(Minghui.org) Greetings, Compassionate Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
Our family—my daughter, son-in-law, and I all began to practice before the persecution began on July 20, 1999. My granddaughter is 15 years old. She grew up in Dafa.
I have a straightforward and enthusiastic personality. My daughter is kind and simple. My granddaughter is tall, quiet, and intelligent. She learned to play the zither and is now learning how to play the pipa. We are all from the Northeast. My son-in-law is from the South. He doesn’t talk much. His personality is different from our outgoing personalities. Because he is a practitioner, I decided to encourage my daughter to break up with her non-practitioner boyfriend and marry my son-in-law who is a few years older than her. I thought that the three of us could cultivate diligently together.
During the first two or three years after the persecution of Falun Dafa began, the three of us went to many places to produce informational materials about Falun Dafa and distribute them to people. At first, we cooperated with each other. Then I began criticizing my son-in-law. I disliked that he went out for a walk every night, stayed outside half the night, and sometimes slept in the park. I realized it might be caused by the pressure of the persecution because he was arrested before for clarifying the truth. My opinion about him had always been that he was on and off in his cultivation.
When they first married, he didn’t have a job. My daughter found several jobs for him. Now he has a good job and earns six or seven thousand yuan a month. He keeps his salary and he rarely buys supplies for the family, like cooking oil, or rice. The affection between him and my daughter has always been weak. I noticed that he began to pay a lot of attention to his physical appearance after he began to work. He kept coming home late and said that he worked overtime. He spent only half a day at home on Saturday and Sunday. Twice he said that he had to work overtime on weekends. I failed to mind my character and went to his workplace to see if he indeed worked overtime. The gatekeeper said that they did not work overtime on Saturdays or Sundays. I then knew he had been lying to the family.
He’s been coming home late for many years, and I learned that he lied about working overtime. I began to suspect that he had another woman and another family. Because I had such a strong attachment, I think the old forces took advantage of the loophole and strengthened my negative thinking. I guessed that my son-in-law was having an affair and I made up various versions of this in my mind. I suspected that he was with this woman one day, then another one on another day.
My son-in-law and I live in the same house. You can imagine how tense the situation was! He resented me for watching him and hated me for suspecting him. I complained and said he did not care about his family and did not cultivate diligently. I couldn’t let go of my attachment to him. He saw me as his enemy, and even tried to drive me out of the house. The grudge between him and me was deep.
It was almost noon. I was going to make lunch. The rice was old and smelled, so I washed it in cold water and rubbed it. My son-in-law shouted, “Who told you to clean the rice? When you rub the rice, the nutrition will be gone!” I was not moved and said, “Then let me soak the rice.” My son-in-law shouted, “Who told you to soak the rice!” My granddaughter heard him shouting and said, “You always yell at grandma. What could go wrong in cooking rice?”
My granddaughter saw I was chopping vegetables. She said to me with emotion, “Grandma, stop chopping. Let him do it.” My granddaughter pushed me into the other room. She scolded her father, “You are always rude to grandma. You don’t have a benevolent attitude at all. You are always angry. What did my grandma say? She didn’t say anything but you’re always angry. She was silent and you kept talking.” My granddaughter was so angry that she almost cried.
It was almost twelve o’clock. So I followed my granddaughter to her room. I sent forth righteous thoughts. My son-in-law was not preparing lunch, so I thought I should still cook. I looked within. I wondered whether I should move. I lived with my daughter’s family for more than 20 years. I do all the cooking, laundry, and housework. I encourage my daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter to cultivate. I wake up my daughter in the morning to do the exercises. The four of us read the Fa together in the evening. My son-in-law sometimes reads with us. Now he’s treating me with this attitude. It probably means that it’s time for me to leave. My son-in-law is not happy that I live here. I should rent a place and move out.
A practitioner Mei (pseudonym) happened to visit me that day. She said, “Please come to my home and help me. I hired two nannies to care for my father but they left. Please come.” I said, “Okay, I’ll help you provided that it doesn’t interfere with my studying the Fa, doing the exercises, sending righteous thoughts and clarifying the truth to people. I don’t care how much you pay me.” Since I would only be gone during the day I decided to take the job and let my daughter’s family live independently.
