[Celebrating World Falun Dafa Day] My Atheist Mother Begins Practicing Falun Dafa
(Minghui.org) My mother is now 63 years old. She was always domineering, bad- tempered and vain. She was good at manipulating relationships and going through the “back door” to get what she wanted. Unless it was related to her, she was indifferent.
I was 15 years old and attending junior high school when I first started practicing Falun Dafa in 1996. The principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance deeply resonated with me. In 1998 I first mentioned Falun Dafa and cultivation to her. I hoped she would consider practicing. I knew that practicing Falun Dafa would not only benefit her physically, but also help improve her temper. She was an atheist, however, and said that all qigong and spiritual practices were fake and the people who did them were possessed. She opposed my practice.
Because I had changed in such a positive way after I began practicing Falun Dafa, my neighbors, school teachers and classmates all thought very highly of me. So, she didn’t try to stop me.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched the persecution against Falun Dafa in July 1999. I went to Beijing to appeal in 2000. The police brought me home. People from the 610 Office and the local police phoned my mother’s company and demanded that her manager go with them while they ransacked our home. This embarrassed and humiliated her. She wasn’t happy with my doing the practice at the beginning; now she was furious.
After being placed in a detention center for 15 days, I was released home. When I came home she was hysterical and told me that if I continued practicing, she would disown me. She didn't want to hear anything about Dafa. One word and she started yelling. She was convinced that I was deeply “poisoned”.
In order to “help” me, she cooperated with the people from the 610 Office and the community center. She tricked me into going to a brainwashing center which was set up by the forced labor camp. She also believed all the CCP's lies and even told a reporter how her son became stupid after practicing. She even burned my Dafa books when I wasn’t around. Desperate to make me stop practicing she threatened to kill herself.
I felt very sad. Even though we were mother and child there was no trust, comfort or encouragement in our relationship. Instead, she continued to escalate the pressure against me. I was very worried about her because I knew that everything she did against Dafa was a great sin.
I was able to clarify the facts to other people and talk to them peacefully and rationally, and gradually correct their misunderstanding about Falun Dafa and practitioners. As to my mother, I had no idea how to help her. As soon as I started talking, she started cursing at me.
Since she felt that I made her completely lose face, she looked down on me. She felt that I was one of those “stupid” people referred to by the CCP. For eight years, our communication was almost non-existent.
I lacked confidence back then. I didn’t know how to open up her heart. I knew that Falun Dafa was right, whereas the CCP lied and deceived my mother.
Cancer Makes My Mother Wake Up to the Truth
My mother’s abdomen began hurting one night in April 2008. She went to the hospital for an examination but was only prescribed some pain medication. In early September, she felt she was getting worse. After a comprehensive examination was done, she was diagnosed with uterine cancer. The three following chemotherapy treatments were futile, and the cancer cells had been spread to her lungs as well as other areas in her body. After her doctor told us, I saw my strong mother hiding in a room, weeping.
The chemotherapy treatments exhausted her and were very painful. Her hair fell out. Her weak body needed nutrition, yet no matter what she ate, she immediately vomited. Eating became a slow, drawn-out process and could go on for a few hours. She couldn’t sit or walk. After every treatment, I had to carry her upstairs to the seventh floor. There were no elevators in our building. I had to be extremely careful, as her bones ached.
In pain and desperate, the only hope her doctor offered was a medication that was still in the testing stage and had extremely strong side effects. Her doctor thought that if the medication didn’t work, there was no hope for her. Because this medication would lead to more side effects compared to what she had taken before, the patient and their family had to sign an agreement that we’d assume responsibility for the consequences.
When I asked her whether she wanted to do this, she didn’t say anything, but only nodded her head slightly. I understood that she was indicating she wanted to live. She had also reached the end of her rope. My pain was: I knew that Dafa could save her, but she wouldn’t allow me to talk about it.
After we signed the paperwork, she had one week before beginning the new treatment, so we took the bus home. On our way I thought about how to talk to her about Falun Dafa. The effect the new treatment might have on her was hard to predict, especially when she was already very weak.
As a practitioner, I'd met so many people whose cancer was resolved after they began practicing Falun Dafa. I needed a good talking point. I knew she was desperate to live. I kept begging Master Li for inspiration. I hoped that he would help my mother calm down and listen to what I had to say.
I helped her sit on the couch. She hadn’t eaten anything yet, so I made 10 dumplings but she only had one and a half. After a little while, she felt like vomiting, so I helped her go to the washroom, then I took her back to the couch.
I quietly sat beside her, and said, “Mom, I really want to talk with you.” She immediately replied, “You don't want to talk about your Falun Dafa stuff, do you? I won’t listen.”
