Going Against the Tide: Resisting Worldly Temptations
Master Li Hongzhi said,
“As divine beings see it, anyone who can resist the mighty current that is pulling this world down and stand his ground is really something. Anyone who is unaffected by it is really exceptional! And yet Dafa disciples are not just unswayed by it all, but moreover, are going against the tide!” (2018 Fa Teaching Given in Washington, D.C.)
What Master said was not only for Dafa disciples outside of China but also for those in the mainland. Because Dafa disciples have Master and the Fa in their minds, they are able to resist temptation and maintain their clean character amid a rotten environment. Due to the might of Master and the Fa, 100 million Dafa practitioners have appeared worldwide, and boundless worlds and sentient beings will also be saved.
Dafa disciples in mainland China face persecution by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), various material temptations, and society's low moral values, which slide further down each day. Yet they still follow Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. They resist and reject material temptation, continuously avoid traps, cultivate well, and assist Master in saving people.
In Beijing, the temptation, traps, and corruption are greater and deeper than in other places in China. I will expose the ones I have encountered.
Resisting the Temptation to Move Abroad
The prospect of moving abroad has been a big temptation for Chinese people for years. Various circumstances, pursuits, and mentalities have pushed people—wealthy or not—to go abroad once they meet with opportunities to do so.
I also wanted to go overseas to escape the harsh environment here and relax my tense mood. My child, who lives abroad, repeatedly asks me to relocate. My child is wealthy and lives in a three-story villa with a large yard, two cars, and a motorhome. I was invited to live on the first floor of the house.
I thoroughly considered the suggestion with a calm mind and decided not to go for the following reasons:
I do not understand the language there, nor do I know how to drive. My child lives in a town far from the city center. It is not a tourist destination, so it is rare to encounter another Chinese person there.
Living with my child’s family, I can enjoy life, practice the exercises, and study the Fa at home. But in such isolation, I would not be able to join the larger group of cultivators and validate the Fa, and neither would I be able to save Chinese people. My vow would not be fulfilled.
So, I have refused the invitation with the excuse that I am elderly and cannot adjust to the new lifestyle. My child doesn’t like my refusal, and my relatives and friends don't understand my response. Even practitioners say I am foolish, but I do not want to explain. I know what I live for, and that is enough.
Resisting the Attraction of Travel
The increasing trend of tourism both within China and to foreign countries is beyond people’s imagination. My neighbors, colleagues, friends, and relatives all speak of their travels proudly.
On the contrary, I have never traveled overseas. Since the beginning of the persecution of Falun Gong, I have not even traveled domestically. This is not because we lack the financial means; ten years ago, my spouse saved 150,000 yuan just for travel. My child’s family also encourages me to travel at their expense. I refuse.
Through Fa study, I know what I am here for. Regardless of how good the human world is, it is no comparison to heaven. Master suffers for his disciples and sentient beings, yet his disciples spend their life traveling. Just thinking about the idea makes me upset.
Of course, if practitioners use travel to validate the Fa and enlighten people, that is a different story. I cannot bear to waste the time extended by Master through tremendous suffering. The extended time is for his disciples to cultivate well and save sentient beings.
Also, the CCP tracks Dafa disciples’ ID cards, which creates a safety issue when the cards are connected to certain cell phone apps and the Internet. Persecution cases caused by such issues have been reported on Minghui.org. When practitioners are persecuted while traveling for fun, it is a huge loss. Wasting our limited financial resources on tourism while letting the evil CCP profit is not the right thing to do.
Resisting the Attachment to Food
In history, if someone could eat chicken, fish, or meat and sip some wine or smoke cigarettes, they were considered to be eating well. With the food options now readily available, many average Chinese people, including my spouse, have formed the habit of snacking whenever they want.
Cultivators must sever any attachment to tasty food. I did not have this attachment at all. I seldom eat snack food. Rather, I have no time to snack. I have stayed away from cigarettes, alcohol, and meat, and I have quit eating onions, ginger, and garlic.
