Guiding Our Children is also a Part of Our Cultivation

Gao Jing (Canada)

PureInsight | October 5, 2006

[] I obtained
the Fa in 2002. My son is six years old this year. While guiding my
child through cultivation, I have gone to both extremes. At one time, I
thought I should follow what he wanted. I then went to the other
extreme and I thought I should force him to be stricter with his
cultivation. Finally under the guidance of Master's hints and the Fa
principles, I have walked through the tortuous road of cultivating with
a child. Because our cultivation in the past four years are intertwined
with our daily lives and are specially notable, I have forgotten many
details. Recently, I gathered up what I could from my memory and
summarized some things to share with practitioners who have young Dafa
disciples at home.

At the beginning, I thought that cultivation was a personal thing, so all I did was let my son listen to the Fa and recite Hong Yin.
I believed that the Fa would change him, thinking that if he had come
to gain the Fa Master would arrange his path of cultivation. Therefore,
I felt no sense of responsibility over his cultivation. I only paid
attention to my own cultivation and even regarded myself as being
pretty diligent.

One night I had a dream; I was about to play the waist drum in a parade
but left my drum, the drumsticks, and my uniform at home. At the moment
when I was about to cry in worry, my son dragged the whole set of
divine implements in to me. In the dream, the gratitude I felt toward
him was beyond words. Too busy to say very much, I hurried to join the

After I woke up, I talked about the dream with my mother who is also a
practitioner. My son overheard our conversation and said, "Mama, I am
here to help you to go to Master's place." He was only three years old
back then and I had never told him anything too deep about the Fa,
especially anything relating to the issue of where we would go upon
reaching consummation, or how we should go back to where we had come
from. His words made me think differently of him and I was sure that he
had come to obtain the Fa. However, these thoughts did not cause me to
take any action regarding my son's cultivation.

Soon after that while in meditation I saw Master teach him the
exercises while holding his hands. I suddenly realized that I hadn't
fulfilled my responsibilities to help him with his cultivation, forcing
Master to become concerned and teach my son the exercises in person,
which was something I could have handled by myself. I felt deeply
ashamed, and, upon examining further, I found that the bad habits of
being selfish, lazy and irresponsible that I had developed among
ordinary people were affecting my understanding on the issue of
perfecting the Fa. I decided to encourage my son in his cultivation.

Unfortunately, due to my lack of Fa study, I went to the other extreme.
I tied my own cultivation with the cultivation of my son and forced him
to study the Fa and do the exercises together with me every day,
although he was only four years old at that time. And because I did not
explain some words in the Fa to him, he basically did not understand
the Fa. After a period of time, he would run away whenever he saw me.
When I asked him why he ran, he would say that he wanted to go the
bathroom, that he wanted to eat something, and so forth. I would then
patiently wait until he finished with those activities to start doing
the exercises and studying the Fa. He became more and more lethargic
and slow. In order to "improve together" with him, I wasted a
considerable amount of time and this affected my own cultivation.

I asked myself, "Maybe I shouldn't supervise his cultivation?" The
answer was "Absolutely not." "Then, why did the situation become like
this?" Examining myself even further, I realized that although I had
wanted him to cultivate, I was only paying attention to superficial
actions, yet neglected his xinxing
cultivation. Fundamentally it was still because of my selfishness and
irresponsibility: I didn't want to put my heart into it, and I wanted
it to be easy. Because I didn't meet the requirements of the Fa, I went
to another extreme. After realizing the root of the problem, I was even
more determined to get rid of my bad habit of being selfish and
irresponsible in my own cultivation.

From then on, I stopped forcing him to study the Fa and do the
exercises with me. Instead, I observed him with a heart of
responsibility, talking to him and patiently answering any questions he
asked. I discovered that I could use Fa principles to answer all his
questions about life.

For example, I once took him outside and he noticed that the lawn near
the road was in a deteriorated state while in the lawn farther away
from the road the grass was growing well. He asked me why. I said:
"Ordinary people only care about how to make things easy for
themselves. So they stepped on and killed the grass. We are cultivators
and different from ordinary people. Master has told us to be kind to
all beings and that the grass is life too. So, we do not learn from
ordinary people." In this way, I vividly explained to him the concept
of sentient beings and the difference between cultivators and ordinary
people, and at the same time, made him understand that his standard for
actions is the Fa, and that he shouldn't behave like an ordinary

