Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
Thank you for the opportunity to participate in the China Fahui. I would like to share how I have let go of the attachment to material gain and how I talked to people about Falun Dafa as a practitioner and a businessman.
I started my business before I began to practice Falun Dafa (also called Falun Gong). I was in my 30s at the time and could earn 300,000 to 400,000 yuan (USD 42,000 to 56,000) per year. It was a large amount of money at that time and I could buy more than 10 apartments in my region. As I paid little attention to moral values, I would do almost anything to make money. Here are two examples.
I was picking up goods from a client, and I found another person’s order was included in my order by mistake. I kept quiet about it and sold the additional order secretly. Another time, I had a fight with a businessman in my industry. As I could come up with no other way to seek revenge, I wrote an anonymous letter to the Ministry of Commerce, accusing him of selling counterfeit products. His business was shut down. A relative of mine knew me well and said that I had no mercy, “Not even grass will grow in the places you have been.” My wife agreed, “You are too reckless and will do anything for money. If atomic bombs were for sale, I bet you would sell them too.”
I considered myself smart and capable and found making money a piece of cake. But after competing in business for a long time, my temper and health had degenerated. Although I was six feet tall, I only weighed about 100 pounds. My face looked gray and I had to take a lot of medicine.
An Honest Businessman
I began to practice Falun Gong in the summer of 1996. I came to understand that good business comes from one’s destiny, not one's capabilities on the surface. Master Li (the founder of Falun Gong) helped improve my health and all of my illnesses disappeared. There was once blood in my stool for more than a month. A hospital president in my neighborhood told me, “Please go to the hospital, or you could die.” I knew that Master Li was taking care of me, so I was not scared. Interestingly, the longer this “symptom” continued, the healthier I became. My weight returned to normal, and I could eat and sleep well. Similar situations, with blood in my stool, occurred four times in total, for about one or two months each time. No doctor could explain why.
I was strongly curious about life, and I used to think about many things related to astronomy, the earth, and mankind. Somehow I felt that there were things existing beyond science. After becoming a practitioner, I understood all of these things. Zhuan Falun, the book containing the main teachings of Falun Dafa, is a heavenly book and it is beyond science.
I also realized that being a practitioner while running my business is the cultivation path that Master has arranged for me, and it could serve as a reference for the future. I decided to guide myself with the Dafa principles, improve my xinxing and remain righteous. Instead of behaving like an everyday person, I should cultivate solidly. I decided to follow Master’s words in running my business:
“So even someone immensely talented might end up with nothing in life if he doesn’t have much virtue. Yet a person who seems incompetent may have a lot of virtue, and will thus enjoy a position of influence or have great wealth.” (Zhuan Falun, “The Seventh Talk”)
In the beginning, I was very hesitant, because of my problems of greed, competitiveness, resentment, lust, ego, and showing off. Viewed by many people as a wicked profiteer, and with such strong human notions, could I really ascend from this dirty swamp and become divine? Despite these doubts, I still spent a lot of time studying Zhuan Falun, sometimes up to four lectures a day. When I did the sitting meditation, my legs would become purplish-black and I would sweat profusely after 10 minutes. With strong determination, I sometimes forced myself to continue by placing a rock on my legs, or by tying them up with rope. The situation has improved and in recent years I have been able to do the sitting meditation twice a day, once for one hour and the other time for half an hour.
Before practicing Falun Gong, many of the products I sold were adulterated or counterfeit. These products were low cost and generated high profits. Considering myself a practitioner, I decided to first stop stocking any of these products. But it was not easy because almost everyone was doing business that way, and not selling those products meant I may not make money. Nonetheless, I knew this was something I had to do. I made a phone call to these manufacturers, “I have begun to practice Falun Dafa now [the persecution had not started then], please do not send such [adulterated or counterfeit] products to me because I will not sell them.”
Officials in those manufacturers did not understand me and one salesperson replied in confusion, “I know you are a practitioner now. But you still need to make a living, right? Why not make money?” Occasionally, I was also debating with myself; was I being too extreme? Nonetheless, I knew that such hesitation was covering up my attachment to material gain. With my mindset, it was impossible to stop selling those products. Later on, I was determined to overcome this: “Even if you continue shipping such products, I will not sell any of them and you will have to come to pick them up,” I firmly told them over the phone. This worked well.
