My Fellow Practitioners in China
(Clearwisdom.net) Studying the Fa is what Master told us to do the first day we started cultivating. The more a cultivator studies the Fa, the less human notions he has and the stronger his righteous thoughts are.
When I was in China, I was once illegally arrested and imprisoned in a detention center. One night at about 10:00 p.m., after we just went to bed, the metal door was opened and an elderly lady with white hair was pushed in. She refused to tell the police her name, and she went on a hunger strike to protest the illegal imprisonment.
The next day the director of the detention center talked to the older lady. The director said, "Why did you go out to distribute Falun Gong flyers?" She told him why she practiced Falun Gong and why she distributed flyers. She clarified the truth to the police. The director could not persuade her otherwise. Later, they called the director of the local police station where the older practitioner lives to help. The police station director said, "No wonder there were a lot flyers in our area recently; was that you who distributed them?" Normally if a practitioner admitted to this, then she would suffer more persecution, so lots of practitioners would have denied it. This woman said, "I really want to distribute the flyers all over the world and let everyone know about Falun Gong. Unfortunately, I do not have that capacity." When I chatted with her, I learned that she was 64 years old and had been arrested for distributing Falun Gong flyers at the train station. When I distributed flyers in China, I often did so at night and in out-of-the-way places, but this older practitioner told me she always went to crowded places such as a train station or hospital so that she could save more people. It was easy to see the distance between me and this older practitioner from such a small detail.
During the day time when she was not being interrogated, she would sit there reciting Master's articles and sending forth righteous thoughts. When talking was allowed at mealtime, she would clarify the truth to everyone around her. Regardless of what she was talking about, she would always talk from the standpoint of the Fa. It was easier to stop eating food during a hunger strike; it was much harder to stop drinking water at the same time, like the older practitioner did. Moreover, it was especially so because she was clarifying the truth to people around her almost nonstop even though she was not drinking anything. She told me that in the year 2000, she was illegally sentenced to a forced labor camp. This occurred during the peak of the persecution against Falun Gong. All the labor camps in Beijing were full, so she was sent to a labor camp in Shijiazhuang City. At the camp, she resisted any persecution with righteous thoughts; she refused to eat or drink anything for five days and walked out of the labor camp openly and nobly. She also told me, "Now I can only read two lectures in Zhuan Falun each day, because I have to distribute flyers. I used to read at least three lectures every day."
Two days later, the older practitioner showed signs of sickness. Her blood pressure was high, she felt dizzy, and she could not see very clearly. I talked to her, "They will let you go soon." She said, "You are wrong. Who should we follow? Only Master! If Master lets me go, no one can stop me."
Life in the detention center was harsh. It was wintertime when I was arrested, yet the guards left all the windows open in the cell. When sleeping in the winter wind, we had to cover our faces with a towel. Otherwise, our faces would be covered with dust. It was so dirty, yet we did not have any hot water to drink or bathe in. We had to use icy cold water for drinking and bathing. One day the guard gave us a bucket of hot water, telling me and the older practitioner to bathe. The older practitioner told me when bathing, "Don't worry, we have no dirt on our bodies; Master helped us transfer it into other things. Let's leave some hot water for the others." In that harsh environment, where everyone worried about their fate, the older practitioner put all her attention on the Fa and did everything with righteous thoughts.
After the older practitioner stopped eating and drinking for five days, she was sent to the Public Security Hospital for force-feeding. As soon as they inserted a tube, she pulled it out, and blood came out with it. At last, they handcuffed her hands and feet to infuse her against her will. She told them, "Please don't use that medicine on me, you are wasting public funds. The medicine does not work on me. Who are you? Human beings. Who am I? A cultivator. We are not the same." At her request they stopped the medicine. Regardless of where she was, she insisted on clarifying the truth to everyone around her. An inmate asked her, "Which college did you graduate from?" She said, "Me? I only went to school for several days. But I am in a university now, the University of the Universe."
