Falun Dafa Practitioners Must Always Maintain Righteous Thoughts
(Clearwisdom.net) I started practicing Falun Dafa in April 1997, but I became a serious practitioner after July 20, 1999. At first, my purpose for practicing Falun Gong was to try to cure my health problems. At that time, I didn't understand what cultivation really was.
My attachment to personal gain before cultivation wasn't very strong. However, competing to get ahead, be in front, and be "a strong woman regardless of the situation," made me unable to eat or sleep well, and gave me nervous breakdowns and other problems. With my tired mind and body, and my hard and sallow face, I looked 5-6 years older than my actual age. I didn't want to attend any of my schoolmates' or my colleagues' parties, and I wasn't willing to go out with my husband because I looked so old. (Actually he's one year older than I am.) I fantasized all the time about how great it would be if I practiced some kind of qigong that made me look younger. So, before coming into Dafa, I learned many kinds of qigong, including some of the animal-possessed qigongs that our Teacher warns about.
One day, my youngest sister-in-law said to me, "You'd be better off practicing Falun Gong--it is a high level practice." Soon after, she brought me a copy of Zhuan Falun. Since the book says something about dual cultivation of mind and body and making practitioners look younger, my desire to look younger was satisfied. With this attachment, I began to practice Falun Gong. I almost didn't even study the Fa, but rather sought things from the Fa, and I seldom joined group practice with fellow practitioners. When the evil persecution started on July 20, 1999, I wasn't very upset. I even didn't agree with those who went to Beijing to appeal for justice for Dafa. On top of that, I even signed a so-called "letter of agreement" at my office, promising to no longer practice. Only later, when I read Teacher's article, "Fa-Rectification Period Dafa Disciples," did I begin to realize that Dafa disciples are obligated to safeguard the Fa. Even then, I didn't really join in wholeheartedly.
No matter how poor my cultivation state was, benevolent Teacher did not give up on me. He is still be my side, helping me. In order to stop me from falling, Teacher made Dafa's divine phenomena manifest before me, enabling me to know that Dafa cultivation is upright. Thus, I began to study the Fa more, and exchange with fellow practitioners about cultivation. I learned to look within and began to comprehend the importance of maintaining righteous thoughts.
The following are some of my understandings.
Below are my understandings on:
"When disciples have ample righteous thoughts Master has the power to turn back the tide." ("The Master-Disciple Bond" from Hong Yin II, English Translation Version A)
1. At the beginning of the persecution, the County Public Security Bureau and City North Police Station both called me and asked if I still practice Falun Gong. I said that I don't practice much. They said that since the leaders don't allow it, I'd better not do it. They asked me to turn in my books so that they could destroy them. I said I'd do it myself. Using cunningness to fool them, I was able to safely keep the books. But, since I handled the situation with fear and hypocrisy, my body manifested the symptoms of illness. I had an appendicitis and developed an abscess. It hurt very much. Later on, I got an IV, but it didn't help. I was following an everyday person's way. On the fifth day of the IV, the IV bottle was full of bubbles when I looked at it. I realized that I could no longer look at supernormal things with an everyday person's mentality. I pulled out the IV needle. Why did I have that kind of sickness? It was because of being a hypocrite. I didn't have the courage to admit that I am a Dafa practitioner. Am I even qualified to be a practitioner!? I said to Teacher: "I didn't do well, but from now on I'll cultivate righteously." Three days later, the painful abscess disappeared. From then on I've been able to righteously resist the various tests.
2. In 2004 when Hong Yin II just came out, a few fellow practitioners and I were responsible for book binding. At that time, a big cutting knife wasn't available, so I asked a non-practitioner to get me a small knife. Since we were rushing with improper tools and trying to slice the stack of paper a little too thick, the knife slipped off a little, and the stack of paper became very uneven; when all the books were bound, they didn't look pleasant. When some fellow practitioners came over and saw this, they complained that we were not being serious enough when binding Dafa books. They were so unpleasant looking! I said I was only thinking about getting them done quickly so that everyone could read it sooner. When my husband came home at night, he scolded me quite a bit in front of fellow practitioners. I was feeling pretty bad, so I looked within myself to find my attachment. I was trying to validate myself! This was a serious matter! I said to Teacher, "Teacher, I'm wrong. My husband and I will cut it the right way tomorrow, two pages at a time." At night, my right hand grew a little bit longer while doing the Falun Standing Stance. I was wondering what kind of hint Teacher was giving me! After I got up the next morning, I walked over to the book shelf where the book-paper was placed, only to find that the book-paper was moved. I yelled to my husband, "Did you re-cut the books?" He said, "We went to bed at the same time, I am coming to cut them right now." We carefully looked at the book-paper. It looked like it was cut with a big cutting knife. It looked very neat and nice. We realized that Teacher did it for us. One day I was reciting: "When disciples have ample righteous thoughts, Master has the power to turn back the tide." ("The Master-Disciple Bond" from Hong Yin II, English Translation Version A) All of a sudden, I came to understand that Teacher did not cut the paper, but rather lengthened the short pieces so everything matched up.
3. One day in March 2004 I was selling bread on the street. A tractor loaded with 13-14 people came by. They all wanted to buy my bread, and praised me, saying that my bread was delicious. At that time, I was going to tell them the facts about Falun Dafa, but on second thought, I figured if one of those people was too bad to be saved, what if he reported me to the police? Before they left, I said, "Come again if you think the bread was delicious." They said, "We're from a village more than 200 miles away, we're here to buy some seeds, it's hard for us to come back here even though we like your bread." After they left, I came to realize that because of my fear, they lost their opportunity to listen to the truth and be saved. All the time I've been telling others not to let anyone with a predestined relationship pass by. There were so many people just a little while ago--what a great opportunity that I missed. I felt ashamed of myself. I said to Teacher, "Teacher, I didn't do well, please give me another chance, I'll do well next time."
