Righteous Teacher, Righteous Fa, Righteous Path (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) Dr. Gao Dawei, the former dean of Light Industry and Food College, South China University of Technology, and once the youngest professor in the University to win the National Research Award, presently is an R&D manager at a US company. He began to practice Falun Gong in 1994, and now volunteers as a spokesman for the Global Service Center to Quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Dr. Gao Dawei
As an outstanding scientist, and a dedicated Falun gong practitioner, why did he get involved in the volunteer work of "Quitting the CCP?" Is he participating in politics? What does he think after twelve years of practice? What was the early shape of Falun Gong from the point of view of a witness of some of the grand events related to Falun Gong? Below is his story.
Learning Falun Gong
Reporter: Dr. Gao, as a prominent Food and Biochemical Scientist, how did you start to practice Falun Gong? Because in China, cultivation was widely regarded as superstition.
Gao: I was born in December 1953 in Xishui County of Guizhou Province. I had to leave school in Grade 8 because of the Cultural Revolution and family financial difficulty. In 1977 when I turned 23, I was recommended to go to a university as the last set of worker-farmer-soldier students. In the university, I finished remediation of math, physics and chemistry courses for high school, and accomplished the university courses within the next three years, and passed the master's and PhD examinations. After graduating with a PhD, I stayed at the university and made some achievements there, including the National Science Technology Award. In 1990 when I was 37, I was promoted the youngest tenure-track professor at Southern China University of Technology. Thereafter, all I thought of was how to achieve, and how to be more prominent than others. Consequently, the struggle for fame and profit, lust, and anger ruined my health.
I suffered several diseases at a young age, including hepatitis, gastritis, bronchitis, sinusitis, insomnia, chronic cold and severe knee arthritis. When I tried to squat down, it was so painful that I could not take it. I received treatment from almost all the health care techniques that were available on the market, including infrared, UV, arthrosis therapy, field-effect instrument, and a magnetic-therapy mattress which costs thousands of dollars. I took various kinds of medicine and tried other Qigong exercises. But none of these worked for me, and my temper became worse and worse.
In August 1994, I started to practice Falun Gong as recommended by a friend. Initially, I thought what Teacher said in the book Falun Gong was too supernatural to believe in. But I did not object to it. I thought, although I've made some achievement in science, I was a pupil in the field of Qigong. At that time, I did not fully understand what Teacher taught, but I thought "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance" were very good for me to follow.
Therefore, I persisted in practicing Falun Gong. It was my privilege to attend the last Falun Gong seminar given by Teacher Li; it was the fifth Falun Gong seminar in Guangzhou. During those days, I had some supernatural experiences.
"Falun"----taken in 1993 Oriental Health Fair in Beijing
For example, in the first three days of the nine-day seminar, it was not raining but everywhere I walked I left wet footprints. Except for the soles, my shoes were dry. Three days later, I did not have any trouble with my knees any more, and I could squat down without pain. I realized that it was Teacher Li that purified the inner negativity from my body. My wife and one of my colleagues who sat beside me also marveled at my experiences.
After two months of practice, a bumpy rash appeared on the skin of my liver area, which was reddish and pretty itchy. I was a little scared. A veteran fellow practitioner told me that liver toxins were coming out, which would take a couple of months. So I did not pay much attention to it and kept reading the books and doing the exercises. One week later, the rash dried up and I had a bitter taste and halitosis. At the same time, the symptoms of the hepatitis, insomnia, and others were all gone.
The diseases that I suffered all disappeared within three months of practicing Falun Gong. I felt like a brand new person. I could not find the words to express my appreciation to Teacher. During the annual physical examination for professors in our university, the doctor was also surprised by my renewed health. He said it seemed that my organs were cleaned up, and each blood vessel was very clean. I knew it was Falun Gong that changed me.
Falun Gong is an Advanced Science
Energy field----taken during promotion activities by practitioners
Reporter: As a scientist, how do you think Falun Gong changed you? How do you think of Falun Gong from the point of view of science?
