(Minghui.org) I am a retired teacher. I started cultivating in Dafa in 1996. It has been a journey of over 20 years of tribulations and stumbling, and I had my ups and downs. I know I haven’t always done well and I sometimes don’t feel I deserve Master’s compassionate salvation.
As we approach the 23rd anniversary of World Falun Dafa Day, which also marks the 30th anniversary of the public introduction of Falun Dafa, I’d like to share a few stories of my interacting with family and friends so that more people will know how extraordinary Dafa is. I wish to express my immense gratitude to Master.
Elderly Neighbors: “Is This Your Daughter?”
Around 2003, my father-in-law died of cancer. He lived in the countryside and was in his 70s. My mother-in-law, who was in her 60s, did not take it well and also suffered from mild dementia. She had high blood pressure, and sometimes felt dizzy and passed out. Her eldest son worried about her living alone. He asked her to live with him, however, his wife did not get along with her. So, my mother-in-law returned to the countryside and lived by herself. Her youngest son did not want to have anything to do with her.
Upon learning about the situation, my husband, who is the second son, decided to invite her to live with us. People said I was foolish to agree it. Some said, “Her eldest son’s wife complained so that she would not live with them. Now you have brought her into your home. Isn’t this what her children want? Now you will be stuck with your mother-in-law!” Others suggested, “You should ask the other two brothers to take turns having their mother live with them. It’s reasonable that she spends time with all three families.”
Regardless of what others said about my being treated unfairly, I had made up my mind. I explained, “Of course it would be nice if she could spend time with all three of her children’s families. However, do you think my mother-in-law could relax living with her other two sons? Neither she nor her sons or daughters-in-law would get along. I will take care of her.” Some said, “Wow! You are so generous. I could not do this. Others said, “Don’t be so optimistic. You will see how hard it is.”
“I’m a Falun Dafa practitioner,” I said, “Master has taught us to follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance when interacting with others. If I acted the same way as the other two families, would I still be following the teachings? Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are the principles Master asks us to live by. The unpleasant things we run into in life are for us to cultivate ourselves and eliminate our attachments. With Dafa guiding me, I am not worried about hardships.”
To help my mother-in-law enjoy living with us, I accompanied her to take a walk after dinner. Some elderly neighbors greeted us, and asked her, “Is this your daughter?” My mother-in-law would answer, “No, she is my daughter-in-law.” The elderly neighbors said she was blessed.
Sometimes I took my mother-in-law to take bath in a public facility. Sometimes people asked, “Is this your daughter?” And she would give them the same answer. I wondered why people kept asking this question. Would only her daughter help an old woman? It seemed that most people thought that a daughter-in-law and her mother-in-law would not get along well. Our relationship changed this notion and convinced them that a daughter-in-law and a mother-in-law could be as close as a daughter and a mother.
Still, I knew full well that it wasn’t easy to accomplish this. It’s not easy to bridge the gap between two hearts. As much as I wanted to be a great daughter-in-law, it was only by cultivating my heart under Dafa’s guidance that I was able to end my grievances. The hardships I overcame, the misery of letting go of deep attachments, and overcoming grievances that accompanied with my selfishness were quite a cultivation journey. Others did not see the excruciating tribulations I endured. Only Master knows it all. For me to be as close to my mother-in-law as her own daughter could only be achieved through cultivating myself.
“You’re the Ones Who Truly Cultivate Buddhahood”
One year, my husband’s aunt traveled from the Xinjiang Autonomous Region to visit her hometown. My mother-in-law was the only one of their generation still alive. When she learned my mother-in-law had moved in with my husband and me, she came to our home. She was in her 80s, and her trip was well over 1,000 miles. She told us, “This is my last trip to my hometown. I’m getting old. I won’t be able to travel so far again, so I’ll spend a little more time with you.”
One day when I got off work I noticed a lot of wheat bran on the ground. I hurried to cook dinner and didn’t ask about it. At the dinner table, my aunt told me excitedly, “I picked quite a bit of wheat today, out of which I got all these wheat kernels, which are 80% mature. It’s the best time to harvest. They are full-bodied, not overly hard, and chewy. I haven’t had a taste of it for years. Glad I got them on this trip. I will keep the bag in the refrigerator and take it with me when I leave.”
I saw that wheat kernels filled up a bag, which probably weighed more than two pounds. I asked, “Where did you get so much wheat?” She said, “I found a large wheat field in the suburbs. No one will notice. On my way home, I saw a temple. Many people were burning incense sticks. I left the bag outside the temple and went in. I burned incense, and kowtowed.” I knew which temple she talked about.
