On a Great Path to Return to My True Self
(Clearwisdom.net) First, I want to greet revered Master and fellow practitioners.
I am 78 years old and I am relatively new to Dafa practice. I was fortunate to attend a small-scale cultivation experience sharing conference, during which I talked about my personal experience. The other practitioners encouraged me to write it down. I think this is a sacred task, so I want to do a good job of sharing it and at the same time report my cultivation to Master.
I began reading Dafa books in March 2006 and had a routine
physical exam three months later. I made previous visits to a
hospital, so the doctors were acquaintances. When the results
arrived, the doctors looked perplexed and asked me, "What did you
eat? All of your problems are gone!" I was afraid to tell them it
was because of Dafa practice as my understanding was limited at the
time and I was terrified of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Sometimes I can feel Master cleansing my body. One night while asleep I suddenly felt my head being lifted off the pillow and spinning very fast. It all stopped after about 15 minutes. Afterwards, the chronic sequelae resulting from a car accident including lacunar cerebral infarction (a type of stroke) and numbness in my arms completely disappeared. Another time I felt Falun spinning on my body in the middle of the night, and my entire body started to tremble. It lasted about ten minutes. I was excited and moved to tears. I thought, "Falun Dafa is a high-level, virtuous Fa that truly saves mankind. My heart aches for those who refuse to believe!"
All of the illnesses that used to afflict me, such as high cholesterol, prostatic hypertrophy, frequent urination, a tumor above my kidney, a fatty liver, heart disease, and skin disease, all went away. Furthermore, my body felt younger by the day. The age spots on my face and the backs of my hands left without a trace, and my skin glowed with health. Several days ago my wife said to me, "Go to the hospital and have yourself checked out. Your face is really red. Are you sick?" I laughed because she doesn't know what it's like to be free of illness.
A life forged by CCP culture
I joined the Communist military in 1947 at age15. Soon I was thrown into the civil war started by the CCP. I was praised many times for displays of courage on the battlefield. I became a Party member even though I was only 17, which was too young according to the rules. I remained a Party member until I posted my withdrawal on the Epoch Times website. Nevertheless, I was poisoned by CCP culture for more than six decades.
I was illiterate as a child, and when I entered adulthood, I studied Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as well as practical skills and knowledge. I went from the military to a state-run enterprise and was promoted several times. I was sent to Party schools and military academies, and the "training" I received consisted of atheism and other forms of propaganda. I lived through a long series of political movements: condemn the Nationalist Party and thank the CCP, suppress counter-revolutionaries, the Three Antis and Five Antis, anti-rightists, pull up the white flag and plant the red flag, rectification, the Four Clean-ups, and the Cultural Revolution. I was gradually molded into a stubborn person who blindly fought for the delusional ideal of communism. When my father's funeral was held in 1988, according to Chinese tradition, all of his children were supposed to kowtow before his picture, but I said, "I am Party-educated and I do not believe in superstitions. I will not kowtow. The most I will do is a military salute." CCP indoctrination led me to believe reverence for heaven and one's parents are myths.
I was a division-level official by the time of my retirement and enjoyed many privileges. The Party did not let up in its brainwashing efforts and organized all types of activities for both CCP members and non-members, including pleasure trips around the country [paid for with taxpayers' money]. Extra benefits included free subscriptions to different newspapers and magazines [that blast the Party's agenda]. This was one of the most insidious ways through which the Party continued to manipulate our minds.
I cannot imagine how much Master has done for me, someone who was shaped and molded by the CCP, someone who wore a thick and hardened shell of Party culture, just so I could begin to practice and understand Falun Dafa!
A sacred bond with Dafa
My neighbor gave me a copy of Falun Gong in 1994, and I accepted it out of politeness. I did not finish reading the book, and the meditation was too hard for me. One Dafa practitioner told me, "Cultivate well and you will ascend to heaven." "Bah!" I retorted. "Stop spreading myths!" I gave up Dafa and passed up this precious opportunity. Twelve years later, in March 2006, a friend traveled a long distance just to give me a copy of Zhuan Falun. He said, "You are a great person. It would be a terrible shame if you didn't practice Dafa." I was touched by his sincerity and kindness, so I took the book. He asked me to read it three times, and I really did as he instructed.
Having read it once, I thought it was well written and that it told people how to be good, which was different from what the Party claimed on TV. After I read it for the second and third times, bearing some questions in mind, I gained completely a different understanding. I realized this book taught cultivation and helped an ordinary person to achieve the realms of gods and Buddhas through cultivation. It was something that had never occurred to me before, something I dared not think of. More and more questions popped up, but at the same time I saw many answers. The more I read the book, the more keenly I felt that this was no ordinary book and that Master was no ordinary qigong teacher. The book mentions principles regarding the cosmos, the universe, human life, and the essence of cultivation. All of these topics are explained with great clarity. These are deeply profound matters that an average person would never know about--much less speak about--in such great depth. My mind became increasingly clear as I read the book over and over, and the questions I now asked became more poignant. When I looked back at my life, it occurred to me that I had suffered from endless disasters and had escaped multiple near-death experiences. Why?
