Memories of Cultivating Before the Persecution
(Minghui.org) I started practicing Falun Gong in April 1996. My sister handed me a book and said, “Read this book and start practicing Falun Gong!”
Seeing Master's photo in the book I had a real sense of familiarity. I told my sister, “I don't remember how but I just know him. I have seen him before.” I brought the book with me to the town where I was working.
I was a manager of a food company with several local branches and nearly 100 employees. Since all the employees were from another province, they were rotated every six months.
I told them about the concept of being a good person and behaving in accordance with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. I also told them about the relationship between loss and gain.
I followed the requirements of Dafa to take good care of the employees. Knowing that working out of town and rotating twice a year wasn't easy for them, I managed the food expenses efficiently but made sure that they ate well. I used the money saved to buy mosquito nets and blankets for them in the summer.
The staff consistently rated the employee care in my branch the best. During his visit, the CEO asked me why there was always such good feedback from my team.
I said, “I practice Falun Gong and follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.” I told him that I truly cared about the employees. I knew they came from other cities far away and that, if they were satisfied, they would perform optimally. This would only happen if they were comfortable.
The employees dumped their leftovers into a big barrel outside the dining hall when they didn't like the food. Some would buy instant noodles for lunch instead. This happened in other branches, too. I noticed and made sure that we provided good food for our branch and managed the food expenses closely.
The nephew of the CEO was a branch production manager. When he was appointed to work in my branch, he said, “I have been hoping to come here. You treat us with respect. I have worked in all five branches of our company. We all agree that we would definitely vote for you as manager of the year.”
The CEO appointed me to manage the branch in my hometown in September 1997. When I arrived, I saw that the accounts were a mess, management was chaotic, sales were low, and about 20 employees had nothing to do and just played poker and chess all day. So little business was done that only one accountant was budgeted for.
The CEO told me, “The challenges there are huge, but I believe you can overcome them. Give it a try. No pressure. Keep going if it works. If not, I can just close that branch and you can come back to headquarters.” I told him I would do my best.
So I began working there. Quality assurance, sanitation, commercial management, and marketing all became my responsibilities. In my work I followed the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. The situation gradually improved.
The delivery of raw materials and payment for wages and facilities in this branch used to be handled by headquarters. In time, we were able to take care of them on our own. Step by step, the branch paid for its own raw materials, covered the wages, and eventually turned a profit and expanded production capacity.
In April 1999, I learned of a group Fa study site from Ms. Wang, who worked in the dining hall. She invited me to join the group.
Ms. Wang and I arrived punctually that night. The early arrivers were all scurrying to tidy the space but received us warmly. We helped them to clean up.
The rest of the practitioners arrived in about an hour. There were about 70 to 80 of us. We all sat on mats and started reciting “Lunyu,” “Enlightenment,” “A Brief Explanation of Shan,” “What is Forbearance (Ren)?” “Huge Exposure,” “Broad and Immense,” “True Cultivation,” “Realms,” and “Determination” from Essentials for Further Advancement.
My cultivation had generally been in isolation, with the exception of occasionally studying with Ms. Wang, so I was astounded by the scene in front of me. This was the first time I enlightened to the meaning of a group acting as “one body.”
Before my eyes were elementary school students, middle school students, middle aged people, senior citizens, male and female, each serving as an integral element of this group. Listening to them recite the Fa was an extremely humbling experience. Was what I was doing really considered cultivation?
Throughout the evening, each of my shortcomings began surfacing, exposing themselves lucidly so I could address them. I decided right then I would catch up and be diligent!
Next, we studied the first chapter of Zhuan Falun. Everyone took turns reading one paragraph. Some people read fluently while others with less education had more trouble.
However, everyone was able to listen patiently and read in order. The room was just flooded with compassion and consideration. No one held side conversations, and we all gave our full attention to studying the Fa.
After we finished Lecture One, the coordinator recommended that we all study the Fa more after returning home. He asked those whose literacy was limited to preview the Fa before each group session.
He also inquired if we needed other lectures and whether we were familiar with the exercises yet. Ms. Wang and I had just started practicing according to the exercise diagrams in The Great Way of Spiritual Perfection and did not fully grasp the movements yet.
We joined the group exercises at a small park early the next morning. Seventy to eighty people did the exercise movements in unison following Master's instructions on the recording. Veteran practitioners helped us new practitioners perfect the motions. They were responsible and selfless. This laid a solid foundation for our future cultivation.
Since the day I joined the group study, I understood what cultivation was and how to assimilate diligently. I devoted myself to the Fa, and the righteous thoughts in my mind increased.
I was able to redirect all aspects of my daily life and work life in accordance with the Fa, resulting in a physically, mentally, and spiritually healthier life. I tried hard to duplicate the sincerity, simplicity, and selflessness I observed in fellow practitioners. I am touched every time I witness practitioners act as model citizens.
I overslept and missed morning exercises one day. I sprinted to the site and wanted to climb over the park fence to get in faster. As I lifted my leg and was about to climb over, a lady stopped me. She said that was “improper” and suggested that we go through the front gate together.
My face flushed red with embarrassment. I will never forget her next words: “We practice Falun Gong, so we must conduct ourselves as model citizens and help maintain order.”