I have three simple meals a day. If my spouse wants to eat something, I would buy it from outside. When our children visit, we go to a restaurant to have a meal and chat. Once we finish, we return to our own homes.
Resisting a Life of Luxury
I have not purchased new clothes or shoes for many years. I only wear out-of-style hand-me-downs from my children. I separate them into two categories: outside wear and at-home wear. I never use cosmetics. When I clean my face, I rinse it only with water and do not use soap. I have lived like this for over 20 years.
I never use the luxury skin products my children buy for me—I give them away. Yet my face is light and clean with hardly a wrinkle. Because I practice Dafa, which cultivates body and mind, I look younger than my actual age.
Most of the clothes and shoes passed on to me by my children are new, and some have never been worn. They update their housewares every two to three years. Most young people behave like that nowadays. Waste, to me, seems like a crime.
I ask my children to give me anything they do not want and have turned my home into a type of recycling center. I give these things to practitioners in tough financial situations and to peasant workers to whom I have clarified the truth.
My children often ask me to go with them to supermarkets and malls to buy things for me. I never accept their offers for the purpose of saving their money. I do not care for the fashions of the elderly or for modern style.
One of my children tricked me into going to a five-star hotel to enjoy its luxurious services. That hotel is very famous and offers everything for rich customers to enjoy. Even though I was a bystander, standing amid the extravagant consumption made me feel as if I were committing a crime. I've heard that some rich people or certain stars spend tens of thousands of yuan daily there. I used to wonder how they could spend that much money. The day I went to the hotel, I understood.
I refused to enjoy the hotel’s special services and instead lay on the couch to recite the Fa. I felt that reciting the Fa in such a dirty place was an insult to Dafa, so I stopped doing so and pretended to take a nap.
The child who had sent me there came to ask me out to eat. She regretted sending me there to “enjoy life” after she saw my body language. She said that she wouldn't send me to such a place again, which is what I wanted to hear.
Resisting the Temptation of Money
People have said, “In mainland China, except for the haze of pollution in the air, everything is about money.” Mainland Chinese have turned the desire for money into action: their minds are occupied with money, hoping to make a big fortune in one night without considering moral consequences.
I am able to resist money—it is one of the benefits I have experienced from practicing Falun Dafa.
Master has told us,
“Riches and glory cannot be taken with you to the next lifeFor whom do you busy yourself, fighting for fame and gain” (“How Many People Are Awakened” in Hong Yin IV)
“Those who are attached to money seek wealth and feign their cultivation. Undermining the practice and the Fa, they waste their lifetimes instead of cultivating Buddhahood.” (“Cultivators’ Avoidances” in Essentials For Further Advancement)
I had opportunities to earn money, but I gave them up. Because I am a cultivator, I don't want to change my valuable virtue into money; I need the virtue to turn into gong. Master already granted me enough money to live on, so I’d rather not waste my valuable time trying to earn more money.
Today's average Chinese person is cheap with others and generous with himself. If he manages to take advantage of others, he feels happy about it. I am the opposite. I treat myself frugally but treat others generously. I would help anyone with their difficulties.
In producing truth-clarification materials and table calendars, I can spend several thousand yuan or 10,000 yuan in one shot. When practitioners, relatives, or friends visit me, I warmly host them with the best I have.
While home alone, I eat only one bowl of leftover vegetable porridge to save time. I sometimes eat a bowl of instant noodles or flour soup, which satisfies me. This is because I know that Dafa cultivation can supplement what’s missing, so one does not need to do extra work to prepare more than that. I intend to cultivate selfishness into selflessness and turn myself into one who considers others first to achieve the standard of enlightened beings.
From the Fa’s principles, I have come to understand that human society operates by predestined relationships—everything is balanced by the principle of loss and gain. A practitioner must follow the course of nature. Average people cherish fortune, but we cherish predestined relationships in order to save more people. Dafa disciples' cultivation principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance should be followed in every aspect of our social lives and Fa-rectification cultivation.
Fellow practitioners, please point out anything improper that does not align with the Fa.