(Minghui.org) I’d like to tell you about my cultivation experiences in my complicated and sometimes volatile family environment.

Our son is the only grandson in my husband’s family. My in-laws didn’t come to see him after he was born and never asked about him while he was growing up. I stayed at my parent’s home while I recuperated from giving birth, which was only five kilometers (about three miles) from my in-laws. The neighbors noticed they did visit and said, “You had a boy but they don’t seem interested.” I had not yet begun practicing Falun Dafa and I developed strong resentment for my mother-in-law.

My mother-in-law was a skilled sewer and made clothing for her two daughters but never for me. When I visited her she proudly showed me the clothing she made them, saying, “I made these for your sisters. What do you think?” I always felt unsettled when she did this.

My husband caught a cold one winter which developed into pneumonia. He was hospitalized for 28 days. After he was discharged we visited his parents. They didn’t ask how he felt; instead they criticized him, “Others don’t get so sick when they catch a cold.” On the way home I was so upset that I burst into tears. Over time, these accumulated grievances led me to deeply resent my husband’s parents.

After I began practicing Falun Dafa, I understood the importance of following the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance to become a better person.After my mother-in-law’s 72nd birthday she was frequently hospitalized. One year she was hospitalized more than twelve times. My husband and I took care of her. At first, I couldn’t set aside my resentment and thought, “You never helped me, but now that you’re old, you expect me to help you.” Despite my grievances I tried my best to take care of her, knowing that I should follow Falun Dafa’s teachings.

I was under tremendous pressure as I had to take care of her, go to work, and handle the financial burden while my child was in school. I often silently complained about having a mother-in-law who was so critical of us.

Realizing that my mindset was not right and finding my attachments of jealousy and resentment toward my mother-in-law, I tried to calm down and study the Fa more. The negative thoughts about her kept surfacing, and I couldn’t suppress them.

One day I read what Master said,

“Many people will feel that cultivation is hard to do. Actually, cultivation itself is not hard; to abandon ordinary human thinking and attachments is what’s hardest. What’s meant by ordinary human thinking? To illustrate it, the first thing a cultivator should be able to do is refrain from retaliating when you have been wronged in some way. Ordinary people aren’t able to do that because they are ordinary people. A cultivator must be able to, though. Moreover, you must be able to do the following: when others push you around, you have no complaints and hold no grudges, and take it lightly, and you even laugh it off and forget about it; or even when someone beats you up, you silently thank that person who beats you up.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Founding Ceremony of the Singaporean Falun Dafa Association”)

My heart suddenly brightened, and in my mind, I told Master, “I now understand how to let go of my resentment towards my mother-in-law.”

But attachments are sometimes not eliminated in one go. In 2022, my father-in-law had a car accident, breaking nine ribs and knocking out his two front teeth. The pandemic restrictions were still in place, but as long as one had a health code, one was allowed to visit a hospitalized patient.

My husband’s sisters lived in the countryside and could not visit my father-in-law, let alone attend him in the hospital. My husband kept him company in the hospital for two weeks, and I brought them food after work. I also needed to care for my seriously ill mother-in-law. After my father-in-law was discharged, he moved into our home.

My sisters-in-law never visited him, and I started feeling unbalanced again. What kind of family is this? The daughters never offered to help during the holidays or on their parents’ birthdays. The more I thought about it, the more I remembered the neighbors upstairs talking about their daughters coming from other provinces to celebrate their birthdays. My husband’s family all live in the same province, but not a single one came to visit. I once again felt upset and resentful.

Compassionate Master tried to enlighten me. Sometimes, a stranger called the wrong number, which I felt was a hint that I did something wrong. Other times a water pipe would leak, which was a reminder to look inward. I found that I often evaluated issues using human reasoning and notions, looking outward instead of grasping every wrong thought and use it as an opportunity to cultivate. I was indignant for a few days before I gradually calmed down and looked inward. However, as I kept cultivating, when attachments, such as jealousy and feelings of unfairness surfaced I eliminated them.

My Younger Sister

Master said, “Without conflicts there won’t be improvement.” (“Teachings at the Conference in the Western U.S.”)

Family conflicts can be truly heart wrenching.

One of my sisters is four years younger than I, and her family’s financial condition is not as good as mine. I helped her after she married. Our mother lived with me, and whenever my family had something, she shared it with my younger sister. After I started working when I was 16, I bought her clothing as gifts for the Chinese New Year. When she had a child, I bought clothing and food, and gave her red envelopes (which contain money).

Even when I purchased bedsheets, I gave some to her family. When her family bought a TV that cost over 2,000 yuan (about $282), I contributed 1,000 yuan to help pay for it. One time, I wanted to buy a down-filled jacket for myself, which cost 500 to 600 (about $70 to $85). I hesitated and didn’t buy it. But when I met my sister and her husband on a bus, they mentioned they were going to buy clothes for their child. Without hesitation, I handed them 500 yuan. After I retired, I gave my car, which I mainly used to go to work, to my sister.

Despite everything I did for her, my sister seldom treated me kindly. She used a scolding tone when she talked to me, and rarely smiled at me. Her tone was condescending. She ridiculed me and said my clothes were old-fashioned.

Once when I went to her home after work I first stopped at a supermarket to buy some things for her. When I arrived she and her husband were arguing. I chose not to take sides, which upset her. She started slamming doors and kicking walls. In frustration on my way home I said, “I’ll never visit her again. I treated you so well, is this how you repay me? After our mother dies there’ll be no reason for us to see each other. It’s best not to have any further contact.”

For years I was convinced I was not at fault, and I felt I was justified because of her wrongdoing.

I recently had another conflict with her. When I read Essentials for Further Advancement I finally understood that she was helping me improve my xinxing. Each time I failed to improve she created a commotion. The magnitude of my attachments was reflected in how badly she behaved. Because I consistently measured things using human reasoning without changing my mindset, I was pushing conflicts outward, which in turn intensified the next conflicts.

Although I knew I should cultivate when conflicts arose, not get angry, and not harbor resentment, my cultivation was superficial. I still thought I was right, and she was wrong. I didn’t truly examine or cultivate myself.

I knew I should focus on cultivating myself, and not look at her behavior. I should view her behavior as a mirror reflecting my shortcomings. If I felt she had a competitive mentality, then so did I. If she made fun of me, it reflected my attachments to saving face, fame, jealousy, looking for repayment, and sentimentality toward her. I wanted others to treat me well. My attachment to sentimentality (emotion) hindered my cultivation, because I still considered feelings good, which caused delays in improving my xinxing.

During each conflict, I remained silent, but my internal turmoil intensified as years of grievances surfaced, and I often felt wronged. After I genuinely changed from within, my interactions with my sister became harmonious. I recommend practitioners who can’t seem to overcome long-standing issues read Essentials for Further Advancement and read it multiple times.

As my xinxing improved, I made positive changes in the way I validated Dafa. I used an Epson 7280 printer with a bottom-fed paper tray, which couldn’t pick up thick paper. One day, after I read Zhuan Falun, the main book of Falun Dafa, the printer miraculously started picking up the thicker paper.

Throughout the years, I walked my cultivation path under the careful protection and enlightenment of Master. Whenever faced with tribulations and unsure of what to do, I focus on and study the Fa. In the process, Master guides me on what to do, and I feel reassured.

Thank you Master! Thank you fellow practitioners!