(Minghui.org) My father’s death last year during a car accident was a turning point in my life. I had a very good relationship with him and I relied on him financially. When his will was published I inherited 50% of the family home. My mother already owned 50%. My mother refused to help me financially and she refused to let me move in with her. I was mad and upset, thinking that my father did the right thing by helping me, but now I was on my own with no one to turn to. I even complained to my friends who accused my mother of being cruel and petty for refusing to give me any financial support.

I knew this happened because I was strongly attached to personal gain. I could not let go of my personal interest and I did not view situations as a cultivator. I stopped complaining about her unfair treatment, but in my heart, I did not completely let go of the notion of, “getting help from others.”

One day I listened to Master’s Fourth Lecture and reflected on my behavior: I am 45 years old and I’ve had a stable job for more than 20 years. Why should I expect my mother to help me? Master says that we should repay our parents for raising us, so why was I waiting for her to help me financially? Isn’t this opposite of what Master asks? I was also not benevolent or compassionate. Instead of trying to help her, I insisted that she help me.

I gradually started to care about her. I began calling her to see how she was, and if she needed anything—either help with chores or shopping. I realized I was so absorbed in my own problems that I did not think of her. She is 75 years old and needs help. Instead of focusing on how she could help me financially, I should ask what she needed. I realized that all these years I acted like a spoiled child and not a responsible adult woman.

For years, I pressured my parents to satisfy my needs as if I was still a child. I was self-centered—it was always about me and my needs, I did not truly care about others. I realized that with this new mindset of not relying on my parents I became stronger, more responsible and more considerate. I grew spiritually and became a better person.

The relationship with my sister also changed. After the inheritance was published, she distanced herself from me. When I asked why, she said that she preferred not to have any contact with me. I thought the real issue was that I inherited the family home. Realizing that the real problem was caused by the inheritance, I felt I should demonstrate the open-mindedness that Master mentions in the Ninth Lecture about a qigong master who said, “Then one of you can have it.” when everyone wanted the apartment (The Ninth Talk, Zhuan Falun).

However, even though I felt that I should not accept my father’s inheritance and give my sister the house, I felt it was not possible for me to be so selfless.

As I kept cultivating and looking inward I began to feel that this was not impossible and that I could do it. If my sister asked for the house, I would gladly give it to her. I understood that life is like living in a hotel. Having a house of my own was a long-term wish, my deep desire and an attachment that made me unhappy many times. Now the idea of owning a home seems humorous—my real home is in heaven, I can’t take anything with me but the gong I cultivated.

I was also very attached to money. Before I became a mother, I did not save money. When my baby was born, I changed. I began saving money to the point of being unwilling to offer help or gifts or anything connected to spending money. I was afraid of spending my savings. This attitude showed that I was greedy and it was clearly an attachment. I knew it, but I could not free myself of this attachment. I justified my behavior by saying that I am single mother raising a child on my own, so I need to be careful with money.

One day, someone hacked into my bank account and all my money was gone. However, the moment I saw my account was empty, I felt deep relief. Since I had no money I would no longer be attached to saving money. I would no longer be controlled by this attachment.

I realized that balancing being generous while carefully saving money, is the key to not developing an attachment to greed and possessions. With this new mindset I’m happy and grateful for what I have. I feel I have everything I need and if some mishap occurs I am confident that I can face it. With my old mentality of saving money, I was afraid of losing money and I was afraid of mishaps. Now I realized more deeply that my strength lies within me, that my mental attitude is crucial and not how much money I possess.

Letting My Communist Notions Go

As my father’s memorial service approached, I began to dream about my ex-boyfriend. At first I did not pay attention. However, the dream persisted. After dreaming about him again, I thought: In my 10 years of cultivation, no person was so shocked by the persecution of Falun Dafa as he was. He didn’t sleep all night, said he would never do business with China, and that I should file a complaint to the UN and that he would help me. He also said something that I now say when I clarify the truth, “Master Li Hongzhi teaches people Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and they persecute him for that? This is horrible!”

A second thought also came to mind: No matter how badly I treated him, he was always kind and had no resentment. I thought I should contact him. We hadn’t talked for eight years. I decided to send a text message instead of calling. I said that he could contact me whenever he felt like talking. Three minutes later, he phoned me and said he was very happy to hear from me. I asked how he was. He said he and his wife overcame a family crisis and afterward he decided to be more devoted to his wife and children. One thought came to me spontaneously. “I apologize to you. I misjudged you all those years we were together.”

