The Cultivation Story of a 90-year-old Practitioner
Greeting Fellow Practitioners!
1. Attaining the Fa
I am 90 years old. Because my ancestors were Buddhist devotees, I have always believed in the existence of Buddhas and Taos. Before I started cultivating Falun Gong in 1996, I was a lay Buddhist for four years. I am a person who always wants to do the best I can. So when I was a lay Buddhist, I strove to cultivate well. However, rather than being cultivators, I saw that many monks were actually businessmen. They allowed worshipers to pay reverence to Buddhas only if they paid them. Otherwise, they wouldn't let them. Some of the monks' behavior was even worse than ordinary people's. For these reasons, I was very disappointed with the monks. Nevertheless, my faith in Buddhas and Taos has never been shaken.
During the period when Qi Gong was very popular, my friends told me that Qi Gong could cure one's illnesses. They asked me if I wanted to learn. I said no to them, as I believed that having faith in Buddha is better than anything. Later, someone mentioned Falun Gong to me. I was a bit moved when I first heard it. I asked him what Falun Gong was. He told me that Falun Gong was a practice from the Buddhist discipline. When I heard that, I really wanted to try it, because at that time, I didn't have any hope in Buddhism, and that I felt I had not made any progress in my cultivation even though I had been a lay Buddhist for four years.
There was a practice site near my home. When I saw a group of people doing the practice, reading the book and sharing their experiences, I felt the energy field was very strong. I was instantly attracted to the practice. I immediately went to them. Without any hesitation, they started teaching me the exercises. I finished the second set of exercises, which lasted 40 minutes, with ease, and practitioners were praising my endurance. The assistant came to ask me if I was sincerely interested in the practice. I said yes to him and asked if he could get me a copy of the book. After I got the book, I read it every day. Although I had many questions, I thought that it was a good book and I couldn't let go of it. When I was reading the section that talks about "Practicing only one cultivation way," I understood at once the seriousness of cultivating in one practice, and I started to get rid of all the things that I had learned from Buddhism. I was very determined to cultivate in Falun Gong. This is my experience of walking the path to return to my true self at 77 years old.
I remembered that practitioners were watching Master's video lectures. As I watched the lecture, Master was cleansing my body. I had suffered from migraine headaches for many years. As I was watching the video lecture, I fell asleep, but I was still able to take in all that Master taught. After that experience, my migraine headaches disappeared. My cystitis also got better. I felt great and energetic. Because I lived alone, I was able to submerge myself into studying the Fa, doing the exercises, and spreading the Fa to others. I felt that life was great and I was rejuvenated every day.
2. Walking to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong
On July 20, 1999, the persecution of Falun Dafa began. Many practitioners went to Beijing to appeal to the government. Some practitioners were arrested, and some didn't dare to come out anymore. I suddenly lost all contact with practitioners. Feeling anxious, I also wanted to go to Beijing to "safeguard the Fa." But I didn't know how to get there. Because I was so worried, I couldn't eat or sleep well. I stopped a cab driver and gave him 100 yuan. But he was not willing to give me a ride because he thought I was too old. Master probably saw that I really wanted to go, so He arranged for another practitioner to go with me. It was on October 1, 1999. At that time, I lived in the suburb of Beijing. Because police officers were guarding all the intersections that led to Beijing, and required passengers to show their ID cards, we had no choice but to take a detour. The practitioner who went with me was very surprised. He asked: "Are you sure you want to go?" I was 80 years old at that time. I said, "Of course, no problem. As long as my heart is firm, Master will help me. Let's go." And off we went.
My home was about 40 to 50 kilometers from Beijing. We started off at about 8:00 a.m. We bypassed the check points and arrived in Beijing at about 6:00 p.m. I knew that Master was helping me on the way. I didn't feel tired at all. The more I walked the faster I became. I didn't eat anything or use the toilet. I was so anxious to help safeguard the Fa and I wished I had wings so I could quickly fly to Beijing. I felt very upset whenever I thought of the injustice being done to Master and Dafa. I was 80 years old at that time and I had let go of life and death long ago. I just wanted to go to Tiananmen Square to say a few fair words about Dafa. On the way to Beijing, the practitioner who went with me was afraid that I might get tired and asked me to take a break. I refused and told him that we had to walk faster because it would soon be dark.
When we were close to Beijing, we took a bus to Tiananmen Square. At that time, the sky was already dark and there was no one walking on the Square. I didn't know what it meant to safeguard the Fa at that time. I thought that Master must have been watching practitioners from the sky. So I looked up the sky and said: "Master, I am sorry! I came late and missed my opportunity to safeguard the Fa." Tears rolled down my face, and I wished that I had come earlier.
We stayed overnight in Beijing. I couldn't fall asleep that night and spent most of the time on the toilet because of my cystitis. But I was not afraid. I knew it would be better by morning. The next morning, I indeed felt very well. Since then, I have never been bothered by cystitis again.