I was born in a poor village in Shaanxi Province on September 18, 1931, the year following the Mukden Incident. My mother passed away when I was seven years old, and my father left us to avoid being drafted into the army. My youngest brother and my sister were given away. My next youngest brother and I panhandled in the street. I later worked as a shepherd. When I was 12, while herding sheep and cattle in the mountain, I climbed a tree to pick fruit, fell, and injured my back. I lay there, unable to move, and later fell unconscious until someone discovered me at noon the next day. Wild predators frequent that place and often eat livestock. I was extremely fortunate to have survived without a single attack.
After I joined the CCP military, we attacked the Nationalist
military stationed in Xichuan City, Henan Province. As we pushed
forward, we were greeted with rounds of machine gun fire. Everyone
in my squad except another soldier and me was killed. My life was
spared because I fell into a moat. During another battle in
Shangguan County, Hubei Province, we were surrounded and trapped on
a mountain. It was June, and despite the sweltering heat, we had no
water. We mixed our urine with dry roasted flour in a dung basket.
During a winter expedition in Fang County, Hebei Province, in 1948
I fell into a river. I was completely soaked by the time I was
pulled out. My coat and pants were covered with ice crystals soon
after I was brought ashore. I did not have any change of clothes,
and we could not light a fire, so my heavy "armor" dried only
slightly over the next seven days. When I recalled this incident, I
couldn't help but wonder why I did not so much as catch a cold.
Once, our squad leader told me to grab a military backpack lying in
front of us, but the company commander stopped me. He took a long
bamboo stick and poked the bag with it. The bag suddenly exploded.
I had again cheated death.
After I became a driver I lost control of the vehicle while on assignment in 1954. When it flipped over, I was thrown out and hit the ground about 20 meters away. I lost consciousness upon impact. I came to after three days of emergency treatment. This accident left me with severe and frequent bouts of headaches. When I worked at the Kelamayi Oilfield in Xinjiang Province in the mid 1950s, during the winter my truck and the diesel were frozen. Stranded and alone, I nearly froze to death in the desert. This was one of many dangerous instances where I managed to cling to life.
As I read Zhuan Falun and other Dafa books over and over again, the stubborn notion of atheism that I used to regard as the ultimate truth slowly melted away. Then it dawned on me--the reason I was still alive to this day was not because I was tougher than others, but because a higher power was looking after me, and I knew it was Master. He had done all of these things for me and was waiting for me to practice cultivation. When this thought occurred, my mind suddenly opened up. "Yes," I thought, "Master is waiting for me to enter Dafa's gate. That is exactly what I should do, as I must not waste this precious opportunity any longer. Yes, I must truly practice cultivation. I want to be Master's disciple and must cultivate diligently, to repay him for protecting me."
But, how could I practice cultivation with my current world view? When I acknowledged that Dafa was the true and righteous Fa and that Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is the eternal truth of the universe, I also knew that the Communist Party was persecuting Falun Gong, and, therefore, the CCP must be evil.
That thought was shocking and frightening. I had complained about the CCP before, but I had never, ever dared to think it was evil. The violent collision of beliefs tormented me. My entire being, every cell in my body, was permeated with CCP propaganda. I had dedicated my whole life to the Party and nearly sacrificed my life on numerous occasions for it. Now I had to admit a simple fact: the CCP is evil. This drastic step was overwhelming. So, I read the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party and still thought, "Is it really possible that the CCP has never done anything good throughout all these years?" But when I calmly reflected on my life, the path I had taken seemed so ridiculous. Every political movement had the singular goal of persecuting one or more segments of society.
During the Three Antis and Five Antis Campaigns, someone wanted to "fix" the Party secretary, so he was mysteriously accused of possession of large quantities of marijuana and was expelled from the Party, fired from his job, and sentenced to one year in prison. All of this was announced during a public "struggle session." Incredibly, after the campaign ended, he was cleared of all wrongdoing and promoted to deputy political secretary of the Baoji Military Zone. It was a complete farce.
As flames of the purge burned ever fiercer, the political head of my regiment became the next target. He and I were longtime friends, and he took care of me during different battles, so I was deemed an "insider" who knew of his counterrevolutionary thoughts. All Party members in the regiment were called to a "struggle session" against me, and I was forced to stand overnight. They insisted that I confess things about him simply because we were old acquaintances, even though there was nothing to confess. None of the officials at the company level or above was spared from political persecution.
