Understanding “Only When You Are About to Let Go of Your Reputation, Interests, and Feelings Will You Feel Pain”

PureInsight | January 16, 2015

[PureInsight.org] In “True Cultivation” from Essentials for Further Advancement Master said, “Cultivation itself is not painful—the key lies in your inability to let go of ordinary human attachments. Only when you are about to let go of your reputation, interests, and feelings will you feel pain.” After I encountered a mental hardship for my cultivation, my virtue was elevated. Then I understood what Master talked about in this Fa.

One day June 2014, my son who was working in another city gave me a phone call and said, “Mom, my wife had a checkup in the hospital, and she is pregnant with twins.” I asked, “What do you need us to do for you?” My son replied, “Nothing. I just wanted to tell you that.”

A few days later, my son called me again and said, “My mother-in-law who is single has been staying in my house for two weeks. She has now left because she was offered a high salary and got hired by a governmental department. I am busy with work, and I do not know how to cook or do house cleaning. The doctor said that women need to pay more attention to their diet during pregnancy in order to ensure the normal development of the fetus, which I cannot do. Now dad's work is coming to an end, and you have been retired for several years. You stay at home and have nothing to do. I need you both come over as soon as possible, and your room is ready for you.”

After listening, I was very conflicted. I had been practicing diligently for over ten years, and my husband supports Dafa. He willingly took care of all chores to support me in studying the Fa and doing the exercises and the three things well. The ordinary people in our neighborhood understood the truth and Dafa. Since they recognized Dafa, I had a good cultivation environment. There was a Fa-study group at my house. If I left, would this good cultivation environment that was difficult to build be gone? The Fa-study group would no longer exist, which would bring some unnecessary losses to fellow practitioners. I thought about this. Was it easy to create another good cultivation environment in a big city? I had to spend a long time in order to find an intimate fellow practitioner, and Dafa information resources would also be cut off. If I said I did not want to go, my son certainly would not understand. This interference came suddenly, and I had to face it. How could I go through it? Since I hesitated, I did not declare anything over the phone.

My son did not hear my stand, so he called and talked to his father. His father immediately made a decision to set a timeline to go. On the day before we left, my husband said, "Let’s go to our son’s place tomorrow morning." Suddenly, my heart churned. Actually, I did not say anything to my son over the phone because I wanted to postpone it for a while. I wanted to find a good solution that did not affect my cultivation but could resolve my son’s difficult situation. In fact, it is impossible to hold onto Buddhahood with one hand and humanness with the other hand. However, my husband who was an ordinary person made the decision suddenly. I knew it could not be changed. Why did he decide so quickly? Why he did not respect or listen to me, a cultivator, before he decided? What was in his mind? He did not answer all my questions. At that time I did not say anything, but I blamed them in my heart. “Why don’t you understand a practitioner's heart? You have supported my practice for so many years, but when you encounter something that will interfere with my practice in the future, why don’t you think about it for my sake? What you did was like the evil party’s surprise attack. I painfully cried most of the night.

After we went there, my husband said to me, “Since our son needs help, we as elderly people should come here.” I think my husband did not make the wrong choice because he was an ordinary person who used an ordinary person’s standard. Master said, “You’re a practitioner, so if you want to break out of all that you have to use this standard to evaluate things—you can’t use ordinary people’s standards. So in terms of the environment, there’s this type of interference” (Zhuan Falun: A Calm Mind). When I thought of that, all my grievance, sadness, and complaining disappeared.

I thought that I would at least have to try for a while in this situation. I always used a cultivator’s standard to judge myself. I would do the housework so my daughter-in-law would feel satisfied. In fact, all practitioners are aware that we need to do the three things. We must save a lot of time to save more people. We usually eat as simply as possible, and sometimes we eat only one or two meals during busy days. However, my daughter-in-law was an ordinary person and was pregnant, so I would have to be dedicated to satisfy her needs.

My husband and I left our residence at 2 pm everyday, which was the hottest time of the day. We walked fifteen minutes to the bus station. We got off the bus earlier to go to the supermarket to buy some high quality fresh vegetables. Then we walked another fifteen minutes to our son’s home. We spent an hour and a half one way. Once I got there, I started doing the housework, cleaning the over one-hundred-square-meter home and cooking.

Once the food was ready, I asked my daughter-in-law to come eat. After I called her a few times, she came over slowly and ate a little bit at the beginning. Then she did not eat much and said, “I’m full.” The following few days once the food was ready, my daughter-in-law would not eat and said, “I’m not hungry.” After I called her a few times, she did not come over to eat. She kept saying, “Not hungry.” I asked her, “You don’t eat. Don’t you feel really hungry?” My daughter-in-law was not angry and said slowly, “I don’t know!”

We spent time cooking a whole table of high quality meat and vegetables for her to eat. We kept waiting for her to eat, but she did not eat. My heart was distressed and anxious. I was distressed because she did not eat and satisfy the normal development of the twin babies. I was anxious about missing the last bus. We had been waiting for her to eat until almost 7:45 pm, which was when the public transportation would stop their services. We did not want to miss the last bus, and we could not wait anymore. By the time we got home, and it was almost nine o’clock. The next day at three o’clock we went there only to see that the whole table of food was still there. My daughter-in-law did not eat a bite. Because the weather was hot, the food turned bad. I was distressed to throw away the dishes that my husband and I had not even tasted.

