(Minghui.org) I was able to find and root out many of my deeply-hidden attachments, including selfishness, jealousy, lying, and fame, when I looked after my parents-in-law.
My father-in-law had been staying with us for over a year, as he had problems moving one side of his body. He once said during lunch that he wanted to go home. He was 85 years old at the time. His hometown was over 100 kilometers from our place, and required two bus transfers. My husband suggested that he wait two more weeks until the summer vacation, so he could go back with him, help clean up and do other house chores. But my father-in-law insisted on going home the next day, and that we only needed to take him to the bus station, and he would be able to get home by himself from there.
I listened to their conversation, and had an idea. I said to my father-in-law: “Let your son go with you. First, it will give us peace of mind. Second, he hasn’t seen his mother for more than a year, and misses her. He can take this opportunity to see her.”
My husband was delighted at hearing my words, and said, “Yeah, I want to see my mother.” I thought the problem should have been solved with my suggestion, but unexpectedly, my father-in-law set his chopsticks on the table, and got angry.
I tried to think what had made him angry, but I couldn’t find anything wrong with what I said. I asked him with a smile, “Did I say anything wrong to make you unhappy? Please let me know, so I can correct it.”
He didn’t say anything. My husband asked him the same question. My father-in-law said angrily, “I’ve never seen anyone who follows his wife’s words as well as you!”
My smile froze, and I couldn’t swallow the food in my mouth. My father-in-law was so angry that neither of us dared to say anything.
After lunch, I cleaned up the table, while my husband read Zhuan Falun to his father. I then went into the bedroom and wanted to read Zhuan Falun, but I couldn’t calm down or stop crying. Suddenly, a thought struck me: Nothing happens to a cultivator by chance. So look inward.
I still couldn’t find anything wrong with what I’d said. Holding Zhuan Falun, I said to Master with tears in my eyes, “Master, I’m not clever enough. I can’t find anything wrong. Please enlighten me.” I held the book in my hands and forced myself to read Zhuan Falun. My mind calmed down as I read. I looked inward again. Not looking for a superficial right or wrong this time, but the motive behind my words, and if this motive conformed to the principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
Suddenly, I found my attachments. First, the mentality of showing off, to show that I was so smart to have come up with such a good idea that my husband take my father-in-law home. Second, I thought the way my father-in-law treated me was not fair, thinking that I’d taken care of him without any regret, yet he treated me like this. Third, I was not being truthful. My husband didn’t ever say that he missed his mother, so I lied. Master requires us to be good people according to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. I didn’t act according to the first principle. No wonder my father-in-law was so angry. Realising this, I felt release. Tears of gratitude welled up in my eyes. I pressed my hands together in front of my chest and said, “Thank you, Master! Thank you, father-in-law.”
After reading Zhuan Falun for a while, I heard my father-in-law say to my husband, “How can I treat my daughter-in-law like that? What a good person she is!” I couldn’t stop shedding tears, and thought: Looking inward is really a magical tool. When I found my faults, he also knew that he was in the wrong.
We brought my mother-in-law into our home after my father-in-law passed away. She was 88 years old.
It wasn’t easy taking care of her. For example, when she needed to use the toilet, I would help take off her pants and wipe her clean after she was done. She needed to be fed her meals, and had five meals a day. Three were during the day, one meal at around 10:00 p.m, and another at around 3:00 a.m.
She would often leave her clothes and other things all over the place, on the bed, floor, sofa, tables, chairs, and so on. She didn’t allow anyone to help her find the things she was looking for, and was constantly searching for things, turning everything upside down over and over again. Her memory was very bad, and when she liked someone’s clothes, she would say that they were hers, and she would cry and get angry if anyone told her that they were not hers. When she heard any words that weren’t to her liking, she would cry and want to go back home.
She also had some very bad habits, such as spitting and clearing her nasal passages everywhere, and grabbing feces and wiping it all over the place. One time, I was cleaning the kitchen and didn’t know that she had gone to the bathroom. When I found out, it was too late; the whole house stank. She’d grabbed her feces out of the toilet and spread it on her hair, body, clothes and shoes. I was shocked, and didn’t know what to do with her.
I washed her from top to bottom, while she asked, “Do I smell?”
I held back my anger and replied, “What do you think?”
She said, “I smell good!” I did not dare say any more in case I hurt her by saying something unpleasant.
After washing her, I put clean clothes on her and set her up in bed, then I went back to clean the bathroom. Before I finished, she had defecated in her pants and the bed again.
