Climb the Ladder to Heaven, Never Turn Around (Part 1)
The Appearance of Divine Beings Made Me Believe in their Existence
I am in my fifties and a former Communist Party cadre. No one could blame me if I were an atheist because of my lifetime of indoctrination by the Communist Party. Nevertheless, the party culture did not stop me from believing in divine beings, because Gods, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas showed themselves to me many times. I not only became a firm believer in their existence, but such experiences also caused me to seek for ways to achieve Buddhahood.
Gods and Buddhas often let me see them, no matter where I was at the time - at home, on the road, in the office, or when I climbed up a mountain. They looked at me with a smile on their face. I saw Buddhas, Tathagatas, Bodhisattva Guanyin, Taoists and other deities whom I cannot name. Once while at home, I saw Guanyin with the thousand hands and eyes. Countless hands were holding countless blinking eyes, and her body filled the entire room. When I was alone at home, my heart was particularly tranquil, my mind was empty and I thought of nothing. Whether I looked at the wall or at the awning, I saw Gods and Buddhas. Sometimes the awning even seemed to disappear and I directly looked at a star-studded sky. Sometimes when sitting on the sofa, I saw ancient societies. People wore ancient costumes, were busy, held no worries and were cheerful. It appeared to me to be the image of a paradise. While walking on the street, shortly before meeting up with an acquaintance, that person's image would appear on my right side. This also happened before meeting up with many people with whom I held a predestined relationship. Before meeting such a person during the day, the image of this person would appear to me in the morning. The person could at times appear to me even several months prior to our meeting. I also would often see that person in other dimensions.
I am a kind person who enjoys giving presents to the elderly. I have been pure and simple ever since I was little. After I began to work, I never drifted along with the popular currents and therefore, I was considered conservative and old-fashioned. There was a time when I wanted to enter a convent and become a nun, truly practicing cultivation with a pure heart. However, after I became a Buddhist, I discovered that the monks I met had not let go of worldly desires. They held strong attachments to money and wealth, especially monks in temples that were in picturesque areas. They were busy making money by selling Buddha statues. They were greedy in their desire to become wealthy. I even saw some monks and nuns using bad language and fighting during disputes over money from fortune telling. They totally forgot that they were monks and nuns. The tourists around them despised and laughed at them. Therefore, I felt helpless and at a loss.
I was calm and not willing to waste my time over such matters. When alone at home, I could hear men, women, the elderly and young speak in languages unknown to humans, in other dimensions. When I lay in bed at night, I felt a strong air current from other dimensions. Sometimes my quilt was almost blown off the bed. Before I practiced Falun Gong, sometimes a master taught me how to turn the Falun in front of my abdomen. I felt really wonderful. I saw a big Falun in the middle of my desk. I was sitting quietly on it. I asked many people who practiced qigong and believed in Buddhas about those incidents, but no one could explain them. Later, when I had to visit other cities to take care of some business, I met a person who believed in Buddha and he told me that it was "the Falun, which rotates constantly." Because I lived in a remote mountainous area, I had not heard of Falun Dafa, and thus this information was not helpful at all.
I Believe "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance" to Be the Great Universal Law
In July 1996, a relative from another province visited us to celebrate my mother's birthday. She told us that she had been practicing Falun Gong since 1995 and that she had benefited physically and mentally. She said this practice cultivates one's inner self and practitioners live by the principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance." She told us that people throughout China were learning it. I became excited and immediately went to the bookstore to buy four books, Zhuan Falun, Zhuan Falun II, China Falun Gong and Explaining the Content of Falun Dafa.
I read through the book Zhuan Falun with great excitement. This is the great cultivation law that I had been searching for so many years! After I read the book, I wanted to learn the five sets of exercises. Therefore, I went to the city to look for practice sites. The assistant welcomed me enthusiastically, patiently taught me the exercises, took me to the practice and group study site, and lent me, a person he just had met, 1,500 yuan for a video player. I bought all of the Falun Dafa books, lectures on videotapes and audiotapes. As soon as I arrived home, I immediately began to organize group study and an exercise group. After this, more and more people from my hometown and even other counties began to study Falun Dafa.
