No Confusion and No Puzzling Only when Firmly Believing in Falun Dafa and the Teacher
Hello Master, Hello Fellow Practitioners.
I am a Falun Dafa practitioner who just came to Canada from China. Here I would like to report my cultivation in the past year to Master Li and my fellow practitioners. Please correct me if I make mistakes in this report.
Part 1: Firmly Believing in Dafa and Master Li Is the Only Way to Not Get Lost.
July 22, 1999 was a day that we Dafa disciples will never forget. In the afternoon some of us were preparing to leave for Beijing and we heard the shocking news at the airport, the announcement by the government. What's wrong with the government? Is it a crime to be a better person? We couldn't understand it. One of the practitioners was stopped at the check in point by an airport security guard and was sent back home under house arrest. That evening we arrived in Beijing. The next morning we went to a park and didn't see any Falun Gong practitioners there, only police vans. The situation was serious. We thought we shouldn't get arrested for nothing, so we decided to go home first. After we returned, relatives told us that our workplace had requested that we be "educated." At that time all media, including TV, radio, and newspapers were announcing the government's edicts. At this critical moment, what should we do as Dafa practitioners? I thought about it calmly and sorted through my own experience, including the changes in my body and mind before and after practicing Falun Gong. Then I decided firmly that if it hadn't been for Dafa or Master Li, I would never have been able to experience the joy of being healthy. Instead, I would have continually struggled with numerous illnesses.
If it had not been Dafa or Teacher, my spirit would never have been able to ascend and I would be "going with the flow" of everyday people. Therefore I trust that "Zhen-Shan-Ren is the Sole Criterion to Discern Good and Bad People." "As a human being, you are a good person only if you can follow this universe's characteristic of Zhen-Shan-Ren. A person who deviates from this characteristic is truly a bad person." "As a practitioner, if you assimilate yourself to this characteristic, you are one that has attained the Tao." (Zhuan Falun Page 14). Zhen Shan Ren is the true Buddha Law, and I walk on the most righteous way, the way of true cultivation. Since then, all I have in my heart is "firmly believe in Dafa, firmly believe in the Teacher." Under no circumstances will my heart to cultivate Dafa ever change. How then, should I handle the current situation? The Teacher says in the scripture, "Dissolving Into the Fa:" that "A person is like a container: he is whatever he contains." I decided that any TV, newspaper, or radio programs that interfered with my cultivation would be turned off, and that I would practice as usual in the morning and evening, as well as studying Fa in a more urgent manner so that my mind would not take in any bad things. After finishing my work with ordinary people, I would spend all of my time in cultivation. Teacher says in his Lecture in Sydney : "Therefore, I said that I have done something nobody did in the past, and I have opened a big door. I have done something even greater. That is, I have made public all the principles of cultivation practice as well as the elements for completing cultivation. In addition, I have talked about it very systematically. This is why the gods at very high levels have said, "You have left man a ladder to heaven -- Zhuan Falun." I am determined to climb this ladder, to cultivate myself, and to ascend. With these two firm beliefs, my mind became clear and I lived through the most difficult year of my life. Also due to these two beliefs, I refused to write an affidavit renouncing Falun Gong and refused to turn in my Falun Dafa books.
