(Clearwisdom.net) My name is Xin Lian, and I am 43 years old. I began practicing in March 1997. Before I practiced Falun Gong, I was a person who had been tormented by illness for more than a dozen years. When I was in elementary school, I had severe rheumatism. I tried all kinds of treatments, medicine, injections, electrotherapy, acupuncture, and many other medical treatments, but my illness still could not be cured. On the contrary, it had become even more serious, and it started to affect my heart. I also experienced a crisis in my marriage. My husband threatened me with divorce. Just when I had completely lost hope in my life, my colleague introduced Falun Gong to me and since then I have taken the path of cultivation.

A. My cultivation practice before July 1999

At 7:00 p.m. on March 17, 1997, after I finished work, I went directly to the Falun Gong practice site that was close to my work. I had thought that Falun Gong was just another type of ordinary Qigong exercise. On that day, after I finished the exercises, a practitioner gave me a copy of Zhuan Falun. After I got home, I started to eagerly read the book. While reading, I felt that Falun Gong was different from other ordinary qigong practices--Falun Gong was a genuine cultivation practice. I was deeply moved by the Fa principles expounded in the book. I came to know that one can uplift oneself through cultivation practice and reach the goal of keeping oneself from the pain and suffering of birth, old age, illness, and death. I also came to understand that the real meaning of a person's life was to return to one's true self. At that time, I made up my mind to measure myself with the principle of Truth-Compassion-Forbearance in order to reach the goal of returning to my true self.

After I attained the Fa, I went to the practice site to practice the exercises and study the Fa regardless of the weather. I strictly used Truth-Compassion-Forbearance to guide myself during my daily life and at work. When I encountered a conflict, I always searched within myself to try to find where I needed to improve. Unknowingly, my illness, which could not be cured for many years, disappeared. I truly felt the happiness of being well and having a healthy body and mind. I have become optimistic, peaceful, and cheerful, and I always have a sweet smile. My family has also become harmonious.

Twice when I was on my way to the practice site in the morning, some thugs tried to rob and attack me, but I was not hurt at all because of Master's protection. One time, they used bricks to hit me, but the brick fell to the ground vertically right in front of me and I was not hurt at all. One morning I went to practice the exercises and after I got there, I realized that the practice site had been changed and I did not know where the new practice site was. While I was trying to decide what to do, I suddenly heard the exercise music. I went toward the direction that the music came from and thus found the new practice site. However, at the new practice site, people had not started practicing yet. At 10:00 a.m. in 1999 New Year, we practiced the exercises inside the provincial auditorium to promote the practice to society. Attendees saw Falun rotating in the sky as well as on practitioners' bodies, and they also saw practitioners' energy columns going up into the sky, proving to them the wonder of Falun Dafa.

B. Resisting the persecution with righteous thoughts and actions and becoming mature in cultivation

1. Maintaining the pure thought that I would not hand in the heavenly book, Zhuan Falun

On July 20, 1999, the party secretary at my company asked me to come to the conference room to watch a piece of very important television news, which shocked me tremendously. What was going on? Was it the case that not long ago the television and newspaper had carried articles talking about the "three no" policy [that is, regarding qigong, the government adopted the policy of no seizing on qigong's mistakes, no attacking qigong, and no promoting qigong] of the central government. The government had not said that it did not allow people to practice Falun Gong. It was a surprise to me when my work unit asked me to hand in my Falun Gong books. But my mind was very clear. Master has told us to "take the Fa as the Master." Master also mentioned in the article of "For whom do you practice cultivation?" in Essentials for Further Advancement, "At the crucial moment, won't they even betray a Buddha?" Was my handing in the books equal to my betrayal of Master? Was I still worthy of the title of Dafa disciple? How could I continue my cultivation this way? So at that time I just had one thought, that I would never hand in the books. The leaders of my company said that it would not be all right if I did not hand in the books. But after seeing my determination, they then tried to persuade me in a different way: "So you can just solve this problem by handing in your handwritten Dafa books and the experience-sharing materials." So I gave a copy of each of my handwritten Zhuan Falun, Hong Yin, and a book of experience-sharing articles to my colleague who was in charge of the union. After I got home, I could not sleep that night. I remembered Master's words in "Disposal of Handwritten Copies of Scriptures" in Essentials for Further Advancement, "Handwritten copies have the same power of Fa as the printed books." Furthermore, the experience-sharing articles contained the names of the practitioners who wrote the articles. If they were given to the government, would the police go and arrest these practitioners? Early the next morning, before I went to work, I went to my colleague's home to get back the Dafa materials I had handed in. At the beginning, she felt much pressure and was reluctant to give the materials back to me. I then seriously told her, "Dafa is my life. I would never turn in any of my Dafa materials, unless I was shot to death. If the top officials really want them, let them come to see me." In this way, she returned to me all of the hand-written copies of Dafa books and experience-sharing articles.