After I began to practice Falun Gong, the dermatitis I had suffered on my neck for so long disappeared. A toothache that had bothered me for so long also disappeared. The skin on my feet no longer cracked in winter, and my white hair turned black again. I felt happy and relaxed. Miracles happened constantly. Several days after I learned Falun Dafa, I went to my mother's home to introduce Falun Dafa. On the bus, Teacher opened up the top of my head (in another dimension) and poured countless golden seeds into my head. When I arrived at my mother's home, I asked Teacher to put a Falun in my mother's abdomen. My 80-year-old mother immediately felt the Falun rotating. Once, I went to the countryside to introduce Falun Gong. An elderly lady there had collapsed from being overworked because of many years of hard work. She suffered from many diseases. Her face was sallow and she had to take lots of medicine daily. After I visited her home to buy something, she immediately felt energetic. She no longer needed to take medication and she stopped smoking. On her own initiative, this woman found a newly-established study group where she could learn Falun Gong. This incident again proved the mighty power of Dafa. My mother is over 80 years old and illiterate. Within one year, under Teacher's merciful care and protection, she was able to read all of the Dafa books. My elderly dad and mom studied together. My dad read to my mom and asked her to listen carefully. Later, she could remember everything. After finishing work each day, they made time to study the Fa. After some time passed, they no longer needed to wear glasses.
During the three years of a stable cultivation environment, between July 1996 and July 1999, I diligently studied Falun Dafa and experienced Dafa's supernatural powers many times. All of what I experienced made me truly believe that "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance" is the great universal law.
I Will Not Compromise My Conscience
After "April 25", 1999, former president Jiang Zemin, Luo Gan and their cohorts began to carefully plan the brutal suppression of Falun Gong. The day the persecution began was drawing closer daily. On July 20, 1999, the persecution began. The volunteer director of the provincial capital's assistant center was detained. I went to the relevant authorities to express support for this practitioner. As a result, the Public Security Bureau sent police and my workplace sent security guards to my home many times. They broke into my home by breaking in the door and harassed me. My elderly mother was frightened by these actions and suffered a heart problem. Once, when I had been away for awhile, on the second morning after I came back home, two policemen arrested me without a warrant and took me to the Public Security Bureau. They insisted on knowing where I had been.
The police asked, "Where have you been for the past a few days? Have you gone to Beijing [to appeal for justice for Falun Dafa] or created trouble for the provincial government?" I told them, "I went to appeal to the higher authorities and requested that the government to release the innocent assistant from the Falun Gong assistance center who was arrested." The police replied, "You are against the government and do not follow the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP's) dictates. You dare to besiege Zhongnanhai and other government buildings? This is rebellion!" I answered, "What do you mean by rebellion? We are asking the government to resolve our issues rationally, instead of illegally arresting good people. Have you ever heard us shouting slogans like, 'Down with the government?' The police replied, "No." I continued, "You have violated the law by randomly arresting law-abiding Falun Gong practitioners. Why can't we appeal for help?"
The policeman had no response. A little while later, another policeman arrived. From then on, policemen were rotated from the morning hours to after 8 p.m. at night to watch me. At that time, my husband came to see the director general of the Public Security Bureau and requested my release. Only then was I set free.
At the end of 2000, my workplace's secretary-general and branch secretary called me in for a discussion. They requested that I write a year-end personal analysis. Two of the secretaries visited me the day after I had submitted my analysis. They told me that my analysis was not truthful, as they believed that I had to have a "deep understanding" on the "Falun Gong issue."
I replied, "There are Falun Gong practitioners in more than 40 countries. These governments are not opposed to the practice. Only Jiang's regime opposes it. Please think about China's recent history. They went from the extreme left to the extreme right during the warring periods, then came the counter-revolutionary campaigns, the "Three Anti's" and the "Five Anti's" campaigns and the Great Cultural Revolution. Which movement was right? Which movement was not finally renounced? What's wrong with us practicing 'Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance?' Can it be judged as guilty because too many good people are practicing it?"
These two people babbled on, "The CCP is paying your wages and feeding you. Instead of being grateful, you are ungrateful and you are now going against the CCP. It doesn't matter what you say, you must re-write your analysis and improve your understanding."
Therefore, I wrote down what I had told them and included, "It is impossible to tell lies against my will and compromise my conscience. It is the people that provide for the CCP. The CCP does not provide for the people. I want to be a good person. I will not do anything illegal! If you want me to behave contrary to what I just said, then you may say I am 'an unqualified party member' and revoke my party membership." After I handed in this report, I left for home to validate the Fa.
