(Minghui.org) I’ve experienced many ups and downs in my 25 years of practicing Falun Dafa. However, when I look back at my incredible journey, from the depths of my soul, I have such indescribable and profound gratitude for Dafa and compassionate Master (Master Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa). Choosing to practice Falun Dafa was the best and most blessed choice I ever made.
A Hard Upbringing
When I was three years old, out of desperate poverty, my parents gave me up for adoption. My aunt took me in and raised me. I did everything I could to please her. We raised all kinds of domestic and farm animals. Every day, I got up early and gathered plants. I chopped them up, and fed the animals.
My aunt passed away when I was 14 years old and my uncle retired three years later. At the age of 17, I took his position at work and became a textile worker. I was diagnosed with tuberculosis just two years later and nearly died.
We were poor and I worked hard to support my family. Marriage seemed impossible but I didn’t want my co-workers to gossip and spread ugly rumors about me. I married when I was 30 years old to a man who was also from a poor family. We couldn’t afford our own place, so we lived with his family, including his younger brother, his mother, and his father who suffered from the aftereffects of a stroke.
Influenced by society’s rapidly declining morals, my husband developed many bad habits. He liked to get together with his buddies to drink and gamble his money away. He even hired prostitutes. Once, shortly after our wedding, I tried to stop him from going out. He grabbed my hair and punched me in the face right in front of our building with all the neighbors watching.
Disgruntled by such a dysfunctional marriage, I decided to fight back. I thought, “The next time we argue I’ll stab him. I am done with this horrible life anyway.” Perhaps my husband sensed that I saw no hope in him or our marriage. He took his pay straight to a gambling house every month and didn’t come home until all the money was gone.
In order to pay his parents for food, I had to take on a second job. I left the house at 3:30 a.m. each day and didn’t get home until 8 p.m. Working 16-hour days left me mentally and physically exhausted. I constantly worried about making ends meet, endured my husband’s abuse, and raised our child alone. Being in a multi-generational household, I also worried that we’d get kicked out when my brother-in-law married. I lived in constant anxiety and fear.
One day I collapsed. The doctor told me, “I've seen many patients today but you are the sickest. You need to be hospitalized.” I told him, “I have to work.” The doctor said, “You won’t be able to work from now on. Don’t think about making money.” I calmly told my sister, “Let’s go home. If I die, I die.” My sister reminded me, “You still have your son. Think of your child.”
I traveled to a different city seeking treatments at a hospital that specialized in kidney diseases. During the course of the treatment, I experienced severe nausea and diarrhea and couldn’t hold down any food.
I also visited a healer with supernatural capabilities. She told me, “You have issues with your trachea. Half of your left kidney is dead and the right kidney is even worse. No hospital can cure such severely damaged kidneys. You can only try to not let it get worse.” I saw a doctor of Chinese medicine and ended up spending 500 yuan for just two weeks of herbal medicines. My husband only made 700 yuan a month.
I fell into a state of complete despair and didn’t have the will to go on.
I Begin Practicing Falun Dafa
My 2-year-old son was playing on the balcony one day in 1994. He came inside and told me, “Mom, there's a headless person on the balcony.” I’d long been indoctrinated by the communist regime’s atheistic ideology and thus didn’t believe in any Gods or ghosts. I scolded him, “Stop talking nonsense!” After that, my son dared not stay in our room alone. He always said, “There is a dark shadow in there.”
The many illnesses I suffered from made me extremely weak and I had difficulty sleeping.
When I was hospitalized, an elderly patient’s daughter-in-law told us, “There are people practicing Falun Dafa near Huanchen Road. I heard that someone with throat cancer was healed after taking up the practice.” Brainwashed by the CCP’s (Chinese Communist Party) atheist beliefs, I didn’t believe any of it. I sneered at her, “How could that be possible? Waving your arms around can heal you? That’s ridiculous!”
A few days later I heard that an elderly couple who lived downstairs also practiced Falun Dafa. Pretty soon, my mother-in-law also started doing the exercises. When she played the music for the sitting meditation, I didn’t want to listen to it. I got up and closed the door to my room.
