Falun Gong Gave Me a New Lease on Life
(Clearwisdom.net) January 2, 2001 was the most unforgettable day in my life. I had just been diagnosed with gastric cancer and returned to my parents' home so that they could look after me. In my darkest hour in life, I had the enormous good fortune to be introduced to Falun Gong.
Words cannot do justice to the joy in my heart. Teacher said,
"Think about it, everyone: What matter is it to teach qigong toward high levels? Isn't this offering salvation to humankind? Offering salvation to humankind means that you will be truly practicing cultivation, and not just healing illness and keeping fit." (From "Genuinely Guiding People Toward High Levels" in Lecture One of Zhuan Falun.)
Since the day I obtained the Fa, I insisted on studying the Fa and practicing the Falun Gong exercises daily. My health improved every day. Soon I returned home from my parents' house. My husband supported my decision to practice Falun Gong. The first day I returned home, I removed and burned a spirit tablet that I previously worshiped in order to treat people's illnesses. I thought, "From now on I will cultivate nothing else but Falun Gong."
But when I progressed to Lecture Seven and encountered the passage of the Fa regarding quitting smoking, I hesitated to follow the Fa. I thought, "I will smoke for a few more days." Then Teacher gave me a hint to quit smoking via a person's words, but I still did not want to quit smoking. I thought, "Teacher, just allow me to smoke for a few more days." Teacher gave me another hint to quit smoking. I thought, "This time I must quit smoking." However, I quit smoking for only a few days and started smoking again. This process repeated a few times. Smoking gradually became a deadly test for me.
I started to be afraid because bad thoughts started to invade my head. In addition, I would feel like sobbing one minute and laughing the next. I knew it was not me, so I struggled to suppress those bad thoughts. Meanwhile, I studied the Fa diligently. Each time I opened up the book Zhuan Falun, tears flooded my face. What should I do? Teacher said,
"Smoking is also an attachment. [...] Don't we practitioners want to purify our bodies? We should constantly purify our bodies and constantly progress toward high levels. Yet you still put that in your body, so aren't you going the opposite way from us?" (From "The Issue of Eating Meat" in Lecture Seven of Zhuan Falun.)
Falun Gong is such a wonderful cultivation practice. I must not miss this opportunity that comes only once in eternity. I must persevere in quitting smoking. Meanwhile, I respectfully asked for Teacher's help to quit smoking. Thus I successfully quit smoking.
In the spring of 2004, I started to clarify the truth about Falun Gong. Teacher said,
"You must do well the three things that Dafa disciples should do well. You need to do the exercises. As long as the day of Consummation hasn't arrived you need to do the exercises, you need to study the Fa, and you need to do the Dafa disciples' three things. Definitely." (From "Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference")
Every day my husband and I drive to a rural area to sell vegetables. Every time we stopped the car, I started to distribute truth-clarification materials that I had prepared in advance. Before long, someone reported me to the police. One day two men told my husband, "Your wife is too skinny. Otherwise, we would take her to the public security bureau." [Editor's note: it's likely these two men thought the practitioner was not in good health, thus she might not be accepted by the labor camp.] When these two men approached us, I was not afraid at all. I started to send forth righteous thoughts right away and eradicate the evil manipulating them. Because of Teacher's compassionate protection, I left there safely. However, I had a difficult time distributing truth-clarification materials after that because my husband was watching me. I thought, "Since I am not allowed to distribute any truth-clarification material, I might as well tell the truth to people." I started to use all my available time during our trips to clarify the truth to people. Sometimes when my husband was in a good mood, he would join the efforts. Thus I had smooth sailing for a year.
It happened in May 2005. One day while I was clarifying the truth about Falun Gong and distributing truth-clarification materials to people as usual, my mentality of showing-off got the better of me. The next thing I knew, someone reported me to the police and had me arrested. During the illegal detention, I said to Teacher in my heart, "Teacher, I want to get out of here. There are many sentient beings waiting for your salvation. I must not be trapped here."
Because I obtained the Fa late and stepped out for the Fa late, I didn't quite know what to do. Teacher gave me a hint via a person's mouth, but I didn't understand it at the time. Three weeks later, a fellow practitioner was arrested and detained with me. Now I had company. I started to follow her actions. She started a hunger strike to protest the illegal detention, and I followed. On the fifteenth day of her hunger strike, her human notions prevailed and she stopped the hunger strike. The disciplinary staff saw that she stopped the hunger strike, so they turned their attention to me and persuaded me to stop too. Thus I stopped my hunger strike that lasted for twelve days. Sadness and frustration overcame me. I collapsed onto the bed and started sobbing.
On the fourth day after I started eating, the police transferred us to the Harbin Drug Rehabilitation Center in the morning. That was when I started to respond to the persecution against me more seriously. We cooperated with each other and started to send forth righteous thoughts. We also begged for Teacher's help: "We shall follow all of Teacher's arrangements."
Because of Teacher's protection, we both failed the health examination. The police had no choice but to return us to the detention center. After we were sent back, we started to contemplate why we failed to continue our hunger strike. We decided that the key reason was that we failed to unite in our resistance to the persecution. That evening she started another hunger strike protest, but I thought, "I will wait a few days first." After three days, my stomach started to bother me. I would vomit as soon as I ate. I knew Teacher was giving me a hint, so I started the hunger strike again. I thought, "This time I must succeed in my cause! I will not cooperate with the evil at all." The disciplinary staff ordered me to put on the prison uniform, but I refused to comply. They told me that inspectors from the provincial government were coming for an annual evaluation to determine if it would be qualified for a reward, and ordered us to cooperate so that they would look good. I thought, "Why should I follow you? No. I am a Falun Gong student. I will only follow Teacher's words. I must not let Teacher down. I must not disgrace Teacher."
The two of us had a discussion and decided that we must not allow them to torture us with force-feeding. When a disciplinary staff member brought a few people to torture us with forced-feeding, I resisted the torture with all my might. The disciplinary staff member was terrified and locked me in another cell. She also had me wear hand and foot shackles, which made me unable to move. Another disciplinary staff member tried to persuade me to cooperate, but I replied, "No matter what you say, I will not listen to you." Noticing that I had made up my mind, she gave up and left, looking defeated.
In a short while, the police removed my hand and foot shackles and returned me to the original cell. I reunited with the fellow practitioner. She and I continued sending forth righteous thoughts and refused to cooperate with the evil. On the tenth day of my second hunger strike, I was released, thanks to Teacher's protection.
After I returned home, my neighbors and relatives came to visit me. I took the opportunity to clarify the truth about Falun Gong to them and told them how we were tortured in jail. A relative asked, "Was it worth it?" I replied, "Of course! Falun Gong gave me a new lease on life! Teacher saved my life! I am determined to practice Falun Gong."