People with Disabilities
Case 10. Xiufen Xie
Xiufen Xie, 53, was born in a village near Handan City, Hebei Province, China. Her story was originally published in an official Chinese newspaper in 1998. Ms. Xie suffered from paralysis due to a spinal cord injury when she was given spinal anesthesia proir to an operation in 1979. She lived in a wheelchair, and was totally dependent on family members for daily care for 16 years. After coming to Falun Dafa, she changed from being a patient in agony to a practitioner with firm determination. With the help of Dafa, she fought and finally triumphed over the paralysis caused by the spinal injury. Not only has she been able to abandon her wheelchair and walking stick, but she can walk faster than many healthy people.
My husband was in the army and I was a housewife. After leaving the army, my husband worked as a plumber in The 301 Hospital for 40 years. He is now retired. I was from a poor family, and I attended school for only two years, since I had to stay home to look after my brothers and sisters.
I had been paralyzed for a total of 16 years. I was very lucky to encounter Falun Dafa. It is Master Li Hongzhi who enabled me to stand up again and rearrange my life.
My story started in 1979 when I had a tubal ligation in a rural hospital. I was given spinal anesthesia. I rode a bicycle to go to the hospital. After the operation, I was unable to walk. I had to stay in bed for 16 years. The diagnosis given from The 301 Hospital ([Editorís note: The 301 Hospital is the Peopleís Liberation Army General Hospital and is regarded as one of the elite hospitals in China.] was paralysis from spinal injury.
The pain that came with the paralysis was beyond words. I had four children at that time. The youngest was only two years old. I lost the ability to take care of myself and had to rely on my mother. My mother also had a large family of five. She had endless farm work and housework. Not only did she have to look after the children; she also had to take care of me. I was absolutely useless. So she was always exhausted. I often cried and felt as if a knife were piercing my heart.
After my brother was married, I could no longer stay in my motherís house. I stayed with my husband who was in the army. His monthly salary at that time was only about RMB?0-50 (Chinese dollars), and we had six family members to feed. Besides the tight financial situation, my husband had to cook, wash clothes, and look after the children after coming home from a tiring dayís work. He had to be both a father and a mother. Besides, he had to take care of me: food, drink, and every other daily need. He had to carry me to the toilet, wash my diapers, etc. I could never help having tears in my eyes. I was afraid of wetting the bed, so I began to eat and drink less. However, since I was bedridden, I developed more than 10 illnesses: atrophic gastritis, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, esophagitis, colitis, cervical spondylopathy, anal fissure, etc. I had to lie in bed, was unable to move my limbs, and could not move my neck. I felt as if I were in hell! Once when I was thirsty, I stretched out for a cup that was out of reach. I fell to the floor, knocked out one of my teeth, and had to lie there until my husband came home to put me back into bed.
I was hospitalized in several famous hospitals. Despite all my efforts, there was no improvement. I struggled in pain for 16 years. I was in agony and wanted to die.
In April 1996, my younger sister told me she and her husband were practicing Falun Gong, and that it was a very good cultivation and meditation system. She said, "Physical illnesses will be gone if you practice Falun Gong." I was very happy to hear that, but wondered whether it would work for someone like me, who had never seen the Master in person. My sister told me that it was not a problem, and she sent me the book Zhuan Falun.
I was afraid that I wouldnít be allowed to practice Falun Gong since I had severe illnesses. So I tried to stand up by leaning on the wall, reading Zhuan Falun as I started to exercise my legs. I started by standing for a few minutes to 10 minutes. I sometimes fell to the floor while I was reading. Then I would read on my knees. I kept exercising my legs for three months, and their strength improved. My standing time gradually increased. I felt very happy. On July 1, I asked my husband to take me in the wheelchair to the Falun Gong practice site at the 6th Construction Area. Mr. An, who was assistant of this practice site, asked me, "Do you have any illnesses?" I kept replying, "No, I am fine. I donít have any illnesses, I donít have any illnesses." He smiled and said nothing. I felt relieved. I stayed at the west side far away from the group to practice on my own. Slowly I started to move closer to the group. Later, they invited me to practice with them. My heart was so relieved. I will remember this day forever. "I have become a Falun Dafa practitioner now! Now I can practice as a normal person!"
