The Difference Between Using Righteous Thoughts and Human Notions to Handle Ordeals
(Clearwisdom.net) I came to know Falun Dafa in May 1997. When I first got the Falun Dafa book, I was very excited. After I had practiced for a while, I realized that in order to become a truly good person, I would have to assimilate to the Fa for the rest of my life.
After July 20, 1999, the evil began to viciously attack, slander and defame Teacher and Falun Dafa. I thought: "The occurrence of major things in the human world is caused by changes in the heavenly climate. Such a vicious environment is also a test for all Falun Dafa practitioners to show if we can firmly believe in Teacher and Dafa, give up all attachments in the human world, and be firm in the practice." I was quite determined and thought: "No matter what the situation is, I won't give up the practice." However, because I was not diligent in studying the Fa and had lots of attachments and fear, I did not step out to validate the Fa for a long period of time. As I continued to study the Fa, my understanding improved. I began to validate the Fa and clarify the truth to people around me, using my personal experiences to tell them about the wonderfulness of Dafa.
In October 2001, I finally stood on Tiananmen Square and shouted out from my heart, "Falun Dafa is great! Falun Dafa is righteous! Return my Teacher's good name! Return Dafa's good name!"
In April 2002, I went on a hunger strike for the second time in the Dalian Forced Labor Camp and was locked up in a small cell. The guards insulted me and tried to force me to give up Falun Dafa through brutal and inhuman means. When I was facing this torment, I firmly kept my faith in Teacher and Dafa. I continually reminded myself to be strong and not to leave blemishes on my cultivation path. During that period, Teacher's article that I recited the most was "Dafa is Indestructible." However, I did not have a good enough understanding of the sentence "A Dafa disciple completely opposes everything arranged by the evil old forces." When I encountered ordeals, I did not completely oppose them with strong righteous thoughts or eliminate the evil persecution and my attachment of fear. Because I did not have strong enough righteous thoughts in these areas, I experienced different levels of persecution.
In August 2002, the forced labor camp staff ordered me to recite the rules and regulations of the labor camp. At that time, I had not completely put down my human notions. Therefore, I did not do well at first. With hints from Teacher, I realized my shortcomings. I shared my understandings with fellow practitioners and understood that Teacher lets us improve together. We are great cultivators who cultivate according to the universal law. We are not criminals, so we do not need to follow the rules in the forced labor camp. I told every fellow practitioner in my cell that we should not memorize and recite the prison rules. When the guards ordered us to recite the rules again, I took the lead. I told them that we practitioners should not memorize and recite those rules because practitioners follow the standards for practitioners.
At that time, the perpetrators were very vicious. During these several days, they always shouted at me, beat and scolded me, and physically punished us. The guards came into our cell and threatened to lock us up in the small cells. They forced us to memorize and recite the prison rules. When that happened, I sent forth righteous thoughts, recited the Fa more, and eliminated the evil persecution against us.
After that, the forced labor camp ordered us to greet the guards whenever we saw them. After a while, they ordered us to stand up when the guards came into the cell. I realized that we should not do that. We should not be detained, so it is not necessary for us to obey their rules. We cultivate according to "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance." It is not an issue of politeness to greet them and stand upon seeing them. I respect virtuous people. As a cultivator, no matter what the situation is, we should put down our human notions, thoughts and mentalities, and truly step out from ordinary human ways.
On December 29, 2003, of the lunar calendar, I heard that the forced labor camp wanted us to join the national flag raising ceremony on the next day. I was unsure whether I should go or not. When I recalled the scene of the flag raising on October 1, 2002, I felt very sad. In China, Teacher and Dafa are being attacked and defamed, everyday people are being deceived and harmed by lies, and Dafa practitioners are suffering from persecution in an evil environment. Right and wrong are inverted in this land. China, I really feel sad for you! I feel distressed for those lives that participated in the persecution of Falun Dafa. I could not hold back my tears. I realized that not attending the national flag raising ceremony was the right decision.
In February 2003, the forced labor camp again body-searched me. I did not cooperate and explained the truth to them. The guards asked me if I would stop spreading Teacher's articles, obey the rules and listen to them. I steadfastly refused. The guards saw that I would not obey them, so they ordered the instructor to violently beat me. After I was locked up in a small cell, four people came and beat me some more. They refused to let me sleep for six days and nights. During these days, I was forced to squat for three days and nights, and they tortured me many times. The evildoers defiled Teacher's picture right in front of me. When I could no longer stand, they tied me to the railing in the small cell. After that, besides only letting me sleep for three to four hours every day, they shackled my hands behind my back and forced me to stand for a long time. My legs became so swollen that I could not squat down to use the toilet. My thighs were almost completely covered with bruises. My legs became weak and uncontrollable. They went into spasms involuntarily, and my feet turned inward while I was trying to walk. The perpetrators frequently used dirty language to insult me. The environment was really wicked, and I endured huge physical and mental hardships.
On the surface, it seemed that the guards increased their persecution against me because I took the lead in resisting the persecution. In fact, however, the real problem was that my righteous thoughts were not strong enough. I did not handle the ordeals with a practitioner's righteous thoughts. Instead, I looked at the problems with human notions and unwittingly cooperated with the old forces' arrangements instead of opposing them completely and clearing away the persecution. On the wall facing me, there were many pages of slanderous words against Teacher and Dafa. I wanted to tear them off, but I was afraid of suffering more severe persecution. Fear made me not do well. The evil took advantage of this loophole and increased the persecution against me.
Teacher said: "When it comes to those who genuinely do well, they truly don't dare to touch them. When it comes to those who oppose the old forces' arrangements and who have very strong righteous thoughts, they can't touch them." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Atlanta Fa Conference") The fact that I did not do well indicates I had not studied the Fa enough and had loopholes in my cultivation. I did not pay close attention to the Fa, did not understand things from the Fa, or deal with things with a clear mind. Teacher said: "Now you can see why I've often told you to read the book more, right?! The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa can shatter all lies, and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts." ("Drive Out Interference" from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
When encountering these kinds of ordeals, the different results depend on whether Dafa practitioners handle them with righteous thoughts or with human notions. One time while I was being detained in the small cell, the guard said to me, "We want to send people to Masanjia Forced Labor Camp. After considering many choices, we feel that you are the most suitable person to send." Upon hearing that, I was very calm. I did not pay attention to it or feel any fear. He told me to get ready and I said: "I have nothing to prepare for." When I opposed them this way, they did not dare to touch me. Another time, the guard pointed at my name on his list and said, "You are the only one in the whole camp who did not attend the flag raising ceremony. You should wait for the arrest notice in the small cell." I was not moved and thought, "Whatever they say doesn't count." When I had strong righteous thoughts, they truly could not touch me.
It is only through studying the Fa more, improving our understanding of the Fa, and comparing every thought of ours to the Fa, that we can do well in handling these ordeals. We must do the three things Teacher told us to do well. We must firmly walk the cultivation path righteously and continually improve.
Heshi to our honorable Teacher!