Recalling the Days I Spent with Master Li at the 1993 Beijing Oriental Health Expo
(Clearwisdom.net) I am a Dafa disciple from Guizhou Province. Soon after I began practicing Falun Gong in 1993, I attended the Beijing Oriental Health Expo, where I again met our great teacher, Master Li Hongzhi. Even though the event occurred over sixteen years ago, I can still vividly recall it as if it happened yesterday. The few days that I spent with Master are truly the most memorable days of my life. Today I want to share that experience with my fellow practitioners with the hope that we can all learn to treasure the Great Fa even more.
In 1993, I was fortunate enough to attend Master's ten-day lecture series and start on my path of cultivation. It didn't take long before I began to realize the miraculous nature of Dafa and how noble, merciful, congenial, and easy-going Master was. After Master's lecture series concluded, I was able to clearly recall Master's righteous appearance and the kindly way he spoke to us. I always looked forward to seeing him.
One day I overheard someone say that Master was going to attend the Beijing Oriental Health Expo and that he was going to take some of his students along. After talking with a practitioner friend of mine, we both decided to attend the event.
My Experience at the Beijing Oriental Health Expo
When we arrived at the Expo, before the opening ceremony began, we saw lots and lots of booths and a big banner with the words, "1993 Beijing Oriental Health Expo" printed on it. The moment we started looking for Falun Dafa's booth, we bumped into one of Master Li's staff. After being led into a huge lobby, we saw a long line of people standing in front of our Falun Dafa booth. The personnel from the Falun Dafa Research Association and other staff members were all dressed in clean white jackets. We looked around, longing to see Master, but he was nowhere in sight.
When we asked one of the staff members where Master Li was, they replied, "We are not sure whether Master will come to the Expo or not. But the Beijing Qigong Association has requested his presence." After we heard that, we felt very disappointed. But soon afterwards, Master arrived and we jumped and shouted like kids who hadn't seen their parents for a long time, "Master! Master! Master!" When he heard our cries of excitement, he turned around, smiled, and came over to shake our hands. At that moment, I felt so warm inside that I couldn't help shed tears of joy.
After a short conversation, Master asked one of his staff members to make arrangements for our food and lodging. Like little children, we gladly accepted Master's kind offer. Now, when I look back at that moment, I feel both guilty and happy. I felt guilty because Master was so busy at that time, yet he still took the time to care about our personal needs. And I feel happy because I had the opportunity to experience Master' merciful care and concern.
Although Master did not assign any specific tasks to us, when we saw a long line of people anxiously waiting in front of our Dafa booth, we, along with other Dafa practitioners from Beijing, helped maintain a sense of calm and order in front of our booth area. When the Beijing practitioners found out that we had traveled all the way from Guizhou City to meet Master, they politely turned down our offer to help them.
To avoid interfering with their work, we left the booth area and walked around the lobby. While looking around, we came across many qigong booths, but only a handful of people were visiting them. On the outside of both of our booths we had a sign saying, "Special Invitation." Most of the people that stopped by came to be treated. The area in front of our booths was filled to capacity. It was very busy!
Most people who were treated by Master, or by the Dafa disciples who Master imparted some of his supernormal powers to, experienced positive effects within minutes. The people who requested that Master treat them personally, were mostly people with incurable diseases. These people had previously searched high and low for an effective treatment, but to no avail. Some of them said that they would rather be dead than live in pain and cause untold hardships to their families.
Some people who visited our booths came in wheelchairs, some were carried on stretchers, and others walked in aided by their friends or relatives. But after Master moved his hands or stomped his foot, they were immediately healed.
I recall one such case where two sons, accompanied by their two sisters, took their wheelchair-bound mother to our booth. The children told us how their mother had been bedridden for many years and had never recovered from her illnesses, even after various medical treatments. The whole family was visibly pained. After they finished talking, Master said a few words, then moved his hand up and down over her body a few times.
Then the elderly lady slowly got up from her wheelchair and took a few steps forward. After walking around the booth a few times, she started walking faster and faster. Everyone who witnessed this miracle was very happy for her. The lady's children were so excited that they kowtowed towards Master, thanking him for saving her life.
The whole family felt Master's compassion and boundless mercy, referring to him as a "living Buddha." Later, I saw the that lady attend a talk given by Master. I could tell that she had greatly improved both physically and spiritually.
When Master treated the elderly lady, lots of people had surrounded our booth. Everyone was astounded at Master's supernormal ability and mercy. When I took out my camera to take a picture of this historic event, my camera would not work because I had not installed the film properly. To this day, I still feel regretful when I think back on this event.
In order for more people at the Expo to know about Falun Gong, Master gave two separate talks on the scientific nature of Falun Gong. But due to the overwhelming response, an additional talk was arranged. The room that Master gave his talks in was so crowded that people were standing and sitting in the hallway and even on the stairwell's handrail.
