My Two Stories of True Cultivation in Everyday Life
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings, revered Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I wrote down some of my experiences in cultivation and would like to share with other practitioners.
Truly cultivating myself in my family environment
I am 59 years old. I do all the housework at home, including grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, house cleaning, etc. My husband was laid off a few years ago and hasn't worked since. He plays Mahjong all day. Once I was kidding with him and said, “You are so lucky, you don't do anything and depend on me for a living.” He immediately jumped up from the sofa, threw his newspaper on the floor, and started to yell at me. He even acted like he was going to beat me. I was shocked, but I tolerated it. However, what I said was a fact: he hasn't worked but has stayed at home for eight years, and he is only in his 50s. Why couldn't he go and get a job? I helped him look for jobs, but he complained either that the salary was low or the workplace was too far from home. He always had some excuse for not working. I often asked myself, “Do I still have the attachment to personal gain? Maybe I owed him in my previous lifetime.” I know it is actually a good thing to endure hardships. In order to save money, every day I buy food at a far-away market where things are cheaper. After he finishes dinner, he goes to watch TV and never cleans the dishes. It made me even angrier when he asked me for 8,000 yuan to return to somebody he borrowed from to play Mahjong. Looking at his sad face, I was angry and anxious.
I couldn't fall asleep at night. It is the principle of the cosmos that you have to pay your debt. Was my heart moved by the owed money? Wasn't it targeting my attachment? Master said,
“...a cultivator must look at things as a cultivator should and with the mind of a cultivator, and absolutely cannot look at things with the mind of an ordinary person. Nothing you encounter is simple, accidental, or an ordinary thing. It must have to do with your cultivation and your improvement.” (“Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles”)
From the Fa, I enlightened that the family is also a cultivation environment, so it must have something to do with my improvement. I reminded myself that Master requires us to always consider others and realized that the person who lent the money to my husband would be anxious if it wasn't returned. Thinking about this, I immediately went to withdraw 8,00 yuan from the bank and let my husband return the money promptly.
After he left, I cried a lot. I have always lived frugally, but I am very generous to others. I have to let go of the attachment to fortune and material things. However, after I gave him the money, I often thought of how badly he treated me in the past, especially when he lost his temper and yelled at me. These memories appeared in my mind again and again.
Although I didn't quarrel with him, I couldn't let it go in my heart. That 8,000 yuan made me care less about loss and gain. Master told us in Zhuan Falun,
“As you know, when a person reaches the Arhat level, in his heart he is not concerned about anything. He does not care at all in his heart for any ordinary human matter, and he will always be smiling and in good spirits. No matter how much loss he suffers, he will still be smiling and in good spirits without any concern.”
Don't we want to cultivate to a level that is higher than an Arhat? If we lose something, there must be a reason for it.
He would explode if I criticized him. Did I have the same problem? I looked within and realized that I did. His reaction to me on that day was targeting that mentality of mine. If he hadn't reacted so strongly, I wouldn't have been able to find my own problem.
Between us, he was usually calmer, and I tended to lecture and control others. If he had some criticism of me, I couldn't endure it. I was kind of a two-faced person, and I didn't consider myself as a practitioner at home. However, in front of others, especially Dafa disciples, I usually appeared to be very diligent and spoke in accordance with Dafa. Others thought I cultivated well, but it was actually my showing off and validating myself. I didn't consider my family as an environment for cultivation.
After I discovered these wrong mentalities, my family life improved, and we now respect each other. When a conflict arises, he says it is his fault and I say it is mine. Dafa is really wonderful. As long as you cultivate yourself well, the surrounding environment will change. His attitude towards Dafa has changed greatly. When anyone says something bad about Dafa, he points at the person and shouts, “Shut up! Do you know about Falun Gong? If you don't, don't speak rubbish.”
When you have upgraded your level through continuously studying the Fa, everything will change. It is true that you can obtain it while not pursuing it. “Cultivation depends on one’s own efforts, while the transformation of gong is done by one’s master.” (Zhuan Falun) One day, my son suddenly told me that he wanted to learn Dafa. I gave him Zhuan Falun and he read it eagerly. Before July 20, I brought him to a Fa-study group when he was still in elementary school. Later, he stepped into Dafa cultivation.
