Looking Within: Family Environment Changes for the Better
(Minghui.org) Greetings Master, and fellow practitioners!
My name is Danni, and I’ve been practicing Falun Dafa for two years. I was fortunate to attend the New York Fa conference last year, and took my parents and brother to see Shen Yun Performing Arts that same year. My parents were very impressed with Shen Yun. Especially my dad who had not watched an art show so attentively. After watching Shen Yun, throughout the evening he kept praising Shen Yun, and asked me more questions about Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa.
Even so, my parents did not allow me to practice Falun Dafa as they wrongly thought that practitioners of this cultivation practice were involved in politics. This was because a policeman in Vietnam told them that Falun Dafa was behind a group of practitioners carrying out protests against the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). As Vietnamese society is also experiencing the indoctrination by the Vietnamese authorities, my parents tried to use power and threats to force me to give up the practice.
My parents threatened to cut off my finances and not provide me with expenses to live in Australia. They yelled and forced me to stop studying and return to Vietnam. I tried to explain that Falun Dafa practitioners are not involved in politics. Rather, they are just trying to tell the truth, and help other people understand the evil nature of the CCP who persecutes practitioners, and violates basic human rights. But, my father did not listen and threatened me more strongly. He reprimanded me, and said that I didn’t care for my family, parents, brother, and grandparents, but only cared for other people in China who were not related to us.
Changing my Father’s Mind
I did not cultivate diligently at the time, and my righteous thoughts were not strong enough. I was confused. After sharing with a few fellow practitioners, they reminded me to look inward. I began to look within, and realized that my father’s criticizing words were actually Master Li’s (the founder) compassionate hint. I learned that in order to clarify the truth about Dafa so that sentient beings can listen, I had to cultivate well.
“When you meet with a conflict, it doesn’t matter whether you are in the right. You should be asking yourself, “What on my part isn’t right in this situation? Might it really be that there is something wrong on my part?” You should all be thinking this way, with your first thought being to scrutinize yourself to try to find the problem. Whoever is not like this is not in fact a true cultivator of Dafa.” (“What is a Dafa Disciple,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
To convince my parents, I must first cultivate myself well, and develop trust in them. I needed to play my role well, do my duty to be a filial and responsible daughter, and take care of my parents, my younger brother, and my grandparents.
Because I was spoiled by my parents since I was a child, I had no habit of caring for others, even my relatives. When I returned to Vietnam, I restricted myself from going out to meet my friends, and spent more time at home to take care of my grandparents. I helped feed my grandfather, helped him go to the toilet, had him listen to Master’s lectures, guided him to do the exercises one through four in bed, and clarified the truth to him. This is something I had never done before.
For about a month in Vietnam, I woke up at 4 a.m. every day, and went to the beach to practice the exercises with fellow practitioners. I only slept 4 to 5 hours a day. This was a big change for me. I used to sleep more than 10 hours a day: 8 hours at night and I took a 3-hour nap - in Vietnam people take an afternoon nap. I think I was able to change thanks to my persistence in the practice, including doing the second exercise for 60 minutes. Fellow practitioners shared that the second exercise could transform one's physical body very quickly, and help keep one's mind awake even when you sleep less.
After cultivating more diligently, I took greater notice of my dad’s work, and I began to inquire about the health and work situation of my parents. Occasionally during my calls, I would ask about his work situation, and experiences, since I knew he was excited, and loved to share with his children about his work. So, I listened attentively, and took in every word he said. Occasionally I would also share my thoughts based on the Fa or based on the Dafa principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. After each conversation, I saw him reflect, sometimes agreeing with what I said.
There was one time prior to my dad’s important meetings when I asked him about what would happen in the meeting, what difficulties he was facing, and what his experience was to overcome them. After a long talk I ended by wishing him a successful meeting. I said, “I wish you all the best tomorrow. I would like to gift you these three words, it will be helpful for you: Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Truthfulness means always being honest and sincere. Compassion is thinking for others first. Forbearance means being patient and remaining calm during any situation.”
