Being a Good Person in My Daily Life
(Minghui.org) I am 77 years old and started practicing Falun Gong before July 20, 1999. Prior to taking up the practice, I wandered from place to place and made a living as a fortune-teller and physiognomist.
I'd like to share some of my experiences in the course of cultivating. In my daily life, I strive to be a good person by following Dafa's principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and constantly remind myself that I am a practitioner and should improve my xinxing in social interactions.
Practicing Only One Cultivation Way
As soon as I started practicing Falun Dafa my first challenge was to practice only one cultivation way, so I decided to stop my fortune-telling business and become a street vendor.
Getting things started was difficult. I didn't have any money to start the street vending business, so other practitioners lent me some money. I had no experience in retail at all. As a fortune-teller, I could easily make several dozen yuan from each session, but as a street vendor, I made less than that in an entire week.
In addition, I can't have a fixed location for street vending, as the city government often doesn't allow people to sell on the street. In the beginning, I could hardly make ends meet. I lost a lot of weight in a short period of time because I couldn't afford to buy much food. Even so, I did not let it get my spirits down or give up.
One day, a group of people paid me with a hundred-yuan bill. As soon as I gave them the change, they ran away. I became suspicious and took out the bill for a closer look— It was counterfeit! I was so sad that I almost burst into tears. How was I supposed to make a living?
I told myself, “No matter how hard the path is, I have decided to follow it. I am a practitioner and must conduct myself following Dafa's standard.”
“... one must suffer the toughest hardships of all.”
“Actually, I think it depends on the person as to whether it is difficult or not. For an everyday person who does not want to practice cultivation, he will find cultivation practice simply too difficult, inconceivable, or impossible. As an everyday person, he does not want to practice cultivation and will find it very difficult.” (Zhuan Falun)
Under Master Li's (the founder) merciful protection, I have gradually learned how to make sales in retail. Now I have money enough saved to last me a few days when the city policy doesn’t allow street vending.
I have not done any fortune-telling since I started practicing Dafa. Even though I became very poor and live in a tiny rental room, I do not feel miserable. Instead, I'm very happy because I have an omnipotent Master who is watching over me at every moment.
Taking Personal Gain Lightly
A couple of years ago, my landlord came to collect the electricity fee and said that I owed him 500 yuan. I questioned him, “Is there anything wrong with the meter? Normally mine is less than 100 yuan a year.”
He became upset and said, “I'm just taking whatever amount the meter reads.”
I thought that if I went on like this there would definitely be an argument. I'm a practitioner and must be forgiving. This couldn't be by accident.
“... you will not be informed of a tribulation or conflict ahead of time. How can you practice cultivation if you are told everything? It will not serve any use. They usually occur unexpectedly so that they can test one’s xinxing and make one’s xinxing truly improve. Only then can it be seen whether one can maintain one’s xinxing. Therefore, when a conflict arises, it does not occur accidentally.” (Zhuan Falun)
I thought: If it is not an accident, then there must be a reason for it. Perhaps I owed him something in my previous life. Then, it's a good thing that this happened. So I handed him the money immediately.
His relative, also a tenant, was there too. The relative told me, “That can't be right. Ask him for a new meter.” The landlord did get me a new meter later on, and at the end of the year, it was less than 100 yuan.
The tenant said, “You're too kind. You should ask him to pay you back.”
“Let it be,” I replied. “Perhaps I owed him something in a previous life.”
When the landlord came to collect the electricity expenses again, he looked very embarrassed and said, “I collected more than I should from you the other year. I will give you a hundred yuan credit next time.”
Guided by Dafa's principles, the issue was resolved amicably. If I didn't practice Dafa, I would never have handled it this way. When I was wandering from place to place, I weathered many storms and feared nothing when it came to protecting myself.
Not Fighting Back When Being Beaten or Sworn at
One day last year, a former customer approached me, cursing. When I asked him what was wrong, he said that he had bought a pair of scissors from me a long time ago and now he wanted his money back, because the scissors did not cut his nails properly. I said, “They're not for cutting your nails.”
All the same time, I took out five yuan and gave it to him. He took the money and walked away, still cursing. I didn't say anything.
The man returned a few days later and pushed me down, still cursing. Someone helped me up, but there was a big bruise on my leg from the fall.
Several onlookers advised me to stay quiet and let him finish cursing. Others advised me to report him to the police, and some suggested that I have him take me to the hospital.
I didn't say anything. He circled around my booth holding a pair of scissors, cursing that my goods were counterfeit, and that no one should buy anything from me. Seeing no one responding, he threw the scissors on the ground and stormed off in a rage.
“In cultivation practice, there may be two scenarios when dealing with specific conflicts or when others treat you badly. One is that you might have treated this person badly in your previous life. You feel in your heart that it is unfair, ‘How can this person treat me like this?’ Then why did you treat this person that way in the past? You might claim that you actually did not know it at that time, and this life has nothing to do with the other life. That does not work. There is another issue. In conflicts, the issue of transforming karma is involved. Therefore, in dealing with specific conflicts we should be forgiving instead of acting like ordinary people.” (Zhuan Falun)
I was thinking, “He is treating me like this perhaps because I treated him badly in my previous life. If I owe him a debt, of course I need to pay him back.”
Our benevolent Master once again helped me resolve an unsettled debt from a karmic relationship.
If I hadn't practiced Dafa, I would not have understood the principles and would have immediately fought back because that is what everyday people do.