After each talk, the audience gave Master a standing ovation saying, "Great!" "Very helpful!" and "Magical!" One audience member was a senior cadre who was terminally ill. He had previously sought treatment at Beidaihe Sanatorium. After Master was done talking, he walked on stage and jumped up and down shouting, "My disease is gone! My disease is gone!" When he thanked Master for saving his life, everyone applauded, deeply impressed by the miracle that they had just witnessed.
Master donated all the money from the ticket sales to his three talks to the Foundation for Justice and Courage. From his actions, I came to realize that Master is a very noble, broadminded, and generous person, beyond any human being's comprehension.
No matter what Jiang Zemin's regime does to slander and denigrate Master Li, or his practice, they will never succeed. Once people find out the truth, they will know that they were lied to. This is exactly why the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is so afraid of people finding out the truth about Falun Gong.
At the Expo, Master divided his gong among the disciples that he had brought along, making it possible for them to heal people. I recall one such example where a practitioner named Xiao Li treated an old man. When Xiao Li lifted his hands towards the patient's head, I could see a blueish light shining between his arms. I had never seen anything so pretty before! I excitedly told him, "There is a blue light emanating from your arms." Xiao Li did not answer me; he only calmly smiled.
Another time, an old man requested that someone take a picture of him, Master, and Xiao Li, standing next to a banner stating that his disease had been successfully treated by Falun Gong.
One day, as my friend and I looked down from the second-floor towards one of our Dafa booths below, we discovered that whenever a disciple treated a person, Master would sit behind him and move his hands. We thought that perhaps Master had added his gong to the disciple's gong to strengthen their supernormal abilities. As we kept talking, Master lifted his head and looked at us. We felt so ashamed that we immediately hid. We were afraid that we had disturbed Master and that he would be displeased with us. Later, Master did not say anything to us except to warn us not to treat patients.
Master said in Zhuan Falun,
"To support a major state-run qigong event, I took some disciples to participate in the Oriental Health Expos in Beijing. At both of the two Expos, we were the most outstanding practice. At the first Expo, our Falun Dafa was honored as the 'Star Qigong School.' At the second Expo, our place was so crowded that we simply could not handle it. There were not many people at other exhibition booths, but our booth was crowded with people. There were three waiting lines: The first line was for those who registered early in the morning for the morning treatment, the second line was waiting to register for the afternoon treatment, and the third line was waiting for my autograph. We do not treat illnesses. Why did we do it? Because this was to support a major, state-run qigong event and to contribute to this cause, we participated in it."
In an effort to slander Falun Gong, Jiang's regime falsely claimed that 1,400 practitioners had died as a result of Master not allowing these practitioners to take drugs or receive medical treatment.
At that time, every state-run media outlet had thoroughly slandered Master and his practice. Overnight, Jiang set one hundred million Dafa disciples in opposition to his brutal regime. Jiang used the most sinister means ever recorded in human history to defame and persecute Falun Gong practitioners.
Jiang's intention was to wipe out Falun Gong as quickly as possible, destroying practitioners both physically and financially. But even after ten years of brutal persecution, Falun Dafa has not withered at all. On the contrary, it has spread to 114 countries and regions and is welcome by all nations and all people. To date, Master and Falun Dafa have received over 3,000 proclamations and letters of support. Master's books have been translated into over 30 languages and are available in book stores throughout the world. His books can also be downloaded for free via the Internet.
On the evening of September 26, 2009, the award for "Outstanding Spiritual Leadership" was given to Master Li by the Asia-Pacific Human Rights Foundation. Disciples in China have made it through ten years of persecution as a result of their rock-solid belief in Master and Dafa. They have become even more steadfast and mature.
Master's Noble Character, Sterling Integrity, and Bountiful Mercy Will Always Be Remembered
When we walked into the lobby of the Expo, we stopped to talk to the head of the Beijing Qigong Association. He said to us, " Your master is a very good and honest person. Falun Gong is a good qigong. We at the Qigong Association highly recommend Falun Gong to all communities."
When I realized that Master cares about each one of his disciples, I was very impressed. During lunch, Master sat with us and ate the same boxed lunch that we ate. He would look for an uncrowded area, sit down, and quickly finish his lunch. Master always treated his disciples like a loving father would treat his children.
He always took food from his lunch box and shared it with all the practitioners present. If he had some fruit, he always gave each of us a piece. After lunch, Master talked to my practitioner friend and I about how to better organize the various Dafa projects that we were involved in back home. You could tell by Master's demeanor and speech that he cared about us very much, constantly guiding us along our path of cultivation.
During the Expo, the practitioners from Beijing, and other practitioners who attended the Expo, were so busy that they had to take turns eating their lunch. Some practitioners purchased boxed lunches while others brought food from home. They knew Master was very busy and never disturbed him unless it was an emergency. Because my practitioner friend and I had traveled from afar, Master arranged other practitioners to look after our every need.
