The Story of My Abalone Shell
(Minghui.org) An abalone shell sits on my kitchen windowsill. I use it to hold garlic cloves and small ginger chunks. Whenever I look at it, I think about how Dafa cultivation has changed everything in my life.
Dealing with the Attachment of Resentment
My brother is the youngest child in my family. My mother spoiled him when he was little, since he was in poor health. He grew up troubled, often rude and unreasonable, skipping school, smoking, and drinking. In order to get him to go to school, my mother would give him pocket money every day, but she did not give an allowance to any of her other kids. Ever since we were young, I always held a strong resentment against my brother.
Eventually, I was allowed to switch my residence registration to another location to make it easier to find jobs. I decided to give the opportunity to my brother. Soon, I took my mother on my bicycle to the local registration office to finalize my brother's transfer. On a narrow downhill road, I lost my balance. Both my mother and I fell. While my mother was not seriously injured, I hit my face and lost consciousness. I had to get a dozen stitches. Since I was only 22 years old, I was very worried that my face would be permanently disfigured. “I would have gone with Mother to do it myself,” my brother blamed me afterwards. “No one asked you to go!” This incident only increased the resentment I felt towards him.
After I got married, my husband helped my brother get a job several times. However, my brother would always quit after a short time. I did not like this at all, but kept trying to help him for my parents' sake. He never showed any appreciation.
Since I started practicing Falun Dafa, my resentment toward my brother eased up, although it has not always been easy. One time, while my husband and I were running a small restaurant, my brother came in. For no reason, he scolded me angrily and abusively in front of all the customers and employees. It was really humiliating, so I retorted angrily.
Then, after calming down, I thought, “I am a Dafa practitioner. Wasn't this a chance for me to raise my xinxing level? Wasn't my brother helping me get rid of my ego and concern for self? Why did I feel the need to fight back, lowering myself to the level of an ordinary person?”
As I asked myself these questions, I knew that I was in the wrong. All the same, I had been unable to control myself from feeling indignant.
Another time, my husband, my son, and I went out for dinner. My mother had recently passed away, and we decided to invite my brother to come with us. Since the restaurant was right next to my workplace and I often went there with my coworkers, the staff knew me quite well. During the dinner, my brother got worked up. He pointed his finger in my face and started to yell, blaming me for my mother's death. He was ignoring everyone and all the people in the restaurant were watching us. My husband and my son were totally stunned. “I would beat you up if your son were not here!” my brother yelled.
This time I did not fight back. With tears in my eyes, I thought, “How can I face these people in the restaurant who know me? What will they think of me?”
Some time later, another outburst occurred. My aunt came to visit me, and my brother and his wife invited her to his home for dinner. My aunt insisted that I go with her despite my reluctance. After we arrived, I offered to help in the kitchen, but my brother said no. So I helped clean some vegetables and sat down to chat with my aunt. During the dinner, my brother started to blame me for not helping in the kitchen. He continued to blame me for a number of other things that had occurred in the past. His voice became louder and louder. I knew this was another test for me. I tried to endure it. But in the end, I could not bear it anymore. I said something I should not have. “Please remember: this will be the last time I ever step into your home!” I shouted.
My aunt tried to comfort me. I realized that I had treated myself as an ordinary person again. That night, I remembered Master talking about Han Xin who endured the humiliation of crawling between someone’s legs. I blamed myself for not enduring humiliation. My situation was not even as bad as Han Xin's. Nevertheless, I still had difficulty controlling my resentment toward my brother. He had continuously hurt my feelings, and I began to have thoughts of cutting ties with him.
Through studying the Fa, I gradually realized that I was wrong. He was here helping me raise my xinxing. Why did I keep pushing him away? Maybe I owed him a debt from past lives. Master has said: “Whoever has acquired the karma feels uncomfortable.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
How should I resolve his grievances toward me? As a practitioner, I should change myself first. Looking inwards, it was all my fault, not his. I had disliked him since we were young. As a result, my tendency for jealousy was displayed. I had too strong a sense of pride, bordering on vanity, and I was always afraid of losing face in front of others. My brother kept trying to help me get rid of this attachment. Yet here I was, wasting countless opportunities to improve.
Master has said: “Matter and mind are one and the same.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
I had harbored such strong and long-lasting resentment toward my brother. Surely he must have felt it!
Master has said:
“The Buddha-light illuminates everywhere and harmonizes everything.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
“Compassion can harmonize Heaven and Earth, ushering in springRighteous thoughts can save the people in this world” ( “The Fa Rectifies the Cosmos,” Hong Yin Vol. II)
I also remembered that Master has told us that we cannot consummate if we are unable to love our enemy. And this was not even an enemy in my case, but rather my own brother!
I started to call him, showed him that I cared about him, and invited him to the tourist villa my husband and I manage. I also often brought healthy fruits and vegetables to his family. In the beginning, he was a bit embarrassed to come over. Soon he was happy to come. He also would bring us presents each time, despite my husband and I politely asking him not to.
My brother seemed to have become a different person. He was polite, often admitted his past wrongdoing, and apologized for the multiple times he had hurt my feelings. But personally, I knew that all of these changes had come about because I had changed myself first. When I had discarded some of my bad thoughts, my whole environment changed. It was just as Master has said: “Pacify the external by cultivating the internal” (“Pacify the External by Cultivating the Internal,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
Now my brother and his wife are frequent guests, visiting my husband, my son, and me. Sometimes my brother helps us with our business when we are extremely busy. When my brother comes, I usually turn the TV to the NTD television station. We watch NTDTV when eating together. Both my brother and his wife support my practicing Falun Dafa. My brother knows that I go out every day for clarifying the truth, and he supports it as well.
One day, my brother brought me a big abalone as a gift. He said his father-in-law had obtained some abalones and gave one to each person in his family. My brother decided to save his for me. I was touched.
I thank Master for resolving the grudge between my brother and me. Without Falun Dafa this would not have happened!