2. Master hinted to me to go to Tiananmen Square

After July 20, the persecution of Dafa escalated. The local governments in China had utilized all television, radio, newspapers, and even the internal newspapers of enterprises to frame and slander Dafa. It was as if the sky had collapsed, and the country was shrouded with terror. The leaders in my company, family members, relatives, friends, classmates, and colleagues all came to try to convince me to give up Falun Dafa, saying that the egg could in no way be tougher than stone. They mentioned that during the Cultural Revolution, the president of China was branded as a counter-revolutionary overnight. They also mentioned that the patriotic students were declared to be rioters during the Tiananmen Square Massacre. These pressures did not intimidate me. Whenever they came to try to persuade me, I told them all that I was determined to practice Falun Dafa and that forbidding me to practice Falun Gong was the same as letting me die. I knew that it was the Cultural Revolution that really ruined our generation. Many people could not tell right from wrong, and took the good for bad. Now I have grown up and have my own independent way of thinking and I will not just blindly believe what the others tell me. It was not wrong for me to follow Truth-Compassion-Forbearance and be a person with high morality.

One afternoon in June 2000, I went to a fellow practitioner's home. This practitioner just came back from appealing in Beijing. Her two daughters also went to Beijing the day before. Knowing this, I felt that I had lagged far behind in my cultivation. When Dafa and Master were slandered, it still appeared that I could do nothing about it. How could I still be worthy to be Master's disciple? How could I still be counted as a practitioner? I immediately decided to go to Beijing although I had never traveled very far away from home before, nor did I know where to go to appeal. Under the encouragement of fellow practitioners, I got on the plane and went to Beijing at noon on June 28, 2000. When I arrived in Tiananmen Square, I unfolded and held high a golden banner that was imprinted with the words of "Truth-Compassion-Forbearance," and shouted from the bottom of my heart, "Falun Dafa is great!" Within a minute, the police took away my banner and took me to a police vehicle near Tiananmen Square. The police asked me where I was from, how many people came with me, and who wanted me to come to Beijing. I only answered that "I am a Falun Gong practitioner and I came by myself." No matter how hard they tried to lure me into telling them what they wanted, I just kept silent. I just told them how I had benefited from practicing Falun Gong. When it was dark, the police took me to the basement of Tiananmen Square Police Department and detained me with other practitioners who had come to Beijing to appeal. None of the practitioners detained there would tell the police their names. They released all of us after 2:00 a.m. in the morning. When we left, the police who knew the truth about Falun Gong told us, "Your Master already knows about your appeal. You can practice more diligently after you go back." In this way, I safely came back home.

3. Hurry up to clarify the truth

I plunged myself into the torrent of Fa-rectification and truth-clarification. At the beginning, the truth-clarification materials that I gave out were provided by fellow practitioners. Besides handing out the truth-clarification materials to people, I was mainly responsible for delivering Dafa materials to other practitioners. Later, as more practitioners stepped forward to clarify the truth, I went to the photocopy stores to produce copies of the materials. At that time, all the stores had received the police department's order that no stores were allowed to copy Falun Gong materials. Through truth-clarification, I finally found a storeowner who was willing to do some work for Dafa. For safety, I usually brought the materials to be copied to the store a day before, and went to pick up the finished copies the next day. Alternatively, the storeowner could also bring the finished copies to the place that we had set up with the owner. This store helped us make copies for three years. Because of the evil's interference, the police followed one practitioner when he went to that store to make copies. Since then, we have not been able to go there to copy things. My daughter, who was in middle school, needed a computer, so I bought a computer that was assembled at a store. I also bought a printer and a CD-writer. With the help of fellow practitioners, I learned how to use the computer, and thus created a truth-clarification material preparation site in my home. I have silently kept on doing my work of validating Dafa.

