A Student's Cultivation Experience
(Clearwisdom.net) I have been searching for a method to transcend death ever since I was very young. I often thought if I could meet a Buddha that came to save sentient beings, I would cultivate to the end-no matter how difficult it was. Because I was born in an intellectual family and grew up under the influence of the atheist Communist Party, I was not allowed to practice cultivation unless my parents cultivated. Therefore, I could only bury my yearnings to cultivate and to become an immortal. During one Chinese New Year, my family obtained a copy of the book Zhuan Falun when they visited friends. But due to all sorts of reasons, no one in the family, including myself, took up cultivation. It was not until 1999, when my mother began to practice Falun Gong that I started to practice it as well.
When I first began the practice, because I had a lot of homework, I did not read the book much, but I listened to my mother reading Zhuan Falun every day. And because I regretted my delay in learning Falun Gong, I was more diligent about the practice. Every day I did the sitting meditation with the group at the practice site at 5:30 a.m. and the other exercises in the evening. I seldom watched television, and persisted in doing the sitting mediation for an hour. When conflicts arose, I was usually able to use the Fa to guide myself, look inward, and calm my heart. Not too long after, the evil persecution blanketed the entire nation.
I remember that on July 20, I held Teacher's photo in my hand and said, "I do not believe anything that is broadcast on the television, I only believe in Teacher." This thought has accompanied me to this day.
Because the environment for group practice was destroyed and my schoolwork was becoming heavy, I started to practice less often. However, when I practiced, I persisted in doing at least 90 minutes of sitting meditation. Although I tried not to be moved by the slanderous words and pressure against Dafa, I did not step forward to clarify the truth. Except for a few good friends, I did not clarify the truth to other schoolmates, and was not involved in other "Fa-rectification" projects, until Teacher's article "Towards Consummation" was published.
I immediately declared my practitioner status to the school and began to clarify the truth to my schoolmates. During that period of time, my mother and I constantly thought about the methods of saving more sentient beings. Once our wish to save people emerged we began the process around summer vacation. When we heard that other practitioners printed truth clarification materials at the local print shops for distribution and posting, we followed suit. We had someone print the materials, we prepared the glue, and we began posting flyers on people's doors and at street corners in the evenings. Later, we made more copies at the print shop and began posting flyers at the entrances of the stairways inside each building. We also went to some residential housing and school dormitories to distribute flyers. Sometimes we distributed one or two hundred flyers. Perhaps because of my young age, I had less attachment of fear and fewer acquired human notions. Thus, I usually did not run into any difficulty and things went smoothly when I distributed and posted truth clarification materials. We kept clarifying the truth in this manner until the autumn of 2000, when we went to Beijing to appeal for justice for Falun Gong.
My mother and I had the intention to go to Beijing to appeal for justice for Falun Gong, but because we were not able to let go of many attachments, we could not step forward to do it. After we read articles published by Clearwisdom editors and shared with local practitioners, we strengthened our confidence to go to Beijing and finally decided to make the first step. Because I did not study the Fa much and did not understand about negating the old forces' arrangements, I mistakenly thought that one would be arrested as long as one went to Beijing to appeal, and the way to prove that one has let go of everything and step forward is to be arrested. Therefore, before I left for Beijing, I prepared myself to be captured, and indeed, I was apprehended by an undercover policeman when I shouted "Falun Dafa is good" in Tiananmen Square. Because I did not understand the Fa principles clearly, I gave my home address when the police demanded it, saying that I if I did not give it to him I would be punished. I was arrested after that. My mother was sentenced to one year in a forced labor camp after her arrest, and I was detained in jail for nine and a half months because I was underage.