It was fine to skip one or two meals if you did not have an appetite, but she did the same thing every day, which made me wonder. We served you so well and silently put forth the effort but did not ask for respect or gratitude in return. At least you should understand our elderly hearts, right? In fact it was not the case, as Master said, “When he treats them, he drives out a lot of bad things, but maybe at the time it’s not obvious how much he’s healed them. So they’re not happy, they don’t even thank him, and they might even call him names and say he cheated them! It’s exactly in grappling with these problems, it’s in this environment, that the mind is tempered” (Zhuan Falun: Reverse Cultivation and Gong Borrowing).

My daughter-in-law did not say anything, did not eat and seemed to have a problem. I understood that my daughter-in-law did accept my care. Suddenly, I was in a situation where I could not be angry with her or express anything in front of her. This was an environment for me to cultivate to give up the dignity as a mother-in-law. I felt a kind of indescribable suffering.

Master said, “You should remember that your righteous thoughts can change ordinary people and that you are not to be directed by them” (Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005). Therefore, every day I insisted on studying the Fa and sending forth righteous thoughts no matter how late I returned home. I was trying to change my current cultivation environment.

Two weeks later my daughter-in-law told me, “My mother will come here today.” I said, “Good! Does my son know?” She said, “I have not told him yet.” I asked my daughter-in-law, “What time will she come? Who will pick her up?” She said, “I will do it!” I said, “No! I will call my son and ask him to pick her up.” I told my son, “Your mother-in-law will come over today. No matter how busy you are, you must not forget to go to the bus station to pick her up.”

With the in-law’s sudden arrival, I did not know if my daughter-in-law called her to come over, or maybe her mother loved her daughter, or she gave up her high pay job, or she was not hired by that department, or she considered future plans for her daughter and grandchildren. I did not ask why, and I could not ask. It was not my business. At that time I only knew that my task was to provide and satisfy my daughter-in-law’s diets during her pregnancy to ensure that she was healthy and her twin babies were developed normally until her due day. This was a good time for the in-law to come to her daughter’s place. This met normal people’s life standards. However, I did not understand how the in-law knew I could not do a good job taking care of her daughter, so I had to leave after two weeks. Was this a test for me? I tried to look inward as a cultivator to see if I had hurt my daughter-in-law before, but I did not find anything. Then I thought that she was an ordinary person. She usually did not talk or do things openly. It was like a hide and seek. I could not figure out what was in her heart, and I felt the pain of letting go of this mentally suffering.

I could not think too much. My husband and I had to go to the kitchen to prepare meals for the in-law. When my son took his mother-in-law home, I saw my daughter-in-law very excited to see her mother. I was not jealous at all, only happy. Her arrival meant I could restore the original cultivation environment. When dinner was ready, the in-law only had to ask her daughter, “Come over to eat!” for my daughter-in-law to come over and eat. She ate in a good mood. The enormous relationship difference between mother and daughter and mother-in-law and daughter-in-law allowed me to deeply understand the Fa principle. As ordinary people, my daughter-in-law wanted to be taken care of by her biological mother, while having a good and comfortable life materialistically and mentally. Therefore, I told the in-law freely at the table, “It’s good you are here. We are here with the goal of taking care of your daughter and the babies. If you can finish it, we can go home.” The in-law said, “My coming here does not mean I’m kicking you out. You can stay a few more days.” I said, “I don’t want to stay a few more days. I want to buy tickets today, and we can go in the evening.” After that, I went to the train station to buy tickets for that evening.

When my son took us to the train station, he could not go with us to the elevator. My son looked at us when the elevator was rising up, while I looked down at him. At that moment, we, mother and son, were separating, and my tears were coming down. Master said, “If you don’t sever emotions, you won’t be able to cultivate. But if you do break out of emotion, nobody can affect you, and ordinary attachments won’t be able to sway you. What replaces it is compassion, which is more noble” (Zhuan Falun: Improving Character). When this Fa appeared in my mind, I woke up as if from a dream. I knew I had to give up emotion, and I had to break through it. However, when I truly had to give up emotion, I felt that it was indescribable suffering.

After a long two weeks of mental suffering through a cultivation test, I gained a little more understanding of this Fa: “Only when you are about to let go of your reputation, interests, and feelings will you feel pain” (Essentials for Further Advancement: True Cultivation). When your reputation is not understood, respected, or hurt, and you need to let it go, that’s when you feel pain. When ordinary people cannot talk to you openly, you need to guess so much that it was painful. Also, not being able to show your feelings in front of other people is also painful. When you truly give up the attachment to your son’s love, but there was nobody to understand you, and you could not explain or talk about it and had to hide it in the depth of your soul, that’s when you feel pain.

This is my own understanding. Please correct me if there is anything inappropriate!

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/node/133441

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