(Clearwisdom.net) I began practicing Falun Gong in 1995. Over the past several years, with Master's compassionate protection and guidance, I have been able to walk on the cultivation path. I deeply felt the hardships of cultivation. But I even more understand Master's painstaking efforts to save us. I am often moved to tears by Master's vast benevolence. I'm deeply aware that my cultivation needs improvement. I would like to share my cultivation experiences here.

How I Was Introduced to the Fa

I was born in 1951 and grew up in a modern, intellectual family, but my mind was deeply poisoned by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) culture. I did not know that Buddhas and Gods truly exist. I did not believe it, either. I was a complete atheist. My deviated notions made me look down on people who worshiped Buddhas and Gods and devoutly burned incense. I thought they were ignorant.

I had not been healthy since my youth. It became worse during middle age. I suffered from so many illnesses. My family was not rich. We could not afford the high cost of medical expenses. Following doctors' suggestions I started giving qigong a try, trying many different practices. None of them worked. Later on I learned a sham qigong. I felt good at the beginning, but as I continued with the practice my body started to shake uncontrollably. My blood pressure increased. Even medicines did not work any more. I had to stop. (After I learned Dafa I realized that this sham qigong practice involved spirit or animal possession. It was truly frightening.)

I did not know what to do. I felt so tired every day. I could not practice any exercises, and I could not afford medical treatment.

When I went to work one day in 1994 an employee who was recently transferred to our company was standing by the door. She seemed to be waiting for me. When I got near her she told me there would be a Falun Gong class consisting of video lectures in the Bayi Theater. She said it was very good, and I should go. She also told me that the class would be held over a ten-day period. I said, "I'll see." Because there were then so many different brands of qigong I could not tell true ones from sham ones. The next day she brought me a brochure of questions and answers of Master's teachings in Tianjin. I glanced through it and felt quite different. "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" gave me a special, deep impression. I felt great and read it twice more. I decided to attend the video class. When I felt great, I immediately noticed a jumpy feeling in my lower abdomen. I was surprised. But I thought no more of it. As I studied the Fa and practiced more, I realized that Master had given me a Falun.

On November 2, 1994, I listened to Master's lectures in Guangzhou. The principles I had never heard of before disturbed me greatly. After several days I felt I had gotten to know this too late. I cried silently during the last class. I was like a child that had been lost for so many years and had gone through so many hardships and had finally returned to the family. The same night I woke up in the middle of the night and cried for a long time. This class completely changed my world view. It made me understand many principles as they apply to a human being and the root cause of human illness. Since then I have taken a true cultivation path.

Master started purifying my body. Because my health was so poor and I had so many illnesses--high blood pressure, rheumatism, hepatitis, tuberculosis, and skin disease--it was exactly like Master described, "...the bones are all black " ("Lecture Two" in Zhuan Falun, 2000 translation version)

Every day I felt miserable. My legs were so heavy. My brain was numb, but I continued to go to work. I thought, "This is getting rid of the bad things." But I could not let go of my high blood pressure. My mother and brother have this illness. I thought it might be inherited. When I was doing the standing exercise, three of the movements were around the head. I was worried about my hands putting out energy (heat). For a high blood pressure patient, the head does not do well with heat. Was this practice really suitable for me?

The night before the last day of the video class I had a dream. There was a huge theater, with many people upstairs and downstairs watching Master's video lectures. When Master asked everybody whether they could feel the Falun, several people responded they could feel it somewhere. I hesitated and pointed to my head and said I could feel something there. (In fact, when I listened to the lecture during the day, I truly felt something at the baihui acupuncture point on the top of the head.) The dream continued with Master's teaching the Fa. Master said as he was pointing toward his own forehead, "I will install Falun for everybody here." I could not understand the meaning of the dream on awakening, because when Master gave lectures he said he would install Falun in the lower abdomen. Several days later I suddenly came to a realization. Master was giving me hints. Master was purifying my brain. I felt so very relieved. The karma elimination symptoms gradually disappeared.

I have suffered from skin disease for many years. It bothers me at the end of each autumn season. This is also inherited. My father and brother have this disease as well, and it is quite severe. I start applying medicines each year before the onset, to control it. The disease makes the skin on my legs often numb and rigid. After I listened to Master's lectures, this disease started developing rapidly. Itchy pimples erupted all over my body. When I washed them in hot water it hurt and itched intensely. But there was a difference from before: although I did not take any medicine (I knew it was Master purifying my body for me and pushing out the bad things from my body), these pimples remained confined to the lower parts of my legs. None of the pimples expanded. They just became denser. Most unbelievably, my skin improved after I completed the sitting exercise. Several days later the pimples were almost gone. But as soon as I slacked off and was afraid of the pain of crossing my legs, the pimples started developing again. I got up early each morning to practice the sitting exercise and used a stone board to press my legs down. Sometimes the pain made my whole body shake. To a practitioner, this kind of hardship is nothing.

