Plum Blossoms in Snow
(Minghui.org) I would like to talk about a few practitioners I know. Many of them find a balance between work and family life and make the most of their time to do the three things required of practitioners.
Whenever there is a problem, they are always thoughtful and look within for any wrongdoing on their part.
Even with this effort, however, some family members may be unsatisfied with them. Master said, ordinary people just “live for emotion” (The Sixth Talk, Zhuan Falun).
Emotion is based in selfishness, and during cultivation, we are to gradually let go of our attachments and step out of humanness.
When this happens, I believe we should first check ourselves to see whether how we behaved is based on the Fa, and think about why we are seeing this reaction.
I feel, however, that we need to be careful about being moved by or reciprocating ordinary people's feelings.
Master Li said,
“In this world a person merely goes about enjoying the course of life. I have said in the past that people are pitiable, for all that a person is doing in this world is merely enjoying the feelings and sensations that are brought to him by living the course of his life.” (“Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa - Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
Dafa disciples' homes are environments for them to cultivate away the many wrong notions that are common in today's society.
Many people in China can't tell whether some things are right or wrong. But if you want to meet the standard of a Dafa disciple, you have to be able to discern things based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance.
“You have gone against the strong tides of this world. But things aren’t simply what they seem, if you think about it. The entire cosmos is facing elimination, and everything has deteriorated. And yet you have managed to go against such tides! Anyone in this world who is able to have positive, virtuous thoughts is remarkable. Wouldn’t you agree? The merit of someone’s positive, virtuous thoughts is relative to the kind of social environment he is in and its moral baseline.” (“Teaching the Fa in Washington D.C. in 2018”)
I feel it has been hard for me to resist the temptation of the downward slide of morality in everyday life.
I remember when I just started practicing, Master said,
“The complex environment, in my view, is instead a good thing. The more complex it is, the greater the persons it will produce. If one can elevate oneself above and beyond it, one’s cultivation will be the most solid.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
Twenty-two years ago, I didn't realize how complex the environment was. I can clearly see how people do bad deeds without restraint and without being aware of it.
When we don't have these kinds of desires, we won't show any interest in delicious food or taking in beautiful scenery. On the contrary, we need to make the best use of our time to helping to save people.
I am close to a fellow practitioner who, a few years ago, had to take care of her one- year-old granddaughter and 80-year-old mother-in-law who was bedridden.
Under that circumstance, she got up at 3:00 a.m. After she cleaned her room, she started doing the exercises at 3:50 a.m.
When she finished her exercises and memorized the Fa for an hour, she started preparing the meal for her family and cleaned up. Then she brought her granddaughter along and rode her electric bike to the markets to tell people the truth about the persecution.
Whether it was a market in the city or in the country, as long as she could reach it, she would make good use of each minute.
It was very cold in winter, but she persevered. At noon each day, she needed to return to prepare a meal for the family.
While her mother-in-law was still alive, she took care of her and the granddaughter in the afternoon. She also studied three lectures of Zhuan Falun almost every day.
This practitioner said time was very tight. After dinner, she sent forth righteous thoughts each hour and studied Master's lectures from around the world.
She corrected her actions based on Dafa's principles and looked within whenever conflicts arose.
A few years ago, she was sent to a labor camp and was able to make it through severe mistreatment and many tribulations. When she returned, her weight was less than 70 lbs.
During that time, her husband had an affair, and her children didn't respect her. But she based her actions on the requirements for practitioners and showed them the beauty of Falun Dafa.
Under such difficult circumstances, practitioners like her look within and their minds are simple and pure.
One senior practitioner once told me, “I hope someone can point out my problems. I would like to listen to anyone who criticizes me, because sometimes, it's hard for me to find my own attachments.”
She was so sincere and I could feel her heartfelt desire to assimilate to Dafa. These practitioners are like plum blossoms, although they suffer through harsh conditions, they continue to blossom in the snow.
I want to conclude by sharing Master's poem Plum Blossom below:
(in Yuan verse)
In the chaotic world, like pure lotus flowers—plum blossoms, a hundred millionCold winds only accentuate their beautyThe interminable snowfall and rainare the tears of gods,Who look longingly for the plum blossoms’ returnNever, ever get preoccupied with worldly thingsSteel your righteous thoughtsFor all [that you have gone through] since ancient times,Was for none other than this time around.
(Hong Yin Vol. II)