Cultivating in Dafa with Altruism
(Minghui.org) My Falun Dafa cultivation journey began in 1997. I have had many wonderful experiences along the way that I would like to share with everyone.
1. Looking Inward and Cultivating My Character
My wife had a short temper, and I was not very forgiving, so we often had fights. In 2006, she started to practice Falun Dafa, but her temperament did not change, even after seven years. She often had fights with my parents, who lived with us. I was stuck in between and felt angry.
What made it particularly hard for me to tolerate was that she fought with me while studying the Fa. So, I believed the cause of the fights was that she didn’t solidly cultivate. Maybe my parents sometimes made mistakes, but they are my parents and non-practitioners, so we should forgive them. On the other hand, it is wrong for a cultivator to fight with others all the time. “Bad temper, self-centered, fake cultivator...” I believed that to be a correct evaluation of her. Did I make any mistakes? It seemed not. I didn’t know when this situation would end.
One day she again fought with my parents and complained to me about them as if she had been wronged by them. I was angry but just told her to be nice to them.
“Of course, in practicing cultivation in ordinary human society, we should respect parents and educate our children. Under all circumstances, we must be good and kind to others, not to mention to our family members. We should treat everyone in the same way. We must be good to our parents and children and be considerate of others in all respects.” (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)
I told her, “If my parents made mistakes, you should forgive them.” After I said this, she freaked out. “I cannot stay here anymore,” she said. She got her luggage and was about to leave home.
She left home often. Usually after spending a few nights with her friends, she would be fine and come back. So, this time I didn’t stop her. Instead, I kept saying, “You should look inward and solidly cultivate yourself.” She replied angrily, “I just refuse to look inward and cultivate myself.” She then slammed the door. How can this be the actions of a cultivator?! “Fake. Typical fake practitioner,” I thought in anger.
Over the next month, the situation got worse. She refused to answer my calls or text messages. Later, she even blocked me. She rented an apartment and planned to stay there for a long time. She claimed that she would not compromise this time and would divorce me.
I didn’t know what I did wrong. She said I was biased toward my parents and didn’t protect her. I feel that between one’s parents and wife, favoring one’s parents should be fine. They are elders. Besides, she is a practitioner, and a practitioner must behave according to the requirements of the Fa. How was I wrong? Why didn’t she understand?
I didn’t know how to solve the problem, so I talked to another practitioner. He said that it was wrong for my wife to fight with my parents and that she should look inward, but that I should also look inward and see what attachment I still had. I agreed on the part about my wife but didn’t understand the part about me. I was confused. What did I do wrong? How can I look inward? Look inward for what?
But looking inward is necessary, because that is Master’s teaching. I tried to look inward but could not find anything. Whenever I started to look inward, all I saw was my wife’s faults. Even things that had happened years ago were hidden deep in my heart.
However, I still tried, since Master has made it very clear. We both are practitioners, so our family life should be harmonious.
“The Buddha-light illuminates everywhere and rectifies all abnormalities.” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)
We had so many conflicts, so there must be something wrong in my cultivation. I looked inward every day.
When I was almost at the point of giving up, Master’s words jumped into my mind:
“What a cultivator cultivates is none other than him or herself.” (“A Congratulatory Letter to the Fa Conference of Europe,” Team Yellow translation)
How can I call myself a cultivator if I don’t cultivate myself? How can I always focus on my wife’s flaws? Is this cultivation? Looking for other people’s faults is not cultivation. I must focus on myself, find my flaws, and fix them. Only then am I a real cultivator.
After cultivating for more than ten years, I finally realized what cultivation really is and what Master had told us many times. All of a sudden I realized that I actually never looked inward, although I talked about looking inward every day. This is because I always focused on others, which hindered my looking inward.
The nature of the old universe is selfishness. When something goes wrong, we always want others to take responsibility and try to protect ourselves. It has become second nature to do this, and we have become unaware. So, we deviate from the Fa, but we don’t know it.
Such notions lead to hatred and thought karma. It keeps us from looking inward. I must correct my thoughts and disintegrate this notion. No matter what other people do, I should only look inward.
When I enlightened to this, many wrong thoughts and attachments that I could not see before now became clear. I saw that I held too much qing (sentimentality) toward my parents. I overprotected my parents and hurt my wife. This was a strong bias. I never looked at problems from my wife’s perspective and often believed that everything was her fault. This is selfish—I only wanted her to change and didn’t want to change myself. This is an everyday person’s notion. A cultivator should not have it. I was actually the one who did not cultivate well.
When I genuinely looked inward, a miracle happened: my wife came back home on her own. She was in a good mood, as if nothing had happened. Before, when she left home, I had to talk to her a lot for her to come back. But this time, she came back herself. This is the power of the Fa.
I realized that to improve one’s xinxing (character, or mind nature) and assimilate to the Fa, a cultivator must look inward. Looking inward can disintegrate negative substances and karma, and rectify wrong thoughts.
After I realized how to look inward, my cultivation state improved. My wife also changed a lot. We now know how to cultivate and find the key to solving conflicts. We have learned how to look at problems from others’ perspective and how to forgive them. We have learned to talk to each other calmly and solve problems benevolently.