Another time, he asked me how he came out of my tummy. I felt nervous
inside yet held a calm countenance and said, "I went to the hospital
and had a cut on my tummy and they took you out." I truly felt lucky
that I had a cesarean section when I gave birth to him, or else, I
really wouldn't have known how to answer him, and I couldn't lie
either. However, I would never be able to answer his next question if I
hadn't learned Dafa: "Then, how did I enter your tummy?" he asked. I
had an inspiration and said, "You entered from another dimension." He
stared at me, looking half understanding and half puzzled, so I
continued, "Didn't Master say that we all came from heaven? This heaven
is in other dimensions but not the sky we see now. Back then, you saw
in the heaven: ‘Ah, Gao Jing (the author) is going to obtain the Fa, I
want to go to be her son, and she can help me to cultivate Dafa.' So
you got into my tummy. When you came, I gave you a small human body and
then you gradually grew bigger in my tummy." He understood my answer
very well and nodded with satisfaction. This time, I had told him the
purpose of being a human.

One day, my son had a high fever. My non-practitioner husband insisted
that I take him to see a doctor and brought some medicine back. When my
husband went to work, I asked my son if he wanted to take medicine and
he replied: "No." I said: "You haven't studied the Fa and practiced the
exercises for a long time and you want to be an ordinary person. Master
said that ordinary people naturally undergo the process of birth, age,
sickness and death. If you live as an ordinary person, when you are old
you will be like your grandfather having trouble moving your hands and
legs, and eventually you will lie on the bed and can't get up, and when
your are even older, you will die." He said: "I do not want to be an
ordinary person. I want to study the Fa and practice the exercises." He
wanted to study the Fa right away. His fever soon went away.  

One time when he wanted to buy a toy train, I said to him, "Master said
that when a Buddha wants to eat or play with something, those things
will come when he stretches out his hand." He asked, "So if a Buddha
wants to play with a toy train, will it come when he stretches out his
hand?" I said: "That's for sure." In this way, I explained to him the
magnificence of being a Buddha and the suffering of an ordinary person.

Through answering his questions daily, I have laid down a basic way of
thinking, a standard of action, and the necessary concepts to
understand the Fa principles for him that are required as a cultivator,
and at the same time strengthened his main consciousness in

At this time, Master started to give more hints. One day, I took him
out and while I was holding his hand and walking, he kept on bumping
into rocks and falling over, hitting things such as posts in stores or
trees outside, yet I didn't even notice them in time to prevent the
falls. I was nervous, and was sure that Master was giving me some type
of hint. I right away started to look inside and enlighten from the
fact that "the child fell over while I was leading the way". Does it
mean that I wasn't watching the road carefully enough for him? In
words, adults have responsibilities in children's cultivation.

So I started to pay attention to his overall cultivation, including the
guidance by Fa principles, practice of the exercises, cultivation of xinxing
and so on, required of him by the standard of a cultivator, and at the
same time paid attention to getting rid of my own human attachments
through cultivation. I noticed that he knew attachments were not good,
but could not determine which attachments he had.

For example, one time when I praised another child, he looked obviously
unhappy. When I told him this was his attachment of jealousy, he almost
cried and said; feeling wronged, "I don't have an attachment of
jealousy." I then asked him, "Do you know what jealousy is?" He
answered, "No." So I told him that jealousy is when you feel unhappy
when you see others having good things, and then I asked him: "Were you
feeling this way just now?" He nodded and said yes. I said, "What do
you think you should do from now on?" He said, "Mama, I know now. I
will get rid of the attachment of jealousy from now on." Since then, I
haven't noticed him being jealous any more. I also pointed out the
attachment of complacency, showing off and other attachments to him
later using that same method.

I have found that he is very fast in getting rid of attachments. Once
he realized that he had certain attachments, he would eliminate them
right away, without the unpleasant feelings that adults have when our
attachment are pointed out, and he did not need to repeatedly meet with
tests in order to get rid of the same attachments. This might have been
due to the fact that some attachments and notions haven't been
completely formed in small children.

During that time, after I let my son decide how much Fa study and
exercise he wanted to do, although the time he spent doing the two
things had been reduced somewhat, he improved a lot in personal
cultivation. Therefore I realized that children also need to genuinely
cultivate and it is not enough to only read the Fa. There are some
concepts they don't understand, nor do they understand completely the
inner meaning of cultivation.

Compared with adults, children have more difficulty in understanding
the Fa principles. From Master's teaching I understand that all the
human history and culture were laid for the spread of Dafa, and with
these traditional cultures, people can understand some of the Fa's
inner connotations. This is to say that we can understand the Fa when
studying the Fa because we have listened, seen, read or learned many
things of traditional culture before we came in contact with Dafa,
while small children do not have this foundation and even their Chinese
vocabulary is very limited.

