I Finally Learned to Stop Placing Myself above Others and Began Solidly Cultivating
(Minghui.org) One day I asked someone, “How old do you think I am?” She said, “Over 50?” I said. “No, guess again.” “Over 60 at the most,” she replied. I said, “I'm 73.” “You can't be! How do you manage to look so young?” she said in surprise.
In the past 16 years, I have not only changed a lot for the better physically, I have also let go of attachments to sentimentality and putting myself above others.
Happiness in Obtaining 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” in Hong Yin)
When I was a child, I always liked to look at the ever-changing sky. I was always curious, filled with many questions about the vast universe. I wondered, “How did the universe come into being? How was the Earth formed? How did mankind and the multitude of things on earth come into existence? Why does mankind exist? Why am I here?”
When I was 55, my husband's friend gave us a copy of Zhuan Falun. I flipped through a few pages but put the book down. My husband read it and started practicing Falun Gong. However, it took me another two years to cherish this marvelous opportunity.
My son, who was attending university in Beijing, called me on November 30, 1998 and said, “Mom, you'd better read the book.” I knew he referred to Zhuan Falun.
After I put the phone down and looked up, Zhuan Falun stood out prominently on the book-lined shelves. I took it down and read it in one go, even skipping meals that day.
“I'm going to practice Falun Gong,” I said to my husband after I finished reading Zhuan Falun. “Really?” my husband asked with joy. “Yes.” I said firmly.
Master said in Zhuan Falun,“There are also people who have never practiced it, but who have pursued and pondered the truth and the meaning of human life. Once they learn our Falun Dafa, they will understand at once many questions in life that they have wished to understand but could not answer. Perhaps along with their minds being elevated, they will become very excited—this is for sure. I know that a genuine practitioner will know its weight and cherish it.” (Lecture Eight)
I was so happy during those days and felt everyone was smiling at me when I went out. I told everyone I came across about the benefits of practicing Falun Gong. I practiced the exercises in a local park, and went to promote Falun Gong in public squares and the railway station. All my siblings and some colleagues at work also started practicing Falun Gong.
The Sudden Persecution
In the beginning of 1999, plainclothes police began coming to our practice site, but no one felt it was significant and we just carried on as usual.
Later the persecution began and we no longer had a place for large group exercises.
After July 20, 1999, when the persecution formally started, my workplace forced each one of us to make a statement. I said, “I've worked here for so many years and you all know me very well. I only have three points to make: 1) I will still practice (Falun Gong) because I've benefited so much from it. 2) I won't get involved in politics. 3) The TV station is telling lies and fabricated stories. You're all intelligent people and are able to understand what this is all about.” Everyone kept quiet. Then the chairperson said loudly, “The meeting is over!”
I retired at 59, a year ahead of the retirement age.
Letting Go of Sentimentality
“To consummate yourself, reaping Buddhahood,Let joy be found in hardship.Physical pains count little as suffering,Indeed, cultivating mind is hardest.Each and every barrier must be broken through,And everywhere does evil lurk.Abundant troubles rain down together,All to see: Can you pull through?The world’s miseries endured,One departs the earth a Buddha.(“Tempering the Will” in Hong Yin)
I understand the Fa principles, but often find it hard to “let joy be found in hardship”.
My eldest son was illegally arrested and sentenced to one year of forced labor for distributing truth-clarification materials about Falun Gong. I was worried that he might suffer, so I went to the local police station to try to get him out. I went there filled with hatred towards the vicious police and with a fighting mentality. As a result, I failed to get my son out or save those police officers.
I couldn't eat and sleep properly for days and my mind was filled with terrible scenes of persecution. My daughter-in-law studied the Fa with me and I gradually calmed down.
I kept listening to Master's lectures and everything went back to normal. One day, while I was reading Hong Yin, every word went into my heart and I felt as if Master was taking me into the vast cosmos. I saw clearly that I was deeply trapped in human sentiments.
Master kindly told us,“Those who are attached to affection for family will definitely be burned, entangled, and tormented by it. Pulled by the threads of affection and plagued by them throughout their lives, they will find it too late to regret at the end of their lives.”(“Cultivators' Avoidances” Essentials for Further Advancement)
From then on, I kept looking inward while doing the three things. I became more mature, and was gradually able to let go of sentimentality.