I felt a bit upset and asked her, “Aunt, you said you believe in God?” She answered, “Yes, I believe in Buddha. I have a Buddha statue at home to which I make offerings.” I asked, “Doesn’t Buddha tell us to be good people? Then why did you pick others’ wheat? Isn’t this doing bad?” She said, “No one saw me picking the wheat. I left the bag outside the temple so Buddha wouldn’t see it.” I could not help laughing.
“I also cultivate Buddhahood,” I said. “My Master told us that Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is the highest Buddha Fa, which encompasses all Buddhas, Daos, and Gods. Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is the standard by which we live. Taking something from others doesn’t measure up to Truthfulness; hurting others isn’t Compassion; not restraining one’s selfishness to have hurt others is not practicing Forbearance.”
My aunt regretted what she did, and said, “I was wrong. You see I’ve made offerings to Buddha for so many years, yet I don’t know how to cultivate my heart. I have reached such old age, yet I don’t know how to be a good person. I haven’t heard about these principles. I lived so many years in vain.”
I said, “You believe in Buddha, and wish to be a good person. You’re indeed kindhearted. It’s just that you don’t know what true kindness is. Everyday people look at each other’s actions. God looks at one’s heart. Do you know why Buddha has his eyes closed? Buddha watches the world with his Buddha eye. He sees everything that is done by everyone. He even sees what one has in mind. Not a single person is able to fool God. If God isn’t equipped with such wisdom, how could he offer salvation to human beings?” My aunt was shocked and said, “I pretend to be a good person in front of God. How embarrassing this is.”
“I’ve come to see that you Falun Dafa practitioners are the ones who truly cultivate Buddhahood,” my aunt said. “I’ve observed you. You treat me and your mother-in-law with such heartfelt kindness. My daughter-in-law doesn’t treat me as well as you do. Your mother-in-law is so blessed. How wonderful it would be if you were my daughter-in-law!” She then asked, “I have a question though. How come they say all kinds of bad things about Falun Dafa on television?”
I said, “The former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Jiang Zemin was angry that more and more people were practicing Falun Dafa. With so many people starting to believe in God and Buddha, no one would be left to subscribe to the CCP’s atheism. The CCP wouldn’t be able to fool people anymore. So, he started a campaign to smear and suppress Falun Dafa. Many people were intimidated. However, those who have come to understand the truth, did not give up their belief. After so many years of CCP persecution, many have persevered in practicing. Falun Dafa is now practiced in over 100 countries worldwide. Evil cannot suppress the righteous.”
I added, “Have you joined the CCP, the Youth League, or the Young Pioneers? If so, please quit immediately!” She said, “No I haven’t joined any.” “Great!” I said. “Then you can simply recite with respect these words: ‘Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.’” She gladly said, “Yes, I will simply recite: ‘Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good!’”
Elderly Professor: “I've Awaited This Day for 90 Years!”
I live in the family quarters of a college. Our community is composed of old buildings. Those who live here are mostly elderly teachers. The younger teachers bought apartments elsewhere and moved away. Three years after my mother-in-law passed away, my parents, in their 80s, moved in with us.
My mother has illnesses. When she doesn’t feel well, she can’t take care of herself. Someone has to be around to attend to her daily needs. On the days when she feels better, she takes a walk in the family quarters with my father. Other elderly residents envy my parents, for they are being taken good care of and their other children also come to visit them frequently.
One elderly professor is over 90 years old. He has three sons and one daughter. He lives under the same roof with his grandson and granddaughter-in-law. But he takes care of everything. He shops for groceries, cooks, washes dishes, and even washes the clothes. He feels lonely and often sits in the public area by himself. Sometimes he visits my home and chats with my parents.
Since the beginning of this year, I hadn’t seen him for quite a while. We thought that he might be ill. A couple of days ago, I saw him taking a walk in front of our building. I went out, greeted him, and invited him into my home so that he could chat with my parents.
He said, “I’ve been ill lately. Doctors said I was old, and should just stay at home and there was no point seeking treatment. My entire body is in so much pain I want to scream. One doctor who practices Chinese medicine gave me a pill, which reduced the pain. However, I now started to feel the pain again. I bought a little massage device, which runs on electricity. I can only massage my body and upper legs. I can’t bend over, and won’t be able to reach my lower legs or ankles. Can you help me?” I said sure. He said, “I will go back and get it. My granddaughter-in-law is at home. She doesn’t work. Her child goes to school. She doesn’t talk to me. And I don’t dare ask for her help.” After he brought the massager, I massaged him for 20 minutes. I was thinking that I should find an opportunity to clarify the truth to him.
