(Minghui.org) There’s a row of large mango trees next to our exercise site. In May and June, the sound of ripe fruit dropping to the ground can be heard when we do the exercises. On windy or rainy days, the ground is covered with ripe mangoes.
I have been coming to this exercise site for more than 10 years, but I never paid attention to the mangoes until last year.
A Wake-up Call
Last year, I joined the Global Telephone-Calling Group Rescue Platform. An incident happened two months after I started to make truth-clarification phone calls to the police, prosecution, and judicial personnel in China.
One day after the group exercises, I walked towards my car as usual. I noticed a large mango lying on the ground. I bent down and looked at it closely. The mango seemed to have just dropped from the tree. It was fresh, clean, and slightly open after hitting the ground.
I picked it up and took it home. It was so delicious! It was better than the mangoes I bought at the markets.
The next morning I arrived late, and the other practitioners were already meditating. Just then I heard a loud “thud.” A freshly fallen mango lay in front of me. I picked it up and took it to my car. Then I hurried to join the others.
The third morning, I intentionally arrived a little earlier. As soon as I stepped out of the car, I started to look for fallen mangoes.
Almost immediately, a mango fell right in front of me. How lucky, I thought! I picked it up. Another one fell on the ground. Then another one. I was so happy. Soon I could not carry all of them. I went back to my car and got a towel. I picked up about twelve mangoes and wrapped them in the towel. I almost forgot about the exercises.
For the next few mornings, my first focus was mangoes when I arrived at the site. Sometimes the car headlights highlighted a mango in the parking lot. I was afraid to run it over so I would get out of the car to pick it up first, and then park the car.
I usually read the Fa for an hour after the exercises if I did not have an 8 o’clock morning class. I read Zhuan Falun while walking along the mango trees. Since I started to pick up mango fruits, I paid attention to the sounds of fruit dropping while I read.
One day I read,
“Someone who is truly determined to cultivate can endure, and when faced with various interests, he can put aside his attachments and take them lightly.” (“Teaching the Fa and Answering Questions in Jinan,” Zhuan Falun Fajie)
“Cultivating through the exercises is not itself hard, and improving one’s level isn’t either. It is because he can’t lay down his human attachments that he says it’s hard. That’s because they are very hard to lay down when you stand to benefit in tangible ways. With those benefits right there, you tell me, how could he let go of that attachment?” (“Teaching the Fa and Answering Questions in Jinan,” Zhuan Falun Fajie)
I was shocked. Wasn’t Master talking about me? I thought, I should not pick up those mangoes anymore.
At precisely that moment, I heard a very loud “thud.” I thought, “It must be a big mango!” I read that paragraph of the Fa again, and told myself: “Do not pick up mangoes!”
Then I thought, “This will be the last time.” It was as if I was enchanted. I walked over and gently picked it up. I carried it to my car as if it was some treasure. I comforted myself, “I don’t usually pay attention to food. This fruit will rot if no one picks it up.” So I looked around and picked up a few more. When I ate the mangoes at home, I found they had no taste at all! I finally woke up, and realized I was wrong.
Master told us,
“... others also tell you that it is yours. Actually, it is not. You may believe that it is yours, but in the end it is not yours. Through this process, it can be seen whether you can give it up or not. If you cannot let it go, it is an attachment. This method must be used to get rid of your attachment to self-interest. This is the issue. Because everyday people cannot enlighten to this principle, they will all compete and fight before profits.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)
Master also said,
“Only when you can’t see reality does it count as cultivation. So it’s really not easy to live by the standards for a cultivator and strive for divinity while living in an illusory world that brims with temptation.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the New York Fa Conference Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Dafa’s Spreading”)
I repeatedly recited these two paragraphs. I was not sure if I would be able to resist picking up more mangoes the next day. I thought I did not care ordinary people’s fame and gain and I was not tempted by benefits. Yet, in my deep heart, I cherished my childhood memories of picking fallen mangoes.
When I arrived at the park to do the exercises the next morning, the path to my car was lined with fallen mangoes. I ignored them. When we began to do the sitting meditation I heard the sound of mangoes hitting the ground. I ignored it and no longer heard it. I passed the test. I had let go of my deep attachment!
I’ve now participated in the calling platform for one year. When mango season came again, there seemed to be even more mangoes on the ground at the park. Sometimes they covered the parking lot. I picked them up and placed them on the side so that other people could easily see them and pick them up.
Lavender flowers recently began blooming in the garden outside my classroom. I don’t usually pay attention to flowers, but I was attracted to this lavender. After class I stood next to the garden and looked at the flowers for a long time. Then I asked a student who sat next to the window: “May I have some of these flowers?” The student said yes and handed me a pair of scissors.
When I went home, I took out a vase my sister gave me and put the flowers in it. “How beautiful!” I said, as I admired them.
A week later, in the garden outside of another classroom where I was teaching, I noticed lavender blooming. These flowers looked even more beautiful. I was attracted again.
After the class, I asked the class president for scissors. “The lavender in the garden is so beautiful. I would like to take some home,” and then I asked, “Is it okay?” I knew he would not deny me, since I am a teacher. I only asked him so the whole thing would look legitimate. “Of course!” He handed me a pair of scissors. I cut more flowers than last time.
