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My Cultivation Experience

January 01, 2001 |   Zhou Huan

My name is Zhou Huan. I am from Troy, Michigan and started cultivation of Falun Dafa in July 1996. I would like to share my cultivation experiences with you. Please comment and correct me if you think there is anything inappropriate.

1. Obtaining Dafa

In the summer of 1996, my husband learned a practice called Falun Gong from his friends. He taught me to hold the Falun (Law wheel) the same day. Prior to that, I had been suffering from muscle aches for years. When my husband taught me how to hold the Falun (Law wheel), I felt that my two arms were very heavy. I was so tired that I could only keep the four wheel-embracing movements for about 3 minutes each before I sat down to take a break. At that moment, I had a relaxing feeling that I had never felt before. My husband also told me that Falun Gong is not just about doing exercises, it also requires the cultivation of the mind. I was very curious and asked my husband what else he knew about Falun Gong. He said only that it was different from what he had experienced before. He also said that the Falun Gong books are available on the web and can be downloaded for free. We started reading the book immediately. I was very excited, though I was not quite sure what Falun Gong was about. I just felt that it was good. At that time, China Falun Gong was the only book available. When the revised edition of China Falun Gong and Zhuan Falun were published later, I also read both of them. I had a strong desire to continue reading them. My husband and I flew to Houston for the lecture our Master taught there on October 12, 1996. We went because we read a paragraph in Zhuan Falun, "I think that those who can listen to my lectures in person, I would say, honestly...you will realize in the future that this period of time is extremely precious." (Zhuan Falun, page 2). I remember that at the Houston conference, Master Li told us that Zhuan Falun is not a regular book and encouraged us to study the Fa well. I believed what Master Li said. I knew that Zhuan Falun is not a regular book because my hands often felt numb when I held the book. Even though I really believed what Master Li said, I still did not quite understand its profound implications. It was just a feeling. My understanding of cultivation in the first few years was that I should just do the exercises with a group, participate in group discussions and conferences, and listen to the tape of Zhuan Falun when I had time. The change inside my heart was small. It wasn't until last year's 4/25/99 incident, that I really started to understand what cultivation is and why I was practicing cultivation.

2. Changing my perceptions

When I heard about the 4/25/99 Zhongnanhai Event, my first reaction was: if I were in China, I would go to Zhongnanhai too. The practitioners' purpose was to communicate the facts to the central government, and to retain a free environment for practicing cultivation. This was also for the benefit of others. I did not relate it to politics at all. Actually, I didn't know anything about politics. In June of 1999, when some practitioners suggested that we should write to U.S. Congressmen to seek their help, there was a big argument among our local practitioners. My initial thought was simply to write to the Congress representatives to introduce Dafa to them. Some other practitioners thought that the U.S. Congress is a political group and that we would damage Dafa by being involved in politics. I got so many emails on this issue during those days that I was really confused, it seemed that all of them were trying to stop me from writing to the Congressmen. I thought it over, but still could not make a decision.

This happened when we were holding a 9-day lecture series. In Lecture Seven on the issue of eating meat, Master Li said: "Eating meat or not is not itself the purpose, the key is to give up that attachment." I suddenly realized the reason I could not make my decision was that I had the attachment of being afraid of being involved in politics. In fact, Congressmen themselves are also human, and they should have the chance to know Dafa too. It is just that people with predestined relationships find Dafa in different ways. Writing a letter to them is probably one way for them to obtain Dafa. For the first time, I resolved a problem from Dafa's standpoint. Later, I read our Master's scripture Digging Out The Roots where Master said: "What I would like to tell you is not whether this incident itself was right or wrong. Instead, I want to point out that such an event has exposed some people. They still have not fundamentally changed their human mindset, and they still perceive problems with the human mentality wherein human beings protect human beings." These words deeply touched me. The reason I was afraid that others might say we are involved in politics was that I adopted an ordinary mentality to evaluate this event. Writing letters to Congressmen in June of last year was my first chance to break away from that ordinary people's mentality. Later, tests in this respect came one after another, teaching me how to break away from the human side, time after time.

In November of last year, several practitioners from Michigan attended the Seattle Conference. During the conference, I clearly felt that everything a practitioner experiences is not accidental, but related to one's own cultivation.

One event during the conference significantly helped me in breaking my ordinary mentality . One night after the conference, many of us went to a Chinese restaurant to discuss the next day's plan for promoting Dafa. One practitioner proposed to participate in a parade, which triggered a heated discussion. Participating in a parade was a new approach to promoting Falun Gong. Each side, whether supporting or opposing participation, presented their reasoning. They even pulled out Master's scriptures, trying to use Master's words to persuade the other side. Everyone's' attachments were clearly exposed in the discussion. This made me realize that even when we were doing such a solemn undertaking as promoting Dafa, our demon nature would also emerge. The argument kept going on and lasted all night, yet no conclusion was reached.

Those who supported the idea of participating in the parade had different opinions. Many of them thought that if we were in the parade, we could let more people know about Falun Gong. Those who opposed being in the parade also had varying opinions. Some thought that the parade was not a correct way to spread the Fa. If we participated in the parade, we could be changing the way of cultivation in Falun Dafa.