Nowadays, my family life is harmonious. My wife said, “If it wasn’t for Dafa, this family would have broken up a long time ago.” We both thanked Master for his teachings.
2. Eliminating the Old Forces’ Arrangements with Belief in Master and the Fa
There were four practitioners at my workplace, including me. When the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to persecute Dafa in 1999, the four of us became the targets of attack. The police station and the workplace forced us to write a letter to slander Dafa and renounce our faith. Two of us wrote the letter. Another didn’t write it, but he didn’t tell me that. My workplace lied to me, saying that I was the only one who didn’t write the letter. Due to my fear and lack of understanding of the Fa, I wrote the letter. I could not forgive myself and was ashamed later.
The two practitioners who wrote the letter passed away due to sickness karma in 2008 and 2010. They were only in their 40s. The one who didn’t write the letter has been fine. I believed that those practitioners’ passing away at young ages is related to their writing the letter. Many other practitioners also had the same thought. Maybe the old forces took advantage of those practitioners’ loopholes and used the letter as an excuse to persecute them.
I didn’t know if this thought was correct or not, but it haunted me. I was also worried that the old forces would use the same excuse to persecute me. I knew that this fear was wrong and tried to suppress it—I could not let the old forces get what they wanted. However, I could not completely rid myself of the fear. I didn’t have enough power. I suppressed it, but after a while it showed up again.
In 2010, I was spied on for four months. Later I was arrested. After being released, I slacked off in cultivation for a few years. In 2014, I began to experience stomach pain. It got worse in 2015. The pain was intolerable. I vomited and had diarrhea. I lost 20 pounds in three months. I felt dizzy and could not fall asleep at night. I tried to read the Fa, send forth righteous thoughts, and look inward. I also asked fellow practitioners to send forth righteous thoughts for me. But the situation didn’t change.
I didn’t know what was wrong. I had all kinds of human notions and negative thoughts. Did Master give up on me? Was I really sick? All the symptoms pointed to a stomach ulcer. I knew that I didn’t cultivate well, and I sensed the difficulties of cultivation. In the past, I often blamed others for not treating sickness correctly. Only now did I realize how hard it is to do well when the sickness karma is severe and lasts for a long time. Should I believe in Master and get rid of the karma through cultivation, or should I give up and go to the hospital? I wavered between these two ideas. I felt the pain but didn’t know what to do.
In December 2015, I passed out at a driver’s license test center in a different town. People around me tried to call the hospital. When I woke up, I refused to go to the hospital. I went back to my hotel room. The room was on the sixth floor, and there was no elevator. It took me two hours to climb the stairs. As soon as I got in the room, I rushed into the bathroom and discharged a lot of black stuff. I tried to go to bed but could not stand up. So I fell asleep on the toilet.
The second day I went back home. My wife was shocked and scared when she heard my experiences. She asked if I wanted to go to the hospital. The thought that the old forces would take the letter as a reason to persecute me arose. I had fears, so I agreed to go to the hospital and I thought it would be great if the hospital could heal me. Due to my lack of righteous thoughts, I found many excuses as to why I should go to the hospital.
I thought that I only needed some medicine to stop the bleeding, but the doctors forced me to stay in the hospital. My hemoglobin level dropped to 5 grams/deciliter, while the normal value is around 15 grams/deciliter. The doctors tried to give me a blood transfusion, but I declined. I stayed in the hospital for three days. I felt bad as a cultivator, so I firmly asked to be discharged. My sisters were surprised by my decision and were strongly against it. I had to agree that if the situation did not get better in two weeks, I would go to a larger hospital.
Two weeks later, I wasn’t getting any better. In the large hospital, the doctors said I had a severe stomach ulcer requiring surgery. I had had enough at this point and declined the surgery. I got some medicine and went home.
The medicine didn’t help. My whole body started to hurt, even my back. I discharged blood. I went to the bathroom every 30 minutes all night long. My wife was scared and kept crying.
What should I do? Should I go to the hospital again, or should I face the test with righteous thoughts? I realized that on the edge of life and death, my decision is very important. I calmly organized my thoughts and finally decided to break through the test with righteous thoughts and give myself to Master. I made the decision quickly without thinking too much, but it was a genuine thought from my true self.
All of sudden, I recalled Master’s teaching:
“But how could a divine being have ordinary people administer treatment on him? And how could ordinary people heal a divine being’s sickness? (Applause) (Teacher laughs) These are Fa principles. But often the case is that you really don’t come across as having all that strong of righteous thoughts. When you can’t handle yourself well, then go ahead. If your mind is unsteady, that means you are not meeting the standard to begin with, and prolonging the process won’t lead to any changes. And if someone holds out for the purpose of saving face, that is adding attachments on top of attachments. In such cases there are only two choices: You either go to the hospital and thus give up on trying to overcome the test, or you completely let go of everything, behave like an upstanding and noble Dafa disciple who has no resentment or attachments, and leave it to Master to arrange whether you stay or go. When you are able to do that, you are a god.” (Teachings at the Conference in Los Angeles)
Yes, I had tried the medicine and the result of relying on the ordinary approach was bad. Now I knew how ridiculous it was to think that writing a letter would cause me to be persecuted to death. But Master is benevolent and gives every practitioner a chance to do better and renew oneself. The old forces’ arrangements are invalid. I already made the announcement publicly to void that letter. The fear was not from my true self; it was imposed on me by the old forces. Since I didn’t understand the Fa well, I unknowingly acknowledged the thoughts from the old forces. I was persecuted because I acknowledged it. So now, I should completely deny their arrangements and eliminate them.
