(Clearwisdom.net) I wish our most benevolent, great Teacher a happy birthday! May 13 is the birthday of our great Teacher, the day all beings in the universe celebrate. And on this special day, celebrating Teacher's birthday, I finished writing this article, remembering the early days of my cultivating Dafa, of following Teacher, and of listening to the Fa Teachings in mainland China.
In November 1993, when I saw the book China Falun Gong at a friend's house, I wanted to read it right away without knowing why. So I borrowed the book and finished reading the same night before going to bed. I awoke the next morning with the best night of sleep after many years of having insomnia. With the book I rushed back to my friend's house and asked, "Does this book have energy? Where can I find Teacher Li Hongzhi?" My friend told me that Teacher was scheduled to give his fourteenth class in Beijing. Upon hearing this, I bought a train ticket right away. But due to different reasons, this class in Beijing wasn't held.
In December 1993, Teacher lectured at the Beijing Health Expo of the Orient. I was there, but I didn't have much of an understanding of the Fa--I had only good feelings and the recordings of the Fa Teachings which I took home for my husband. After the health expo lecture, Teacher was surrounded by practitioners requesting his autograph. Every practitioner was eager to get Teacher's autograph.
I watched this and felt bad. Nevertheless, Teacher, without showing any displeasure, was patiently satisfying everyone's request. It was my first time seeing Teacher. But because of my low level of comprehension, I didn't experience too many feelings about this first encounter, having only the image of Teacher being surrounded by fellow practitioners asking for Teacher's autograph.
At that time , although I didn't understand much about Falun Gong, I was very excited about taking part in Teacher's classes. On the last day of the health expo, it was very windy and dusty in Beijing--the sky was very dirty, people on the street were covered with dust, and everything looked so gray. Coming to the Falun Gong stand, I saw Teacher wasn't there, so I waited. When I turned my head, I saw, all of a sudden, Teacher along with a few practitioners just entering through the front door. Teacher was walking tall, straight, strong, wearing a dark blue wool knitwear. As Teacher got closer, I was surprised to find that Teacher's face had a baby-kind of rosy complexion, looking extremely bright, clean, and shining, whereas other people around looked dark, gray, and dirty. Teacher's appearance made such a strong impression on me, I bought tickets for his Fa Teaching classes in Tianjin City.
On the first day of Fa-teachings in Tianjin City, I arrived there two hours ahead of time, as I had heard that practitioners could take pictures with Teacher. But as it turned out, lots of practitioners were already there before me, taking pictures with Teacher. Seeing this situation, I became kind of frustrated, not really wanting to take a picture any more, but I still remained near Teacher, watching. At that time I still hadn't heard any of Teacher's Fa lectures, unaware of how precious an opportunity this was.
Practitioners were lined up, and Teacher was invited to stand at a particular location for taking pictures. Teacher was invited to one side, this minute and then to the other side, the next minute. One practitioner said to me, "Go over there, pay the fee, then come back over here to take a picture." I shook my head. Another practitioner thought that I was unwilling to pay the money and said, "You could come stand here for a picture--money has been paid." I still shook my head while Teacher turned his eyes on me. Because of my decision, I lost the opportunity to take a picture with Teacher in Tianjin.
After entering the lecture hall, I sat in the middle of the fourth row. While Teacher was speaking, "When one's Buddha-nature emerges, it will shake 'the world of ten directions.' Whoever sees it will come to give a hand and help this person out unconditionally." (Zhuan Falun) tears were rolling down my cheek. I was feeling the pains of delusion in my life. What Teacher said gave me hope just like a vagrant orphan who found his caring parents. From that moment on I knew that Teacher, unlike any other Qigong master, is a great enlightened Master from heaven, who came down to save humans. I realized how fortunate I was to be able to listen to the Fa Teachings of our Master.
Since I had no leave of absence from my job for taking part in the Tianjin lectures, I became uneasy on the third day, so I went back to Beijing. On any ordinary day, a few office supervisors would look for me. But this time no one said anything for the three days I was away from the office. So after arriving in Beijing, that same day, I went back to Tianjin to listen to the Fa again. I didn't go back to work until Teacher finished his Fa lectures. When I returned, no one in the office ever asked me anything. I knew that it was Teacher's arrangement for me to listen to the Fa.
After returning from Tianjin, I felt the beauty of life, the happiness of listening to the Fa. What made me feel more solidified was that I saw Teacher in front of me on my right, only a few inches apart, watching, protecting me. When I had a problem with my xinxing, Teacher was there to encourage me; while I was scared walking on a small, dark pathway to the practice site, Teacher was there to keep me company. Because I am Teacher's disciple, I have become the most fortunate, happiest person in the universe.
After attending the Fa Teachings at Tianjin, I also attended other Fa teachings twice in Beijing. Every time when Teacher appeared on the podium, I was always in tears. Seeing that I was tearful whenever I saw Teacher or talked about Teacher, my husband figured that Teacher must be an extraordinary person. So he joined me in attending a Chongqing class.