There were many indescribable experiences in the nine months of detention. My family living conditions were quite good and I was never separated from my parents. But I was surrounded by strangers in the jail. Everyone received a dinner consisting of a small dish of radish scraps and salted vegetables, a steamed bun, and half a bowl of cornmeal gruel. One evening, when I thought about the bleak future, I tried to hide the tears in my eyes. That evening I calmed my mind. Since then, my heart was not moved when I was hungry, when the steamed bun was uncooked and the porridge had mildew, when it was too crowded to find a spot to sleep, or when I had to sleep next to the wet and stinky restroom. In the nine plus months I did not ask for money from my family. Every day, I studied and recited Teacher's Fa and lectures that were secretly delivered from outside. By the time I was released I was able to recite more than one hundred articles from Teacher and the first two lectures in Guiding the Voyage. By continuously studying and reciting the Fa in those nine months, I was able to maintain strong righteous thoughts, remain steadfast in Dafa, not be moved by sentimentally towards family, while I protested the persecution, and clarified the truth to the guards and other inmates. As a result, some guards came to understand the truth about Falun Gong, and some inmates began to practice Falun Gong and changed their futures. Because I took the lead to practice Falun Gong, went on a hunger strike to protest the persecution, persisted in speaking the truth about Dafa when not allowed, and called for a stop to the torture and the release of innocent practitioners, I suffered greatly from torture. I was often shocked with an electric baton and force-fed. Many times, I was shackled and handcuffed with mid-size cuffs in different positions and locked up in a small cell. In spite of that, my righteous faith in Dafa never wavered. Later, my family bailed me out with more than 3,000 yuan.
When I look back at this experience, although I guarded my righteous faith, I was still cultivating under the brutal arrangement of the old forces. I did not completely negate nor come out of the old forces' arrangements, and acted somewhat passively and despondent when being tortured. I was not clearheaded and wise enough when clarifying the truth. And the long term incarceration made me lose precious time to save sentient beings.
After I was released, my family informed me that I had been expelled from school because I went to Beijing to appeal. In addition, my schoolmates reported to the school authorities that I was speaking up for Falun Gong. My family enrolled me in another school. Because of the previous lesson, this time I did not reveal that I was a practitioner, and I was not eager to clarify the truth to my schoolmates. I focused more on saving sentient beings outside of the school. By then, practitioners were more mature and did not take risks like printing materials at retail stores. Instead, they established larger-scale truth clarification production sites, and the content and the supply of materials improved greatly. For a period of time, the evil party intensified the persecution. They destroyed many of our materials production sites and arrested many practitioners, and we lost our sources of materials. In order to save sentient beings, I applied the wisdom that Dafa bestowed upon me and carved a seal that said, "Reclaim Justice for Falun Dafa." Every day, I took the seal and an ink pad with me and imprinted the characters on the residential buildings after school. Afterwards we were able to obtain some materials, and did whatever practitioners asked us to do and as much as we could. We used all kinds of methods to clarify the truth. We posted flyers and inscriptions, distributed flyers and DVDs, hung banners, and sent letters. Sometimes after dinner, my mother and I posted truth clarifying inscriptions along the road, and we posted more than one hundred inscription sheets per hour. Sometimes I distributed several hundred truth clarification materials around the residential neighborhood. Before I went to school, I often prepared enough materials for several buildings so that I could distribute them after school. Sometimes we gave DVDs to kids under ten-years-old so that they could take it home for their parents to watch. To summarize, we continuously clarified the truth.
When I saw that practitioners distributing flyers and clarifying the truth face-to-face had good results, I thought about doing the same thing. Because I've always been shy and introverted, I was never good at conversing with people and talking to strangers. Therefore the thought of doing that was like,
"So steel the will, and lift thy leaden leg" ("Climbing Mount Tai" from Hong Yin Version A)
Seeing that I had the will to make this step, Teacher arranged the path for me. I remember the first time I handed a flyer to someone in person. I held the truth clarification material in my hand while following this person on my bicycle to the first intersection, then I followed her some more until she was making a turn at the second intersection. It was not until then that I stopped the intense struggle in my mind and called to her, "Hey auntie, here's a flyer for you. Falun Gong practitioners have traded this with their blood and lives." As soon as I finished saying that, I rushed home on my bike. The first time I clarified the truth face-to-face was on my way to the wholesale market. My bicycle broke down on the way there, so I had to find a bike repair shop. After it was fixed, I asked the repairman the cost of the repair and he didn't charge me for it. I thought if I did not save such a good person then, when would I be able to save him? So I told him that people who practice Falun Gong are good people and always think of others first. We could not let others work without pay. I gave him some money and clarified the truth about Dafa in detail to him and the person next to him. Surprisingly the other person asked me for Dafa books, so I gave him a copy of Zhuan Falun, some truth clarification materials, and a DVD. He gladly accepted them. I thought that if I didn't take the initiative to clarify the truth, more predestined sentient beings might miss the chance to be saved. Thus I decided to seize every opportunity to speak to people face-to-face.