After I started practicing Dafa I felt great, energized, happy, relaxed. I had a strong personality and often got stuck over a small thing and couldn't find my way out of it. I often complained or showed resentment. Just as Master said,

"He might feel very bitter and tired, always finding things unfair. Being unable to eat or sleep well, he feels sad and disappointed. When he gets older, he will end up in poor health and all kinds of illnesses will surface." ("Lecture Seven" in Zhuan Falun)

I used to think I was a righteous person. But after I learned Dafa I discovered so many attachments and human notions. Dafa's tempering made me experience huge physical and mental changes.

Going to Beijing Three Times to Appeal for Dafa: Different Levels of Understanding Led to Different Results

In 1999 Jiang's regime started persecuting Falun Gong. After the "April 25" incident, the practice environment became intense. Although the CCTV kept broadcasting the "Three No's" policy toward qigong--"no beating, no argument, no reporting," they secretly started taking action. All Falun Gong practitioners in my company were investigated. We could sense the tense atmosphere at night when we studied the Fa together. I saw several words one morning in a dream, "Malevolent ones even did Him harm." I realized even more the severity of the persecution. During group study I suggested everybody write cultivation experience sharing articles to validate Dafa, but the practitioners in the group seemed numb. Some said they could not write well. Some said it will be fine as long as we continued to practice the exercises. I got anxious and began to read what the practitioners had written to ask everybody to go out to validate Dafa. I was moved by the articles and cried. But it had a negative effect. No one could understand me. We disbanded unhappily.

My state was not very stable then. I also had an attachment to fear. However, I realized the severity of the situation and that I had to come out to validate Dafa and protect Dafa. Therefore, I was hoping everybody could do that. Through studying the Fa, I soon calmed down. Later I wrote an experience-sharing article titled "Dafa Changed Me." I mainly described the huge physical and mental changes I experienced after I started practicing Falun Gong. Later I represented my study group and wrote Master a short poem that expressed our determination to follow Master closely and persist in practicing Dafa regardless of how difficult it is. I read it once for my group and got recognition from my fellow practitioners. They were all very happy. The atmosphere improved a lot.

On July 19 we heard that our local assistant was arrested. We all went to the Municipal Party Committee to ask them to release the assistant. The second day, many practitioners went to Beijing to appeal. When we got to the train station, the tickets to Beijing were all sold out. The station was full of police officers. That night several of us went to the assistant's home to discuss our next steps. We decided to go to the Provincial Party Committee. After we got there, we wanted to contact the practitioners in Shenyang City to ask about the local situation there, but we could not reach anybody. Later we heard that many practitioners in Shenyang City were arrested. Practitioners from other places were also arrested. When we met a local assistant who told us to go back, we returned home.

During the following days, I often shared experiences and thoughts with fellow practitioners. The situation was very serious at that time. There was a possibility of getting arrested if several practitioners were seen grouped together. The attachment to fear kept surfacing. I often recited Master's poems on my way to practitioners' homes:

"Dafa is what you carry everywhere,
Zhen Shan Ren, rooted in the mind;
A great Arhat walks the earth,
Gods and demons fear with awe." ("Benevolent Might" in Hong Yin)

"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 gradually eliminated the attachment to fear. Especially after sharing my experiences and thoughts with fellow practitioners, fear no longer existed. We discussed going to Beijing to appeal for Dafa.

On October 10 several fellow practitioners from the same company and I took the train to Beijing. Due to our misunderstanding of the Fa principles, we thought going to Beijing to appeal meant getting arrested. Our understanding was that, even if we got arrested, we still would go to appeal. We just wanted them to know that no matter what, Falun Gong would be seeking fair treatment. Therefore, we took a lot of clothes with us when we left. Several days later, we reached out to many Falun Gong practitioners living in the suburbs of Beijing. That night we talked about our next steps. A practitioner who came with me said she wanted to visit a practitioner nearby because there was an experience-sharing there as well, so we decided to stay there to participate in the discussion. While our meeting was going on, a fellow practitioner came in and said many police officers had surrounded and arrested the practitioners that we lived with. There were several dozen practitioners. The next morning when we returned, the room was empty. Nothing was left; even the Dafa books and clothes we had brought were gone. I was so saddened; I returned to the place we were the night before.