My mother-in-law showed me her copy of Zhuan Falun one day and said, “Let’s ask your son. Isn’t this book beautiful?” My son pointed at the Falun on the cover and made circular motions with his finger, “Mom, it’s rotating like this.” I said, “You’re doing it all wrong. It is rotating like this.” He shook his head, “No. It is rotating like this. Every symbol is rotating.” I thought to myself, “He is only three. He can’t be lying.”
I became curious about Dafa. I thought that if others were healed by practicing Falun Dafa, I should give it a try, too. One morning in early April 1996, my son and I went to a practice site by the river and I began my journey in Dafa cultivation.
Everything Changes for the Better
I read the Fa every day. I listened to the audiotapes of Master’s lectures and watched the videotapes of Master’s Fa teaching seminars. Cultivation became an integral part of my life. By reading the teachings, I learned the true meaning of life. When I looked back at the hardships and the pain I'd suffered before I began practicing, they didn’t seem that bad. When I encountered problems, I knew it was time to improve my xinxing.
While chatting with my mother-in-law one day, I suddenly realized that my son was gone. I hurried into our room and found him sound asleep on the bed. I remembered how he used to be afraid of staying in that room by himself. Since I took up Dafa cultivation, Master cleaned out our home and eliminated all the bad spirits and other beings that we could not see. At that moment, all the CCP’s atheist ideology and lies were cleaned out of my mind.
To have a harmonious family life while living with one’s in-laws, the first requirement is “Forbearance.” One morning, as soon as I returned after doing the exercises, my mother-in-law said some unreasonable and harsh things to me out of the blue. I stayed calm and let her finish talking.
When I got home unexpectedly early, I overheard my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law badmouthing me behind my back. But I acted as if nothing happened. The hostility later became worse. One time, my mother-in-law barged into my room and yelled at me for no reason. I pulled the comforter over my head and bit my tongue.
My father-in-law’s stroke eventually led to cognitive decline and dementia. He often did strange things and acted irrationally. My son became frustrated with him and shouted at him one day. Understanding the cause of my father-in-law’s behavior, I patiently explained the situation and asked him to apologize to Grandpa for being disrespectful.
When my husband came home late at night, I no longer got upset with him. Instead, I spoke to him in a calm tone. Because I practiced Falun Dafa and strove to improve using Dafa’s guiding principles, our family life became more harmonious.
As I cultivated myself and improved my xinxing, the numerous illnesses I used to suffer disappeared. I no longer felt sorry for myself or felt that life was unfair. Everything became natural and simple.
My mother is a kind person. She has endured a lot of hardship in her marriage to my father because of his bad temper. Having given birth to six children and raising a large family, she suffered from many chronic ailments. Her condition become so severe that in 2000 she experienced amnesia. She couldn’t even remember how to eat a popsicle when I handed it to her.
Falun Dafa helped me eliminate a lot of the resentment I harbored towards my mother for giving me up for adoption. I visited her often and always brought her dumplings, wontons, or steamed buns that I made for her.
My mother knows that of all of her children, I care for her the most. She also knew that my illnesses were gone because I practiced Falun Dafa. I taught her to say, “Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” She recites these phrases every day.
During one of my visits, my mother told me about an incident where my father got really angry over a small thing. Infuriated, he shouted and insulted my mother. By reciting “Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good,” she remained calm.
When I visited my parents this March, my mother said, “Don’t worry about me anymore. My back no longer hurts.” My mother had suffered from back pain for many years. When her children visited her, she used to always ask us to massage her back to alleviate the pain. Now she climbs up and down to the 8th floor with ease and enjoys daily visits with her friends in the neighborhood. She often brags about me to her friends, “Even though I gave her away when she was a baby, she is the only one I can depend on.”
Treating My Husband with Kindness
Former CCP head Jiang Zemin launched a nationwide suppression of Falun Dafa in 1999. The central government used all its state-run media to smear and slander the practice with full force. The prosecution and legal system, law enforcement, and all government agencies were involved in the persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners. Everyone in my family faced a choice.
