(Clearwisdom.net) Since April 2004, many fellow practitioners published articles on Clearwisdom.net recounting Master's public transmission of Falun Dafa since 1992, as well as their own experiences relating to Falun Dafa practice. As I read through these articles, I was often moved to tears by Master's benevolence, his forgiveness and thorough caring for the disciples. They reminded me of my cultivation experience. Although my story is an ordinary one, it shows the greatness of Master and of the Fa.
1. Falun Dafa gave me a new life
I began practicing Falun Dafa on March 26, 1998. I had just celebrated my 42nd birthday. I had three major surgeries in four years, and both of my parents passed away. My family and friends turned against me because of financial issues.
Although I was an atheist, I longed for a place where my heart belonged. I went to churches and temples where I felt my heart was purified. I wanted to stay there forever, but I was disappointed when I saw the priests and monks fighting for worldly things.
March 26, 1998, was the most important day of my life. I was very ill at the time, and I had a jar of medication by my bed. I had a doctor's appointment for that afternoon. In the morning I read a book my sister had given me entitled Beijing Falun Dafa Practitioners' Cultivation Experience. I was moved by Master Li's vast compassion and the power of Dafa. I thought, "I want to practice Falun Gong!"
It was noon when I finished reading the book. I got up to prepare lunch, but I sat back down in surprise. I realized my breathing was no longer labored, and instead it was even and smooth. I was hungry, even though I had lost my appetite a long time ago. I felt very comfortable and light, although prior to noon my legs were heavy and weak.
I stood there wordless, as tears streamed down my face. I hadn't even read any Falun Gong books and I didn't even know how many sets of exercises there were in Falun Gong, but Master was taking care of me simply because I wanted to practice Falun Gong. I cancelled the doctor's appointment and instead went to my sister's home to do the Falun Gong exercises. In the evening I joined a group doing the exercises. I felt a Falun [law wheel] spinning when I put my hands over my abdomen. I took Dafa books with me when I went home, and this launched my cultivation journey.
I read all of the Dafa books during the following two weeks. I didn't sleep much, and ate little, to make more time to read the books. I even read a few pages while waiting for people in the street. My view of the world completely changed in those days, and the questions that I've had for many years were completely answered. I was ecstatic and I felt like singing and laughing. I was walking on clouds. My friends and colleagues said I looked like a different person. They could not understand what could make me, a person who was fired from my job at the time, so happy. I told them my experience, and gave them each a copy of the book Zhuan Falun. Some of them obtained the Fa this way.
I remember three things from reading Zhuan Falun for the first time: The reason human beings live in this world is not be to human, but to return to their true, original selves, cultivation is up to oneself and gong is up to the master, and "It's hard to endure, but you can endure it. It's hard to do, but you can do it." I wasted the first 42 years of my life, and now I have finally learned the true meaning of life. I realized everything that I could not let go of before was extremely insignificant. I learned that suffering does not mean that goodness is not rewarded, but that suffering is paying back karma. My feelings at the time were beyond words. I decided to cultivate until completion. Within the next year, I encountered many physical tribulations and xinxing challenges, but I passed them with a firm belief in the Fa.
2. Cultivate the righteous Fa and return home with Master
In mid April 1999, He Zuoxiu, a member of the Chinese Academy of Science, published an article in the Teenager Science Expo magazine in which he attacked Dafa and Master. Subsequently, some government units issued orders prohibiting grade school and middle school students from practicing Falun Gong, and people were not allowed to practice near schools. Some practitioners wrote to the government to clarify the facts with their own experiences, to explain how Dafa can benefit people both physically and mentally, and that Dafa will only benefit and never harm any individual or society. In order to further clarify the truth, some practitioners in Tianjin went to the Tianjin Teacher's College, the publishers of Teenager Science Expo.
On my way to the Tianjin Teacher's College, I remembered my experiences from the previous year. Dafa and Master helped me, a person mired in illnesses, to become a healthy person, and transformed a narrow-minded person into one that is big-hearted and considerate. My son also started practicing Dafa. He became healthy and kind, and because he had outstanding grades, he was accepted by a prominent middle school. My son's story proves He Zuoxiu wrong for saying "Falun Gong will lead people astray... and it will cause harm to young people." My purpose in going to the Teacher's College was to help the editors learn the truth about Falun Gong and to help more people obtain Dafa.
On April 21, when I went to the Teacher's College, I saw many practitioners there. They quietly sat on the sidewalk to avoid blocking traffic. They didn't have any slogans or banners, and they quietly waited to meet with the editors. In order not to cause any disturbance, the practitioners ate and drank little to minimize the number of times they used the toilet. Once in a while a practitioner would remove water bottles and food bags to keep our surroundings clean. We waited for a whole day without getting any feedback.