My wife, who was not a practitioner, was infuriated. “Everyone does this. Why are you special? If you won't sell them, I will!” She found the manufacturers from our inventory records and contacted them directly. I tried to talk with her and explain the Dafa principle of “no loss, no gain”. But she was impatient, “Stop it! I only know that money is important.” At that xinxing level, I also raised my voice, “If you make money this way, aren’t you afraid of retribution?” She did not budge, “Don’t try to fool me! Every business is doing that, and I did not see retribution. Plus, I did not steal from or rob anyone. Why can't I do it?” Although she gave me a hard time, I was the boss and the manufacturers did not ship them in the end.
Interestingly my business continued to do well and the revenue remained steady. People from villages and towns near our area often purchased products from me, and another new branch of my business also drew many customers. I knew that I had done the right thing as a practitioner.
Once a friend who worked in the government said to me, “With your situation, I highly recommend you spend money on an official rank.” Surprised, I asked how it worked. He said by paying about 200,000 yuan (USD 28,000), I would become a deputy township head in the suburban county seat. “If I am busy with that [duties as a deputy township head], who would take care of my business?” I asked. He laughed, “No real work is needed. It is an honorary rank and you just need to attend some meetings. With that title, you can purchase some land and resell it to developers after a few years and make lots of money.” Had I not been a practitioner, I would jump into this good deal without a second thought. As a practitioner, however, I thanked him and dismissed the idea immediately, “I am happy where I am now.”
He then offered me another suggestion, “You could become a representative of the National People’s Congress or Political Consultative Conference. The price tags are much lower.” When I asked why that was helpful, he replied, “With these titles, no one from the business bureau, police, or tax office will dare to come and audit your business casually. Look at those big businesses, many of them have such connections.” Had this been several years earlier, I would have fought for such protections. As a practitioner, however, I knew that such so-called benefits like this would not last long. In fact, only demons would seduce people with unethical conduct in exchange for monetary gain. Plus, with Dafa and Master, what do practitioners need to worry about?
Improving Myself and Saving People
I had a hot temper in the past and often fought with my wife. Every time, she cried and went back to her parents. After I became a practitioner, things turned around and she took advantage of me all the time. Besides ordering me to do this or that in front of the customers, she often hurled bad words at me, “Are you nuts? You are so stupid!” This made me lose face in front of my employees. Sometimes, I spoke to her at the back of the store, “If you want to criticize me, can you wait until we get home? If you kick me around here like a little pawn, people might think you are a mean person.” She replied, “It’s hard for me to control myself. As I think about it now, you have already done pretty well.”
Knowing my wife was helping me to eliminate karma and improve my xinxing, I stopped feeling resentment and began to cultivate endurance. Again and again, I elevated my mind nature. When she gave me a hard time later, I could handle the situation with a smile and would look within to check what I had done wrong. One customer saw this and said, “It’s amazing that when your wife scolded you like a pupil, you even smiled. I really respect you for that—you are a true man.”
As I visited my parents-in-law, my wife’s younger sister said to me, “I feel bad for you because my sister has treated you like a servant. If I were you, I would give her a few slaps as a lesson.”
Hearing words like this, I sometimes felt some weakness. Cultivation is very difficult and sometimes feels as if we are restricted without much freedom. On the other hand, as my resentment decreased, I could look at the situation from my wife’s angle and the tribulation would feel like nothing.
One time my wife reprimanded me like this at work and the employees were all standing there watching my reaction. But I just walked away. An employee said to me afterward, “Boss, if my mother did this to my father, he would have slapped her several times.” I smiled and said, “Well, I cannot do that—Falun Gong told me to endure even if someone hits or swears at you. You will understand this if you start to practice someday.”
Over the past 20 years, I have made the best use of opportunities to tell people the real story of Falun Gong and clarify the truth about the hate propaganda spread by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). I was almost arrested by police several times, but I did not yield. As a practitioner, I only listen to Master, not police officers who suppress Dafa. After the police left, I would send forth righteous thoughts for a long time and ask Master for help, “Master, I will not allow the old forces to interfere with Dafa practitioners through the police. If I were to go along with them, those police officers would commit enormous sins and could lose their futures. Master, please help me.” When I calmed down, I would realize I had not always been rational. For example, I should have paid more attention to the situation and clarified the truth for the best results. Plus, the cell phone I carry constantly could have caused security issues.
