[Celebrating World Falun Dafa Day] A Tailor's Way of Running Her Business
(Minghui.org) I began working as a tailor in 2010. Some people regard their work as just a way to make a living. However, I see my work as a great opportunity to cultivate my xinxing, save people, and fulfill my mission as a Falun Dafa practitioner.
Feeling Inspired to Practice Cultivation
A neighbor introduced Falun Dafa to my mom in 1996. Soon after beginning cultivation practice all her illnesses went away. Seeing the transformation in her, my family members were amazed. We all supported mom. She was illiterate, so she often asked us to teach her words and read the Fa to her. I read principles in the book Zhuan Falun that taught people to be good and practice kindness. I thought, “This was well said! I also want to practice when I have time.”
I visited my mother one day in 1998 and told her that I also wanted to cultivate Dafa and learn the exercises. She gave me a copy of Zhuan Falun Fajie - The Law of Zhuan Falun Explained. I read the book in a day and finished with tears in my eyes. I knew that this was for cultivating the Dao. I realized that I had been pursuing fame and self-interest and didn't really understand the meaning of life. I felt that I had wasted many years, so I decided to practice Falun Dafa right away.
Making a Career Change and Becoming a Tailor
I was immersed in Dafa and felt so fortunate. However, in July 1999, former Chinese President Jiang Zemin launched a persecution against the practice. In 2000 I lost my job because I had been to Beijing to peacefully protest in support of Falun Dafa. So I had to take on some low-paid factory work and do a lot of overtime. Later, because I was illegally taken to a forced labor camp and lost my job again, my family encountered great financial difficulties.
My sister encouraged me to be a tailor and open a shop in the marketplace. I was a bit hesitant since I knew very little about this type of work. I did some tailoring courses when I was 18, but that was more than 20 years ago and I forgot so much of what I learned. My sister reminded me that we have Master to help us so I mustered up enough courage to start the tailoring job.
As a tailor, one doesn’t just make clothes but also needs to know how to design them. I bought some design books and began to learn as I went along. Master opened up my wisdom, so I could easily figure out new designs.
People who knew my background were very surprised at the quality of the work I produced. They said: “How did you know how to do this? When did you learn it? “You are amazing!” Over a few years, I did better and better and now have many repeat customers. My financial situation has also turned around. Now I own a car, and bought a house for my son. When my relatives and friends saw the changes, they began to acknowledge my cultivation and Falun Dafa.
In my work as a tailor, I have also encountered many xinxing tests. However, under the guidance of Dafa principles, I have made cultivation breakthroughs one by one. I'd like to share some of my cultivation experiences.
My Righteous Actions Moved a Fabric Store Owner
When it comes to making clothes, one has to worry about purchasing good fabric. During this process, I have encountered a few xinxing tests. The first time I purchased silk, the fabric store owner shortchanged me. The second time I realized that he forgot to charge me for two pieces of fabric in a bulk order. Recently I bought some items worth more than 1,000 yuan, yet he only charged me just over 100 yuan.
In today's society, where everyone pursues material benefits and self-interest, many people will not admit it when they gain due to an error. However, Dafa has changed me. Master has explained to us the principle of “no loss, no gain”. As a practitioner, I would not want to take anything that didn’t belong to me, so I paid back what I owed.
After I did it repeatedly, the fabric store owner was very touched and said, “I have never come across this kind of thing before. It has always been people coming after me for more money!”
I replied, “It’s normal to pay for what one gets, I think that's just normal behavior.”
He was touched and began to praise me in his social group. I told him, “I am a Falun Dafa practitioner, I cultivate Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. I would not take anything that doesn't belong to me. This is a basic part of being human.”
I have been using Dafa principles to measure everything. Therefore, when purchasing stock I never haggled. If I couldn't afford the price, I'd find another supplier with more affordable pricing. Through reading sharing articles from fellow practitioners, I came to realize that haggling was an attachment to self-interest.
When it came to payments, in the industry nobody bothers covering the change and just pays in round figures. However, I never do that. I always give the exact amount I owe. Seeing I was serious about this, the fabric store owner said: “Forget about it. Nobody worries about the change, so you don’t need to.”
I told him, “I am different from them. I practice Falun Dafa. I must be strict with myself, as opposed to copying others.”
My righteous actions moved the owner. He told others from the bottom of his heart: “She practices Dafa. She is so upright, always consistent with her words and actions.” All his family members quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations.
Improving My Xinxing to Get Over Tribulations with Success
As a tailor, one runs into all kinds of people and encounters all kinds of complaints. Customers may complain that prices are too high, a dress doesn't look stylish enough, or the clothes don't fit right.
I clearly remembered what Master said in Zhuan Falun: “Nothing is truly unbearable or impossible.” (The Ninth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
When it comes to tempering my xinxing, I have been treating myself as a practitioner. I let customers choose their styles and listen to their complaints attentively. If things still do not work out, I offer to refund their money.
One time, an elderly lady came to me. Without saying a word, she tossed a plastic bag of clothes at me. I made a blouse for her daughter and when the elderly lady took it home to wash, the two decorative diamonds on the collar disappeared.
I realized that this elderly lady came to help me improve my xinxing and I knew I must pass this test well. I said to her with a smile,“This collar I bought was a finished product. When your daughter came, I warned her that the two decorative diamonds would easily fall off and suggested she fasten them on tighter if she planned on washing the blouse in a machine. It seems to me that she didn't do that before putting it into a washer. But it's not a big deal. Please don't get upset. I can suggest two ways to take care of this problem. One is to put a new collar on the blouse for you and the other is to put on two new diamonds. Which do you prefer?”
After hearing me, the elderly lady improved her attitude, slowed her speech and lowered her voice. She said, “So sorry, my daughter never mentioned this to me. I just went ahead and threw it in the washing machine, then the diamonds were gone.” On this occasion I averted a potential problem by conducting myself according to Fa principles.
Another time, a young lady in her 30s came to pick up her clothes. After she tried on the garment, she grabbed it in her hands and was ready to leave. I said, “Miss, sorry but you haven't paid me yet.”
“Sure I did,” she replied sternly, “How much money do you have in your cash drawer?” I replied that the money in my drawer did not include money from her. Then she just took off! I was stunned. I thought about what Master said:
“But when a person comes to this world, it is karmic arrangements that determine his course of life and what will be gained and lost in it.” (“Towards Consummation”, Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I realized that nothing was accidental. I must have owed her from before and now she had come to find me for repayment. After thinking about that, I gave up on the idea of going after my money. Several bystanders kept criticizing me for letting her take away the clothes without paying.
To be honest, there have not been that many conflicts like this but certain things tugged at my heart. When customers were critical of the clothes I made for them I took the opportunity to eliminate my attachments to saving face and self-interest.
A bystander once saw a situation where a customer was not pleased with my work and said,“You are so nice! I'd be mad if I were you!”
I found that this was the perfect opportunity to validate Dafa, and I replied, “I was very ill-tempered before, I'd easily let go of my temper if I was not happy. It was Falun Dafa that changed me gradually. It's just like climbing up stairs, one cannot reach all the way to the top floor in one shot, but gradually one will get there. If you recite ‘Falun Dafa is wonderful! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is wonderful’, you will benefit as well.”
That's how I managed to position myself well, constantly improve my xinxing, and use my actions to demonstrate the beauty of Dafa.
Another issue that happened was to do with receiving down payments from customers who ordered clothing. In the beginning, I'd collect down payments just like other tailors do. However, after a while, I realized that some people didn't come to claim their clothes even though they'd made a down payment.
Master taught us to look inward when running into a conflict so I was always wondering why they didn't come to pick up their orders. I began to carefully examine myself. Was it because I still had a strong attachment to self-interest, and didn't put clarifying the facts to customers as my main concern? I decided to stop taking down payments from then on. After that, every customer returned for their orders!
Clarifying the Facts at the Market in an Upright Manner
Being a tailor can be quite a busy job. I found that I could not spend as much time as before on clarifying the facts of Falun Dafa and saving people. Therefore, I took the opportunity while doing measurements for customers to talk about how Falun Dafa has spread to more than 100 countries. Sometimes I'd use my parents as an example, to illustrate the amazing effects of Dafa on healing illness and keeping fit.
After a while, I began to give out truth-clarification brochures at work. At the beginning, I was a bit nervous but I corrected my mindset. I also corrected the way that I passed out the brochures to people from using one hand to politely holding them in both hands.
Later on, I managed to gradually eliminate my attachment to fear. I set up a table by my fabric stand where I displayed copies of truth-clarification brochures, Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, and How The Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World. Customers could help themselves and choose whatever they wanted to read.
In the beginning, I was a bit afraid and had my fabrics covering half of the truth-clarification materials. As soon as I realized this, I used my entire table to display materials. When my mindset changed, more people came to get materials. Some came once in a while to look for new materials and others told me that they passed the information on to other people.
Now when I come to the market I always have one thought in mind: I do not come just to make money but also to assist Master to rectify the Fa and save people.
Empowered by Master, I come across people willing to quit the CCP every day. Whether these people have never joined the CCP or have already quit the CCP, I always asked them to recite, “Falun Dafa is wonderful! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is wonderful!”
At my marketplace stand, I began to play Pudu music and podcasts on divinely-inspired culture. People felt the power of compassion from them. A young vendor commented excitedly that it was divine music. Some customers liked to hear the stories of divinely-inspired culture.
These past few years as a tailor have provided me with many opportunities to perform solid cultivation. I also came to realize that one can be a good person and validate Dafa anywhere and anytime. In our work and life, as well as our interactions with others, as long as we conduct ourselves according to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, we will receive the best outcomes.