The Fa Has Offered Me Everything; I'll Use All My Energy to Benefit Sentient Beings
(Clearwisdom.net) Dear Teacher, dear fellow practitioners: I attained the Fa in 1996. During the past six years of Fa-rectification cultivation, I have been like a child under Teacher's protection, have walked through storms and winds, and have been more and more determined because of the Fa. From an ordinary person struggling to survive the pains of life and illnesses, to a Falun Dafa practitioner who saves sentient beings with diligence, Teacher has helped me and suffered a lot for me. The following is my report to Teacher and to fellow practitioners.
(1) Falun Dafa Gave Me a Second Life
In the summer of 1996 when I first read Zhuan Falun, I knew that it was what I had been anticipating and waiting for! Since then, I have followed Teacher without hesitation and am returning to my true self.
In 1997, my husband and I started group Fa-study, group exercising, and spreading the Fa in my hometown. The first time I did the Standing Stance exercises outdoors in a group, I was so tired that I could not endure for very long. Back then, I was very weak both physically and mentally. Though I did not know how to describe my illnesses, my whole body hurt all over. But when I was doing the Falun Dafa exercises, my heart was pure and quiet. I did not think much about my illnesses, and just wanted to cultivate. Through doing the exercises, my relatives and fellow workers saw the beauty of Falun Dafa. I discovered how wonderful life can be when one is a practitioner.
Since the persecution started on July 20, 1999, I have been detained many times when I went to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice and I never gave up my determination to cultivate in Falun Dafa. At the end of 2000, I was illegally sent to a forced labor camp for a three-year term. Since I did not know that I should oppose the old forces' arrangements, I just passively endured the torture. In the camp, police officers shocked me with electric batons, tortured me, forced me to work for long hours, tried to brainwash me by lecturing me for hours on end, etc. I experienced the test of life and death almost every day. At the end of each day when I lay exhausted on the bed, I knew I had survived for one more day. In that horrible situation, due to being unable to study the Fa, I lacked righteous thoughts. When the environment was more tolerable, I made a mistake. But Teacher's boundless compassion brought me back. With tears in my eyes, I swore to Teacher: I will remember this lesson, it will never happen again! I told police officers who came to brainwash me: "Although I cannot bear the pain of torture and do not want to suffer any pain, if you force me to choose between suffering pain and violating the requirements of Falun Dafa, I tell you that Falun Dafa is the most precious thing in my mind. Nobody can remove the Fa from my mind no matter what they do to me."
In the labor camp, due to the long-term inhuman treatment, the nerves in my extremities were damaged. It was hard for me to walk or to sleep. I could only sleep for one to two hours a day. After several months of such discomfort, I started coughing, had a fever, became unable to eat, unable to fall asleep, etc. I was just skin and bones and in very bad health. The initial term of three years in the labor camp was extended. I felt that each day was as long as a year. Whenever the pain became unbearable, I reminded myself that I was a Falun Dafa practitioner and should endure the pain and stay alive. Now I understand that the persecution should not be accepted passively. I felt that persecutors were trying to kill me with the extreme pain. But I kept a clear thought in my mind: "I am a Falun Dafa practitioner, and my sentient beings are waiting for me. I will not die in here. I must leave here and stay alive until the day the Fa has rectified the earth." During the unbearable times, I begged Teacher to help me endure.
During the October 1 (China's national day) period, my physical health deteriorated. I had a continuous fever, and extreme pain in the lower right ribcage that prevented me from moving. The camp management took me to a hospital to be examined. The next day, they told my family to come and pick me up and take me home. I know that Teacher protected me and enabled me to leave the evil camp early.
After returning home, I spent a lot of time studying the Fa and doing the exercises. Three years of persecution had left me behind in my Fa studies. Through studying the Fa, reading articles on the Minghui (Clearwisdom.net) website, and sharing experiences with fellow practitioners, I made quick progress. I realized that if I just stayed at home to "recuperate," I would be cooperating with evil forces. So even though I was still weak, I went out to communicate with fellow practitioners and do truth-clarification. Seeing that I was getting better and better, my family members began to worry about me less. My older sister said, "Now I believe that your Teacher is protecting you."
While I was quickly recovering and starting to join in local Fa-rectification work, I was hit with another big blow. I learned that my husband, who had left home to avoid being persecuted, had been tortured to death. I was unable to accept what had happened to him. I lay on the bed and cried for a few days. But in my mind, I knew that I had to control my feelings and become active again because I had come for the Fa.