After 7 p.m. the next day, I heard someone knocking on the door. It was the professor. My parents go to bed early, so I invited him to my room. He brought the massager again. I plugged it into the electric outlet and started massaging his lower legs.
He said, “I took stock of all the elderly teachers in our family quarters. Not a single one is happy in their old age. There is not a single family as happy as yours. Your parents are peasants. They have no income and entirely rely on you for financial support. They are truly blessed that you have taken such great care of them! I have my own apartment, savings, and retirement pension. Even when I give my children money, they complain that others have more. No one takes care of me. I gave most to my grandson and allowed them to live with me. Yet, my granddaughter-in-law never calls me grandpa. What a world it has turned into!”
He said, “The elderly lady in the unit next to yours, her son rented the apartment for her and she lives by herself. You haven’t seen her lately, right? She fell down, broke her leg, and has difficulty getting around. Her son didn’t come to take care of her. Her son is also a professor. Despite all the education he received, he ignores his mother. His mother asked him to take her to a nursing home. His son told her that she had to make enough money to get into one! His mother was so disappointed and left to live with her daughter in the countryside. Her daughter told her, ‘You didn’t pay for my education, and I got stuck in the countryside. You spent all the money on your son. Go live with him.’ When the elderly returned, her son had already returned the rented apartment to the owner. She has nowhere to live. There aren’t many children who treat their parents as you do.”
I asked, “Do you know why we practitioners act the way we do?” He said he didn't. I explained, “My Master has taught us how to behave. I’m guided by the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Have you heard about Falun Dafa?”
“I liked Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance as soon as you said it,” he said. “I know about Falun Dafa, and I’ve even read Falun Dafa books. There is not a single bad thing in them. It was quite popular years ago. I know Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good. My wife even learned the exercises. Then the CCP cracked down on Falun Dafa, saying that fighting broke out in Tianjin.”
I knew then that he was not aware of the facts. I started with the incident in Tianjin and why practitioners subsequently went to the CCP leadership compound in Beijing on April 25, 1999.
I explained, “The CCP has made up lies to smear Falun Dafa. The Tiananmen self-immolation was staged. The CCP mobilized all state-run media, including television, radio broadcasting, newspapers and magazines, and launched the all-out crackdown as they did in their previous political campaigns.”
He agreed, “I know how terrible the CCP is. During the Cultural Revolution, if it weren’t for the students who protected me by sending me away on medical leave, I would have been brutally beaten.” I asked him if he believed in gods. He said he did not in the beginning. Then one day during the Cultural Revolution’s final years, a huge fireball flew into his home. It circled around before whistling over his head, first to the next-door neighbor’s house east of his home, then to the next-door house west of his home. The fireball left after failing to find the people it was looking for. I asked him who the fireball was looking for. He said, “It must have been looking for the sons in those two families. Their parents were persecuted as Rightists in the late 1950s, which implicated the sons. The sons often beat up their parents, blaming all the discrimination they endured on them. I thought the fireball from the lightning and thunder that day was going after the sons. The two families were scared. The sons stopped abusing their parents afterward.”
I said, “Do you know why after over 20 years of CCP persecution, why Falun Dafa practitioners have not given up their practice? It is because we have had first-hand experiences that Gods do exist, which debunks the CCP’s atheism. Have you joined the CCP?” He answered, “I despise the CCP, and never joined it.” I asked whether he had joined the Youth League, and he said yes. I told him, “Then you should quit the Youth League and the Young Pioneers. Don’t be part of them, which are destined to be destroyed. How about I give you a pseudonym for quitting the two CCP affiliates organization?” He gladly agreed and asked for my help to do it for him.
I said, “Gods and Buddhas only look at one’s heart. Gods will protect you when you have quit the CCP affiliate organizations. Remember these words: Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good! These are life-saving words. With natural and man-made disasters everywhere, the pandemic spreading, and war breaking out, mankind is at a crossroads. Your choice to believe in gods assures you a bright future.” He said, “I believe in gods.”
Then counting with his fingers, the elderly professor recited the nine Chinese words together with me, “Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” He stood up, and said with joy, “This is the day I’ve spent 90 years of my life waiting for! I’m now going home.” I walked him back to his home.
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