PureInsight | October 17, 2005
[PureInsight.org] Amid the Mid-Autumn Festival, I can't help thinking of my mother living far away. I can't reach her by phone, so I am writing this article as a dedication to her.
Mother is an ordinary person. She worked on the farm for several decades.
Mother is very smart. When she was young, it was not easy to be able to go to school. She was not able to go to school when she was little. Later on, when the country tried to eliminate illiteracy, she was admitted to the fourth grade according to her age. Because of her intelligence and hard work, she not only was able to catch up with her class, but also became a top student in just several months.
Mother is an unfortunate woman. When she became engaged to my father, she was a student in a nursing school. Her mother-in-law told her to drop out of the school. Back then, each family was getting a food ration based on the number of people living in the house. She wanted my mother to stay at home so the family would get more food rations. Mother thus left school and married father and became a farmwoman.
After several years, her classmates at the nursing school all had become doctors (because of shortage of medical schools back then, many doctors received their trainings in nursing schools). Sometimes when she thought of the opportunity she had give up, Mother would sigh sadly with emotion and told us, "It isn't easy to be able to go to school; you must study hard and cherish the opportunity."
Once Mother half joked with me: "It's not a bad thing not being a doctor; otherwise I couldn't have had you." Although the birth control policy wasn't strictly controlled at the time, if she had become a doctor, she most likely wouldn't have been able to have me after giving birth to my brothers and sisters because the governmental policy was tougher on those with "real jobs."
Things are hard to predict in this world.
Mother believes in the existence of gods.
When she was 19 years old, she became very ill just a few months before she was to get married. She had a high fever and was in a coma for several days. Quite a few people thought she couldn't hold out much longer.
Even though many years have gone by, the incident of her illness still remains fresh in her memory. She said she encountered many things when she was in the coma. It seemed that she was a Heavenly Virgin Servant in some place and was to be called back. But it seemed there was a mission for her to carry out in the human world so she was to remain.
Growing up, on every special occasion, we had to honor the gods before we started our meal.
I found out when I went to college that Mother would burn incense sticks and pray for us whenever we took major examinations. I felt very touched.
After I came overseas, I discovered that believing in and honoring gods is not something just in the traditional Chinese culture. It is in the western culture as well.
My parents always behave righteously. They told us many stories that stress the needs of human beings behaving righteously in order to make sure catastrophes don't fall upon them.
Here is one of the stories: In ancient times, there was a person who didn't respect his parents and always beat and scolded his mother. Because of that, his mother was very afraid of him. Later, this person found his conscience and realized he had been wrong. He decided to treat his mother well from then on. When he came home, he smiled broadly and told his mother that he'd make supper. His mother was shocked and didn't know what had gone wrong. The more she thought about it, the more she felt there was no way out. So she found a rope and hanged herself. When the son discovered what had happened, it was too late.
Time flows by without being noticed. Only after one has carelessly lost something, one might discover that it was the most precious thing in the world.
Mother taught us not to be greedy and told us a story: There was once an emperor. Heavens was to give him 83 years of being the emperor. The day he became the emperor happened to be the New Year, so he ordered to celebrate and had a huge banquet. He was very happy and thus ordered to have the same celebration everyday.
As the result of his behavior, he died after being the emperor for only 83 days.
Mother told us: "There are spiritual beings three feet above one's head." We should not speak freely without restraint. She told us that, once upon a time, there was a king who had more than a dozen sons. One day the king said he wasn't afraid of anything, even if a dozen of his sons died, he would still have several sons left. As a result, all his sons died.
Some years later, I found out that there was such thing as "cultivation of speech" in the community of cultivators. And that had reminded me of my mother's story.
My parents lived in hardship for decades.
Mother told us that she hadn't suffered much when she was a child. Her father had several acres of low-yielding land by the river bank. Most of it was sandy and good for growing peanuts. When Mother was just a few years old, the grownups often left her in the peanut field and she could eat as many peanuts as she wanted.
After the Chinese Communist Party took power and introduced so-called "land reform," they lost their land.
Father was an elementary school teacher; he would help mother do the farming after school. Soon after my eldest brother was born, Father was dispatched to a mountainous area over a hundred miles away to work and left mother with two young children to take care of.
Father would ride his bicycle home on the weekend to help with the farming. In order not to interfere with his work, he usually came and went during the night. Once, Father rode by a deserted place shortly after midnight. A couple of hours later, a thief killed a passerby with a big stick at the same spot.
People in the mountainous area where father worked always bolted their doors shut. They frequently heard the cries of wolves during the night. After daybreak, people often found excrement from wolves in front of their doors. Father told us that wolf's excrement could be easily identified since its color was different from that of other animals.
Once, Father was so tired that he felt asleep when he was riding the bike. He fell into a ditch several yards deep. He crawled out the ditch and continued to ride.
Most of the time, Mother took care of her children by herself and also did field work. It was very hard for her. Sometimes she had toothaches. When I went to college, I also had toothaches. When I had a severe toothache, I would remember what mother always said: "Toothache isn't an illness; but the ache is worse than being slaughtered." It is so true.
Because Father was busy with his work, Mother didn't have any rest after giving birth to me. Besides having to cook for her family, she had to work in the fields. Because of it, she developed arthritis. Every time it was going to rain, she would have pain in her arms and legs.
Mother's toothache and arthritis were healed after she started practicing Falun Gong. This took place later on.