After I started practicing Falun Gong, I stopped thinking of my illnesses. Miraculously, during the first two months of my practice, my body was very comfortable, and all illnesses disappeared. My appetite improved and I gradually gained some weight. I also felt that I was gaining more strength in both of my feet.
One year after going to the practice site in a wheelchair with the help of my husband, my health was much improved. I decided to give up the wheelchair and started to walk to the practice site using a walking stick. On February 2, 1998, I went to study Falun Dafa with my husband. During the study Mr. An suggested, "We disciples could help promote Falun Dafa at the Spring Festival." After the study it was quite late and the weather was cold. I asked my husband to go home and cook for the children first. I started to walk home slowly with the help of my walking stick. I hadnít walked very far when I heard a voice saying, "Put down! Put down!" I thought that somebody was calling me so I turned around, but no one was there. I continued walking and thought nothing of it. I tried to think of ways that we could deliver the message of Falun Dafa at the Spring Festival. Suddenly, I heard the words "Put down! Put down!" again. I now realized that the words were coming from my own mouth. I could not explain the phenomenon. Something inside me was making me say these words, but what could it be? Perhaps I had inadvertently picked up something at Mr. Anís house, and someone was trying to warn me. Maybe Master Li made my voice speak? I sat down on the roadside and searched all my pockets, but could find nothing. Once again, I tried to block this mysterious occurrence from my mind and started to think about spreading Dafa. "Put down! Put down!" I was getting perplexed. I could not stop saying the words. As I walked back home, I covered my mouth to keep the voice down. I felt very awkward as other pedestrians kept looking at me on the way home. Then, I noticed that I was walking with the help of my walking stick. Maybe Master Li was trying to tell me to put down the walking stick! I looked at it, and I realized that I was only half way home. What if I fell down? I continued walking and decided I would put it down when I got home.
I kept thinking about this later that evening. It took 45 minutes to walk from Mr. Anís house to my home. Why did I keep shouting, "Put down!"? Eventually I understood. How could I spread Dafa when I walked with the help of a stick?
The next morning I started to walk around the house. I wobbled and staggered like a young child learning to walk. Look! Not bad. My husband saw me and said anxiously, "Are you crazy? You might fall down." I said firmly, "I will get rid of the walking stick. See, I am doing all right!" Then I went to the practice site to practice Gong. When the fellow practitioners saw me walking with a limp, they laughed with surprise and congratulated me on my standing up again! I obtained the "freedom" of walking on my feet again. I was so excited that I wanted to cry out loud, "I stood up again! Master Li saved me!"
Every time I saw Master Liís photo I wanted to cry! When I read Zhuan Falun I wanted to laugh. I sometimes laughed out loud. How could I not thank Master Li from the bottom of my heart? I will keep cultivating firmly. No matter how many hardships lie ahead of me, I will continue. Then when I was practicing lotus sitting I used 2.5-kilogram dumbbells to press on my legs. I had tears in my eyes from the pain. My son anxiously told me, "Donít break your legs! Itís too much pain." I said, "Not a problem!" I worked on my legs for a month after I started practicing Falun Gong in July. By August I could sit in the lotus position. My sitting time increased little by little until I could sit for 10 minutes. That day I was too happy to eat. Now I can do lotus sitting for an hour.
I started walking without a walking stick on February 3. A month later, I almost wanted to fly like a bird. Most people canít walk as fast as I do now. This is Falun Dafaís power in me. It is true and intense!
I truly know in my heart that Falun Dafa is a Great Way, and will benefit everyone who learns it. In order to spread Dafa, I went back to my motherís place, which is close to Baitou City in Hebei Province. The villagers, noticing that I walked as a normal person, asked in surprise, "In which hospital was your paralysis cured?" I said excitedly, "I was cured by practicing Falun Dafa, not by going to hospitals!" The fellow villagers said, "Thatís amazing! Falun Dafa is so good; please teach us to practice." I taught my brothers and sisters first and then the others. In a few days, 40-50 people came to learn Falun Dafa. My brotherís yard could not accommodate all of them. Some folks from other villages also came to learn Falun Dafa. Really, itís just like Master Li has stated: "Dafa is being spread far and wide. Those who heard about it are looking for it. Those who have obtained it are pleased with it. The practitioners are increasing daily in number and there are too many of them to be counted."
(Adapted from MI. Xieís article originally published in the Chinese official newspaper China Economy Times on July 10, 1998.)