In the Chongqing class, Teacher used the break times for taking pictures with practitioners. I lost my opportunity in Tianjin and I regretted it after gaining some understanding of the Fa. And this time, I thought, I'd better not pass up the opportunity. However, while seeing Teacher on this hot, sunny day, walking to and fro taking pictures with practitioners, I hesitated, not wanting to add to Teacher's burdens. So I walked to a shady area to chitchat with fellow practitioners, forgetting about taking the picture. About ten minutes later and prior to resuming the class, all of a sudden, I heard Teacher asking, "Any more pictures? This is the last one!" As I turned my head, I saw Teacher standing not far from me, so I quickly ran over and a few others joined me. Finally we had a picture with Teacher. We all knew Teacher understood what we were thinking, so he satisfied our wishes. How thankful and excited we were.
One day after the class, my husband and I were having our dinner at a sidewalk food stall operated by a woman in her thirties. We were the only two there at that time; while lowering our heads, eating, we suddenly heard Teacher's voice, "How much is a bowl of noodles?" As I raised my head, Teacher was there; I stood up right away, "Teacher Li!" Teacher smiled and gestured us to sit down. The boss lady said, "One yuan per bowl." Teacher handed her one yuan without saying anything and then sat down waiting for the noodles. A little while later, another practitioner came over wanting an order of fried rice. The lady charged him 2.5 yuan. He screamed, "So expensive!" Smiling, Teacher made him conscious of his demeanor. Teacher didn't say a word when the bowl of noodles was ready. But the lady started shouting loudly, "No salt? impossible? Did you taste it? You didn't taste it, how did you know there's no salt in it?" Teacher kept eating his noodles without saying anything. I was feeling very strange since Teacher was quiet the whole time. How could the lady make so much fuss? I didn't understand at all. While I was still wondering, Teacher had already finished his noodles and was leaving while nodding his head. Since the lady was still complaining behind Teacher's back, I somehow lost my patience, so I said to her, "Could you please stop complaining. Do you know who He is?" She didn't listen to me and kept complaining. So I turned around to look for Teacher, but I was unable to find him. Going back to the place we were staying, we told fellow practitioners about the encounter. They told us that Teacher was showing us how to cultivate xinxing and that we shouldn't have talked to the shop owner. I was feeling the same way and before long I forgot about the encounter.
Ten years later, when I actually did something wrong, I lost all confidence in myself because I felt extremely inferior. No matter how hard I tried, I wasn't able to change this feeling. To deal with the problem, I remembered in detail the encounter in Chongqing City, especially Teacher's smile. I didn't come to understand until one day when I heard what Teacher said in a Fa teaching in order to encourage us--that my life was good in nature and that I was worth saving. At the moment when I recognized how anxiously Teacher wanted to save me, my eyes were flooded with tears. What I went through ten years ago was meant for saving my life today.
After the end of the Chongqing class, I followed Teacher to Chengdu City, and I was fortunate to be with Teacher on the same train. Teacher was carrying a big, heavy backpack full of China Falun Gong books for practitioners in Chengdu City. While we were in the line waiting to enter the platform, one male practitioner cut in the line and moved to the front, also signaling Teacher and others to go along with him. Teacher and other practitioners went over there, but after only a moment Teacher came back with practitioners to be the very last in line. Teacher not only taught us the Fa, but also showed us how to be good persons.
In 1994, from the Tianjin class in January to the Guangzhou class in December, I attended Teacher's Fa lectures eight times. During that time, as long as I went there for listening to the Fa, I was able to buy train tickets any time, and I was able to find lodging that was inexpensive, nice, and clean. The lodgings were also near the location for the Fa lectures.
There was no problem for me to take a leave of absence from work. After finishing the classes in Jinan Province, I had used up all my reasons for taking anymore leave of absences from work. But I wanted badly to attend classes in Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province. I regretted so much that I could not attend. One day, I was unexpectedly notified that the department where I worked was moved to a different department. Upon hearing the news, I was very excited. I knew that my new reason for taking a leave of absence had come. I screamed silently, "Teacher, you're so great!" So I talked to the manager of my new department, but he required me to use annual vacation time instead of leave of absence time. My annual vacation was already used up in my former department.
So, I went to Teacher's classes in Yanji City using my annual vacation time, and it was rather easy to get a leave of absence for Teacher's classes in Guangzhou City. After returning from Guangzhou, I was transferred back to my original department.
At that time, everything was easily done as long as it was for the purpose of listening to the Fa. But we weren't aware of the fact that lots of arrangements were made and troubles were taken care of by our Teacher.
One fourth of my time in 1994 was spent listening to Teacher's Fa. It was the most fortunate and happiest time of my life. Thanks to Teacher's sacrifices and many thanks to Teacher for saving me.
May 16, 2008