Following Teacher to Return to Our Original Homes
In July 1999, the Chinese Communist Party led by Jiang Zemin employed the state propaganda machinery and the media to viciously attack Falun Dafa and our Teacher. We Dafa disciples are extremely grieved by this unfortunate turn of events.
1. Calmly Re-thinking
When the overwhelming persecution had just begun, we all thought about it seriously. We asked ourselves questions like, "What kind of person is our Teacher? Is the Fa actually correct? Are we involved in politics?"
How is it possible for people who have practiced Falun Gong for merely a few months, half a year or slightly longer to have gotten rid of their illnesses, even cancer, thru Fa-study and practicing the Falun Gong exercises? How could a practitioner, having fallen from a height higher than six meters and incurring six broken bones, have recovered so soon without treatment after practicing the exercises? Why do seniors like me not only not need to take medicine, but are actually glowing with health, younger looking and full of energy? Why did Falun Gong, in that seven year-span before the persecution started, spread so widely without anything having been published in the newspapers or advertised on TV? Falun Gong spread so quickly all over the world, with the number of practitioners reaching 100 million: this is in fact amazing.
We finally and clearly realized - Teacher is definitely right! Teacher is not an average qigong master! Falun Dafa is the righteous Fa!
2. Going to Appeal
Practitioners who had experienced the CCP's persecution during the Cultural Revolution realized the difficulty of cultivation under such oppression. We temporarily lost our environment for group Fa-study and exercise practice, yet we kept up with Fa-study and exercises at home. Each day, as long as we could listen to Teacher's lectures, our minds would be confident!
Falun Dafa is so good. Why does the government try to stop us from practicing? We really couldn't figure out why. On July 22, 1999, some practitioners went to the provincial government offices to tell the officials the facts, but they were illegally sent to a brainwashing center. After July 20, 1999, quite a few practitioners went to Beijing to petition the government and clarify the facts. There were men and women from all age groups. While safeguarding the Fa, we experienced unreasonable and unfair treatment. Some practitioners were locked in a cage so small in the local police station that they couldn't stretch out their legs. Some were put in a detention center for several months, while others were put into a forced labor camp.
In prison we lived an inhuman life. Several dozen people had to sleep on the floor, and we were forced to eat rice contaminated with mouse droppings. On average each person only had a little over a one-foot wide space. One practitioner shouted, "Falun Dafa is good" in prison. The guards beat him severely and locked him in a small cell afterwards. Once when he fainted from the torture, he saw our Teacher standing by, smiling and looking at him while pointing straight ahead. He realized Teacher was encouraging him to advance on his cultivation path.
"Why are Dafa disciples ruthlessly tortured by the evil? Because they persist in their righteous faith in Dafa, and because they are particles of Dafa." ("Dafa is Indestructible" from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
We all followed Master's teachings, silently enduring the pain that non-practitioners could never endure. It is because we all knew Falun Dafa is the genuine universal teaching. We knew that the opportunity to obtain Dafa was precious, indeed. Today we realize that the hope we had been looking forward to generation after generation has been given to us and we deeply understand the significance of our lives.
3. Group Fa-study
Faced with the evil persecution, our group of practitioners didn't fall down, didn't give up and still kept on according to Teacher's requirements. Through Fa-study, every one of us realized that regardless of how dangerous the environment was, we should still follow the cultivation path Teacher gave us - to study the Fa and improve as a group.
In the early days of the persecution, an older practitioner helped to keep practitioners in touch with each other. "Teacher is here, the Fa is here; what do we have to fear?" She frequently used these words to encourage everyone. Seeing most practitioners studying the Fa at home by themselves, she formed a Fa-study group at her home. Initially there were only a few practitioners studying the Fa in a group, sharing experiences and doing the exercises together. Gradually it developed to about ten and then several dozen people, and now it is divided into several Fa-study groups.
Every one of us planned our time well and did our best not to miss the rare opportunity to study the Fa and to share experiences together. Whenever we encountered any problem, we would remind each other to follow the Fa and tried to find a mutually agreeable solution. If someone had an attachment that he/she was not aware of, it would be exposed during the discussions and then removed. Our Fa-study group was located in an urban district and was near a local police station. All these years we kept on with the group Fa-study on time and never missed it in any weather. Many practitioners said going to the Fa-study group makes one feel comfortable and at peace. Some practitioners saw parts of the Falun symbol everywhere on the white walls during Fa-study.
We have such a good practice environment now. This is only possible thanks to Teacher's merciful protection and practitioners' increased maturation.
