(Clearwisdom.net) I am a veteran practitioner who began Fa study in 1994 and was a local coordinator prior to the persecution. I have gone through various tribulations during the past nine years. I should have summarized my cultivation a long time ago. Hindered by my human notions, however, I waited until now to share my cultivation experiences.
1. A Cultivator's Demeanor Can Also Validate the Fa
Master said regarding cultivation, "it's higher than ordinary people, and it's tougher to do than anything ordinary people do." (The Third Talk, Zhuan Falun, 2003 Translation Version)
I have paid close attention to my own words and actions, holding myself to the standards of a cultivator and enabling people I meet to see the wonders of Dafa. After the persecution began in 1999, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) spread lies to deceive people and I was even more determined to validate Dafa with my own actions.
On October 8, 1999, I was arrested and taken to the First Detention Center while validating Dafa in Beijing. Many practitioners were held in the detention center; we explained the wonders of Dafa to other inmates.
Two months later all other practitioners except for me were either released or transferred elsewhere. Even though I was the only one left I kept doing what a practitioner should do. I was considerate of other people and often bought daily necessities for inmates who had financial difficulties. Gradually these inmates opened up to me and felt it was a pleasure to talk to me. The head of the detainees in my cell also asked me to recite the Fa to her. She got everyone together many times to listen to me talk about my Dafa cultivation. Many inmates began to learn from me, to recite Master's articles, and several of them expressed their eagerness to practice Dafa after their release. Inmate Xing was summoned to the guard's office. She openly told him she had begun Dafa cultivation. The head of the detainees said she would read Zhuan Falun at least 10 times after she got out of the detention center. One felon hid a written copy of Master's articles in her quilt and planned to bring it to the prison she was about to be sent to. A murderer said she had no regrets now that she had learned Dafa, and she would cultivate Dafa in her next life.
The detention center head said I had reformed all the inmates in my cell and transferred me to another cell. Before I left, everyone in my cell wept.
In June 2002 I was released. Once at home, I discovered someone had been designated to monitor me around the clock. My neighbors tried to avoid me. I was not moved and kept my normal life. I took the initiative to greet my neighbors and clean up the public hallways in my apartment building. I took good care of my family, and my mother-in-law sang my praises every time she met someone. Gradually my neighbors began to talk to me again. Once, when a person from out-of-town couldn't find her relative, one of my neighbors asked her to talk to me for help.
2. Walking My Own Path in Resisting the Persecution
"A cultivator has no role models. The path each person is to take is different, because each person's foundation is different, the sizes of their various attachments are different, the characteristics of their beings are different, their jobs among everyday people are different, their family environments are different, and so on. These factors determine that each person's path of cultivation is different, that how they get rid of their attachments is different, and that the sizes of their tests are different. Therefore, amidst the manifestations of things it's very hard to find a path that others have made, and it's even less possible for a person to get a ride down one. If there really were pre-made paths and effortless rides, that definitely would not be cultivation." ("Path" from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
My cultivation path was indeed different from others. In the forced labor camp I was considered the primary target for persecution since I used to be the local coordinator. The evildoers felt that if they could "reform" me they would be able to "reform" many more practitioners. Different kinds of people attempted to persuade me to give up cultivation. The camp guards often deceived detained practitioners by saying I was already "reformed."
Initially I was annoyed, hoping I could be viewed as just one of the average practitioners. Practitioners in my cell went on a hunger strike once to protest the guards' confiscating Master's articles. The camp head declared I was the instigator of the hunger strike, threatening to teach me a hard lesson. I thought to myself that I could no longer endure persecution so passively, and I should take action to suffocate the evil. From then on I treated people who were sent to "reform" me with compassion and was serious and careful about each conversation, making sure I didn't leave any loopholes for the evildoers to persecute other practitioners later on.