During an all-hands meeting at my husband’s company, his director said his name in front of everyone and said, “Only your wife practices Falun Dafa.” My husband felt enormous pressure and told me about this when he came home. I told him, “If you are afraid of being implicated, we can get a divorce. I will continue to practice Falun Dafa no matter what happens.”
I explained, “You know that my health issues were resolved after I began practicing Falun Dafa. When you get sick and don’t have any money for treatment, is the CCP going to pay your bills? If I didn’t practice Falun Dafa, would you still have a wife today? Would our son still have a mother? The CCP persecutes Falun Dafa to sustain its power—it doesn’t care about the people at all.” My husband fell silent.
The police came knocking on our door one night in early April 2002. They lied and tricked my husband into opening the door. They arrested me, took my Dafa books including Zhuan Falun, and told my husband, “We’ll have a talk at the station.” I ended up being sent to a forced labor camp for three years.
When I returned home three years later, I saw the fear in my son’s eyes. I told him, “Mother won’t leave again. Don’t worry.” He grabbed me and cried.
My husband acted completely normal and nobody could tell anything was wrong. But he never brought home his salary and no longer slept at home. I remained unmoved by his behavior and didn’t complain. To support myself and my son, I took a job cleaning the streets and worked part-time as a housekeeper.
One time, my husband was hospitalized for an illness. I went to visit him but he tried to drive me away. “Get out!” he yelled at me. Before I could leave, the woman he was living with came. When she saw me, she turned to leave. I followed her out and said, “Let’s have a talk.” The woman and my husband were terrified. My husband got out of bed and followed us but I stopped him. Perhaps he sensed that I was calm and not hostile so he went back into the ward.
Before I practiced Falun Dafa, I told my husband, “Do you want to abandon us? I’d rather you beat me! I won’t divorce you and let you break up the family.” I talked to the woman for three hours. From traditional culture to what it means to be a human being, I tried to show her that she was damaging herself by having an affair with a married man. I explained to her that good deeds are rewarded but evil deeds are punished.
I told her my story, about the person I used to be, and how I changed after I began practicing Falun Dafa. “As humans, we can’t just think of ourselves. We have to keep the family intact for the sake of our children. My husband needs to fulfill his responsibility as a father and I am responsible for his future.” I asked her, “If he falls sick with a serious illness, will you take care of him for the rest of his life? Will you stay by his side through thick and thin?” I clarified the truth about Dafa to her and told her why one should quit the CCP and its youth organizations. She agreed to quit the Party.
I managed to keep my cool until I was on my way home. I felt hurt and betrayed and I was angry. The enormous amount of pain made me feel as if my heart was bleeding. However, Master’s Fa came to mind at that moment:
“Although in your cultivation it is painful to get rid of your human attachments, this path is a sacred one.” (“To the Ukraine Fa Conference,” The Essentials of Diligent Progress III)
I calmed down and found peace in my heart.
Even though my husband still didn’t come home, he brought me his filthy work uniforms and expected me to do his laundry. His uniforms were usually covered in steel shavings, sawdust, and sand. The dirt was dried up in the creases and took a few rounds of rinsing to get them out. I washed them, patched them up, folded them neatly, and put them in a bag for him to pick up.
The day before my husband’s birthday, I asked him, “Will you come home for dinner tomorrow?” He said, “I’ll see.” I said, “It’s your birthday tomorrow. I’ll make noodles to celebrate.” He immediately replied, “Sure!”
After a while, I met up with the woman again and told her more about Dafa and the truth surrounding the wrongful persecution. I said I truly wanted the best for her. She listened carefully and told me, “I admire you. If it were me, I would not be able to handle your husband’s affair calmly like you.” She told me her husband had an affair with another woman and after divorcing him, she had a complete breakdown.
As I write this article, I truly feel that all practitioners and their families are blessed. Dafa’s principles taught us how to be good people and not to compete with ordinary people for fame, love, and self-interest. When we truly let go of these things, what we get in return is much more valuable.
