Reflections on My Trip to China to Rectify the Fa
As many of you know, I traveled to China recently with my brother Jason and his girlfriend Christine. Our overall purpose of the trip was to clarify the truth of Falun Dafa to as many Chinese people as we could and remove the poisonous propaganda that they have been in-undated with. My personal purpose was simply to share with the everyday Chinese people my many wonderful experiences with Falun Dafa, the great recognition and support it has received overseas, and to expose the evil persecution and killing that is going on in China. I know that the Chinese people are really kind and good people at their core, and they would not stand for the persecution of good people if they knew the truth. It's only that they have been victimized to such a great extent by having their cores covered up by evil elements and slanderous words that they allow such things to happen. So I went to China to ask them to just think about what is really going on in this persecution. Why is the Chinese President funneling all of China's resources into persecuting good people? Why is he the only leader in the entire world who persecutes Falun Dafa while all the others say good things about it? Who is right and who is wrong? Who is good and who is bad? What is true and what is false? I had hoped that if the Chinese people had calmed down and took a step back from the confusion to look at these questions, they would find the sea and the sky boundless, and it would surely be another scene.
Unfortunately, as you also know, I didn't make it very far in China before I was arrested and detained, and I never got to do what I had originally set out to do. I was only in China for about 1 ? hours before I was grabbed off the street, and was only able to talk with about five people. However, of these five people, the result seemed to be positive. They all looked at the information I gave them and upon seeing what it was about exclaimed "Oh, Falun Gong, Thank you!" So in this sense, even though I probably did not use enough caution when handing the information out and it was not very wise to be doing such a thing in Beijing, I still do not regret doing it for a second. If one person read the information and no longer wanted to go along with the slanderous propaganda to persecute Falun Dafa, then my trip was worth it.
Looking back at why I was taken off the street, I think mainly it was due to my own omissions of fear and not having a righteous enough mind. As soon as the undercover policeman grabbed me and I saw that he had the information that I had handed out in his hand, my first thought was "Oh no, he's got the information and knows why I am here." This in itself was already accepting the old forces arrangement and giving into the persecution, because it was acknowledging that I was doing something that was potentially dangerous or not allowed. In fact, from the standard of Dafa and a Fa-rectification disciple being responsible to all sentient beings, it was the best thing I could be doing, and I should have walked away with dignity.
Through the process of being detained, I came to realize these shortcomings more clearly, and was tested whether or not I could hold to my belief in Falun Dafa when faced with beatings and harassment. It was pretty tough sometimes, but not too tough because I felt I was being helped out a whole lot. I went on a hunger strike the entire time I was there and didn't have food or water for 48 hours. However, I felt neither hungry nor thirsty, and my physical energy level remained stable. When being beaten by the guards and punched in the face and torso, even though the punches were really hard, I felt like they were very hollow at the same time as if their force had been diminished. When I was first arrested, I felt really bad at not being able to step out of the confrontation on the street and walk away with dignity. But after a while, I realized that holding onto this thought was not righteous, so I put it down and just tried to focus on what I could do in the present. Like Teacher said in the Washington D.C. conference, "No matter which angle you approach it from, there's a way to ultimately resolve these issues." My understanding of this is that Teacher will make the best use out of any seemingly bad situation we are in, and the table can always be turned to create an environment to rectify the Fa. Having this thought, I decided to try and rectify the Fa and remove the bad thoughts of every policeman I came into contact with from that point on.
When I was taken to the police station for interrogation, they asked a lot of silly questions, most of which I refused to answer. They used pushing and slapping to try and intimidate me, but it didn't have much affect because coercion cannot change people's hearts. I kept telling them in Chinese why I had come to China, that I practice Falun Dafa and my mother and brother also practice it, that it is practiced and supported all over the world, and that it is really good an beneficial and not what the state-run television says. I felt really sad for most of the guards because they were my age and had no idea what Falun Dafa was or why this persecution was happening. They were just doing their jobs, and didn't want to be doing these kinds of things. But if they didn't they would be persecuted as well. In addition, all of the older guards had families back at home. When they were forced to watch me overnight, they couldn't return home to see their children and spouses, bringing hardship upon themselves and their families as a result. Through this experience, I was able to see more clearly how this persecution is persecuting all Chinese people, whether they practice or support Falun Dafa or not.
Of all the experiences I had while in the detention center, two of them stand out particularly in my mind, and I would like to share them with everyone. The first one was when I wrote in Chinese characters on the wall to rectify the Fa. The second one is the effect that continued truth-clarification had on one of the younger guards. Here is the first one.
During the early morning hours of my last day in the detention center, the guards had fallen asleep and I was awake in my cell. I was thinking about how I could further clarify the truth to the guards after already having talked with them extensively. The effect was good on some of them that had a bit of a kind heart, but appeared to have no effect on the bad ones who enjoyed the persecution. In addition, new guards were constantly moving in and out of the center. I wanted to show them something permanent that they could see every time they came in and out of the center. So I had an idea of writing some righteous words on my cell wall. My first reaction was that the thought was righteous and I should certainly do it. Then I started to think too much and questioned if it would be right or wrong to write the words since after all, it was a wall and people are not supposed to write on walls. After evaluating the thought with Dafa and remembering the righteous actions taken by the Changchun practitioners in playing the Falun Dafa videotape on the Chinese television, my confidence was strengthened and I made up my mind to do it. I used a coin that I had in my pocket to write the Chinese characters, "Falun Dafa hao," "Zhen, Shan, Ren hao," and "Falun Dafa shi zheng Fa." I signed it "yi ge Mei Guo daxuesheng; san yue, ershiqi hao, erlinglinger." (an American college student, March 27, 2002) Upon writing the words, I felt I had done a really righteous thing, and was prepared to face the guards when they awoke.