Appealing and Validating the Fa in Beijing, Walking Forward Step by Step
In early December 2000, I went to Beijing to validate Dafa. I began my journey in the morning, despite the wind and snow.
Although the police questioned me when I went into or left the train station, I arrived safely in Beijing. I could not find a place to stay because I had not brought my identification card with me. The police checked the registered permanent residents of the bungalow residential areas, which were located in a remote area, daily. They were trying to find Falun Gong practitioners who had come from outside of Beijing. Therefore, nobody let me stay there. It was nearly 10 p.m., it was very cold, and I was not familiar with the place. I asked Teacher for help. Right then, I thought of taking the train to a stop beyond Beijing, and I found a motel. When I registered, I did not present my ID card. The staff said nothing. When the police came searching during the night, the person in charge did not betray me.
On the second day, I went to Beijing to look for fellow practitioners. Because I had not brought anything along, I asked Teacher to help me to find fellow practitioners quickly. It was eerie and horrible in front of the gate of Tiananmen and on Tiananmen Square. Police cars were everywhere and both uniformed and plain-clothes police were arresting practitioners all over the place. Under the protection of Teacher, within a few hours I found a white-haired elderly man near the gate of Tiananmen Square. After the police had passed, he opened his topcoat in front of the tourists and revealed a banner in front of his chest that said, "Falun Dafa is great." I talked to him at once, and then we worked together to make banners. We posted the small ones and hung the big ones. We randomly posted them in underground passages, on buses and telephone poles. I also invited this practitioner to my lodging to discuss how to validate Dafa well. He had been in Beijing four times and could tell us much about clarifying the truth. At last we hung and posted all the banners we had made. We decided to return to our hometowns and share with fellow practitioners who had not stepped forward to validate the Fa.
After I returned to Beijing, I went to Tiananmen Square daily and waited for the best time to unfurl my banner. Every day I saw many practitioners being beaten on my way to the square. Some unfurled their banner, but before they could shout words in support of Dafa, the police kicked them to the ground. The police kicked some to the ground from behind, when they were doing the exercise of Holding the Wheel. I often saw police torture practitioners with electric batons. Many practitioners' heads were injured and bleeding. I felt that we should not just validate the Fa randomly, but that we should find the best opportunity.
One day, I found more than ten women in disheveled clothing at the train station. It appeared that they were just released from detention and were waiting for the train to go home. I thought that the Fa-rectification required the joint effort of many Dafa practitioners, and that it was not the time to return home. Therefore, I approached them and said quietly, "Are you Falun Gong practitioners?" They did not reply, but looked me over carefully. Then I said in a friendly tone, "I am. I have something to tell you." After saying that, I walked out of the train station. Later, a young person followed me out of the train station. I said, "The Fa-rectification is not over yet. We need to do better and help each other to overcome difficulties. We have to continue to walk well on the path of protecting the Fa."
In this way, I brought the practitioners who wanted to stay in Beijing to my temporary residence. Within a few days, I had met up with twelve men and women, making a group of both older and younger practitioners. We exchanged experiences together. After we had stayed at my lodging for some time, the hotel manager understood our situation. To protect us, he let us stay in several of the interior rooms. We studied the Fa, practiced the exercises and exchanged experiences. We formed a harmonious group. One of the practitioners took me to where she had stayed before. It was a place that took in practitioners who came to Beijing from all over China. There, there was everything we needed to validate the Fa. I was asked to learn how to burn truth clarification VCDs, and I spent most of my time distributing truth clarification flyers. We distributed the flyers in residential areas we identified on the map. We hung banners and posted truth-clarification posters at night.
Before New Year's Day of 2001, practitioners distributed flyers, unfurled banners, posted flyers and hung truth-clarification posters. Five practitioners and I formed three teams to post information about Dafa. We set out at 3:30 a.m. on the morning of New Year's Day. Teacher gave me a hint during my sleep. I clearly saw us posting the words. Then I saw several evildoers hiding nearby. They discovered us and arrested us. From what I saw in my dream, I felt that there were police hiding at the place we had earmarked for our activities. But we were in a rush in the morning and we did not have time to change our plans. Therefore, we went to the intersection to post the truth-clarification words. As we were posting the words, "Falun Dafa is great," policemen suddenly came upon us from behind, before we had finished. We were arrested and forced into a police car. There were already seven practitioners in the vehicle.
