Eternal Praise from All Beings, Part 1 (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) Fourteen years ago on May 13th, 1992, Mr. Li Hongzhi introduced Falun Buddha Law to the public in Changhcun City. He awakened people's Buddha nature, long sealed with dust, with the Fa principles of Truth-Compassion-Forbearance and helped people stay away from illnesses, the decadence of spiritual emptiness and the weariness that comes from being lost in a maze. He pointed out a path for people to cultivate their minds and return to their true, original selves. Seven years later, by 1999, Falun Gong had spread throughout China by word of mouth and even took root abroad, and brought peace and harmony to more than one hundred million practitioners and their families.
During nearly seven years of genocidal persecution under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Falun Gong practitioners around the world endured tremendous tribulations and persevered in their righteous belief in Truth-Compassion-Forbearance. Falun Dafa has been disseminated in over 80 countries around the world and is respected and embraced by people of different races. The main book Zhuan Falun has been translated into more than 30 different languages. More and more people are entering Dafa cultivation, which reflects the tremendous power and appeal of Falun Dafa that transcends race, national borders and time space.
1. The Buddha Light Illuminates Everything and Rectifies All Abnormalities
The story "Sharing Water" from the mountain region in Hunan Province tells how Falun Dafa changed people. In this story, the two villages Nanbian and Shuizhuang are sharing the same water canal. Because of the limited water resource, upstream-situated Nanbian Village had for 20 years always monopolized the water, particularly during the summer dry seasons, to irrigate their rice fields. Falun Gong came to Nanbian Village in July 1995. All 176 villagers started practicing Falun Gong and quickly changed their moral standards. Everyone started to treat others with kindness. Instead of fighting for water, they shared the water with Shuizhuang Village. The two villages have since eliminated their rivalry and live in peace and harmony.
On the afternoon of March 9, 2002, a boy shouted while running along the Verdun Canal in Montreal, Canada, "A girl fell into the canal!" Right away, Falun Gong practitioner Chen Ruqing ran toward the canal more than 200 meters away and saw a little girl struggling in a break in the ice about 10 meters (14 feet) away from the bank. The weather was getting warm and the ice on the canal had started melting. Without a second thought he crept onto the ice toward her, got hold of the girl's hand and rescued her out of the ice hollow. An ambulance was called and the girl was rushed to the hospital. Mr. Chen, who was soaking wet, returned home without leaving his name and contact information. Later, after lengthy inquiries, the Verdun police located him. He was rewarded in November 2003 as an "Outstanding Citizen" by Quebec Immigration Department. He was the first Chinese Canadian to receive such an award in the history of Quebec. When a reporter asked him what made him consider rescuing the girl from the icy canal he said, "As a cultivator of Falun Dafa, I follow the teachings and help those in danger. If I see someone dying and don't rescue him, I am not a qualified cultivator."
Photo Chen Ruqing, his pregnant wife and daughter at the award ceremony with the Quebec Immigration Minister
In the early summer of 1998, China experienced a huge flood. During that time, the Wuhan City TV Station frequently broadcast news about donations from businesses and individuals from all around the country. There were almost daily stories about donations from Falun Gong practitioners. There were more than a dozen people working from early morning to late evening at one of the sites, trying to contain the flood. They did not seem to get tired. The inspection officials asked them whom they worked for. They told him that they were volunteers. After a few more questions, it turned out they were all Falun Gong practitioners.
Similar stories among Falun Gong practitioners from inside and outside of China are too numerous to recount.
In this morally degenerate and materialistic world, many people regard the pursuit of money, power and lifestyle as the goals of their existence, and some stop at nothing to gain personal advantages. "A good person" used to be a label of respect, but nowadays it is synonym with "fool." In this muddy world, Dafa revealed the truth of the universe to people and awakened people from the deep sleep of their yearning for and pursuing pleasure. Dafa brought back purity to people. Without coercion or preaching, the cultivators of Falun Dafa voluntarily perfect themselves with the requirement of Truth-Compassion-Forbearance. Dafa makes once selfish people gradually rise from their levels to beings who can sacrifice for others and abandon self-interest.
The spring rain gently soothes all things and changes people's minds
Chinese-American scientist and Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Lili Feng said to a reporter, "Since the world has become this chaotic, there is a need for a group of courageous people to stand up and say: I have a responsibility. So who is this first group of people? Falun Dafa has made me become one of this first group of people. I have a responsibility! I can change first for the better. I believe that once I become better, I can help change those around me and help them become better, then the world will become better."