On April 22 I went back to the college. It was cloudy and it started raining in the afternoon. I saw someone videotaping us from inside a building. My mind was serene and I thought, "I want them to see what kind of people Dafa practitioners are. I want them to see Dafa practitioners upholding the Truth."
On April 23 I went back in the morning. We still received no answer. In the afternoon, the college authorities spoke to us through a loudspeaker, accusing us of interfering with the normal teaching process. They asked us to leave immediately or we would be held responsible for any consequences. We didn't affect their teaching, and we were not trying to achieve any political goal. We were only asking for a peaceful environment in which our children could practice Falun Dafa undisturbed.
Suddenly someone said, "Look, Falun!" I looked up and saw the sun was a giant Falun that alternated turning clockwise and counterclockwise. I clearly saw the wan symbol inside the Falun. When I looked down I saw countless Falun in the air, on the ground, and on fellow practitioners' bodies. Tears gushed from my eyes. In order not to make any noise, we tried to suppress our excitement at seeing the Faluns, and silently put our palms toward each other in the Heshi gesture. This magnificent scene lasted for a very long time.
Around 6:00 p.m. I saw many police cars parked across the street and fully armed police officers filled the street. There were quite a few buses that were to be used to transport the practitioners. I was not afraid but I had a solemn and sad feeling in my heart. Soon, other practitioners also saw the police. No one tried to escape, as everyone was prepared. We hid Dafa books in our clothes, because we were determined to study the Fa and do the exercises, wherever we were to be taken.
A little later, the police ran up to us and started hitting us with batons. They also beat and kicked us. They were particularly vicious with the young practitioners. Some young practitioners' faces were covered in blood. We remained compassionate and tolerant, and we kept telling them the truth. I was almost the last one to be dragged out of the college. I caught a glimpse of two buses fully loaded with Dafa practitioners leaving the college. When the incident was later reported on TV, the head of the Tianjin Police Department lied to the whole world and said the police didn't beat or arrest a single practitioner.
It was past 9:00 p.m. when we were driven away from Teacher's College. We didn't receive a response and my fellow practitioners were illegally arrested. I could not just go home. So, some of us went to the City government and demanded the release of the practitioners. At around 2:00 a.m. we were told the arrested practitioners had been released, so we went home. Later, we learned that the government had lied to us.
On the evening of April 26, a fellow practitioner called me and said that 10,000 practitioners went to Beijing to appeal, and premier Zhu Rongji had met with representative practitioners and given them a satisfactory answer. The appeal ended peacefully and many media inside and outside of China reported the incident. I innocently believed we would again have a peaceful environment, free of harassment.
In the following three months, from April 25 to July 25, I constantly heard about practitioners being harassed and unreasonably dispersed by police. Their phones were tapped and they were followed around. I felt depressed. I often saw police around our practice site, and sometimes they took pictures of us. However, we kept doing the exercises and studying the Fa until July 20, 1999.
On July 20, 1999, Jiang's faction launched the attack on Falun Gong and the founder of the practice. They used television to broadcast false charges against Master and Dafa, to confuse the Dafa students, and to deceive the common people. In the first few days I didn't practice the Falun Gong exercises, yet what was shown on TV was totally different from my own understandings. The pictures and video recordings, however, were so convincing that my mind was really in turmoil.
I thought about this for a few days. Our Master teaches us to be kind to others, to be good people in all circumstances, and to raise our xinxing level. The fellow practitioners I contacted were indeed diligently acting according to Master's requirements, being the kindest people in society and in their families. Falun Dafa is the only piece of pure land. Considering the improvements gained by other practitioners and my physical improvements, I felt the actual existence of this gong and Fa. On the other hand, my own life experiences also made me doubt what the government said. Finally I made up my mind, regardless of the situation, that I would certainly continue the practice.
I practiced the exercises and studied the Fa every day in my home and encouraged other practitioners to keep doing so. Regarding whether or not to validate the Fa in Beijing, our opinions differed. Many fake works [articles allegedly written by Master] also interfered with us. Later I realized that it was because we only focused on individual cultivation that the evil could take the advantage of us.
It was not until the second half of 2000 that I was able to read Master's new writings and overseas lectures. By then I understood the relationship between individual cultivation and the current Fa rectification. In the past, my truth clarification was just based on affection towards Master and Dafa. I was unclear about our own responsibilities and also unclear about the true significance of truth clarification.
