Mr. Li Zhongmin, A Dafa Practitioner That I Know
(Clearwisdom.net) There are already several reports on Clearwisdom.net about Mr. Li Zhongmin's history of Fa validation. I will share only the part of 'his cultivation that I have personally witnessed, as well as some stories of my own cultivation. Hopefully our experiences may serve as a lesson to all Dafa practitioners.
Prior to July 2000, I lived with Li Zhongmin on three different occasions. Zhongmin contributed a lot to Fa promotion activities and highly disciplined himself in his personal cultivation. He set a very high standard for himself in cultivation and could endure a great deal of hardship. We used to join group practices together. During the sitting meditation, many people often could not endure the leg pain and put their legs down. Zhongmin always persevered until the end with a smile on his face. I once asked Zhongmin why he smiled during the sitting meditation. He replied, "That was when I experienced the most intensive pain in my legs. Some practitioners look very strained when they experience leg pain. I don't think that should be the image of Dafa practitioners, and I don't think Dafa practitioners should respond to pain with a painful facial expression either. I want to face hardship with a smile." Perhaps Zhongmin's understanding at the time became a solid foundation of his Fa validation journey later on. Indeed, Zhongmin proved later that he could face countless demonic tribulations and the ultimate test of life and death with peace and righteousness.
When Jiang's regime started to persecute Falun Dafa on July 20, 1999, Li Zhongmin and many other young Dafa practitioners suffered brutal beatings from police in the People's Square in Dalian, Liaoning Province. Shortly afterwards, the police station at Harbin Road in Kaifa District arrested Zhongmin and detained him in Kaifa District Detention Center. At the end of 1999, Li Zhongmin was arrested and detained in Beijing Detention Center while appealing for Dafa at Tiananmen Square. Zhongmin refused to reveal his name and address, so the police officers and the inmates beat him up and tortured him every day until he was released a month later. By the time he was released from Beijing Detention Center, his weight had dropped from 165-175 pounds (75kg to 80kg) to 110 pounds (50kg). He told me that it was the most difficult, unbearable time in his life. It was not just the physical torment. The most unbearable thing for him was not having any fellow practitioners to exchange experiences with. Nevertheless, Zhongmin endured the demonic trial because of his steadfast faith in Falun Dafa. Upon returning home, Zhongmin was illegally detained for another month in Wafangdian Detention Center.
In April 2000, we had the opportunity to share a residence again. Zhongmin went astray in cultivation during that period of time. I said to him once, "I don't want to argue with you on this issue again. From what I see, it is just that you have been procrastinating on the existing level of cultivation for too long. When you realize and overcome your attachment some day, you will truly feel that you have already made a big stride forward on the Fa. When that day comes, you will have a very steadfast faith in Dafa again, which nothing can change." Sure enough, Zhongmin completely realized that he had tripped and fallen after Teacher published a new article, ""Towards Consummation"" in June that year. But, Zhongmin did not keep wallowing there or keep reprimanding himself and regretting over his past wrongs. He said to me, "I know now that I was wrong. I must do well from now on." Shortly afterwards, Zhongmin went to Beijing again to appeal for Dafa. Zhongmin was arrested by the police several times, but each time he walked out of the detention center because of his righteous thoughts. He also encouraged other fellow practitioners to overcome the demonic trials. When I asked him how he got out of the detention center, he told me this story: Once, the policemen surrounded a group of practitioners and held them under siege to arrest them. He thought, "I shouldn't be arrested. There are so many more practitioners that haven't stepped out to validate the Fa. My work is not done yet. I have to get out of this siege." Then he got up and walked out of the siege. Miraculously, none of the police officers saw him leaving. Each time Li Zhongmin became free because of such selfless and fearless righteous thoughts.
Teacher said in the article "Also in a Few Words", "However strong the righteous thoughts are, that's how great the power is." ""
While Li Zhongmin was arrested in Beijing in mid July 2000, the police had also arrested me. Meanwhile my wife was locked up in a detention center for appealing for Dafa. When the police demanded me to bail my wife out, I refused to comply and told them that I would not give them even one dime, since it was obviously an extortion attempt. Because I refused to give in, the police kept me in the detention center. So I demanded that they explain the reason for my arrest. They said that it was because I practiced Falun Gong. I asked them to point out a law that prohibited Chinese citizens from practicing Falun Gong or a law that said that people who practiced Falun Gong must be arrested. They admitted that there wasn't any such law, but they had to comply with the orders from their superiors. They also told me they would release me only if I produced a written guarantee to renounce Falun Gong. I told the police firmly that I shall never write such a guarantee and I shall continue to practice Falun Gong. Thus, they kept me in the detention center for half a month.
