Witnessing the Power of Righteous Thoughts Upon the Advance of Hurricane Rita
(Clearwisdom.net) Hurricane Rita was about to arrive. I worked in the mandatory evacuation area. The company closed on the morning of September 21, 2005. The sun was still shining. The hurricane became a Category 5 by the afternoon. All the TV channels had weather reports and evacuation notifications. There weren't any commercials or shows. The radar on TV constantly showed the eye of the hurricane heading right toward the city of Houston. Katrina, a Category 4 hurricane, had just left New Orleans under water and we witnessed the unprecedented human misery. This could happen to me only a few days later. Houston was a nightmare with millions of people hurrying north to escape. The shops were sold out of just about everything, including batteries and flashlights. The experts estimated that Hurricane Rita would reach the coast of Texas on the 24th and cause flooding in the Houston area. They anticipated flood areas twice that of New Orleans, and they estimated an $80 billion loss in damage.
Houston is the fourth largest city in the U.S. and the most strategic city for petroleum and chemical engineering. Texas provides one-fourth of the petroleum in the U.S. Gas prices skyrocketed after Katrina, but Rita was about to give the U.S. petroleum industry a heart attack. The domino effect would mean that rising gas prices would drive up other commodity prices. The U.S. economy would take a big hit.
The City of Houston was a ghost town. On TV you could see that every major way out of the city was jammed with cars. It was like an escape scene from the doom of the world.
What should Dafa practitioners be thinking about? On September 21, 2005, practitioners in Houston held a telephone conference. Everyone talked about his thoughts and exchanged opinions based on the Fa. We first studied Teacher's lecture, "Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. International Fa Conference." A practitioner had asked Teacher about the tsunami in South Asia. Teacher said, "The old forces' factors don't care about human beings one bit. Only Dafa disciples are saving people."
We immediately became clear-headed. At the precise moment, our thoughts were extremely important. One practitioner noted that there were no practitioners living in New Orleans, but there are many in Houston. We are the only hope of sentient beings and our existence brings them blessings. At this moment, we should be thinking of saving sentient beings with our righteous thoughts.
No matter how much or how little power we have, our thoughts are very significant. If we have the wish to save sentient beings, then Teacher will strengthen our powers. The Buddhas, Daos and Gods would help us, because we have this wish. "Disciples have abundant righteous thoughts, Teacher has the power to change everything." (Hongyin II) Nothing is by chance. The old forces used Hurricane Katrina to strike against the U.S. economy to force them to yield to the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) demands during the crisis. The CCP media gloated over the disaster and made great sport of it in the news.
We must fundamentally deny the arrangements of the old forces. If all Dafa practitioners left because of the evacuation, then Houston could be destroyed. How could we flee? A practitioner said, "If we all flee, the old forces would have an excuse to persecute us. We, as a whole, would have a gap." Some practitioners lived in areas that were under a government mandatory evacuation order. Evacuation is a formality. The key point was where we stood on the issue.
We asked ourselves, "Are our lives in danger?" "No!" "Are we afraid of losing our property?" "No!" We have Teacher and the Fa with us. The last time Houston had a flood, the water split in front of a practitioner's house. The scene was still vivid in our minds. After sharing experiences, everyone became more clearheaded and decided to send righteous thoughts every hour.
The whole universe would be our witness. After the time for sending righteous globally passed at 11 p.m. CST, we discovered that the hurricane targeting Houston was changing course.
On September 22, 2005, several practitioners stayed together to study the Fa and send righteous thoughts. They even used their spare time to shoot some pictures, write news articles and send them out. At the same time, 2.6 million people were evacuating and 1.3 million were from Houston. That was the largest evacuation in U.S. history. Cars moved slowly in over 100-degree (Fahrenheit) heat, and traffic stretched over 100 miles. Gas stations ran out of gas and many cars were forced to stop on the highways. The lines were moving only about one mile per hour. A 15-minute ride in normal traffic took 8 to 9 hours. Traffic was paralyzed on the highways and people were miserable.
News regarding Hurricane Rita gradually improved. It went from Category 5 to 4 and the direction changed to the north, away from Houston.
The evening of September 23, we had our second telephone experience sharing conference. Our righteous thoughts had made a great impact on stabilizing the human world. During the conference, some practitioners mentioned that we put too much trust in ordinary people's media. The media caused panic and terror in the people evacuating. That exerted a lot of pressure on society and had a negative impact on the practitioners. Practitioners working in the media need to keep their minds upright. We need to point the way in human society and not just give out information. Life and death are not in our hands. Panic and chaos could only result in a bigger man-made disaster. We should lead people to be calm and deal with crises rationally.
Practitioner A said she didn't want to leave initially, but her husband was not a practitioner and insisted on leaving. She didn't insist on staying, but realized how important it is whether our thoughts are based on the Fa or not. She shared a story with us. Her neighbor said, "You are Falun Gong practitioners. We'll follow you no matter whether you stay or leave." She said, "The evacuation was the government's decision and it was a personal choice whether to leave or stay. Since the government said this area is under mandatory evacuation, then we should leave." Before they left, practitioners from other areas in Texas called and invited practitioner A's family to stay in their homes. Her husband was very touched. He said only Falun Gong practitioners would think of others in times like these. Non-practitioner friends called to asked about their situation and practitioner A encouraged them to say, "Falun Dafa is good" to help turn a bad situation into good fortune. At that moment, the friends were very willing to listen and they felt comforted and calmed.
The hurricane continued to move to the north of Houston where the area was sparsely populated. By the evening of September 23, the hurricane weakened to a Category 3. The radar showed that Rita was no longer heading directly toward Houston. It barely skirted the city. Early in the morning of September 24, 2005, the hurricane made landfall and the predicted catastrophe didn't happen. We together witnessed the mighty power of Dafa and Teacher's immense compassion!