(Clearwisdom.net) I have only been practicing Falun Dafa for a little over six months. My wife, a fellow practitioner, encouraged me several times to share with fellow practitioners how I got on the path of cultivation and how I have changed since I took up the practice. Honestly, I am so new that I do not have amazing experiences like the veteran practitioners do, nor do I have touching cultivation stories to tell. As my wife continued to encourage me, I was moved. Perhaps in my wife's eyes, that I changed from being dissolute to a practitioner is more precious than gold. So, I decided to write down my experience to share with all the new practitioners so we can encourage each other.
I was born in a poor peasant family in Liaoning Province. Because we were poor, I had to leave my hometown with my wife right after we got married in order to make a living. After we worked very hard for a few years and paid off all our debts, we had a little money left, so we went to Beijing to do business and made some more money after several more years. Then, we moved back to the city near our hometown and opened a store.
In the days that followed, I spent a lot of time playing Mahjong, drinking, and going to nightclubs. I was a simple, honest peasant's son, but I changed beyond recognition. I was not a normal human being anymore. My outgoing, trustworthy personality had won the respect of all my friends. They regarded me as their "Big Brother". But then I turned to a life that was totally insane. I spent half of my time away from my home, walking around drunk.
Early in 1999 my wife learned about Falun Dafa. By then she was emotionally and physically exhausted. After she read Zhuan Falun once, she started cultivation. Then on July 20, things changed. My wife was shocked. Was it a mistake to practice Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance? In those days, she suffered a lot. Every time she saw programs defaming Falun Dafa on TV, she wept. Although she had not practiced for a long time, she had benefited so much from it. She was heartbroken.
But then she calmed down and began participating in activities to validate Dafa. On January 1, 2001, of the lunar calendar, she went out with another practitioner to distribute truth clarification material and was abducted by the police. One month later, she walked out of the detention center with righteous thoughts and the strengthening of Master. (I also spent money to get my former classmates to help her.) One year later, her brother was also sentenced to three years for distributing truth clarification materials. He is now being held in the Shenyang Jail No.20 Ward.
For the past few years, I had been wandering around just outside the door of Falun Dafa and spending hours playing mahjong on dinner tables. My wife kept talking to me about the beauty of Falun Dafa and the extraordinariness of Falun Dafa, but I just would not listen. One night in April of this year, I came home half drunk in the middle of the night after playing Mahjong. My wife was reading Master's lecture "Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western USA Fa Conference." She asked me to read a paragraph. I read it out loud while half drunk. When I read the part where a student asked the teacher how to understand the word "Bei," the teacher answered,
"Let me endow you with two sentences: 'Without 'nothing,' it is a human feeling. If it is a human feeling, then it's not bei (compassion).'"
I was shaken. These two sentences expressed such profound meanings in such ordinary words. It is not something even a philosopher or theorist could come up with. I admired Teacher right away. With my wife by my side, I finished reading the lecture. Although there were still Fa principles that I did not understand, I was captivated by their profoundness. I said to my wife, "I want to practice Falun Gong, too. Tomorrow I want to read Zhuan Falun."
The next day when I opened Zhuan Falun, the first thing I read was the section entitled "Genuinely Guiding People Toward Higher Levels." Who wouldn't want to go to a high level? With a thought of following Master to go to a high level, I finished reading Zhuan Falun. As Master pointed out, I felt that it was a book to teach people to be good. After the second and third time, I realized that it was a book guiding people in their cultivation. After reading it for the fourth and fifth time, the Buddha Law awakened me, a heart that had been covered in dust for so long. In the following month, I read the book six times, and I have also read all of Teacher's lectures. I had tears in my eyes when I was reading them. Many of my questions were answered. I realized the meaning of life and the value of life. I came to more deeply understand the inner meaning of returning to one's original self.
I was deeply impressed with the profoundness of the Fa principles. I regret the years that I wasted and that I almost missed the Fa. I feel lucky to have obtained the Fa. I am excited that I have found the light of life. I promised myself that I would continue to cultivate Dafa and guide my behavior with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, to keep myself pure and elevated and to be a true good person. I wrote on the wall "Be Sincere and Diligent" to remind myself.
In fact, as soon as I entered the realm of Dafa, I felt Teacher's mercy. Before I obtained the Fa, someone looked for me every day to play mahjong and to have drinks. After I learned Dafa, no one came for me for twenty days. I was able to read all of Teacher's lectures, which laid a solid foundation for my understanding. From the day I read the book, my wife taught me the five sets of exercises and I started to practice daily. After a month, my friends seemed to think of me all of a sudden. They invited me to go out for dinners and they offered me liquor at the dinner table. I told them that I had quit drinking and started to cultivate and that I hoped they would understand my choice. They were very surprised. Then they attacked me. My best friend held the glass with two hands and demanded that I take one sip only. I was very calm, although I was a bit embarrassed. I refused them flatly. Then he finished both drinks and started yelling, and announced that he and the others wanted to end their relationships with me and demanded that I returned the 5000 yuan that I borrowed from him. Then he asked other people that I borrowed money from to demand money back from me and told everybody that I practice Falun Gong. In his mind, practicing Falun Gong was something to be ashamed of and could not be made public.
Later, he asked a few people to stop me on the road and abduct me to one of their houses to persuade me to stop practicing. They also came to my house. Having failed in their attempts, they planned to take me to the brainwashing center. Their plan was aborted. I persisted, against the pressure. As my understanding of Dafa continued to deepen, I eliminated the interference, calmed myself down and practiced the exercises and read every day.
