Precious Memories (Part 3)
Every day since July 20th, 1999, has seemed like a year. From longing for an end to the persecution to validating the Fa openly and nobly, we have gradually become more and more mature during this period. The rumours and defamation against Dafa on TV made me more clear and firm in my belief in Dafa. I remember a time when the director and secretary of the neighbourhood committee came to my home to try to force me to give up cultivation. I pointed to the TV and told them: "I watch the news on television every day. What is said is completely different from what I have experienced. Practitioners are the ones reading Zhuan Falun every day and who are the most knowledgeable about what is written in that book. We are practicing Falun Gong and cultivating our Xinxing (moral character) each day. We are also the ones who are most clear about what we do every day. For example, I eat a pear every day. Who should describe how a pear tastes, me, or someone who has never eaten a pear? How could I believe and follow you?" They immediately became speechless. I then sternly told them, but with a peaceful attitude, that if they wanted to ask me what Falun Dafa and cultivation were like, they were welcome to do so anytime. However, if they wanted to speak to me about other things, then they should not waste their time. Ever since then, they have not returned.
Whenever I saw the rumours and defamation against Master Li on television, I could not stop my tears. With the Fa spreading in the human world, I had witnessed the tribulations that Dafa had experienced and the hardships Master Li faced while spreading the Fa. How could the vicious rumours not deeply hurt a Dafa disciple's heart?
I remember that the International Health Show of 1992 I attended was held in the International Trade Building. When I entered the hall, various different forms of Qigong dazzled the eyes. I saw that the waiting line for Falun Gong was the longest and had the most people, so I hurried to the front to have a look. Enormous excitement rose from my heart. At first glance, I saw a "young man" with a tall stature and a kind face speaking to a journalist. At that moment, I told the friend I was with, "He must be the Master of this Qigong."
"How do you know that?" she asked me.
"I have a feeling." I replied.
It was very strange, and as I stared at him I felt that I had seen this person (Master Li) before somewhere, or we had done something together, but I could not remember, no matter how hard I tried. He really looked familiar! I looked at him carefully, from head to toe. He was wearing an ordinary coat, with an old, light brown sweater inside (which looked hand-woven, but later I found out that the sweater was mended). His pants and shoes were also old, but very clean. He seemed very approachable.
I remember when I attended the lecture in Tianjin, I noticed Master Li always stayed at an inexpensive hotel. He was always busy. After the lecture, Master often had a lot of things to take care of. When he returned to the hotel, it was always around 9 or 10 pm, and each night Master only ate instant noodles for dinner.
I also noticed (I naturally noticed this because I attended many lectures) that Master seldom changed his clothing, but paid attention to appearance and dressed very simply. Except for changes in the weather, Master Li always dressed in the same clothes. Once, I asked one of the practitioners who knew Master about this, and I learned that Master washed his clothes every night, and wore them again the next day. I observed that Master seldom bought new clothes, for he had very few articles of clothing. When Master Li gave lectures in Tianjin, his old shoes, which had been worn for years, were worn out. However, he didn't want to replace them with a new pair. Several disciples strongly insisted in accompanying Master to the department store, and brought a new pair of shoes for him to wear.
Whenever several of our veteran practitioners gathered together, we couldn't help mentioning Master. Once we talked about the Tianjin lecture. I complained about the practitioners who worked with Master: why didn't they take good care of Master rather than let him eat instant noodles every day? However, one practitioner told me that this happened not only in Tianjin. Master Li often ate instant noodles. She also mentioned that when Master came to the public to spread the Fa in the very beginning, it was very hard. The funds collected during the lecture sometimes were not enough to pay the rent of the lecture hall (the rent was fixed regardless of how many people attended the lecture). The budget was very tight. She also told me: "Master never told us how high his level was. I only saw Master be a teacher and example, benevolent and peaceful. I felt Master was not an ordinary Qigong master. In my heart, I knew that Master Li was so much more than that. When Master hosted lectures in my hometown, I invited him over again and again to have a meal in my home (Master stayed far away from the lecture hall, which took several hours to commute). Master didn't like to eat meat. Vegetarian food was enough. While cooking and asking Master Li what he would like to have, Master always said: "I will eat whatever everyone else eats. Don't go to a lot of trouble, keep it simple." Once Master humorously said: "I like the Shandong steamed bread you make." As he said this, he bit into the hot steamed bread and said that it tasted good. Actually Master Li was always thinking of the disciples. He didn't want to bother anyone, and he didn't want us to spend money."
She also told me that once after lunch, there was some leftover food in a dish as well as some vegetable soup. That evening when they returned from the lecture, she said to Master: "It is very easy to cook a vegetarian dish."
However, Master said, "I'll just eat the leftovers."
She tried to tell Teacher that they usually did not eat so simply. She thought, "How could we let Master eat leftover vegetable soup?"
However, Master's expression was serious and pointed to the leftovers (the remaining vegetable soup) and said, "I'll just eat the leftovers." Master's mood was very firm, which, at that moment, seemed like an order that no one could contradict. Master Li poured the vegetable soup into his bowl, along with some other food and calmly ate.
When we heard about this, everyone felt very remorseful. My eyes were wet with tears. Master, you suffered! Your disciples could not express their respect even with thousands and thousands of words. Your every word or deed was so moving. I felt that if I didn't do well myself, I would really be unworthy of Master's instruction and teaching.
Chinese Central Television and the "610 Office" [an agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, with absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and all other political and judiciary systems.] spread the rumour that Teacher was not capable of writing Zhuan Falun, and that the book was actually written by so and so. When I heard that CCTV would go so far as to spread such wicked lies, I really felt that the Chinese Government was losing face. I am a witness! I was honoured to have been able to participate in transcribing the lectures recorded in the initial stages. Zhuan Falun was transcribed word by word from Master's lectures in Changchun, Jinan, Zhengzhou, Dalian, etc., which took us 5 to 6 days to finish. In the summer of 1994, I accepted this sacred task and did not slack off one bit. Due to the fact that my level of education was not high, I did not know how to write many of the characters in Master's lecture. Even so, I checked the dictionary while playing the lecture sentence by sentence. Then I transcribed them word by word with a tape recorder in the absence of any better transcribing equipment. Next, I copied them into characters without missing a word. Working day and night for dozens of hours, over ten practitioners finally finished the task of transcription on time. The transcript was later sent to other practitioners to type up and then it was handed to Master for correction. I knew the importance of this task. Recalling how I knelt on the floor and bent over the sofa to do this because my family was sleeping and I had to work on the sofa in the hall, and then seeing all the shameless lies on TV, I have no choice but to write down what I had experienced.
I have never written an article before. However, as a Dafa disciple, I strongly feel that it is my duty to record the glory of Master and Dafa, to help more people learn the truth, and expose the deceitful lies. If I had no deep impressions left by Master's teachings or the example he set, my righteous thoughts might not be so strong. I suggest that more veteran disciples write down their personal experiences and let Master's true greatness be made public, so that our fellow practitioners can become more diligent, and the people of the world more clear.