My mother told me that he was a, “spoiled rich kid.” Although we were together for more than three years, in my heart I never let go of this notion that he was a “spoiled rich kid.” My childhood friend pointed out that for those who are wealthy, owning expensive cars, yachts and swimming pools are just their lifestyle and I shouldn’t think having those things was important.

However, I considered these possessions very important and felt our different lifestyles divided us, and that there was a “class difference” between us. This impression of the “class difference” was reinforced by the left-wing education I received at university. I firmly believed that every wealthy person was an “enemy of the people.” I thought that he must give money to the poor and not pay attention to his wealth, because after all that money was not his, it belonged to the people. His family accumulated wealth by repressing people.

This was a notion “the rich repress poor people” came from my talking with my communist friends. I did not fully understand the karmic reasons people were wealthy. I incorporated this notion into my value system along with Christian values, and Karl Marx’s “class struggle.” This “class struggle” culture was reinforced by my competitive mindset and my extreme thinking. I was taught, “Rich people are bad and poor people are good and mistreated by rich.”

Master said,

“Everything that happens in one’s life—whether it seems warranted or not—is, in reality, the karmic consequence of what one did in one’s past lives, for better or for worse.” “This is the fundamental reason why some people are wealthy and others poor, why some hold positions of high rank while others are destitute and homeless. It’s nothing like the diabolical nonsense that sinister communism spouts about equality between rich and poor.” (“How Humankind Came to Be”)

After I began practicing Falun Dafa, I truly understood how false this notion: “Rich people repress poor people” was. I realized that my friend being born into a wealthy family was the result of his good deeds in a previous lifetime and it was not “luck” or because, “his family is rich because they mistreated poor people to get on top.”

Even though I realized it was wrong, the notion of the “class struggle” was so strong in me, that when I became a practitioner the enemy in my mind was not the upper class anymore but those who are drifted along with the communist party. I pressured my friends to denounce communism and I was reluctant to clarify the truth to people who were communist party members because I felt communism was a threat.

In every conversation I criticized communism and I did not cultivate my heart to be calm and moderate when I was attacked by communist propaganda. When I heard people defending communism, I became upset and I quickly badmouthed communism, saying those who go along with communism are deceived or “they are fools.” As a result, some people were offended by my harsh tone and distanced themselves from me.

I truly regretted judging my friend with my “class struggle” notions. I realized that my notions damaged our relationship and divided us. I never thought about apologizing to him. I thought it was enough that I truly regretted my bad behavior and I enlightened that those notions were misleading and far away from Falun Dafa’s principles, Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance.

I apologized to him and said, “I’m sorry, I misjudged you.” He said, “I never misjudged you. I saw how you trapped yourself with all your ideas.” I realized that he understood how notions can distance one from one’s true self. These notions are a “trap” and a “prison” of my true self. I felt that with this apology a piece of black matter left my body, and my heart became lighter.

I reflected on myself. Even among practitioners, if someone has a different opinion than mine, I become upset and secretly look down on that practitioner. I think he shouldn’t be trusted, even if he or she possesses many good qualities. I realized this competitive mentality, which was part of me for so long, and was reinforced by the communist notion of “struggle” is a major gap in my cultivation and a huge attachment I need to eliminate: The attachment is pride. I think highly of myself and I’m competitive when someone does not agree with my way of thinking.

With these new realizations, I am now more focused on building bridges with people, instead of focusing on what divides us or that I am right and that others are wrong, as I did in the past. I try to use logical thinking to examine my thoughts to see if they are compassionate or divisive or selfish. I express my ideas based on the other person’s understanding. I try to avoid saying anything that might hurt my colleagues or friends. If I do say divisive words I sincerely apologize and correct my behavior immediately. If there’s any friction with a colleague, relative or friend, I sincerely try to understand their point of view.

I also realized that saying, “I am sorry” is very powerful. These words have many levels. It is an attitude that shows the willingness to make peace inside and outside of me. To be modest enough to put relationships first and my ego second. I realized deep inside that I have no enemies and that everyone I meet is here to be saved. Everything I encounter in cultivation helps me let go of my attachments and improve.

These are my understandings at my very limited level.

Thank you Master! Thank you fellow practitioners!

(Sharing paper submitted to the 2023 European Fa Conference)