A Falun Gong practitioner from Changchun City described the changes in her way of thinking after she started practicing Falun Gong: "Before, I was always looking for instances where people mistreated me, but after I started practicing Falun Gong, I discovered that now all fellow practitioners and I are thinking the same thing that we are looking for the instances that we might have wrongly treated other people..."
Kebei, a woman volunteer for Chinese media in Canada said to the reporter, "I say 'Falun Dafa is good' not because Falun Dafa would bring me immediate money, fame, and comfort. Because Falun Dafa teaches the truth about life, it points one to a bright future. As long as one follows what Falun Dafa teaches, lives nobly, openly and with dignity, then one will get true happiness, something that one cannot obtain through struggling and fighting. Before I began to practice cultivation, "yin" and "yang" were reversed in our family. I was the type of person who strove to excel. I felt that I was very capable. I made money and I was in charge of our family, no matter if we were at home or outside. I did not allow any arguments or dissension to whatever I said. After I began to cultivate, Teacher told us that in a harmonious family, a man should be strong and protect his wife, and a woman should be gentle and be understanding of her husband. One should think of others first at any time and wherever one was, and one should look within if conflicts occur. Therefore, I tried my best to let go of my bad temper, respect my husband from deep within my heart, take good care of our children, take care of our home, and always behave like a good woman should. To achieve the above is a difficult process when cultivating. When I truly abided by what Teacher said, my family became more harmonious and warmer."
For Zhang Linyou, a former guard in the Gongzhuling Detention Center, practicing Falun Gong led him to become the only guard in that prison who didn't torture prisoners and who turned down bribes from the prisoners. Dafa cultivation completely renewed his soul. Later on, the 60 inmates under his charge were very grateful to him and believed that all police in China should practice Falun Gong. If that happened, the police in China would become the most civilized in the world.
Canadian Falun Gong practitioner Zenon Dolnyckyj said, "I know Falun Gong is good because I have been practicing for over seven years. Because of practicing Falun Gong, I have been able to give up drinking, smoking, doing drugs and many other bad habits that only helped to pollute my heart, mind and body. Just before I found Falun Gong I was going to leave my family, friends, and society because I felt hopeless. I was going to go live on a mountain. Instead I began to practice Falun Gong and have been able to transcend all my addictions and begin trading my bad mind for one filled with Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance."
Photo Zenon Dolnyckyj unfurls banner that reads, "Falun Dafa is good" in Tiananmen Square
Falun Gong practitioner Carlos said, "Now is the best time of my life in terms of health. My life's view has changed and I gave up competitiveness, and I learned to look inward and cultivate myself."
"If everyone practiced Falun Gong, there would be no need for the police and peace would prevail"
When 33-year-old Zhu Xiaoguang from Changchun City first entered a prison, the only relationship among inmates was brutality and cold-bloodedness. Each person tried to "tame" others with cruel and ruthless means. No one wanted to give in to another person, much less to discipline himself. Later, Falun Gong practitioners miraculously cleansed these people's hearts, and more than 100 inmates started practicing Falun Gong. They "disciplined themselves through a complete spiritual regeneration." Before, newly arrived inmates were greeted with "sweeping sticks," but now they are welcomed with helping hands. Many new inmates are shocked and in disbelief.
The experience of 24-year-old Aaron Nelson who lives in northern California is quite dramatic. His parents divorced and he lived a wayward life. He didn't have friends and often got in fights. At age 13 he experimented with drugs and dropped out of school. His brother and uncle later committed suicide; his grandmother died from cancer and his mother drank herself to death. He was depressed and started doing all kinds of bad things. During a survival rehab in the wilderness he was separated from the guide in the middle of a blizzard. He thought he was going to die and thought, "If I die right now, will I go to heaven?" He decided to find out about the spiritual side of life.
In March of 2003, Aaron walked into a bookstore and picked up a book entitled Zhuan Falun. When he read the table of contents he knew it was for attaining enlightenment. He didn't have enough money, so he stole the book. After he read the book, miracles happened--he quit doing drugs, he was no longer depressed, he stopped fighting and swearing, and he stopped stealing. When he had enough money he returned to the bookstore, apologized to the clerk for stealing the book and paid the money for two books to make up for his mistake. He finally found "the one way above all others."