I remembered Teacher's words,
"So for Dafa disciples, no matter how harsh this period of history that we're going through is, there's nothing to grieve over. What we're thinking about is saving sentient beings, and you should fulfill [the aspirations of] a being who came for the Fa and the significance of your coming here. So we have nothing to regret, and what awaits Dafa disciples are all wonderful things." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Washington DC Fa Conference" )
I recited Teacher's poems again and again.
Dafa disciples, wipe away [your] tears,
Satan the devil, completely crumbled.
Speak the truth, send forth righteous thoughts,
Expose the lies, clear out rotten ghosts
(September 1, 2002, Hongyin II, provisional translation)
I got up off the bed, wiped away my tears, and joined fellow practitioners in the Fa-rectification work.
My fellow practitioners said I was strong. But I knew I was just strong on the surface. Back then I stayed at my mother-in-law's home to take care of my son. Looking at my growing son and grey-haired mother-in-law, I felt really sad. The heavy blow of losing my husband also caused my health to deteriorate. Again, I was in a critical situation.
My family was worried about my condition. They sought traditional Chinese medicine prescriptions, and arranged for me to go to a hospital. Back then I was in mental turmoil. I thought: As a practitioner, how can I accept medical treatment? But if I did not see a doctor, if my righteous thoughts were not strong enough, if I could not negate the old force's persecution, or if something really happened to me, it might cause my family to view the Fa negatively. These unrighteous thoughts consumed me and I even tried to avoid fellow practitioners when they sent forth righteous thoughts to help me because I was in such a state of doubt. I realized that my problems in cultivation were really serious. Why was I persecuted so harshly and unable to see the way out?
Teacher told us,
"Why don't you stop and think about it: Why is someone interfering with you? Why is it able to interfere with you? Is it because you have an attachment, or because you have something you can't let go of? Why don't you look at yourself? The true reason lies with you yourself, and that's the only reason it can exploit your gap! Don't you have Master watching over you? Even when an ordinary person shouts out 'Falun Dafa is good' today, Master will protect him, since he's shouted those words I can't not protect him amidst the evil. And how much more so am I protecting you cultivators! In some isolated cases some students really did come down with incurable diseases. But think about it, so many people who had severe health problems or incurable diseases before they learned the Fa became well after learning Falun Dafa, so why is it that some students can't make things work? Is it that Dafa makes distinctions between sentient beings? Is it that I, your Master, treat students differently? I really have to ask you: Are you truly cultivating? Have you truly followed Dafa's requirements?" ("Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference, April 20, 2003")
I really needed to look inward and be very serious about my cultivation. For a long time, I was just immersed in my personal suffering, and had not taken saving sentient beings as the most important thing. Though I was doing some Dafa work, in my mind, I was thinking about how much I pitied my son because he had lost his father... I must take good care of him...my parents-in-law have been suffering because of us...their heath is not good...I should not add to their worries (because they were worried about my safety, they stopped me from going out to clarify the truth). Actually, I was thinking more about myself than others. Those were all problems in my thinking. I had complained that others controlled me and asked why had my environment been so tough. Actually I was controlled by the old forces. Later I enlightened that the reason for my sufferings was that I had too many attachments.
I asked myself, "Do I still want to be a practitioner? Do I still qualify to be a practitioner during the Fa-rectification period?" I woke up finally. Teacher's poem reminds us,
Severing (Written in the style of a Yuan Dynasty lyric poem)
Cultivation is not difficult
The earthly heart is hard to discard
So many attachments - when to sever them?
Everyone knows the sea of suffering has no shore
If the will is not firm.
Barriers are like mountains
How to transcend the mortal world?
(January 1, 2004, Hongyin II, provisional translation)
Cultivation is serious; if I am not qualified right now, when will I be? I threw the Chinese medicine into the garbage. The next morning I told my family: "I will not go to the hospital. I am determined in my cultivation." My sister said, "Then please do your exercises with diligence. I hope you recover through the practice." I thought it might be hard to convince my family, but actually, when I was determined, it was very easy.