Case 11. Robert Nappi
Robert Nappi, 46, is a resident in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. He lost his reading and writing ability after a severe car accident in 1991. He also lost the feeling in his right arm from a brain operation. He spent his days drinking alcohol, smoking pot, and taking drugs just to tolerate his lonely, wasteful, and useless existence. All those were changed after one day in 1998 when he read the book Zhuan Falun. He felt as if he had just woken up, and his life became meaningful again.
Once upon a time in 1998, I was reintroduced to a reason to live. When I look into a mirror, I reflect on this little universe or form of animation to which Iíve "awakened." I call this my Self. Let me begin my story with the explanation that I died in a car accident in 1991. Iíve been told that I would not be alive today if a doctor had not witnessed the accident at that moment as he was backing out of his driveway on his way to work. He managed to help me breathe again, and acquired a helicopter to take me to the hospital, where I lived for a year. I had an injury to the left hemisphere of my brain, which has taken away much of my memory of the last 30 years of my life. It took me about seven months to learn to walk again. I could not read or write for more than six years. What a boring, useless, and lonely life this turned out to be, as I would spend my days drinking alcohol, smoking pot, and taking drugs just to tolerate my lonely, wasteful, and useless existence. Then along came destiny trying to catch my attention, and lead me through and out of this maze of confusion I called reality. I was turned onto Zhuan Falun (Revolving Law Wheel). Itís a wonderfully powerful and majestically enlightening book. This book helps guide our understanding with truths and reasons for the purposeful existence of our being, within and as a part of life. It is written and shared with us by the Master Teacher, Li Hongzhi. He has this compassionate understanding of our need for help with the guidance through this maze of misunderstandings that we find ourselves lost in and trapped by.
Now call this a coincidence, but I prefer to see it as a miracle involved with my cultivation. When I opened the book Zhuan Falun, suddenly, I could read. I felt as if Iíd just woken up. Also I forgot all about smoking and drinking, and had no desire to do so anymore. Now to those who would say that these first two miracles are just all in my mind, I would say that we all have been given a free will and chose what we settle for, as we mold our belief systems.
One morning when I was working in my garden, I accidentally dropped a big log on my finger, which broke it and cut it badly. At that time, my wife was ready to start her daily Falun Dafa exercises. So she suggested that I do the movements along with her, that it would help. She had been involved in this already for a few months. I still hadnít taken it seriously. Iím told these movements change our bodies on a microscopic level by cleansing the bad karma from our bodies that we have accumulated throughout our lives. Not that I necessarily had a lot of blind faith or expectations in the event about to take place, I was just looking to try to calm down. I was told to just do the movements and remain tranquil with no mind intent. Ten minutes after we started my finger felt a little better, ten more minutes, much better. After ten more minutes went by there was no sign of any damage to my finger. It was no longer black and blue, and no longer felt broken. Also, the inch-long cut was miraculously healed. Itís hard to believe, but absolutely true. I still find it hard to accept as reality, but I have a witness in case I forget.
These days I find myself more diligently practicing the movements and reading the book. Now keep in mind, that for the last six years Iíve had no feeling in my right arm due to the operation performed on my brain that caused me to have a stroke. But one Saturday I was at the Mall in Washington, D.C., and while practicing the Wheel Embracing movement of Falun Gong, my back began hurting really badly, and then all of a sudden a loud popping sound came from the middle of my back. Seconds later another loud popping sound came from my wrist. Suddenly I had feeling in my arm once again. I was told that my energy must have been unblocked.
I could go on and on about these miraculous events happening to me. Instead, I would like to try to explain some realizations to which I have been awakened. There is this great foundation of truth, blossoming within my being. Many truth seekers are aware that master teachers have periodically appeared for us throughout the ages and have tried to guide us out of this maze of misunderstandings. We must realize weíre part of the universe, and the only way for us to gain ultimate health is by assimilating into the true nature of this universe with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. With the confusion brought on by ourselves, we, as man have lived with an obscured view of reality. Most of mankind has built life on belief systems with untrue or shaky foundations. The book Zhuan Falun can and will give those of us with the desire and destiny for a life filled with enlightenment a chance to cultivate our true nature. Loads of addictions and attachments like gravity pull us down into this maze of misunderstandings. We should let go of these. What makes Falun Dafa so appealing to those seeking the truth about life is obvious to anyone who will look with an open mind and a heart of understanding. While observing these Falun Dafa practitioners, you will notice the truthfulness that flows in a natural way from within their being. They seem to project a certain compassionate tolerance and great endurance toward disharmonious situations.
