My Cultivation Path
(Paper from The Third Mainland China Falun Dafa Practitioners Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference on the Internet)
Esteemed Master, respected fellow practitioners, greetings!
I'm 56 years old. I count myself extremely lucky to be a disciple of our Master.
I obtained Dafa in 1996. Under Master's compassion and protection, I've experienced many difficulties over the years. The song "Following Teacher in Fa Rectification" describes my life. Thank you, Teacher! Thank you to our practitioners who maintain the Minghui website, giving practitioners in Mainland China a great tool to communicate. I would like to use this opportunity to share some of my experiences.
1. Becoming a practitioner
In 1994, just after the Chinese New Year, I had a strange problem with my left eye: I could no longer close the eyelid. Whenever I closed it, the left corner of my mouth bent upward as if pulled by a rubber band. I didn't pay that much attention at the beginning. I believed it to be a symptom of menopause and that there was no need to worry about it. Then, some time later, my left eye began to blink all the time, and the left side of my mouth developed a continuous tic. The muscle on the left side of my face gradually weakened. I looked dreadful!
I panicked and consulted a doctor. I was diagnosed with "facial nerve convulsion" and was told that there was no cure. I tried everything, from Chinese to Western medicine, acupuncture and moxibustion [a traditional Chinese medicine technique], massage, and all kinds of folk medicines. But there was no improvement. I lost hope. What should I do? How could I go out? How could I face my students? Why did I have such a bad luck? Who could help me?
When I had lost hope, a parent of one of my students suggested I try qigong. I must admit that at the time I was an atheist and I did not believe that qigong could heal illnesses. But, given my situation, I was willing to try anything. I bought a qigong book and tried to study it at home. I did not believe it would show any results, and I gave up after some time, as, indeed, it didn't help me.
In October 1996, my son, who was in college in another city, brought home the book Zhuan Falun. He told me that Falun Gong had gained great popularity in China and that it was extremely successful in improving one's health. He had a few friends who practiced Falun Gong, and he suggested that I give it a try. My son was very worried about my health and hoped that I would recover soon. He wanted me to practice Falun Gong since he had heard of its benefits. He also told me that Falun Gong was different from other qigongs. He said that it taught people to cultivate, resulted in great health benefits, and let people reach higher levels. He then taught me the movements.
This was when I began to practice Falun Gong at home. Later, my son bought me my own copy of Zhuan Falun.
Before I began to read Zhuan Falun, my son had already told me about it. He also suggested that I read the book in one go, or else I might never finish it. I was intrigued. I opened the book and saw Teacher's picture. It seemed so familiar. I must have seen Teacher somewhere before but could not remember where. When I looked again, Teacher's eyes were moving. Immediately afterwards, I felt something rotating in my lower abdomen and my palms. Meanwhile a warm flow came from the top of my head and went through my entire body. I was sweaty but felt very comfortable.
A strong force made me open the book, and I could not wait to read it. I read the entire book in one night. I suddenly felt I understood everything. I found answers to all that had bothered me throughout my entire life.
I was born into a poor family. My parents died when I was very young, and I had a very tough childhood. I was a good student in school, because I had a very good memory. I could remember whatever I read. I hoped to be successful when I grew up. Then the Cultural Revolution reared its ugly head, and all my dreams disappeared like smoke. I blamed heaven for not being fair. I hoped marriage would bring me good luck. Instead I was faced again with bad luck and came down with such a strange disease. Why?
Zhuan Falun answered all my questions. I understood everything.
"As a matter of fact, a person does not know how many lifetimes--in each of which he has accrued a great deal of karma--he has gone through...So people have hardships, tribulations, and tensions in their lives. How could they only pursue happiness without paying for karma? People nowadays have so much karma that they are soaked in it, and they will encounter unpleasant things at any time and in any situation. Bad things await a person the moment he steps out the door." ("Sickness Karma" from Essentials for Further Advancement)
I now understood that all unpleasantness in life was caused by karma created through many lifetimes. After studying the Fa, I understood that suffering was not a bad thing, because it paid back for all the sins one had committed, eliminated karma, and was the key to a better future.
The Fa is so good! All my suffering and all my lifetimes were for nothing else than waiting for this Fa! It's so wonderful. I decided that I would follow Teacher, live by the Fa, study the Fa, and cultivate. I read Zhuan Falun over and over again and could not stop. I practiced the five exercises twice a day, in the morning and the evening. My body changed. I felt so much energy that I almost flew. My bicycle seemed to be pushed by some force. I never felt tired, no matter how long I walked.
