The Cost of Intentionally Forcing Things
(Minghui.org) There are two events that have impacted me deeply, and I would like to share the lessons I learned from them.
Lesson One: Uncovering the Root of the Problem 20 Years Later
Before the persecution began, a fellow practitioner named Ming (pseudonym) made a living by hauling his cart full of goods like steel or apples from out-of-town and then selling them at a slightly higher price.
This was not easy money. One time, he told me he didn’t have enough capital and wanted to borrow 10,000 yuan to continue his business.
I lent it to him without hesitation. Soon afterward, he told me that he had lost more money and asked for another 10,000 yuan.
This happened not just once or twice but numerous times, with the same excuse every time. I realized that something was wrong when he owed me 110,000 yuan.
I finally refused to lend him any more. I didn’t understand why he kept losing money and discussed the problem with him, but we couldn’t come to a sound conclusion.
His business had been successful in the past, so why was he suddenly amassing so much debt? I searched within myself and wondered, “Is this related to my attachment to gain and loss or to having sentiment for fellow practitioners?”
Other practitioners tried to help me find the reason, but we couldn’t pinpoint the main issue. Every time I saw Ming, he always seemed anxious.
I tried to comfort him, “No rush. You don’t have to repay me immediately.” At the time, I thought that maybe he was not destined to make a lot of money. After the persecution began, I didn’t see him for a long time.
Sometimes I would think of him. I heard that his wife made meals from leftover vegetables from the markets, and his son wore ragged clothes to school.
The 110,000 yuan that he owed me was a massive amount for him at that time. If I’d pressured him to repay me, he would not have been able to even if he sold all his belongings. He was a very diligent practitioner, and I felt I didn’t want to bother him with such a matter.
I remembered what Master Li said:
“Even if the debt is owed to a Dafa disciple, that's still unacceptable. Of course, when some students say, "I don't want it back. It's a gift to you," that is a different matter.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. International Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. VII)
Last fall, after 20 years, I saw Ming again. He hadn’t aged much.
I said, “Why don’t we discuss why your business was so unsuccessful for so long? And what the attachment might be?”
After a pause, he replied, “I didn’t borrow the money for myself. I wanted to invest the money to help Lin. He owed money but couldn’t repay it. His wife wanted to divorce him, and I couldn’t stand on the sidelines and do nothing.”
I realized that this was the root cause of the problem. As a cultivator, Ming had a very strong attachment to sentiment and intentional pursuit.
I knew Ming had a good relationship with Lin, but I wasn’t aware that he was borrowing money to help him. I made it clear, “If I knew this was the case, I would not have lent you the money.”
Master Li said:
“That's because human beings all have debts to pay off that are owed over here and owed over there, and everybody has suffering they have to go through, and it's precisely during such difficulties that you show whether you can cultivate.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. V)
I later heard that Lin got divorced and passed away from sickness karma. Ming borrowed money to help save Lin, but by doing so, he was trying to pay back Lin’s karma.
Suddenly, I understood that I, too, was not conforming to the state of ordinary society every time I lent money to Ming. Would I have lent that much money to him if we were just regular friends?
I’m glad I stopped before the old forces came at me. Cultivation is very serious! One will pay the price if one is not careful. Practitioners cannot intentionally force things.
Lesson Two: My Effort to Help a Practitioner Ends up Causing Harm
Practitioner Shan is one of my employees. He is very honest and works hard. The government demolished his house and gave him 1 million yuan as compensation. He used that money to make a down payment on a new house and saved some for his child.
With 400,000 yuan left, I reminded him, “You should save up and not spend everything all at once. There are a lot of things you will need it for.”
He agreed, “I am not going to spend this money any time soon, so just ask me if you need help with anything.” He trusted me.
I remembered one of my relatives who made a lot of money from online investment portfolios. He told me about a company that was going to issue their IPO and “should be lucrative.”
I told Shan, “Lend me 50,000 yuan, and I’ll manage it. If we lose money, you don’t lose anything, but if we make money, it will all be yours.”
He immediately transferred the money to me. After several months, I felt uneasy about the investment. Wasn’t this reaping without sowing? I called my relative and asked to withdraw the investment.
My relative wired the money back to me, 50,000 yuan of the original investment, plus 20,000 yuan in earnings. I gave everything to Shan. He wanted to give me 10,000 yuan. I said, “It’s all yours.” And I reminded him, “This was not a good idea. I don’t think it is righteous.”
He promised me, “Rest assured, I do not know anything about these things.”
Six months later, Shan came to me with a heavy heart, saying, “I have lost 300,000 yuan.” I was surprised and asked him what happened.
After I gave him back his investment plus the earnings, he was moved and did his own research online. He found numerous ways to invest, and the potential earnings were really tempting. He signed a contract with three different companies and wired his money to them. He didn’t make any money, and they ended up violating the contracts.
By the time he found out, it was too late. He had lost all his savings.
I regretted telling him about investing. If I had not helped him make 20,000 yuan, he wouldn’t have tried his hand at more investments.
Because of my intentional action, he lost 300,000 yuan. This was a big lesson for me!
Master said: “It is extremely dangerous to add anything human to cultivation practice.” (“Digging out the Roots,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
These events were cultivation lessons for me. I realized that, whatever we encounter, if we feel that it is not right, we should stop right away and look within. There are certainly human notions buried within. Actions that are intentional will only backfire and end up causing harm.