After I obtained the Fa, at the beginning I had only taught my son to recite Hong Yin.
The first poem he recited was "To be a Human," so it was the one he is
the most familiar with. However one time he asked me, "Are ‘tasty
beans' (‘tasty beans' and ‘fighting with each other' in the poem have
the same sound in Chinese) all bitter?" Upon hearing this, I felt I was
not at all worthy of being the mother of this young Dafa disciple. I
started to explain the multiple meaning of some words in the concepts
of the Fa, such as Loss, Gain, Ordinary people, cultivation, Sakymuni,
Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara, and so on.

This way, as I deepen my understanding of perfecting Dafa and
continuously looking inward and cultivating myself on the issue of
guiding my child in cultivation, I have finally become able to lead him
to walk steadily on the path of cultivation. I started to adjust my way
to guide the child.

1. Combine listening to the Fa systematically and reading the Fa. When
we read the Fa together, we don't just simply read the words. Instead,
I will explain the surface meaning of some sections based on his
ability of understanding. For now, I have skipped over sections that
are difficult for young kids to understand, such as the development of
Buddhism, curing disease with Qi Gong, and Futi (animal possession).
Later on, as he gets older, I will gradually add more sections until I
completely finish explaining all the content of Zhuan Falun. At the same time, I will try to help him understand the meaning of "Hong Yin the same way.

2. Strengthening his main consciousness: I do not force him to practice
the exercises but help him understand why we do the exercises. Unlike
adults, children do not have as strong the ability of self-control.
Even when they understand why we need to practice the exercises, they
still cannot give up fun things, such as watching TV or playing games,
to do the exercises. Master has said: "Without mi xin
(superstition/being superstitious to) in their parents, children would
not be brought up well-mannered." ("What is Mi Xin (Superstition)?" –Essentials for Further Advancement). Because of his affection, dependency and respect for me, I am able to properly encourage and guide him.

For example, when he does not want to practice the exercises, I tell
him, "I won't force you if you do not want to do the exercises. I will
do it by myself. When it is time of Fa rectifying the human world, I
will go up and become a Buddha and you and Dad can stay here to be in
the cycle of birth, aging, sickness and death." He will immediately
say, "No. I want to go with you." I said, "If you want to go to
Buddha's place, you have to have a Buddha's body and practicing the
exercises is to change your body into a Buddha body." He has been
practicing diligently with me. As his understanding on Fa principles
deepens, he no longer mentions the issue of going up with me.

At the beginning, he couldn't take initiative to listen to the Fa and
when doing the exercises he also constantly moved a lot and couldn't be
quiet. So I told him, "Master wants us to go up to be a Buddha and no
longer suffer like a human. But demons are bad and they do not want you
to go up. So he does not let you study the Fa. When you think about
studying the Fa, he will make you think: ‘I will play and not listen to
the Fa.' When you practice the exercises, the demon will make you feel
itchy here and uncomfortable there, and he will make you go to the
bathroom. Anyway, he will bother you. The demon just wants you to
remain here suffering as a human, but he is afraid of you when you are
strong. If you don't listen to him and study the Fa when you need to
instead of doing other things, and when practicing the exercises, you
simply do not move as the demon tells you, the demon will say: ‘Ah,
this kid does not listen to me and I am so afraid of this kid.' You
will scare the demon away." After hearing this, he nodded and said: "I
know, Mama." Next day when I came back after work, I asked: "Who won
today, you or the demon?" He dared not to look at me in the eyes and
didn't answer. I did not criticize him and encouraged him instead,
"Don't worry. You have just started to cultivate. Tomorrow you can
brave up and conquer the demon, ok?" He nodded. On the third day when I
came back from work, I saw him looking at me calmly, I knew that he had
taken a big step on the path towards godhood.

Since then, I often saw him listening to the Fa and doing the exercise
by himself. One day a year ago (when he was five years old), when I was
helping him with bath, he suddenly hugged my arm and said, "Mama, you
are so nice." I asked, "How am I nice?" He said, "You think of ways for
me to do the exercises." I felt so gratified at the moment. It might be
his knowing side thanking me. It also might be Master who was
encouraging me.

Now, my son not only can basically require himself according to the
standard for a cultivator, but also seems to be catching up with the
progress of Fa-rectification.