An elderly lady from the Qigong Association followed Master around with a cup of water in her hand. My practitioner friend wanted to take a turn holding Master's cup, but the elderly lady wouldn't stand for it and acted very unfriendly.
My practitioner friend said to Master, "This person is so unfriendly!" Master smiled and did not say a word. Later Master said to to the elderly lady, while pointing towards us, "They came from far away. They are my guests." Then the person's attitude towards us changed.
One day, as we were standing next to Master on the second floor, it appeared that Master had seen something in the air, but he did not say anything. Suddenly I saw a flash of lightning and heard the sound "Pa!" Since my celestial eye was not opened, I could not see anything. Although I was curious as to what Master had seen in another dimension, I dared not ask. Possibly it was an evil being who had come to the event to stir up trouble, and as a result, Master destroyed it. It reminded me of the example Master gave in Zhuan Falun.
One day while we were eating lunch, my practitioner friend suddenly realized that she had lost her Falun emblem. She anxiously looked everywhere for it but could not find it. She felt very disappointed. Master saw that she was troubled over the loss and smiled saying, "Do not worry about it. Let it go if it goes." He asked one of his staff members to bring two Falun emblems over to him and gave one to both of us. We were very happy and expressed our thanks for Master's fatherly care.
The day before we were scheduled to leave Beijing, my friend looked over from our lunch table and spotted her lost Falun emblem lying on the floor. She excitedly went over and picked it up. We talked about how odd it was that even though thousands of people had passed by the emblem, no one had ever noticed it, including the cleaning crew. It was truly a miracle!
One afternoon, as we were walking around on the first floor, suddenly, a ball of paper fell from the floor above us. When we raised our heads, we saw Master waving at us. We immediately ran upstairs. Master walked around the whole second floor of the conference room with my friend on one side of Master and me on the other side. He talked to us about the difference between righteous qigong and evil qigong and taught us how to differentiate between the two.
When we passed by some of the booths that were spreading evil qigong, the people there verbally abused us, not caring a thing about xinxing. Master only smiled and did not argue with them. At that time, I did not understand who Master was and considered him an ordinary qigong master. So I told Master not be angry at them and to not pay attention to them.
Even now I feel so ashamed for not recognizing who Master was. I realize how difficult it is for an ordinary human being to understand an enlightened being. Even after practicing Dafa for so many years, I still haven't fully realized what Master has taught. I feel that we should always solemnly respect Master and the Fa.
When we walked up to another qigong booth, I told Master that I felt dizzy and uncomfortably cold. Master raised his palms towards our Baihui acupuncture points and said that we were now safe and could walk anywhere we wanted in the conference room, without being interfered with. The dizziness and cold feeling that I previously felt, had disappeared completely. I felt clear-headed and warm. It was a very comfortable feeling.
After each long day at the Expo, many people invited Master to participate in this or that social event. But Master preferred to spend his evenings fulfilling his disciple's requests. So he graciously turned down every invitation that he received.
For example, a practitioner asked Master if he would go to Beijing to treat her relative. Master agreed and asked his staff to accompany him. On another evening, Master walked around downtown Beijing with us.
Master cares a lot about us and does not want us to miss any chances to cultivate ourselves. He told us to attend the Expo's closing ceremony and left after the event was over. Since we had poor enlightenment quality and were unable to truly appreciate Master's mercy and deep love for us, we busied ourselves with ordinary tasks and did not attend the ceremony. In addition, we left one day before the conference ended.
To this day, I feel that this was a huge loss in my life, yet it is too late for me to regret it. So I say to my fellow practitioners, "Please treasure this precious time in history. There is a deadline for our cultivation. When that day arrives, everything will be determined. Practitioners who did not make good use of their time to do the three things well, will have a lot more to deal with than just regret.
"Whoever misses out on this historic opportunity, whoever misses out on this chance, when you realize what you've missed out on you won't even want to live even if you are allowed to!" (Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference)
As Dafa keeps spreading in the world, more and more people will come to understand Dafa and join the practice. Although Master's Fa was first introduced in China, it is treasured all over the world. When Jiang's regime started to brutally persecute Falun Gong practitioners, it committed the most grievous and unforgivable sin against humanity and the whole universe. The people involved in this persecution will suffer for all eternity.
Time passed so quickly at the Expo that before we knew it, it was time to leave. Before we left, we said goodbye to Master. But because he was so busy, we insisted on seeing ourselves off rather than bothering him. But Master still walked us past the lobby of the Expo. Just before we left, Master shook our hands. We immediately felt his deep care and trust and found it hard to hold back both our excitement and our tears.
When I recall the days that I spent with Master, I feel so fortunate to have witnessed Master's great mercy and noble character. This further strengthens my trust in Master and Dafa. Because of this experience, I was able to steadfastly make it though ten years of persecution and terror. I will follow Master's teaching and do the three things well. I will cultivate diligently until I reach consummation.