We were interrogated for three days at the local police station. We refused to tell our home addresses, and were finally sent to a detention center. During the interrogation at the local police station and detention center, I kindly explained the truth to the police. The policemen were carrying batons and walked up and down in the room. They dared not beat me after seeing my calm expression. One of most vicious of the policemen got ready to beat anyone who displeased him and was always verbally abusing practitioners. He said viciously to me, "I will kick you to death with one foot!" I smiled: "Really! You dare kick me?" I let go of life and death, and my divine side emerged. He could not raise his foot to kick me.
There were too many illegally-detained Falun Gong practitioners in our cell. People slept together tightly, side by side. We were suffocating and in pain because we were so tightly packed. In spite of the oppressive conditions, in the morning, we recited Teacher's articles and practiced the exercises. When the police beat people, we shouted as one, "Suffocate the evil!" Sometimes, the police sent several big and strong male inmates to our cell to torture us. Yet, I was not beaten. I went on a hunger strike for seven days in protest of the illegal detention. On the seventh day, the police were going to release me, but they first tried to deceive me and said that I had to take care of a severely ill Falun Gong practitioner. I did not have any trousers. An inmate had thrown them away on the first day. The head prisoner of our cell took off her pants and gave them to me. Soon after that, we were set free. As we had not given our names and addresses, the detention center bought tickets to the same place for eight of the released people. After the policeman gave us the tickets, he quickly drove off and kept all our spare money.
An elderly woman and I returned the tickets and used the money to rent a place. I was only wearing a pair of woolen long underwear pants without trousers outside, and a pair of black fabric shoes (the detention center had taken away our shoes, and we had to buy black shoes from them). The buttons of my clothes had been torn off. Half of the elderly lady's face was black from the torture, but nonetheless, we went first to Tiananmen Square to see what was going on before we went to our place.
A 26-year-old male Falun Dafa practitioner who had been detained with us had been tortured cruelly. They had handcuffed him and put foot shackles on him. He was unable to straighten his back. The police also put a cap that made noise on his head. He could not rest at all. They also made him walk the corridor back and forth and beat and cursed him. Once the police saw that he was near death, they took him to the train station at midnight, threw him out of the car and immediately took off. That fellow practitioner could not get up. Later, a kind-hearted driver took him to his home. He died on the sixth day after being released.
I again returned to my former lodging. I continued to deliver truth-clarification flyers to thousands of households. In February 2001, we all understood that we should go back to our hometown to clarify the truth there. This would help us broaden our truth clarification work. At that time, practitioners in several provinces had not stepped forward to clarify the truth. We wanted to tell them of our experiences and encourage them. Therefore, I took the train to the Northwest.
Validating the Fa in the Northwest
I arrived at Xi'an. Practitioners from that area had not been in contact with practitioners in other areas. They were unable to read Teacher's latest articles, articles on the Clearwisdom website and other truth-clarification materials. Therefore, they were slightly mistrustful of the current situation and developments in the Fa-rectification. The local government had exiled the practitioners in charge of Falun Gong and assistants to their relatives' home in other places and did not allow them to come back. Based on the situation, we first explained the truth to the practitioners. We explained to them that when we were working in Beijing, every report posted on the website was based on an actual person's experience, and bore the testimony of a witness, material evidence and time and location. Everything had to be accurate. The practitioner who uploaded the articles was required to be rational and careful. He or she could not send in fabricated reports. After repeated sharing and discussions, several relatively elderly practitioners stepped forward to do this kind of truth clarification. Also, we looked for younger local practitioners who were able to motivate others and handle the situation.
I began to make truth-clarification materials. As no one had done any truth-clarification work locally, I took over and began to distribute flyers to business people, passersby and people eating along the roadside. During that period of time, another practitioner and I produced truth-clarification materials until late at night, every day, and delivered them for distribution the next day. We handed out the remaining flyers ourselves. Sometimes we encountered police officers driving around slowly, looking for stickers saying, "Falun Dafa is great" in the telephone booths and other public places.