Because I practiced Falun Gong, my third eye opened. I saw many many small Faluns in different colors. My right eye saw a pattern of a golden dragon, and the dragon was covered with countless golden rings and waves. The dragon changed daily and was so beautiful. I also saw a beautiful picture with my left eye -- two small dragons played in water and were also covered with many golden rings and waves. Each eye saw a different scene. Neither eye saw what the other one saw. I was so happy.
"Some people can also see with their eyes, they've fully cultivated their eyes, and they have different forms of abilities. But if they can't use their eyes well, they'll always just see one thing without seeing others, and that's still not so great. That's why there are people who usually have one eye look at one side and the other eye look at another side." (Zhuan Falun)
In the fall of 1997, Falun Dafa was disseminated in my county. A practitioner from another city organized a nine-day seminar and played a video recording of Teacher's lectures. I felt so lucky when I attended the seminar. The first practice site was set up. I took the tape recorder to the site and played the exercise music, rain or shine, every morning. In the evening we studied the Fa and cultivated together. Everyone experienced great physical and mental changes. Family relations improved and those who had taken medications for a long time were free of them. Falun Dafa brought us blessings.
2. Protecting the Fa
The inhuman persecution began just as we finally had found happiness due to blessings of the Fa. On July 20, 1999, we were doing the exercises at the practice site. Suddenly, several plainclothes policemen arrived. I knew one of them. They watched us for a while and then left. One practitioner told me that the police had arrested the assistants of our region in the middle of the previous night. The government had banned
Falun Gong. Mass-arrests occurred throughout the country. The main volunteers for local Falun Dafa assistant sites were registered and arrested. The practice of Falun Gong was forbidden to be practiced by the general public.
It was the beginning of the evil persecution of Falun Gong. The "red horror" was everywhere! Evil was everywhere! Many people could not understand this. What was going on? Who could forbid such a good qigong, one that benefited the people and the country? Did the government make a mistake? They must have made a mistake! We should let them know. Several practitioners, including me, discussed the matter and decided to go to the provincial government and clarify the facts. We took the bus and arrived just as it was getting dark. We didn't find the government office, so we spent a night in the park. We met some practitioners from other counties who told us what had happened. More than 1,000 practitioners had come to appeal during the day, but the government had refused to listen. They herded everyone into a school, asked for names and addresses, and took people back for local detention. Allegedly there was a directive from the central government. Several escaped. They said that we couldn't appeal there. Therefore, we had to come up with another plan. We couldn't let them detain us. We decided to go home and appeal in Beijing.
We hurried back home that night. On the bus we learned the seriousness of the situation from passengers' conversations. We told the passengers that our Teacher was being treated unjustly, that our Teacher is a great person, and his Fa was teaching people to be good, that it brought health, and that one attains higher levels by practicing it. Teacher never took one cent from us. The accusation regarding money is a total fiction!
Upon reaching home we learned that the situation in our hometown was more serious than we'd anticipated! The police detained all the assistants. The police interrogated them and forced them to renounce Falun Gong. If they refused, they were arrested. Many Dafa books and tapes were confiscated. Eleven practitioners who had gone to the provincial government to appeal were detained:
"...the evil came as if eclipsing the sky and covering the earth, and it was really as if the heavens had collapsed. The evil was everywhere." ("Fa-Lecture at the Conference in Florida, U.S.A.")
Many people were confused and many ordinary people saw us as their enemies. We practitioners became like "the five black categories" in the Cultural Revolution. What was going on?
"Why was it like this? Just a buffoon's jealousy. Since it has power it's able do something like this. That might sound pretty ridiculous, or maybe hard to believe--how could something like this happen to mankind, right? But it really has happened. This persecution has happened, as absurd as it may be, due to that buffoon being driven by its twisted jealousy. That's exactly the reason." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A.")
Experiencing this evil situation, some practitioners were puzzled and some simply gave up. Yet, we had done nothing wrong! We were trying to become better people! We were sure that we had done nothing wrong! What are we afraid of! We needed to clarify the truth to people. We needed to tell the truth of Falun Gong and tell the people that this was unjust. That it was all based on lies! Our Teacher was good! We understood that Jiang's group created this incident. Thus, several of us began to print truth clarification materials to help the general public learn the truth.
