Recalling the Practice Sites at Wuhan University
(Clearwisdom.net) Wuhan University in its present form is an amalgamation of what used to be Wuhan University, Wuhan Technical University of Maps and Surveys, Wuhan University of Hydraulic and Electrical Engineering and Hubei Medical University. There were Falun Gong practice sites at each of the universities before the persecution began. Since the persecution of Falun Gong started on July 20, 1999, many of the practitioners who used to come to those sites have been detained and tortured. In spite of this, the majority of them have been steadfastly walking along the path of cultivation, fighting against the persecution to save sentient beings and striving to fulfill their prehistoric grand vow.
Teacher donated Falun Gong and other Falun Dafa books to Wuhan University. When one practitioner found a copy of Falun Gong on a bookshelf, it contained Teacher's seal on the title page. As a matter of fact, Teacher donated a large number of Falun Dafa books and audio materials to many organizations.
The practice site at the former Wuhan University was established during the cherry blossom season in 1996. At the time, some practitioners from Wuchang District came to Wuhan University to promote Falun Dafa and practitioners scattered around the university participated. A meeting was held and it was decided that a practice site should be set up. Someone brought a cassette recorder from home, as well as exercise tapes and banners. There was a poster showing an introduction to Falun Gong and another one bearing the words "Free Instruction of Falun Dafa Exercises." The site and the time for the group exercises were quickly chosen and fliers advertising the free classes were distributed on campus. Two girls from other universities came to the practice site right away. One of them had attended Teacher's lectures in Yanji, Jilin Province.
The practice site was originally at the Putao Pavilion on the slope down Yinghua Road, where it was picturesque and quiet. However, it was an out-of-the-way place and offered no shelter when it rained. Therefore, it was moved to the back of the Humanities Pavilion. It was a prominent spot and had a roof which could provide shelter when it rained, so that we were able to have group exercises and group Fa-study, regardless of wind or rain. At the time we practiced the first four exercises in the morning, studied the Fa at noon and did the fifth exercise, the sitting meditation, at 9 o'clock in the evening. Even in winter, the practitioners sat on only a piece of newspaper when doing the meditation or studying the Fa.
After the practice site was established, we gathered all the practitioners that were scattered around. Since students were highly mobile and would leave after their graduation, we set up a teachers' practice site at the parade grounds in front of the the Physics College, in order to provide a stable practice site. In the end, there were two practice sites, one for students and one for teachers.
There is a story that illustrates the influence of the Wuhan practice site: An elderly monk from a well-known Buddhist temple in Wuhan was studying Falun Gong. He had first learned of it from a Wuhan University student who came to the temple and brought a lot of Buddhist scriptures. Many of them were new to the elderly monk. He asked the student why he brought the books. The student said, "I have found the truth of the universe, the true Buddha Fa. I will devote my life to pursue and protect it. That is Falun Gong." The elderly monk was shocked to hear this. He thought that a student from a such a prestigious university would surely have a very good future if he had such a steadfast belief in and pursuit of the Buddha Fa. It meant that Falun Gong must be very special and the monk always remembered Falun Gong.
Predestined people from the Colleges of Arts and Science and Engineering gradually came to the students' practice site. Among them were many with post graduate degrees. One graduate student from the Philosophy Department was described by his classmates as the "best talent in Philosophy." He came into Falun Gong simply because he agreed with the three principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance."
Some of the predestined people were from outside of the university. For example, there was a young man from Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province who wanted to become a monk and planned to go to a Buddhist monastery in Sichuan or Tibet. He was staying at Wuhan University temporarily and came across Falun Gong. After having watched the video Fa lectures by the founder of Falun Gong and sharing experiences with other practitioners, he resolutely stepped onto the path of Falun Dafa cultivation. When he returned to his hometown he joined the local practitioners in promoting Falun Gong. Another young man who was not yet 20 years old from Zhangzhou City, Fujian Province had learned Falun Gong but had never met other practitioners, which worried him. When he was reading the text Explaining the Content of Falun Dafa he realized that there was an assistance center in Wuhan and came all the way to Wuhan with his younger brother. But where was the site? He thought of Wuhan University and went there. At the noon he happened to meet a practitioner who had gone to the site to study the Fa. After returning home he set up a practice site with the assistance of other practitioners from Fuzhou, the capital city of Fujian Province.
To further promote Falun Dafa among students and lecturers at the institutions of higher learning, the practitioners organized and held a "Falun Buddha Fa Study Sharing Conference of Higher Learning in Wuhan City" in a big classroom at Huazhong Normal University in April, 1996.
Group Fa study at the students' practice site was held on Sunday morning. Usually the Fa study would be at noon. For a while, even students from nearby colleges and universities joined in. Sometimes, practitioners from other parts of Wuhan also joined the Fa study and experience sharing at Wuhan University.
Starting July 21, 1999, some practitioners of Wuhan City have been arrested due to the government-sponsored persecution of Falun Gong throughout the country. Wuhan University students spontaneously went to the provincial government building to appeal for the rights of Falun Gong. The following morning, students went to the square in front of the Physics College to practice the exercises although they were on summer vacation. The university security department and police kept a close watch on them. After they finished their exercises, the students frankly and sincerely explained their positions to them. However, they left instantly. This was the last time a peaceful group exercise was held at Wuhan University.