One of my front teeth fell out and I went to a private dental clinic to get it fixed. When the doctor was putting on the cap, he saw that my gums were inflamed and swollen. There was also pus and blood in addition to the exposed nerves. He was too afraid to put the cap on and said it was very dangerous to do so. I wasn't moved at all and said to him, “I practice Falun Gong. I'm a practitioner, and everything will be fine after I return home and do the exercises.” I told him about the wonderfulness of Dafa, but he was still not willing to put the cap on for me. He said that once there is inflammation inside, after putting it on, the inflammation could spread to the brain.
I insisted on that he put the cap on. The doctor had no choice and said, “You sign for it—it is all at your own risk.” I said, “Don't worry.” After I got home, I immediately studied the Fa.
For a long time, my tooth was fine and there was no swelling or pain. Gradually, I thought it was due to my cultivating well, and I had the mentality of showing off. In fact, after I returned from the clinic that night, I had a fever and the tooth hurt. I lay in bed reciting Lunyu before I fell asleep. When I woke up the next morning, everything was fine. It was actually Master that endured it for me, but I thought I had cultivated well. Gradually, I relaxed in my cultivation and I wanted to eat this and that. There were many things that I couldn’t eat before due to my tooth pain, but I could eat them now. One day, I suddenly felt cold all over. My teeth hurt so much that I couldn't open my eyes. I thought it would be fine after I woke up the next day. I had an appointment with my former classmates to swim the next day. My face couldn't be swollen, as they all knew that I practiced Dafa. I couldn't bring shame to Dafa, but I couldn't fall asleep that night. I used two layers of quilts to cover myself, but I still felt very cold. My tooth hurt so much that I couldn't close my mouth and I kept drooling. The next morning, I looked in the mirror. My face was all swollen, and I couldn't open my mouth, but I still went to the swimming pool. My classmates looked at me and asked what had happened. Around two o'clock in the afternoon, the swelling got worse and I had a fever. I couldn't even see my feet. They were all scared and wanted to take me to the hospital. I said, “There is no need. I'll go home. You have fun.” I tolerated the pain and went home with my hands over my face. I looked in the mirror and saw that my nose was distorted, my lower eyelid was turned outward, and my mouth was severely swollen, too. I pulled my lips apart with my hands and saw that the gums were all turned up and everything was abscessed.
I covered my mouth with my hands, and was afraid of inhaling, as it created enormous pain in my teeth. I called Master in my heart and couldn't stop my tears. I shouldn't treat Master's compassion so casually, as a trifling matter. After I got the cap, I had wanted to eat all kinds of food that I saw. I thought about dinner soon after I had cooked lunch. I tried to cook different kinds of food. I wasted my time on shopping, cooking, and eating, and forgot that I was a practitioner. Master wants us to hurry to do the three things, but I indulged myself and my gap was exploited by the old forces.
I immediately sat down and sent forth righteous thought to disintegrate the interference and persecution by the old forces, “Master, your disciple was wrong. From now on, I will correct myself as I have found my mistake.” I felt much better when I woke up the next morning. The swelling was gone, and my nose and eyes looked normal. My husband said, “I am really amazed. That sickness came so quickly and it also went away so quickly. It was so terrible yesterday, but everything is fine today.”
In addition, I also had a strong mentality of showing off. One tooth fell out, but a new one grew in its place. I thought I had cultivated well. I always said to others that Dafa is beyond ordinary and nothing is impossible as long as I cultivate well. I told them I had even a new grown tooth when I was already in my 50s. When others praised me, I felt very happy and my zealotry surfaced. Not long after, I had another tooth fall out and a new tooth started to grow. Looking at the tip of the new tooth, I often touched it and wanted it to grow faster. However, it disappeared back inside the gum. I knew it was to remove my attachment. Cultivation is serious—we are here to validate the Fa and not ourselves. There will be problems once a single thought is not righteous.
These are some of my experiences in cultivation. I know it is far from the standards that Master requires. We need to be more diligent and fulfill our historic vows in assisting Master in rectifying the Fa.