A Dinner Conversation – What is a Spiritual Legacy Worth?

A Veteran Western Dafa Practit

PureInsight | September 6, 2004

[PureInsight.org] The last of the dinner dishes had been cleared off the table and 12 members of our extended family, representing three generations, sat around, savoring the strong coffee, home-made apple pie and vanilla ice cream. The seven adults, Phi Beta Kappa members all, debated the crucial importance of an inheritance, something tangible and material, to pass on to their offspring, to enable them to attend a good university and "amount to something in life." I spoke up and questioned, "What is more important – an inheritance, or a spiritual heritage or legacy?"

Stunned looks met me, and the dessert spoons stopped in mid-air. People looked at me askance, as if to question my sanity.

Being the only Dafa practitioner in this family, I have tried over the years to gently convey the importance of spiritual renewal and the crucial importance of an ethical character to so many people I meet. They listen politely, but then ignore me on this particular point. At first this hurt a bit, but then I remembered what Master had told us, [paraphrased] that not everyone is destined to practice Falun Dafa; that we cannot compel anyone; that the door is wide open; that those who don't have a predestined relationship will miss their opportunity; and if they would learn out of loyalty to a practitioner and not for the real reason, it would amount to nothing. So, at present I no longer dwell on my desire for them, including my family, to take up Dafa cultivation. I hope that they might pick up a few pointers from the way I conduct myself in my daily dealings. I also send noble thoughts heavenward, for the celestial powers to convey to these people the message that we sorely need of the Law of the Universe, and all its privileges and responsibilities.

Spirited arguments in our dining room flew back and forth; some eloquently pleading their case for a monetary inheritance; others became somewhat pensive when I pointed out that we have immortal souls and that our character in this life carries over to the next life. A few decided that is perhaps possible to combine a monetary inheritance and a spiritual heritage, and discussed how best to leave an ethical, spiritual legacy for one's children. The youngest of the adults around the table called for another pot of coffee, "because this is getting serious."

For purposes of illustrating my argument for a spiritual legacy, I used the analogy of concocting a cheese soufflé in my kitchen, a delicate task indeed, that requires balancing of ingredients, of temperature and timing, the correct seasonings, true grit and determination, clear focus - the same attributes needed to raise children well, so they become adults with noble characters. I was met with strange stares, but also a few tentative grins. The oldest daughter said, "But mom, that is the way you raised us." I continued and said, "Leaving a spiritual legacy is a balancing act; a heavy jolt often collapses the soufflé into a sorry lump. Raising all of you and some of your friends was a difficult job, but you have few lumps."

The conversation became loud and animated. More coffee was poured. One of my family members offered his views about what makes for a valuable spiritual legacy, that faith in the correct belief system has to be one of those. Others slowly began to contribute an opinion or two, affirming that leaving a spiritual legacy is mainly done by example, the way parents live their lives for their children to observe and emulate; that children's minds are so extremely impressionable that they will continue to live and later conduct their lives by they way they were taught. Also mentioned was the value of sacrificing one's comfort for the sake of others who are in need, as was living by the "Golden Rule," doing unto others as you want them to treat you, with kindness, patience, tolerance and truth. Someone else said responsibility to and for all we were blessed with is expected, particularly from those who were given much, and the job of being good stewards of the Earth. The youngest of the adults chimed in, "Our thoughts are a potent weapon – I think we need to be thankful for divine providence, to bring us all together and hear this."

My hopes soared; perhaps they were realizing a tiny bit of what Master is trying to instill in all of us, that what we do here, in this existence, will carry over into the lives of future generations, and living a spiritual existence is ever so much more prudent than leaving one's family the fattest inheritance.

The coffee was gone now, and as they walked out the door I could hear snippets of talk, such as, "Well, this was certainly an unexpected turn in the festivities, but worthwhile. Dinner at mom's is never a dull event, even if she has to get on her soap box once in a while."

Who knows, perhaps they might yet obtain the Fa – but then they will have to decide whether or not to practice Dafa. But that is something out of my control – only Master can decide if they are worthy. I am hoping!

Add new comment