Freeing Myself from Sentimentality and Reinforcing the Path to Divinity
(Minghui.org) I grew up in a poor family in a village in Singapore and was the eldest of seven siblings. Though thin and short, I was still tasked with looking after my younger siblings and helping out with household chores at a very young age.
As I grew up, I naively dreamed of becoming a Bodhisattva who could fly around and save people from suffering and disasters. Every night before bed, I examined my behavior for that day to see if there were instances where I had any misconduct or caused harm to others. I felt that I could not hurt the feelings of others even if they hurt me.
Being sentimental, I suffered quite a lot. During my school years, I was often bullied and lonely. As I grew up and started a job, I was the only one willing to endure the willful and selfish behavior of coworkers.
Happy to Find Dafa
The wife of my father’s cousin came to Singapore from Hong Kong in May 1998 to teach my mom how to practice Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa). She informed me that Master Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, would be coming to Singapore in August, and he asked me to help my mom get tickets for the Fa Conference.
Master Li came to Singapore to give a lecture on August 22-23, 1998. I was fortunate to have had the chance to attend the conference, see Master in person, and become a Falun Dafa practitioner.
I hadn't read the Dafa books and knew nothing about the practice when I went to the Fa conference. But when I saw many people cry after seeing Master, I also cried. I don't know why, but I just felt very touched at that moment. Master is so great, tall, sacred and benevolent. My heart felt so happy and warm when I saw Master.
On the second day of the conference, I was lucky to be able to sit in the third row from the front. I was so close to Master, and he looked at me a few times. My heart thumped for a moment as though something had just exploded. I knew deeply that I had a lot of karma and that only Master could save me. I knew that I wanted to take the path of cultivation in Dafa and follow Master home.
I have now been practicing Dafa for 20 years. Thinking back to the conference in 1998, it felt as though Master had wanted to awaken the practitioners in Singapore so they could fulfill their prehistoric vows.
At the time, we needed to let more people know about Dafa so they could also have the chance to cultivate. When the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started the persecution of Dafa in July 1999, we needed to assist the practitioners in China and clarify the facts to the world about Dafa and the persecution. At the time, Master seemed to be telling us to wake up quickly.
After starting cultivation, whenever my body felt discomfort, I would soon recover after doing the Falun Gong exercises. The power of Dafa kept me steadfast in my belief. When I read Zhuan Falun for the first time, I started to cry and said in my heart, “I understand now. I know I will definitely continue on this path.”
Some friends asked me to join their religions, but none of what they said made any impact on me. Dafa is so good, but the old forces will not let anyone obtain it easily. They are eager to use unscrupulous ways to create tribulations for cultivators, to test whether one wants to continue learning such a precious practice.
On August 24, 1998, the day after I attended the Fa conference, my daughter suddenly contracted a virus and passed away at the age of 14. She was very adorable and cheerful, and her teachers and classmates liked her very much. As my daughter left abruptly, I was suddenly swept into a turmoil of agony, anxiety and fright. I was often afraid that another loved one might just leave me as well. At the time, I had just started to cultivate, and the sadness made me cry when I practiced the exercises or read the Dafa books. Life was so hard!
I was new to cultivation and did not understand Dafa at a deeper level. I kept trying to let go of the attachment to my daughter, and practitioners also encouraged me to let it go. However, I kept having mood swings and sometimes cried uncontrollably when I missed my daughter.
I was studying the Fa one day when a few words appeared very clearly in my mind, “I do not want your tears.” These words appeared in a flash, and when I tried to take a closer look at the book, I could not find such a phrase. I knew that I was letting Master down and shouldn't continue to behave this way.
“But people can’t see these things for what they are, and so they often can’t move beyond their affections. Some people are inconsolably grieved at the passing of a beloved child, or mother, and long for them for the rest of their lives. But it never occurs to them that these ordeals are meant to wear them down, and are intent on making their lives difficult.” (The Sixth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
I understood that the reason I was not able to overcome this tribulation was that I was stopping myself from doing so. I had a thought to turn this grief into a motivating force. I reminded myself that the Dafa practitioners persecuted in China faced a much worse situation than me, so what was my suffering in comparison to theirs?
There must be a reason for my daughter departing this earth, I thought. Since I had already attained the Fa, I should have the determination to cultivate all the way to the end. Following this realization, I no longer cried. However, it took me three years to totally get rid of this attachment.
Actually, my daughter also benefited from my cultivation of Dafa. My sister told me that she dreamed that my daughter told her that she had gone to a very good place. My son also had a dream about his sister. He said that she was dressed in ancient attire and that there were many people welcoming her.
Refined Through Tribulations
My son's behavior soon started going downhill, and he purposely did some bad things that made me disappointed with him. At times when I couldn't get over it in my heart, I told him, “Life is already very hard for me. What you are doing is just making things worse, making it harder for me! I am so tired that I might just break down soon!”