4. After clarifying the truth to the leadership team, they began to protect Dafa disciples

As soon as I came to work the day after CCTV broadcast the Tiananmen Square Self-Immolation, I was called in to see the director and the party secretary. They yelled at me angrily, "Have you watched the television? Your Falun Gong went to Tiananmen Square to self-immolate." Also, they asked me to look over the newspaper story about Wang Jindong immolating himself. I calmly told the director and the party secretary that I had watched the TV, and had looked over the newspaper, and that the whole thing was staged.

The director said how could it be possible for the government to make up such a story? I told them that everyone of us who have been through the Cultural Revolution could not forget that in order for someone to overthrow Liu Shaoqi (then President of the country), all sorts of false charges were made against Liu. It was even concluded with "concrete evidence." In fact, when the Cultural Revolution ended, the case was dropped. Today, television can deceive people who are unclear about the real story, but it is impossible to deceive me, a real Falun Gong practitioner. I also demonstrated the Dafa exercises for them. On television, Wang Jindong claimed that he himself had reached consummation, but he was doing the sitting meditation and the Jieyin position incorrectly, not to mention his inability to sit with both legs crossed, or even with one leg crossed. Could he be a Falun Gong practitioner? It was obviously fake.

I also recited a paragraph about "The Issue of Killing" in Lecture Seven of Zhuan Falun to them, "The issue of killing is very sensitive. For practitioners, we have set the strict requirement that they cannot kill lives. Whether it is the Buddha School, the Tao School, or the Qimen School, regardless of which school or practice it is, as long as it is an upright cultivation practice, it will consider this issue very absolute and will prohibit killing--this is for sure."

I also told them to think about that little girl, who after the self-immolation was able to talk with her trachea cut open. That definitely could not be true. At that time I was fairly confident and said, "If you don't trust me let's wait and see, soon the little girl will die. Because her mother has already died, the child couldn't lie." It turned out to be true. On the television it announced that the little girl had died. Later I constantly clarified the true story to the leadership and colleagues, and inspired them with righteousness. During these several years of persecution, the leadership has provided protection for Dafa disciples within the workplace. Whenever personnel from higher levels tried to investigate practitioners, the leadership always managed to keep them away. Some colleagues frequently asked me if there were some new Dafa truth materials.

One time, a fellow practitioner was seized when she was distributing truth-clarifying materials. Her elder sister was afraid and told them that I had given the truth-clarification materials to her younger sister. In order to avoid bringing bigger losses and more trouble for the family members and the workplace, I took a few days off and went into hiding. Later, the party secretary learned about the situation and asked that I be called back to work. He told me just to do my regular job well, and if there were any issues, they would handle it and there was no need to be afraid--evidence is needed for legal action and the police could not casually arrest people. He also told me that if some people came for me, never go with them, make a phone call to the leaders and let them solve the issue. The party secretary also wrote down his home and cell phone numbers for me and told me not to go anywhere and to take it easy and continue to work. Yes, we are good people cultivating according to Truth-Compassion-Forbearance. How could we be afraid of evil and go into hiding? Without fear in mind and going to work as usual, there was no one making trouble for me.

