Finding Gaps in Myself from My Daughter's Cultivation
(Minghui.org) My daughter, who is eight years old, practices Falun Dafa with me. In the beginning, I always felt that I was using my time to help her. I never thought that her cultivation could be compared with mine. I have completely changed my mind, however, after a few touching incidents.
A Compassionate Heart
I was once not able to control my temper over a small matter, and I spanked my daughter. She cried for a while, but then came to me and said, “Mom, you are a good mom.” I could tell she was not saying that just to please me. She was speaking sincerely. I realized that Master was telling me through her behaviour what being pure is. Although spanking her was unreasonable, she didn't complain. If I were her, I would have remembered the incident and wouldn't have let it go if someone yelled at me.
When she accidentally fell, I would say, “Look, I told you to be careful but you never listen to me. This is your punishment.” However, when I fell, her first reaction was to come and help me. She would ask, “Mom, are you okay?”
In looking at the kindness coming from her heart, I felt that I was not as compassionate. This reminded me that when fellow practitioners were persecuted, I would think to myself, “Look, you didn't cultivate yourself and didn't pay attention to our sharing. Now you are being persecuted by the old forces.” My first reaction in that situation should instead have been to immediately offer help without having any negative thoughts.
When my daughter's teacher became ill, her classmate, Yaoyao, wanted to visit the teacher with her. My daughter wanted me to buy a good apple to give to her teacher. She later whispered that she wanted me to buy another apple for Yaoyao to give to the teacher because her parents didn't want to buy one. I agreed. However, I found that the apples were quite expensive when I bought them. On our way home, I complained to my daughter that her teacher would not know it was us who bought the apples for her.
My daughter said, “So what? The important thing is that my teacher can eat the apples.”
I felt that I was lagging behind in cultivation. My daughter's intention was to help her teacher get better, but mine was to make sure the teacher appreciated my gift. I also realized that when I clarified the truth to people, my purpose was to gain recognition from it instead of truly wanting to help save them.
In the end, Yaoyao didn't visit her teacher, so my daughter went by herself. She was not familiar with her teacher's area of town and didn't know the teacher's apartment number. She took the bus and arrived at her teacher's community and called her teacher to find the address.
In fact, my daughter was a timid child. She usually did not dare to communicate with adults. But she acted so bravely in this instance. I know that it was because she cared about her teacher. Upon seeing her behavior I suddenly understood the power of “caring about other people.” If I care about people when I talk to them about Falun Dafa, then the outcome will be better.
On Christmas Eve, my daughter's classmates wanted to give their teacher some apples wrapped in paper boxes. My daughter wrapped her apples. I noticed that there was room on the box to write a greeting. So I asked my daughter to write her name so that her teacher would know it was from her. Then, I suddenly remembered Master Li's words:
“Parents often teach their kids to “be a little smarter” so that they will make it in life, in a worldly sense. But being “smart” like that is wrong in view of the universe. We believe in letting things take their course and worrying little about how things will turn out for us, whereas someone who has learned to really be clever will always try to come out on top.” (The Second Talk, Zhuan Falun)
“And the more he learns such things growing up, the more selfish he becomes in life. And his mistreatment of people will cost him virtue.” (The Second Talk, Zhuan Falun)
I regretted saying that to my daughter. Wasn't I leading my child awry?
Acts of Selflessness
Later, when I was ill, my daughter helped me to handle the groceries, housework, and cooking. She did it so naturally and would do whatever she could. I suddenly thought about myself. When fellow practitioners were sick, my first thought would be if I were to help them, I hoped it wouldn't affect my cultivation, or that other practitioners would blame me if my assistance wasn't effective.
My daughter, however, had no selfish thoughts at all. She just did whatever she could. If we can eliminate our selfishness and help other practitioners unconditionally, then they won't be lacking for help.
An Exemplary Practitioner
When my daughter studies the Fa, she asks about things that she doesn't understand. For example, she would ask where is the “Tanzhong acupuncture point” and how does “the cosmic orbit” work in our bodies? I have never studied the Fa in this way. I was satisfied with just knowing that such things existed. I started to ask myself if I had really studied the Fa carefully, if I really understood the Fa, and if I had really cultivated myself...
My daughter also insists on explaining the facts about Falun Dafa to people. She goes out every weekend regardless of the weather. I was sometimes very tired from accompanying her.
I found the younger practitioners to be good-natured. They are very pure and compassionate. I don't usually see my daughter's good side, however. All I see is things like she did not finish her homework quickly, or that she was messy. I always yell at her and think she had not improved at all. It is the same attitude I have toward other practitioners. I didn't see their good sides and only looked at their shortcomings.
I sometimes feel that on the surface I am helping my daughter to learn how to cultivate, but in fact she was helping me with my cultivation. I saw my attachments from her behaviors. I also realized that we should not judge if a practitioner is diligent or not from the surface. The people who are good at sharing are not necessarily doing well. Some unremarkable fellow practitioners are actually doing very well!
Please correct me if there is anything inappropriate.