My father was a very hot-tempered man, and did not hesitate to curse and insult his employees when they did something wrong. I went on to say, “When an incident arises, if a person can keep calm and think carefully before doing something, then he will deal with the work in a rational, wise, and unobtrusive way without being dominated by emotions. This is what I learned from Falun Dafa.”
“ When you always maintain a heart of benevolence and compassion, you will have time or room to buffer the confrontation and think, should a problem arise suddenly. If you always think about competing with others and fighting back and forth, I would say that you will start a fight with others whenever there is a problem—this is guaranteed.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
Clarifying the Truth
My father firmly believes in science. So, I searched for articles explaining cultivation from a scientific standpoint. For example, I found a research paper on the frequency of vibrations of the human body and the relationship between illness and xinxing by a famous American doctor. In the article, people who are angry and hold hatred will have low frequencies, and would be susceptible to illness. Whereas people who are content and compassionate have very high frequencies, and they can get this from cultivation. I linked the article to the lecture in Zhuan Falun about how cultivation is to renounce human attachments.
“For example, if a bottle filled with dirty things is sealed tightly and thrown into water, it will sink all the way to the bottom. You pour out some of its dirty contents. The more you empty the bottle, the higher it will float in the water. If it is emptied entirely, it will float on the surface completely. In the course of our cultivation practice, you must clean out various bad things in your body so that you can move up. This characteristic of the universe exactly plays this role.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)
I realized that when my cultivation state was not good, my parents would give me a hard time, and ask me to give up my practicing. The days when the state of my cultivation was good, there were no problems. One day after going to my grandparents’ house and clarifying the truth to them, the next day my grandfather said to my dad, “Your daughter is very gentle and she tells a good story, she could be an excellent politician.” I thought my father would get mad and scold me. But in fact, nothing happened, and he didn’t complain. We both burst out laughing. And I had to go to my grandfather’s house the next day to clarify what I told him was not politics.
About a month ago, my father called, saying that my grandfather’s health was not good, and his situation was worsening. That was because his mind was not strong. I suggested my father help my grandfather recite the nine words: “Falun Dafa is Good – Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance is Good,” and found some stories of people who have quickly recovered after reciting the nine words. I read those stories to my grandfather over the phone while my father was sitting next to him listening quietly.
As my father does not like superstition, I didn't expect him to follow my advice. However, I simply thought that that was what I needed to do at the time, as reciting the nine words can be the best way for my grandfather’s life to be saved, so I did what needed to be done, and said what needed to be said.
I’ve been experiencing a gradual change in my father. At first, he just agreed that I was right at some point. After that, he started to recite the nine words and asked me if he was correct. He then tried saying the words at night when he could not sleep and said that he felt less tired. Slowly, he decided to have my grandfather recite the nine words. My father took the initiative in reciting each word slowly, reciting it over and over to help my grandfather recite them. He also wrote the nine words on paper that my grandfather could recite them when he forgot.
When I wrote this article, I phoned my father and asked him about my grandfather’s condition. My father excitedly told me that my grandfather’s condition was getting better. He memorized the nine words, and recited them very well, and every time he came to visit, he and my grandfather recited them together.
Grandfather recited loudly over the phone while I listened. My grandmother was beside my grandfather daily, and also started reciting after seeing him do so. I told my grandfather some stories I had found on the Minghui website every time I talked to him. I hoped that this would motivate him to keep going. My aunt, who was sitting in the room, after listening to a couple of stories also asked me how to start practicing. My father even joked: “Now you have convinced three family members to practice Falun Dafa.”
All of what’s been happening was beyond my expectation. Everyone knows that I practice Falun Dafa, and they all say that Falun Dafa is very good, and show their respect.
It took me a year to change my parents’ wrongful notions about Dafa. I think that is the result of good personal cultivation, and constantly improving my xinxing. My father was not convinced by my words, he was convinced by my actions. I realized that for others to believe that Dafa is good, I myself have to act like a good person in accordance with Dafa’s requirements.
“Those who do well will change the environments around them, and those who do poorly will make the environments around them change according to their states of mind.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Washington, D.C. Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. II)
Thank you Master, and fellow practitioners.
(Presented at the 2020 International Falun Dafa Young Practitioners’ Online Fa Conference)