For the first two days, the kids were excited about the change. My granddaughter was very happy because her father gave her money to order take-out food from restaurants. She told me, “Grandma, now that you aren’t here to cook my father buys me dumplings and buns every day.” But she soon had enough and said, “Nothing tastes as good as what you make.”
My son-in-law still didn’t get along with me. He continued coming home late and always missed the time to send righteous thoughts and join us in reading the Fa. I criticized him, “If you get off work at 5 p.m. and get home at 6 p.m., you can send forth righteous thoughts on time. If you don’t do well in sending forth righteous thoughts, it will not only harm you, it also harm others. You have to watch your dimensions.” Because I kept saying things like this he lost his temper and shouted at me. I still had a grudge against my son-in-law when I decided to go to Mei’s home. I thought, “Now I don’t have to go home after work either.” So after I left Mei’s home, I went to another practitioner’s home to read the Fa. I arrived home around 8 p.m.
When I got home, they had not had their supper yet. When they started to cook after getting home from work, they didn’t eat until after 9 p.m. They had little time to read the Fa. My daughter became sleepy after reading only one or two pages. When she sent righteous thoughts, she could no longer keep her hand upright.
Since I no longer took care of the housework, both my daughter and son-in-law were busy. My daughter also experienced that doing housework is not easy. She complained to me after just two days, “I am too tired.” I said, “You are too tired. I’ve done it for several decades but I wasn’t tired.” I asked them to pay for food in the past, but they never did. It’s not that I’m attached to money. It’s about the principles at the level of ordinary people. I cooked for them and took care of their child for free. I wanted my daughter and her husband to give me money to buy food for the family. But they did not give me a penny.
I know that my son-in-law does not give his salary to my daughter and rarely buys anything for the family. My daughter has limited income. So in my heart, I kept blaming my son-in-law.
I read the Fa with other practitioners after work for two days. When I saw my daughter’s family having supper so late, I began to look within, “I am a cultivator, so I’m the one who is wrong. I am selfish.” I decided that I would go home right after work and cook for them. It would be ready when they came home. If they did not wash their clothes, I would wash them for them. I am a cultivator. Master taught me to be selfless. All lives in the new universe are selfless. I kept looking inward to get rid of my attachment to resentment.
Letting Go of My Deep Attachment
Working as a nanny for a month helped me completely let go of my attachment to my son-in-law. It may have been Master’s merciful arrangement to help me overcome the biggest hurdle in my cultivation.
Mei sometimes had a bad attitude toward her father. I was surprised when I saw it. How can a cultivator behave like this? It suddenly occurred to me: Wasn’t this how I behaved at home, always insisting that I have the final say? How could I validate the beauty of Dafa when I behave like that? I must completely correct myself. For twenty years I failed to improve. This made it hard for my son-in-law. He resented me and behaved the way he did because the root of my attachment was not removed. I said to Master, “Master, I must pull out this root. This is what the old forces arranged. If I don’t improve, my son-in-law will be harmed and won’t be able to return to his real home. His beings are waiting for him.”
I understood that I should stop expecting others to improve. Instead, I should work on myself. When I improved, everything around me would. If my son-in-law doesn’t send forth righteous thoughts, I will send them for him to clear away the bad things in his dimensions and the bad things that make him go out all the time. I would strengthen him so he could cultivate well and bring all his beings with him when he consummated. I stopped thinking negatively about him. I have been fooled all these years and followed the old forces’ arrangements. I always suspected him of doing something inappropriate. When I looked back, I found I was ridiculous. Instead of thinking about how to save people, I was focused on my son-in-law. When I truly examined myself, I found that I made a huge mistake!
“Upon reaching a Buddha’s realm, a person won’t have such low things; they will all be noble instead. He will know everything, including the thoughts of oxen or horses. But those things won’t affect him, and he won’t want to even think about them. He will know everything without needing to even generate a thought.” (Teachings at the Conference in New Zealand)
All my thoughts about my son-in-law were negative. I was pushing him down by thinking like that. Didn’t I do what the old forces wanted? The evil wants to create conflicts and separations, and drag down all of us so none of us can ascend.