I also found that I still had some doubts about Master and the Fa. Otherwise, I would not have gone to the hospital or taken medicine. This is a fundamental problem. I also had the fear of death. On the surface, my fear was that my death would bring a negative impact on Dafa, but deep inside, it was because I didn’t put down the attachment to life and death. If I don’t have human notions, who dares to persecute a Dafa disciple? I fell down, but now I should get up.
I solidified my righteous thoughts. Although I still discharged blood, my heart was calm. I knew that I would be fine. The second day, I shared my thoughts with my wife. She also developed righteous thoughts and asked a few practitioners to send righteous thoughts also. At noon, the bleeding stopped.
The next day, I planned to go to work. My brother-in-law tried to stop me, but I insisted, so he let me go. I ate and drank normally, and did what I should do at work. One month later, I was fully recovered.
3. Collaborating with Other Practitioners to Save People
Through studying the Fa, I knew that practitioners are particles of Dafa. We are a whole body. Master said: “The next person's things are your things, and your things are his things.” (“Teaching the Fa at Washington, D.C. Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. II)
Everybody’s cultivation state can affect others and the progress of Fa-rectification. So, no matter what we do, we should consider others and the whole group. Only in this way can we form a solid whole body.
In the group project, my job is to deliver supplies to sites where practitioners produce Dafa informational materials and then deliver the materials from the site to practitioners. I take safety very seriously. These sites can be a focus for the evil. I visit the sites often, so I must pay attention to safety. My personal safety is not only my own thing, but it is also related to other practitioners and the whole group’s safety. Since I am a part of the whole body, I must take responsibility for the whole body.
Some practitioners don’t take the safety issue seriously. For example, they bring cell phones to Fa-study groups. Master has talked about the cell phone issue many times, but they don’t follow the teaching. This is a xinxing problem, and they don’t fully understand the Fa. They don’t see the site as a whole body and don’t care about other practitioners’ safety. They only care about their own convenience.
I also try my best to protect fellow practitioners. Once I carried two practitioners on my motorcycle to pass out materials, one male and one female. We went to a business district. Each of them passed out materials on one side of the street, while I rode the bike slowly down the middle.
All of a sudden, the male practitioner was seen passing out materials, and police tried to catch him. I got him on the motorcycle and rode away. Some people shouted behind us, “Two people on a motorcycle are running away. Catch them!” But they were too late, and we ran away to a safe place. I was worried about the female practitioner, so I asked the male practitioner to hide while I rode back to find her.
On the way, a policeman on a motorbike stopped me and looked at me for a long time. But I was alone on the motorcycle, and I was going in the opposite direction, so he let me go. I found her and went to meet the male practitioner. The three of us left for home on the motorcycle. A police car stopped us and asked where we were from and what we were doing there. We answered with no fear, saying we were from a nearby district. One officer said to another, “It’s not them. They have three people, not two.” So, they let us go.
Had I left the female practitioner behind and gone on the road with the male practitioner, we probably would have been caught. So, protecting fellow practitioners is protecting ourselves.
Another time, a few practitioners and I moved materials from our site to another location because some practitioners suspected that the police were spying on the site. As I carried an item out, I saw a man looking at me and taking pictures. I immediately became alert and ran away. I said to myself: if that guy was really a policeman, then the practitioners inside are in danger. I must inform them. Although it was dangerous, I had to protect fellow practitioners. So, I took a different path to the site and told the practitioners to leave.
After a short while, a police car came and took away everything at the site. Fortunately, no practitioners were caught. Protecting fellow practitioners guarantees the whole group’s safety. Because of this incident, I gained the trust of practitioners and they all liked to work with me.
I often encounter difficulties trying to deliver our Dafa informational materials. It might rain, or sometimes when I arrived at a practitioner’s place nobody was home to receive the materials as arranged. I had to make another trip later. My wife complained when this happened. I told her, “They work really hard to save people. Maybe they had to leave the house, or maybe they were too tired and fell asleep. We should be considerate of them.” My job is to serve practitioners. I never complain when they ask me to make a trip, even if they could do it themselves.
Many fellow practitioners are proud of their job of saving people. This is normal, but I don’t have such a feeling. It is not because I don’t see it as sacred work. Quite the opposite: because it is sacred, I must be careful and calm when doing it. I must take responsibility for what I do. With everybody putting forth their best effort, our site has run smoothly.
I still have many attachments and human notions. Sometimes I slack off. But I believe that with Master’s guidance and protection and the help of other practitioners, I will be more and more diligent until I reach consummation.