Cultivating as Married Couples
(Minghui.org) I started practicing Falun Dafa in March 1996. My husband and father-in-law, who lived with us, also started practicing in the same year.
My father-in-law would wake me up around 3:40 a.m. every morning, and the three of us would do the Dafa exercises together. We then went out to talk to people about Falun Dafa. Our home was used for group Fa study, where practitioners could study the Fa and share cultivation experiences in the evening. It was the happiest of times.
Fellow practitioners were affectionate and polite, and everyone looked inward. I knew a lot of practitioners at that time, including many married couples.
More than 20 years have now passed, and I still keep in touch with about a dozen couples who are both practitioners. But the situations among them are quite different now.
As I am one of them, I would like share a few issues often faced by married couples who both practice Dafa. These are based on my own understandings and experiences.
Judging Partners with the High Standards of the Fa
I normally still get up around 3:40 a.m. every morning to do the exercises. After I have finished the standing exercises, I call my husband to get up so we can do the meditation exercise together.
My husband was sometimes reluctant to get up when I called him, which made me angry. I complained in my mind, “Are you a practitioner? I'm calling for you every morning, and you're still can't get up.”
When I was practicing the exercises one day, I suddenly remembered the time when my father-in-law called me every morning to do the exercises. At the beginning, I was always sleepy and didn’t want to get up that early. However, I had no way but to get up because I didn’t want to lose face.
At that moment, I felt my compassion grow. I still called my husband to get up in the morning, but if he didn’t want to get up, I remained calm and held no complaint in my mind.
I still shared my thoughts with him later and reminded him that practitioners should overcome attachments to laziness and comfort.
Looking Down on One's Partner
I know a practitioner couple who always look down each other and think of the other as a non-practitioner. The wife complained to me that her husband would fall asleep while doing the morning exercises. When she pointed it out to him, he would not acknowledge it and often argued with her. The husband would then complain to me as well, saying that his wife was just an ordinary housewife. They fought each other over trivial things and didn’t try to understand each other.
I wondered why I became involved in their conflicts. Their bickering reminded me of the frustration I had with my husband over trivial things at home. I often vented my anger to him, but he didn’t fuss over it and let it go with a smile.
With the passage of time, my frustration subsided and I managed to let go of my complaints. The conflicts between me and my husband were naturally dissolved.
It’s imperative that we practitioners let go of our grudges, look inward when we encounter conflicts, and measure ourselves against the Fa's principles. Any conflicts will then soon pass.
It is also important to think of the other person's merits rather than their faults. Moreover, it is our own notions that judge what is good or bad. Everyone has their own standards for doing things, and it is not possible for others’ standards to match my own, and vice versa.
One cannot ask others to conform to one’s own standards. Only the principle of 'Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance' should be used to judge what is right and what is wrong.
The wife of a married couple had strong sentimentality toward her family, which brought about serious sickness karma. She is now unable to take care of herself, never mind her family. The husband is very capable and highly respected, and he has done a lot during Fa-rectification.
I once read an article on the Minghui website that spoke of a person who likes to give orders and is highly opinionated. It reminded me of myself. I have a strong personality and don’t like to be questioned.
There is another married couple in our region. The husband did something wrong before the persecution started in July 1999. He had symptoms of serious sickness karma, kept vomiting blood and had blood in his stool. A fellow practitioner helped him to look within, and he eventually acknowledged his mistake. He exposed his mistake openly to fellow practitioners, and he soon recovered.
However, his wife felt like she had lost face in front of other practitioners, and the relationship between her and her husband deteriorated. But the wife later looked inward and found her attachments to looking down on people, complaining, and pointing fingers at others. Now, the couple's relationship has dramatically improved.
Losing a Child
There is another married couple with a son. Their son had studied the Fa since he was young. However, he passed away on June 1, 2018, at age of 26. I still feel sad recalling the situation.
When the son was suffering from sickness karma, my husband and I, and four other couples, went to their home to study the Fa together. I found that the son’s parents didn’t know how to cultivate. They refused to share their experiences and rejected others’ understandings of the Fa.
For them, looking inward seemed to be just a saying. They were completely attached to the “sickness” of their son. When their attachment was pointed out, they refused to acknowledge it. I felt really sad for them.
Watching the child being tormented by the pain, I understood the parents were in despair and felt helpless. It aroused my attachment to my own son for a while, as he was around the same age as their son.
Whenever I did the exercises, I would think of my son. I then tried to call him, but he didn’t answer, which made me more worried about him. I was anxious and unable to become tranquil during the exercises. I talked to my husband about visiting my son, and we made arrangements with another practitioner, who would drive us to visit my son the next day.
However, that night, the practitioners’ son with sickness karma passed away. We went to the practitioners’ home to help out. The practitioner who agreed to drive us the next day was there too. I realized that I should let go of the attachment of sentimentality toward my son, and we decided not to drive to see him.
When I called my son again the next morning, he answered. I realized that it was my attachment that had brought up my fear. I then calmed down.
Whether one can cultivate solidly and advance diligently is a long-term test for every practitioner.
Dealing with the Arrest of a Loved One
The wife of a married couple was arrested for hanging truth-clarification banners. The husband was so worried that he couldn’t eat or drink. His mother came from her hometown to help him. They studied the Fa and did the exercises together. Eventually, the husband overcame his sadness and was able to function better and go to work.
The wife is very capable, and the couple had a good relationship. When one's partner is arrested, it is understandable that the other would be very sad. However, from the perspective of cultivation, there was too much sentimentality toward each other, which should be treated lightly.
Being Mindful of Our Actions
My husband and I both feel that we know how to cultivate and handle issues in accordance with the Fa. Sometimes we agree with each other, and sometimes we don’t. However, we try to seek common ground when resolving differences.
One morning, I felt that I had a really good meditation session. My mind was clear, and I didn’t feel pain in my legs. However, my husband told me that I had fallen asleep during the exercise. I argued, “It’s impossible. I feel really good!”
He showed me a video he took with his cell phone. I was sound asleep with my head almost touching my legs. I stopped arguing.
We often argued on issues regarding the exercises. I always found excuses and found it hard to admit being in the wrong. I only stop arguing when I begin looking inward.
A fellow practitioner once reminded me that I had missed a word during Fa study. Without thinking, I immediately questioned if I had read it incorrectly. My husband then followed up, saying, “Just read it again when someone reminds you. If you try to say something, it will waste time in Fa study. It's also not good to say something else in the middle of Fa study. It's not respectful to Master and the Fa.”
When I see conflicts occurring with other practitioners, I ask myself whether I have the same issue, as nothing happens by chance.
“When two people have a conflict both should look for the causes within themselves, asking, “What problem do I have here?” Each should search for his own problem. If a third person witnesses the conflict between the two, I would say that it’s not accidental for that third person to see it, and he too should think it over: “Why did I see their conflict? Is it because I still have some shortcomings?” Only in this way can it be good.” (Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference)
From my experiences during cultivation, I have gained a deeper understanding on this issue, which has helped reduce a lot of conflicts. It is not difficult to look inward when we encounter a conflict once it becomes a habit.
Before doing anything, I always consider whether it conforms to the Fa. This helps me avoid unnecessary troubles. Of course, there are times when I can't do well. If I don’t do well, consequences occur, which prompt me to correct it.
“The paths of cultivation are variedBut none is outside the Great LawWhen one is attached to nothingThe path underfoot is naturally smooth”(“Unimpeded”, Hong Yin Volume II)