5. Clarifying the truth at the classmates reunion

During the "May 1" 2003 holiday, an old classmate called and told me about the middle school class reunion. Having graduated 25 years ago, many of us would meet again for the first time in many years. I couldn't miss this opportunity to clarify the truth. Therefore I printed several "Walking into Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" booklets and went to the party. While everybody was chatting, I passed around the truth clarification booklets. The atmosphere started to perk up again. Everybody was very surprised that there was also a classmate who dared to practice Falun Gong. They all gathered close to me and asked me to tell them about Falun Gong, whether it's good and why the government banned the practice. They also asked about the "Self-Immolation." They asked lots of questions. I started to tell them about all the changes and the improvements in my mind and body, and I told them about the National Sports Commission's investigation of Falun Gong in 1998, the incident of ten thousand people who went to appeal on "April 25," Jiang Zemin's jealousy and fear and hence using the state power to persecute Falun Gong, the "Tiananmen Self-Immolation," Falun Dafa spreading overseas, the lawsuit against Jiang Zemin in courts around the world, and other topics relating to the persecution.

One old classmate, now a professor at a law school, stated with a little joke, "I couldn't believe that based on your educational background and work experience you could have such a thorough understanding about the issues of the society. You were able to keep such a clear mind in the current complex society, even some professors at our school wouldn't be able to match you." Actually all my wisdom was obtained from Dafa. I couldn't imagine that I, a mere middle-school student who graduated during the Cultural Revolution, usually too shy to speak, now surprisingly could give a speech in front of old classmates with different backgrounds (some were department heads, some worked in the Education Commission, and some have their own businesses). This manifested the power and virtue of Dafa.

During the reunion, one classmate, a manager and deputy secretary of a supply company said to me, "It looks like the party secretary of your company is not qualified and is not keeping you under control. Did you also go to Beijing?" I told him that I certainly did and also held a "Truth, Compassion, Forbearance" banner on the Jinshui Bridge in front of Tiananmen. He nevertheless said, in his company there were only two retirees practicing Falun Gong and he asked them to hand over their ID cards for fear of their going to Beijing. I told him that was illegal. He said that there were orders from above to control Falun Gong practitioners, otherwise the company would get into trouble. I told him that going to Beijing to appeal is also a citizen's right, and one should be allowed to tell his/her story when one has been treated unfairly. I further told him not to help in the persecution of Falun Gong, not to help a tyrant do evil, and remember that "good deeds will be rewarded with good, while evildoings will meet with karmic retribution." Finally he said that he would give back the ID cards to those two practitioners and wouldn't restrain them.

6. Helping a fellow practitioner get out from the family "lock up" and get back the unpaid salary

In the 2001 Spring Festival, two fellow practitioners from our company went to Beijing to validate the Fa and were brought back from Beijing by the local police. The one who still worked for the company was sentenced to a year and a half in the forced labor camp; the other employee who was retired, was again locked up in her home by her family members after she had been detained for a month. Her monthly retirement pension was also stopped by her workplace.

I brought new articles and Clearwisdom articles to her, and encouraged her to stand up and let people know the truth. I went back to the workplace to find the party secretary, and found out it was true that the practitioner's retirement pension had indeed been stopped. For that I clarified the truth, but the party secretary said that it was the amount of the fine for going to Beijing that the police department asked. I told the secretary that she intended to lighten some burden for the company hence she chose early retirement. After her retirement, wherever she wanted to go was within her rights, and going to Beijing to appeal was also defending a citizen's basic rights. The police who arrested our worker was also persecuting our company, and our company should not pay the police's fine, we all must resist.

In the discussion with the elder practitioner, I felt that she should request her retirement pension back. We shouldn't acknowledge the old forces' persecution. She did not dare to request it and said that one should not fight for material gain. I said that it wasn't to fight but to protect Dafa. We would rather use the money for our truth-clarification materials than give it to the police who persecute us. When her husband came to take her back home, I told him to get the unpaid money from the company (her husband was an ordinary person and took the material gain seriously). I told him that not paying her retirement violated labor laws. Her husband indeed went to the labor bureau the next day to consult the labor department and further went to our company to get the retirement wage back for his wife.

I haven't met our Master, and I don't have an impressive story nor have I encountered much trouble during the evil persecution. Based on my firm belief in our Master and the Fa, I did things according to Dafa's requirement and strived to do the Three Things well according to Master's requirement. I can feel that Master is always watching me at every moment and protects me so that I can righteously progress.

I am writing my experience, understanding and aspiration so people will know that Falun Dafa is great and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is great!