4. The Coordinator
Practitioner Grandma Wang, over 70 years old, was not a coordinator before 1999. In the early days of the persecution when many practitioners didn't dare to come out, she stepped forward to take the responsibility of contacting other practitioners. She made it convenient for others to establish a Fa-study group at her home. In the beginning it was difficult to get Teacher's articles or other materials. Grandma Wang used her limited retirement income to make copies. Her husband died in 2001. Just after her husband passed away, in order to make it possible for other practitioners to read Teacher's newest articles in time, she put her personal concerns aside and delivered the articles to practitioners before going back home to take care of her husband's funeral arrangements.
Knowing that a certain practitioner was on a hunger strike in a forced labor camp, she and another two practitioners who were also nearly 70 years old went to the countryside to look for the practitioners' family members. They asked the family members to go to the forced labor camp to get that practitioner out. It was an extremely hot summer that year. They traveled many miles round-trip in one day. Their arms were severely sunburned.
After the Fa-study group was formed at her home, she took on the responsibility of a coordinator. Her home also became the place where practitioners went for frequent discussions and the temporarily "home" for those who came from other areas. For those practitioners coming from other areas whom we had never met before, how could we find each other?
"Each connected by the thread of Dafa" ("The Difficult Path to Godhood")
It was amazing that these practitioners were able to find grandma Wang's home. No matter if it was during a severe winter or hot summer, no matter if the day was long or short - grandma Wang was consistent in her efforts and never had complaints.
People in the neighborhood often said, "We don't know too much about Falun Gong, but Grandma Wang is such a good person. Since she practices Falun Gong, we know Falun Gong must be good."
Another coordinator was also over 70 years old. Seeing some practitioners unable to step forward, he didn't give up and persisted. He often contacted other practitioners and went to help them step out. He delivered Teacher's new articles and truth-clarifying materials to each of their homes. A 70-year-old man could ride a bike as if he were flying. He left his imprint on every part of the city.
5. "A Great Way Has No Form" but Exists as a Whole
Dafa brought us practitioners together. Through the constant group Fa-study and experience sharing, everyone in the group improved very quickly. During normal days everyone was doing the three things. Whenever all of us needed to cooperate as a whole body, everyone would come together. As a matter of fact - coming together meant acting as one and moving apart was to act as individual particles.
Upon learning of a fellow practitioner being detained, we coordinated the time to go closer to the detention place to send forth righteous thoughts. In the meantime, others took care of the practitioner's children. After the practitioner got out, all of us helped to get Teacher's recent lectures to the practitioner. Another practitioner, a woman, was in an accident and suffered from brain hemorrhaging and lost consciousness. The hospital had already issued a "gravely ill" notification. After other practitioners knew of the situation, they brought Teacher's lectures and the exercise tapes to the hospital to let the injured practitioner listen again and again. One month later, that practitioner amazingly regained consciousness. Originally, that practitioner's daughter didn't practice, but after having witnessed her mom's miracle, she also started to practice.
As for those practitioners who made mistakes on their cultivation path, everybody got together to visit them and shared their understandings with them, again and again, to help them return to the practice. Some of them wrote solemn declarations right away. Through continuous group Fa-study and sharing, they returned to the mighty current of the Fa-Rectification and keep doing the three things well.
An over 60-year-old practitioner had never touched a copy machine before. She learned it from the ground up - bought a copy machine by herself, bought copying machine supplies and quietly supplemented the truth materials.
A practitioner knew how to make magnetic tape copies and repair a tape recorder. As long as there was a need, he always made copies of Teacher's lectures tapes, of the exercise tapes and the truth clarification tapes and had them delivered into everyone's hands.
A practitioner went to her native village and learned that a whole practitioner's family was imprisoned. It was harvest time and it would be wrong if the family's grain was left in the field to rot, so she hired people to rush in the harvest.
6. Following Teacher and Returning to Our Original Home
We as practitioners are walking on the path of becoming gods, yet quite often we still discover many attachments. However, we always remember Teacher's words,
"Study the Fa and gain the Fa,
Focus on how you study and cultivate,
Let each and every thing
be measured against the Fa.
Only then, with that,
is it actually cultivation."
("Solid Cultivation" from Hong Yin, translation version A)
Compassionate Teacher, please believe that as disciples we will certainly move diligently forward; steadfast and rock-solid, walking firmly and righteously on this Fa-rectification path, following Teacher closely and returning to our original home.