The next morning, when I was passing the front door of a store selling clay pots, an employee asked me to bring her a bag of bread. It was 5:00 p.m., and the office was closed. She asked me, because employees aren't allowed to buy things during office hours. Normally I'd only do business half of the day, and in the afternoon, I'd prepare truth-clarifying materials. But I made a promise to her, because I was thinking: maybe it'll be an opportunity to clarify the truth. When I got there at 5:00 p.m., they asked me to wait for half an hour because their boss wanted to hold a meeting. I was thinking, as long as I could clarify the truth about Dafa, another 30 minutes wouldn't matter. At this moment a man called out to me, "People from the tractor are looking for you." I walked over and saw the same tractor with the same people that bought bread from me the day before. I said, "You guys liked the delicious bread?" They said, "It was good, we'd like to buy some more, but the price has to be cheaper." I said, "I practice Falun Gong, so I treat people fairly. I charged 50 cents per bag yesterday, I'll charge 50 cents for two bags today, okay?" They said, "No, you get 50 cents for three bags." I was thinking, Teacher arranged this opportunity for me to clarify the truth of Falun Dafa, I have to do it well. As long as I could clarify the truth, it would be okay even if I don't make any money. So I said, "Okay!" As I was giving them the bread, I began clarifying the facts about Dafa; I told them to remember "Falun Dafa is good," and regardless of whether they believe it or not, don't ever take part in persecuting Dafa practitioners. Before parting, I asked them why they came back. They told me that the seeds they bought were no good. I knew it was arranged by Teacher for saving people.
4. In October 2005 I was arrested and taken to the local detention center. Afterwards, I was sentenced to 7 years in prison. Because I went on a hunger strike, I was able to get out of the "den of evil" on February 13, 2006.
Right after I was illegally arrested, I went on a hunger strike for more than two months. Going on a hunger strike wasn't validating Dafa, it was for the purpose of getting out of jail. Because of fear, I didn't really get rid of the attachment to life and death. For that reason, not only was I not released, but I was also sentenced to a prison term of 7 years. The police ransacked my home, took away a large stack of the "Nine Commentaries on Communist Party," other truth-clarifying materials, a computer, and a copier. In addition to the robbery, they intimidated me by saying that giving me a 10-year imprisonment would be a minimum sentence. At that time, I thought they definitely would give me a heavy jail sentence and wouldn't let me go easily.
My thinking was actually quite off, and was in-line with the old forces. When my mind settled down, I began to recite a poem from Teacher's Hong Yin II:
Your body lies in prison--don't be sorrowful, don't be sad. With righteous thoughts and righteous actions, Fa is here. Calmly reflect on how many attachments you have. As you get rid of human mentality, evil is naturally defeated. ("Don't Be Sad" from Hong Yin II, English Translation Version B)
Afterwards, I began to look inside to see what was wrong with my conduct. What kind of attachment did I not let go of? I found my attachment of showing off, complacency, attachment to self, and validating self instead of validating the Fa. Teacher said:
"The trials that a cultivator goes through are something an everyday person could not endure. That is why throughout history so few people have been able to succeed in cultivation and reach Consummation. Human beings are just human beings. At critical moments it is hard for them to let go of their human notions, but they always try to find excuses to convince themselves. A magnificent cultivator, on the other hand, is able to let go of his Self and even all of his ordinary human thoughts amidst crucial trials. ("Position" from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
Facing the evil forces, I recited:
"If you have fear, they will grab you
Once your thought is righteous, evil will collapse
People practicing cultivation, filled with Fa
Sending righteous thoughts, exploding rotten ghosts
Gods are in the world, validating Fa"
("What's There to Fear" from Hong Yin II, English Translation Version B).
"Those who enlighten, transcending the world, are revered
Those who earnestly cultivate, sincerely believe in reaching Consummation
In the midst of great tribulation, one should be steadfast
The will to advance wholeheartedly cannot be altered" ("Steadfast" from Hong Yin II, English Translation Version B).
I thought to myself, "I've already obtained the Fa, what else do I have to worry about? My path is arranged by Teacher. What Teacher does not acknowledge, I do not acknowledge either. No one else can arrange my path and I will only walk the path Teacher arranged. The police forced me into their car and took me to Beidai Prison. On the way they, they seemed to worry about me escaping. They said, "Since you've been sentenced already, what could you do [to get out of it]?" I said, "What you say doesn't count. Only what my Teacher says counts." I wasn't moved by them at all. I kept sending forth righteous thoughts and telling the truth about Dafa. When the police car arrived at the front gate of the prison, I refused to get out of the car, so they dragged me out. I said, "Prison isn't the place I should stay."
While having a physical exam in the prison, Teacher made four kinds of sickness appear in my body. Because of this, the prison refused to admit me. They only advised the police on how to do forced-feeding, telling them that I could be brought back only when I had recovered from their "treatments." The evil police bribed the prison with 5,000 yuan, but they still refused to take me in. Before then, my understanding was that when a detention center sends a person to prison, they should receive 800 yuan in return. Anyway, as soon as I returned to the detention center, they force-fed me and put me on an IV, but I didn't cooperate and continued my hunger strike. On the 6th day, they called my family to take me home.
As I comprehend it, regardless of how big a tribulation is, we must firmly believe in Teacher and Dafa. Please correct me if anything I wrote is not in accordance with the Fa.