Ms. Fu runs a bookstore and has lots of customers. One day a young man walked in and loitered for a while before sliding a book priced at more than 30 yuan inside his clothes and walked toward the door. Ms. Fu politely stopped him and gently said to him, "It's great that you like to read, because books help expand your knowledge base and teach you life principles, but what you have just done is not good for you. If you can't afford to buy the book but you really like it, I can give it to you as a gift. It's not as big of a loss to me as it would be to you. You should live with integrity, because if you form this habit and steal things every now and then, what will happen later in your life?" The young man cried. He took out the book and said, "Ma'am, I made a mistake. You are so good to me! I'll never do this again. I took another book from you before. I'll bring it back." Afterwards Ms. Fu's husband said to her, "You are something! You taught him a lesson without harsh words or fists, and you even got your book back." Ms. Fu smiled and said, "It's not that I'm made of something else; it's because Teacher tells us to be forgiving and treat others with kindness and always think of others. We should use reason with people to reach a true understanding."
Countless stories such as the ones above circulate in society. People say that if everyone restrained themselves with the principles of Truth-Compassion-Forbearance, the police would no longer be needed and peace would prevail in the world. Where Dafa spreads, "The Buddha Light Illuminate Everything and Rectifies All Abnormalities."
2. Persist in righteous belief, relentlessly clarify the truth and oppose the persecution
"Dafa is being spread far and wide. Those who hear about it are looking for it. Those who have obtained it are delighted with it." ("Seeking Discipleship with Teacher" from Essentials for Further Advancement)
The fact that there were 100 million Falun Gong practitioners in China infuriated some conspirators. Since July 1999, Jiang Zemin and the CCP colluded with each other and used the entire government machinery to launch the unprecedented persecution against Falun Gong with lies and to carry out the genocidal persecution aimed to "ruin their reputation, bankrupt them financially, annihilate them physically."
Before many people had a chance to learn what Falun Gong is all about, how wonderful and precious Dafa is, and what Dafa means to the human race, the persecution started and some people were deceived by the CCP's lies and developed bad thoughts toward Falun Gong. They also did bad things against Falun Gong practitioners without knowing how these things will harm their life. This is actually not a complex issue: isn't it a good world in which people are sincere, kind and tolerant toward each other? Isn't Truth- Compassion-Forbearance good? Shouldn't we apply and display it in our daily life? When Dafa is suppressed and slandered, shouldn't we persist and uphold the truth? The answer is obvious, and it's what Dafa practitioners as a whole have been doing for the past seven years. The preciousness and amazing power of Dafa enabled the cultivators in any perilous situation to willingly sacrifice their lives without hesitation or regret.
Coming for you
At the beginning of this persecution, Falun Gong practitioners went to Tiananmen Square and other places in Beijing to appeal out of conscience and in accordance with the law. They told the regime and the Chinese people that Falun Gong is good. They expressed the hope that the government would stop persecuting Falun Gong and that the practitioners be allowed to freely practice their belief. All channels of appeal were blocked, however, and the Bureau of Letters and Calls and Tiananmen Square became places where Falun Gong practitioners were and are arrested. The practitioners are detained, brutally beaten and some are even tortured to death. Many practitioners did not return home and were never heard from again. Yet, more practitioners continued to appeal.
One practitioner in his 50s sat in a meditation posture in Tiananmen Square. A police officer approached him; the practitioner said, "Don't arrest me yet because I have something to tell you." He took out nine pairs of shoes from his bag and put them on the ground, "It took two months and nine pairs of shoes for me to walk from Sichuan Province to Beijing, and I only wanted to say that Falun Dafa is good! Falun Dafa is the righteous Fa! The government is wrong!"
[photo] AP picture: old man who walked to Beijing Tiananmen Square to peacefully appeal for Falun Gong
Between November 2001 and November 2002, more than 100 Western Falun Gong practitioners from around the world went to Tiananmen Square to hold a peaceful appeal for Falun Gong and to tell the precious Chinese people, "Falun Dafa is good!" Canadian practitioner Zenon wrote before he left for China, "After I started practicing Falun Gong, I got rid of many bad habits that polluted my body and mind, and I gained a deeper understanding of Chinese Culture and Chinese people. With the deepest respect, I step on your country's soil and uphold the truth, for your sake. I hope my foreigner's face and pure heart can awaken the compassion in your hearts. Please, don't follow Jiang's criminal group to persecute Falun Gong, because it's really not good for you."
Photo On November 20, 2001, 36 Western practitioners held a peaceful appeal for Falun Gong in Tiananmen Square
Yvonne Kleberg from Sweden said, "If people in the world kept silent when the evil persecutes the people who follow Truth-Compassion-Tolerance, they would be acquiescing the murder of innocent good people with horrifying means. If the Chinese communist regime wiped out Truth-Compassion-Tolerance from people's hearts, what will remain then?"
