(Clearwisdom.net) My name is Sissel, and I live in Stavanger, a city on the southeast coast of Norway. I started practicing Falun Gong about four years ago, some weeks after a course in Stavanger.
At the time, a lot of things around me were chaotic. I had just been diagnosed with a seldom seen form of rheumatism. All cartilaginous tissues in my body, including my heart, could be attacked, and so I took cortisone for more than a year. When I asked the doctor at the hospital what I could do to avoid the pills, the answer was brutal: I was stuck taking pills for the rest of my life. He believed that nothing, neither lifestyle nor food, could cure me.
After only two months of practicing Falun Gong and reading, I felt a lighter body, a reduction in pain and more energy. My doctor even reduced the medication doses, and to make a long story short, I am cured. The pain is gone, I am full of energy, and I threw away the pills more than three years ago because my body has been purified.
During the last three years I have hardly taken any leaves of absence from work because of illness. In past years I took sick leaves often. I could handle the habitual pain, but the exhaustion kept me from going to work. Now my colleagues look at me, saying, "Sissel, you are never ill!"
I was ready to go out and clarify the truth. I participated at health fairs, anti-torture exhibitions, and I handed out fliers and did the exercises in crowded city centers. It was easy telling people about Falun Gong and the persecution in other cities but far more difficult in my own home town. "Who is watching me? What are they thinking about what I have to say? What if they think it is stupid!" These thoughts and questions appeared constantly, and it was my largest attachment.
Far easier was it to sit by the computer at home doing translation work for the Norwegian Clear Harmony web site. There, no one could see me, and I was anonymous. I could work several hours a week and spread the truth in that way. Moreover, I could save people from my home office, where it was safe.
I wish to explain a little about how I have matured as a practitioner. First of all, I must tell you that I am a teacher in an elementary school. Only a few of my colleagues knew that I was a Falun Gong practitioner. Several of my pupils have met me in the city handing out flyers, and some have turned up during exercise sessions in the city. Others have stood outside the window, peeping in while we practiced Falun Gong in my school. But I had never talked about Falun Gong and the persecution and torture in China with my pupils since I considered it inappropriate to tell small children about the persecution.
We were very lucky to have presented the "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" International Art Exhibition in our city. During the exhibition many things happened to the practitioners involved, and I personally could almost touch and feel myself maturing. I grew in conviction of what I believed in, and for the first time, I began talking about the exhibition with friends, family and colleagues, even inviting them to see it themselves. When I explained naturally the persecution through the paintings, it was easy for listeners to understand its cruelty, and at the same time I felt the righteousness of my own heart.
In the exhibition area we had a corner where children and youth learned to make paper lotus flowers. I sat down on the floor and discussed with them the persecution in China. We had nice, calm conversations about something cruel, and they were all very curious, even the little ones.
I thought to myself, "I'll have to try this with pupils at my school." But even so, at first I still avoided telling the truth by only making paper flowers in Christmas colors. Then I spoke with another practitioner, and she was absolutely clear in her voice, "The idea behind it is to tell the truth, not just to make paper lotus flowers!" I knew she was right, but there was my attachment again. It was good to have someone around to help keep me going in the right direction, as we all can help each other do what is best to save people.
I prepared myself, trying to consider thoroughly how to explain the truth to children. I devised a special plan for pupils in grades three through seven. I would tell them a little about Falun Gong and show some exercises. Then I would illustrate the persecution and the torture in China using the painting "Homeless," painted by artist Daci Shen. What and how much I tell depend on each individual class. Lastly, I would make paper lotus flowers together with the pupils. Each pupil got two to four flowers to take home, and we called them flowers of peace. The visit in the classroom would take about 70-90 minutes.
The first lesson was fine. It is horrible information, but nonetheless a good event for the pupils in fourth grade. They went home with flowers and with a slight touch of Christmas. The first barrier was broken. I had been standing in my classroom, showing exercises, talking about Falun Gong and above all, about the persecution and the torture. I discovered that it was ok to talk about the persecution with small children. I saw and heard the responses from the children. "Is what you have shown us really forbidden?" They could hardly believe it.
The next step followed naturally. A colleague came to me in the staff room with lotus flowers in her hands and talked about the lesson. She had been present in the classroom, listening, and was as shocked as the pupils. She was also very impressed by the lotus flowers. Naturally, the other teachers grew interested and invited me to speak to their students as well. I have now been in seven classes in my own school, grades three through six. With 28 pupils and a teacher per class, many were saved, and perhaps some of their parents were even told of the persecution. It is great to see what happens and what abilities turn up when attachments are eliminated.
On my way to visiting a class to tell the truth, I felt happiness and excitement. I thought, "What have I achieved? How many can I save here?" and then I felt something strange throughout my body. I knew at once I was too engrossed and walked through the hall sending righteous thoughts. Suddenly, I was calm, humble, righteous and ready to clarify the truth. Having a righteous heart is vital, so before entering a class I always sit down to send righteous thoughts. This is very important for me.
Once I was invited to a class with a teacher who had the habit of criticizing everything. "What is he going to think of this?" I wondered, and I worried about visiting his class for a whole week. I was happy when it suddenly turned out that he could not make it after all that day. "I escaped today," I thought, as I cheered inside. We made a new appointment for the next week, and that same evening I felt sick. It was so bad that I wanted to call my workplace and report the illness, how my ears were aching and how my whole body hurt. I knew it was just a symptom, but it hurt. That evening a practitioner called me, and during our conversation I realized that I just had to go forward. The next day I returned to work.
The day finally came for me to visit the class of the censorious teacher. My mind had been occupied the whole week until I realized that what he thought and felt about me was irrelevant. The important thing was to tell the pupils about the persecution and hope that he would listen as well. I sent righteous thoughts on my way to the classroom. My ears and body were still aching, and I had difficulties hearing, but delaying this appointment was out of the question.
The pupils in the fifth grade were very interested. They asked many questions, and to be able to hear their questions, I had to wander around the classroom, always listening to the ones sitting closest to me. When the pupils made paper lotus flowers, they where very exacting, and they were smiling and satisfied when I left them ninety minutes later.
That evening my body stopped aching and I could hear again.
The following day, the same teacher came to me, saying, "Sissel, what you told us yesterday was great! And you know, although I usually hate doing things with my pupils, I sat for several hours at home making lotus flowers with my children!"
With righteous thoughts and a righteous heart, I can tell the truth to everyone! With this new understanding in mind, I managed to plan several visits to different classes and even visits to other schools.
After the positive experiences from my own school, I composed a letter to teachers of third through seventh grades, offering lessons in their classrooms on the violations of human rights in China. The letter itself describes my lectures on persecution and torture in China.
To get in contact with other schools, I relied on personal contacts. I am always warmly welcomed, and I take these opportunities to place letters and lotus flowers in the staff rooms. Thus if teachers dont want me in their classrooms, they can at least read my letter on persecution and torture in China and learn the truth. However, the responses from the teachers have been good. I have already met with several classes in two different schools, and I have more schools on my list.
What has happened to me? I, who could barely speak up about the persecution and the torture to those I knew, now seek unfamiliar teachers, asking to go into their classrooms! With a righteous heart and a righteous mind ones human thoughts can be placed aside. The goal is to spread the truth and save more people. When I manage to do so, the responses are positive from teachers and pupils alike.
The "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" Art Exhibition has meant a lot to me, as it assisted my maturation in cultivation. I am grateful that we were able to hold the art exhibition in our city and that more people have thus come to understand the truth of Falun Dafa and the persecution.