There were several rooms in this yard. Everyone was a Falun Gong practitioner except the owner. Three fellow practitioners and I lived in the room next to the gate. Practitioners from other provinces, especially the southern areas, lived in the others rooms. Shortly after we returned, the police came. We closed the door and were very nervous. We heard the police shout: "Anybody here from the Northeast?" After they shouted twice, they entered in the yard and searched the rooms one by one. We heard them talking in the yard, saying that they were looking for people from the Northeast. They asked people who rented the rooms to register. They said they would come back three days later. After a while, there was no noise outside. The only room the police did not search was our room. We were all from the Northeast. We knew that Master was protecting us. Many practitioners who came to appeal were arrested. What was our next step? We briefly shared our thoughts and decided to continue to appeal.

We were arrested in front of Zhongnanhai and taken to the Xicheng Detention Center. At that time, we did not realize that we should negate the persecution and not allow them to commit crimes against Dafa practitioners. Therefore, we just silently endured it or accepted the persecution most of the time, including signing the detention ticket, interrogation document, and fine receipt. Because I did not completely understand Fa-rectification cultivation, I only viewed it from the perspective of personal cultivation. For example, I was not able to differentiate between letting go of the attachment to money and not accepting the economic persecution. Hence, I was taken advantage by the evil and was severely persecuted. This was my lesson.

In November, after having been detained in Beijing and locally, I was transferred to a local brainwashing center. Where the persecution was very severe. The police shouted at, threatened, brutally beat, cursed, and deceived us every day in order to reach their goal of "transforming" us. They locked us in with mentally disabled people and seniors. They used two big locks to lock us in a big empty room. We were not allowed to use the restroom at night. In the meantime, there was public propaganda slandering and framing Falun Gong. In that situation, many practitioners were afraid to validate Dafa. They gave up and said something they were not supposed to say. Some could not let go of the attachment to sentiments and wrote the so-called "guarantee statement" and were let go. Hence, the persecution became even more severe. There were fewer and fewer practitioners who could persist in the practice. Once they called the seven of us to a room and showed us a video that slandered Dafa and asked us to write experience sharing articles. So we wrote an article to attack the slanderous video. This made the police furious. However, just at that time, an earthquake occurred. Everybody ran outside. Later, the police all went home. The next day, the police cursed us for what we did. Somebody was beaten due to this, as well.

Once, a police officer and a person who was responsible for brainwashing came to me. They first asked me several questions that CCTV used to slander Master. I also talked about the many detailed changes I experienced physically. They listened attentively. Later, that police officer left. So did the person who was responsible for brainwashing me. After going back and forth several times, my environment improved. The police did not shout at me like they did others. I have experienced the power of sending forth righteous thoughts. I also experienced that when disciples have strong righteous thoughts, Master can do anything.

Later, due to my own attachments, I was taken advantage by the evil from other dimensions. I wrote a so-called "statement" against my will. I have learned a lesson.

In mid-April 2000, before the World Human Rights Conference ended, several fellow practitioners and I went to Beijing to validate Dafa again. We were arrested on Tiananmen Square again and were sent back to my hometown and detained. In order to resist the police's brutal beating of practitioners, I participated in a group hunger strike and was sent to the detention center. While on the hunger strike, the police asked each of us why we went on the hunger strike. Many of us talked about the brutal beatings and asked for a reasonable practice environment. I told the police about the physical and mental changes I experienced after I started practicing Falun Gong. I told them that what was said on TV about Falun Gong was not true and gave them several examples. The police said I was participating in politics. In the end, they told me to write my signature. I wrote that I hope they could investigate Falun Gong fairly and publicly. "There is nothing wrong with practicing Dafa. Dafa is innocent. Restore the reputation of Dafa and to our Master." Later, I heard that they called for a special meeting to talk about this issue and brought up that the brutal beatings should not be allowed to continue in the future.

Without a deep understanding of the Fa, we did not state that arresting us was illegal and we did not request to be unconditionally released. We continued on the hunger strike, but with no clear goals. Plus many of us did not negate our illegal detention. When being transferred to the detention center, we still signed the detention ticket. I was determined to negate this, and I refused to sign. A section head threatened me and shouted at me to sign. I refused. He said, "Even if you do not sign, we still will transfer you." I told him, "That would be your problem." Later, they transferred me to the detention center. They interrogated me there. I clearly told them, "The path Falun Gong practitioners are taking is the most righteous path." Furious, the police left. Half-a-month later, most of the practitioners were transferred to Masanjia Forced Labor Camp for further persecution.

Surprisingly, I was released from the detention center with Master's protection. Before I was let go, they told me to sign a form that listed several conditions I needed to abide by and the deposit I had to pay. I said, "I will not sign. There is no way. What I cultivate is 'Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance.' It is the truth of the universe!" My response silenced them. After a while, my husband signed it. I did not completely negate it, which caused more hardships on my cultivation path.