Gao: When we talk about science, we mainly refer to the western demonstration of science, which excludes the oriental cultivation culture. However, this science is also developing. The area that current science has not covered is sure to be beyond what we can see. The knowledge of a human beings is limited, and we cannot confine ourselves by our rigid way of thinking.
Take my body change for example, I had my illnesses cured without taking any medicine. Tens of thousands of fellow Falun Gong practitioners have had similar experiences, each of whom has a miraculous story. Isn't that a supernormal phenomena? Isn't this the supernatural science that deserves to be explored by human beings?
Energy field----taken while practitioners were doing the exercises
In addition, my friends, colleagues, and my students also found that great changes took place in my behavior as my moral standard was raised. For example, when I had just become the dean of the college, I was very stubborn and had a tense relationship with other leaders in the college. Later on, when I studied the "Transformation of Karma" and "Improving Character" in Zhuan Falun, I started to look inward and discover my shortcomings using the standard of "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance." Gradually, I developed a compassionate heart and calm mind, and I was able to consider others first. Therefore, the relationship between leaders in our college became harmonious. Our college was once recognized as a "Model Institute of Guangdong Province."
In my daily life, I strove to follow "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance" rather than drifting with the tide of everyday society. I refused to take part in the usual corrupt activities such as ingratiating myself with supervisors, taking or giving gifts, etc. I used my time for practice and to finish my work. I also asked my employees and students to do well in the routine work, be straightforward in putting together applications for funding, and to leave it at that. As a result, our college took the first position in our university for faculty members being promoted to high titles and for successful funding applications, just like Teacher said in the "Lecture in Sydney" about "gaining without pursuit."
I still remember when South Daily, the newspaper sponsored by the Guangdong Provincial Communist Committee, interviewed a group of young scholars with significant accomplishments. The reporter asked me what my motto was and who I admired most. I said that "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance" was the motto I would always follow and that Teacher Li is the person I admired most.
The reporter told me that most of the young scholars admired themselves the most, or else well-known figures abroad.
During the first half year of practicing Falun Gong, I experienced the opening of the Third Eye, the Placement of the Mysterious Pass that Teacher taught in Zhuan Falun and I was able to see scenes in other dimensions. Sometimes, after I had lunch at home, I normally studied several paragraphs of the Fa. When I relaxed, I entered into other dimensions, and experienced some mysterious abilities described in the mythical tale, Journey to the West, such as my body expanding or shrinking. I also experienced the feeling of not being hot or cold, and other unique sensations. These are awesome experiences that are indescribable with human words. Ordinary people would not believe what I said, nor would I, before I started practicing Falun Gong. But when such supernatural phenomena repeatedly happen to you, you stop being astonished by them.
Beneficiaries are the best active media
Over ten thousand practitioners attended the 1998 experience-sharing conference in Tianhe Gym, Guangzhou City.
Group practice by Guizhou practitioners during experience-sharing conference
Reporter: Before July 20, 1999, quite a number of people had not heard of Falun Gong in the news media. According to inside documentation from the Security Bureau of China, it was estimated that over 70 million people practiced Falun Gong at that time. As a veteran practitioner, why do you think Falun Gong spread so rapidly?
Gao: Because I benefited so much from Falun Gong in mind and body, it is natural that I would share it with my family, friends, colleagues and students. After practicing, they also thought it was very good. So we hosted dozens of free classes at our college, where we played videotapes of Teacher's lectures, and we offered free exercise instructions. I also assisted the Guangdong General Assistance Center to produce audiotapes and videotapes of Teacher's lectures in Guangzhou. At that time, lots of people came to learn Falun Gong, and then they would share the practice with their families and friends. Just like this, the practice spread exponentially, as more and more people began to practice Falun Gong.
In total, there are 21 districts of Guangdong Province. At an early stage, more than half of the provinces did not have an Assistance Center. So during the 1996 summer vacation, we organized over twenty volunteers from colleges and middle schools to spread Falun Gong. In the Chaozhou, Shantou area, for example, Mr. Zhang Mengye, the classmate of Chinese president Hu Jintao, went to Mei County and Heyuan County in Chaozhou District to promote Falun Gong. Our purpose was very simple, we just wished for more predestined people to benefit from Falun Gong.