3. Understanding Fa-rectification. At the beginning I thought that
children did not understand Fa-rectification and it was enough for them
to understand personal cultivation, therefore I never read aloud when I
studied Master's new articles and only read silently. My son often
asked me, "Mama, can you read aloud? I want to listen too." Only then,
I would read out loud. But if he did not ask, I still did not read to
him and thought that he couldn't understand. One day several months
ago, he suddenly asked me, "Mama, how come I feel time is going so
fast? It will become dark before you do very much after getting up from
bed in the morning." I was very surprised by his question, because for
adults, raising this question under the present situation is common
since they have had the feeling about the time in the past. But he was
only six years old. How could he have this feeling without the
comparison between the time in the past and present? Only at that time
did I realize that I thought too lowly of him and how poor my
enlightenment quality was. It happened to be (maybe it was inevitable)
that I had just read Master's new articles regarding time during those
days; I hurriedly got them out and read them to him. Not only could he
understand fully, he also shared understanding with me on the Fa
principle. He said that from then he would make the best of his time to
cultivate, or else it wouldn't have enough time. Later on, I read and
explained some content in Hong Yin (II) to him.

He was also very enthusiastic about clarifying the truth. One time we
went out. When it was time to send righteous thoughts, we sat down in a
bench beside the road. He asked me why I hadn't erected my palm and I
said, "Because ordinary people don't understand, so it will block them
from being saved." He was very worried and said, "Those ordinary
people, what should we do so they can be saved?" I said, "Just let them
know Falun Dafa is good. They will be saved. So, we have to be kind to
ordinary people, and they will feel that ‘people who cultivate Falun
Dafa are after all so good'. They will be saved."

Ever since then, he always liked to wear the T-shirt with
Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance on it and he said that it was to let
ordinary people see. Sometimes, he murmurs to himself: "What happened
to me? I forgot again to tell so and so Falun Dafa is good." He also
asked me how to teach people who speak English the exercises and if
there is an English version of the exercise music tape.

Finally, I would like to share some personal understanding to those who
have young disciples at home. I understand that nothing a cultivator
encounters is accidental, including things related to one's life, work
and family. When our children have problems, I hope we can all look
inward. In my opinion, we often will find that it is because we are not
doing well, for example being anxious, having no patience, and so on.
Looking deeply, it is still because we do not have enough compassion.
When Master saved us, we were people filled with karma and didn't know
what we were saying and doing. Some people were cursing Master in their
minds while listening to Master's teaching. Were we much better than
our kids back then? In my opinion, we were much worse. Although they
possibly have those factors of being contaminated when going down, they
are much cleaner that we were and at least they don't have those
notions and thought karma formed during many years in the ordinary
human world. Master said: "I just want to successfully bring your
salvation!" ("Teaching the Fa during the 2003 Lantern Festival at the
Western United States Fa conference"). Isn't this grand compassion
Master holds what we should comprehend and grasp as disciples?

Master is teaching the Fa of the universe from the standpoint of Buddha
School. What is Buddha school cultivating? Doesn't it cultivate
compassion? Have we truly cultivated out the compassion that can
harmonize heaven and earth, ushering in spring? If we can save sentient
beings, why can't we be compassionate to our children? Master said,
"Under all circumstances, we must be good and kind to others, not to
mention to our family members." (Zhuan Falun)

Master taught us, "You should always maintain a heart of compassion and
kindness. Then, when you run into a problem, you will be able to do
well." "You should not be that way in disciplining children, nor should
you, yourselves get really upset. You should educate children with
reason so that you can really teach them well." (Zhuan Falun)
Why can Dafa disciples have mighty virtue and reach high fruit status?
Isn't it because we are clear-minded cultivators in this complicated
human society?

In fact, guiding children dose not require us to take special time to
do anything. They live with us, and our words and actions are already
guiding them. Compassion is a kind of state. There is no need to
purposely express them. Have we thought about the possibility that our
children really came here to help us to cultivate? Can we reach
consummation with the attachments of being impatient and easily
angered? Aren't they helping us to get rid of these attachments? They
are like sheets of blank paper. If some unharmonious pictures appeared
on a blank sheet of paper, isn't it the fault of the person who put
that on the paper?

The fact that these children could reincarnate into our families must
mean that we have inescapable responsibilities towards them. No matter
what kind of predestined relationship we have, one thing is for sure:
they came when they saw we have gained the Fa. Therefore, we should try
our best to take the responsibility to guide them in their cultivation.
Only by cultivating ourselves well, can our children can be educated
well. If we don't see our family members there when we reach
consummation and they are the children left in the human world due to
our irresponsible actions, that will be the greatest regret we will

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