Sometimes, when I feel pain, I still feel scared. At that moment, I want to make it clear that the fear is not part of me, so I send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate it. Once, the extreme pain made me unable to sit and send forth righteous thoughts. I thought that my husband's death had caused people around us to misunderstand the Fa. If I was persecuted by the evil forces, it could also cause people to have doubts about the Fa. The purpose of the evil forces is to destroy all sentient beings. I could never let them succeed. When I enlightened to this, the pain stopped instantly. I realized that when I was unable to send righteous thoughts, it was because I was just thinking about myself. When we are talking about negating the old forces, how can we do it? Only when we let go of selfishness, which is the nature of the old universe, can we really negate the old forces.
Having identified this long-standing problem of mine, I gradually made the Fa and saving sentient beings the most important things in my life. When Falun Dafa needs me, I just go to work without thinking about too many other issues. I don't think about my health anymore. I just do what I should do. I don't do the Falun Dafa work for the purpose of improving my health. To my surprise, I recovered miraculously.
2). Advancing to Fulfill my Duties
To take care of my school-aged son, I lived with my husband's parents in area A. My own home was in another area. Practitioners in area A had suffered from serious persecution, and not many practitioners participated in the Fa-rectification work. Several fellow practitioners at the material production site could not cooperate with each other, and could not produce enough materials. None of the practitioners in this area worked on exposing local persecution.
Soon after I came to area A, fellow practitioners asked me to help with the truth-clarification work. I told them that I was willing to do the job, but I had to wait for some time. I said that my parents-in-law would not allow me to go out right now, and I would rent a room after I sold my apartment and my work unit started paying me a salary. But after I waited for some time, nobody rented or bought my apartment. My work unit said it took time to do the paper work before paying my salary. I planned to leave area A with my son and go back to my own area. At that moment, a fellow practitioner told me that the material site had stopped production and asked me to take care of it. Back then, I was just recovering from losing my husband and the pain of sickness karma, and had no income with which to support myself. If I stayed in area A, I would not be able to go back to work. But I thought that because practitioners in area A were still being arrested, as a practitioner, I should assume the responsibilities. Thus, I promised that I would stay in area A.
When I first joined the team, the production site was at the home of a practitioner who had many visitors. I thought the place could not guarantee our safety, but we had no choice. I thought that since we should expose the evil, then we had to do the job and not think about "self" too much. With this righteous thought in mind, things worked out well. Teacher had empowered me to overcome various difficulties. Later I rented a place of my own.
When I first stayed in the rented room, I was scared. I had never stayed in such a big room alone and I had no one to help produce the materials. Local persecution was intense, I did not know many fellow practitioners, and had no other friends. I felt helpless to take on this responsibility by myself. So I sat in the room sending forth righteous thoughts and asking Teacher for help. Instantly, I felt warmth all over my body, and I was full of righteous thoughts and energy. At that moment, I understood that I was not alone. Teacher is always with us.
Back then, I put all my energy into the Fa-validation work. However, there was a subtle stirring in my mind. I thought that as long as I was alive for one day, my existence would be for the Fa, and I would use all my energy to validate the Fa. Later I realized that mentality was still within the arrangements of the old forces. A fellow practitioner said to me: "If we have a pure mind, we will do a better job." I agreed. Yes, as a Falun Dafa practitioner, I should live a good life.
One day when I was walking on the street, I felt that I was very happy! I could study the Fa every day, and could do the Fa-validation work freely. I realized that only when a life is assimilated to the Fa, can the life have real happiness. Only then, did I feel that I had stepped away from the calamities. When my heart was trouble-free, my physical pains disappeared, I rented my apartment, my work unit started paying me, and my son listened to me. I understood that only by following Teacher's direction could our status become "better and better."
In the following days, I devoted all my time to local Fa-validation work. In the beginning, I produced, delivered, and coordinated the work by myself. One fellow practitioner reminded me to pay attention to security and not to do everything by myself. I said, "Since there is no one to help now, I will do everything." I believed that with my efforts other practitioners would come to help. Gradually, gaps dissolved between practitioners, the material site ran smoothly and quickly exposed the facts about the persecution, and we sent articles to websites. We made flyers and pamphlets to cooperate with efforts to rescue fellow practitioners. We also organized Fa-study and experience sharing to let more people join the work. It was not an easy process. When pressures came and I was lacking righteous thoughts, I thought of giving up. But each time, Teacher would remind me of my duty as a practitioner, and encourage me to continue .
