my parents argued when we were having meals,” he said. “I just thought this was normal for a family.”
Living in that kind of environment, Yiyuan developed a hot temper.
“I didn't know what sincerity or kindness was,” he said. “I grew up with the influence of my parents. I swore and threw stuff like my parents did when I was angry, and I beat our dog just like my parents beat me. I would not forget how other people mistreated me, and I cared a lot about gaining something, anything, for myself.”
He was rebellious and didn't like to study, even though his mother was strict in disciplining him. His relationship with his mother was intense.
“One day I lost my temper. My mother beat me hard and drove me out of our home. I was angry and became desperate. I wanted to commit suicide to get revenge. I walked on a river bank but I dared not to jump in. I lay down on the slope trying to think of a method to die in a less painful way. A car drove by on the bank, and the children in the car shouted at me, which woke me up. I ended up going home.”
Feeling hopeless in his heart, Yiyuan later discovered that driving cars at high speeds could make him forget about his hatred.
“I didn't have a driver's license when I was in high school,” he said. “So one day, I just stole the car key at home. I could always find the key regardless of where my mother hid it.”
Driving at high speeds, Yiyuan felt a sense of risk and excitement, and his deep pain decreased with the increase in speed.
When he went to college, he became addicted to pornography and online video games. He had lost his rationality and sense of self.
“I knew these things were not good, but I was unable to control myself. I just followed the trends. Essentially, I felt hopeless. I didn't know where I belonged.”
Yiyuan went to Taipei for work when he was in his second year at the university. His aunt there recommended Falun Dafa to him. He attended the 9-day video session and listened to the lectures by Master Li Hongzhi (the founder of Falun Dafa) for the first time. He learned that the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are the sole criteria to discern good or bad, and he understood that Falun Dafa is a cultivation way and a Buddha Law that can save people.
“As a child, I wanted to be a monk in a temple when I got older. To my surprise, I saw that I could cultivate now, today, and that I did not have to wait until I was older.”
His perspective of the world underwent a fundamental change after he finished reading Zhuan Falun. The previous notions and bad thoughts he held so tightly collapsed.
Master Li said:
“Things will work out well if you are always compassionate and good to others, thoughtful towards people, and handle whatever situations you get into with people by first pausing to consider how well your actions will go over with the other party and whether anyone will be hurt by them.” (Zhuan Falun, Fourth Talk)
Yiyuan let go of his bad habits and became considerate of others. His health improved as well, and he recovered from the sinusitis that he contracted as a child. He also began excelling academically.
“My teacher said to one of the top students in my class that he should work to catch up to me. When I passed the postgraduate exams, one of the teachers congratulated me for having done exceptionally well.”
Tribulations after Marriage
After Yiyuan passed his exams, he was offered a position at the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office in 2010. He later married a fellow practitioner in 2013.
“Actually, my then-girlfriend didn't want to get married so soon,” he said. “But I didn't believe the relationship between a man and a woman could be more than friendship if they didn't get married. I thought that kind of lifestyle would cause problems. So I wanted to do what was right on my path to marriage.”
Tests, however, came one after another after they got married.
“One day my wife worked until one o'clock in the morning, and she still hadn't finished,” he said. “I thought that she didn't put our family as her priority. I waited for her, but she didn't respond to me kindly. So I wrote an angry letter and published it on a public platform. It caused a big stir. I couldn't understand why I had to do all the housework. She needed to do Dafa work to validate the Fa. ‘But how about me?’ I thought. I had a lot of grievances.”
There is no smooth path in cultivation, and everyone must pass through trials and tribulations. So more and more arguments and disagreements surfaced. Trivial things, like housework and other expectations, plagued their relationship.
After numerous arguments, Yiyuan realized that he shouldn't find external excuses for not looking inward, for not cultivating himself, or for not doing the three things well— even though he thought he was doing it to look after the family.
“It seems that I tried to force my wife to accept my way of thinking,” he said. “I did not talk to her politely. When I didn't abide by the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and got angry, I was actually holding onto my attachments.”
Out of all the tests that having a family brought about for Yiyuan, he realized that they were just that—tests. If he handled them correctly, they would serve to improve his cultivation. He also came to realize that his past, especially his childhood, was intermingled with this current cultivation state, which also served as a test.
“My family experience growing up left me with a lot of pain in my heart. But when I realized that my mother brought me up under pressure, helplessness, and hardship, I knew I should treat her well. After I had my own kids, my past family experiences helped me to realize that I should sacrifice more for my kids, and in what ways I should sacrifice. Shouldn't I thank my parents, then?”
“Of course, we go about our practice in the secular world, and so we should still be devoted and respectful to our parents and care well for our children; we should be good to others, not to mention our own families, in whatever setting we may be, and treat everyone with kindness. We should treat everyone equally well, parents and children included, of course, and think of others first at all times. Your heart will not be selfish, then, but will be loving, kind, and compassionate.” (Zhuan Falun, Sixth Talk)
“I realize that the past arrangements were for me to dissolve my karma and, most importantly, for me to obtain Falun Dafa and follow Master to return home in this lifetime.”
“Home” has been the major cultivation environment for Yiyuan. Going through tribulations helped him to let go of competitiveness, hatred, and feeling that things were unfair. Falun Dafa led him out of selfishness and expanded his heart.
As a father, he makes sure to study the Fa with his two sons. He puts the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance into practice and sets a good example for them through his actions. As Yiyuan sees it, they are walking on the path of cultivation together.