(Minghui.org) I lived in Florida in the early 2000s when I was first introduced to Falun Dafa. The story below happened when I had only been practicing for a few months and probably had read Zhuan Falun only a handful of times.

On my way to a bookstore in Orlando that sold Dafa books, I passed a retention pond where a man was mowing the surrounding grass with a large zero-turn mower. He had gotten the back end stuck in the water and was unable to get out due to the steep slope and muddy edge.

I thought to myself, “This surely isn’t a coincidence.” I had already encountered many tests and knew that everything was arranged. I thought, “Surely I should help.” I would have helped whether I was a practitioner or not; I had spent some of my life as a landscaper, so I could definitely sympathize with the situation. I wasn’t thinking about any particular teachings of the Fa and just suspected it was related to my cultivation.

I indicated I could help and quickly stepped into the water behind the mower and began pushing. I was wearing flip-flops, and the steep slope made it difficult. I got a bit muddy and at one point slipped and burned myself on the exhaust of the mower. I began thinking about enduring the pain and muck without complaint and thought that maybe I owed them from the past.

At this point, the mower got unstuck and I felt pretty good about myself. Here I had waded into the muck, gotten burned without complaining, and helped a stranger, all the while with a smile on my face. As the mower broke free, however, the man just drove away without even the slightest acknowledgment that he had been helped. He just drove straight ahead and never looked back. It was beyond any kind of ordinary interaction. At this point, I realized there was a deeper lesson for me. I was confused and thought the man had no manners.

I quickly looked inward. Even though I felt slighted, I knew there was something else to learn. I began to think of why I felt I should receive some recognition. My mind went to the part of Zhuan Falun which says:

“This mentality of showing off can manifest in any situation; it can also surface when doing a good deed.” (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)

I realized that if I truly didn’t care about my own feelings on the issue and didn’t need the recognition, I wouldn’t have felt slighted. So, I quickly worked to get rid of this attachment. There was definitely a selfish aspect infused into my good deed.

Since that time, I have looked at the incident and seen several layers of meaning. I have used the story a few times to describe how a simple good deed can be a lot more and that there is both good and evil in the same human deed. There can also be the issue of interfering in someone else’s karmic repayment with the intent of “helping,” without knowing the karmic background. In this case, I felt it was particularly natural to step in and just demonstrated normal decency. Perhaps I owed that man a debt, perhaps not–but it was clear to me at the time that it was set up for me to learn.

This wasn’t a particularly interesting or challenging part of my cultivation, and it was really a simple event, but the fact that I have been reminded of it so often made me feel that sharing it might be useful. I will end with a couple of quotes from Zhuan Falun on good deeds:

“When one does a good deed, one acquires the white substance, de.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)

“While this person was doing a good deed, he could endure hardship at the same time.” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)

Category: Improving Oneself