Half a month later, I went to the police station directly from the detention center to get my ID card back. The police seized me there again and demanded 5,000 Yuan [500 Yuan is the average monthly income for an urban worker in China.] from me. When I asked the police what the money was for, the police did not answer the question directly, but asked me to renounce Falun Gong in writing. I refused to give them money or renounce Falun Gong in writing, so they started to bargain with me: "If you don't have 5,000 Yuan, 3,000 Yuan will do. If you don't have 3,000 Yuan, then 2,000 Yuan will do." When the police officers could not extort any money from me, the head of the police station came to negotiate further. I said to him, "I see. You do not really care if I practice Falun Gong or not. It is money that you want." The head of the police station felt both humilated and furious at the same time. He jumped out of the chair and screamed at me, "I now pronounce that you are a dissident against the Chinese Communist Party!" Using this as an excuse, they illegally detained me again for another half a month. During the time, they kept asking me if I dared to practice Falun Gong again. I told them without any delay, "As a matter of fact, I have been practicing Falun Gong every day." (During the whole month in the detention center and the police station I had persisted in daily practice of the sitting meditation and standing exercises.) Eventually, the police gave in. They said, "We no longer care if you practice Falun Gong or not. Just do us a favor and leave our jurisdiction."
While I was in the detention center, I heard some police officers openly declare, "Only those who practice Falun Gong are good people after all!" One of the police officers couldn't accept that Dafa practitioners chose to protest the illegal detention with hunger strikes, and came asking me for an explanation. I explained to him, "Because we cultivate according to the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance, under no circumstances will we fight back when we are beaten or sworn at. It follows that we can only resort to peaceful methods to protest such a brutal persecution and torture against Falun Gong. A hunger strike is one of the peaceful methods of protest. If not for the unprecedented injustice against Falun Gong, no one would be willing to protest in such a painful way."
During the time at the detention center, I ran into Li Zhongmin again. He had been on a hunger strike since the time he was arrested in Beijing. As soon as he was sent back to Dalian he was immediately thrown into a drug rehabilitation center. The very night he was locked in the drug rehabilitation center, the thug police forced him and other Dafa practitioners to watch video programs that slandered Dafa. Zhongmin stood up and started to practice the first exercise. Several police officers jumped up on him, and dragged him to the fourth floor where they attacked him with brutal beatings and electric shocks. The police in Beijing had also beaten him after they discovered him hanging a Falun Dafa banner on top of the palace at Tiananmen Square. The beating left his face with dark purple bruises and scratches. Now, the police in the drug rehabilitation center messed his face up even worse. This time the brutal battering made his face deformed and his left eye bleeding.
The next day they transferred Zhongmin to Kaifa District Detention Center where he continued his hunger strike and was tortured with force feeding twice. After two force feedings, he was returned here. When I saw lots of blood coming out of his mouth I couldn't bear to see him tortured that way again, so I said to him, "Will you please eat something?" Zhongmin said, "I will not eat anything in jail. I have done nothing wrong." During his hunger strike, the police continued to force him to perform hard labor and instructed the inmates to beat him up. In November 2000, I was thrown into the detention center and ran into one of the inmates that had beaten Zhongmin before. I asked him why he had beat up Zhongmin. He said, "He refused to eat, so the police made me beat him. I know that all of you are good men. I did not really want to do this to any of you." From the conversations with prison inmates, I learned that they all held Li Zhongmin in high esteem. Later, Li Zhongmin was illegally sentenced to serve time in the forced labor camp again, but he walked out of Dalian Forced Labor Camp righteously on December 31, 2000. After that, I never saw Li Zhongmin again. He was later tortured to death.
While I was illegally detained in Dalian Forced Labor Camp, I kept hearing news about Li Zhongmin's righteous thoughts and actions as well as his truth clarification efforts outside the forced labor camp. Such news became tremendous encouragement to all of us. On the other hand, the perpetrators became increasingly threatened by Li Zhongmin's righteousness. They put a bounty on him nationwide. In the second half of 2001, Dalian city police came to me and asked me about Li Zhongmin, hoping to find some clues of his whereabouts. I answered all of their questions with, "I don't know." Before the police left, they asked me, "What do you think of Li Zhongmin's actions? Do all of you here see him as a role model?" I replied, "Undoubtedly Li Zhongmin did a splendid job. It is not something that everyone can accomplish. But Falun Dafa taught us that there was no role model in cultivation. Everyone has to walk his own path."
Indeed, there is no role model in Dafa cultivation. Even so, we should display pure righteousness, altruism, great forbearance, and immense compassion in response to demonic tribulations.
"It was forced upon us by the old forces, but a lot of the Dafa disciples have, after all, conducted themselves really well amidst this persecution. While validating the Fa the Dafa disciples have established the mighty virtue of Enlightened Beings that are forged by Dafa, and they've established the unprecedented magnificence of Dafa." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Midwest-U.S. Fa Conference")
I would like to urge those who know the details of the torture and the death of Li Zhongmin in Dabei Prison to come forward with the information. I would like to present this article as a salute to those Dafa practitioners who have validated and are validating Dafa with righteous thoughts and actions!