Case 1 – From Molecular Scientist to Psychologist & Leadership Coach

Feb 26, 2024

You never know when the life-changing moment is approaching. 

From an outsider’s point of view, I was at the top of the world in 1994. After graduating from one of  the best universities in China, Beijing University, with a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry and working in the university as a teacher for two years, I was admitted to Harvard University’s  School of Public Health with a major in Molecular and Cellular Toxicology. Harvard waived my  tuition (which was enormous) and even gave me a stipend for 5.5 years to focus on my study for  a Ph.D. I had survived the extreme “ordeal” from heavy-duty study, lots of lab experiments and  papers, etc., and settled down in school. I thought I would go on with my dream to be a scientist,  discovering the secrets of human cells and making changes in human history as my childhood  role model Madame Curie. I was working with ovarian cancer genes and trying to find new  solutions.    

Suddenly a new light dawned on me 

I used to be very interested in Zen back in China, and at the beginning of 1994, I was thinking of  doing some Zen meditation to clear my mind and have more self-reflection and insights. So, I found in the Boston Yellow Pages an organization teaching meditation for free: Brahma Kumaris Meditation Center. In the first class, they told me: “You are a soul, eternal, and originally perfect.” It  hit home suddenly. 

For every drastic change, there is a foreshadowing 

I remembered the first time I encountered death in the family. I was still a teenager when my  grandmother passed away. I remember going to the crematorium for the first time, watching the  smoke coming out of the chimney from the incinerator. The young me had this big puzzle in my  mind: “All humans will die one day! I cannot believe it. I am so young and happy and enjoying life  now, but also one day, I will totally disappear from this world!” I didn’t tell anybody about the  thoughts in my mind at that time, but I knew that experience created a lot of impact on me. I  remember I used to study very well at school, and one teacher invited me to share with her  students why I studied so well and was always top of the class. I said to her students: “You know  why? Because one day, I will die! I have to study well before that!” 

Another thing is that whenever people used to ask me about the aim of my life, I would always  answer: “Perfection, Eternity, and Harmony.” Some people would say: “How can it be possible?!” I  don’t even explain to such people, but just say in my heart: “I don’t care about you, I know it’s  possible.” 

The “Aha” Moment 

In a small room at the BK meditation center on Beacon Street in Brookline, Mass., I heard, “You are  an eternal soul, and originally you are perfect!” It echoed in my heart, and every wish suddenly  became clear! “Yes, I am an eternal soul, the body dies, but the soul is eternal and will never die, it  will just change costumes as an actor changes costumes or a driver changes a car.” Then, those teenaged thoughts about me disappearing from the world suddenly cleared out. And, originally, it  was perfect! That’s why I was feeling it, wanting it before, and I will definitely reach it someday! At  that moment, I felt all my yearnings and pursuits made sense, and even the future became clear! I  was so thirsty for a spiritual study that except for scientific studies at Harvard, I spent all my time  in more spiritual exploration and practice. 

Back to the source 

I remember my father, who teaches at Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and who  was one of the first people to study missiles in China. He used to tell me about how missiles would  be accurately launched into space at extremely accurate times, down to microseconds: Human  beings mastered the vastness of space at such a macro-level! 

I was studying genetic engineering in the 1990s and was trying to find the specific genes for  ovarian cancer, working to create an antibody to it. The plan was to attach medicine to the gene and target and kill specific cancer cells: Human beings also have mastered the human body at such a micro-level! 

I said to myself, “Ultimately, the only thing that human beings cannot master would be themselves! Science, technology, arts, etc., are all created by human beings. Ultimately, we will come back to  ourselves, the creator! So, I should definitely work on human souls instead of human cells!” 

By the time I reached my third year at Harvard, I was totally mesmerized by the beauty of the  soul, and I was doing meditation to experiment with the different aspects of the soul as if a scientist is doing scientific research. Gradually, I found I don’t hold any interest and passion in  studying cells and genes in the lab anymore. 

The drastic change 

By 1996, I couldn’t bear myself reading scientific papers and doing experiments in labs anymore. I  made a decision that I will quit Harvard and change my area to study human beings! My spiritual  teacher, Dadi Janki (who is 103 years old in 2019), advised me that if not a Ph.D., at least get a  master’s degree instead of quitting totally as I wanted. (It turned out that an MS degree from  Harvard is extremely useful and helpful for my later career.) So I got my master’s degree, left  Harvard and worked at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and a genetic engineering company  afterward. In May 1999, I decide to go back to China. 

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