One time, three practitioners who worked with me were arrested at the same time. Under torture, they exposed the names of other practitioners. I felt pressure at that time. At this time, for some reason, the heat in my room was turned off. It was in the middle of winter. The room became too cold for me to stay there. I was wondering if it was a sign that I should leave that place.
So I went to area B and stayed with fellow practitioners. They asked me to help them. Another practitioner said, "My sister (referring to me) is homeless now during the persecution. Please do not push her to work." I thought I went here just because my room had no heat. But when I thought about it, her words reminded me. Teacher would not arrange for me to have nowhere to stay and be unable to do Fa-rectification work. So it must be the evil forces at work. If I stopped material production, the whole area would be affected and that's exactly what the evil forces wanted. Fellow practitioners were being detained, how could I just protect myself and not rescue them? I believed that no fellow practitioners would want to reveal the names of other practitioners and I could not accept the evil persecution. So the next morning I went back to area A.
I asked Teacher to help me with the lack of heat in my room. Shortly thereafter, the owner came home and the heating was reinstated. I worked with fellow practitioners to rescue the arrested practitioners. With our group effort, those practitioners who had been sentenced to the forced labor camps ended up not being sent to the camps. Actually, among four practitioners, only my name was not revealed to the police. In my mind, I did not allow the evil forces to damage the Fa-rectification environment in the whole area. Actually, we do not rely on others for our safety. Trusting fellow practitioners is also an aspect of believing the Fa.
I was alone again. Under pressure, I had to rebuild the material production process. This time, I did not use human notions to think about the issue. I believed that with the Fa and our Teacher, things would be successful. I remembered that I had been very busy, had not slept much, and even had no time to eat, but fellow practitioners had still been persecuted. Did this mean that I also had problems? An out-of-town practitioner pointed out that my human mentality was too dominant. I thought it was an unfair judgment. I thought: "I have been working so hard here, yet you still think my human mentality is strong?" Then, I realized that human mentality does not mean attachment to physical substances, it means human notions. If we use human notions to work, what can such an ordinary person do? No matter how busy you are, the effect still might not be good. We all know that in order to do a good job of Fa-validation, firm belief and zeal are necessary, but not enough. We need to rectify ourselves continuously through Fa-study, enlighten to the Fa at different levels and be guided by the Fa. This way, everything will be smooth because that's the power of the Fa.
Teacher has told us:
Be Rational, Awaken
Rest momentarily for self-reflection, add righteous thoughts
Analyze shortcomings explicitly, advance again whole-heartedly.
(September 4, 2003, Hongyin II, provisional translation)
When I moved ahead again, I found that things became easy. Two fellow practitioners, who did not usually go out, worked with me. The site and volunteers were all ready. While we were learning technical issues, another family-based material site supplied materials to the whole area.
This summer, the persecutors planned to organize a brainwashing class in our area. At the same time, police officers went to the homes of my sister, brother, and mother-in-law to find out where I was. Because I wrote articles that exposed the persecution of me and my family, and published the articles on the internet, the 610 Office ordered the local police officers to find me. My family asked me to stay with an out-of-town relative and hide for a while. Back then I was thinking that I had done the right thing by exposing their crimes and the evil forces wouldn't be able to shake me. Thus, I was not sent to the brainwashing class. Then, I told local practitioners that I would leave for a period of time.
I went to the home of an out-of-town practitioner. Fellow practitioners said that I should not have left. I thought that I could not go back right then because my heart was not ready. When a fellow practitioner called to tell me that two major coordinators had been arrested and sent to the brainwashing center, and that more practitioners had been arrested, I realized how selfish I was. My fear disappeared. So I told fellow practitioners, "I'll go back now. I have enlightened to this point in the Fa and have righteous thoughts now. I am going back to eliminate the evil. It is the evil that should leave--not me."
After I got back to area A, the two practitioners who had worked with me succumbed to the brainwashing. They even called my family to get them to send me to the brainwashing sessions. Since "key" practitioners whose names were known to police officers had left, there was no one to deliver materials. Another practitioner was arrested, and under torture, disclosed my name and the names of several other practitioners to the police. When that happened, I stayed at a fellow practitioner's home but still walked on the streets looking for fellow practitioners, collecting information, and exposing the persecution. If I could not find others to help, I would do whatever I thought I should do.
