Cultivating Firmly in Dafa
(Clearwisdom.net) My name is Chen Gongyu. I am a 50-year-old worker in Hubei Province. I started to practice Falun Dafa in April 1998. Dafa improved many aspects of my life, and even my family members have benefited a lot.
I have two sons. The older son has suffered with epilepsy since he was very young; the younger son is studying in high school now. I have not worked outside the home for many years. Because of poor health, I stayed at home and took care of the children. My husband's salary is our family's only income.
I was a kind and hard-working person; yet in the face of everyday problems in our family, my character changed. My husband was heavily addicted to smoking and drinking; my son's epilepsy required a lot of money for medical treatments; I was overloaded with all the household chores, and I lived with constant worry and fatigue. As time went by, the conflicts in our family became worse. I frequently felt that the heavens had treated me unfairly. Worn out by the hard work and feeling depressed, I contracted bronchitis. One time, during a fit of anger, I immediately coughed up blood and had to be taken to the hospital.
In April 1998, I started to practice Falun Dafa after a friend introduced it to me. After a few months, my health improved a lot. Through studying Zhuan Falun, I came to understand that all my tribulations had karmic reasons behind them. As a result, I tore apart the divorce application that I had been saving for many years. All my previous worries left me. I had hope in my heart and felt I was living in bliss.
On July 20, 1999, Jiang's regime started to slander the Falun Dafa teachings and Teacher Li through constant negative propaganda on the TV and radio and in newspapers, which deceived numerous kind people. However, under the evil pressure, my determination to cultivate Dafa did not change.
I have been illegally detained twice. The first time was on October 28, 2000. Liao Xuesheng, a government official from the county Police Department and a member of the county 610 Office, ordered Mr. Zhou, Chief of Xinqu Police Station, to arrest me at midnight. Zhou led several police and illegally put me into the County No. 2 Detention Center. The perpetrators were afraid that practitioners would go to appeal in Beijing, and they claimed, "Practicing Falun Gong is a crime." After being held for a week, the persecutors tried to force me to write "Guarantee Statements" -- they threatened that if I did not write the statements, they would detain me for a long period of time. Several other practitioners that were also in the detention center and I were all solid in our belief in Dafa. We persisted in Fa study and cultivation. The perpetrators could not deter us, and so they released us unconditionally.
In order to speak out a word of justice for Falun Dafa, we made a lot of truth-clarifying materials and distributed them in the area. At that time, my mind was pure and I had only one thought: to save kind-hearted people.
I was arrested for the second time on March 17, 2001, when a practitioner who had been forced by the persecution to leave her home and was traveling from place to place stayed at my home for two days. Together we made some truth-clarifying materials. Before we had a chance to distribute them, the fellow practitioner said that she had some business to take care of outside. She told me she would be back for dinner. Around 3:30 in the afternoon, soon after she left, five people from Xinqu Police Station came to my home. I talked to them with a calm mind, and nothing else happened. Before they stepped out the door, I began thinking about how they had not discovered anything, and thus the attachment of zealotry appeared. As the last person was stepping out the door, he noticed a piece of photocopy paper with some stains of ink on it. The policeman said, "This piece of paper is the same kind of paper on which the (truth-clarifying) fliers were printed." As a result, the other four police officers came back in and took a closer look at the paper.
I suddenly realized that my loophole had been taken advantage of by the evil. The police called the local 610 Office and Liao Xuesheng from the 610 Office arrived at my home. They pulled and dragged me out of my home and told me to go with them to the police station and tell them what I had been doing. They closed the front door and ransacked my home searching for the fliers. They found the fellow practitioner's luggage and took 500 yuan cash and some fliers from her suitcase. At that critical moment, I was worrying about the safety of the materials (at that time, we were very short of truth-clarifying materials) and the safety of the fellow practitioner. I had only one thought in mind then: "Teacher, please protect the fellow practitioner from being arrested by the evil. I would rather suffer more." The police asked my husband whether anyone had visited us recently.
As they were interrogating my husband, I grabbed the fliers, ran upstairs, and threw them from our balcony onto my neighbor's balcony. The police followed me and caught me on the balcony, but did not notice the materials. They thought someone had escaped from the balcony, so they searched nearby. Afterwards, they took away some Falun Dafa books and tried to take me to the police station. Because it was getting late, I knew that the fellow practitioner would be returning soon. In order to protect her, I had no choice but to go with the police. In the police van, I asked Teacher Li to protect the fellow practitioner. The guards took me to Xinqu Police Station, where Chen Peide, Chief of the county Police Department, personally interrogated me. I did not reveal anything. Since it was getting very late, Chen had someone illegally monitor my home, while I was taken to the detention center and held for 2 months.