On July 9, 2000, someone who did not know the truth reported me to the police. The police from the 610 Office confiscated my family's property, stole some Dafa books, several handwritten copies of Teacher's articles, truth materials, exercise music tapes, a tape player, and a picture of Teacher.
They took me to the police station and interrogated me. I did not corporate. I was imprisoned. In prison I met several practitioners who had gone to Beijing for Fa-validation. They told me what was happening on Tiananmen Square--the heroic actions of practitioners doing the exercises, holding banners, telling people "Falun Dafa is good" and asking for justice. They witnessed how the police beat and tortured the kind practitioners and detained them in jails and water-cells. Practitioners suffered all kinds of torture and insults. But practitioners remained compassionate and displayed tolerance. They did not complain and held no hatred. They were telling the truth while being persecuted. Whenever they had time they recited the Fa and kept righteous thoughts. They shared experiences and thoughts and helped in each other's cultivation. They encouraged each other and suggested, "Do not say your name and firmly protect the Fa." The actions of our practitioners were so touching and moving. I listened and my tears covered my face. I thought that I would go to Beijing to appeal for Teacher as soon as I was released.
Practitioner Dong Chunmei (pseudonym) was detained with me. This was the second time she had gone to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong and the second time she had been arrested. She went on a hunger strike. She recited the Fa and practiced the exercises. A policeman handcuffed her behind her back and slapped her face. The policeman soon paid for his behavior--his hand became so swollen that he could not hold the chopsticks. This shows the power of the Fa.
While in detention I thought, "I am here now, therefore I should validate the Fa. There are people in prison who should obtain the Fa and who should be saved." Several practitioners recited the Fa together and shared thoughts. We told the prisoners the goodness of Dafa, that our Teacher taught us to be good and even better people, that we should think of others first before doing anything, be unselfish, take "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance" as our guide, and live nobly. We showed by example, cared for them, helped them, and they saw from our actions that Falun Dafa and its practitioners were all good people. Two people obtained the Fa, studied the Fa, and did the exercises with us.
Once when we were doing group exercises, some of the prisoners joined us. This made the police angry and they locked us up. We protested with hunger strikes. They locked us up for six days and nights. After some time, we were taken to a detention center and put under surveillance.
In the detention center, we studied the Fa as a group and did the exercises. We recited Hong Yin together. Director Li often told a person named Zhang to beat us with his fists, kick us, and hit us with a broomstick. We were not afraid and we protested. We continued to clarify the truth despite the persecution. We tried to save them with our compassion. We thought, "No matter how hard it is and how much we have to bear (we did not know about sending righteous thoughts yet), we will create our world."
"Getting arrested is not the purpose. Validating Dafa is what's truly magnificent, and it is to validate Dafa that you step forward." ("Rationality")
We strengthened our righteous thoughts. We decided that if they didn't allow us to do the exercises we would go on a hunger strike. The best they could do was not to do anything and ignore us when practicing the exercises or reciting the Fa. We defeated them and created an environment for Fa study and exercises.
The meals were terrible! The cook, named Song, was extremely hostile to us. What he cooked was very dirty. He didn't even wash the vegetables before cooking them. There was so much dirty stuff in the food that was worse than pig food. Also, they did not give us enough food. They threw the leftovers into the fish-pond. We asked the director why he permitted such squandering and such behavior, especially since we were not criminals. The people who brought the food treated us shabbily. They threw the food at us through the door. We demanded that this be changed, or we would go on hunger strikes. Under our righteous thoughts, the evil was restrained. The food became cleaner, and they no longer threw the food at us from the outside of the cell.
I was detained for 125 days. My family members bailed me out. I declared everything invalid afterward. After I left the detention center, I realized that I should go to Beijing to appeal. Several practitioners and I decided to go to Beijing. On December 26, 2000, eight of us went to Beijing. We arrived at Tiananmen Square at around 8:00 a.m. on the 28th. Since many practitioners had come to Beijing to appeal, Jiang's gang had ordered many policemen to patrol the square, including plainclothes police and spies. Anyone who looked suspicious would be abducted.
