1. A Bolt from the Blue
After being tormented by untreatable illnesses for a long time, I was fortunate enough to start practicing Falun Dafa in May 1998. Very quickly, all my stubborn illnesses disappeared without medical intervention. I experienced what seemed to be many miracles while practicing Falun Dafa, both physically and mentally. But at the time, I did not cultivate genuinely nor were my understandings of Falun Dafa and Teacher at rational levels.
What happened on July 20, 1999 (the day Falun Gong was banned in China) was like a bolt from the blue. Faced with the situation, I had no choice but to make a decision. After some reflection, I decided to continue practicing Falun Dafa quietly at home. I simply chose to not be intimidated by the dictatorial powers and that I would steadfastly hold on to the truth. When I practiced the exercises, the energy field was stronger than ever before, and my ability to understand Fa-principles grew notably better. During that period, I experienced elimination of sickness-karma in my intestine and stomach which lasted for almost a week. I could not eat anything and I felt bloated with pain and nausea. On the seventh day, a miracle happened. I had about a dozen bowel movements with diarrhea within two or three hours in the morning, yet I was not dehydrated or bedridden. On the contrary, suddenly after having lunch, I felt my whole body become light. I felt energized and invigorated as if nothing had happened. The miraculous experience was beyond description, and because of this I became even more steadfast in my faith in Falun Dafa.
As my mind and body continued to benefit, I developed a strong desire to explain to the government my heartfelt message to validate the goodness of Falun Dafa. At the time I still did not have a clear goal or wish for my cultivation. I only felt that Falun Dafa was so good. At a time when Falun Dafa was being persecuted without reason, anyone with a good heart, a good sense of justice, especially those who had benefited from practicing Falun Dafa, should step forward to bear witness to its greatness.
At the beginning of 2000, I boarded a northbound train. When I was on my way home and later when I was being detained, Teacher mercifully arranged for me to be with three local practitioners who had cultivated diligently and could help me learn from them. The younger practitioner helped me improve my understanding of Fa-principles, the elder practitioner gave me encouragement in the aspect of genuine cultivation, while the middle-aged practitioner helped me understand the transmission of Falun Dafa in our local area for the past six or seven years and the numerous miraculous legends Teacher and Falun Dafa had left behind. In only a short few days, my way of thinking took a dramatic turn and I developed a strong desire to cultivate steadfastly. I regretted deeply not having cultivated diligently in the past and having wasted more than one year of precious time.
I was released to go home after being detained for four days. Since then, I have dedicated myself wholeheartedly to safeguarding Falun Dafa. I discovered that policemen, personnel of the "610 Office"  and supervisors of my work unit do not understand Falun Dafa at all. I developed a strong desire to help them understand the truth so they would not participate in the persecution. After going home that night, I started to write down the truth of Falun Dafa in about ten thousand words. I worked more than ten hours a day, including checking and sourcing information from Falun Dafa books. Yet, I was very energetic and clearheaded. Teacher not only gave me strength but wisdom. My inspiration felt endless. The process of writing truth-clarification material expanded my understandings, allowing me to see more clearly the true nature of the lies spread by Jiang's faction. These materials were the earliest truth-clarification materials in our local area. Some practitioners took them to their relatives, friends, policemen, personnel of the "610 Office"  and work supervisors, and in doing so suffocated the evil elements in another dimension. The materials laid a good foundation for my efforts to powerfully and effectively validate Falun Dafa, to clarify the truth and oppose the persecution when I was later detained in a forced labor camp.
In the following half-year period, I used the time to study in depth and comprehensively all of Teacher's lectures. I kept making breakthroughs in my understanding of the Fa. Meanwhile, I held myself to a strict standard by checking everything of mine in contrast to Falun Dafa's requirements. I let go of many attachments and human mindsets. Although it was only for a short period of time, it laid a solid foundation for my being able to still take the Fa as my teacher, to act and think righteously and to make it through one tribulation after another when I was later persecuted for more than three years. During that period of persecution, my understanding of the Fa continued to improve. I broke through my "self" and gained a deeper understanding of assisting Teacher in the Fa-rectification. I began to understand what Teacher wrote in "Determination and Solidity": "You are treasured because through cultivation you are capable of becoming truly great Enlightened Beings with virtuous enlightenment and righteous Fa." "If you're a Great Enlightened Being who's capable of taking care of many things below your level, then perhaps you exist for more beings". I didn't know why these words of Teacher's touched my soul so deeply. In this way, I had a sense of a great mission and I persisted in moving forward to validate Falun Dafa.
