Young Practitioner Returns to Cultivation
(Minghui.org) Couples with their children doing the Falun Dafa exercises together in parks in China were a common sight before the persecution began in July 1999. Those children are now in their 30s. Unfortunately, some of them lost their cultivation environment because of the persecution, and eventually stopped practicing Dafa.
Living in a morally degraded society, these young men and women became addicted to money, fame and the Internet. Their parents feel helpless and hopeless. Some of them worry about the kind of adults their precious children became. Our son is one of those young adults, but he found his way back to cultivation.
Our children are like mirrors, and they reflect our behavior. Before the onset of the persecution, my husband, our son and I went to group Fa-study and did the exercises in our neighborhood park every day. The boy could not read yet, but he was able to memorize many of Master Li's (the founder of Falun Dafa) poems and writings in Hong Yin and Essentials for Further Advancement.
Our son and his friends would recite Master’s poems together while they played. Drops of sweat from the pain sometimes ran down his face when doing the sitting meditation. Sometimes we asked him if he wanted to call it quits. He always refused and finished the exercise. His attitude inspired us adults, and encouraged us to stay diligent.
Our son was the youngest in his class and was frequently bullied. He often came home with cuts and bruises. He never hit back, and did not tell us much about being bullied and injured.
Cultivation Environment Destroyed
Our group of practitioners was broken apart after July 20, 1999, and we lost contact with many of our friends. Some of them stopped practicing Falun Dafa out of fear of getting arrested.
Cultivation in isolation is not ideal but we persisted.
Our son studied the Fa with us. Sometimes he resisted, but we never gave up on him. My husband and I believed that no matter what, we must guide our child to live his life by following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
Our son was a good student. We never spanked or yelled at him when he made mistakes. Instead, we sorted issues out based on Master’s teachings of the Fa.
His adolescent years passed uneventfully. Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance took root in our son’s heart. He was a kind and generous young man.
Being partly our fault, our son never studied the Fa on his own in those years. My husband and I had to ask him to join us. He also did not do the exercises regularly.
Once in college, without a cultivation environment, he was immersed in ordinary society. The distance between us grew.
Our son went aboard for graduate school. We hoped that he could become a diligent practitioner once he was outside of China. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Affected by his new environment, he started going after money and fame.
Searching within ourselves, we realized his problem originated from us. Our hidden attachments to showing off, fame and wealth were among the reasons for us to send him aboard. Our son’s successful career would bring us glory.
Our son focused on a high salary and position when he was job hunting. He was opinionated and thought highly of himself. We stayed quiet in the beginning. After he changed jobs for the third time in one year and grew ever more distant from us, we knew something was wrong.
Master hinted several times that I should pay attention to our son. I was worried. My husband and I decided to ask him to come home.
When he returned, he was cold to us, unlike the pleasant young man we knew. We were not allowed to enter his room. He spent his days in his room playing video games and looking at his phone. He refused to eat with us, instead, he went out for every meal.
We learned more about his life aboard. He ate out every day. His salary was high but he spent it all. He complained that he was the poorest among his colleagues. He later told us he almost made a big mistake during a relationship with a woman.
My husband and I were saddened. He was a simple, handsome young man when he left home! In just a few years, he looked dirty and sloppy. His face was bloated and his expression was sullen. We could not even recognize him when we picked him up at the airport.
I blamed my husband for being vain (I must admit, I too was vain), and that he encouraged our son to study and work aboard. As a result, our son changed and became worse. We should have kept him close to us instead.
My husband pointed out that I was an overbearing mother, that I sheltered our son from hardships in life.
I knew both my husband and I were at fault. The only way to help our son was to let go of our own attachments to money and sentimentality first, and guide him back to cultivation. It became clear to us that our attachments to things in ordinary society were not important at all. What we ought to do is to guide our son back on the path of cultivation, to find his true self.
How to do it? Our son shut us out. We begged Master for help. We sent righteous thoughts to eliminate any interference. We hoped to wake up his main consciousness.
Gradually, the situation changed. We were allowed to enter his room, and he talked to us. I seized the opportunity to say everything I had been wanting to tell him: how I became a practitioner, our memories of him as a little practitioner, the persecution of Falun Dafa, our mission as practitioners and Master’s high hope for young practitioners.
He listened! I saw hope in his eyes. I sensed Master’s presence. Our relationship was no longer mother and child; we were talking to each other as practitioners.
Tears ran down his face when our son did the Falun Standing Stance (the second exercise) for the first time in years. He told me that he wants to follow Master. Master hinted to him why he came to this world, and encouraged him to be diligent.
He became a mature practitioner, and no longer relied on us to remind him to study the Fa or do the exercises.
Growing up as an only child, he was used to being catered to. His changes were dramatic after he became a genuine practitioner. He did household chores without being asked. No longer a picky eater, he ate whatever was put on the dinner table. He is less wasteful and more caring.
Our son took care of his bedridden grandfather. He washed and cleaned the elderly man. He even cooked for him and changed his bedpan. He bought the food his grandfather likes to eat and fed him. He finished his grandfather’s leftovers. He also studied the Fa and listened to Master’s teachings with his grandfather.
In the past, he often stayed away from the elderly, because he said they have “old people smell”. He never ate leftovers. Our relatives were moved to tears when they saw how attentive our son has become of his grandfather.
After eating dinner every day, he studies the Fa, does the exercises, and sends forth righteous thoughts. He gets up at 3 a.m. to do the morning exercises.
In addition to reading and memorizing Zhuan Falun, Hong Yin and Essentials for Further Advancement, he's read every one of Master’s books and articles twice.
He also learned to search within and cultivate himself. No longer stubborn, he is willing to listen to criticism and corrects his mistakes. No longer attached to money or a job title, he is satisfied as long as the job gives him ample time to cultivate and take care of his grandfather. He said that cultivation comes before everything else.
In the process of helping my son, I realized that we can only help others when we become diligent ourselves. Only the power of the Fa and Master’s support and help can turn a person around.
I had to let go of my sentimentality and face my son with compassion.
TheMinghui Weekly and radio programs on the Minghui website helps my son tremendously. The sharing articles are invaluable for both new and longtime practitioners.
Our family is now a small group of practitioners. We do the three things together.
Our son has begun seeking out other young practitioners he knew in his childhood. He wants to help them find their way back to cultivation.