During the Four Clean-ups in the early 1960s, officials from the
Social Education Group at the oilfield came to the Transportation
Division. They held a meeting regarding how to make a
"breakthrough" to show off their political awareness and
intelligence. A "breakthrough" meant finding someone to persecute
before anyone else did. In the end, they decided that the head of
the Finance Section was a suspect because of the nature of his job,
which involved the managing of funds. At the time I was a Party
secretary and said to them, "I've never heard that the section head
has done anything wrong." They answered, "Well, we have to start
with the Finance Section." I was speechless to find out the truth
about what they claimed to be a "social education movement." All of
CCP's political movements, without exception, have been groundless
persecution and have cost countless innocent lives.
Everything I've lived through during my lifetime serves as firsthand evidence that the Nine Commentaries are right about the Party. Its comments are precise and succinct. After I figured out these issues, my heart lightened and I quietly rejoiced--it was the joy of someone who has awakened to the truth and obtained salvation. Since I realized the root problem, the path I'm supposed to take has opened up and revealed itself. I do not know any fellow practitioner in the area, so I have had to cultivate through trial and error.
Excising the CCP tumor
I have held CCP positions throughout my life and consequently accumulated a kaleidoscope of CCP memorabilia that filled my home. I had large and small gold and silver-plated Mao Zedong buttons, and I tossed them in the garbage bin. Then, I carefully put the divine book Zhuan Falun on my bookshelf.
The next major item on my list was the television. In the past,
watching TV was a part of my daily routine, but now I realized the
CCP uses the media to brainwash the public with lies--to control
their minds and souls to the extent that people actually seek out
CCP propaganda and actively cooperate with self-censorship and
brainwashing, just as explained in the Nine Commentaries. So
I made the choice to say farewell to the TV set.
I used to have a plethora of hobbies, not the least of which were singing, dancing, chess, mah-jong, and poker. It was easy to find me, because I spent most of my leisure time in the retired cadres' activity room. I especially enjoyed bickering with friends during chess and poker games and gradually developed a competitive mentality. How could I practice cultivation with these interfering factors? I have completely changed my lifestyle. Those hobbies are now a thing of the past.
Looking inward and cultivating xinxing
Now my external environment is clean, but far more important is working on the improvement of xinxing.
Studying the Fa is the first step toward xinxing cultivation. Master patiently has told us again and again to study the Fa:
"I've also told you that this Fa is so powerful, and that I have melded my immense abilities into this Fa, so this Fa can do anything for you." ("Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference")
Therefore, I study the Fa whenever I have time. At first I could not calm my mind while studying, but I was able to do it over time as my xinxing improved. Sometimes the words in Dafa books emit bright, golden rays. Then I know that I must study the Fa with a serene mind.
"I can teach you the principles of the Fa, I can help you evolve gong, I can eliminate a portion of your karma for you, I can protect you, and I can do a huge range of things for you that you don't know about but that are necessary when you Consummate and afterwards." ("Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Europe")
I was moved to tears. I am so fortunate! I deeply regret not having practiced Dafa in 1994!
My son runs his own business. His company went through ups and downs, and so did my heart as I constantly worried about him and the future of my grandson. Every time he came to visit me I would ask him tons of questions. He was reluctant to answer them and sometimes would even get angry. After I began cultivation, this sentiment remained pretty strong, and I knew I had to remove it. Master said,
"You can't interfere with other people's lives, you can't control their fates, be it your wife's, your kid's, your parents', or your sibling's." (The Fourth Talk of Zhuan Falun)
Since I have no control over my son's affairs I was wasting my time worrying about him. Master also said,
"But if you do break out of emotion, nobody can affect you, and ordinary attachments won't be able to sway you. What replaces it is compassion, which is more noble." (The Fourth Talk of Zhuan Falun )
I understood that once I let go of emotions I would ascend to
higher levels and at the same time develop compassion; how
wonderful that is! I stopped bugging my son with queries. However,
attachments are hard to discard. One night in a dream my son came
and laughed and chatted to me about his life. After I woke up I
thought, "My son never acts like that in real life; what is this
dream trying to tell me? Perhaps I need to work on removing
Many years ago my retired superior came into town to visit old friends. We had a great time catching up with one another. Unexpectedly, he had a stroke that left him in a vegetative state. This was a wake-up call for me, and it prompted me to take action to prevent a similar thing from happening to me.