I thought one step further after hearing these arguments. "Why are we here? We are here to spread Dafa to the world. Right now, a lot of people from all over the world, including many countries' leaders, are here for the WTO convention. A parade is just one of the normal events in society. There are many other similar events, like collecting signatures. Why can we do this but not that if neither one was written about in the book?" At that point, I felt clearly relieved all of a sudden. I realized that the form doesn't really matter as long as we do everything from the standpoint of Dafa. At the very end, Falun Gong did not participate in the parade in Seattle, because many ordinary people on the street showed a lot of demon nature, like breaking windows, shouting, and yelling. We didn't want to be in the same parade with them. After that night's discussion, the Conference organizer told us that actually, the decision to not participate in the parade had been made before the discussion. No matter what the outcome of the discussion was, the decision would not be changed. The people who attended the discussion would not have known it. I again realized this was arranged by Master Li to help practitioner's progress. It was another opportunity to eliminate ordinary conceptions. Actually, the parade itself was not so important. What was important was whether you look at the issue from the viewpoint of a human or a god.

I feel very fortunate that I was able to attend all kinds of Dafa conferences and activities to spread the Fa after April 25th of last year. Practicing in such an environment, and other practitioners' firm belief in Master Li and Dafa has really tempered me and purified me. My understanding of Dafa has also enabled me to make frequent breakthroughs. More and more, I feel the boundlessness of Dafa. What I have understood is only a tiny drop of water in the vast ocean.

3. Three Trips to Washington D.C.

On July 20th 1999, the Chinese government banned Falun Gong and started arresting Dafa practitioners. As soon as I heard the news, I went to the Chicago Chinese Consulate and joined the peaceful protest there. Within one month, I had been to Washington D.C. three times.

The first time we went to D.C. to appeal and spread Dafa was on July 23, 1999. Because it was on a weekend, it was not too difficult to attend. Many Michigan and Windsor practitioners went as well. We did the exercises and read Dafa books in the square under the burning sun, using this method to let people know that the Chinese government had made a very wrong decision. Amazingly, despite the burning sun, everybody felt fine. Our hearts were with Dafa. On the way back from D.C., we had a group discussion.

Right after I came back from D.C., I heard there would be another appeal in Washington DC on July 27. After the Chicago trip and the first DC trip, I felt exhausted. Besides, it was a weekday and I would have to use my vacation time. Not many people were going. I didn't want to go this time. But then I thought about the innocent practitioners in China that were in jail. I felt uneasy about the thought of not going. So I decided to go by air. When I told fellow practitioners about my decision, a couple told me they would go by air too. They are married , the wife was 8 months pregnant and the husband was a graduate student at the University of Windsor. Two air tickets is a big expense for a student. Compared with them, I still had a job and vacation time, yet I was afraid of the hassle and fatigue. I felt ashamed, so I decided to drive my van to take more people with me and save everybody some money. We hit the road to DC again in a van loaded with pregnant women, seniors, and kids. On the way, we exchanged our experiences of breaking through obstacles, putting down our personal interests, and regarding Dafa as our first priority. Everybody felt that as long as we were determined, all of the tribulations could be passed. Listening to the discussion, I suddenly recalled Buddha Mileriba's story: his master told him to build a stone house on the top of a mountain, destroyed it, then told him to build another, and destroyed it again...That feeling would be very similar to my feeling of returning to DC again and again. It was meant to temper our willpower. I realized that cultivation is a serious matter. I had always benefited from Dafa, now it was time for me to contribute to Dafa.

We had discussions all the way there, and our understanding of Dafa was raised to higher levels. After we arrived in DC, we joined other practitioners to do the exercises and read the books. We read Lunyu, Zhuan Falun and Hong Yin. When we read "why hasn't anyone done such a thing as to teach Qigong towards higher levels? It is because it is related to issues of major concerns, to profound historic reasons and to a broad spectrum, as well as to serious matters." (Page 1, Zhuan Falun) The words shook my heart and I suddenly realized what was happening in China had profound historical reasons behind it. I knew Master was giving me a hint. On the same day, while I was reading Hong Yin, I sensed the profound mystery of the universe. I understood that, from that moment on, I should assist Master in this world. At that time, we heard that the Chinese government issued an arrest warrant for Master Li and asked Interpol to extradite Master. We were all worried. Everybody was trying to figure out a way to prevent this from happening. Somebody suggested going to the Congress. Another practitioner and I went to see the Senators and Congressmen from Michigan. We told them what Falun Gong was, and that the Chinese government's ban against Falun Gong was wrong. We hoped they could help to annul the arrest warrant. Many of the people we talked to told us that they did not understand the Chinese government's decision. We went to offices of every Senator and Congressman from Michigan. We didn't even have time to think whether it was proper or what we should say in front of them. In those days I felt that my body was so light and free, without any fettering. When I came back home to Michigan, I suddenly felt that my body was fettered again. I was back to the old condition. I experienced Dafa's superior magic.