We were four people at the time. I said, "Let's go to Jinshuiqiao (the main bridges) and show our banner on the top." We asked Teacher to give us strength and we avoided the police and approached Jinshuiqiao. Police cars were parked on both side of the bridges. We heard someone shouting "Falun Dafa Is Good" from time to time, and from time to time practitioners were arrested. I walked calmly toward the bridge. There where two policemen on each side. I held the hand of another practitioner. We were just about to step onto the bridge when four policemen surrounded us. I saw we could not get on the bridge, so I pulled open the banner and shouted, "Falun Dafa is good! Restore the reputation of my Teacher!" My voice shocked heaven and earth. The police beat me to the ground and seized the banner and truth materials. They took me in their car to Qianmen Police Station. Since July 20, 1999, almost a thousand practitioners went daily to Tiananmen Square to appeal. About a thousand practitioners were taken to Qianmen Police Station daily. Then these practitioner were separated and taken to police stations in surrounding cities and counties for detention and persecution.
When I arrived, already more than 200 practitioners were detained that day. All refused to give their names. We took this opportunity to clarify the truth to the police. We recited Lunyu and Hong Yin. More and more practitioners were brought in and soon the place was full. The police divided the practitioners who arrived earlier. I was sent to Pinggu County Police Station. It was very evil there. The police beat, kicked, handcuffed, hung up, grabbed the hair and hit the heads of practitioners against the wall until they bled. The police wanted us to tell them our home addresses. I did not cooperate. I thought that I had come for Fa-validation. I had Teacher who looks after me, and they had no right to control me. I thought, "I must leave this evil place." I sat on the floor after they beat me. They told me to stand up but I didn't obey. I was thinking I should leave.
At that moment, one officer asked: "Don't you have high blood-pressure?" I suddenly understood that was a hint from Teacher who told me a way to escape. I immediately showed symptoms of high blood pressure, symptoms of paralysis, and my mouth and eyes changed. When they saw this, they knew that there was no use to ask me anything more, so they drove me to the train station in Sanhe County around midnight. They left me in the waiting room. I returned to continue my Fa-validation.
3. Validating the Fa
After July 20,1999, Jiang and Luo's followers were
"...using their power to initiate a comprehensive, vicious suppression of Dafa and Dafa disciples. They have arrested people, beaten people, sent people to labor camps, sentenced people to jail, and destroyed the books; they have used the army, the police, secret agents, and diplomatic means; and they have used all radio stations, television stations, and the press to spread lies and carry out the persecution in a villainous fashion. Its overwhelming magnitude seems to threaten to bring down the heavens, while their evilness has spread throughout the entire world." ("In Reference to a Prophecy" from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
Most especially, their planned self-immolation on Tiananmen Square poisoned many peoples' minds that didn't know the truth.
Despite this situation, practitioners in my area did not remain idle. We did not sit there and wait. We spread truth clarification materials, hung banners, and did what Dafa practitioners should do. When we were short of materials, an elderly practitioner and I went to a materials site in Xicheng and got some. The practitioner who produced the materials taught me silk-screen printing and gave me several models. After I returned I taught two young practitioners, sisters-in-law, who did an excellent job making materials and gluing and writing phrases. They were the leaders of the area. With more and more practitioners going out for truth clarification, large amount of truth materials were needed. In 2002 we collected money and bought a copy machine. It solved our materials source problem, helped surrounding areas, and also reduced the pressure on other materials sites.
With the progress of Teacher's Fa-rectification, more and more practitioners in our area joined in. We covered a greater area when distributing truth clarification materials. In late December 2002, the county 610 Office ordered the arrest of practitioners. Several practitioners were arrested and detained. While in prison, one practitioner couldn't stand the torture and revealed my identity.
The director of the county police brought a group of people to arrest me. I was teaching a class at that time. They did not dare arrest me, since they were afraid that other people would see it. They were all in plainclothes.
"The actions they are now adopting in the persecution of Dafa and its students
are extremely evil and shameful, and they fear these will be exposed." ("Rationality" from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
They checked that I was in school and then waited outside. That day my intuition told me something bad was going happen. Suddenly, a student's parent showed up. She took my hand and began to run toward the other teachers' dorm. I asked her why and she told me that someone had sold me out. She said that the police were waiting to arrest me--she had seen them at the gate. She asked me to hide. Her husband worked at the police station. I had told the truth to her and she knew that Falun Dafa was good. Her husband had asked her to tell me what police were intending to do.
I was very calm. I knew Teacher would protect me and no one else could touch me. "The evil will not see me when I walk away, since my righteous thoughts are strong." I was not worried. At the noon recess I walked out as usual. The police came again in the afternoon, and I walked out again. The second morning, they brought more people and guarded all three exits. In the afternoon, when I walked out of the school gate, I saw several plainclothes police approaching me. I asked Teacher to protect me and stop the evil. I turned into a small street, thinking that a tricycle would be waiting for me.