Because of these two beliefs, while resisting the pressure from the high authorities, some of us resumed our group Fa study and practice. At that time, being together with only three practitioners would be considered an illegal gathering. We could be arrested by the police for doing that. Group Fa study is the cultivation form left by our Teacher and we remembered in one of the Teacher's lectures overseas that "You should study the Fa in groups, get cleansed frequently ...". Later, some of the practitioners started to practice outside. If the government doesn't allow us to practice in groups, we should practice individually and separately, because if more practitioners come out to practice, doesn't it mean that Falun Gong didn't disappear but still continues? Therefore during the New Year's period, I started practicing outside with a cassette player. My workplace informed the police and the police came to me. Because I have the two firm beliefs, I directly told the police "I could have been dead by now if I didn't practice Falun Gong. There is no way that I will give it up." When they lied about our Teacher collecting money, I told them " Our Teacher came to teach the righteous Fa, to provide salvation to mankind. I have never given him one penny." They said, "How about if we go to your home and confiscate the books?" I answered, "Then you will have to kill me first!" Because of these two firm beliefs, I never turned in any material related to Falun Dafa and never wasted any time even under severe pressure. I practiced every morning and evening, and read the books day and night. Over the past few years, I have read Zhuan Falun several hundred times because Master Li once said in his Sydney lecture: "As long as you watch my videotapes, listen to my audiotapes, or read this book that I wrote, you will experience it. As long as you read it, your body will be purified and you will be able to reach the state that is free of illness. As long as you practice cultivation, you will be able to see things that ordinary people cannot see. As long as you practice cultivation, you will experience things that ordinary people cannot experience. The realm will become higher and higher and more and more wonderful. It is all in that book." (Lecture in Sydney) I firmly believe that as long as I continue my cultivation I will obtain things that ordinary people can never get.
Part 2: To achieve genuine cultivation, one must break off ordinary human mentality.
Teacher says in Zhuan Falun "If you just practice the five sets of exercises, does that mean you are a Falun Dafa practitioner? Not necessarily so." Because of my two firm beliefs, I continued to practice Falun Gong under pressure. Now the question became: how would I be a true Falun Dafa practitioner in light of the current environment where many Dafa practitioners were being arrested and beaten? We went to Beijing on July 22 and returned home. Should we go to Beijing one more time? This question bothered me. Some practitioners said, "We are the guarding gods for the Great Fa at the human level. The Fa at the human level depends on us to protect it, therefore numerous practitioners must go to Beijing to guard the Fa."
During a group Fa study in early October, a few practitioners were discussing whether to go to Beijing to guard the Fa. I was thinking to go with them at the time, so we decided that one person would go buy the tickets, then all would leave in the evening. But when I got home from the meeting, I started to worry: "If I go to Beijing, the local police will not leave me alone after I come back, nor will my workplace. What if I cannot withstand it? At least now I can still practice Falun Gong at home, and even communicate with other practitioners. If I am sent back by the police, then I may not be able to practice and study the Fa. What would I do then?" Actually at that moment I didn't realize that my mind was being controlled by ordinary people's mentality. Continuing, I thought, "I am already 60 years old, and cannot compare with younger people, so I am not going." Next morning I called and asked them not to buy a ticket for me.
Just like Master said in the script "POSITION": "Human beings are just human beings. On critical occasions it is very hard for them to give up their human thinking, and they always find excuses to convince themselves. In the midst of crucial tests, however, a great cultivator is able to give up his ego and all of his ordinary human thinking." The practitioners who went to Beijing called back and asked me and a couple of other practitioners who had stayed home to come and join them in Beijing, and said that they had benefited so much from exchanging and communicating with practitioners from other areas. Yet we didn't go, because we felt that we had already achieved "Firmly cultivate Dafa with the heart unmoved" under pressure. Actually we didn't realize that we fell well short of meeting the standards for true cultivators. When I saw that those practitioners who returned from Beijing were arrested, or fired from their workplace, or wrote the affidavit, I felt what I did was safer.
Later when I studied the Fa more, communicated more with practitioners elsewhere, and listened to the experiences and stories of those practitioners who came back from Beijing, and heard the tragic story of Zhao Jinhua who was kidnapped while working in the field and later beaten to death, I was moved. They too are Master 's disciples, how can they endure all this while I cannot? The truth was, I had fear in my heart. Even though I came out to openly practice Falun Gong and participate in Fa study and communicating with others, without fear of being arrested and firm in my mind, still, the question remained in my head: shall I go to Beijing?