According to my family, the fellow practitioner came back 15 minutes after we left. The police told my husband that if any practitioner came after they left, he could turn the practitioner in and in return, I would be released. They also told my son that they would give him 2,000 yuan for reporting the arrival of other practitioners at my home. My son refused to do any such thing. When the fellow practitioner returned, my husband told her to leave immediately (my husband knew practitioners were good people), telling her that I had just been arrested. A few minutes after she left, the police came back and stayed for two days and two nights. During their stay, the guards searched my home again and found a chest left at my place by another fellow practitioner. Inside the chest they found 500 yuan, which they used to buy some food and drinks from a restaurant and so enjoyed a feast at my home late at night. When my husband found out what they had done, he scolded the perpetrators and drove them out of our home.
After I was arrested, Liao Xuesheng tried to tempt me with money and asked me to help him look for practitioners that had been forced to leave their homes and move from place to place to avoid harassment and further persecution. I refused to help him. Knowing that my family is poor, Liao tried to tempt my husband by promising him money if he could get me to write a "Guarantee Statement." My husband knew he could not persuade me to give up my beliefs so he fetched my parents (in their 70s) and asked them to try to persuade me. I realized that there were two paths in front of me: one for a deity and one for a human being. I chose the path toward godhood.
I said to my parents in front of the police: "Practicing Falun Gong is not wrong; the government made a mistake. I hope you won't let them deceive you." My mother went down on her knees and begged me. I said, "This will not make me change my mind." Like this, I experienced another test of life and death and felt myself improve. My whole body felt light and free from any pressure - it was a wonderful feeling. I love my parents, and my determination will bring them eternal bliss. Had I given in to the evil, I would have truly harmed them.
Before I was detained, I was not spending much time studying Fa, and there was also a lot of interference (that kept me from studying more). As a result, I had not memorized much Fa. In that regard, I fell short of what my fellow practitioners were doing. However, I often thought about two poems Teacher wrote:
Dafa never leaves the body,
Heart contains Zhen-Shan-Ren;
A great Arhat in the world,
Spirits and ghosts fear the most. (Hong Yin)
True Nature Revealed
Steadfastly cultivate Dafa, the will unflinching
The raising of levels is what's fundamental
In the face of tests one's true nature is revealed
Achieve Consummation, becoming a Buddha, Dao, or God (Essentials for Further Advancement II)
One day in late April, while some guards were interrogating me they said: "The government is against Falun Gong and calls it an [slanderous term omitted], do you know that? Why do you still want to practice it?" I said, "I know what the government says, but the government is mistaken. Falun Gong is a righteous cultivation way." The guards had nothing to say, and they left feeling a bit embarrassed.
A few days later, my two younger brothers came to visit me. They told me that my children were left at home with no one to look after them, that my husband had no means to bail me out of jail, and that he felt a lot of pressure. Through their eyes, I saw both their love and hatred towards me. My heart was moved (by sentimentality). My family wanted me to only practice at home, which in their eyes would not hurt Teacher Li or be against Falun Dafa, and to stop contacting my fellow practitioners and going outside to tell people about the true nature of Falun Gong and about the persecution. Looking at their helpless eyes, my heart was moved. Suddenly, Teacher Li's words sounded in my ears,
"Dafa is solemn, and cultivation practice is a serious matter. A person--no matter who he is--must himself pay for all of the bad things he has done in the world. I do not want to see a single student fall, but I definitely don't want unqualified disciples, either." ("Drive Out Interference" Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I realized that even writing a few words was cooperating with the evil and disrespecting Teacher. I was in the right. Guard Jiang said, "It won't do if you only sign the guarantee, you need to write a few sentences (disparaging Falun Dafa)." I immediately said to Jiang, "I will not do that, my release has to be unconditional." Just then, my family members left in disappointment. Subsequently, all of the persecutors' efforts to "reform" me failed, and I was unconditionally released two months later.
After I returned home, I worried about the practitioners still in the detention center. When Teacher's new articles arrived, I would hide the articles in packages containing food or daily consumables and send them to the practitioners in the detention center. After doing this for a long period of time, the guards discovered the hidden articles. The detention center then made it a rule that detained practitioners could not receive anything from outside practitioners. However, I sent forth righteous thoughts and asked Teacher's law body to help me; thus, every time, I was able to send Teacher's articles to the practitioners in ingenious ways.
Regarding the hard financial situation of my family, I still have attachments that are yet to be eliminated. As a result, I lost many opportunities to improve my xinxing. I will cherish the opportunity to cultivate more and grasp every chance to clarify the truth and save sentient beings with righteous thoughts. Let us all remember Teacher's words:
"Cultivation is hard. It's hard in that even when a terrible calamity strikes, even when evil madly persecutes, and even when your life is at stake, you still have to be able to steadfastly continue on your path of cultivation without letting anything in human society interfere with the steps you take on your path of cultivation." ("Path" Essentials for Further Advancement II)
Because my level is limited, please point out anything incorrect, with compassion.