Once I went to distribute flyers in the countryside. Because it was very far away and the road was rough, I had many open blisters on the soles of my feet. Also, my ankles became swollen. It was very grueling for me to walk and I just dragged my feet forward, one step at a time. At that time, an elderly man who was collecting rubbish with a handcart came from behind me. He felt sorry for me and said, "Sit on my vehicle, since it is difficult for you to walk." I looked at this kind elderly man and quickly said, "Thank you for your kindness. You are so old - how can I let you pull me?" It was close to getting dark and I was still some ways from the next village. The elderly man turned around after a while. It was truly difficult for me to walk. Therefore, he stopped twice and offered for me sit on the cart and be pulled. Every time, I said no and thanked him. I told him what I was doing and handed a truth-clarification flyer and VCD to him. He said, "I am illiterate." I told him to ask a relative to read it for him. My feet hurt, so I walked very slowly. It was after 11 p.m. when I finished distributing the flyers. I was four bus stops from my place. Several commercial motorcyclists asked if I wanted a ride. I only had 1.40 yuan with me. Upon hearing this, some people felt it was too little and said nothing, but some did not mind and gave me a ride. Therefore, I rode on the motorbike of a man who appeared to be honest. He took me to a place not far from my place, but it was still quite a ways away. I gave him the 1.40 yuan plus a truth-clarification VCD and thanked him. He left happily.
In the Northwest of China, my fellow practitioners and I were busy from dawn to night. Just before we were close to achieving some success with our truth clarification, the local practitioners became careless and were caught. As a result, all of us were also arrested, because the person who was caught confessed to the National Security agents. Some of the practitioners were not careful and attracted the attention of the residents committee. We had created a big loophole. Because we were busy from morning to night, we had not been diligent in studying the Fa. I was very anxious. Could we continue like that? How could we be successful validating the Fa without studying the Fa? The practitioners rarely came together to share experiences. Consequently, we did not look inwards and assess the problem based on the Fa. Some people's cell phones were monitored and tapped (they had interruptions during the calls). However, the practitioners did not take it seriously. As a result, a complete set of truth-clarification equipment fell into the hands of the persecutors.
After the secret agents arrested us, the police brought in people good at talking, in order to brainwash us. I stood my ground, refuting their words. Based on ancient and modern examples, I explained the truth to the perpetrators. I told the facts of Jiang's regime persecuting Falun Gong. That section chief had nothing substantial to respond with, but said, "Even if one day Falun Gong is redressed, what does it help you now? Aren't you running against the tide?" These people did not dare to admit to themselves that they were in the wrong, and thus they committed wrongdoings against their conscience.
I was not moved, even when the interrogators roared loudly or hit the table. They tried a combination of threats and enticements for three days. I revealed nothing about our truth-clarification activities. Consequently, they sent me to a detention center. The secret agents handcuffed me and carried me, one on each side. I tried to stop them. They quickly said, "This is the rule." My upright and righteous behavior made the agents tremble. Many high officials of the Shanxi Province were watching, but they all appeared to be so tiny.
I arrived at the Xi'an Detention Center after midnight. The police confiscated everything I had with me and left me without a cent. They wanted to break me through hard and intensive forced labor. I was without living necessities for more than two weeks. I did not have a quilt and I had to borrow toilet paper, a toothbrush, towels and so on from other inmates. I refused to wear the prison uniform. Consequently, I was punished with the "big board." (Four male prisoners carried a big thick board with fixed handcuffs and foot shackles. After I was shackled to it, I could not move.) The detention center ordered the prisoners to humiliate me, to beat me and make me recite the prison rules. I would not listen to the evildoers. I recited Teacher's articles and Hong Yin in my heart, and whatever Fa that I could remember.
Every interrogation was actually a contest between righteousness and evil. When my heart was filled with the universal law of "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance," my words were compassionate and powerful, and the agents gave up one after the other. During the night of the fourth interrogation, I had a dream. In the dream, after a lot of hard work, I graduated from Beijing University and was assigned a job in a company in Beijing. I was poor. Therefore, a female classmate and I went to the wilderness and dug up a handful of bitter greens. The dream hinted that I still had to endure some hardships, but at the same time, Teacher was encouraging me. I had not studied at a university. Therefore, Teacher's hint gave me deep happiness. This strengthened my determination to be more steadfast and to walk on the path of validating the Fa well.
On the morning of Teacher's birthday, I looked up and silently said, "Teacher, I'm wishing you a happy birthday! I hope that you rectify the Fa smoothly! Today I am in prison and can't openly express my heart to Teacher, so I can only recite the Fa. I respectfully ask Teacher to help his disciple!" At that moment, Teacher appeared before me, with a merciful smile on his face. I instantly felt a warm current coming from my head to my feet. That day, I was highly energetic. I did not stop reciting the Fa, although I worked extended hours, from early in the morning to late at night.
(to be continued)