(Adapted from Mr. Nappiís article written in 1999.)
Case 12. Andrew Hsu
Andrew Hsu, 42, is a computer software engineer living in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. He has practiced Falun Dafa since 1996. His right leg has been severely crippled since childhood due to polio. It was difficult for him to get through winter months because his right leg would become so cold that he could not sleep without warming it up. His body has been in the process of purification since the first day that he learned Falun Dafa. Now he is healthier and no longer needs to warm up his leg. He can fall asleep as soon as his head touches the pillow, and his entire body stays warm all night.
I was afflicted with polio when I was nine months old. My handicapped right leg seemed to determine a life of suffering. As a child, I was always falling down. Most of the time my body was covered with bruises. However, the bitterness from this did not stop me from seeking wisdom and truth. It was very difficult to find a genuine teacher for cultivation.
While pondering what to do about cultivation and practice, I found the Way and learned about Falun Dafa on August 17, 1996. I was very excited and enlightened after reading the book. It suddenly untied the knot that had been in my heart for so many years. Perennial questions were answered and problems were solved. I started a new life with cultivation in Falun Dafa.
Since the first day I learned Dafa, my body has been in the process of purification. I had a bout of diarrhea during the Nine-Day Workshop when I first watched Masterís lectures on video. Then all my previous illnesses returned. I had a bursting headache, and my body was sore all over. It was really hard to bear. Amazingly, I was fine during the evening workshop and during the daytime. However, after going home I would start to become uncomfortable. These kinds of bodily purification came one after another during the first year of my practice. I knew that I had lots of karma and faced these ordeals without paying too much attention to them.
Despite these ordeals, I didnít take any medicine or see a doctor. In fact, my body has become healthier after each cleaning. For example:
1. Before my cultivation my allergies during pollen season would last several months. Medication did not help at all. However, during the pollen season of 1997 my allergy was over within two weeks, and since then it has never recurred.
2. I could not bear the pain in my lower back and legs during the sitting meditation, starting from the first three minutes. Now, Iím able to meditate with my legs double-crossed (in full lotus position) for more than two hours.
3. I gained 14 kilograms after coming to the United States in 1987. Efforts to reduce the weight were in vain. Now, I have lost over 10 kilograms without much effort, just from continuing normal cultivation.
There are many other changes in my body and mind that are hard to describe in the scope of this article. But one important change in my body Iíd like to point out is my reaction to cold temperatures.
I never liked cold or damp environments ever since I was a child. So winter was the most difficult season for me to get through. In particular, my right leg turned icy cold from my skin down to the marrow of my bones when I got out of bed. It was not numb because it hurt when I pinched it. Although my leg is part of my body, it didnít fully respond to the commands from my mind. Nothing could keep it warm regardless of the material of the pants or how many layers I wore. This frozen "meat popsicle" accompanied me for almost 40 cold winters. Throughout the years, I had a regular routine to warm up my leg every night. I used an electric blanket, which took at least 30 minutes to warm up my leg. However, since 1998, I no longer have had to use any electronic devices. I just fall asleep as soon as my head touches the pillow, and my entire body stays warm all night. Moreover, I have been practicing Falun Gong exercises outdoors in the morning on a daily basis, including those frozen cold winter days.
After practicing Falun Dafa, I realize that studying the Fa (Buddha Law) and cultivating Xinxing (mind-nature) are the keys for elevation. For example, one day when I was shopping, a cart hit my left heel, which previously had been badly wounded. The pain brought me down to my knees, and tears filled my eyes. My first thought was, "Which harum-scarum did it?" Turning back, I saw an old man peeking from the side of his overloaded shopping cart with an innocent, but worried look. I realized that he didnít intend to hurt me, and I should treat myself as a practitioner. Thus, I stood up and walked away. I kept saying to myself "nothing, nothing" while the pain bothered me. When I got home I was so busy that I forgot about the incident. That night I studied the Fa (Buddha Law) with practitioners, and I happened to think of the incident. I quickly took off my sock and examined the place where it had been hit by the cart. Not only was the pain gone, but also I didnít see any marks, and the skin was intact.
(Adapted from Mr. Hsuís article written in 2000.)