Europe, April 2008

"Well, it has been nine years!" said Xiao Qing (alias), sighing slightly as she looked at an email on the computer in front of her. The email said that the local Falun Gong practitioners were going to hold a commemorative candlelight vigil for three hours in front of the Chinese Embassy on the ninth anniversary of the "April 25th" Grand Appeal to protest the CCP's brutal persecution of Falun Gong. On that day in 1999 more than 10,000 practitioners appealed peacefully in Beijing.

Mrs. Su, Xiao Qing's mother in China, said in an email to her: "I am listening to music and reading books every day."

"The music refers to the Falun Gong exercise music. If my mother is 'listening to the music,' it means she is practicing Falun Gong every day. The books she is reading every day are all the books of Falun Dafa that I copied for her," Xiao Qing explained. Because they are afraid of eavesdropping and monitoring by CCP secret agents, they only use "special" words they have agreed on, ones that other people wouldn't understand, in their conversations and communication.

Beijing, April 25, 1999

One day in April 1999, Mrs. Su was on a bus as it passed by Zhongnanhai in Beijing. She was looking out of the window of the bus when the scene outside suddenly caught her eye: many people were standing very orderly on the sidewalks of many streets, so many one could not see the end of them. "What are they waiting for? They are very organized, and so highly disciplined!" she thought to herself, but as the bus kept driving, she soon forgot about it.

A few months later, when the CCP media began its massive campaign to slander Falun Gong throughout the country, she understood, "The people I saw that day were Falun Gong practitioners." She wondered, "Did they surround and attack Zhongnanhai? To me they were just standing there."

That was not the first time she had come across Falun Gong practitioners. Her daughter was the first practitioner she knew, and her son-in-law (then her daughter's boyfriend) was the second. She only knew these two practitioners before the persecution started. They were studying in another country and had come back China to visit their families a year before the persecution of Falun Gong began. At that time they started to practice Falun Gong. Her daughter, Xiao Qing, bought a copy of Zhuan Falun for her. Soon after they decided to practice Falun Gong, her daughter and son-in-law went back to Europe to continue their studies. Mrs. Su's understanding of Falun Gong was limited to the impression of the first chapter and a half of Zhuan Falun: "'Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance' is pretty good, but Buddhas, Daos and Gods are unbelievable to me." Just because of this thought she gave up without even finishing Lecture Two.

When she watched the Party-controlled news on CCTV and learned that all the books of Falun Gong were supposed to be turned in, her first thought was, "I wouldn't give my books to them!" After reading only the first lecture and half of the book, she believed that it was a righteous book.

However, the unrelenting lies and slander of Falun Gong by the CCP media confused her. She pondered, "The book is good, but maybe the people who practice Falun Gong are not so perfect." In October of that year, she went to Europe to visit her daughter. In preparation, she collected a whole bunch of the CCP's slanderous materials relating to Falun Gong in order to show her daughter the "truth" about Falun Gong and its founder. To her surprise, it was her daughter, not she, who knew the complete truth about Falun Gong being persecuted by the CCP.

Europe, October 1999

Having been separated for more than a year, Ms. Su was very happy when she met her daughter at the railway station. After only a short while, however, she took her daughter by the arm and said anxiously, "Oh, you don't know Falun Gong..." After listening to her, Xiao Qing asked, "Mom, do you have any evidence to support what you said?" Aunt Su was stunned--she had never thought about this. On the way home, Xiao Qing talked about the improvements in her health and the loopholes in the CCP propaganda. At home, she printed out experience sharing articles from Falun Gong practitioners and some analyzed articles and put them in front of her mother. "You will be clear if you listen to both sides. You have seen enough in China, now let's see what the other side says," suggested Xiao Qing.

Afte staying at her daughter's for three or four days, Mrs. Su went to the local Falun Gong practice site with her daughter. She surprisingly found that most Falun Gong practitioners there were Westerners. She also read some sections of Zhun Falun. The experience of those three or four days helped her to rethink what she had seen and heard in China about the propaganda on Falun Gong. When she left her daughter's, she said, "Keep practicing in a foreign country, don't come back to China."

Europe, 2000 and 2001

Mrs. Su and her daughter got along well, and she went to visit her daughter and son-in-law every year. After her grandson and granddaughter were born, she frequently visited her daughter. Although she was tired from taking care of her grandchildren, she really enjoyed her family. Xiao Qing was also very happy, not only from seeing her mother so happy, but also because her mother could find information that was inaccessible in China and she gradually started to cultivate and could freely practice Falun Gong outside of China.

She said more than once to her mother, "Here you can understand and practice Falun Gong. That's what makes me happiest. Think about it, even if I give you mountains of gold and sliver, I cannot give you health or have you benefit forever. However, if you cultivate, what you obtain is something your family members cannot give you. This is where you gain the most."

Recalling the changes in her mother during these years, Xiao Qing was most impressed by several things. "After the persecution began, when my mom came to visit me in 2001, there was so much slander about Falun Gong in the media in China, and everyone felt the persecution was really harsh. Because of that, my mom paid more attention to Falun Gong out of consideration for my safety. I gave her a copy of a cultivation experience by Falun Gong practitioners, but she did not say anything while she was reading it. However, in the evening when she talked about the book, she said musingly, "It's time for me to read Zhuan Falun." When I woke up the next morning, I heard the sound of turning pages before I opened my eyes. I opened my eyes and saw my mom reading Zhuan Falun by herself."

"I was very moved. At the beginning, my mom was not interested in Falun Gong. After the persecution started, however, she became more interested in Falun Gong." Mrs. Su learned the Falun Gong exercises from Xiao Qing and also went to the practice site several times and felt very good.

