PureInsight | July 12, 2004
[PureInsight.org] I have worked with Bobby in the same clinic for over a decade. We are quite close in age (she's slightly older than I am), so we get along well. She's a psychiatrist, while I am a traditional Chinese medical doctor. We often refer our patients to each other when we meet particularly challenging cases.
Bobby believed in and was very devoted to a religion from India, and encouraged me to believe in it as well, but I declined graciously. At that time, I couldn't understand why some people would stop eating meat as soon as they started a religious belief. In Bobby's case, she was not even allowed to eat anything but green vegetables. At that time, I was partial to all kinds of delicacies and would not refrain from good eating. I'd rather give up the chance to become immortal than giving up eating meat.
Once I asked her, "Bobby, I can understand why your teacher asks you be a vegetarian, because Buddhist monks in China are also required to be vegetarians. Yet, Buddhist monks in China are allowed to have 'imitation duck' and 'imitation chicken' made out of dried bean curd. I don't see why you must eat only green vegetables. Besides, all the fresh vegetables turn yellow in winter. What do you eat in the winter?"
"Intelligent as you are, why are you not able to figure out the reason when it comes to food? Green vegetables are fresh," she said.
I teased her by saying, "Let me check it out and see what kinds of cultivation school your religion belongs to. I wonder which color your skin will eventually turn into, because I know for a fact that people who eat too many carrots will turn yellowish."
Later, I was very lucky to learn Falun Dafa and started cultivating in Dafa. She was happy for me, and stopped persuading me to join her. However, she made it perfectly clear to me: Do not try to persuade her to cultivate in Dafa. I have always respected her wish.
Since then, we each have our own spiritual belief, and respected each other's belief. It's like two boats sailing in parallel in the sea, staying off each other's course.
Yet, sometimes Bobby would challenge me in a little way. She visited India once a year. One time after she came back from India, she said so mysteriously, "In this visit, I saw my teacher walking around on the ridgepole of the rooftop"
"How did he get up there?" I asked curiously.
"Well, there wasn't any chair or ladder, and the roof was very tall." She couldn't hide her feeling of triumph in her expression.
"He got up on the roof right in front of you?" I asked.
"I saw it with my own eyes. I wasn't the only one there," she said.
"Oh…" I replied and didn't say anything else.
Since I started cultivating in Dafa, I quickly removed my attachment to meat. In fact, I have become indifferent to meat, and I do not crave meat at all. One time, I had some leftover chicken wings from dinner, so I brought them in for lunch in order to finish the leftover food. During the lunch hour, Bobby saw me eating the chicken wings, and commented seriously, "Refraining from eating meat is the first step for a religious person. If you cannot take the first step, how can you finish the cultivation path of tens of thousands of miles ahead of you?"
"You've made an excellent point. But if we don't have any attachment to any food, it doesn't matter what we eat as long as it keeps us from being hungry. Wouldn't you agree?" Bobby seemed to start contemplating what I said.
There were quite a few doctors, nurses and other staff working in our clinic. By the end of each day, dirty cups and dishes pile up in the staff room. Since I get up early every morning to practice the Falun Gong exercises, I am always the first one to arrive at the clinic. I always volunteer to wash the dishes after I come into the clinic, so these dirty dishes have never bothered anyone in the office. A couple of times when I was out of town, dirty dishes piled up quickly because no one would wash them during my absence. Bobby immediately put up a sign in bold: "YOUR MOTHER DOES NOT LIVE HERE. PLEASE WASH YOUR OWN DISHES!"
The next day when I returned to work and saw Bobby's note, I took it down and washed all the dishes again as usual. When Bobby saw me humming a tune while washing dishes, she said to me softly, "I feel so ashamed. I shouldn't have made such a big deal out of it. I wonder why I forget about cultivation in real situations." I told her, "Through my cultivation practice, I came to realize that I must think of others first in everything in my daily life. I try to remind myself that is how a genuine cultivator should conduct herself."
Bobby knows that Falun Dafa practitioners are subject to persecution in China. She is concerned and often asks me what she can do to help end the persecution. When we launched the anti-persecution signature campaign, she helped me to collect signatures from her patients, doctors and other people she knows.
Ever since I began my cultivation, I had been feeling increasingly healthy and energetic. I have never been sick. In my early days of cultivation, I occasionally had physical discomfort to pay off my karma, but soon I no longer experienced any physical discomfort. However, Bobby's health went from bad to worse. After my repeated advice, she eventually added a variety of health supplement products made from soy, rice and flour to her green vegetable diet. Yet the enriched diet could only keep her standing. She would be sick as soon as she was caught in a cold wind.
Every time Bobby came back from her trip to India, she would become sick and had to receive my treatment for a couple of times to relieve the pains. She explained that it was due to the exhaustive travel and her weak immune system.
In the next few years, she started to take all kinds of medicines, multi-vitamins, protein powders and nutrition powders. And she always took handfuls of pills. In contrast, my diet became increasingly simple. Sometimes I was so busy that I had to skip two meals in a day or didn't eat for a whole day, but I remained extremely healthy. I would eat more when there was a lot of food that needed to be finished, eat less when there was not enough food and skip a meal when I was busy. I slept more when I had time. I stayed up at night when I was busy. Gradually, I found that I could accommodate my body at will to my needs.
Meanwhile I also sensed that Bobby was quietly observing me, my daily life, my work, my interactions with other people, how I handled my daily business, and, more importantly, whether I conducted myself in my daily life as a genuine cultivator.
(To be continued)
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2004/6/19/27688.html