In early 2002, my mother stayed at home for a long period of time because she did not want to be arrested. In the meantime, the task of buying groceries fell on my shoulders. Because of my previous experience clarifying the truth face-to-face, it was no longer that difficult to hand out materials to people. I tried not to miss any predestined person. When there was not enough time to talk, I just handed them the flyer. And when there was more time, I told them more details. It did not matter if it was one person or two or three people, I was able to clarify the truth to them. And I became better at it. Of the people that I talked to, there were some who were supportive, some who were indifferent, and a few who were against it. One time I gave a tofu merchant a flyer and told him the truth about Dafa. A young man standing near us saw that, and he snatched the flyer from the merchant's hand and threw it far away, and shouted loudly that I was involved with Falun Gong. I picked up the flyer, sternly warned the young man, and rode away calmly on my bike. There were people who called me a crazy person because they were deceived by the CCP's propaganda, but I was not moved by any of this, and continued to clarify the truth.
Before the Sixteenth Congress Meeting of the Chinese Communist Party in 2002, the public security department and the police station conducted a massive arrest of Falun Gong practitioners in our area. Twenty plus policemen came to our house, pried open the door and the windows and took my mother and me to the jail. This time I was jailed for about two months and my family spent nearly 10,000 yuan to bail me out. My mother was detained for a long period of time. After returning home, I read Teacher's lecture, "Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia," and discovered the main reason for my detention. I thought I knew what the old forces were and how to negate them. Thus I constantly negated the old forces' arrangements verbally and thought I was safe, that nothing else could happen to me, and that I could no longer be persecuted. Therefore, I paid less attention to security issues. This experience made me realize deeply the seriousness of cultivation. Just because we say or think something won't happen, does not mean it won't happen. We must elevate ourselves from the fundamental level, and think and act according to Dafa's standard.
Because of this incident, I was expelled from school again. My family made a lot of effort to persuade the school authorities to allow me to audit the classes, and they guarded me even tighter than the first time I was bailed out. They hired someone to monitor everything I did. He followed me to and from school, and destroyed any Dafa related material I had. When no one was home, they locked me inside the house. However, this dreadful environment did not prevent me from validating the Fa. In order to deliver Teacher's lectures to the practitioners that were detained, I woke up in the middle of the night when everyone else was sleeping and hand-copied the lectures, sometimes until five or six in the morning. Then I used my wisdom and found ways to get it to the practitioners in jail. When my family left the house and locked me up inside the house, I would tie a rope around the pipe next to the two-meter high window that was pried open by the police, and climb out of that window. I clarified the truth and came home before my family came back. If I did not have any truth clarification material, then I used several colored chalks and wrote truth clarification inscriptions on the buildings. If I was followed to and from school, then I skipped classes such as politics or physical education classes that offer time for independent activities. I used this time to distribute materials or to obtain Teacher's new lectures and truth clarification materials from other practitioners. The teachers never found me missing from the classes. I also utilized the time for recess to distribute truth clarification materials at a couple of residential buildings and the streets nearby. When I could not speak to the people outside of the school, I talked to the classmates around me. Through my truth clarification efforts, some classmates came to understand the truth. Two good friends of mine became very sympathetic and were supportive of me. One of them helped me copy the letter by hand to the local police. The other one learned to practice Falun Gong and became a Fa-rectification Dafa practitioner. This classmate also accompanied me to the police station to request the release of my mother and to distribute truth clarification materials outside of the school during recess. She also kept some truth clarification materials for me because my family occasionally searched my backpack. During the difficult years of my cultivation path, this friend helped me a great deal. However, because we were not careful about security issues and did not clarify the truth well enough, another classmate searched our backpacks when we were not attentive and reported us to the teacher. As a result, the three of us were expelled from school.
In early Autumn of 2003, the police extorted 2,000 yuan from my family before they released my mother. In less than a month, they arrested my mother again and detained her for another six months. During my mother's detention, practitioners spent a lot of effort exposing the local evil to the people. I however, had the attachment of sentimentally toward my mother and wanted to rescue her. Therefore, every day, I looked for people to help, notified practitioners to "send forth righteous thoughts" for my mother, and wrote articles to expose the facts of the evil persecution. Consequently, I did not have time to study the Fa, and when I studied the Fa I was not calm. Truth clarification also became a formality. Not too long after, I was arrested while distributing truth clarification material. This time I was detained for three months and my family was illegally fined 10,000 yuan. I was not allowed to sleep. Three people held me down, they stroked my eyelids and scratched my eyes. They forbade me to sit in the double-lotus meditation position for a long period of time and applied other horrible methods to torment me. They threatened to send me to a forced labor camp for three years or to convict me in order to force me to give up the practice. Under tremendous pressure and with my attachment of fear and the desire to seek comfort, I said and wrote things that were against Teacher and Dafa. This left a stain on my cultivation path and I am extremely regretful for what I did. After I was released, I calmly searched for the reasons I was detained. One of the main reasons is that in the recent years of my cultivation I had developed a strong sense of arrogance. I thought greatly of myself and wanted to show off. It was because of this attachment that the evil took advantage of the loophole. And it was not until I tripped and fell that I awoke to this attachment.