I responded by devoting a large portion of my time to studying
Chinese medicine and "scientifically" mixed and matched food and
drug ingredients. Sometimes I used more than 30 different types of
food sources in one day, which required the purchase of more than
60 medicinal and dietary supplements. This experiment played a
significant role in my life. I took notes exceeding 600,000 words.
Even my wife calling the finished meal "pigs feed" did not affect
my enthusiasm. Before I practiced Dafa, my hands trembled while I
cooked. I could hardly hold the pan steady, yet I never thought
about giving up, which shows how strong my attachment was. These
recipes no longer serve any useful purpose for a true Dafa
disciple. I asked my wife to take over the preparation of meals.
Before I could finish my sentence she blurted out, "I have
absolutely no idea how to do your 'pigs feed.'" I assured her, "You
can cook whatever you want, and I'll eat whatever is put in front
of me." I freed up more time to study the Fa and talk to people
about Falun Gong and dispel their misunderstandings.
I used to quarrel frequently with my wife but knew I had to now conduct myself according to Master's requirements, even if I did not meet the standard on the first attempt. Therefore, when we had another disagreement I bit my tongue and let her have her way. I thought, "This is a good environment to improve my xinxing, because I would not be able to improve if she didn't pick a fight with me." I can now endure naturally without any anger or bitterness, as this is what Master wants of us.
So, I studied the Fa and cultivated myself according to my own
ability to comprehend. One night during meditation I saw the divine
book Zhuan Falun shining with brilliant light. Master,
surrounded by an aureole of golden rays, walked out of the book. I
was excited and tried to get a better look, but then everything
disappeared. This was my first experience seeing things through the
celestial eye. I unconsciously used human eyes when I became
excited. I was overjoyed that Master revealed himself to me and
knew he was encouraging me. Prior to cultivation I could not read
for more than 30 minutes without suffering a headache or sore eyes.
Miraculously, I can read Dafa books for 12 hours straight and feel
comfortable the entire time.
Once, several women appeared while I was doing meditation. I felt this was not right. I asked Master in my mind, "Master, please make them go away. I do not want anything to do with them." They instantly disappeared.
Rescuing sentient beings and asking them to withdraw from the Party
I lapse behind veteran practitioners in terms of clearing up
misconceptions about Dafa and helping people quit the Party. As far
as I am concerned, stepping forward to rescue sentient beings is
also a process to eliminate fear. At first I was afraid to tell
people that I practiced Falun Gong. Then I talked to family and
friends about Dafa, and then I mustered enough courage to talk to
strangers. I was able to achieve it through constant Fa study and
removal of attachments. I feel keenly that I must remind myself
that I am a Dafa disciple no matter where I am. If I see myself as
a cultivator, I will have the valor and ability to explain Dafa
things and the persecution facts and rescue sentient beings;
otherwise, I am no different from an ordinary person and won't be
able to rescue people.
I am a [retired] division level official. My circle of friends consists of ranking officials that have benefited from the CCP. They are relatively stubborn. I spent lots of time talking to a few good friends, but they refused to listen. Several friends came to my home during the 2009 Chinese New Year. I quietly pleaded with Master to help me as they played mah-jongg. At the same time I played the DVDs "Prophesies and Life" and "Deciphering Prophesies." They listened while they played and occasionally turned around to look at the screen. Before they left I said to them, "You've seen the DVDs, and you know why people are withdrawing from the CCP; are you going to quit, too?" They said yes. That night I had a dream where Master brought me three watermelons imprinted with the words "Good job with [helping people] withdraw from the Party and its affiliated organizations." I knew Master was encouraging me, and I was determined to do even better.
As mentioned, I have not cultivated for long, so please point out anything inappropriate. I want to end my article by sharing these words of Master, because they apply to practitioners like me.
"Disciple: It has been less than a year since I obtained the Fa. I have consistently tried hard to do the three things well and keep up with the enormous current of Fa-rectification. What kinds of suggestions do you have for disciples who have obtained the Fa only recently?
"Master: This is a great question. To those Dafa disciples who have just obtained the Fa, I say that you are so fortunate. Do you know what kind of group you have joined? These cultivators have made it to today after going through the harshest of tests. Of course, this persecution hasn't ended yet, but the evil is no longer so abundant or rampant, and the pressure is no longer so great. However, it won't be that just because you have entered [Dafa] only recently the standard of cultivation will be lowered for you. So in cultivation you must try hard to do the three things that Dafa disciples should do well, and at the same time save sentient beings and fulfill the roles that Dafa disciples should. In order to do these things well, you must study the Fa well. Make great efforts at studying the Fa, and you will be able to keep up with the progress of Fa-rectification, and you will in an impressive manner become a Dafa disciple who befits that name and is of the Fa-rectification period." ("Fa Teaching at the 2007 New York Fa Conference")
Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners.