Cultivating to Be a Good Person
(Minghui.org) I began to practice Falun Dafa, also called Falun Gong, in 1998. For the past 20 years, I experienced the protection of Master, my body was purified, and I improved my xinxing. Now, I think of others first when doing anything and follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance to be a good person.
Master Teaches Me to Read
My father was a teacher. When the “Cultural Revolution” started, I was in first grade. My father was the school principal and was criticized daily, so I was scolded and beaten at school almost every day and was called the “small stinking intellectual.” I had to leave school after I just started second grade and never went back.
When I attained Dafa, I got the precious book Zhuan Falun and wanted to study it. However, since I didn’t know many characters due to my limited education, I often got stuck on unknown words and was unable to continue reading. I would ask my children or my husband for help if they were at home but if no one was at home, I would take half a day to read less than one page. However, I knew I must study the Fa no matter how hard it was, because one must study the Fa to cultivate in Dafa.
Master knew my sincerity and helped me. One day when I encountered words that I didn’t know and became anxious, I suddenly heard someone teaching me how to read the words. I shed tears of excitement. Since then, whenever I read Zhuan Falun, someone teaches me to read the words. As a person with only two years of education, I was able to read Zhuan Falun and Master’s other articles. Isn’t this a miracle?
In order to calmly study the Fa, I handcopied Zhuan Falun twice. I have since memorized and can recite Zhuan Falun. Reciting and copying Zhuan Falun improved my understanding of the Fa as well as my xinxing, and laid a firm foundation to cultivate Dafa solidly.
Thinking of Others First
Once I started to cultivate, I gradually understood that Falun Gong is not just to cure illnesses and to keep fit, but it is a cultivation practice. Master said in Zhuan Falun:
“Think about it, everyone: What matter is it to teach qigong toward high levels? Isn’t this offering salvation to humankind? Offering salvation to humankind means that you will be truly practicing cultivation, and not just healing illness and keeping fit. Accordingly, genuine cultivation practice has a higher xinxing requirement for practitioners.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)
At the time I attained the Fa, I worked in retail. I kept in mind Master’s teaching, and would not hurt others for personal interest. I tried my best to “...trade fairly and maintain a righteous mind.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun) My performance was not affected but constantly improved. I knew it was Master who encouraged me.
Once when I went to a bank to deposit money, I accidentally picked up a cash order sheet of 60,000 yuan. I returned it to the bank. When I came back to my work unit and mentioned it to others, my deputy manager joked, “Why did you take it back? We could have distributed the money among us.” I said, “It’s not our money. We should not take it, otherwise the person who lost it would be miserable.” My colleagues thought that I was a fool. I said I was a Dafa practitioner.
Once when I was working, I found a big bag on the counter. I checked the bag and there was about 200,000-300,000 yuan in it. I waited from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and finally the owner showed up. The owner was very grateful and said that if he had not personally encountered it, he would never believe such a good person still existed in this world.
Recently, after I purchased some things for my small stationery store, I didn’t pay attention during checkout. After I started to check the goods and sort the money, I found that the seller had given me too much money back. It was between 8 and 9 in the evening. I asked my daughter to drive me to the store to return the extra money. The store owners thanked me and said it was hard to believe there was still a good person like me. I told them I was a Falun Dafa practitioner, and that our Master taught us how to be a good person. More than 10 people agreed to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its youth organizations as a result of this incident.
For more than 20 years, I have followed the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and tried to be a good person. However, I am far from the selflessness and altruism that I feel Master requires.
Getting Rid of Sentimentality, Resentment, and Attachment to Personal Interests
My son has been married for eight years. Several years ago, his father-in-law’s business went bankrupt and he had to sell his house to pay the debt. For eight years, my daughter-in-law gave all the money they earned to her parents. I complained that my son was not in charge at home, and my daughter-in-law didn’t know how to manage money.
The conflict intensified last winter. Her parents borrowed money from the bank using my husband’s credit without his consent. We learned about it when we got a call from the bank to ask for the loan repayment. My husband, not a practitioner yet, was very angry and was going to take it up with the in-laws. Although I was angry as well, I thought of Master’s words:
“Upon running into this conflict, we should, first of all, keep a cool head, and we should not behave the same as that person.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
I told my husband that Master said,
“We say that when you take a step back in a conflict, you will find the seas and the skies boundless, and it will certainly be another situation.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun).
Master’s Fa calmed him down.
However, although I restrained myself on the surface, I still harbored hatred in my mind. I knew it was not true tolerance, and my xinxing needed to improve based on the Fa principles; otherwise, the conflict would not be resolved. Since I was the only one in my family who practiced Dafa at the time, the conflict must have been targeting me. I studied and recited the Fa and kept looking inward, searching deeper and deeper inside. I wanted to find the fundamental reason and eliminate it.
I realized that the conflict between me and my daughter-in-law was caused by my resentment. It was wrong and should be eliminated. Master said:
“Whether a person likes to do something or not, is happy or unhappy, loves or hates something, and everything in the entire human society comes from this sentimentality.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
Resentment is connected to sentimentality. I thought, “If my daughter-in-law didn’t give the money to her parents, would I hate her? It seems that the issue of money is the fuse and the root of my self interest. In the past, I picked up large amounts of money and returned it to the owner without any hesitation. Why did I feel upset when my daughter-in-law gave money to her parents?”
I looked within and discovered two attachments. First, out of sentimentality, I had a tendency to interfere with my son’s life and control his life and that of my grandchildren. Secondly, I still was beholden to personal interests.
“A practitioner should follow the course of nature. If something is yours, you will not lose it. If something is not yours, you will not have it even if you fight for it.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)
What Master talks about, in my understanding, is that one should follow the course of nature and not be beholden to personal interests. For me, if it is not mine I can ignore it. However, if I think it is mine, I don’t want to lose it. It is an attachment to self interest and behind it is selfishness.
At the same time, I gained a deeper understanding of Master’s teaching on karmic retribution. Master said:
“It is said in Buddhism that one lives because of karmic retribution. If you owe someone something, he will find you for the repayment. If he gets too much repayment, he will have to return the surplus to you the next time around. If a son disrespects his parents, they will trade places in the next life. This is how it cycles on and on.” (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)
Finding my fundamental attachments, I gained a better understanding of this Fa principle. I felt delighted and could relax physically and mentally.
Just before the Chinese New Year, my daughter-in-law asked whether her parents could stay in one of our apartments. I agreed without any hesitation. During the Chinese New Year, my daughter-in-law, who was not a practitioner at that time, brought me a list of names of everyone in her whole family who'd agreed to withdraw from the CCP and its youth organizations. My daughter-in-law has started to practice Dafa as well.
Recovery from Cancer
My mother was diagnosed with cancer in September 1998. At that time, I was already practicing Dafa and I knew that Master was able to save her. I went to see my mother in the hospital every day, and played Master’s lecture tapes for her. I often told her that only Master and Dafa could help her recover.
Later, the doctor recommended chemotherapy and the family agreed. My mother said, “I follow Master Li only, not anyone else.” She left the hospital and refused to take any medicine. Because she was illiterate, she just listened to Master Li’s lecture tapes, or watched the lecture videos every day. She recovered from her cancer.
My mother and a fellow practitioner lived in the same residence compound. Once, police from the 610 Office showed up to harass the fellow practitioner. My mother questioned the police: “What are you doing here? You don't allow people to be good people, do you?” The police left and didn’t come back.
This year my mother is 85 years old. She is not only healthy, but also very energetic.