This type of thing happened whenever I didn’t pay close attention to her, and it would usually happen when my husband was out at work or running errands. I was exhausted and miserable, and I was stuck in a bad mood and couldn’t let it go. I couldn’t concentrate while studying the Fa, and felt sleepy while sending righteous thoughts and doing the exercises. My mother-in-law would often pack her bags and want to go home whenever something didn’t go her way. The atmosphere at home was worsening.
I thought about it and realised that I must have owed her from a previous life. I might have owed her a lot, so I would like to repay her. I knew that as a cultivator, I must do well on the path that Master arranged for me. I regarded my mother-in-law as a mirror, because she could fully reflect my attachments. Thereafter, no matter what happened between my mother-in-law and me, I would just look inward.
I found a lot of attachments including resentment, jealousy, pursuit of fame, and fear of filth. All of which derived from selfishness. As I tried to get rid of this mentality, the situation improved a little, but it was still not great. My mother-in-law continued to perform her usual tricks, and I felt that my tolerance was reaching the limit. I thought to myself: If she wants to go back home, I will take her back. She has several children, not only my husband. It’s time for one of them take care of her. I can’t handle it all by myself.
I had a dream, in which I was climbing a mountain. There was a large slope, of about 30º, above me. I wanted to climb up, but I couldn’t find anything to hold on to. The grass and small trees were all withered and yellow, and they would break if I grabbed them to climb up. It was too difficult for me to go up, so I thought of going down instead. I turned around and saw a steep cliff going down. There was a road at the foot of the mountain, and the people there looked really small. I didn’t know how I had climbed up so high. It was impossible for me to go back, as I might fall to my death. Then, I woke up.
My heart was still beating fast after I woke up. I knew Master was hinting that there was no turning back.
I sat down to study the Fa in the morning, but I couldn’t calm down, so I read aloud while walking with my book in hand. After finishing one lecture of Zhuan Falun, I decided to memorise the book. Even if I was able to memorise only a few lines a day, I would be happy to put those few lines into my mind.
“Toiling the body does not count as bitterness, Cultivating the heart is most agonising.”(“Tempering One’s Heart and Will” Hong Yin)
At that moment, I felt that I really understood the meaning of these sentences. In order to let go of my stubborn notions and attachments, I meditated, and during the time when I was doing house work. After a few days, I felt much better. But, when my mother-in-law made trouble again, I would resent it, and try to endure, but still broke down in tears. When cleaning the mess that she made, I would keep repeating in my heart: “Thank you mother-in-law!” But my tears kept covering my face.
Her condition improved after I improved my xinxing. I asked myself: Why do I always feel resentment? The answer was: Evil is made of hatred. I haven’t completely eliminated the poison left in me by the CCP’s culture. I meditated again, and specially added a thought: Completely disintegrate the CCP culture’s toxins.
After meditating for a period of time, my mother-in-law became less muddle-headed. As long as I got a chance, I would tell her to recite “Falun Dafa is good” with me, and read Zhuan Falun to her. Whenever her mind cleared, she would become more respectful and quiet down. I would treat her with patience and tolerance, be considerate of her needs and make her happy. I would tell her that it was not her who wanted to be filthy and lose her temper, it was another dirty and unreasonable life that made her do those things. I told her to make her main consciousness strong, and not be fooled by the interference. She seemed to understand.
I taught her to eat by herself. Her hands would tremble badly, and the food would fall when she first started to hold the spoon. I encouraged her to keep working on it, which she did. Later she could eat by herself. I would accompany her whenever she went to the bathroom. As my thoughts improved, she gradually stopped doing messy things. She wanted to stay with me and didn’t let me leave her alone. Once, I went out of our building for about 20 minutes. When I came back, she was sitting on the floor by the front door. I asked her why she was crying, she said, “I miss you!” I was afraid that she would do this every time, so I didn’t go downstairs for four months.
A few months later, my mother-in-law had less bad habits, although sometimes she still spat. I could sometimes hear her reciting “Falun Dafa is good.” I knew that she became clear-minded from reciting and listening to Master’s lectures. It was also because I constantly looked within, as I really wanted to eliminate all my attachments. The practice helped me remove those bad things and made the environment at home better.
My attachments to selfishness, resentment, jealousy, fame, and other notions have been eliminated. They have been replaced by calmness and tolerance. I can notice bad substances when they appear, and eliminate them as soon as they appear.
Thank you, Master, for helping me through the various tribulations, and for reshaping a brand new me!
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