How My Book Was Lost and Found
(Minghui.org) One Sunday in August I was returning home after doing the Falun Dafa exercises when I saw that a designer clothing store was having a 60% off sale. I was interested and went in to see if there was anything that I might want.
I had visited this store twice before but had never found anything worthwhile. This time the store had a lot of new styles, so I excitedly started going through them. There were a lot of people in the store, and I was carrying a zippered shoulder bag. Twice while I was shopping, I felt someone tug on my bag. But when I looked around, I didn't see anything out of the ordinary.
When I was getting ready to go to the fitting room, I saw that the zipper on my bag was open. I was stunned and realized that someone had stolen something. I looked in my bag and found my exercise mat, wallet, and keys were all there. To my surprise, it was my copy of Zhuan Falun that had been stolen.
I felt that this was a sign that I shouldn’t be buying clothes again. I immediately put away the clothes I had in my arms. I figured that a pickpocket must have mistaken my Zhuan Falun for a wallet because it was the mini version and inside a plastic bag.
I left the store and thought to myself, “It’s no big deal. I have another book at home.” Then I realized that this thought wasn't right. Did I really attach so little value to such a precious book? I realized that I had never thought about just how valuable Zhuan Falun was. What if, discovering that the object he stole was not a wallet, the thief tossed it in a trash can? How much karma would I incur?
I was so remorseful. I hadn't really protected my book. Standing outside the store, I had no idea what to do. I looked inward and sent forth righteous thoughts. I couldn't just leave, so I decided to check out the nearby trash cans.
As I was looking inward, I found that I had an attachment to buying clothes and being thrifty. Whenever I saw a sale, I immediately wanted to buy something without first considering if I needed it.
At the beginning of the year when I had gone to other stores to find clothes on sale, I started to realize that it was an attachment and that I should eliminate it. But I didn’t take it seriously and didn’t work to let go of the attachment. It eventually got to the point where I was even shopping for clothes in my sleep!
In the past, I'd never been that attached to shopping for clothes. Now I saw that the attachment had gotten quite big. The last few times I'd gone shopping, it was because it was hot, and I'd wanted clothes that I could wear in the heat. It didn't hurt that the clothes here were on sale.
In addition, I always had this notion that no one would ever want to steal a book. On Sundays when I went to help tell people about Falun Dafa, I often left my bag with my copy of Zhuan Falun in it on the ground when I went to the bathroom. I felt that, because there were practitioners around, no one would steal it. I always brought along my phone and wallet, which I considered valuable, but left the book outside. I never thought that this was wrong. This time, my book had really been stolen!
Reflecting on my cultivation, I realized how lax I had become. My mind was not calm and often wandered when sending forth righteous thoughts. Sometimes, I fell asleep before it was time to send forth the righteous thoughts at night, and I often missed sending forth righteous thoughts in the morning.
I knew that this wasn’t good and tried to think of ways to improve. I realized that I had become lazy in my cultivation and I knew I wanted to change. While looking inward, I searched the trash cans outside the store and those down the road. I began to get anxious.
I saw a sanitation worker emptying the trash cans into a truck and wanted to ask him if he had seen the book. Unfortunately, I didn’t speak the local language and he didn’t understand me. Whenever I imagined the thief throwing my book into a trash can, I felt very bad. I sent forth righteous thoughts to clear the interfering elements from whoever had stolen my book.
I realized that it was useless to keep looking in trash cans because they had been emptied by that point. But I still didn’t want to give up and was determined to find it. I thought: “This book is worth more than my life. I can’t leave it to be discarded.” In my heart, I owned up to my mistake and asked Master Li [Hongzhi] to help me find my book.
My heart was full of anguish; I didn't want to go home without the book, and I was determined to find it.
I had been looking for my book for almost two hours when I felt that I should go back to the store and take another look. The store was still crowded when I returned. I looked around and saw the corner of the yellow sleeve that I carried my book in peeking out from under a pile of clothes.
I was pleasantly surprised and yanked it out from under the pile. But there was no book inside. Where was it? I could hardly contain myself and rummaged through the clothes on the table, but the book just wasn't there.
By this time, I was flustered. Why was there just the sleeve? I asked the people who worked there if they had seen my book. They told me they hadn’t but would notify me if they did. I asked three more store associates and a security guard, who all said they hadn’t seen it. I still didn’t give up. I asked them to keep an eye out for it and to hang onto it if they found it. I thought of returning the next day to have another look around but then decided to go through the store one more time.
I felt very anxious. I had hope but I still didn't find it, either upstairs or downstairs. It wasn’t in the fitting room either. I searched every table with no luck. The sleeve had clearly been left, how could it be that the book would not be there? Could it have been taken?
I almost cried standing there, but I refused to give up. I was determined to find my book. Then I saw a piece of clothing that had fallen onto the floor. I picked it up, and there it was: my book was just sitting right there! I was overjoyed and couldn’t believe that I had found it. It was a miracle! I thanked Master from the bottom of my heart and exclaimed to the employees that I had found my book.
I could finally go home with peace of mind. I carried the book in my hand the whole way for fear of losing it again. For the next few days, every time I picked up the book that had been lost and then found, I felt the need to treasure it. I am thankful for this lucky occurrence.