Normally, we first rented a hall or small movie theater as the place to hold the class, then we went to a local park to do the exercises. Since in China lots of people do a morning work-out in the park, we posted our Falun Gong banner. While some fellow practitioners demonstrated the exercises, other practitioners distributed flyers about Falun Gong and the classes. One week later, many people came to learn Falun Gong -- at least sixty to seventy for a small class, and for a big class, for example, in Shantou City, several hundred people came for the first class, so we had to get a different place.
When the nine-day class was established in a city, several fellow practitioners stayed to teach the exercises and answer questions for new practitioners, and other volunteers moved on to a new city. After one month, just in eastern Guangdong Province, nearly a thousand people joined the practice of Falun Gong, and eight Falun Gong Volunteer Assistance Centers were established.
In Guangdong Province, it was estimated that approximately 5,000 people attended the seminars given by Teacher. Four years later, it was estimated in 1998 by the State Sporting Bureau that 200 thousand people regularly attended group exercises in Guangdong Province. The number had increased by 40 times. Actually, the real number would be much larger if those who read the book and did the exercises at home were counted. In the whole nation, it is estimated that only 100 thousand people attended Teacher's classes from 1992 to 1994, but by 1999 nearly 100 million people were reading the books of Falun Gong and doing the exercises.
From an Atheist to Respecting Gods and Buddhas
Master Li Hongzhi taught Falun Gong in Wuhan five times and was widely welcomed by Wuhan citizens. Wuhan practitioners have held many large-scale group exercises. This particular formation was made with five thousand practitioners. (1997)
Morning practice in Guangzhou (1998)
A large-scale practice in Beijing with more than two thousand practitioners (1998)
Practitioners in Chengdu practicing in the morning
Reporter: More than a hundred million practitioners were practicing Falun Gong--that's no small number. Besides achieving better health, are there any deeper reasons? Can you tell us explicitly what are some of the feelings and changes that one experiences after practicing Falun Gong?
Gao: I'll still use the story of the Falun Gong promotion activity during that summer break. At the end of the event, there was a sharing between all of us teachers and students. Many of them were studying philosophy, the sciences, arts or politics, and many of them were new practitioners and did not have a good understanding of Falun Gong. They were in between believing and not believing. However, one month later, I saw with my own eyes people who were simply waiting for us to teach them the practice, people with extraordinary experiences. All these experiences amazed them. One doctorate student said, this trip can only be described using the words, "a resurrection of the body and soul." He had gone from being an atheist to a steadfast cultivator in Falun Buddha Law.
Also, while teaching the practice voluntarily across the nation, we also met with several supernatural phenomena. For instance, there would often be a few illiterate elderly ladies (many were lay Buddhists) telling us how they had, ranging from days to decades prior to meeting us, seen visions of Master Li's portrait and the covers of books such as Falun Gong. An elderly gentleman learned Falun Dafa and benefited immediately. Tumors in his body disappeared instantly. Other people who had been previously half-paralyzed were also able to stand up. Many miraculous things happened, just like when Master was teaching the classes himself several years ago. Due to the miraculous healing effects, many people were able to benefit after listening to only two lectures, and then they would go home and spread it to the entire family, bringing dozens of people back to learn the Fa. Many people with predestined relationships told us excitedly that they have long been waiting for this day to come.
I remember that when we went to Chaozhou City, where one of the four oldest monasteries in the nation, the Chaozhou Monastery, stood. There was a lady (a lay Buddhist) about sixty years old, who has been studying Buddhist texts and abstaining from meat since she was young. She had never entered the park before, but that morning, a mysterious force pushed her into the park where two of our younger practitioners were practicing on the grass while two others were distributing fliers. We also had a portrait of Master Li hanging on the tree. The lady stood there stunned for a long time.
When the nine-day seminar began, she came as well. On the first day, in the intermission of Master's video, she came looking for us and talked to us nonstop in the Chaozhou dialect. Through a translator, we managed to learn that she was saying, "That day at the park, I saw Master dressed in Buddhist clothes practicing with the two practitioners in the grass. Why is that Master not here today, and why is the Master in the video dressed in a suit?" Later, we realized that her celestial eye was open and she could see things even with her flesh eyes open. However, she had never learned Qigong before and could not distinguish between different dimensions.