"After my mom went back to China, she could not keep practicing Falun Gong. Although nobody knew she was practicing, she was fearful." Xiao Qing felt regretful but she also understood the situation her mother faced in China. "Afterwards, whenever she came to visit me, she practiced, but after she went back to China she could not keep it up."

Europe, 2004 and 2005, Reading the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party

When the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party was published in November 2004, Mrs. Su was staying with her daughter in Europe. After she read several lectures, she went back to China since her visa had expired. One year later when she once again came to Europe, there was a movement to quit the CCP and its related organizations.

"Another very impressive thing was the change in my mom after she read the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. After one year of coming to my home, she got used to listening to the NTDTV programs when she did housework. She listened to many chapters intermittently. One day she suddenly stopped what she was doing and said to me earnestly, 'The Nine Commentaries is so well written. I used to think that it was exaggerated when I read it before. But this time, after I listened to it repeatedly, I really came to understand that it never exaggerates and it really does describe what the CCP is. Before, we did not distinguish the CCP from China, and we all felt that the CCP was China. Now I feel differently about it.'"

"I was very shocked because my mom is a very simple person and, in my understanding, she did not understand these kinds of affairs nor was she interested in them. She also said that she was not very ambitious and the perfect thing for her was to plant some flowers and vegetables in the backyard and have her kids live very well. If she could give them a hand, she was satisfied with that."

What moved Xiao Qing was something that happened later. "Here she was, over 60 years old and wearing glasses, reading the news on the Internet. She especially read the websites that clarified the truth and that were not available inside China. She suddenly asked me one day, 'Can you tell me how we can let our relatives know these things?' She did not have political motives, she only felt that she could not stand being deceived by the CCP like this. She was a kind person and felt that she should tell them they were deceived."

Seeing the Divine Performing Arts Chinese Spectacular, 2007 and 2008

"It's really terrific!" After Mrs. Su saw the Divine Performing Arts Chinese Spectacular in 2007, she said excitedly, "I never expected the show to be so good. Before I thought that it would just be singing and dancing. Something like what we have in China. I never expected it to be so great. The shows in China could never compare to it!"

Xiao Qing recalled, "We bought the best ticket for her. After she came back from the show, I asked her, 'Do you know who these performers are?' She said she did not know, so I told her, 'They are all Falun Gong practitioners.' She was shocked. She had only sympathized with Falun Gong practitioners before and she sighed after she read about the persecution cases. However, what she felt from the Chinese Spectacular was that Falun Gong practitioners were not victims of the persecution anymore; they were admirable because they shared with the audience such a beautiful and bright performance while they were being persecuted."

"At the Spectacular in 2008, I noticed a huge change in my mother. We were busy preparing for the show and my mom took the initiative to take care of the kids. At the beginning I didn't know the reason until she asked me, 'I was thinking that if I helped you by taking care of the kids, I would be doing something for Dafa. Isn't that true?' When I said agreed with her, she was very happy."

Really beginning to practice Falun Gong, 2007 and 2008

One year ago, when asked whether she was a Falun Gong practitioner, Mrs. Su would have said without hesitation, "No, because I seldom read the books and only do the exercises, therefore I can not be regarded as a Falun Gong practitioner." Actually, she had already read Zhuan Falun several times, but she said to her daughter, "I cannot completely believe [in it]. Besides, once I go back to China there will be a lot of activities for seniors in the district, everyone will have a good time, and I will not have time to practice."

When she came to visit her daughter again in 2007, she sighed as she talked about her 90-year-old father. "He was unable to move and had to lie in bed. The worst thing was that his mind was clear but he couldn't do anything. That is really suffering! Ah! One becomes like this when one is old and he cannot take anything away when he dies." Xiao Qing listened to her and said, "Yes, the senior group in your district is interesting, but it cannot prevent what happened to my grandfather. It's very different if you cultivate, There was a Western lady over 90 years old who had several diseases. After she started to practice, she became free of the diseases and could take long trips by train again. Besides, gong is something that one can bring at birth and take away after death. No matter what you say, you'd be better off having an understanding of Falun Gong and not miss this opportunity that you have waited for for thousands of years." Her mother listened very carefully and said, "I have to read the book carefully and come to an understanding."

Other practitioners shared their cultivation experiences with Mrs. Su and moved her tremendously. "When a real person shares his own experiences with you, it's indeed different from reading articles on websites," Xiao Qing said.

Now Mrs. Su has gone back to China. Before her trip, Xiao Qing recorded all of the Falun Gong books and the exercise music on an MP3 player and let her mother take it back to China. Mrs. Su also made up her mind to keep cultivating.

"Some non-practitioners feel that, because the persecution of Falun Gong is still going on, the situation has not improved. I don't think so, since you cannot see things such as the change in my mother's mind. On April 25, 1999, suddenly ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners peacefully appealed. Some people thought this was strange. How come they hadn't noticed this group that peacefully expressed their opinion while they were being treated unfairly? This is how the Buddha Fa has changed people's minds, just like the rain in spring moistens everything silently while most people do not even notice. Soon they will see the changes. During the persecution of Falun Gong, for over eight years, nobody knows how many people have been changed by the Buddha Fa. In the end, people will see this change in something that happens.." Xiao Qing's eyes fell on the computer screen to the email from her mother, "I listen to music and read books everyday." Xiao Qing said, "Whenever I see the changes in my mother, I feel that this day [when we see change] will come."

Note: This is the experience of a 60-year-old Chinese lady. She is currently living in China. For her safety, the author used an alias.