Diligently Walking the Path to Godhood (Part 1)
Greetings, Revered Master! Greetings, Fellow Practitioners from all over the world!
I began Falun Dafa cultivation in September of 2001. During the past six years of Fa-rectification cultivation, I truly felt Master's immense Buddha compassion. I would like to take this opportunity of the Fourth Internet Experience Sharing Conference to send greetings to our great and most benevolent Master and send greetings to fellow practitioners.
1. Taking the Path of Cultivation
"When one's Buddha-nature emerges, it will shake the world of ten directions." (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun, 2000 translation version)
In September 2001, I opened a restaurant with Hongwei (an alias), a Falun Gong practitioner. We lived together and were fortunate to get a copy of the "Minghui Weekly". The Minghui Weekly reported that Falun Gong practitioners were being persecuted and tortured to the point of disability or even death for upholding the principles of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." I was shocked when I read that. I felt I had the responsibility to uphold the truth. The determined belief of Falun Gong practitioners touched me deeply.
That same night I asked Hongwei and another practitioner, Xiaohui (also an alias), to teach me the Falun Gong exercises and study the Fa with me. I insisted on learning. Since then, I have walked the Fa-rectification cultivation path.
Our restaurant became a place for us to clarify the truth. In the morning we played Dafa music. During lunchtime, when more people were around, we played truth-clarification CDs. After a while people began asking for truth-clarification materials from us. Once, two policemen watched our truth-clarification CD. They both wanted a copy and said, "This CD will be very valuable when Falun Gong's name is restored."
2. Renewing Life during Fa-rectification
a. My Life Co-exists with Dafa
November 24, 2001, was my birthday. I went to Tiananmen Square where I opened a banner reading, "Falun Dafa is Good" and shouted out, "Falun Dafa is Good!" I was so calm. I felt that Master was close by me. Even when the officers pushed me into a police car I did not panic. I merely felt that day was the beginning of my new life. Master gave me a new life.
I was sent to the Xicheng Division Detention Center in Beijing, where I went on hunger strike that same day to protest.
I was force-fed daily. More than 20 practitioners were on a hunger strike. When the 50th day of my hunger-strike approached, additional policemen arrived. More than ten of them held my arms and feet down. Some of them pulled my hair and pushed my head down. I was completely immobilized. They tried to insert a tube to force-feed me and finally succeeded after more than ten attempts. I felt suffocated, and things suddenly became dark. I knew my life was at risk. I opened my eyes and tried to shout. I was unable to move. My jaw was pressed down so tightly that I could not make any loud sound. The policemen continued to insert the tube deeper into me. I felt my life ebbing away into darkness.
I thought about Master's words:
"In life, nothing sought,
In death, regretting naught;
Washing away all wrong thought,
Buddhahood, with less adversity, is wrought." ("Nothing Kept" in Hong Yin)
I thought, "Do not be afraid. Dying is nothing." But suddenly I then thought, "I am a Falun Gong practitioner. How could I let these persecutors make me die! They are unworthy." Right then, all of them let go of me. I knew it was Master protecting me again. It was just as Master said, "renewed being is formed precisely amid the Fa-rectification." ("Dafa is Indestructible," Essentials for Further Advancement II)
The Xicheng Division Detention Center guards did not know what else to do with me. They sent me, along with other so-called "stubborn adherents," to the Tuanhe Legal Training Center, to continue the torture. I heard from other practitioners and inmates that it was very evil there. It was called the "Big Evil Den."
b. Being Responsible to Dafa and Sentient Beings
I was detained in the Third Team at the Tuanhe Legal Training Center. The persecutors arrived daily at 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. to try to "reform" us, no matter how physically weak we were. They took turns trying to brainwash us and prevented us from going to bed until 3:00 a.m. They forced us to watch programs defaming Dafa and Master. Three of the practitioners gave in under pressure and wrote articles defaming Master. My heart hurt. I further realized the seriousness of cultivation. I remained determined and did not cooperate with them. If they wanted me to sit, I would stand. If they wanted me to focus, I would look around. If they wanted me to open my eyes, I would close them. If they wanted me to listen to them, I would recite Master's lectures to them. In the meantime I sent righteous thoughts. They attempted to exhaust me. I then tried to make them tired. Within a couple of days, they all complained about their job being "so tiring."
The physical torture was nothing to me. The mental torment in that environment was much harder to endure. I begged Master in my mind, "I will never betray Dafa. I will use my life to safeguard Dafa. I will be responsible to Dafa and sentient beings."
Close to the 70th day of my hunger strike I looked like a skeleton. Some inmates cried when they saw me. One night an elderly inmate led more than ten others, and, kneeling before me, they asked me to drink some water. They had their kind side. I was happy for their kindness, but I was not moved by the human emotion. Master said:
"If you are free from this sentimentality, nobody can affect you. An everyday person's mind will be unable to sway you. What takes over in its place is benevolence, which is something more noble." (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
I needed to be responsible for their eternal lives.
