My Mother Starts to Practice Falun Gong, Ten Years Later
(Minghui.org) I began practicing Falun Gong in 1998, when I was in my 20s. My parents threw away my Falun Gong books the following year when the Chinese communist regime launched its persecution of the spiritual discipline.
After I took up the practice again in 2004, I tried hard to get my parents to understand that the persecution is illegal and that Falun Gong is in no way harmful. My parents, however, chastised me for stressing them out since they constantly worried about my safety.
It took ten years for my parents to finally come around and support Falun Gong. My mother began the practice in 2014 and soon saw her health improve.
“But as you go about truly cultivating yourself in your day-to-day life, the society that you come into contact with is your cultivation environment. The work and family environments that you spend time in are both settings in which you are to cultivate yourselves, are part of the path you must walk, are what you must handle, and handle correctly at that. None of these should be glossed over. When you have made it to the end, [a question would be]: How did you travel the path that Master arranged for you? When all is said and done, these things have to be taken into account. And in the course of your cultivation these things have to be looked at, too. So you shouldn't neglect anything. As far as convenience goes, [in Dafa] a person can cultivate without having to enter a monastery, go to a secluded mountain, or leave the secular world. But from another perspective, all of this adds a layer of difficulty: If you are to make it through, you have to do well with things such as all of the above, and do well in every aspect of your life.” (“Teaching the Fa in Canada, 2006”from Teaching the Fa at the Conference VII)
I tell myself that no matter how hard the path of cultivation is, this is my way and I must not stray from it.
My Early Years
I am an only child, and my parents did everything for me. I never did any housework because they wanted me to spend all my time studying. I got so used to depending on them that, whenever I had to make a decision, I'd just ask my mother what to do. Eventually, I just did whatever my mother said, and I didn't have any ideas of my own. My mother was my adviser, assistant, and nanny—I couldn't live without her.
In the 1980s, qigong got more and more popular. Since I was young, I had watched my mother practice different forms of qigong. In the spring of 1998, my aunt gave me a copy of Zhuan Falun and I started to practice Falun Dafa. I benefited mentally, but not physically. The aunt taught my mother how to do the exercises, but my mother did not take up the practice.
Deceived by and Frightened of the Chinese Communist Party
On July 20, 1999, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officially started to persecute Falun Gong. My parents believed the propaganda and were deceived by the media. They threw away all my Dafa books “for my sake.” They didn't let me read the book or do the exercises. I was isolated and disconnected from other practitioners.
When I got in touch with fellow practitioners in 2004, I started to eagerly read Master's lectures and do the three things that a practitioner should do. However, I was still really frightened of the communist party and didn't know how to negate the old forces' arrangement. I was reported to the authorities several times for telling people the facts about Falun Gong.
My superior talked to my parents and gave my information to the local police precinct in 2008. That was how the street committee heard about me and called my parents.
My parents were frightened, and didn't dare blame the communist party for harassing me. Instead, they started to hate Falun Dafa. Whenever my mom saw any truth-clarifying materials or posters, she would remove them. I didn't know how to face her. I was used to always doing what she said, and I felt weak in front of her.
From 2011 to 2014, my mom's health got worse and worse. She spent most of her time in bed. Sometimes when she was in great pain, she would ask me what to do. I always told her to say to herself, “Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.”
That just made her angry. “You think that will work?!” was her response. She even said that she would rather I not tell her that, no matter how much she hurt, because my suggestion made her hurt even more. I was very sad. I was also depressed because I couldn't even help my own family.
During that time, whenever I went to a fellow practitioner's house, she always asked me, “How is your mom?” Every time I had to answer, “Same, no change.” I was very depressed and envied those young practitioners whose parents practiced Falun Gong.
But I never gave up and remembered Master said,
“Compassion can harmonize Heaven and Earth, ushering in springRighteous thoughts can save the people in this world”(“The Fa Rectifies the Cosmos” from Hong Yin Volume II)
When I distributed copies of Minghui Weekly, I saved the ones I thought suitable for my mom to read.
I tried to figure out what was keeping my mom from accepting the truth. I thought she was deeply poisoned by the communist culture, so I needed to help her see the true face of the evil Party.
I read the Nine Commentaries on Communist Party through and through and started to memorize it. When I told my mom what I'd memorized, it didn't seem to faze her. Once when I tried to persuade my mom to practice Falun Gong, she got very angry and shouted, “Aren't you already an example of a Falun Gong practitioner? If you practiced well, I would have already done it!” I was ashamed of myself and dared not say a thing.