Cooking with Heart
A local practitioner helped me find a job as a cook. I worked as a textile worker for years and wasn’t very good at cooking, especially since we lived with our extended family and we cooked together. Although I wasn’t very confident in my cooking skills, in order to make a living, I decided to give it a try.
It was a small car dealership with more than 20 employees, including the sales and service department. The commute was an hour each way by bike. Considering how far it was from where I lived, I worried that I wouldn’t last very long at this job.
When I went in for an interview, I told the owner my concerns. She tried to convince me to give it a try as it was hard for her to find people to fill the position. I heard that none of the cooks they'd hired stayed long—they all quit after a little while.
The first few days I worked there, the owner told me exactly what to make and how much to make. She repeated her detailed instructions over and over. As a cultivator, I knew I would try to do the best job I could and cook with my heart. I cooked as if I was cooking for my family.
The owner said that regardless of how much food I made, they always ran out. I was confused. I asked one of the employees, “I make the same amount of food as the previous chefs, so why isn’t it enough?” He laughed, “Because your cooking is delicious! Look at your dishes, they are done right. The chefs before you always overcooked the ingredients and the potato dishes were mushy like stew.” It was true—I fry over high heat without using too much oil, which is healthier and the food tastes better.
The owner sometimes brought in dry steamed buns and the dough was hard and cracked. They were not very appetizing. I didn’t want to see them go to waste, so I re-steamed the buns and the employees fought over them. The owner was pleased, “Your cooking is great!”
The owner’s attitude toward me changed. She no longer dictated what dishes to make and left it completely up to me. There were three farmers’ markets on my way to work where I always found the best deals for produce. The employees loved the food I made using fresh ingredients.
Once I settled into my role as the company cook, I used every opportunity to clarify the truth to the employees. With each new hire, I talked to them as soon as I could. Most co-workers accepted what I said and many of them chose to quit the Party and its youth organizations.
When I clarified the truth to the owner, she said, “The CCP is very corrupt. No one in the Party is good.” Her father also ran a small business in the capital city. Whenever I got a chance, I clarified the truth to him and his employees and told them how important it is to distance themselves from the Party.
It took me an hour by bike to get home after work. However, when I saw people on the sidewalk, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to talk to them. I always stopped to chat and clarify the truth to them. I also ran into dangerous situations, but with Master’s protection, I was able to walk away safely. Sometimes I didn’t even bother riding my bike. I pushed it along so I could talk to people as I walked. I didn’t want to miss anyone.
During the four years I worked at the car dealership, I kept the kitchen meticulously clean and kept detailed records of each purchase. When I showed the owner my spreadsheets, I could tell she was impressed and pleased. Even the owner’s mother said to me, “The vegetables you bought are cheaper than the wholesale prices I paid.”
Before each major holiday, the employees received a bonus or gift. The cooks never got anything. However, after I started there, the owner always included me. On payday each month, I got my paycheck earlier than anyone else. The owner also gave me a raise every year after evaluation and expressed her sincere appreciation.
By the time I got home one night, it was already past 8 o’clock. My husband and my siblings were sitting at the table enjoying dinner. When they saw me, they greeted me in unison, “Falun Dafa is good!” Seeing their smiling faces, warmth rose in my heart.
It was Master who imparted the Fa to me and woke me up from this secular world. Otherwise, I might not even be alive today.
While interacting with people in my family and in society, I hold myself to the standards of the universal principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. I resolved resentment and conflicts, replaced them with kindness, and brought the goodness of Dafa to people around me.
I am deeply convinced that Falun Dafa can change anything for the better. A person who understands the true meaning of life is most happy and free and enjoys peace of mind. The best and most blessed choice in life is to be able to elevate one’s realm and state of being in Dafa cultivation and eventually return to one’s origin.
Views expressed in this article represent the author's own opinions or understandings. All content published on this website are copyrighted by Minghui.org. Minghui will produce compilations of its online content regularly and on special occasions.