After being imprisoned for two weeks, one night at about 10:00 p.m. the guard came to tell the older practitioner to gather her personal belongings and go home. She told everyone in the room before she left, "Please remember, 'Falun Dafa is good.'" With her firm faith in Dafa and righteous thoughts, she was released unconditionally for the second time. I knew her righteous thoughts and righteous deeds all came from her studying the Fa well and her true cultivation in everything she did. The cultivation environment in China is very severe; any attachment or human notion a practitioner has will be enlarged by the evil. It is extremely difficult to pass the tests if we do not study the Fa well.
I also knew another older practitioner who could recite all the poems in Hong Yin and Hong Yin II. She also remembered which pages the poems are on. At the labor camp, other criminals beat her and verbally abused her. She was imprisoned in a very cold room with only one thin blanket when others needed at least two layers of blankets. Her feet were full of chilblains. The criminals did not even allow her to clean her runny nose, nor did they allow her to take a bath for more than six months. She suffered all sorts of abuses, yet no one could move her righteous thoughts. She never gave in to the evil.
I knew another fellow practitioner in China who read four to five lectures of Zhuan Falu every day. She finished reading the whole book every other day, for years. The practitioner woke up very early in the morning and did the exercises. Since we started sending forth righteous thoughts at five, six and seven o'clock on Sunday, she always got up at three o'clock in the morning to do the exercises, send forth righteous thoughts, and read two lectures of Zhuan Falun before she went to work. Whenever I had difficulties in cultivation, I always shared my experiences with her, and she always told me with a smile that the key is to study the Fa well. I felt happy every time I shared an experience with her because she could always help me with the Fa.
I have been overseas for a long time, yet I miss the days I spent with fellow practitioners in China. We always shared our experiences based on the Fa. No one complained about anything. No one even chatted like ordinary people, and we always shared openly and honestly. In China fellow practitioners are closer than family members. Because of the evil persecution, we could not often meet like we can overseas. It often took us a long time and lots of effort to escape our monitors in order to see fellow practitioners. Each time after I shared with other practitioners, I felt the need to study the Fa more, and we all agreed that studying the Fa is the key to improving ourselves.
Now, our biggest task is clarifying the truth and saving people. Many practitioners have encountered the issue of how to clarify the truth to family members. When our family members do not accept the truth, it has been because of interference from the old forces, It was often because of our own problems. I knew a practitioner who used to have a very bad temper; before he started to cultivate, he often argued with others. Once, he almost threw his boss down from the second floor. He changed into a totally different person after he started practicing Falun Gong. He went to clarify the truth to the leaders of his work unit. The leaders all supported his cultivation because they all witnessed the change in him. In 2003 and 2004, the fellow practitioner was twice given the "Model
Worker Award" for his company. A coworker said to his boss, "There is a Falun Gong practitioner in our work unit." The boss said, "Says who? As long as I don't report any, there are none." At the beginning of 2005 we started persuading people to withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This practitioner's family members all withdrew easily. From this fellow practitioner, I learned that as long as we study the Fa well and reach the standard, the righteous field around us will change our environment and we can save the people around us.
Overseas, we have many truth clarifying projects; thus, we have less time for studying the Fa and practicing the exercises. It is harder to study the Fa with calm hearts. If we do not study the Fa well, our human notions will emerge, and it is easier to have conflicts among practitioners when doing Dafa work. From my personal experiences and the experience of my fellow practitioners in China, I don't think doing Dafa work conflicts with studying the Fa. When I was in China, if I could study at least two to three lectures with a calm heart, it was much easier for me to complete Dafa work regardless of how much Dafa work I needed to do. When we achieve the requirement of the Fa and do Dafa work with our pure hearts, the old forces do not dare to interrupt and we can complete them easily. If we do not study the Fa well, there will be many more interruptions, such as the computer breaking down, the printer breaking down, or interruptions from family members. The result will be that we cannot complete much after a busy day. The fellow practitioner that gets up early every morning told me he also felt sleepy at the beginning. However, now he wakes up at three o'clock automatically every morning. I worked with this practitioner since the beginning of the persecution in 1999 until I was arrested. We never had any conflicts, and the field around us was always very harmonious.
It is difficult for fellow practitioners to get together with each other in China, while we do not have such an issue overseas. We should all treasure the opportunities we have to study the Fa well. Let us all let go of our attachment to selfishness and form a whole body. Let us walk well on our cultivation path and fulfill our oath.