Validating Fa in Prison
[Minghui Net] On December 23, 2000, I was illegally detained in the No.1 detention centre at Ganzhou City, Jiangxi province. There were two other Dafa practitioners imprisoned in the same cell with me that day. They were kidnapped from a hotel in the middle of the night. One of them named Ah Xin (Note: Refer to "The Story of Ah Xin" published on the net early January) was only wearing a pair of long underwear, and had to walk barefoot. We found out later that six or seven plain clothed police dragged them into a police van from a hotel guestroom. They also illegally confiscated all their personal belongings, including over twenty thousand Yuan RMB, without issuing a receipt. The police's conduct was akin to highway robbery.
From that very same day, we refused food and water. On the seventh day, the guards started to force-feed us. They directed other prisoners to strap us onto a bench and force-fed us. A tooth was knocked out of Ah Xin's mouth and my mouth was bleeding heavily too. They were not bothered by these but continued to force their way until they succeeded in getting the food into us. During the whole process, we continually promoted Dafa to the guards and the feeders. We realized that our action was itself Fa validation. For the next few days that followed, we began taking some food. Later, one Dafa practitioner was transferred to another cell, leaving Ah Xin and me. We persisted with our practice and Fa studies, reciting the "Lun Yu," other "Jingwen" (articles by Master Li] and poetry from Hong Yin everyday. At the same time, we promoted the Fa in the cell and clarified the truth to other prisoners. They all listened attentively and thought about it carefully. They seemed to understand why Dafa practitioners were doing this and expressed their respect and admiration. However, they could not understand why the government is so viciously suppressing Dafa and its followers. They were disappointed at the manner of the government's propaganda vilifying the Dafa practitioners. Such oppressive regime could only leave the populace with deeply repressed anger. Suppression by the use of force will not win the people's hearts.
It's customary a few days before the Spring Festival for officers from above to come for an inspection of the detention centre. The warden required that all detainees greet them with 'Good day your leadership'. Instead, Ah Xin and I shouted, 'Falun Dafa is Good', 'Falun Dafa is righteous' and 'Return Dafa's good name!' We felt that was a good way to promote and validate the Fa.
We persisted with our exercise practice morning and night; several guards had seen us. Just before the Spring Festival (on January 20), they handcuffed our hands and feet together, which restricted our movements to sitting only. Somehow, very quickly we managed to remove the handcuffs, leaving only those on our legs, and continued with our practice. On January 26, they replaced the handcuffs with new ones, this time they had my hands tied behind my back, and this made it difficult for us to eat or do other things. Ah Xin was also taken away to another cell. The warden and other prisoners reckoned that this smaller size cuff would be difficult to undo. Miraculously the same evening, I was able to remove the handcuffs. Later, I learned that Ah Xin also managed to take them off promptly. Such is the power of Dafa.
We continued with our practice. The other prisoners tried to persuade us not to do it, and to practice at home or do it secretively to avoid further harassment. I feel a practitioner should act noble everywhere and anywhere, shining with pure radiance. For the ensuing days, the guards would shout at and abuse me every time they saw me practicing. On January 30, the guard saw me practicing again and threatened to put the handcuffs on me if I did not stop. When I refused to stop, she cuffed me to a special chair (a chair used only on prisoners who had broken the jail regulations, and had never hitherto been used on a woman ). I was strapped with one hand on the top armrest and other hand to the lower armrest. This forced me to lean against the chair, and I was unable to stand up because of uneven arm reach. The cuffs became increasingly tight, soon my lower arm started to swell. All along, I kept reciting Dafa. One guard grabbed my hair and stuffed sand and dirt into my mouth. I ignored him and continued with my recitation, soon they got fed up with me and left. All day I was not allowed to go to the toilet. Other prisoners could not withstand the sight. They begged the guard to take my handcuffs off so I could go to the toilet. The guard could not care less, and said, "Let her do it right there." All other prisoners said, "That is inhuman. Going to toilet is a basic human right." I was chained up like that the whole day. The days before and after Spring Festival were wet in Ganzhou. It had been drizzling and very cold. But today, it was sunny. The whole day, I was promoting Dafa to those prisoners watching me from other cells. Without such an occasion, they would never know the Truth. That day was most meaningful to me.
When I was experiencing the most severe pain, a prisoner from another cell said to me, "Your Teacher must be somebody really special to have such a determined student like you." On hearing this remark, I felt that wherever we are, whatever environments we are in, Teacher is with us, overseeing us, reminding us and encouraging us. My courage and confidence immediately multiplied, giving me the strength to face up to the ordeal. I didn't feel the slightest pain in my hand that was cuffed to the lower armrest, although by then it had swollen up to about two or three times the normal size. At about 5 o'clock that evening, they carried me back to the cell, with the chair and all. When other detainees saw me, hair tattered, the hand cuffed to the chair was swollen and black, they cried and begged the guard to release me. The guard paid no attention. However, I was already mentally prepared to spend the night in that position. I hadn't eaten the whole day, I was also prepared for another hunger strike.