In order for me to go back to school, my family sent me to a school outside of the area. At my insistence, they allowed me to live off-campus. This way, I had an environment that was conducive to Fa study and practice. Before I practiced Falun Gong, I was afraid to go to a dark room to fetch things. However, being a young woman, I was able to live by myself in a strange area and did not feel lonely. I knew that this was the strength that Dafa bestowed upon me and I felt content because the Fa filled my heart. In order to save money, I rented a plain and cheap place to live. As soon as I arrived at the new place, I contacted some local practitioners and was able to obtain lectures and truth clarification materials. I was in 12th grade at the time. I had a lot of homework and study duty, and was preparing for the college entrance exam. Right up to a month before the exam, I hardly ever took the study materials home. As soon as classes were over, I practiced Falun Gong and clarified the truth. Because my family was not there to supervise me and there was no harassment from the local police, I did the three things with ease. I divided the materials into several categories. They were mailed, given either to patients, students, the general public, or farmers. I sent out many truth clarification letters, and distributed them at hospitals, school dormitories, residential areas, and nearby villages. I also placed them in parks, on plaza benches, and in phone booths. When there was not enough material, I wrote on carbon paper to make more copies, or wrote inscriptions with markers and pens and posted them. Rain or shine, I persisted in distributing truth clarification materials. Ever since the "Quit the Chinese Communist Party" movement began, I began using all kinds of methods to clarify the truth face-to-face. I handed out the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party and "About Jiang Zemin," and encouraged people to quit the Party. I used many different methods to clarify the truth. For example, when I went to the bookstore, I clarified the truth and gave the owner a copy of the "Nine Commentaries." When I pretended to ask people for directions, I clarified the truth to them, gave them the books, and encouraged them to quit the Party. When I went to the bike shop to pump air in the tires, I clarified the truth to the repairman, gave him the books, and encouraged him to quit the Party. When I shopped for groceries, I clarified the truth to the merchants. When I went out in the evening, I clarified the truth to the people who were out strolling. When I shopped at the supermarket, I clarified the truth to the shoppers. For a period of time, I did the "three things" until one or two o'clock in the morning, and woke up the next day to prepare my meal and go to school. This time, I did not rush to clarify the truth at school. After I graduated, I invited some of my schoolmates to my place and clarified the truth in detail, showed them the material, and encouraged them to quit the Party. Even though the schoolmates who were saved were limited in numbers, at least I did not incur any losses from clarifying the truth.
Prior to May 1 (Labor Day in China), a practitioner I knew told me that a nearby truth clarification site had been exposed and shut down. Since she lost her source for materials, she decided to make her own. She bought a computer and a printer, but did not know how to install the security features [to break through the Internet blockade] and surf the Internet. She also did not want anyone to know about her going online. Therefore I learned some relevant computer technology during Labor Day vacation so that I could teach her. Because I did not know the practitioner who had computer expertise, another practitioner had to take me there. His place was far away and we did not arrive until afternoon. This practitioner was very busy, thus he only had one hour to teach me. Although I seldom used the computer and had never installed computer software, I knew I had to learn it for Fa-rectification purposes. In the evening, I visited the practitioner who bought the computer, and with Teacher's help, I installed the English ZA firewall, antivirus, antispyware, PDF, decompression, publishing and other necessary software. I rebooted the computer and we were able to surf the Internet via a proxy. Thus, our small materials site was in operation.