A female team leader surnamed Zheng came to me and asked, "Why are you so hard on yourself? If you are starving to death, how can you practice the exercises? How can you reach consummation?" I said, "I do not think about how to reach consummation. I am just doing what a Falun Gong practitioner is supposed to do. You are my responsibility, as I am being responsible for future practitioners." She knew that "reforming" us was impossible and gave up the attempt.
c. I Can Let Go of Anything for Sentient Beings
They sent me back to the detention center, where they monitored me 24 hours a day. I was emaciated and extremely weak. The guards and inmates cried when they saw me. I felt compassion for them.
By that time they had decided to send me to the Tuanhe Forced Labor Camp. They had me stay in the detention center for one day only and sent me to the police hospital to receive "treatment," to facilitate my acceptance at Tuanhe.
"No matter what the situation, do not cooperate with the evil's demands, orders, or what it instigates. If everyone does this the environment won't be this way." ("Dafa Disciples' Righteous Thoughts are Powerful," Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I refused to cooperate with them in the hospital. I pulled out the needles and tubes. If my hands were tied, I used my teeth to bite off the tubes. I was not concerned about life or death. I simply wanted to do what a practitioner is supposed to do. I explained the truth of Dafa to the police and nurses there and their understanding changed significantly. Even the most evil police officers were moved, changing from being very rough and rude to taking care of me.
I was sent back and forth to the hospital five times. The hospital officials knew I would not cooperate with them. They then sent many nurses and police to watch me day and night. They also assigned injection experts to give me injections. While they were injecting me, I thought about Master's "Fa." Sometimes several doctors tried and poked me 50 to 60 times but were still unsuccessful. I did not want them to succeed, that is why no one could force medications into me. At each force-feeding I spit out what I had received, foiling their force-feeding attempts.
On the fifteenth day after the Chinese New Year, they could not wait to transfer me from the detention center to the Tuanhe Forced Labor Camp, along with several other practitioners. But the labor camp refused to accept me because of my poor health. The detention center head then brought the paperwork to release me on bail for medical treatment and said, "We will not ask you for the tens of thousands of yuan we spent on your treatment. You can sign your name on the paperwork and have something to eat, to get your strength back. Then you can go home." I did not listen to him. I refused to sign it and demanded to be unconditionally released. The next day I got my freedom.
I had only studied the Fa for over two months before I was illegally detained, but I succeeded in walking out of the evil den with dignity 99 days later. It was all because of my firm belief in Master, in Dafa's power, and because of Master's benevolent protection.
d. Changing Human Notions; Establishing a Correct Basis and Negating the Old Forces' Arrangements
A month later I was arrested again, on April 25, 2002, during an arrest sweep of practitioners. Between 200 and 300 practitioners were arrested then. I was detained with more than ten other practitioners. That same night I decided to go on a protest hunger strike. Some practitioners tried to give me advice, saying, "This time they are very restrictive. Going on a hunger strike might not work. Two practitioners who went on a hunger strike were recently sentenced. We can wait a little while here. They might let us out then." I told them, "We are Falun Gong practitioners. Why would we wait for the old forces to give us anything? The sentient beings are waiting for us."
After I went on a hunger strike, two convicted murderers and several inmates were assigned to force-feed me. They tied up my arms and pushed my legs down. I could not move. The prison doctor pinched my nose and opened my mouth with a metal tool. They used a red rubber tube, poking around in my mouth to make me suffer. I then decided to not let it bother me. When they did it again, I really did not feel that much pain any more. They force-fed me a basin of concentrated salt water.
I remembered what Master said, "All of the arrangements that have interfered with Dafa, that have tried to forcefully impose something on me or the Fa, are absolutely unacceptable." ("Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference") What I did not want, no one could force on me. I spit out all the salt water. My mouth felt dry and I had a bitter taste in my mouth. They thought I would want to drink water and came over to observe what I would do. I then thought, "The salt water in this dimension does not work on my high-energy body. I will not be thirsty." That night I had a dream that Master gave me a bottle of sweet pure water. I knew Master had helped me again.
The next day they attempted to force-feed me again. This time they were not as rough as the day before. They started to talk to me, "You have kids at home that need care. You did not distribute CDs. We will let you go in a couple of days." I initially followed their reasoning. But then it dawned on me that they thought it was wrong to distribute truth-clarification CDs. We do it to explain the truth and offer sentient beings salvation. I should not insist on my personal reasoning and merely go on a hunger strike to be released. I should look at things from the perspective of the Fa and from the standpoint of being responsible for sentient beings. Falun Gong practitioners should not be detained in such a place. This was a disgrace to Dafa. I had to demolish the old forces' arrangements, walk out with dignity, and safeguard Dafa's honor.
They force-fed me with concentrated salt solution four times. I spit it out each time. The guards shackled my hands and feet to the floor for 24 hours. At night I saw my body shining like gold. I told fellow practitioners that Master was encouraging me. I also found the reason for my arrest this time. It was because of my one warped thought: "If they arrest me again, I will go on a hunger strike again to get out."
After May 1, 2002, they tried to transfer me and several other practitioners from the detention center to the forced labor camp. The labor camp refused to accept me. At last they had to send me home. My hunger strike this time had lasted nineteen days.
(To Be Continued)