At about 7:00 p.m. a warden suddenly came in my cell, without a word he unlocked the cuffs and left hurriedly. That night, I got up and practiced Falun Gong exercise again. The warden saw me, feeling frustrated, he turned on the speaker and blared aloud so other prisoners could not go to sleep that night. The next morning (January 30, the eighth day on the lunar calendar) the warden asked me again if I would continue with my exercises, I said yes. He then transferred me to another cell, where Ah Xin was now alone with me. Only then did I find out that Ah Xin had undergone similar torture the day before. A guard had gone into Ah Xin's cell and beaten her up, then dragged her out of the cell, knocked her to the ground, and stamped on her neck, choking her. He then ordered some other prisoners to put cuffs on her hands and feet. Ah Xin continued to recite Dafa. The guard was furious. He grabbed the cuffs on her feet and dragged her around the floor knocking down an elderly female detainee in the process. The elderly lady later said in tears, "I have never seen police beat people up like that. Only in movies, when the bad guys are beating the good people."
It didn't take long for Ah Xin to undo her handcuffs (the wardens thought that was inconceivable) and carried on with her exercises. That was how the two of us re-established our practice environment. The wardens saw us practising everyday. At first, they yelled and threw things at us, but later left us alone. They even took the hand and leg cuffs away from Ah Xin. (By then Ah Xin had already been chained up for 18 days). At long last, we could carry on with our practice inside the detention centre in dignified grandeur.
These two months at the detention centre, together with our encounter of defending and validating the Fa, we have come to realise that our stay here is not an exercise of resigning to waiting in pessimism, and existing like everyday people; but rather to carry out Fa rectification under a special circumstance, and to clarify the Truth to the world. At the same time, to cultivate ourselves and serve as a particle of Dafa. Where there are Dafa practitioners, there is Dafa. Dafa and us have melted into one, therefore wherever we go, we should practice and study Fa. The warden said, "If you want to practice, practice at home. You are not allowed to practice at the detention centre, and that's the rule." This is only a concept of tainted human beings, and a manifestation of the demon nature. They are also the reasons for Fa rectification. During our encounter, we had revealed our fear as well. At times we also used our 'human side' to counter the tribulation, and failed to recognise the Fa from within the Fa.
During my first few days at the detention centre, somehow there were hints of pessimism in my thoughts. I felt that I was constrained from promoting Dafa and clarifying the Truth to the world whilst staying at the detention camp. In my pessimistic frame of mind, I was hoping the Fa rectification would speed up and the outside practitioners would improve quickly to carry on with the Fa validation work. My mind was not on the Fa, hence missing out on a lot of goings-on around me, which I could have grasped with my original-nature. But instead, I let my human side get the best of me, and neglected the importance of Fa studies as well. Later on, through exchanging experiences with other practitioners, we all came to realise that whatever a Dafa practitioner does, it is always related to one's cultivation. One should study the Fa even more intensely under such difficult circumstances. From then on, we tried to recall what we could remember about Dafa, and wrote it down (we even read the poems from Hong Yin to other detainees in the camp) We made sure that we study the Fa everyday, realizing that we are in fact here to cultivate and not merely to exist as an everyday person.
Every time when we walked out of the cell, (whether to attend a court session, or putting on or removing our handcuffs) and every chance we had, we always loudly recited Dafa, so that all other Dafa practitioners and detainees, including the wardens, could hear us. Because of that, all other prisoners shouted "Falun Gong, Falun Dafa" from their windows whenever we passed them. We always responded with "Falun Dafa is Good," "Do not believe the false propaganda broadcasted" (The central news was broadcasted every morning). Through our clarification, other detainees in the same jail began to question the many flaws in the broadcast propaganda. They began to doubt the self-immolation incident on New Year's Eve. They said, "Such propaganda is extremely damaging. We have met you practitioners, we know you are good people. You don't do that sort of things. We didn't quite understand Falun Gong before."
During our stay at the detention centre, some thirty or more people had heard us promote Dafa. All of them had a positive understanding of Dafa, and supported us. Our recollection of the Dafa passages was limited, and life in the detention centre was harsh (the police confiscated all our possession and money). Ah Xin and I studied together frequently. We exchanged views and encouraged each other. The wardens separated us thinking that it would stop us from practicing. On the ensuing days after our separation, when the wardens saw me practicing, they would yell and throw things at me. Other prisoners advised me not to practice any more or to do it secretively. I was tempted to back off to avoid the ordeal. Just then a prisoner came back from a court session and informed me that Ah Xin still persisted with her practice. These words instantly annihilated my cowardice thoughts. A Dafa practitioner should always act in an open and dignified manner. Each additional disciple that persists in practicing would each strengthen the righteous force and weaken the Evil proportionately. If all the Dafa detainees had let go their attachments and come out to validate the Fa, the last tribulation would not be as devastating.
Under this special circumstance, some of my hidden attachments that would otherwise be difficult to discover were exposed. There was a period when our living conditions were very harsh. Food and daily supplies were insufficient. The new arrivals usually lack food and everyday supplies. When we had enough, we usually shared with them, but when we were stretched, we were reluctant to part with our supplies. This exposed our selfishness. It reminded me of the followers of Buddha Sakyamuni, who were attached to their bowls. I also recalled teacher's Jingwen "Reconciliation," which says: "Complete renouncement is a higher principle of No Leakage." Because we had selfish thoughts, we find people around us were also selfish. When we turn this thought of ours around, our surrounding changes and our problems also disappear. So step by step and one hurdle after another, two months went by.
Looking back at the path we just walked through, our tribulation was but temporary and flitting. Once our Xinxing was raised, we got over them. Teacher will not arrange a hurdle his disciple cannot clear if the disciple wants to. Besides, we actually sense that Teacher is overseeing us at all times. Our Teacher is with us and the Fa is here. We can overcome any obstacle and do the right things wherever we are, and genuinely be a Dafa particle.