Turning into a Diligent Cultivator
(Minghui.org) Influenced by my mother, I have been cultivating in Falun Dafa since I was a teen. Although I haven’t always been diligent over the past 21 years, I’m happy that I have found my way back to Dafa since the recent coronavirus breakout. The unexpected turn of events forced me to examine my life and I decided it was time to take cultivation seriously.
Looking back, I realize that even when Dafa was not my top priority and I fell far behind in my cultivation, Master Li (the founder of Falun Dafa) never gave up on me.
Better Health and Better Temperament
I went to a boarding school for high school, and having cafeteria food three meals a day weakened my stomach. It didn’t matter whether I ate warm or cold food, or how much I ate, my stomach always hurt. Even if I didn’t eat anything, I would still have a stomachache. I got gassy easily and threw up sometimes.
My stomach problem tormented me. However, after I started practicing Falun Dafa in 1999, I was able to eat anything. My stomach problem was completely gone—it was incredible.
As a typical teenager going through puberty, I had bad acne. After reading the book Zhuan Falun, the main book of Dafa, all my acne cleared up. My friends were curious, “Where did your pimples go?”
I used to wear glasses because of nearsightedness and astigmatism. As I started practicing Falun Dafa, my vision improved. My friends thought it was impossible as they only knew people whose nearsightedness got worse each year. I, however, soon got rid of my glasses altogether.
My parents divorced when I was little and it had a huge impact on my life. I was a little bit of a loner growing up and had low self-esteem. I was pessimistic about the future and had suicidal tendencies. I rarely smiled, and didn’t know anything worth being happy about. I felt that I was not wanted anywhere, and often wondered why I even came to this world.
When I ran into a childhood friend many years later, she said to me, “You hardly smiled when we were little and always looked so sad. You got so worked up when others talked about your parents’ divorce behind your back.”
Since I found Dafa, I’ve become much more outgoing and no longer get all hung up about small things. I am more tolerant and more flexible in dealing with the unexpected in life. I now know that I have purpose and great responsibility in life—and why would I want to end it? Plus, Master said, “... suicide is sinful.” (Fa-Teaching Given at the Conference in Sydney, 2018 Translation)
My life is full of hope and sunshine. I remember reading Master’s poem when I first obtained the Fa,
“Oh how many the years, looking for the master,Finally the day has arrived to meet him.Cultivate and return, the Fa now gained,And follow your master to return, consummated.” (“Destined Return for the Holy Fruition,” Hong Yin Translation A)
Tears covered my face, “I was lost but now I’ve found my way home.”
Accepted By a Prestigious Art Institute
Right before I graduated from high school, I decided to skip the national college entrance exams and study graphic design at a private art school instead. I’d had no formal training in art and was required to make up the prerequisites such as sketching, drawing, and color theory. I also needed to take design courses that were completely new to me.
I learned a little bit of everything during my three years there, but the private school lacked a good lineup of teachers in Graphic Design that could help me advance in my studies. I decided to try my luck getting into one of the top art institutes in the country where I’d train under some of the most established designers in the field.
It was such a tough time preparing for the set of exams specific for this university. I took a few intense prepping courses in Shenyang, the capital of my province, and Beijing. Only then did I find out that the way I had been taught to draw was not the style the art institute was looking for. As if half cooked rice, it was hard to reverse formed habits while learning new techniques. I had a lot of work ahead of me.
In these prepping courses, I met many talented candidates from all over the country. Most had been trained in art since a very young age. There was a lot of competition to get into the program and I was under a lot of pressure. After only six months of preparation, I took the entrance exams for this top art school. Beside the basic subjects, I was also tested on my knowledge of art and design and submitted a portfolio.
When I found out that I got accepted, I couldn’t believe my luck. My professor at the prepping school came to visit and before I could share the good news, she said, “Even if you failed this year. Don’t give up. Try again next year.” I was confused. When I told her I got accepted, she sat there speechless, and was as stunned as I was. She just didn’t see me making it into the program, and thought for sure I’d fail.
She told me she had prepared a long speech to encourage me to try again next year. She also said she had seen many students with solid training in art who didn’t make it into this school and many failed repeatedly. She said it was a miracle that got me into this prestigious art school on my first try.
As anybody in the field knows, a solid foundation in art takes years of hard work to achieve. You can’t just cram for six months before the exams and expect to have good marks – especially when you have to change your drawing style completely. But, I knew it was all because I am a Dafa practitioner. Master has given me wisdom and countless blessings.
Giving Up My Inheritance
Master taught us as Dafa practitioners, we should be considerate and always think of others first.
