My Daughter's Choice

A Chinese Falun Gong Practitio

PureInsight | December 20, 2004

[] My 14-year-old daughter Cindy used to be a devout Christian. On the Saturday a week before the Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference in New York this November, Cindy got up earlier than usual. She piled up her Bible and all of her church books on a chair, and told her father, "Daddy, would you please take care of these books for me? I have decided to begin my cultivation practice in Falun Gong today."

We were most surprised and pleased with her change and her choice. Cindy's decision process was also my cultivation process. I would like to share our story with my fellow practitioners and hope that it would help with all of us in our cultivation practice.

I Almost Pushed My Daughter Away from Falun Gong

My husband and I have been cultivating in Falun Gong for more than two years. Throughout the last two years, Cindy did not join our cultivation practice and insisted on going to church every Sunday. She was responsible for playing the church organ during the Sunday service. Besides, she has already been baptized, so she did not want to turn her back against her God.

My husband and I did not push her to practice to Falun Gong. We let her understand Falun Gong at her own pace. When she came to us for advice when she encountered troubles in her life or faced challenges in her school study, we would try to help her face and resolve those problems by sharing the Fa with her. Sometimes she would admit her doubts about her religious beliefs to us, "How come I cannot find answers to my problems in the Bible?" or "How come no one at my church can answer my questions or help with my problems?" After a while, she started to join the regular group Fa study at Toronto University. Then she started to participate in young Falun Gong practitioners' truth-clarification activities organized by Minghui School in Toronto. [1] She also joined young Falun Gong practitioners' bicycle tour "Pedals of Peace" in August 2004 to help raise the public's awareness of the persecution against Falun Gong and to call for the public's help to end the persecution. After she finished the bicycle tour, she developed a better understanding of Falun Gong although she continued her church activities.

This summer, the volunteer teachers at Minghui School and I tried to persuade her to join the dance class at Minghui School's summer camp, but she was determined not to join the class no matter what we said. It became a test of my xinxing (or moral character).
After her repeated refusal, I became upset and told her off, "If you don't go to the dance class, you will no longer be my daughter." Then I walked away from her angrily. Soon I knew I had made a huge mistake. The young girls at Minghui School told me, "You really hurt Cindy's feelings. Cindy told us, 'What am I going to do now? I don't have a mother any more.' She cried her heart out in front of us." Some fellow practitioners said, "How could you say such heartless words to your child?" My husband reprimanded me, "How are you going to cultivate your forbearance when you lose your temper so easily?" After realizing my mistake, I thought to myself, "I must not push my daughter away from Falun Gong because of my mistake." I talked to Cindy the following evening. First I apologized to her for what I had said, and then I explained to her patiently how I really just wanted what was best for her. With tears on her face, Cindy told her she could understand what I was coming from. Later Cindy told her father in English, "Now I understand what it means to pay back my karma."

"Because They Said Falun Gong Is Bad"

On that Saturday when Cindy decided to practice Falun Gong, the first question I came up with was: "How did you come to the decision?" Cindy replied, "Because they said Falun Gong is bad." Then I learned that the people at Cindy's church felt that Cindy was no longer a devout Christian although she continued to fulfill her duty of playing the church organ. They decided to confront her, and Cindy told them the truth, "I have started to practice Falun Gong with my parents." They told Cindy, "Oh, you must not practice Falun Gong! They are all cultivating insanity!" Cindy told them solemnly, "That is not true! The truth is that Falun Gong practitioners are kindhearted people."

I was glad that Cindy started her cultivation practice in Falun Gong, but I felt anxious whenever I thought of how people in her former church have misunderstandings about Falun Gong. So My husband and I decided to visit a couple who used to drive Cindy to church every Sunday. We explained to them why Cindy decided to cultivate Falun Gong, the truth about Falun Gong and the persecution against Falun Gong. We talked for several hours. Finally they said, "We will pray for you. We will stop saying bad things about Falun Gong."

Teacher's Protection Reinforced Cindy's Faith

Since Cindy decided to cultivate Falun Gong, she studies as hard as she used to in school but she is not longer attached to getting good grades the way she used to. Her grades have actually improved. She has started to share with us things that happen to her from the viewpoint of the Fa. A recent incident further reinforced her faith in Falun Gong.

Cindy was standing in front of her locker, organizing her backpack and getting ready to go home one afternoon. An argument broke out near her. Suddenly, a student knocked down another big, tall student in the senior class. The big kid landed on top of my petite daughter and smashed her against the locker. The entire locker door was smashed in. The fight stopped and everyone froze in silence. When my tiny daughter slowly got up from the floor, everyone gathered around her and asked her if she needed a doctor. She touched the place on her body where the other big kid had landed , and wondered why she did not feel any pain at all. Then she broke into a smile because she realized that Teacher was protecting her. When the two big guys came to apologize to Cindy, she said to them, "You shouldn't have fought each other, but you don't need to apologize to me because I know you did not do this on purpose."

She shared this incident with us after she returned home. She also said, "Thank you, Teacher! I will try to be a better cultivator from now on."

Fellow Practitioners' Help and Encouragement

The volunteer teachers at Minghui School often try to encourage and offer advice on her cultivation practice when they see Cindy. Young practitioners' speeches and actions also have a positive impact on Cindy.

There is a group Fa study at my home every Sunday evening. At Sunday's Fa study gatherings, young practitioners' mothers often offer Cindy their heartfelt loving care and encouragement. For her 14th birthday this May (before she decided to become a genuine Falun Gong practitioner,) these mothers organized a surprise birthday party for Cindy. Cindy was very touched by their kind gesture. She told us that she started to wonder, "Why would the Chinese Communist government want to persecute these kindhearted people?" Following the birthday party, Cindy started to participate in activities to clarify the truth about Falun Gong. First she participated in the "Pedals of Peace" bicycle tour, and then she went to New York with us to clarify the truth about Falun Gong to the people in New York. These experiences enhanced her understanding of Falun Gong. Nowadays Cindy even volunteers to help with teaching Minghui School's toddlers' class and with preparing the teaching materials for the toddlers.

I would like to thank all the fellow adult and young practitioners for your help and encouragements to Cindy.

Thank you, my magnificent and compassionate Teacher! Thank you, my fellow practitioners!

[1] Minghui School is a Chinese school with the goal to teach its students to conduct themselves according to Falun Gong's cultivation principles of Truth, Compassion, and Forbearance. Students learn many subjects including Chinese languages, Falun Gong exercises, art and crafts. Students range between the ages of 3 to 17 years old. The faculties are Falun Gong practitioner volunteers. The admission and classes are free.

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