The third time that I went to Washington DC was on August 14, 1999. We went there because the Mayor of Washington DC proclaimed a Falun Dafa Week in Washington DC for the week of August 9 through August 13. We also used this opportunity to spread Dafa. This time was much easier than the previous two. I felt that I had eliminated many attachments and I was very happy for myself. A few weeks later, I met another practitioner in New York when we went to the United Nations to appeal. We talked about the trips to Washington DC. She said that she had seen many people going back and forth between DC and home. She felt it was too much trouble so she stayed in DC for the whole period of time. Compared to her, I hadn't given up my attachments as thoroughly.

4. Validating Dafa, Promoting Dafa and Telling the Truth about Dafa

During the New York experience sharing conference in April of this year, I heard there was a Tai-Chi Day and it was proposed that we should have a Falun Dafa Day. I thought this was a very good idea. Falun Dafa is so good that it deserves more than a small celebration in human society.

In order to celebrate May 13th as Falun Dafa Day, we prepared flyers and distributed them to various public locations. I also posted the flyer on the bulletin board in our company's copy room. Around the same time, other practitioners and I set up a Falun Gong practice site during lunchtime at work. Somebody told me that my boss might not be happy with that (at that time, there were different opinions among the media toward Falun Gong). I told him that I was not afraid of that. If somebody came to me, then I could take the opportunity to introduce Falun Dafa to him. During the days when the Chinese Government's propagandas, lies and fabricated stories against Dafa were prevalent, I just openly told my colleagues that I was practicing Falun Gong and that I had experienced great physical and spiritual improvement. I would like to use my personal experience to tell the people that what the Chinese Government has said is nothing but lies.

In September 2000, I attended the New York conference and the weeklong activities of promoting Falun Dafa. My experience in this week made me realize that the evil forces had lost their ground. They were putting up their last ditch struggle against Falun Dafa. We practitioners should make further effort to tell the truth and promote Dafa to more people. My tears were flowing endlessly when I listened to the Dafa music in the march to memorialize those practitioners in China who lost their lives to safeguard Dafa. I clearly realized that my tears were for so many everyday people who are still living in the delusion of life and have not attained Dafa. I felt so sorry for them. They don't understand the meaning of their lives. So I made up my mind that I would put my best effort into spreading Falun Dafa.

Our Master has told us: Validate the Fa with reason, clarify the truth with wisdom, spread the Fa and offer people salvation with benevolence. I realized that if we want more people to know Dafa, we need to utilize the existing social structure to help us promote Dafa and tell the truth to the public. So we asked local governments to proclaim Falun Dafa Day as an opportunity to promote Dafa.

In the following I would like to give you a brief summary. We prepared Falun Dafa introductory packages and detailed the cruel persecution against practitioners in China. These packages were distributed to the mayors of nearby cities. I was responsible for contacting Troy City. Through many letters and phone calls, the mayor of Troy started to gain some understanding of Falun Dafa. I was deeply moved when the Mayor of Troy notified me over the phone that the city council had approved our application and proclaimed November 4 as Falun Dafa Day in Troy. I felt happy for the mayor and wished the best for the city council members. I was so happy that the Troy citizens had a chance to be saved. At that time, I felt the energy mechanism rotating very fast in my body and heard the Dafa music in my ears. I felt the boundless mercy of our Master.

Later, the mayor told me that they were going to present the proclamation to us on the day just before Election Day at the council meeting which was to be broadcast live on the local cable channel. The mayor joked that it would be a hot spot. I realized that this was another chance our Master was giving to the citizens of Troy to attain Dafa. On that day, most of our practitioners in Troy were present at the council meeting. The mayor read the proclamation word by word. There must be many Troy people who will be lucky enough to attain Dafa someday. On behalf of the Troy practitioners I expressed our gratitude to the mayor and the city council for their issuing the proclamation. The mayor said she prayed for Chinese Falun Gong practitioners.

In addition, it is worth it to mention that the Mayor of Rochester Hills also presented a proclamation of Falun Dafa Day. When the Chinese Consulate in Chicago heard the news, they sent three officials to fly to Rochester Hills and go directly to the Mayor's Office. They unreasonably requested that the mayor rescind the proclamation. Their demand was so rude and unacceptable that the mayor refused it. When I heard the news, I called the Mayor of Troy at once. When she was told what the Chinese Consulate Officials had done, her first response was to say that they are shameless. She assured me not to worry and that she knows how to handle the issue if it happens in Troy City. I told her that my mother had just fled the persecution in China and had joined us. My mother was put in jail and suffered greatly just because she practices Falun Dafa. I told her there was an article on the Detroit News and Free Press about my mom. The mayor immediately asked for a copy of the article and told me she would distribute a copy to each of the city council members. She really did that. She is not able to attend our conference this time but sent us a congratulatory letter instead. Just like our master said: "all people with righteous thoughts--and I'm not referring to our students--all everyday people with righteous thoughts are standing up against this."

The above is my cultivation experience. Your criticism and correction are welcome. Thank you.

(Shared at 2000 Great Lakes Conference)