In March 2000, I was detained in a brainwashing class. I solemnly and righteously exposed the evil, revealed the persecution, openly practiced the Falun Gong exercises and studied the Fa. In April, between my Communist Party membership and Falun Dafa, I again chose Falun Dafa. I also submitted Falun Dafa truth-clarification material to related departments. Although I was a key member in my work group, due to pressure from the "610 Office" , I was not assigned a regular job. Instead, my work unit made me run small errands and only paid me 200 yuan  for my monthly living expenses. In that year I had the chance to get a good review and a promotion. A highly rated work unit with excellent working conditions in the city had asked that I be transferred to work for them. But none of these things materialized because I remained steadfast in my loyalty to Falun Dafa. When I continued to persist in validating Falun Dafa, I was also at risk of losing my house, my family and my job. But the mission to assist Teacher in the Fa-rectification enabled me to advance forward without ever looking back. With a will to let go of attachments, my mind was extremely tranquil and empty of everything.
In May 2000, a traveling exhibition of books which defamed and attacked Falun Dafa and Teacher arrived in our area. After taking care of things at home, approximately ten practitioners in our area went to the exhibition hall and together we clarified the truth and exposed the lies to viewers of the exhibition. In the visitors' logbook we also wrote down powerful testimonies to validate Falun Dafa. Because our mindset was upright and because we were not frightened, with Teacher's protection we returned home safely. Even under intense social pressure, we were still able to persist in studying the Fa, practicing the exercises and sharing experience. Together we watched and listened to Teacher's Fa lectures every weekend. We formed one solid body in Dafa.
Within just half a year, I went from being a student with ambiguous feelings toward cultivation to a steadfast Falun Dafa practitioner. One night after I finished doing the sitting mediation, as I turned off the light, three lotus flowers suddenly appeared in the dark. They were crystal clear and bright, as if there were light bulbs in the stamens. The three flowers rotated clockwise, counterclockwise, and on their own. It was magnificent. There were layers after layers of petals which displayed strong three-dimensional looks. The petals were thick and sturdy and in very beautiful colors. The edges of the petals were purple, fading to light purple, and in the middle they were pink. I quietly watched them for a minute, then, they disappeared.
2. "Through Hardship the Body of Gold Is Tempered"
In July 2000, I was arrested and illegally sentenced to three years of forced labor. The first persecution I endured in the forced labor camp was mental persecution, being subjected to go through "transformation" and writing a "repentance statement." At that time the forced labor camp found some evil out-of-towners to pose as Falun Dafa practitioners who acted to trick Falun Dafa practitioners into enlightening along an evil path. Faced with the large-scale and widespread evil elements, within a few months, almost all Falun Dafa practitioners had accepted the persecution of transformation. When I saw former fellow practitioners go astray and when I saw Falun Dafa suffer losses, I felt a deep pain in my heart. I decided to resist the transformation to the very end. Even if the sky collapsed and the earth sank, I still would hold up a blue sky and safeguard Falun Dafa to the very end.
At the forced labor camp a succession of agents including the chief of the Religion Bureau of the Province, a psychiatrist who was also a professor in Psychiatry in the Province Normal University as well as priests and abbots of three temples in the province attempted to carry out the task of "transforming" me. I used the opportunity to fully expose the evil and validate Falun Dafa. In this way, the several dozen rounds of persecution in the form of "transformation," lasting for several months, did not "transform" me, but was instead an opportunity for me to clarify the truth.
Every time they came to transform me, it was one more time for me to clarify the truth and validate Falun Dafa from another perspective. All of this came from Teacher's protection and support which gave me such great wisdom, courage and resourcefulness. When I was outside, although I understood Fa-principles, having genuinely cultivated for only a short period of time, I could only remember Hong Yin in my head. Nevertheless, Teacher always arranged for me to come into contact with practitioners who were able to recite the Fa. Teacher also arranged for someone to give me a half copy of Essentials for Further Advancement. This enabled me to quote Teacher's original words to dispute the strong attacks from the so-called experts and scholars among those wicked people who had enlightened along an evil path. As I battled them alone, I truly and surely felt that Teacher was by my side encouraging me and enabling me to calmly, rationally and wisely eliminate the evil.
(To be continued)
From The First Written Experience Sharing Conference for Practitioners in China
 "610 Office" is an agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, with absolute power for each level of administration in the Party and all other political and judiciary systems.
 500 yuan is the average monthly income for an urban worker in China.