My father remarried after he divorced my mother. When he passed away, he left an apartment unit and some savings to me and my half-sister. If divided between the two of us, I would have inherited more than 100,000 yuan.
As a single parent, my mother had to be very frugal to raise me and support me through my schooling. She worked hard and held various temporary jobs to make ends meet. When I went to college, she borrowed money to help pay my tuition. To pay back that money, she rented out our apartment, and went to another city to look for work.
Besides paying very little child support, my father had no part in raising me and was hardly around. My sister, on the other hand, had everything she ever needed since she was born. She had both parents, a good home, and financial stability.
After my father’s death, my stepmother and my sister paid me a surprise visit and asked me to give up my inheritance. In order to get me to give up what’s rightfully mine, my stepmother had a fit and lied to our relatives.
At first, I didn’t want to give it up so easily and felt it unfair. My mother’s advice and Master’s Fa teachings made me think twice.
“He who regards notordinary sorrows and joysA cultivator is heHe who has not attachmentto worldly loss and gainAn Arhat is he” (“Breaking Free of the Three Realms,” Hong Yin Translation A)
Master often tells us to be considerate and to always think of others first. I thought about how hard life was for me growing up, and what was to become of my stepmother and my sister. Now that my father was gone, they didn’t have anybody to depend on.
I decided to give up my inheritance so they didn’t have to go through what my mother and I had gone through. I hoped things would be better for them. As I made the decision to give up my inheritance, my attachment to self interest was gone as well.
My Husband Helped Me Improve My Xinxing
During the first few months of the coronavirus lockdown, my husband was on his cellphone 24/7 as if glued to it. He checked his cellphone while doing laundry, using the bathroom, and even during family meals. He locked himself in his room with his cellphone and ignored my knocking on the door.
Since my husband is on unpaid vacation, our income was cut by half. But he showed no interest in finding temporary work to ease the financial burden and neither did he want to share any household chores or spend any time with our child. As soon as he stepped out of his room, we started to argue, and even got into fights with each other. His solution to this was to stay in his room all day except for eating and using the bathroom.
I work my regular job from home and have taken a part time job to make some extra money. In between phone conferences and meeting deadlines, I had to be the responsible parent and help our child with schoolwork. I did chores and took care of everything else around the home. Although we had help from the in-laws, I was mentally and physically exhausted. I complained to my friends and they all thought that my husband's behavior was not acceptable. I was so baffled as to why he acted this way.
A recent conversation with a fellow practitioner made me realize that I had not been kind to my husband, and did not have any compassion to speak of. Master did give me hints but I ignored them. Within that month, I had accidentally broken a ceramic bowl, a co-worker’s glass, and a practitioner’s ceramic mug. The practitioner pointed out to me, “If you put the characters for ‘ceramic bowl’ and ‘glass’ [that you broke before] together, it sounds like ‘compassion' in Chinese. This time you broke a ceramic mug, which sounds almost the same as ‘compassion’ in Chinese. You get it? You broke compassion.”
I carefully reexamined our marriage of more than a decade and remembered all the wonderful things my husband had done. He quietly took on many chores around the house after we married without complaining. I was so spoiled and never had to touch anything that was dirty or heavy. He thought of me first in everything he did and always saved me delicious food that he thought I’d enjoy. He always had a smile on his face no matter what happened.
When my father got sick and became bedridden, my husband helped take care of him. He was very considerate of my feelings and took good care of me when my father died. Work was busy when we had our baby. Luckily, my husband was this hands-on parent, and a loving father that took care of our newborn. Whenever I lost my temper with him, he was always so patient with me. What changed him?
Master has told us to always look within when there is a problem. I examined myself and found many shortcomings. It’d been years since I’ve done anything special to show my husband that I cared for him. I consistently ignored his feelings and have not been considerate of him. I have a strong personality and have made mistakes in the past that hurt his feelings.
I was in tears when I shared my regrets with the practitioner, and my resentment toward my husband disappeared like a melted iceberg. I just wanted to improve my xinxing, be kind and be a good wife to him.
I talked to the family that night and rearranged the rooms. My husband has not locked the door since then and has been picking up chores here and there again. It turned out, being kind to others is being kind to oneself. After my resentment toward my husband was resolved, I began to look at my husband in a new light and he gradually changed.
Since the breakout of the coronavirus, I looked at my cultivation state and realized that I had to be diligent in my cultivation. I feel fortunate and happy to cultivate in Dafa.
I hope that all sentient beings will remember, “Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good,” and survive the greatest catastrophe.