After I returned home, my husband wanted to divorce me. He was furious and cursed me every day. He kept his own salary and did not take care of anything in the family. My mother-in-law and other relatives all pressured me and asked me to promise them that I would never go to Beijing again. There was chaos in the family. The neighborhood committee also asked the owner of my building to stop leasing the apartment to us. My company sent three people to watch me. They sent documents defaming me to the whole company, and the security department put me under house-arrest. Later, they said they were afraid that I would influence other employees, so they transferred me to a re-employment center. On every sensitive day and even when it was a holiday, they always closely watched me. The security officers often visited me at work. The police substation officers also often "visited" me.

Every time they came, I always took the opportunity to clarify the truth to them. Every time they persecuted me became a chance for me to expose the evil and the slander. Every time they persecuted me became a chance for me to spread the Fa and eliminate the evil. They became less and less motivated to monitor me. Once I found my section leader and asked him, "Why do you treat me like this? I'm innocent and just being a good person. There is nothing wrong with practicing Falun Gong." He immediately smiled and asked me to sit down and said, "I will let the upper-level know that nobody should discriminate against you." Another time, I asked the deputy director of the Party committee in my company who was responsible for watching Falun Gong practitioners, "Why do you send people to watch me?" He smiled, "This is all for your sake. You are almost retired. Don't let anything bad happen to you." After that, they no longer watched me that closely.

The last time they came to me, even before I said anything, they told me, "It's people from the upper level. We wanted to give you a heads-up." What they meant was: "We have told you. If there is any trouble, we have nothing to do with it." In the end, I wrote my company a letter. In my letter, I told them that I am determined to practice Dafa. I exposed their persecution. I told them how I benefited from practicing Falun Dafa. Falun Dafa is a righteous practice. Falun Dafa is good. This letter told them that they failed in their attempt to transform a Dafa practitioner.

Before I retired, I went back to my department and asked to be given back the illegal fine the police station charged me. When I returned later, my section leader sincerely shook hands with me, and he had a look of admiration in his eyes.

On October 27, 2002, I went to Beijing to validate Dafa on my own. I brought a "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" banner. This time I did not have the concept in my mind of being arrested like I did the last two times. I asked Master to strengthen me, and I kept sending forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the interference. I went to the station ticket booth and saw that they required an identification card. I hesitated because my ID card was taken away by the police in 1999. My fear attacked me, "What if they check ID cards on my way there?" In the past, there were many practitioners taken away at the train station. I thought about it and tried to calm myself down, and I eliminated my human notions. I was thinking about ways to get the ticket without an ID card. Just then, I heard a man talking to a woman, "I have a ticket to Beijing. Can you sell it for me? It is for today, 90 yuan, round trip." The woman asked, "Why don't you want to go anymore?" He said, "Something happened in my family. I cannot go anymore. Otherwise, the ticket will be wasted." I walked over. He asked me, "Want to buy a ticket to Beijing? I can sign for you." I said, "OK." I paid him and he signed for me. After I got on the train, nobody asked for an ID card. Everything went so smoothly. The sky even seemed so clear. When the train approached Beijing, several dark clouds appeared in the sky. I kept sending forth righteous thoughts.

On my way there, the train attendant gave everybody a bottle of water, a sausage and a piece of bread. On the water bottle, it said "Tiger from the Northeast." I was laughing inside. When I got to Beijing, I called a taxi and went directly to Tiananmen Square. The Political Consultation Committee Conference was going on then, so there were many police officers about. I got out of the taxi and went to the square. There were not too many people there. There was a fence around the square. Police officers were around each corner. A white van was parked on the square. People inside the van were looking out. I walked around the square and sent forth righteous thoughts as I walked. I asked Master to strengthen me. There were two pairs of soldiers walking back and forth. I picked a place and a good chance. I took out my "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" banner and shouted, "Falun Dafa is good! Falun Dafa is good!" I saw a service personnel nearby run towards me. I put away my banner and walked away. I had no fear at all. I knew Master was strengthening me. When that person approached me, I turned my head, pointed at him, and said, "Freeze." He stopped. I walked calmly out of the square. With Master's protection, I was able to safely return home.

In my going to Beijing three times to appeal for Dafa, different levels of understanding caused different results. From my eleven years of cultivation, what I want to write is too much, although most of it would be about lessons and deficiencies. Recording it could serve as a reference for others. I still have many human notions and many attachments that need to be eliminated. I still have not broken through tests within my family. I still have not eliminated the attachment to sentiment. Some human notions often resurface. If I am more diligent and do well the three things while walking toward consummation, that will be the best way to repay Master's salvation and validate Dafa.