I've always done well in school, and with Teacher's compassionate help, I passed the college entrance exam and was able to attend a college near the practitioner who went online. Although the school requires us to live on-campus, that particular practitioner has good living conditions and ample room in her home. I could go there to study the Fa, do the exercises, and "send forth righteous thoughts" during the weekends. I could also go online, download, and print materials at her place anytime. The convenient arrangement and the relaxed college life provided a better environment and conditions for truth clarification. I usually print about 500 truth clarification flyers every weekend, then fold them, take them to campus and lock them up. Every day I distribute about sixty to seventy flyers. Within a year, I distributed flyers to almost 10,000 homes. Maybe because I have the wish to let all predestined people see the truth clarification material, Teacher always led me to small residential areas that are hard to find. In addition, because there were many residential buildings built in nearby neighborhoods this year, there were more places to distribute materials. In the last few years of cultivation, I developed a few good habits that helped me with truth clarification. For example, regardless of the time and place, or what I'm doing, I intentionally or unintentionally recite Teacher's Fa-rectification verses, especially when I'm on my way to clarify the truth and when it is alright to do so. This eventually became a habit. Therefore, it has been easy for me to walk into gated neighborhoods to clarify the truth. Because certain small residential areas have security doors, it affects the distribution of material to save sentient beings. Every time I noticed a new building being built, I would "send forth righteous thoughts" to disintegrate the elements that control the security device, and it has been effective. Since the suggestion of utilizing paper money to clarify the truth was published, I have been writing or printing "Quit the Party" inscriptions on all of the paper money before I spend it. Ninety-five percent of all the paper money that I spend is written with inscriptions of "Quit the Party," and so far, nobody has refused to take them. Of course, one must be aware of safety issues, thus I usually bring a few unmarked bills with me. Although my family gives me quite a bit of allowance, I am thrifty in my daily life. I spend less than 200 yuan per month, and have saved about five to six thousand yuan to print Dafa-related materials.
Although I don't have much experience in the area of computer technology, when I saw an online course on changing printer connections, I thought that since I'm a Fa-rectification practitioner, and as long as Teacher is with us, there is nothing I can't accomplish and it can't go awry. As a result, I utilized some discarded items, spent a few yuan for a piece of plastic, and succeeded in changing the connection.
One time, there was a problem with the computer. I did not want to bother other practitioners, so I spent a few yuan for a system security disk. I tried to install it myself and was able to do it on my first try. I also followed instructions from a technical article titled "Building a Materials Site from Scratch" on Minghui/Clearwisdom, and installed the security features and other necessary software, and the computer began to work. In less than one year of working with the computer, I have learned how to burn CDs and DVDs, back up data, restore the system, install a proxy device, add an encryption disk, handle typesetting, install and use different types of printers, transfer a series of computer products and technology to organize materials sites, and help other practitioners establish materials sites at home. I learned these skills fairly easily, and some I figured out myself. I realize that Teacher helped me and gave me these abilities because I wanted to help other practitioners. I hope to use everything Teacher gave me to help other practitioners to step forward, establish a materials site at home, and spread the sites everywhere.
In the last year, almost every practitioner I know, either near the college or in my hometown, has established a materials site at home that is functioning independently. Many practitioners' family members who previously opposed Falun Gong have positive thoughts about it now. Some of the wicked people and policemen who did bad deeds have met with retribution, and some have even died. There is a typical case within my family. One relative who was always against Falun Gong died suddenly, however all my other relatives have understood the truth and have withdrawn from the Party's affiliated organizations. Because the situation has eased up somewhat, my home has become a materials site and has been functioning independently and steadily. This is because Teacher has pushed the Fa-rectification process to this stage, and all the dark minions, rotten evils, and communist elements have diminished and no longer have much effect. It is also because practitioners have become more mature cultivating in Dafa. We should not, however, create any attachments from this. We should be more clearheaded and walk steadily the Fa-rectification path until the Fa arrives to rectify the human world.
There are still many areas where I need to improve while cultivating in Dafa. For example, I have progressed very slowly in memorizing Zhuan Falun, I don't practice the exercises enough, sometimes I miss the time for sending forth righteous thoughts, and sometimes I'm lazy and seek comfort, etc. However, I am determined to be diligent and quickly breakthrough these shortcomings.
In closing, I'd like to share two poems that I wrote.
The Path of Cultivation
Lifetimes of reincarnation disappeared like a waft of smoke,
A predestined relationship was established thousands of years ago.
Being predestined to obtain Dafa in this lifetime,
Do not take breaks, be diligent and steadfast.
Validate the Fa
Walking alone to thousands of places,
Year round, rain or shine, I never stopped.
Sending blessings to thousands of homes,
Evil eliminated wherever I go.
October 6, 2006