I said from the bottom of my heart, “I am your son. Watching you suffering so much, I'm suffering as well! I hope you'll get better. You heard what the doctor said. I saw you crying because you feel your situation is hopeless. Now, your son wants to tell you a way to survive, why don’t you want to give it a try?”
She knew I tirelessly took care of her. She was a bit moved, then said, “Sure.”
This was the first time I had such a lengthy conversation with her after I started practicing. I started by telling her what I witnessed - how many people had their illnesses resolved. Then, I talked about the staged “self-immolation” incident, and how Dafa is practiced all over the world. I also talked about the Fa principles. We talked for over an hour and I felt that she was beginning to be receptive to Dafa.
I had her watch a 2008 Shen Yun DVD. After she finished watching, she almost instantly felt hungry. I warmed up the remaining eight and a half dumplings. She finished them all, then she went to bed and slept. This was the first time I saw her sleeping so soundly in these six weeks. She later finished a small bowl of rice without feeling like vomiting. She even said, “This is truly miraculous!”
Master’s Immense Grace Resolves Mom's Cancer
I firmly believed that only Dafa could save her. Although her attitude towards Dafa improved, could she change all her notions? She was so much against Dafa and committed so many wrongdoings. She never believed in Buddhas or Daos, so she was reluctant to learn the exercises.
When it was time for another chemotherapy treatment I prepared an MP3 player and downloaded the recordings of Master’s lectures in Guangzhou. When I handed it to her I said, “You’re going through chemotherapy this afternoon. When you're in pain, listening to this will help.” She took it from me, but I wasn’t sure if she'd listen.
As soon as I got off work, I went to the hospital to see her. It was 5 p.m., and her chemotherapy treatment should be just over. As soon as I came into her ward, I saw her sitting on the bed and listening to the MP3 player. When she saw me she was excited. She took out the earbuds, and kept saying, “It’s truly amazing! I'll learn the exercises from you, for sure!” I was surprised and asked what caused the change.
She told me, “It took about 15 minutes for the chemotherapy treatment, then my whole body including my bones began to ache. When I couldn’t endure it, I remembered the MP3 player you gave me. While I listened, the pain immediately stopped. The more I listened the more it made sense to me. Plus I didn’t feel any pain. This is so incredible! Miraculous!”
I was moved to tears. I know for a fact that my mother never believed in anything that didn't serve her self-interest. The reason why she looked at Dafa from the standpoint of the CCP was not only her vanity and the pressure she was under but her pursuit of power, which aligned with the self-serving nature of the CCP. Master is truly merciful for not giving up on anyone. In an instant, my mother changed her notions. Master removed all her pain, even though this treatment was even more poisonous than before.
During the next five days of chemotherapy, her behavior was completely different than before. She was not like a patient at all. The day she began listening to Master’s recordings, her appetite returned. After the chemotherapy treatment was done, our relative would bring her meals. She sat on the bed and ate everything. She was also very energetic. Soon, instead of having our relatives bring meals, she went with me to restaurants near the in-patient building to eat. Before, she couldn’t even walk.
She had to endure four more chemotherapy sessions with a two-week break in between. She came home to study the Fa and do the exercises with me. She just kept getting better and better. One time when she sat right across from me and I looked at her, in that instant, I suddenly felt that this was her true self - a kind person.
Master had been compassionately taking care of her. During the first three sessions, she didn’t feel any pain. I was surprised, wondering where the poisonous stuff went. Her doctor came to see her. Seeing that she was doing very well, he was in shock, “This is a miracle! I've treated so many patients, no one is like you! You didn’t even need the supplement for leukocyte. You don't look like a patient!”
His words reminded her that she was a practitioner, so she decided to drop the fourth treatment and she came home. She finally began to be firm in practicing Falun Dafa. When she returned to the hospital for another examination she was completely fine. All her cancer cells were gone.
Her amazing experience also changed many of our relatives' notions about Falun Dafa since they witnessed what happened to her. She also reflected on this: After being treated with poisonous medication for three hours every day, why did the pain stop as soon as she started listening to Master’s recordings? I told her it was because Falun Dafa is the Buddha Fa and that Buddhas, Daos, and gods truly exist.
I have told my mother’s story to my family and friends. During the 28 years of Dafa's being spread throughout the world, there have been many stories like hers, her experience is just one.
People are inclined to believe what they see. Just as my mother said later, if it wasn't for her personal experience, she would never have believed that Falun Dafa was so extraordinary.
My mother has practiced Falun Dafa for 12 years. Her bad temper is gone, and she looks inward whenever there's any tension or conflict. She has continuously studied the Fa and does the exercises every day.
During this global pandemic and all kinds of calamities, I hope that for people who only believe what they see like my mother, please change your notions so that the power of Dafa can also manifest in you.