During those years, I read through all of Master's lectures every year. Master said:
“Some of our students didn’t handle things well at first, and neglected what I’ve discussed. The principal reason has been the notion that the person is your kin, your parent, or your child, and cultivating Dafa is the greatest thing, so, since you call the shots, you’ll just make them cultivate. As a result, your words come across as coercive or as if people have to listen to you. At the crucial moment for a being’s life, nobody can stand in; what you say doesn’t count.” (“Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan” from Teaching the Fa at the Conference X)
I read this over and over again and gradually realized my problem. Whenever I was clarifying the truth to my mom, I was not steadfast. Sometimes, if my mom looked angry, I would get scared and stop. Other times, whatever my mom's response, I'd decide that I had to win and ended up sounding hostile and aggressive. Then my mom would refuse to listen to me.
I married a Falun Dafa practitioner in 2012. He always reminded me that I should not just concentrate on doing things, that I should always improve myself. That inspired me. When I read articles on how practitioners used their time well to do the three things, I would follow their suggestions and try to do better. I often made use of the commute time to distribute truth-clarifying materials to people I met on the bus.
If I had a spare moment, I memorized Hong Yin and Essentials for Further Advancement. Master said, “Validate the Fa with rationality, clarify the truth with wisdom, spread the Fa and save people with mercy.” (Rationality from Essential for Further Advancement II)
Clarifying the Truth with Fellow Practitioners' Help
As I improved, I became wiser about how to clarify the truth to my family.
At the end of 2012, I hired several fellow practitioners to do house cleaning for my mom. One of them chatted with my mom and said she hoped that she would start to practice Falun Dafa. My mom sat in her wheelchair and listened. Then she said with a smile, “Different people have different notions.” I could tell she was no longer as resistant to Falun Dafa as before.
The practitioners cleaned all the floors and furniture, the bathroom, and the kitchen. They even took off all the curtains, washed them, and put them back. My parents were very satisfied. Later I told my mom that all the house cleaners were Falun Dafa practitioners. “Just what I thought,” she responded.
That made them aware of how kind Falun Dafa practitioners are.
In 2013 right before Mother's Day, we installed NTD TV for my parents. On May 13, World Falun Dafa Day, I always returned home to watch the parade on TV with my parents. My mom changed a lot after she watched NTD TV for a while.
Also, I always brought them truth-clarifying DVD's and videos about practitioners regaining their health after practicing Falun Gong.
My Mom Changed
In the summer of 2014, my mom called one of the practitioners who'd cleaned her house and asked her if she could be her caregiver. The practitioner agreed.
At the end of July, the practitioner told me secretly that she had played Master's lectures for a couple of days and that my mom had already listened to all nine lectures. I was so happy. Later on, my mom even started to learn how to do the exercises.
I really appreciated that practitioner! Her kindness and sincerity changed my parents. I also try to satisfy my parents, and I want them to know that I love them and like to take care of them.
Once when my husband and I visited a friend of my mom's, I gave their daughter computer software to get around the Internet firewall. Perhaps because the father worked in a government department, they were very concerned and called my mom. They said that they were worried about me. My mom said, “No big deal. A lot of young people surf the net with such software.”
One day when my mom was talking to her sister on the phone, her sister said that her daughter was so busy and always under great pressure, so she was often sick. My mom told her proudly, “Both my daughter and my son-in-law practice Falun Gong, and they are very healthy!”
Putting Myself in Others' Shoes
In the second half of 2016, Master published several lectures. I copied them down and memorized each one. I felt that I could understand the Fa better by then, and I became calmer and and pure.
In October 2016, my husband and I went out of the town to visit relatives. We went to let people know that the persecution of Falun Gong was unjust and illegal. Before we left, I was preparing some truth-clarifying materials at my parents' house. My mother came into my room and saw everything. Angry, she said, “Please do this in your house, not mine.” She complained that she was under intense pressure because she always worried that I might be arrested due to my beliefs, and because I clarified the truth.
I could totally understand. Whenever she complained, “You are a government officer, you shouldn't be like those seniors out there distributing Falun Gong materials on the streets,” I never tried to explain, and I just tried my best to avoid her.
This time, however, I looked inside and discovered my attachments to family, to fame, and to fear. I told her, “I am doing something truly good. I will continue to do it whether you agree or not. You are being pressured by the communist party and its brutal persecution of Falun Gong, but not Falun Gong!”
My righteous thoughts corrected my mother's thoughts, and she said, “Yes, you have your own belief. Maybe I will never understand everything you do, but our relationship should not be affected.”
When I later shared my experience with fellow practitioners, I realized that I should consider my parents' feelings when I made materials at their house. As a practitioner, I should think of others, including my own family members. I should balance my family and my belief well, so that they feel safe and secure.
Now my mother does the exercises every day. My father often listens to the Sound of Hope radio program. They are very healthy. My mother often tells me, “We can take care of ourselves, you just do your stuff. If you're busy, you don't have to come back on the weekend.”
Looking back on my cultivation over the last few years, I know that I can do better, and there are many people waiting for me to save them.