One song written by a Dafa practitioner tells of Falun Gong practitioners' heartfelt words about their willing sacrifice in upholding the beautiful and universal principles of Truth- Compassion-Forbearance:
Please Hear Several Words of Mine
Tomorrow I will leave home,
To say several fair things about Dafa,
Maybe I will never come home,
To count your white hairs.
Please wipe away your tears,
From a very young age you have taught me to tell the truth,
Dafa has taught me "Truth-Compassion-Tolerance,"
And taught me how to be a good person.
Please don't worry about me,
Since ancient times there has always been a price to pay for truth,
I am not afraid of the difficult road under my feet,
No matter how many tribulations I may forbear.
Please hear several words of mine,
Fame and power is not what I treasure,
I just want to have a bright heart,
I will not fear any violent storm.
Allow me to call you "mom" one more time,
How could life go against the cosmic Dafa?
To save the lost sentient beings,
I am not afraid of sacrificing anything.
You have endured hardships to raise me,
To uphold righteous Fa I'll go to clarify the truth,
When you see the plum blossoming in spring,
Please be proud of me.
[photo] Plum flowers announce the arrival of spring
According to a source inside the CCP, the highest number of Falun Gong practitioners went to Beijing to appeal between early 2000 and late 2001. Calculated from the increased number of steamed buns consumed by the detained people, the Beijing Police Department estimate that during this peak time, more than one million Falun Gong practitioners appealed in Beijing. Looking back, when Chinese people are treated unjustly, they either bow to a dictator and endure humiliation or they rise up and rebel. Falun Gong, however, took a completely different path: they used peaceful and rational non-violent protests. Commentators say that such a large-scale civil appeal is the first one of its kind in human history. It shows the moral courage of Falun Gong practitioners who do not hesitate or regret giving up their lives to uphold the truth, which is enough to move heaven and earth.
Courage and power from Dafa
Wang Yuhuan is a kind woman in her 60s who didn't have much education. Because she persisted in her belief, Changchun City police illegally detained and held her in labor camp(s) nine times. She was tortured on a Tiger Bench for three days and two nights until the bones on her ankles were exposed and her arms were broken from repeated cranking by the guards. Her face was black from being shocked by electric batons. The guards burned her eyeballs with cigarettes, stabbed her ears with bamboo sticks and tortured her until she was covered in blood. She and some other female practitioners were stripped naked and tied spread eagle on hard wooden planks for 26 days, during which time the male guards, doctors and male inmates humiliated them in every way.
Later she went on a hunger strike to protest the torture and humiliation. On the 26th day of her hunger strike, at the brink of death, the guards tried to take her to a hospital. She gave three conditions: first, all guards at the detention center must stand on both sides of the hallway; second, all inmates and Dafa practitioners must watch me leave; third, I will leave singing a song. After her requests were approved, she pulled up her wounded and weak body with the strength left in her and slowly walked outside while singing loudly "Falun Dafa is Good." The scene was beyond words. People applauded as tears streamed down their faces. They were moved by her perseverance and contempt for cruelty.
An incarcerated Dafa practitioner's words during the Autumn Festival: "This year, I spend the Autumn Festival in prison. This evening, people in our cell held a party and every person performed something. When it was my turn I sang in a loud voice, 'Return' and 'Be Saved.' When I started singing 'Falun Dafa is good,' a song many people are familiar with, everyone inside the cell sang along with me, 'Falun Dafa is good, Falun Dafa is the righteous Fa, the Buddha Light illuminates everything.' The voices were full of compassion and solemnity, and it echoed in the void under the full moon. A harmonious atmosphere encapsulated the room. The inmates were crying, and their hardened hearts were awakening."
Soon after Ms. Han from Fuxin City, Liaoning Province was released after several years of detention and torture, the head of the police station went to her and demanded that she give up her belief. With a calm but firm voice she told him, "Even if you arrest me 100 more times, I will still practice Dafa. There is nothing wrong with practicing Falun Dafa and becoming good people. After I returned home, my family and my neighbors learned the truth, and more than 30 of them started practicing Dafa!"
In the past seven years of brutality, on one side, the entire dictatorship machinery was cranked up for the persecution, and on the other side, Dafa practitioners endured with their physical bodies. The state-controlled TV, radio and newspapers slandered and framed Dafa practitioners while the practitioners made tremendous sacrifices and clarified the truth by tapping into cable systems and broadcasting videos on TV and printing flyers with the money from their own savings. More and more people are awakening and choosing a bright future.
(To be continued)