All my family members worried about me. They said we support you if you practice at home, but we strongly oppose you going to Beijing. However when I saw Dafa being persecuted, our Teacher being slandered, many practitioners suffering from guarding the Fa, I asked myself, "what am I doing?" Just by continuing practicing and studying the Fa can I be a qualified Dafa disciple? If I am a qualified disciple, why can't I speak out in Master's defense? Thus in early April, I decided to go to Beijing again. On April 7, I bought a train ticket and the test came immediately. Just before my departure, my daughter drove home and tried to take away my ticket. Her reasoning was, "At your age if anything goes wrong, if you get arrested in Beijing, or arrested at home when you come back, we will lose face because our Mother was arrested." However my mind was firm and I said I had to go even if I had to die.
My daughter couldn't convince me and called a cab to send me to the train station. However, she then immediately called relatives in Beijing, so that when I stepped off the train, I was received by the relatives and taken to their home. From then on, wherever I went, they would accompany me. Also it was strange, but none of the phone numbers given to me previously by practitioners who went to Beijing now worked, so I couldn't contact anyone in Beijing. After a few days of staying in Beijing, one day I sneaked out alone and rushed to Tiananmen Square. When I got there I saw 10 police vans parked at the Memorial Building. There were also a couple of police vans at the Peoples' Parliament, and there were police vans driving on the Square itself. Later that night, which was April 13, I learned that more than 200 practitioners had been arrested at Tiananmen Square that day. Because I had arrived late, I didn't get to meet anyone there. No policemen questioned me either.
I guess my purpose was to just tour Tiananmen Square, recite Lunyu and a few scripts, and if the police asked me whether I was a practitioner, I would answer yes. If they wanted to arrest me, fine. On the surface, I had gone to Beijing again, but my thoughts were still not pure: fear was still with me. So I wasted this trip and didn't really come out. After I returned home, I blamed myself for lacking courage. Then Master's new scripture, "The Knowing Heart" was published. Master said: "Grand talk counts for naught when it comes to life and death, Actions reveal what is true." It deeply touched my heart. Then on June 16, Master published another article, "Towards Consummation." The very first sentence was "Studying the Fa with attachments is not genuine cultivation." I deeply understood Master 's words: "Are you continuing on the path because of those human attachments? If so, you cannot be counted as my disciple. It means that your fundamental attachments haven't been discarded and that you're unable to understand the Fa from within the Fa."
Encouraged by the two latest scripts, I suddenly awoke. At that moment I had decided to come to Canada around July 20, and I had a dream. I dreamed many people were taking an exam. The exam had lasted for a long while, and I arrived at the exam site and asked the supervisor if I could take the exam. He said yes you could, but be quick. I woke up suddenly, understanding everything. Master doesn't want to leave one disciple falling behind. Then I truly understood the cause of my lingering over the past year. It was because of my human mentality. To truly cultivate myself I had to break free from my human mentality. So I decided to be a true Dafa practitioner, to step out and speak fairly for Teacher, for Dafa, and for myself. I decided to go to Beijing again. This time I will go to the Bureau for Complaints and Appeals using my citizen's rights. I studied the route to the bureau beforehand, but was informed that nobody could get in due to many plainclothes police around the entrance. I felt I was different from the past two times. I felt my mind was now righteous and I had high confidence in achieving my goal. This time I didn't even tell my family, and didn't bring anything except one change of clothes and a mini-size Hongyin. I asked a practitioner to phone my family after I got on the train, and tell them to find a note under the pillow. Very simply I just told them I was going to be gone for a few days and not to look for me or tell my children.