When I was returning the scissors, another student, who is often a troublemaker in class, suddenly shouted, “Hey! Our teacher is stealing flowers!”
The students who were having lunch in the classroom went quiet instantly. Everyone looked at me. I felt my face get hot. “I have asked the class president and he said it was okay,” I said, pretending that nothing was wrong.
“If a girl steals flowers, she will steal someone’s husband when she grows up!” The troublesome student said. “My grandma told me that!” he added. I was not upset. I knew I was at fault. It was quite embarrassing. Luckily, the students were soon focused on their lunches.
That day I had a different opinion about this student. He is a hyperactive kid. During class, he ate, played with his cell phone, often changed his seat and disturbed other students. I criticized him and had to take him back to his seat. But that day, he was correct. Although he is often a troublemaker, he knows what is good and what is bad.
Because of the incident, I felt embarrassed to carry the flowers to the parking lot. The “trouble making” student then enthusiastically tried to help me. He eventually found a plastic bag for me to put the flowers in.
On the way home, I could not feel ease. As a teacher, I made a bad example to the whole class. I showed greediness. Even worse, I brought shame to the name of a Falun Dafa practitioner!
At home, I put the flowers in the vase and took a photo. I sent the photo to my son and daughter. I wanted to tell them this story. They praised the flowers and said they were beautiful. They asked where I got them.
“I picked them from the garden outside of the classroom,” I replied.
“Is it allowed to pick flowers in the school?” My son messaged back a bear icon with a question and an exclamation mark.
“A student shouted that teacher was stealing flowers. I was embarrassed.” I explained. “He was right,” I said. “As a teacher, I should not take the school’s flowers. I will apologize to the class next week and promise not to do it again.”
The following week I wrote the follow-up story and shared with my son and daughter:
“Afterward many students pointed to the student who said I was stealing, and claimed he picked two large bunches of lavender that day and took them home.
“I asked the student if he took the flowers home because he saw me doing it. He answered loudly: 'That’s right!’”
“I should not give students a bad example. It’s my duty to tell them to do the right thing. I should not let it go in order to save face. I decided to remedy the situation.”
The class president spoke up: “Teacher, you weren’t wrong, were you? You asked my permission before picking the flowers.”
“If it was your garden, and you gave me permission, then it would not be a problem,” I explained. “But this is school property and does not belong to any single person.”
“But we water the garden,” a student said.
“It still doesn’t belong to you. The desks and the chairs in this classroom aren’t your personal property,” I said.
“If we saw beautiful flowers in a public park, can we pick them and take them home?” I asked the students.
“No we can’t!” They all said in unison.
“That’s right!” I said. “In public parks there are signs saying not to damage any flowers and trees. If you pick flowers, then you would be knowingly breaking the law.”
As I spoke, I felt more ashamed. Isn’t this what I often say to the mainland police and prosecutors when I phone them?
I said, “This is a public school. No one should take public property as their own, not even the school principal or teachers.”
“I would like to thank the student who pointed out my wrong deed. If he did not stop me, I might have done it again, and again,” I said sincerely.
Having Compassion for the Police, Prosecutors, and Judicial Personnel
Master told us,
“Self-interest leads some people to use improper means to take things that belong to others. These people think that they’ve gotten a good deal. The truth is that they came to benefit by exchanging their virtue with others, only they don’t know it. For a practitioner, that would have to be deducted from his or her gong. For a non-practitioner, it would have to be deducted from his or her life expectancy or from something else. In short, the books will be balanced. This is a law in the universe.” (Chapter III Cultivation of Character, Falun Gong)
When I phone the police, prosecutors, and judicial personnel in China, I often tell them, “Persecuting Falun Dafa practitioners is not only against China’s constitution, but also it is a serious criminal act internationally. When the CCP is charged for its crimes, you will be held accountable—then you cannot protect yourself, let alone your family.”
I try to have compassion for these police, prosecution, and judicial personnel, and try to understand them. From the Fa I know that good and evil co-exist. These people are not so different from myself even though I grew up in a free society. When they participated in the persecution, actively or passively, they struggled to make choices between good and evil.
They chose evil because they did not have the correct guidance. They could not fight the environment in China, and surrendered to tyranny and chose to put personal gain first.
Just as Master said,
“That’s how people are when they live in this world. People are so pitiable! And yet people just can’t see through this so-called “reality,” nor do they want to.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Practitioners,” Collected Teachings Given Around the World Vol. VI)
Master also told us,
“Here we are cultivators, and we should use only the good side, not the bad side.” (Teachings at the Conference in Switzerland)
We Dafa practitioners can only use the compassion that we have cultivated to break through the shell around these people and help them understand that they must choose good in order to benefit themselves in a long term.
At the two ends of the phone lines, one is a cultivator who is on the path to divinity, and at the other end is someone waiting to be saved. I believe my effort and persistence will lead more people to a bright future.
A Final Word
On my cultivation path, whenever I am lost, Master often gives me hints so I can wake up in time and correct myself.
I am thankful to everyone I’ve met on my path. They created the environment for my cultivation.
I would like to share my stories with fellow practitioners. There is no small thing in cultivation. Nothing is accidental. We should use every opportunity to improve ourselves. When I notice my own human attachments, the important thing is to look within and tell myself: “Stop!”
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