How I Cultivated Compassion
(Minghui.org) As practitioners of Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong), we may have wondered how to cultivate compassion. I have given this much thought during my 20 years of cultivation and would like to share my thoughts with fellow practitioners.
Good Cultivation Helps Overcome Sickness Karma
A fellow practitioner experienced serious sickness karma a few years ago, with symptoms of a blood clot on the brain. He was confused, laughed for no apparent reason, couldn’t remember things, or verbally express himself. He wobbled when he stood and couldn’t button his own shirt because of hand tremors.
This practitioner lived with his children who are not supportive of Dafa. I believed that he could benefit from a better cultivation environment, so I asked if he and his wife would like to stay with us for a while.
I called a taxi, and they came to my home that day.
My husband and I are both Falun Dafa practitioners. We lost our jobs due to the persecution. We rented a small studio apartment and shared the kitchen and bathroom with three neighbors. I arranged for the older couple to sleep in our bed, while my husband and I slept on the floor.
It wasn’t the most convenient situation for us, but it offered a better cultivation environment for the practitioner, which I believed was the key to helping him recover. We were able to host local practitioners for Fa study, and together we sent righteous thoughts for him.
While the practitioner and his wife stayed with us, I didn’t sleep much. I sent righteous thoughts every hour, day and night. When I got up to send righteous thoughts at midnight, I didn’t go back to sleep and just stayed up and did the exercises. I cooked three simple meals a day and mostly studied the Fa with the practitioner.
The first night they spent with us, I tried to wake him up to send righteous thoughts at midnight, but he didn’t want to get up and his wife didn’t get up either. The next morning I suggested we do the exercises together, but he didn’t feel like it.
I was a little annoyed: “How could he get rid of his sickness karma if he wasn’t diligent?”
However, through looking inward I realized it wasn’t the right attitude. I couldn’t make them do anything they didn’t want to.
I stopped looking at this practitioner’s shortcomings and instead focused on what he did well. Though he was not clear-headed, as soon as we started Fa study, he immediately sat up and showed he respected Master and the Fa. He couldn’t read out aloud with us, but his eyes followed along and he paid attention to what we were reading.
I tried to be understanding of the couple and didn't make them do anything they didn’t want to. They didn’t get up to do the exercises in the morning, so we did them during the day. The practitioner couldn’t talk, so I chatted with his wife and kindly pointed out areas where they could do better. Gradually, they became more diligent.
Because we studied the Fa, did the exercises, and sent righteous thoughts every day, the practitioner’s condition began to improve.
Three days after he came to stay with us, he got his voice back. His speech was slurred, but he was able to talk. The uncontrollable hand tremors also got better and completely stopped by the fifth day. His thinking was clearer, and he no longer laughed for no reason.
When asked where he wanted to spend the Chinese New Year, he said he’d like to go home and be with his family. He was able to keep up with the rest of the group when we studied the Fa, and the couple even came out with me to distribute truth-clarification materials.
On the seventh day, the practitioner was pretty much back to normal. It was the 29th of December on the lunar calendar, the day before the eve of the Chinese New Year. They went home to their family for the holidays.
My thinking was pretty simple throughout this process.
Master said, “The next person's things are your things, ...” (“Teaching the Fa at the Washington, D.C. Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. II)
We are Dafa practitioners and we need to help each other in our cultivation. We all cultivate the same Fa, but each of us is in a different cultivation state. I just need to focus on myself, do as much as I can, and not to worry about what others are supposed to do.
Although our home is small, practitioners like to come here for Fa study and experience sharing. It's a good cultivation environment and was especially beneficial to the practitioner experiencing sickness karma.
The practitioner recovered quickly after he returned home. He was eventually able to ride his motorcycle to our home for Fa study. I was so happy to see him return.
Changing People’s Hearts
Letting people know about Falun Dafa has become an integral part of my life over the past 20 years. I have talked to people from all walks of life, including police officers, teachers, directors, Party secretaries, soldiers, students, farmers, and retirees. I think I’ve done a good job for the most part, but I do have regrets.
Some people that I talked to were deeply touched when I told them about Dafa and the persecution. But some were deceived by the Communist regime’s lies and didn’t want to listen. They threatened me, and some even tried to report me to the police. Thanks to Master’s compassion, some eventually changed their attitudes about Dafa.
On a cold winter's day a few years ago, right before the Chinese New Year, I went to a small community to distribute fliers about Dafa. While working my way up inside an apartment building, I saw torn pieces of a Dafa poster on the floor. I bent over and started picking them up. A middle-aged woman saw me and shouted, “So it’s you who put it [the poster] up. I'm taking you to the police.” She grabbed my arm and dragged me downstairs and out of the building, shouting, “She is Falun Gong.”
To be honest, I do still get scared when I go out to distribute fliers. But at that moment I remained calm. I sent forth strong righteous thoughts: I will not let her commit a crime against Dafa and Dafa practitioners.
I told her, “This poster says the truth, which is very precious. We should all cherish it.”
She ignored me and turned to a man walking toward us. “She practices Falun Gong,” she told him.
The man smiled and replied “It’s almost the Chinese New Year. Why not just let her go? You don’t want to get involved. Trust me.”
Seeing that man wasn’t interested in turning me in, the woman looked perplexed. I told the man, “You will be blessed for your kindness.” He waved at me and left.