Every now and then, I hear that some practitioners were arrested. But no matter how harsh the situation seems to be, I cannot stop doing this, as if a force is pushing me to do so. I tell everyone I know about Falun Gong. When clients come for business, I always talk with them about Dafa first and explain to them that, since the CCP had harmed so many people and suppressed the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, it would be better if we separated ourselves from the CCP organizations. This works well. My understanding is that even if the person chooses not to do business with me, at least he or she has learned the truth and can be saved.
My family and relatives have expressed their worry from time to time. “You can practice at home. Why do you always talk to other people about it? It can be risky,” one of them said. A police officer also told me, “We don’t care if you do the exercises at home. But if you go out and tell people about it, we will arrest you.”
A relative once told me that he had heard the police were paying attention to me and had even paid local vendors to watch me. “People are jealous of your successful business. If something happens to you, they will gloat over your trouble. Making money is not easy and you’d better take care of yourself,” he added. My wife also told me, “If you are arrested, the business is gone and our family is over. As long as you are okay, I will feel safe.”
I think every practitioner who has stepped forward to clarify the truth might have experienced such tests. But no matter how difficult it is, we have to do it with righteous thoughts.
Leaving Behind the Swamp of Lust
Before becoming a practitioner, when I went to purchase goods from manufacturers, there was always lust involved in the meetings and meals. Starting from there and then becoming a practitioner, I have faced a daunting task. This could be an arrangement of the old forces, a deadly trap to bring me down.
People in this area know my business is running well. Many women, whether I know them or not, often come to me and try to get close to me. Considering myself a practitioner, I have disciplined myself with Dafa principles. No matter how tumbling my mind was, I had to control myself and behave. Especially in the summer, businesswomen and female workers are often dressed attractively with perfume and makeup. When we sign the paperwork, they sometimes lean very close to me. But I always remind myself to cultivate well in such a filthy environment and not let Master down.
One businesswoman whom I purchase goods from wears clothing that is very colorful and sexy. “Hi, sweetie,” she opened her arms and said to me, “Want a hug?” Several times, she asked me, “Honey, how do I look in this piece of clothing?” I always responded in a dignified manner and told myself, “No.” Occasionally, I would think, “What if I was not a practitioner?” I would then suddenly realize that many of these situations, including the words they used to speak with me, were filled with elements of lust. The demon wants to induce us with wicked thoughts. If one could see through this, the test is nothing.
I already stopped having sex a long time ago. Still, my mind is not clean and it has bothered me from time to time. One example is that when my wife's temper was bad and I found the tribulation too difficult, I might have felt depressed and lust would creep in: how about finding another woman and giving her [my wife] a lesson? This is part of a detailed arrangement from the old forces to ruin a practitioner at such critical moments.
One businesswoman was young, beautiful, and capable. I had helped her in the past and she called me to dine with her a few times. She would always call me “dear.” “You are such a good person—trustworthy and successful. I always see you as my birth brother,” she had told me. I talked with her about Falun Gong and she also agreed to renounce the CCP organizations. As a practitioner, I should have stopped there. But I did not and went out with her for meals several more times. In addition, I felt at ease with her, talking with her, and looking at her. One day, I suddenly realized the trap of qing (sentimentality) had tied me very tightly, putting me in a precarious position.
What happened next confirmed my suspicions. One day she said to me, “My husband has had an affair. I am so sad.” She was in tears. “Come to practice Falun Gong,” I suggested, “This is the only way out.” This sentence was innocent. But somehow one thought came to me: maybe I should console her, take care of her, and wipe away her tears? Such a thought shocked me, making me feel like I was on the verge of a cliff ready to fall. When I talked about this later with another practitioner whose celestial eye was open, he said that when a practitioner encounters tests like this, Master might be nervous for us too.
The old forces have probably seen every single thought of mine and the test was intensified. Looking at me, the woman said to me, “Let’s be husband and wife in our next incarnation. Okay?” My answer was simple, “I am a Falun Gong practitioner and I will no longer have a next incarnation,” period.
Thinking back over the situation, I knew that had I been hesitating or joking around, the old forces might have taken advantage of that and arranged my reincarnation, “Well, if this is what you want, we will help you with that.” If so, both she and I would be ruined. When she called me again to ask me out, I turned her down.
“Sexual desire and attraction both count as human attachments, and both should go.” (Zhuan Falun, “The Sixth Talk”)
I asked myself, “Am I a Falun Dafa practitioner or an everyday person?” With a clear answer, I found the situation easier to deal with. I continued to send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the demon of lust. In the past, it was strong like a giant tree. Now, it is like a toothpick. But, even as small as a toothpick, we still need to let it go.
(To be continued)
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