"Fa" study is the foundation of cultivation in such a harsh environment. With Master's care we were able to obtain copies of his new articles and lectures and managed to memorize all of them. I had one firm thought: "I would firmly resist and expose anything or anyone that slandered Dafa or was disrespectful of Dafa and Master." I practiced the Dafa exercises publicly and recited the Fa loudly. I spoke with the guards that persecuted our practitioners and conversed with the labor camp management, advising them to stop doing evil deeds.
After the 2001 Chinese New Year, camp officials transferred determined practitioners into a solitary confinement cell about 30 square meters (323 sq. feet), to prevent us from having any contact with already reformed practitioners. We persevered in studying the Fa and sharing experiences and improved quickly in the two months that followed. When we got a copy of Master's article "A Suggestion," we decided to help "reformed" practitioners. We hand-copied Zhuan Falun and Master's articles and managed to pass them to the reformed practitioners.
By October 2001 all practitioners detained beyond their terms had been released except for me. I felt really lonely. I thought I, too, had to get out to offer salvation to sentient beings. I submitted a formal request to the camp head, petitioning for my unconditional release. Toward the end of January 2002 I began a hunger strike until I was released in June of that year.
I was brutally force-fed and injected with unknown drugs while on the hunger strike. Every three days the camp doctor, Chen, was on duty to force-feed me. Once while waiting for the liquid to cool before force-feeding me, Chen asked an inmate to take a sip. She was immediately stunned and refused to swallow, until Chen made her do it. She told me later, "Now I know why you feel so miserable each time you are force-fed. That liquid was many times saltier than the brine I use to make pickled vegetables at home!" I was often extremely thirsty after force-feeding, with a burning sensation in my stomach. Once I immediately began to suffer from diarrhea after force-feeding. I was so weak that I lost consciousness.
Following my release I took every opportunity to study the Fa and practice the exercises. Soon I recovered. When I was able to walk again I asked my husband to accompany me to visit relatives and friends so that I could clarify the truth to them.
A designated person was stationed at the entrance of my apartment building to monitor me. The district police also often came to harass me. I was extremely fearful then. I recited the Fa to purge my fear, and I felt a lot better. In March 2003, more than a dozen people from various departments arrived in three vans and demanded to know if I would stop cultivation. I calmed down and firmly rejected their request. Soon they all left. I knew it was my fear that had led them to me. I studied the Fa with great intensity to correct my mindset. Local police station officials wanted to send me to the forced labor camp again, but the camp authorities refused to take me. They eventually took me to a hospital for an exam against my will. I had one thought: "No one was worthy of persecuting me, a disciple of Master's." The doctors suggested I be hospitalized for further treatment. The police station officials could do nothing but let me go home. From then on I completely removed my fear.
In July 2004 a practitioner who had just returned from Harbin City told me that a brainwashing center was to be set up in our city to "reform" practitioners who were once detained in forced labor camps. She told me that Harbin had already held several brainwashing sessions, and the evildoers resorted to torture to "reform" practitioners. She urged me to inform other practitioners as soon as possible and advised us all to go into hiding for the time being. I thought we must not recognize the evil and told her, "Eliminate the evil with righteous thoughts!" We then informed local practitioners to send righteous thoughts at the top of every hour to disintegrate the evil. This fellow practitioner even went to the home of the brainwashing center head's mother-in-law to clarify the truth. The elderly lady said firmly that he [head of the brainwashing center] must not do such bad things! As a result, our city never held any brainwashing sessions.
A monitoring station costing over 100 million yuan was set up in the suburb of our city. It was intended to track the use of all computers in the three provinces in China's northeastern regions. Practitioners in our area kept sending righteous thoughts as a group for over six months. Eventually the station was unable to get up and running and does not function even now.
In March 2006 I was arrested again while visiting another practitioner. I kept clarifying the truth in the police station while refusing to answer any of their questions. Discovering my identity, the police chief was excited as I was once considered a chief target for persecution. He exclaimed, "I'll see how long you can remain mum. I'll put all the blame on you!" I was not moved a bit and was released two months later. Fellow practitioners didn't want me to return home after my release, fearing I might be taken away again. I thought I had to go home. Becoming homeless is a path the old forces have arranged, and I must not acknowledge it.