When the guards woke up and saw the writing, they stood aghast at the characters and kept staring at them over and over again. Over the next two hours, the characters created quite a commotion in the detention center, and a lot of policemen came in to check them out. I used righteous thoughts to keep them at bay so they would not erase the words from the wall, which was successful for several hours. But eventually however, they came into the cell and had a young boy erase the words. I felt really sad for them and told them that they shouldn't have done this because the words were made out of gold. Two of the guards with evil hearts then proceeded to try and take my thumbprints and photograph, and beat me up severely when I refused to comply. It took a lot of courage for me to write the words and face such consequences. Because of this, a lot of the more kindhearted guards no longer showed any hostility towards me and didn't want to have anything to do with the evil persecution after the beating was over.
The second experience I want to share with you is the effect that continued and steadfast truth-clarification has on eliminating bad thoughts about Falun Dafa in people's minds. Out of all the guards that were assigned to watch me, one of them was particularly young and could speak English well. This made talking with him a bit easier. During the first day of my detention, I talked with him a lot and clarified the truth to him about the true nature of Falun Dafa. The effect was ok, but not too great. On the second day, upon being left alone with him, I took a different approach and asked him, "excuse me Sir, my Chinese isn't so good and I was wondering if you could help me translate something. There's this saying in English that used to be very common and a lot of people knew about it. It's 'good will be rewarded with good and evil will be met with evil. Could you translate this for me?'" Upon hearing this, he immediately understood and his facial expression changed a bit. He said that this was also a saying in Chinese that had been around for a long time as well. I then asked him if he had heard of Buddha or Tao before. He said yes. I then told him that Falun Dafa was the Buddha Fa, and if you persecute it, you will meet with bad returns. He seemed to be more receptive to this type of approach. At the end of our conversation, I told him in Chinese, "You know, you have the ability to help me." He didn't understand, so I pointed to the lock on the jail cell door. He looked at the lock for about 5 seconds, and seemed to be considering what I had said. In the end however, he reluctantly refused because he said he would loose his job if he let me free. I didn't blame him for this. From that point on, our relationship was much better. When I returned home, I later learned from my bother and Christine that they had also met with this same guard. My brother clarified the truth to him and it also had a positive effect. When Christine was being deported, it was most likely this guard that escorted her to the plane. When she looked over at him and said a few kind words, she saw tears coming down his face and he told her that he knows this is wrong and he was sorry. I think all of the guards were very fortunate indeed to come into contact with all three of us!
Looking back at my detention and the persecution I received in China, what is most important for me to clearly realize is that most fundamentally, none of these things should have or needed to have taken place to me or any other practitioners, Chinese or Western, that have ever been persecuted in police custody. It is the old forces that require such so-called tests of us and Dafa, not our Teacher. When I returned home from my trip, I realized that I still had a lot of hidden thoughts that accepted the persecution. They mainly manifested themselves during my detention with thoughts like, "It doesn't matter if they beat me because the more persecution I receive, the more I can use it to expose the persecution of Chinese practitioners once I return home." I also had the hidden thought that, "It doesn't matter how long they hold me here. The longer they do, the more awareness will be brought to the persecution of Falun Dafa in China." This thought might seem correct on one level, and indeed I was able to do a lot of truth-clarification when I did return home which had very positive effects on the people and environment here, but I believe most fundamentally this type of thinking doesn't meet the standard of a Fa-rectification disciple. In the article Rationality, Teacher says, "Some practitioners suggest that the best practice of cultivation is to get placed into detention centers or labor camps, or get sentenced to jail in order to validate the Fa. Students, it is not so." "Validating Dafa is truly glorious -- it is to validate Dafa that you come forth. Since you come forth, you should try to succeed in validating the Fa." Our purpose of going to China was not to get arrested. The fundamental magnificence of a Dafa disciple does not lie in their ability to remain solid when faced with the evil persecution, but rather in their ability to step out of and break the arrangements of the old forces and rectify the Fa so as to not receive any persecution in the first place.
Whether a practitioner can remain solid in Dafa or not when faced with the persecution is a truly critical issue. However, regardless of whether or not this can be achieved, the beings that conducted this persecution are still committing huge crimes against the universe and will still have to be held accountable for everything they have done when this matter ends. In other words, the issue of a policeman beating a practitioner is not only the fundamental issue of whether the practitioner will be able to endure it or not and come through steadfastly, but also the fundamental issue of whether that policeman will face destruction in the future. Saving sentient beings does not only depend on our ability of clarifying the truth to them, but also in our ability to be righteous enough so that they will not be able to persecute us to begin with. From my understanding, this is why Teacher always stresses the importance of us giving up our attachments in relation to ending this persecution. Giving up attachments not only determines whether or not we can consummate our own cosmic systems and all beings living in them, but also directly determines how much persecution we will receive from the old forces. This in turn directly determines how many beings will be used by the evil old forces to commit bad deeds and face the consequences in the future. The fewer attachments we have, the fewer excuses the old forces will have to test us, and the less living beings will be put in a potentially dangerous situation due to their hostility towards Dafa. I believe thinking this way is being truly responsible to Dafa and to all sentient beings and is being the most compassionate.
I would like to thank my fellow practitioners, friends, and family for the tremendous support they gave me when I was China. Especially my mom, I am very proud of the way she was able to face this situation with a calm and righteous mind, and not give into fear. I hope everyone else can look at the trip with righteous thoughts and realize that none of these so-called tests are inevitable and none of this persecution is ok. Thank you everyone.