Father was a very good student. But because he was the eldest son, his father made him attend a Teacher's Two-Year College so that he could become a teacher and help support the family after graduation.
My parents missed the chance to receive more education. So they put their hopes on their kids. When we didn't study hard, Mother would bring up what was taught in the Three-Character Classic: "When a son does not study hard, it's like a shuttle being broken in a weaving machine."
Children in the nearby farming families were quitting school before they graduated in order to help work the fields. Neighbors tried to persuade Mother to do the same; but Mother wouldn't do that. Instead, she told us: "You need to study hard; even if I have to go begging for food, I will still be very happy if you stay in school."
It is the wish of all parents in this world.
After many years, their five children all have college degrees; but how much hardship did my parents endure to put us through college?
My parents were so used to living a hard life that they didn't feel it. They didn't have good health. When they were ill, they wouldn't want to spend money on doctors, so they quietly endured their pain each time. Once, Father contracted hepatitis. He endured the pain for as long as he could. When he finally couldn't endure the pain anymore, he spent a few pennies and bought some Chinese herbal medicine to control the pain.
My parents' health turned for the better when they started practicing Falun Gong.
My eldest brother learned qigong in college from a qigong master and attended several qigong lectures. He brought home some information about qigong when he went home during the holiday for a visit.
To keep fit, Mother wanted to try to practice qigong, especially when she heard that one would need to cultivate one's mind when practicing qigong. Mother and Father thus started to practice qigong.
After our whole family practiced for several months without seeing much benefit, we all lost interest.
We had many qigong books at home. We also had a book on "Five Birds Exercises" by Hua Tuo, the famous Chinese medicine doctor in the ancient time. We had tried them all and had given up practicing them later as we didn't receive much benefit.
I had taken a course on the Book of Changes in college and had discussed it with my elder brother and my parents before I went abroad. But eventually I gave up on studying it because I couldn't comprehend it.
Time passed by fast. Suddenly it was 1997. I was very busy in my work and was also busy dating. I didn't maintain contact with my family for a period of time.
One day I received a letter from my family with a photo of my parents attached. I was very surprised that they looked much younger than their actual ages. After reading the letter, I then knew that they were all practicing Falun Gong. They said Falun Gong was better than other qigong practices. Mother's toothache and arthritis had disappeared. Besides being healthier, they followed Master Li's teaching of "Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance." They would look within when they encountered problems. Everyone found things to do around the house without waiting for others and all conflicts disappeared. They felt that their lives had become much more fulfilling.
I was very happy for them when I finished reading the letter.
What could make one happier than to hear that one's parents are healthy and living a solid life?
Even from thousands of miles away, my parents had never slacked off on their concern for our education. My parents called me one time to tell me that a new article written by Teacher had just been published. I told them to mail it to me and I'd read it when it arrived. They said they couldn't wait and that it was really good. So they read it over the phone word by word:
"A person is like a container, and he is whatever he contains. All of what a person sees with the eyes and hears with the ears are: violence, lust, power struggles in literary works, struggles for profit in the practical world, money worship, other manifestations demon-nature, and so on. With his head filled with these, this kind of person is truly a bad person, no matter what he appears to be. A person's behavior is dictated by his thoughts. With a mind full of such things, what's a person able to do?"
"On the other hand, if a person accepts the kind, traditional thoughts of mankind that had prevailed for thousands of years, believes in proper human behavior and standards, and
is filled with all good things, what will this person's conduct be like? Whether or not this person shows it, he is genuinely a good person."
(From Melt Into the Fa, Essential For Further Advancement I)
There was a popular Chinese song called "A good person is always safe in his life." Perhaps, after having gone through numerous sufferings, my tired parents had finally found peace and comfort.
Unfortunately "the trees want to be still, but the wind won't stop blowing."
As early as in 1998, local practitioners in my parents' hometown started receiving interference when they tried to practice Falun Gong. Local newspapers also had published articles slandering Falun Gong.
My parents were always honest and down-to-earth people. They knew practicing Falun Gong make one healthier and it has nothing to do with politics.
But when Falun Gong practitioners went to appeal to their government on April 25, 1999, the regime called the peaceful appeal as "besieging" the Zhongnanhai Leadership Compound.
After having gone through many trials and hardships in their lives, my parents could see through each political movement. There is a saying: "If you are to be condemned, a pretext won't be lacking."
My parents had practiced Falun Gong for two years at the time and they knew what Falun Gong is all about. It pained their hearts when they saw some people using falsehood to slander and attack Falun Dafa. During one of our conversations, Father said their practice site was being disturbed. Then he told me:
"Confusing Good and Evil as they malign Heaven's Law,
The doers of unpardonable evil will be swept off by the chill of autumn's wind."
(From Hong Yin)
Then on July 20, 1999, the overall suppression on Falun Gong was started in China. Scenes of carnage were everywhere.
Falun Gong has been enduring false slanders and unjust persecution for the last 6 long years. One of my siblings has been sent to a forced labor camp because he was unwilling to give up practicing Falun Gong; My parents face tremendous pressure. Because their phone is being tapped, they seldom answer their phone. They have also been forced to change their residence several times. I think they will walk down the path they have bravely chosen. After all, there is nothing more precious than that. During this Mid-Autumn Festival, I am sending my greetings to them from far away and wish all the parents in the world to be in good health.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2005/9/22/33949.html