Heartening Days, Cherished Memories -- Remembering Teacher's Lectures in Jinan
(Clearwisdom.net) When Teacher's birthday came, it reminded me of the days when I attended Teacher's Fa lectures and saw him every day.
In January 1994, I was studying at a university in Jinan City, Shandong Province. My mom came to my aunt's home in Jinan for a visit, waiting for the end of the semester to go home together with me. One day after dinner when we were taking a walk, I saw a piece of paper stuck on a wall beside the road. It was not eye-catching at all. On the paper was an announcement saying that the Falun Gong Teacher would come to Jinan City to hold a Fa lecture series and people could sign up for it. That was the first time I heard Teacher's name, and I was full of inexplicable curiosity. At that time there were already many practitioners from out of town staying in the city's apartments. We casually entered a room to have a look and saw several people talking to each other, one of them had in hand a copy of "The Window of Literature" and on the cover was a picture of Teacher wearing the practice-suit and sitting on a lotus in meditation. Teacher's appearance looked familiar and it seemed that I had met him somewhere before. Among the people talking, one of them said he had already attended Teacher's lecture series 12 times. I was surprised upon hearing this. With this feeling of surprise and curiosity, my mom and I signed our names.
The place for the first class in Jinan City was the small auditorium of the Shandong Young Cadres' College, on Jingshi Road in the Lixia District. There were several hundred people who attended. According to some practitioners, this was the smallest class Teacher had ever taught. However, Teacher did the same thing as he did for other classes. He gave nine lectures in nine consecutive days and the tenth day was for answering questions. The classes ran for two hours per day and the fee was only 50 Yuan for the whole lecture series.
Upon hearing the first lecture, my mom and I were attracted deeply by the Fa, with a feeling that we had finally found the high level Master that we had been looking for. At that time, my mom and I were learning qigong from a qigong master who had told me many times that he would foster me well and give me separate training, and so on. Then, I developed an everyday person's idea, thinking that I would let that qigong master down if I learned Falun Gong. On the other hand, I felt the Fa that Teacher was talking was too good to just let it slip by. So, I was in a dilemma. (Then, I was still regarding Teacher as a common qigong master, without realizing that Teacher was spreading Dafa.) My mom said, "You'd better ask Teacher yourself." Then, during the break between Teacher's lecture and teaching the movements, I ran backstage. According to the experience in the past when I contacted other qigong masters, I thought that Teacher must have been sitting down drinking tea and having a good rest in a small room backstage. However, when I looked in through the window, I saw only two workers there chatting. Then I looked for Teacher between the theater curtains, checking them one by one. When I suddenly raised my head I was shocked. Between two broad curtains, Teacher was standing there quietly, with his two hands crossed on his abdomen, and his head a little lowered. After talking for two hours continuously, our Teacher was standing there quietly, without a cup of water, without a helper, without even a chair to sit on!
I stopped in front of Teacher and He quietly looked at me. In that moment, I felt that Teacher was of great stature and I myself had been covered completely by Teacher's bright light. Noise from practitioners down stage during the break suddenly disappeared and my mind seemed empty. My many words prepared well before turned into a single sentence: "Teacher, I don't know which one I should learn." Still with his head a little lowered, Teacher then looked at me and said also a single sentence: "It'd be best if you learn Falun Gong." Without any explanation, Teacher gave me only this simple sentence. However, all those worrying problems in my heart were suddenly gone just like a cloud of smoke. For some reason I couldn't explain, my heart was full of happiness and joy, as though I had got a guarantee and recognition. With a "thanks to Teacher," I was gone with boundless joy. There was then a single idea in my heart, "I will stick to this one." From that time on, the idea of "following Teacher" has been like a seed planted in my heart and I have never thought of giving it up.
With fewer in attendance, Teacher would come among practitioners when teaching the movements and correct their gestures one by one. Sometimes he would chat with practitioners.
After the lectures ended, the last day we were able to have pictures taken with Teacher. Early in the morning, I stood before the front door watching cars coming and going, guessing which car would bring Teacher there. It seemed that Teacher suddenly appeared on the other side of the road and came up alone. During the picture taking, Teacher just quietly waited. Whenever some practitioners got ready, he would go there and stand among them. No matter who wanted to take a picture, Teacher never refused. No matter where Teacher went, he was always the tallest and greatest.
It was already the end of the year when this class finished. However, Teacher went to Dongying in Shandong Province to hold Fa lectures, and he didn't go home for the New Year celebration.
In June of 1994, I attended the second class held in Jinan City. This time it was held in the Huangting Gym on Jiefang Road in Lixia District. More than four thousand people attended and this time Teacher's lectures included the most content among all the classes. At that time, my understanding was poor. After the first class, I only knew the Fa was good but I had not remembered many key points, such as "practicing only one cultivation way" and so on. I even thought what Teacher taught was Buddhist qigong and I went very often to Buddhist temples, to the library to read Zen books and other Buddhist scriptures. In the beginning of the second class, Teacher talked about this problem, I felt that it was spoken just for me. When Teacher was saying that the Zen sect is going down a dead end, I didn't really understand it. So, one day before the lecture, when Teacher was standing before the front door of the gym, I even went up to ask Teacher, "The emptiness taught by the Zen sect seems very reasonable. Why is it bad?" Teacher then was very serious, waving his hand, he said to me: "Put all of them down, put them down!" After hearing this, I thought, anyway, what Teacher said must be right. Later, while I studied Zhuan Falun reading the section about the Zen sect, I suddenly understood it. Looking back now, I really feel shameful for the question I raised.
Teacher said, "you will realize in the future that this period of time is extremely precious." (Zhuan Falun, First Lecture). Whenever I recall that piece of time my heart is full of happiness.
To conclude I would like to recite one of Teacher's poems to encourage everyone.
The Knowing Heart
With Teacher guiding the voyage,
the Fa saves all beings,
One sail is hoisted, one hundred million sails follow.
With attachments left behind, the lightened boats sail swiftly,
With a preoccupied human heart, crossing the ocean proves arduous.
The wind and clouds suddenly change, and the heavens seem to crumble,
The mountains shake, the seas churn, and the ferocious waves billow.
Follow Teacher closely, steadfastly cultivating Dafa,
With attachments too strong, bearings are lost.
Some flee for their lives, deserting capsized boats and torn sails,
As the mud and sand are completely sifted, gold shines forth.
Grand talk counts for naught when it comes to life and death,
Actions reveal what is true.
When the day of Consummation arrives,
The great disclosure of the truth will leave the world in amazement.