3. Helping Practitioners That Have Fallen Away Return to Cultivation
Master wants us to improve as a whole body during Fa-rectification cultivation. In my opinion, helping practitioners who once went astray or fell off the path or lag behind is not only a manifestation of an individual practitioner's compassion, but is necessary for Fa-rectification cultivation.
I remember during my stay in the forced labor camp in 2000, I really looked down on those who once benefited but later deviated from Dafa, but I changed my attitude after reading Master's article "A Suggestion." My compassion began to emerge, and I really wanted to help them. Most of the time I was detained alone in the forced labor camp, and a criminal or several practitioners who had strayed from the cultivation path would be assigned to watch over me. I took these opportunities to exchange thoughts with them and recited Master's articles to them. I also pointed out why they went astray. Since I didn't look down on them, most of them were receptive to what I had to say and later returned to cultivation. When the guards found out I had helped these practitioners, they had another group of former practitioners monitor me. Of course I kept doing my best to get those practitioners back on the right track.
The guards resorted to another tactic later on. They had a large group of practitioners that had strayed try to persuade me to give up cultivation. I was glad to chat with them. After I learned about their backgrounds, I began to point out their problems and encouraged them to correct their thinking. I assured them Master was waiting for them to return. Most people said they would write solemn statements. One of them did so before her release, and the other 19 released people said they would do it right after they got out of detention.
4. Looking Within and Cultivating Ourselves
One of the differences between cultivators and non-cultivators is that the former know to look within when faced with conflicts.
Since 2005, there was a long period of time when I slacked off. I had many attachments surface, such as fear, seeking comfort, self-protection, and some others, but I could not get rid of them. Because I failed to look at my cultivation from the perspective of Fa-rectification cultivation, I was not motivated enough to strive forward. The evil then magnified and took advantage of the many attachments I still had yet to remove. I didn't have great success in doing the Three Things. I was overcome by fear and always felt someone was following me.
I did less face-to-face truth clarification. Other practitioners hoped I could shoulder the responsibility of a coordinator again, as I previously had. I was hesitant to take on the responsibility and also felt practitioners misunderstood me. Because of my previous volunteer position as the coordinator, as mentioned already, the evildoers considered me a chief target. If I became coordinator again, the evildoers would focus on me again. What if I didn't do well? Wouldn't I bring losses to the whole body? I was completely buried in ego and thought by rejecting the job of coordinator I was being responsible for the Fa.
In 2006 I attended several large-scale experience sharing conferences organized by practitioners in a neighboring city and was deeply touched. I began to reflect upon the path I had taken. I shared my understanding and confusion with other practitioners. Their sober analysis of my circumstances and their constructive criticism gave me many insights. I had a much more clear understanding of the Fa principles, and I felt very joyful. I then agreed to become the coordinator again. I learned how to use the computer to do truth clarification and I exchanged ideas with many practitioners. I also worked with other area coordinators on several projects, including rescuing detained practitioners and establishing new study groups. During this process I gradually got rid of my fear and corrected my thinking. I was finally able to look at everything from the perspective of Fa-rectification cultivation and offering sentient beings salvation.
In July 2007, two policemen unexpectedly came to my home with a search warrant. I was calm and paid no attention to the warrant. I simply clarified the truth to them, and they left not long after.
Sometimes I felt extreme pressure when doing truth clarification projects. I was very anxious at the beginning. Later on I realized I could never do what a divine being is capable of if I still had human notions. Only by studying the Fa well can I remain calm and use the wisdom obtained from the Fa to validate the Fa. I made good use of my time to study and memorize the Fa. I attended every group Fa study and shared experiences with fellow practitioners in a timely manner.
I thank compassionate Master for offering practitioners in China this opportunity to share experiences. I'd like to strive forward with fellow practitioners.