When my daughter passed away, my son was still in high school. They were very close and always supported each other. So my daughter’s departure was a huge blow to him and hurt him so much. As a young teenager, the death changed his view of the world, and he became very vulnerable. Under the unhealthy influence of modern society, I watched heartbreakingly as my son turned bad.
I felt really depressed, lost and helpless, but Master’s words often appeared in my mind:
“With Master and the Way by my side, what is there to fear?” (Fa-Teaching Given at the Conference in Sydney)
Master’s lectures kept encouraging me to face the tribulation and treat it as a stepping stone for my improvement in cultivation.
Since I have already obtained the Fa, I must continue on this path. With Master watching over me, I must continue on this path step by step. The old forces have made a lot of detailed arrangements, and every tribulation and test can be so overwhelming. This is to see if my heart wavers and if I can overcome them.
I kept observing my son’s behavior and trying to guide him along the way. I told him that we are all responsible for everything we do in this world, that we must cherish ourselves, be upright and choose a righteous path.
Every time I talked to my son, I tried to tell him some of the teachings from Zhuan Falun. As a practitioner, I must let go of sentimentality and be truly responsible to this sentient being through benevolence. However, it was still not so easy to put in to practice in my daily life.
“And so you will have problems in spiritual practice if you don’t manage to free yourself of it. Those who do, will be free of human sentiments and unflappable. In its place will arise compassion, something far more noble.” (The Fourth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
I kept reading Master’s lectures and reinforcing my righteous thoughts.
Sometime later, my son started to change and even apologized to me. He no longer does bad things and is willing to listen to me speak about being a good person. Through these ordeals over the years, I have gradually been able to let go of my attachment to sentimentality.
Freeing Myself from Sentimentality
There is a common saying that the family is a shelter from life’s storms. However, the family is the place where I experience all of life's storms.
In September 2011, I found out that my husband had an affair. It was really as Master said,
“Abundant troubles rain down together,All to see: Can you pull through?” (“Tempering the Will”, Hong Yin, Version A)
My heart was suddenly filled with mixed emotions of love, hatred, sentimentality, and vengeance. But amid the turmoil, I saw the attachment of fearing to lose face and feelings of inferiority, grievance, and vanity.
When things got tough, I studied the Fa. After repeatedly studying the Fa, I felt that Master was by my side and was the only one that I could depend on. Through my different lifetimes, I have created a lot of karma and Master is helping me to clear it away in this lifetime.
In the process of facing the problem with my husband, whenever my heart began to stir, I remembered that there was only one path, which is to let go of attachments and cultivate. There was no other choice.
As I wanted to give our children a complete family, I did not think of asking for a divorce, nor did I make a big fuss out of the issue. I continued to pass the days in peace, looking after the family, preparing all the meals, and fulfilling my duty as a wife. I also took my husband to watch Shen Yun Performing Arts.
“Emotion is a net: the more one struggles, the more it tightensFame and gain tie people up throughout their livesHurt so deeply amidst attachmentsWhat is man’s true yearning?Life isn’t meant for competing and vyingDivine ones are fending off danger and disasterThis life is to meet the Lord CreatorIt is what you’ve sought each rebirth and every lifetime”(“What’s Your Yearning?”,Hong Yin III)
I memorized this poem by Master and used it to reflect on myself repeatedly. I understand that the love for my children and my husband is really a web that gets tighter the more I struggle. I have learned to take things more lightly, face the ordeals and accept the problems until I am finally able to let go of the attachments.
None of the feelings of love, hatred, sentimentality, and vengeance will be able to be taken to higher realms. They can only be stumbling blocks that weigh me down and hinder my improvement on the path of cultivation.
I often compare my situation with that of the practitioners in China. If I had those tribulations, I would definitely not be able to overcome them. Compared to their tribulations, my problems are nothing.
There are bound to be storms in one’s life. I have Master watching over me as I pass through tests and tribulations. I must cultivate and overcome them. If not, I will have wasted my time on Earth and let Master down.
After cultivating for so many years, I no longer find life as hard as before, and my heart does not stir as easily now. Instead, I treat everything with a benevolent attitude. Sometimes when I walk on the crowded streets outside and look at the people passing by, I feel that they are controlled by their emotions and are having such a hard time because they can't escape from that control. Only cultivators can escape from it, so I feel very fortunate that I am able to become a Dafa practitioner.
I was talking to an Indian lady about Dafa one time when her eyes lit up with excitement. She said, “I have waited for this day–when the true God is finally here!” I felt happy and touched when I heard this, as I felt that all people are waiting for Dafa to be saved.
Having been through these twenty years of cultivation, I am extremely grateful to Master every day. I would not be here today if not for Master. Now, I truly feel that time is really tight, and I must cherish every moment to tell others about Falun Gong, honor my prehistoric vows, and follow Master home.
Thank you, Master!Thank you, fellow practitioners!