Tales from the Practice of Medicine: A Basket of Eggs

Zi Xian

PureInsight | June 28, 2004

[PureInsight.org] When I was little, I once accompanied my mother to the market for grocery shopping. After walking for a short distance carrying a basket, I discovered that my mother was no longer walking beside me. I immediately walked back to look for her.

A short distance away, I found my mother approaching an old man who was limping. She spoke to the old man, "Lao Wang, why are you in such pain?" The old man lifted his head and saw my mother. From the expression on his face he seemed to have met his savior. He exclaimed, "Oh! Doctor, the weather for the past these few days has been bleak and cold. I have caught a cold. Moreover, I worked so hard pulling many cartloads of coal that I strained my back. Now I am unable to stand up straight. I have no health insurance. Now the New Year is coming…" [Note: The Chinese New Year is the biggest holiday when the Chinese people do a lot of holiday shopping like western people would during December. ] He took out a small bundle of cloth, wrapped round several times with a string, and from it he extracted a few coins with a trembling hand. [Apparently, that's all the money he had.] He looked at my mother, sighed, and shook his head, giving an expression of helplessness.

My mother did not say another word. Instead of going to the market, she took him straight back to our house. She applied both the acupuncture and cupping treatments on him. After a short time, Lao Wang, who came in our home crouching, walked out with his back upright. He thanked my mother repeatedly before he finally left.

After a few days, Lao Wang came to our house with a basket full of eggs that was carefully wrapped in a piece of cloth. He said that his relatives from the village had given them to him. He said that he would like my mother to have these eggs as a token of his gratitude for the medical treatment my mother had rendered him that day. He implored mother to accept them. Mother did not want accept any gift [knowing he lived in poverty] so the two were pushing the basket of eggs back and forth for a while. When mother noticed that he was becoming anxious, she reluctantly accepted them. However, she went to the kitchen quickly and brought out a tail of the salted fish we had prepared for the upcoming New Year for Lao Wang as a gift in return.

During those years, we could only afford to purchase an egg or two at a time for the whole family to share. We could have a whole egg to ourselves only on our birthdays. And here Lao Wang had presented us with so many eggs. I looked at the eggs in glee.

Who was to know that as soon as Lao Wang left, mother said to me, "My daughter, we do not have enough money to pay for your piano tuition this time. Why don't you take this basket of eggs and present them to your teacher in lieu of your tuition."

My eyes brimmed with tears of disappointment right away. With tears in my eyes, I took the basket of eggs to my teacher's house and presented them to my teacher. During that period, it was very crucial for one's future prospects to learn a skill or trade.

After moving to America, I once shopped for groceries with my mother at the supermarket. I sighed that the eggs here were so affordable but the eggs in China were a luxury good when I was little. I am not sure if the taste of eggs has changed, or my taste has altered. I no longer find today's eggs as tasty as the eggs from my childhood days. I asked my mother if she remembered the basket of eggs Lao Wang gave us. She said that she had only a vague and incomplete memory of it.

My mobile phone began to ring. It was a call from an old patient of mine who had sprained her back. I asked her to meet me at my clinic in a few hours time. On the phone, she tried to say something but hesitated. It appeared that she had something to say but had difficulty saying it. After I repeatedly asked her what was bothering her, she finally told me that she has lost her job and no longer had medical insurance. She had been using her credit card to pay her bills, and had thus incurred a debt to the credit card company. It was indeed an added misfortune that she had injured her back when she badly needed to find work. She had difficulty standing up, not mention to walk out of the house, or to go for a job interview.

I asked her not to worry about the medical bill, and just come have her back treated first!

In a few hours I completed the treatment for her. The pain in her back was greatly reduced and she thanked me repeatedly before going home. After a few days, she came visit me with a full basket of eggs. She told me her hens laid the eggs and that she was giving them to me as a token of her appreciation for the treatment I gave her.

Mother watched me put the basket of eggs on the table, and looked at me with a tacit smile. "I no longer need to worry about your future, as you have learned how to conduct yourself."


Have I really learned how to conduct myself? In order to prepare myself for career and for survival, I had sought many teachers to learn different professional skills. In the past decades, I have run into numerous difficulties, and I had to bear those hardships in order to survive. However, none of those skills that I had learned helped me transcend the sufferings and hardships of life.

I am practicing Dafa now. Teacher has taught me the principles of how to conduct myself, where a life truly comes from, and where we are headed in life.

Every time I think of Teacher, a solemn and sacred feeling beyond description would well up in my heart. It is a feeling of reverence and gratitude deep within my heart. I have now found what I had been waiting for throughout countless rounds of incarnations, and the path to return to my eternal home.

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2004/6/2/27422.html

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