People who have read my father's book "the Path of Life" would have known part of the history on how his wisdom and kindness developed. And many of them asked me for more information, for example, how his parents influenced his growth. The article below might be able to satifiy their curiosity :D
My father’s father, Yang, didn’t know how to read and write at all. He wasn’t even able to read and write his own name. He was very familiar, however, with much classical literature, including works from Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, and many legends. He always shared these stories and knowledge of literature with his children, beginning when they were very little. My father told me that Yang was his first teacher. Starting at the age of three, my father learned a lot about traditional Chinese culture and classical literature from Yang, and began to accept the idea of kindness. Yang did not just educate his children by talking, but also by acting. He knew many folk medicines for emergency treatments, and he saved many lives with his first-aid measures. No matter what he was doing, as soon as he saw someone in danger he put down whatever he was doing and ran to offer help. When my father was between four and five years old, he followed Yang selling soy sauce on the street. One day, when they were doing business on a street, they heard a mother screaming for help because her son was having a seizure and could not breathe. Yang immediately ran to them and gave the boy first-aid treatment, saving his life. His soy sauce, however, was stolen while he was away from it—which meant the income for food for that day was gone; the entire family had to go hungry. Yang didn’t mind, and he educated my father with the idea of “saving a life is better than building a seven-tiered pagoda” (a Buddhist saying). Yang’s wife, Tan Lai, agreed with him; therefore, the family did not quarrel about the loss caused by Yang’s sacrificing his and the family’s interest for the good of others.
From my grandparents’ experience, I can see that having common ideas on how to handle things among family members is one of the key elements for making a harmonious family.
My father is the creator of Pan Gu Shengong, which advocates kindness and aims to save lives and bring peace to the world. He has successfully helped thousands of people recover from various illnesses and gain new lives; he has helped hundreds of broken families become harmonious. His theories are inspiring many people; his actions are taken as behavior models by many of his students. In third-world countries he does not charge people money for giving them healing treatments. He charges a very small amount of money for teaching people Pan Gu Shengong. He always insists on the principle of “saving [others’] lives yet discounting [his own] profit” when teaching Pan Gu Shengong and healing and saving patients; he never sets making a profit as his purpose.
Actually, in the world of reality, you should get the reward of a profit, based on how good the result is that you bring about in others; it’s a common-sense value. For example, it is quite reasonable that if you can cure a patient with heart disease, then you would charge the same amount of money that he would pay for other medical methods, which probably might not really cure his heart problem anyway. My father, however, has a great wish, which is to enable anyone in this world to spend only a small amount of money yet be able to grasp a method for effectively curing diseases and saving and extending lives with a high-level quality of health. Therefore, the cost standard he has set for teaching Pan Gu Shengong is based on the amount of money that people would have to pay for the treatment of minor ailments. Those who follow my father’s instruction to keep on practicing Pan Gu Shengong daily earn amazing healing benefits that they have failed to gain with other methods, which they had spent a hundred or even a thousand times on.
Long before he created Pan Gu Shengong, he was able to sacrifice his personal interest for others and society. When he was a welder, he required himself to finish three welders’ work loads but take only one portion of salary. When he was a businessman running construction projects, he wanted to share income with his workers equally.
Because he is such a great man, he has many loyal followers.
Part of my father’s kindness was inherited from his father. During his school years and military life, my father was educated by pure communism in a brain-washing style, whereas Confucianism was banned. Luckily, influenced by his father, my father had read a lot of classical books when he was around ten years old. The reading deepened his understanding and pursuit of what traditional Chinese culture advocates: benevolence, humanity, courtesy, wisdom, and faith.
He always applies his kindness to handling family relationships as well. When I was a child, the entire society in China lacked necessary materials; everything was under a ration system. We were rationed to only one pound of meat every month. In order to let my mother and I enjoy the food better, my father tried his best to utilize the limited food supply to cook delicious meals. If he saw that we loved certain foods, he would let us eat more of them even if he didn’t have enough food for himself. During that period of time, he worked at least twelve hours a day, seven days a week, taking only one day off a month. In addition, he helped my mother with her housework when he got home. And my mother, who worked eight hours a day, tried her best to finish all the housework before my father came home to let him have more time to take a rest. In China, many men, including many of my family members, consider cooking at home to be a woman’s job. Even though some of them cook at home, they do not admit it in front of their friends because they are afraid of being teased. My father, however, through his words and actions, has changed many of those around him, letting them enjoy cooking for their families.
My father never loses his temper. At the same time, he is able to look at things from different angles and from others’ perspective. I must say that my father is the key figure who maintains the harmony and high functionality of our family.
From 1900 to 1949, the regime in China alternated several times, wars never stopped, many families broke up, thousands of people became homeless and wandered from place to place. Yang lost connections with his family when he was a teenager and began to make a living by himself. Tan Lai was an orphan and as a child began working as a servant in a rich family. From 1949 to 1980, poverty, starvation, and political struggles were torturing numerous Chinese people including my family members. Many of them were able to adapt to the different environments and live with strong will and resilience. There are many stories from my family members about their strong adaptability. I share only two of them here.
My father’s parents are good examples. By the mid 50s, the government had banned all kinds of private business activities. All street peddlers in cities were forced to go back to villages to be farmers. Yang spent the first half of his life being a street peddler in cities, while Tan Lai worked as a servant and then housewife; they had no idea of how to farm. With strong adaptability and strong responsibility for their children, however, they were able to do it.
After Yang and Tan Lai went back to their village, they had to rent a house to live in because they didn’t have their own house. Several years later, they were allocated a small piece of land for building a house; however, they didn’t have the money to build one. At that time, Tan Lai was almost sixty. She found the ruins of a defensive structure built during the War of Resistance against the Japanese (1937—1945); in the ruins there were many high-quality broken bricks that were good materials for building a house. While her husband and sons were busy working on the farm, she dug out bricks from the ruins and built the house by herself with great tenacity. Eventually she built a two-story house with fifty square meters of space. It was an unbelievable feat! I heard about it when I was young, but I didn’t pay much attention. It amazed me after I got to know the details of the story. If every one of us in families can behave like Tan Lai, who always tried her best to improve the living quality of her family, we would no longer spend time and energy blaming each other.
My father is another perfect example. He was an engineer, lawyer, and professor, and now he is a qigong master, author, educator, calligrapher, and musician. He is so versatile because he works very hard.