We went to the eastern part of Guangdong Province in August 1996. We held nine-day seminars throughout the region and lots of new practitioners joined in to help distribute fliers, reserve rooms for seminars, teach the exercises, etc. After we left, they would then become the volunteer coordinators of that region. Every morning they would bring their cassette players to practice at the many practice sites and teach the exercise to everyone who joined us. In this way, a year later, many regions increased from a community of practitioners numbering a few dozen to a few thousand, and it also spread very quickly to the rural areas. In late 1996, we also went to Chaozhou, Mei County, and other cities, to participate in their local experience-sharing conferences.
I remember at the Mei County Fa Conference, there were many speakers ranging from people who were illiterate, retired senior party officials, incumbent party officials, workers, farmers, students, etc. There were also people who managed to obtain a new life from incurable diseases as well as criminals and gangsters who changed for the better. In all their speeches, they would thank Master and Dafa, oftentimes bursting into tears of gratitude. Even though we came from Guangzhou, they would treat us like their own family members upon seeing us. I told them that this was all thanks to the power of Dafa, and that they should only be thankful to Master and Dafa. I also told them to pass on this gift to more predestined people who are still waiting for the Fa. Thereafter, they all began spreading the Fa actively. It was in this way that Falun Gong began to spread throughout China in all walks of society.
In 1998, in order to help out with the survey on Falun Gong held by the National Physical Association, the main coordinators of Guangdong Province invited a group of professionals to conduct a random survey on more than ten thousand practitioners in Guangdong Province. The survey concluded that the effectiveness of Falun Gong in curing health problems was 97%. Many people who had incurable diseases were cured after practicing Falun Gong. Professionals believe that Falun Gong is able to bring physical and mental health to people, by improving their morality and benefiting from the "Falun Gong Community Effect." They also concluded that such a highly virtuous practice should be widely spread to society because it has a hundred benefits and not a single bane to the society or any individuals.
"Assistance Centers are to be managed in a loose manner... No money or possessions are to be kept" (Appendix I for Falun Dafa Assistance Centers, The Great Consummation Way of Falun Dafa)
Reporter: I understand that you used to be a volunteer at the main Assistance Center in Guangdong Province and have had contact with the founder, Master Li Hongzhi himself. Would you be able to tell us a little about some of your experiences during that time?
Gao: Now, whenever I read Master's book Essentials for Further Advancement and come across the articles that Master wrote for the Assistance Centers and volunteer assistants, all the scenes are still vivid in my mind. Master has always had very strict requirements for the Assistance Centers.
Master Li Hongzhi's Calligraphy for Guangzhou Falun Gong Practitioners -- "Falun Dafa in Guangdong (Province)"
In April 1996, when Zhuan Falun had been published in Beijing for exactly one year, and was about to be ranked as the most popular book by many media, the news and propaganda agency of the Chinese Communist Party dispatched an internal document banning the publication of Zhuan Falun as well as other Dafa books under the name of "superstition." However, they were afraid that this would infuriate the masses, and thus only released the document internally. However, many book vendors saw the popularity of Falun Gong. For some, it was out of profit, for others, it was for a good cause, and they still secretly published Dafa books. They would say that the CCP would ban anything that the citizens would like to see, while garbage that the citizens do not want to see, such as quotes of Mao, Deng or Jiang's "Three Represents", would be forced upon people using taxpayers' money. Accordingly, Assistance Centers throughout the nation would buy the books from vendors across the nation and sell it to anyone who was interested in practicing at cost price.
In the second half of 1997, together with several other practitioners in Guangzhou, we made a deal with the famous Huacheng Publishing House in Guangzhou after a lot of effort, to publish Master's Lectures in the United States. At that time, a few coordinators at the Beijing Assistance Center told us that, in consideration of farmers and unemployed practitioners as well as other people who are not as well off, we should minimize the cost. After discussing with the publishing house, we were able to reduce the cost of every book down to 5 yuan. However, the Assistance Centers would be in charge of distributing it.
