(Clearwisdom.net) In the past few months, dozens more Dafa practitioners have died as a result of torture and persecution. This is a huge loss. In view of recent reports from China and practitioners' sharing, I can see that many practitioners have not quite recognized the reasons behind the persecution and have passively endured it. Some practitioners have been arrested several times and have been brutally beaten up many times. After they got out of prison they were satisfied with the fact that they did not sign the "guarantee statement" [A statement to declare that he or she is remorseful for practicing Falun Gong and guarantees not to practice Falun Gong again, not to go to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong, and never again associate with any Falun Dafa practitioners], without analyzing why they were persecuted so severely in the first place. Several other practitioners had been arrested more than once and suffered numerous sessions of force-feeding before they were tortured to death.

Master said, "From my perspective, as your Master, during the Fa-rectification I absolutely don't recognize the use of this wicked persecution to test Dafa disciples, and Dafa disciples shouldn't have the wrong idea that they can cultivate higher by enduring persecution. Dafa and its disciples oppose the persecution, and that is Dafa disciples' duty. If you're not cultivating yourself on the basis of the Fa, you can't cultivate higher just by enduring persecution, much less reach the standard for Dafa disciples." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference")

Having studied Master's Fa lecture, I'd like to share my understanding on opposing the persecution.

Some practitioners think that the reason they are persecuted so severely is either that they had signed a pact with the old forces in previous lives, or that they carry lots of karma. Thus they take for granted the police's torture as karmic retribution. I think this understanding is not correct. First, we should clearly realize that the day we stepped into Dafa cultivation, Master rearranged the path of our lives. Although we don't know how Master arranged it for us, one point is clear: Master would not have arranged for us to be imprisoned and tortured by the police. Does having a lot of karma mean that we have to be tortured? The purpose of cultivation is not bearing hardships; the upgrading of character is the most crucial. Everyday people's punches and kicks can only be effective against everyday people, but not against genuine cultivators. Then why is it that some practitioners suffered such severe persecution in prison?

Think about it: the tribulations we Dafa practitioners encountered before "7.20" (On July 20, 1999 Falun Dafa was banned in China, and this date marked the beginning of the persecution) were arranged by Master for upgrading our character. Master has taken onto himself the essential part of these tribulations and only left a little bit of karma for us for upgrading our character. At crucial moments, as long as we can remember we are Falun Gong practitioners and improve our character, the tribulation will pass.

We all know that Master treats all practitioners the same, regardless of whether one took up the practice before or after July 20, or whether one had signed a pact with the old forces or not, because Master does not acknowledge those arrangements at all. Master has taken great care of us and has protected us meticulously. As long as we remind ourselves at crucial moments that we are Dafa disciples and keep strong righteous thoughts, much loss can be minimized.

I know of several Dafa disciples, myself included, whom the police and the common criminals did not dare to touch at all from the minute we were abducted till we got out of the prison. Once, the police incited several inmates to beat me. One of them rushed toward me but was stopped by my righteous thoughts; his arm, already raised, just could not strike down. Seeing this, other inmates dared not beat me, either. Later that inmate apologized to me privately, and he also told me that it was the police who incited them to beat me.

During sharing, some practitioners said, "In prison, if you refuse to write the three repentance statements, you will be beaten, and if you do the exercises you will be beaten up even worse." I don't think this is the case. During the last few months of my imprisonment, the practitioners in my area did not need to do the slave labor. The prison cells were not locked, except during the night after 10:00 p.m. and at noontime. We could generally study the Fa and exchange experiences during the day. Nobody intervened when we did the exercises. The key is whether we have clarified the truth well. When the policemen and the prisoners have understood the truth, they will quietly support us. Some policemen told the prisoners to let us know that they wouldn't bother us as long as we didn't do Falun Gong exercises right in front of the supervisors or let them see Teacher's articles when they came to inspect.

I believe therefore that the practitioners who were persecuted in prisons, aside from exposing the persecution they suffered during incarceration, should genuinely think about why those things happened the way they did, and check within themselves if they had fear or if there was a lack of righteous thoughts on their part when being tortured.

Master said, "Also, while being persecuted they weren't clearheaded or rational, and didn't remember that they were Dafa disciples, nor could they remember Master, as if it were all just human beings persecuting other human beings. Plus, they were arranged that way by the old forces back in history, so they couldn't reject it. You tell me, how do you handle that? So, a lot of things aren't as easy as you'd imagine. Cultivation is a serious thing, and the Fa-rectification is by no means something trivial."

(Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Atlanta Fa Conference)

For a while after I came out of prison, I held a wrong understanding, thinking that I had gotten rid of a lot of attachments during incarceration. Although I knew that Dafa disciples should not be incarcerated, I felt that prison was a good place for cultivation. Because I acknowledged it in my mind, I was almost deceived by the police and was almost sent back to the prison again.

Through Fa study I suddenly realized one day that it was the old forces' arrangement to put us into prisons, and that Master does not approve of it at all.

Master said, "It will make arrangements for them. Where will they go if they complete cultivation? Since cultivation practice is arranged by it, no schools of practice at high levels will accept you. Since it arranges everything for you, you will have to follow it in the future. Won't your cultivation end up in vain?" (Zhuan Falun, Chapter 5)

Looking at it from another angle, Dafa disciples possess thousands of cultivation abilities, and only Master can activate them, and only Master can evolve gong for us, including aiding us to get rid of our attachments. I realized that the cultivation way Master taught us is to get rid of everyday people's attachments in this complicated environment, in dealing with conflicts among people and amidst practical gains and interests. That is the fastest and the most direct way of cultivation. At present, what is most righteous and most important is that we do well the three things Master has required us to do-- study the Fa, clarify the truth, and send forth righteous thoughts. We should completely negate the arrangements of the old forces and their so-called "tests." Only by doing so can we truly oppose the persecution.

Through studying Zhuan Falun and "Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference," I came to the understanding that the while the whole society standing up to oppose the persecution will be brought about by a change in celestial phenomena in the near future and is part of the Fa rectification process, the actual opposition to the persecution has to start with Dafa disciples. When all Dafa disciples are able to truly oppose the persecution, our efforts will lead to the early arrival of the change in celestial phenomena, when the entire society will stand up to oppose the persecution.

This is my personal experience and understanding. Please kindly point out anything that is inappropriate.