1) Learning Falun Dafa
I began practicing Falun Dafa in 1998. Prior to this, I was a Christian. One day in April 1998, I heard about "Falun Gong" and the book Zhuan Falun from a relative, and just upon hearing the name of the book, I sought eagerly to read it. A few days later, I obtained Zhuan Falun and started reading it immediately. I was fascinated by the unique concepts in the book. Reading Zhuan Falun helped me resolve the questions I had in understanding the Bible. I deeply grasped all the laws and principles in the book and I wished to learn the Falun Dafa exercises right away.
Three days after I read the book, I went looking for a practice site to learn the exercises, and within 10 days of practicing, I began witnessing miracles in my health. I truly saw and experienced the supernormal phenomena mentioned in Zhuan Falun, which everyday people would think to be impossible. I sensed Teacher's merciful guidance. Whenever I was diligent, Teacher's words would encourage me to do even better, and when I was confused and lost I was given hints through the teachings and through my experiences. If I could not enlighten to certain issues, the situations Teacher arranged for me to encounter helped me to improve my understanding. I wish now to share some unforgettable stories.
When I had my first test, which fell on the eighth day after I began the practice, I saw Teacher's Law Body. At the time, I still had not finished reading Zhuan Falun, but I dreamt that night that someone was bullying me. As I felt angry, I remembered the principle that Teacher taught us, "no loss, no gain," and I thought to myself that I should thank the bully for giving me the opportunity to improve. As soon as this thought struck my mind, a sun-like circle appeared in front of my eyes that shed bright rays in all directions. Teacher sat in the middle of the circle in the double lotus position and hands pressed together in front of him. He smiled at me for about 7 to 8 seconds and then disappeared. Teacher's compassionate smile took root in my heart. That day, I understood that the book Zhuan Falun was not an ordinary Qigong book, but a book for cultivation. It was then that I embarked on the road of cultivation, and on my journey I have experienced the power and the wonder of Dafa. I decided to write down what I saw and enlightened to, so I began a cultivation diary. By then my whole family had started to practice Falun Gong.
On the tenth day, when I was practicing the exercises at our practice site by myself, my celestial eye opened. This was a real experience and exactly the same as Teacher described in Zhuan Falun, and I could not help but stop to admire the scene! Thereafter, I experienced the filling of energy from the top of my head, and I saw Falun, the layers upon layers of Buddhas, Daos and Gods in Teacher's photo, and the golden and colorful illumination of Teacher's new articles.
I still remember that when I read Zhuan Falun for the very first time, it seemed as though I would be tested on what I had read immediately after reading it. In "Heavenly Circuit" of Lecture 8, for example, Teacher said,
"Upon walking outside this auditorium, many of you will feel like different people, and your outlook will be guaranteed to change."
It was true. That day when I finished reading the lecture and went to work, I sensed that a shell had peeled off of my body as soon as I walked downstairs, and I felt as if I had become a new person. From then on, my outlook had a fundamental change, and all the malevolent intents, foul language and lies all left me.
2) When I Hesitated, Halting at the Time of Great Tribulation, Teacher Guided Me out of my State of Confusion
I work in the most evil area, so when the persecution started, I suffered from great psychological pressure. I was mainly afraid that my family and my child would be implicated, and I repeatedly reconsidered my decision to study the Fa and whether the things discussed in Zhuan Falun were true or not. All these thoughts were refuted by my real experiences as soon as they appeared. I realized that the situation was similar to the persecution of Jesus, and I was worried about Teacher's safety. During that period of time, all my tests in the form of dreams were about whether I was a Falun Gong practitioner or not, and I failed all of these tests. I thought of what Jesus had said to one of his disciples before his crucifixion, "Before the rooster crows, thou shalt deny me thrice." Like that disciple I, too, denied Teacher to take sanctuary and seek comfort. I felt ashamed for failing to speak out when Dafa was being persecuted, and when I heard fellow practitioners were being arrested, persecuted and sent to the forced labor camps, I felt very grieved. However, I also felt powerless to help.
During that period of time, though, I still persisted in studying the Fa and practicing the exercises at home. I lost an adequate cultivation environment and lowered my standards for myself, however, and therefore my xinxing gradually dropped as I mixed myself among everyday people. I knew Teacher had talked about the issue of speculation in stocks, but I still tried to find excuses to deceive myself and others, describing my own trading as an investment. Teacher reminded me in my dreams time and again, but I failed to enlighten to it. Every time, I would buy stock and end up losing money, but I still failed to become enlightened until after reading one of Teacher's new articles in 2004. It was then that I came to understand about the process of Fa-rectification and realized that I had been drifting further and further away from Dafa. When I realized my mistake, I sold off all my stocks and quit buying them.
3) Becoming Clearheaded and Validating the Fa with Righteous Thoughts and Righteous Actions
I obtained Teacher's new articles on January 13, 2004 and I felt as if I had found a priceless treasure. I began to copy by hand Teacher's new articles that were published after July 20, 1999. Studying them resolved a lot of my doubts and enabled me to understand the truth and the responsibility of a Dafa practitioner in the Fa-rectification period. I also found my own shortcomings and attachments. Although I had studied the Fa every day, I had not done a good job in clarifying the truth, so I decided to do all I could to catch up and keep up with the pace of the Fa-rectification. I vowed to do the three things well to clarify the truth and save sentient beings with wisdom.
a. Going out to distribute truth-clarification materials.
I downloaded the materials from the Internet and then put them into residents' mailboxes or posted them on walls on my way to and from work or taking a walk.
b. Seizing the opportunity to clarify the truth to the 610 Office.
One day when I was together with some officials from the 610 Office and we were discussing the issue of Falun Gong, I seized the opportunity and asked them, "How many of you have read Zhuan Falun? None of you. You only follow orders from above and do not know whether it's right or wrong." They replied, "Yes, that's true. Among the Falun Gong practitioners we had contact with, some were very poor and lived very hard lives. They practiced Falun Gong merely to improve their health and had absolutely no wild ambitions of overthrowing the government." So I clarified the truth to them. I said, "Over the past few years, you have all witnessed policemen beating unarmed Falun Gong practitioners. Have you ever seen the practitioners fighting back? The practitioners are all good people. You must know that these practitioners are righteous." After the evil factors that had influenced their minds were eliminated, they all agreed with me.
c. Clarifying the truth through discussing issues that concern and interest everyday people.
The great way has no form. When we clarify the truth we need not be limited to any one form. For instance, one of the leaders in my workplace was interested in the Buddha Law, so I told him stories of Sakyamuni's ten disciples and the karmic retribution those who slandered Buddha received. He listened earnestly. Taking the opportunity, I explained to him on our way home that what I had told him earlier was important because I wished for him to know that Falun Dafa is a righteous Fa, that the principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance" are correct, and I asked him not to believe in the propaganda of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and not to slander Buddha. He accepted my suggestion. He said he did not understand how the principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance" could be wrong.
The CCP recently began a campaign to "continue the advancement of its members." In clarifying the truth to the grass-roots level officials, I begin with the question of why has the CCP launched such a campaign and then I talk about the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, the wave of quitting the CCP and finally the persecution of Falun Gong.
There are many more things I could write about. However, they are all bygones, and hence no longer relevant. At present, the most important thing is to walk well the last leg of our cultivation journey arranged by Teacher.