I remember on the day we signed the contract, the deputy director of the publisher scolded me, saying: "You say that you respect your Master, but I think that such a book should be published in a deluxe edition which costs at least 20 yuan per book. How are you respecting your Master by cutting and reducing the cost?!" At that time, I felt that he was right in some way and felt very bad within.
A few days, later, we received two calls from Master saying [general meaning] that as Dafa practitioners, not only do we have to cultivate well ourselves, we also have to make sure that the overall form is righteous, and each step has to be righteous as well. The fact that Assistance Centers are buying books and selling them is illegal in society. Even though we did not make a single cent of profit, we were still handling money. We should allow ordinary people to sell it through ordinary means and let them earn their own money. By then, as the first batch of five hundred thousand copies were already printed, we could only let the Assistance Center distribute it. Master knew that the publisher did not make much profit and thus volunteered not to get copyright payments for the book. After being sent out and distributed, the remainder of the books were returned to the publisher to sell.
Master had told the Falun Dafa Associations long ago that Assistance Centers should not handle money at all and that we should not do anything related to money. As a community of cultivators, Falun Gong is not a social organization or corporation. From then on, we stopped participating in the distribution of books and let the publishers take care of it themselves.
"A Great Way Has No Form"
There is something else that I remember very clearly. In late 1997, the Beijing Assistance Center dispatched a notice worldwide according to Master's suggestion: there should be no main Assistance Centers, divisions, etc., and hierarchical names are not to be used. We are also not allowed to have membership lists, and practitioners can come and go as they wish. Moreover, assistance centers are only to be set up according to each practice site, and anyone who is willing to bring a cassette player to the park every morning, set up the practice, and teach the exercises to new practitioners, could be a coordinator. Falun Gong "is a 'great way without form.'" ("Teaching the Fa At the Conference in Singapore"), and is a cultivation path that only focuses on one's heart. "Assistance Centers are to be managed in a loose manner" (Appendix I for Falun Dafa Assistance Centers, The Great Consummation Way of Falun Dafa)
Back then, we followed Masters' requirements in our volunteer work. After the "April 25" appeal in 1999, my workplace party leader told me that, following his supervisor's instructions, he has personally come to our practice site to spy on us. They had either crawled into the bushes and hid in their cars or buildings to see what kinds of people come to practice Falun Gong.
He found that different people came on all three days, there was no one in charge, and most of them were residents or students nearby. There were no criminals and one could tell from a glance that this was a loosely-managed community activity. He did not understand at all why Luo Gan wanted to label Falun Gong badly and then try everything he could to find evidence. In the end, he could not find a single illegal activity that could be attributed to Falun Gong.
In these seven years since I came to the States, I have traveled to many places throughout the country due to my work. I found that this was also the case overseas. Besides renting places to hold experience-sharing conferences or news conferences, the registered Falun Dafa Associations had none of those tight organizations that some people would imagine.
As for money and possessions, our Master also had very strict requirements for us. Master himself also does not accept any monetary donations or gifts. At Assistance Centers, we do not carry any money, nor do we participate in any activity related to money. Expenses for printing fliers and holding activities are covered by individual practitioners who volunteer themselves. There is no money-collecting or fundraising within Falun Gong at all. Everything is voluntary. After the persecution began on July 20, 1999, the CCP spread lies saying that Master Li had "hoarded money," and Falun Gong had "earned money," etc. To the countless Falun Gong practitioners who have seen or felt Master's exemplary life and teachings and have walked the path of cultivation, this was simply a major lie that they would never believe. We have all personally listened to Master's teachings and have had unforgettable experiences that have shown us how to be upright on our paths of cultivation.
Many people ask me, what is the deepest insight that you have gained after cultivating Falun Gong for twelve years. I reply, "A righteous Master, a righteous Fa, a righteous path." People in the future will definitely see that Master Li's actions are righteous, Falun Dafa stands righteous and Dafa practitioners' path in human society is also righteous. I firmly believe that the light of "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance" will dispel all the dark clouds and illuminate all of China as well as the entire world.
(from Da Ji Yuan News Network, Chinese Epoch Times)