In order to let more people know the true story and permit fellow practitioners to read Master's lectures sooner I bought a copy machine. Initially, practitioners from our site came to pick up truth clarifying materials. Later, persons from some other sites came to take handouts and writings as well. One time, about a hundred practitioners came to take written materials. I followed Master's teachings, that a practice site should neither get involved with nor keep money or property. I had been using my own savings to do Dafa work. By 2002, when I started to make truth clarifying VCDs, the expense was too high, so I began to accept other practitioners' contributions. I kept all the records for each expense and made sure not to waste practitioners' money. In 2003, after discussing this with other practitioners, we bought a printer and a scanner, and started making truth-clarifying flyers. Every day, in addition to Fa-study, exercises, and completing the necessary housework, I basically did Dafa work. With the continuing progress of the Fa rectification process, other practitioners nearby also bought copy machines and printers. My workload then became a little lighter than before.
3. Study the Fa more, and solidify righteous thoughts to eliminate tribulations
During the five years of Fa-rectification I did a few things that were not worthy of mention. In the meantime I also ran across some tribulations. Looking back, all of that was due to my doing Dafa work while neglecting Fa-study and lacking righteous thoughts.
In the summer of 2003, police abducted a practitioner I was acquainted with. His house was ransacked. He was unable to stand up to the police torture and betrayed some practitioners. The police took the list of names to abduct these Dafa disciples. This practitioner knew everything about my site. On hearing about his situation my mind was shaken and I began thinking all day long whether or not he would betray me, whether I would be able to stand up if they would nab me, and where these hundred people could go to get those Falun Dafa materials. Whenever a police car passed my house my heart beat very hard.
I started sending forth-righteous thoughts for a long time, and slowly I calmed down. I thought that I was doing the most righteous thing, when actually I had an attachment of which the evil could take advantage. Reviewing my situation, I discovered that I was busy all day doing the Dafa work, and neglecting Fa-study, and that is why the human notions had unceasingly developed--for instance, the mentality of doing Dafa work, the mentality of showing off, the jealous mind, etc. Several times in our Fa-study group, I even talked about how we had to suffer to establish mighty virtue.
I suddenly realized that I still hadn't gotten out of the cycle of individual cultivation, and was only seeking self-consummation and was not clear about Dafa disciples' responsibilities during the Fa-rectification. Wasn't this walking the path of the old forces' arrangements? Therefore, when I sent forth-righteous thoughts I added a thought, "Thoroughly deny all the old forces' arrangements." Through every day's intensive Fa-study I continuously improved, and my righteous thoughts became stronger. To help my mind calm down during Fa-study I then took time to recite Zhuan Falun as well as Master's new works during the daily Fa-study. The recitation of Master's works gave me a feeling I never had before.
When things just began to settle down I ran into another tribulation. The fact that some practitioners had been arrested made my husband feel enormous pressure. He couldn't understand what I was doing. He thought I was too selfish, did not care about the family, ignored the past good days, and now only looked for trouble. He said that I did not know the fierceness of prison and the police. He told my older sister that if I continued like this he would consider separating from me. When I heard this, my mind really wasn't moved. I said to my sister that as a Dafa disciple I had done everything I should in my home. Through practice I had improved the relationship with my husband and his family members. He was fully aware of this. I would not initiate a divorce, but if he forced me to make a choice between Dafa and the family, I would not hesitate to choose Dafa.
I continued the Fa-study, the exercises, and making truth-clarifying materials as usual and took care of family members more carefully. During Fa-study I thought about why the evil used my family members to create this barrier for me. It must definitely be due to my having some omissions that such a thing could happen. Through Fa-study I realized it was also the old forces' arrangement. Those old forces want ordinary people to get the impression that Dafa disciples only care about their practice and not about their families, and thus bring difficulties to Dafa disciple in their efforts to offer salvation to people.
I strove to eradicate the old forces' arrangements and take each step correctly on my cultivation path. We should do things with rational and clear minds, and we should not go to extremes on any issues, otherwise we could give others a bad impression. What we want to let go of is the emotional attachments to family, not the family itself. A Dafa disciple's family members are also people to whom we offer salvation. The fact that this situation happened meant that I had neglected explaining the truth to my family members.
When he was calm I explained to my husband the reasons for Dafa disciples doing things without considering their own safety. Dafa disciples' behavior is truly selfless. Whenever there was an opportunity I usually told him some practitioner's story and the facts about Dafa spreading all over the world. I told him about retribution for evil and rewards for good deeds. He gradually changed, and has given me a lot of help in computer technology. We are still a happy family.
The huge changes in my body, mind, and family resulting from my Falun Dafa practice made a big impression on his older brother and sister. The people in those families all had very good understandings toward Dafa. Some began practicing again, and others said that they would like to learn.
4. Keep a correctly balanced relationship between Fa study, cultivation and clarifying the truth to offer people salvation
As a disciple in the Fa-rectification period, I have experienced how to correctly position the relationship between studying the Fa, cultivation, and clarifying the truth to offer salvation to people. At first I only realized that I must follow what Master said to clarify the truth to people. When coming across a problem, I forgot that I was a practitioner and should look inward. Instead I thought that that person's mind was deeply poisoned and had an overly strong human notion.