I turned to the woman, “Falun Gong is not what the media says it is—that’s all lies to slander the practice. Falun Gong practitioners just want people to know what Dafa really is, because a person is blessed for doing good but incurs retribution for doing evil. When people believe the Party’s lies, they are ruining themselves. I just want the best for you. Please don’t do anything that will cause trouble for yourself.”
As if a completely different person was standing in front of me, she was suddenly nice to me and wanted to protect me.
“If upon encountering trying circumstances your thinking can be truly righteous, then, when faced with the evil's persecution and when faced with interference, just one sentence of yours fortified with steadfast righteous thoughts can instantly make the evil disintegrate (applause), and it will make those who are being used by the evil turn and flee, it will make the evil's persecution of you dissolve, and it will make the evil's interfering with you disappear without a trace.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. International Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. VII)
Not Giving in to the Police
I was arrested on my way to deliver truth-clarification materials to another practitioner. The police took me to the city Domestic Security Division and interrogated me. They punched and kicked me, then pulled one of my arms over my shoulder and the other one up my back and cuffed them together behind me. They pulled on the handcuffs, and the pain was excruciating.
They tied one end of a rope to the handcuffs and threw the other end over a pipe in the ceiling. They pulled on the rope until I was suspended in the air.
My arms were almost out of their sockets, and I was in agony. I passed out a few times, and each time they poured cold water over me to make me come around. They then pulled on the rope again. I can’t remember how many times I passed out and how many times they pulled on the rope. But they never got what they wanted from me.
The Domestic Security Division eventually gave up and took me back to the police station. Fearing that I would die, the police took me to the hospital.
I told the doctor what happened to me and briefly told him about Dafa. He seemed to understand. The doctor told the police that I was in critical condition and had to be transferred to intensive care.
The police knew that no detention center or forced labor camp would admit me under such circumstances, but they didn’t want to just let me go home, so when I came out of intensive care they took me to a brainwashing center.
Trading Fear for Compassion
Why wouldn't they let me go home? I looked inward and realized that I didn’t know how to truly cultivate. I’d spend all my time distributing materials and doing other things to help people learn about Dafa, and didn't spend as much time studying the Fa and cultivating myself. I saw my attachment of zealotry and thought that, because no place would accept me in my condition, the police would have to let me go. As a result of this thought, I was taken to the brainwashing center instead.
When I was made to watch Chinese Communist Party propaganda, I went on a hunger strike to protest. The guards brought in a “transformed” practitioner whose job was to persuade me to renounce Dafa.
I fell for it and believed this person. However, I never disclosed any information about the source of the materials, so the Domestic Security Division officers came to my home and harassed me after my release.
Fear gripped me for the next few months. I got so scared sometimes that my whole body trembled. I didn’t even want my husband to go to work and said he had to stay home with me.
My husband shouted at me one day, “You can’t just not let me go to work!”
These words seemed to touch a nerve to help me wake up.
I was a practitioner and had the Fa. My husband was not the solution to my problems. How could I be so scared? I needed to study the Fa and get rid of this fear.
I started to study the Fa for several hours a day and did the exercises. I slept very little and read all of Master’s new lectures.
It took four days for me to get rid of fear. My heart became steady and my mind clear. My hatred and resentment were gone, too, and my heart was filled with compassion.
The Wish to Save People Helps Me Look Within
I wanted to talk to the people who had arrested and tortured me. I knew what drove them to do these things, and I knew how to help Master save them with the wisdom I had gained in Dafa cultivation. I truly cared about them and wished that they would stop doing bad things and ruining themselves.
But I told myself to stay calm and not do anything rash. Instead of going to the police station, I wrote letters to each of the police officers and guards that I had encountered during my arrest.
I didn’t need to write a draft. The words just came to me, because I put my heart into it. I truly wished that they could learn the truth and be saved.
As I wrote these letters, I found the fundamental loophole that got me arrested—I didn’t look inward, nor did I cultivate my heart. Instead, I held others to the standard of the Fa and created conflicts with other practitioners.
I was attached to seeing others’ attachments and looked down on them. I was condescending, bossy, and arrogant. I didn’t listen to anybody, was self-righteous, and couldn’t control my temper.
The Fa helped me see my shortcomings so that I could correct myself. When I got rid of my resentment and hatred, my compassion emerged, and I was more understanding of others.
When we hold the Fa in our hearts, kindness will manifest naturally.
“Do You Hate Me?”
While walking down the street, I saw in the distance a police officer who had tortured me. I remember he asked me one time, “Do you hate me?”
I answered “No! We Falun Dafa practitioners cultivate compassion. I don’t hate you.” But I could tell that he didn’t believe me.
I had been through a terrible ordeal and suffered a lot of physical pain by the time I was released, only to find that both my husband and I had lost our jobs due to the arrest.
With no income, we struggled and went through a difficult time. I often remembered what that officer said, “Do you hate me?”
To get rid of hatred, I studied the Fa and tried to let it go. Finally, one day, I was able to and no longer had hatred in my heart.
We see great results when we clarify the truth with a compassionate heart. I have had people sincerely thank me after learning the truth, and some offered to treat me to a meal. A policeman once told me, “I was really bad, but you saved me. Thank you so much.”
The process of cultivating compassion is also the process of letting go of self. We increase our tolerance to embrace others and gradually become selfless beings who are always considerate of others.
It is also a process of getting closer and closer to the Fa’s standard for practitioners. The meaning of compassion is very profound.