I was ashamed when I realized this. Now when I have bad thoughts about my son-in-law, I send out the thought of “eliminate”. By working as a nanny for a month I was able to reflect on myself with a calm mind when I left the home environment. I studied the Fa quietly after finishing my work. I checked myself while studying the Fa, seeing whether I did things not in line with the requirements of the Fa, and what I did wrong. I found everything was my fault.
“So we shouldn’t sometimes dig our heels in with strong human attachments, be stuck for a long time, and get more attached the more we think about it; the more you think about it the more your mind seethes, and the more demons capitalize on this.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2002 Conference in Boston, U.S.A.,” Collected Teachings Given Around the World, Volume II
Genuinely Developing Compassion
My son-in-law always avoided me. After I completely let go of my bad thoughts toward him, he began to talk to me. In the past, he treated me like an enemy and wouldn’t even look at me. I always asked him to read Zhuan Falun, study the Fa, send righteous thoughts, etc. Forcing people to cultivate is not good. Master is taking care of him, so I would stop worrying about him.
I changed and became compassionate towards him. My son-in-law voluntarily began to read the Fa with us. He became kinder. My daughter said that she noticed that her husband now smiled, and the way he talked or looked at her was no longer rude. I realized that I harmed my daughter for many years because I had not removed my human attachments. I always suspected my son-in-law and kept having conflicts with him.
I also became compassionate towards my daughter-in-law. I used to often think that she married my son for our family’s money. I now think that she married into my family because she belongs to our family. I should not distinguish my daughter-in-law from my family members. It’s good that she cares for the child she had with her ex-husband.
Now I’m no longer concerned about whether my son-in-law works overtime or not. I finally jumped out of the trap that the old forces set.
My son-in-law always wanted to eat out with just his wife and daughter. My daughter usually declined because I was at home. My granddaughter also said that grandma was at home too, so she would not go either. My son-in-law always became upset. Now, in order to let my son-in-law have his own space and remove the pressure from him, I go inside my room as soon as I prepare breakfast. I remain in my room and study the Fa. I come out only after he washes up, eats breakfast, and leaves. My son-in-law and daughter are gone all day. After having dinner in the evening, I stay in my room. I study the Fa and send righteous thoughts. My son-in-law comes home late and does not see me. Sometimes he doesn’t see me for three or four days in a row. He always asks my granddaughter whether her grandma is home. I thought that I would be selfless and not give him pressure.
The family is indeed a really good environment for cultivation. Every thought reflects whether I am an ordinary person or a cultivator. Not only should a cultivator cultivate speech, but she also should not even think. When we think a lot, what we think may all be at the level of human beings.
For example, my daughter, her husband, and daughter may not wash their towels even though the towels became dirty. When I saw that in the past, I was afraid that they would use my towels. So I washed my own towels and hung them in my bedroom. Later I realized that there are no small things in cultivation. Wasn’t I selfish? So now I wash their towels and hang them up.
In the past, I didn’t want others to use my toothpaste or my slippers. I’ve changed. I’m no longer picky about whether it’s mine or others.
In the past, if somebody was in the washroom and I wanted to use it urgently, I would shout, “Come out quickly. I have been waiting for a long time!” I was overbearing and acted with Party culture. Now, if the door is locked, I quietly go back and wait. I will not make a sound and consider others.
I once bought myself a new bath towel, but it disappeared. I began to reflect on why the bath towel disappeared. I realized that I had thought that I would not share it with them. I had an attachment to that new towel, so it’s good that it disappeared. Otherwise, I wouldn’t discover my selfishness.
In the past, I complained about them not washing anything when it got dirty. Now I see that they are very busy, leaving early and returning late. If I do more around the house, they will have more time to study the Fa. I no longer have any complaints about cooking, even on weekends.
When Mei asked me to take care of her father, I told her that I would help her for a month, and when school started, I had to take care of my granddaughter. I quit my job as a nanny. Another elderly practitioner was looking for a live-in nanny at the time and contacted me. I told my family that I planned to move out and work as a nanny. My granddaughter said, “Grandma, please don’t work as a nanny anymore.” My daughter also said, “Mom, please don’t go.” This time, I didn’t insist in having the final say as I did before. I went with the flow. Since my family needs me, then let me stay at home and take care of them. Let the four of us study the Fa well and cultivate diligently, and follow Master to return to our real homes.
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