A typical example was when I clarified the truth to a fellow worker. I initially introduced Dafa to him, and he was very surprised at the changes in me. He said that he would like to read Zhuan Falun, so I joyfully gave him the book, thinking that he was sure to like it. I didn't expect that after he had read the book he wouldn't understand what Master said and the way Dafa disciples behaved.
At the outset I calmly discussed things with him. As the discussion progressed, our voices became louder and louder, and finally we ended in an argument. He even said something that was disrespectful toward Master and Dafa. That same incident occurred several times, but I was still not aware of it. Instead I was very angry.
After again arguing with him, I returned home in anger, and couldn't help telling my husband about our argument. My husband immediately lost his temper, shouting at me, "You always think that you are the smartest, and nobody is superior to you. This is your biggest drawback! Why should other people listen to you?" When I heard these words I was shocked. Yes, that was really my biggest drawback. From childhood to adulthood and from school to the work place, others always recognized me as being smart. After having learned Dafa, even more than before I felt that I was the luckiest person in the world. I could understand many things that a common person could not. Zealotry, the mentality of showing off, and my attachment to competition were all growing, but not my compassion. How could this be a cultivator's correct mindset? I was really ashamed of myself and said to my husband, "What you said was absolutely right. I must get rid of these shortcomings. If I again demonstrate these shortcomings, please remind me."
Master told us in "Clearheadedness," "I often say that if all a person wants is the well-being of others and if this is without the slightest personal motivation or personal understanding, what he says will move the listener to tears. I have not only taught you Dafa, but have also left you my demeanor. While working, your tone of voice, your kindheartedness, and your reasoning can change a person's heart, whereas commands never could!" (Essentials for Further Advancement)
I recognized that only when we have compassion but not the attachment to competition and the mentality of showing off, can we offer salvation to people so that they will accept what we say. Even for purposes of clarifying the truth, we still need to study the Fa well, assimilate to the Fa, and gradually get rid of various human attachments. Only when we talk without human notions will the words we speak have power and eliminate bad factors in one's mind. One can then accept the truth.
I then intensified my Fa study and always reminded myself to repress all the attachments I still had. During the process of cleaning my own energy field when sending forth righteous thoughts, I specifically eliminated my competitive mentality, the mentality for showing off and zealotry, and left them no room to exist.
In my later contact with this fellow worker I found that when I paid attention to getting rid of my attachments, his attitude also changed. As he read our flyers and watched our truth-clarifying discs more and more, his changes became more and more apparent. One time he said from his bottom of heart, "Falun Gong is really great! Your Master is even greater! Several years of persecution didn't suppress you. Instead, more and more people became practitioners. You practitioners have also raised your levels!" When I visited him during this Spring Festival he told me that there were a lot of truth-clarifying flyers in their apartment building, and almost every family had a copy. When some of his neighbors doubted the contents in the flyer he would immediately say, "That's true. What Falun Gong practitioners say is all truth. I believe them since I know them!"
While we were talking, his wife just listened to us silently, but later she said, "Through your changes I recognize that Falun Gong is a great practice. You were weak and sick in the past, and now you are young and healthy. You were easily annoyed in the past, and now you are a very cheerful and open person. You seem to have become a different person. When I am not too busy with my work, I also want to learn Falun Gong from you."
Recalling these five years of cultivation during the Fa-rectification era, I deeply understand the importance of studying the Fa more, which Master often advises us. As a Dafa disciple in the Fa-rectification period, only by studying the Fa more can one understand the Fa and know the task that a Dafa disciple faces. And only this way can one eliminate human notions and more effectively clarify the truth. When we study the Fa more we can then eliminate all kinds of bad thoughts and factors, and achieve the goal while sending forth righteous thoughts. Only by studying the Fa more can one reinforce one's righteous beliefs and righteous thoughts, eradicate the old forces' persecution, and take every step correctly on one's cultivation path.
My experiences also made me recognize that as a cultivator, a firm belief in Master and Dafa is the basis for cultivation. Without that base, nothing else is useful. Only if one firmly believes in Master, and firmly cultivates according to Dafa is it possible to overcome any obstacle. Every time we come across problems or tribulations, they are there because we haven't deeply studied the Fa, don't understand the Fa well, and have attachments which give the old forces an excuse to persecute us.
During the remaining journey I will make sure to adhere to what Master teaches and do the three things well: Study the Fa and cultivate, send forth righteous thoughts, and clarify the truth, not letting down Master's merciful, arduous salvation efforts, and not letting down the living beings who have waited so long.
If there is something incorrect with my above shallow understanding, please be compassionate and point it out.
Thank you, fellow practitioners, Thank you, Master!