On June 27, I boarded a train to Beijing, and arrived there on June 29. I went to Qianmeng first, stayed a while at Tiananmen Square, and went directly to the Bureau for Complaints and Appeals. When I walked close I saw about 20 or 30 plainclothes policemen sitting around. My mind was pure, free of fear, and I walked in. At that moment I understood Master's word "Your Mind Must be Right." I walked in, filled out the form, and wrote down what I wanted to say. Because I was preparing to be arrested, I didn't achieve "Validate the Fa with reason." Though I appealed to the government to immediately release all practitioners in detention, I myself was detained, and was taken to an adjacent room. There sat about a dozen policemen along with several practitioners from other provinces. They asked us to register and we were then taken away by corresponding representatives from each province in the afternoon. Along the way, about a dozen practitioners joined us. When we arrived at the basement of the provincial building, there were about 60 practitioners from Guangdong province waiting to be sent back that afternoon. They left and we entered the basement. During the night and the next day, many practitioners were sent in. All of sudden, there were 31 female practitioners in one small room that was only about 16 square meters. Those arriving later had to be sent to other rooms.
We felt very close with each other and we exchanged experiences together, practiced together, and recited Lunyu, scriptures, and Hongyin. During my four days of detention in Beijing, I saw my shortcomings. I saw hard working practitioners who came from the countryside and were not very well educated, with little kids, but they were very fluent in reciting Hongyin. At that time I wasn't able to recite all of the poems. I had to follow them quietly. One practitioner who came from a mountain village had not seen the latest scriptures from the Master, had not heard any news--however, in order to guard the Fa, she had arranged for her disabled husband to be looked after by neighbors and came to Beijing to guard the Fa. Another practitioner walked 2 months from Guangzhou to Beijing after losing her job. She was severely beaten by a gang when she was close to Beijing, and she was arrested while she was practicing at Tiananmen Square. Some practitioners brought their children with them and their children were detained too. Their devotion to Dafa deeply touched me and made me see my shortcomings.
About 50 of us were escorted back to Guangzhou. On July 4th, I was taken away by the local police and detained there for 2 days. I continued practicing while in detention. They later wanted to arrest me, and asked me to sign the arrest paper. I said "Falun Gong is not an illegal organization, I am innocent!" The policeman then wrote down on the paper, "She says Falun Gong is not an illegal organization, she is innocent." Then I signed the paper. The night of July 6th, I was sent to the detention center. Upon entering the detention center, they took away my eyeglasses of 900 degrees, and also took away my shoes. I had to walk barefoot to a room full of criminals. The criminals didn't allow me to sit in lotus position: whenever I put my legs up, they put my legs down. They said to me "Don't practice here, otherwise we will all be in trouble." Every cell had a closed circuit monitor. During the day, two prisoners would read anti-Falun Gong articles to other practitioners and me. After reading the articles for a while, the two prisoners smiled. They said they didn't know Zhen Shan Ren so they committed crimes, but now after learning Zhen Shan Ren, they will become good people after they get out.
My family was worried after I was sent to detention center. They purchased an airline ticket to send me to Canada and my two elder children and my husband bailed me out. They wrote this on the bail paper, "She is too old, bailed out by family," and asked me to sign it. I thought as long as it doesn't ask me to renounce Falun Gong, I don't mind signing it-- after all detention centers were not meant for Falun Gong practitioners. After I left the detention center, I learned that on the day I was detained, my daughter was fined 2000 dollars and my home was searched by the police, but nothing was taken away.
Shortly afterwards, I arrived in Canada. Though the environment has changed, my heart stays the same. Every day I practice Falun Gong, study the Fa, and seriously try to memorize Hongyin (Note: The Grand Poem / translator). I tried to memorize Hongyin before, but couldn't consistently do it. I thought I was too old, so it would be OK if I could just remember a few poems. But now whenever my mind is free, I am memorizing Hongyin. I recited them even in my sleep. Quickly I was able to memorize all the poems. In order not to forget them, I recite Hongyin after I finish practicing everyday. However, my tears often come out when I am reciting the poems, because I understand, I see the true meaning of every word, every sentence in Hongyin. I see clearly the greatness and benevolence of the Teacher, and truly feel that all the Teacher wants is that we cultivate our hearts.
Wishing a great success for this conference!
Dafa Practitioner Zhang Youfeng