One day, when I went to a fellow practitioner's business to collect information, the police chief was there. I sent forth righteous thoughts and asked Teacher to empower me so I could eliminate the evil elements behind the police and drive them away. Pretty soon, the police officers left. When I was thinking about others, I had no fear. I worked with the fellow practitioners that I could find, and collected information about the perpetrator's work units, phone numbers, the situation in the brainwashing centers, etc. and published the information on the Minghui (Clearwisdom.net) website. We also made flyers to spread locally and sent forth righteous thoughts in close proximity to evil places. Two weeks later, the brainwashing class was disbanded.
(3) Putting Myself Aside and Focusing on Validating the Fa
After the brainwashing class was disbanded, I thought I had done what I should have done. For safety reasons, I planned to leave area A since police officers already had my name and information about me. Sitting on the bus as I left area A, I cried, and thought about the extra workload left to local practitioners, the separation from my son, the loss of a Fa-study environment, and the relatives to whom I had not clarified the truth very well. I blamed myself for the situation because I had not cultivated well. Though the material site was still running after I left, I hadn't done a good job in the environment that Teacher had arranged for me.
I arrived in area B, and stayed with a fellow practitioner. I just wanted to study the Fa. I was sad because I thought I had not done a good job, and I hadn't done well in adjusting to change.
In lecture 9 of Zhuan Falun, Teacher told us,
"It has been said: When I come to this ordinary human society, it's just like checking into a hotel for a few days. Then I leave in a hurry. Some people are just obsessed with this place and have forgotten their own homes."
Actually, isn't this earth just like staying at a hotel? As long as I validate the Fa, it's the same wherever I stay. In area A, since fellow practitioners knew me and trusted me, we could work well together. In a new place, it would take a while. One fellow practitioner even told me, "This area expels outsiders. Several practitioners from other places have left due to conflicts." Hearing this caused me concern because I thought my self-esteem might not be able take such results.
My fear of being criticized by others led to some misunderstandings. So I thought about finding a place where it was easy and free from pressure, and where I could do things by myself. Thus, I would not need to coordinate with many people. When fellow practitioners asked me for help, I tried to avoid them. A fellow practitioner told me that I put too much emphasis on my personal feelings and even put my feeling above the Fa. I knew that what she said was right. The time I spent at area B allowed me to find my biggest problem, which was that I was afraid of pressure and conflict, and could not put others before myself. I knew I could not hide my attachments, and told them I would try my best to cultivate myself and to do a good job.
In working with fellow practitioners, my attachments showed up many times. I might think that I was being good to others. But if I was hurt I could not bear it. Then, one day, I found I had hurt fellow practitioners due to my lack of compassion and not looking inward. I knew that I was not good and must unconditionally look inward. I asked myself: "Could I bear misunderstandings, or even insults, and still consider the Fa to be most important?" I found that I was not able to do that. In cooperating with fellow practitioners I saw my shortcomings, and the reasons why I could not break through and move forward in my cultivation. My problem was that I could not face my problems, and liked to cover them up with what I had done well.
This time I truly realized that as long as there was Fa-rectification work to do, I should cooperate unconditionally. As long as I could validate the Fa, that was my biggest happiness.
It's Teacher and Falun Dafa that give me life. Otherwise, I do not know how I could bear the suffering and hardships of my life. Since I believe the Fa, I have overcome pains and difficulties that I thought were too hard for me. I used to tell fellow practitioners: "If I can make it through difficulties, anyone can." As long as we follow Teacher's arrangements, we can overcome any difficulties. Each time I survived from tribulations and human attachments, I could feel the colossal compassion of the Fa. I cannot bear to think about what I would be if I ever left the Fa. I remembered one thing a fellow practitioner stated in a question to Teacher: "If I can't assimilate to the Fa, I would ask to be totally destroyed." Now I do feel that the Fa is more precious than my life and I will use my life to guard the Fa.
Falun Dafa has given me a second life, made me mature in wind and rain, made me let go of myself and attachments, tempered me to be a determined practitioner in the Fa-rectification period, and offered me all the honors and glories that will last forever. Falun Dafa is the source of my life, and I will be happy to contribute all I have to the sentient beings. Finally, I'll remember Teacher's words,
"I told you a long time ago that a Dafa disciple, or a cultivator, has no enemies. The only thing you have a role in is saving people..." ("Teaching the Fa in the City of Chicago")
I'll try my best to get rid of attachments, give up selfishness, do the three things well, and be more diligent during this, the final stage.