On May 12, I had a bad headache. I felt dizzy and vomited for hours. My wife was afraid that I may not have righteous thoughts and asked if I wanted to go to the hospital. I shook my head. I knew very well that Teacher was cleansing my body. I did not think that I was sick and I was thinking that I should thank Master Li. After seven hours, my pain subsided. The following morning, I was fine. I experienced Teacher's mercy. I just suffered a little and I don't know how much Master had to shoulder for me. Although this was only cleansing my body, it also cleansed my mind, ridding it of many doubts about Dafa, and my faith in Dafa was strengthened.
Shortly after I started cultivation, my wife taught me the formula for sending forth righteous thoughts and said that I should do it with her every day. I did not pay much attention to it because I was so new and I did not think that I had enough energy and potency. One night, my four-year-old daughter had a low fever. For the whole night, she was deep in sleep and could not speak. She did not get any better even the next morning. At 10 in the morning, my wife had to go out, and I was looking after my daughter all by myself. She had been a very healthy kid. Even though she had a fever once or twice before, she got well the next day. I realized that it was not accidental and it must be the rotten demons that were interfering. So I decided to send forth righteous thoughts and request Master Li to strengthen me to eliminate the evil. A few minutes later, I heard my daughter moaning. When I was done and opened my eyes, she had already sat up on the bed and was eating some fruit by the bedside. I had tears in my eyes. I held my daughter and pressed my hands together in heshi to thank Teacher for his mercy. From then on, I became more diligent in sending forth righteous thoughts to clear away the evil.
As I continue to study the Fa, I become more solid and have a better understanding of the Fa and my level is elevating. Master said,
"What's most extraordinary about you is that you're able to keep up with the Fa-rectification." (Teaching the Fa at the Great Lakes Fa Conference in North America)
"...a Dafa disciple's cultivation is about stepping out of humanness;..."
(Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Atlanta Fa Conference).
I looked for my friends that I used to spend a lot of time with and clarified the truth to them. Some of them did not understand me at all initially, but they gradually changed their attitude. I wrote many times to officials at prisons, public security bureaus, courthouses, and procurators to ask them to stop the persecution of Falun Gong. When I went to the bathhouse, I took some materials with me and put them in all the lockers. When I went to collect accounts in rural areas, I took CDs and truth-clarifying materials with me and left them where many people passed by. When I went to see my relatives, I placed the materials in all the neighbors' doorsteps. Gradually I realized the importance of clarifying the truth and distributing truth materials.
Once I made an arrangement to go with a fellow practitioner to the countryside to distribute materials. However, the other practitioner was too busy, so I did not get to go. I waited and waited. I thought to myself, I cannot miss the opportunity that Master gave me to establish mighty virtue and save the sentient beings. So, I went to look for another practitioner and we distributed close to a thousand pieces over the next two nights in very remote villages. We took the beauty of Dafa to them.
As time went by, I gradually got to know my fellow practitioners. I felt that they were so sincere and honest. They were so willing to help me elevate. It was great to be with them. I realized that Falun Gong is pure and good, and that practitioners are good people.
An experience sharing conference was held in my hometown in October. Although there were only one hundred people, they were all local contact persons and representatives from all over the neighboring counties. I was very lucky to be part of it. It was the first time I had seen so many practitioners together. I was very touched. I listened to each practitioner's speech. I could feel the solemnity and sacredness of the meeting. I heard the deep understanding of veteran practitioners of the Fa principles and I could feel their faith and righteous thoughts.
One female practitioner was beaten while she was hung, and lost consciousness four times when she was in the detention center. I was so amazed by her calmness. She described what happened to her in the forced labor camp in a matter of fact manner. I almost cried.
I was surprised when one practitioner asked me to talk about my experience. I was a little lost because I knew that there is such a gap between me and the veteran practitioners and I don't understand the Fa principles well. But, I picked myself up and spoke with a trembling voice. In fact, I had a lot to share with the others, but I didn't know what to say because I was so nervous. When I got home, I couldn't sleep the whole night.
In the last six months since obtaining the Fa, I have read Zhuan Falun 24 times and all of Master's lectures 3 to 4 times each. Dafa changed my values and my purpose in life. I now feel that I have control over my life whereas before, I felt that I did not know the purpose of life. Master pointed out,
"...it's difficult to ask someone to be a good person. It isn't to change a person at the superficial level. He won't change himself unless his heart has truly moved. Then, this kind of change will never be shattered by any force."
(Lecture at the Fa-Conference in Canada (Toronto, May 23, 1999)).
Falun Dafa has changed me and Master Li has saved me from the old cosmos. Now that I have seen the light of life, I can tell everyone that I will not go back to where I was before.
"All things throughout ages, like fleeting smoke and passing clouds
Bewilder the ordinary human heart,
The reason for the genesis of the vast heaven and earth
Baffles all sentient beings' wisdom."
("Dafa Clears Up Confusion", Hongyin).
Isn't this an accurate depiction of a human being's life? Having learned the purpose of life, I decided to share my experience with all of my relatives and friends. After I practiced for two months, my mother started the practice and a few of my friends are also starting. My four and a half year old daughter can recite "Lunyu" fluently and dozens of poems from Hongyin, Master's collection of poems. My teenage son also asked to watch Master Li's lecture videos. My wife said, now we are truly traveling the same path.
I would like to appeal to all new practitioners to study the Fa more and exchange with veteran practitioners, cleanse ourselves, deepen our understanding, improve our xinxing and see where we are lacking. We should measure ourselves with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, step forward to clarify the truth, expose the evil and save the sentient beings and become worthy Falun Dafa practitioners.
November 19, 2004