I was sending righteous thoughts as I walked. Yes, there was a tricycle. I got on and left. The police ran after me and stopped, realizing they wouldn't be able to catch me on foot. In the afternoon, I left the city and went to another region. During the next few days, the police were looking for me all over. They went to all my relatives and neighbors, but no one cooperated. They gave up after a month.
During the time when I was destitute and homeless, two truth materials production sites in Xicheng were also destroyed. Much equipment was confiscated. Five practitioners who were making truth materials were arrested, one after the other, and were detained and persecuted. Two were illegally sentenced to eight years. This negatively affected our task of saving people.
Facing this situation, I thought, "Practitioners cannot be controlled by evil. We cannot stop saving people and we need to rebuild our material production sites." With the help of another practitioner, I learned to go on the Internet, download, edit, and print within two days. Meanwhile we bought a notebook computer, printer, CD burner, and other material. We built our truth materials site again. Since
spring of 2003, under Teacher's benevolent protection and fellow practitioner's righteous thoughts, the truth materials production site has been running without interruption.
When making truth materials, I learned from analyzing the circumstances how other materials sites were destroyed. There are two main reasons: one is not studying the Fa diligently and the other is insufficient understanding about the need for safety. Too many people came to the site and no single line of connection was established. Therefore, I paid attention to this.
I believe as practitioners, whatever we do, Fa study must come first. No matter how busy I am, I have to find time for studying the Fa daily.
"When a cultivator's mind departs from the Fa, the evil will find its way in." ("Fa-Lecture at the Conference in Florida, U.S.A.")
Especially for those
who make truth clarification materials, we must put Fa study our first priority. Otherwise, there is no safeguard. Therefore, no matter how busy I am, I reserve time for Fa study and exercises. I set high standards for myself and keep strong righteous thoughts. I need to take responsibility for Dafa, for my fellow practitioners, for sentiment beings, and for my family. I need a clear mind to help Teacher in the Fa-Rectification.
Only two practitioners know about my materials production site. I go to work daily and make truth clarification materials during the evenings and on weekends. I don't keep truth clarification materials and make only what is needed. When large amounts are needed, I make the master copy and other practitioners help with copying. We coordinate with each other. When I finish some truth materials, the practitioner who is in charge of distributing the material comes to my school and gets them--I am contracted at the school. Many parents come to the school, so no one pays attention if someone comes to visit me. This practitioner in charge of distributing the materials to other practitioners will then distribute them. Generally, other practitioners don't come to my home.
This truth material site is really a "spot," a small "spot," a small element. Only I run this material site--a small Fa element is operating it. After the day at school I go home and do Fa-validation work. I go on the Internet, download, edit, print, and make CDs. I have very little time to sleep, but I don't feel tired. With the rapid progress of Fa-Rectification, more people have begun to practice Falun Dafa. The book is hard to come by. I learned to publish the books. As of now, I have published more than a thousand Dafa books, solved some book shortage problems, and helped more people begin their Dafa cultivation.
With the rapid progress of Fa-Rectification, more people have begun to understand the truth. The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party was published and waves of resignations from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have followed, both in and outside of China. The CCP's days are limited. Spreading the Nine Commentaries is a must for us practitioners. The number of copies needed is huge, and printing or copying is too slow, so we purchased an all-in-one machine, which reduced my load, and two older practitioners are in charge of it. I concentrate more on printing and making CDs of the source materials, Dafa books, "Minghui Weekly," and "Zhenjian Weekly," as well as sending lists of names of CCP withdrawals and "Solemn Declarations." In 2005 I helped two more practitioners build their truth materials production sites. They are running smoothly.
As a practitioner who works at a materials production site, I know my responsibility very well. I know how important this task is in helping Teacher's Fa-Rectification and saving sentient beings. I also know in this evil environment, which is under the evil spirit's control, we will pay with our blood if we don't do well. I always keep strong righteous thoughts and never neglect Fa study or the exercises. I make sure I walk every step correctly, do what I should do, and do not leave any regrets for the future. Teacher and other practitioners, please don't worry about me. I will follow the road Teacher arranged for me until the Fa-Rectification of the human realm arrives. I will return to my home, following Teacher.
For anything I did not do well, please feel free to comment and correct.