While I cultivated, whenever I came across conflicts, Master's teaching would appear in my mind:“Whatever you experience during your cultivation – whether good or bad – is good, for it comes about only because you are cultivating.” (“To the Chicago Fa Conference”)
Letting Go of Attachment to Fame
I was always an outstanding student when I was young, and a top academic authority at work before I retired. Because of this, plus being raised in the Chinese Communist Party Culture, I often considered myself extraordinary.
For example, when fellow practitioners talked about the celestial eye, I would say, “Mine was open even before I started cultivating.” I felt that I had very good inborn quality.
When practitioners talked about De (virtue) accumulated by their ancestors, I would say, “My ancestors were from a family of scholars, with a lot of De, and therefore I must have a lot of De myself.”
When practitioners talked about Dafa opening up our wisdom, I would say, “I'm an accomplished in playing the lyre, chess, calligraphy, and painting. I'm clever and the best at whatever I do. As long as I practice a little, I will be outstanding, as I'm a genius, way above the average person.”
Udumbara flowers blossomed in my home for four years in a row. With my show-off mentality, I told practitioners, “That's because we have a good energy field in my house.” My thought of being extraordinary kept inflating and I often spoke to practitioners with a tone of authority and made critical comments about them.
One day, I was talking with a couple who were experiencing some sickness karma. I placed myself above them from the very beginning, as though I was there to help them. The wife is a very gentle person who normally said little, but that day she shared a lot with me and I felt very pleased. But her husband kept cutting in to explain her situation.
I lost my patience and told him, “I'm sharing with her, not you. We cultivators all have a lot of energy. If you keep making conclusions for her, you will interfere with her progress. You're doing something bad, and to a large extent you are responsible for her current condition. You should take a gook look at yourself...!”
I said a lot and felt I was totally on the Fa. To my surprise, he suddenly yelled loudly, “You're so domineering. Stop talking!” I was stunned and became quiet. I forced myself to be calm and said, “There must be something I haven't done right. I'll think about it.” Then I left.
Master said,“While working, your tone of voice, your kindheartedness, and your reasoning can change a person’s heart, whereas commands never could!” (“Clearheadedness” in Essentials for Further Advancement)
I searched within and realized: Before I started practicing I used to treat my siblings, my daughter, my students and colleagues in that bossy manner.
I feel that Master is always by our side helping us as long as we have righteous thoughts. As I reflected, I remembered many Fa principles and I set certain requirements for myself: Sincerely study the Fa, send righteous thoughts to eliminate my attachments, keep silent but listen when fellow practitioners talk and expose my attachments. I also decided to limit the number of Fa-study groups I attended to just two. After a while, fellow practitioners said that I had changed a lot.
One day, my son, who's usually very quiet, said, “Mom, you're not cultivating solidly.” I was surprised, as no one had ever said anything like this to me before.
One day as I was reading Hong Yin, I read the last line in “Solid Cultivation”,“Let each and every thing be measured against the Fa.Only then, with that, is it actually cultivation."("Solid Cultivation" from Hong Yin)
I felt I was hit with a “warning stick”.
Two days later when I was studying the Fa, my son said, “Mom, you're preparing lessons again, right?” Suddenly, I felt it was a hint dropped by Master through my son's mouth. I started to reflect on myself: In the past, whenever I studied the Fa, I often thought: “This paragraph can help so and so to understand the issue he talked about the other day.” In case I forgot, I would even memorize the paragraph and read it to the fellow practitioner, thinking that I was being responsible for him. I was rather pleased with myself when I did this. I was like this for a very long time, helping others to cultivate instead of cultivating myself. Sometimes I also criticized others for not cultivating solidly. I finally began to understand the true meaning of solid cultivation.
I realized: I've indeed failed to cultivate solidly. Master said at the end of Zhuan Falun,“I hope that after going home everyone will make the best use of his or her time for genuine cultivation practice.” (Lecture Nine in Zhuan Falun)
Clarifying the Facts
There are many articles on the Minghui website about truth-clarification, which I find very inspiring and encouraging.
When I clarify the facts to people about Falun Gong, I usually start by talking about the health benefits of the practice. Almost every one I talk to agrees to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations, including a leader in the Ministry of Culture, a provincial governor's wife, the head of a CCP school, an instructor of a forced labor camp, as well as some celebrities, experts and ordinary people. I've also persuaded someone who deeply hurt me to quit the CCP. When they say, “Thank you!” or say that they wish to learn more about Falun Dafa, I feel gratitude and joy from the bottom of my heart.