After that, there were two more times when practitioners asked us to go with them to Beijing. The third time, I went alone. When I was boarding the train, I spoke openly to the passengers and clarified the truth about the persecution of Dafa. Some people who knew the truth were worried about me. They helped me carry my luggage.
When I arrived at Tiananmen Square, I sat near the Gate. I was reciting "Falun Dafa is good; Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good" over and over from my heart. A few moments later, a police officer came by and asked: "Why are sitting here?" "Resting." "Are you a Falun Gong practitioner?" I replied, "There's nothing bad about Falun Gong; In fact, the practice is very good." The police officer didn't say anything and left.
Reflecting on my going to Beijing three times, I feel that Master was always with me and protecting me. At that time, because of my limited realm, and I couldn't get in touch with other practitioner, and I had no access to Master's new articles, so I didn't know how to safeguard the Fa. Although I had gone to Beijing three times, I felt that I had not been able to validate the Fa. Because of this, I am still feeling regretful.
3. Clarifying the Facts about the Persecution and Saving Sentient Beings
After the persecution took place, we lost the group practice and Fa study environment. Some practitioners that I knew were either arrested or didn't dare to come out because of fear. But I never slacked off in doing the exercises or studying the Fa. I persisted in going outdoors to tell people about the persecution. At that time, I had no truth-clarification materials. I would tell people that Falun Dafa is good, and the "self-immolation" incident was staged by the communist regime. Later I realized that this was not enough and I must get in touch with other practitioners; otherwise I wouldn't know whether Master had published new articles. So I went to a small town to look for a practitioner that I used to know, but I forgot where she lived. I thought to myself: "I believe in Master and He will help me." Shortly after I had this thought, I ran into this practitioner. I was very surprised and thanked Master.
Since then, not only was I able to have access to Master's new articles and the Minghui Weekly, but other materials as well. I united with the local practitioners and sent forth righteous thoughts to rescue those practitioners who were arrested. We went out to hang posters. As long as the work was Dafa-related, I would actively get involved in it. When circumstances were tense and critical, practitioners would send the materials to my house. I would carefully store them and hand them out to worldly people when I had time. I never wanted to delay in saving sentient beings. Sometimes I gave out hundreds of fliers at a time. Even though the bag with materials was heavy, I could carry it easily. Later, the environment became less tense, so I formed a Fa study group at my home. After the materials arrived, I would allocate them to practitioners. The police came to my house to harass me two times. I didn't cooperate with them. I was not afraid of them. I would stand at the doorway, and they didn't dare to come in.
When I gave out fliers, I was always very calm. No matter what the circumstances, I was never moved or afraid. I knew that Master was always with me and protecting me. During these years of handing out truth-clarification materials, I have encountered all kinds of people. Some of them had very bad tempers. Others wanted to curse or beat me. Some people threatened to call the police. When that happened, I didn't leave the site immediately. I smiled back at them. I would wait until their venting was over. I would continue to clarify the truth to them if they wanted to listen. If not, I would leave.
Master said in Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Boston: "The old forces don't dare to oppose our clarifying the truth or saving sentient beings. What's key is to not let them take advantage of the gaps in your state of mind when you do things." In July, in order to rescue practitioners who were arrested, a fellow practitioner sent me six large self-adhesive posters. During rush hour at 4:00 p.m., I went out to put up the posters. I chose a location where a lot of people could see the poster. That day, I sent forth righteous thoughts and fixed the edges of the posters (to make them easier to peel) before I went out. After I chose the spot where I wanted to put up the poster, for some reason, no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't unfold it. I tried another one, but it didn't work either. At that time, I didn't have good enlightenment quality. Later, I figured out that it was Master's warning that there was a patrol officer standing right behind me. I heard someone from behind ask me: "What are you doing?" It was right at the moment that I managed to unfold the poster. Without turning around, I answered: "saving people." After I finished putting up the first poster, I started posting the second one. Then, I saw someone tearing off the one I had just posted. I quickly tried to stop him, and I saw he was a police officer. I turned around and saw a police vehicle parked behind me. There were two other police officers standing by the vehicle.
I said: "Oh since you are here, come, I will show you something." Meanwhile, I tried to stop them from tearing off the posters, but to no avail. They told me it was their job. I told them that Falun Dafa is good. I said: Since I can't do it here, I will go somewhere else. I walked away. They got into their car and followed me. I didn't pay much attention to them. All I knew was that I still had four more posters and I had to post them. Shortly afterwards, I found another good spot and put up two more posters. They came out of the car and rushed forward, attempting to tear them off. I tried to fend off them and told them that what I was doing was saving people. I sternly asked them: "Since you don't let me put up these posters there or here, then where do you want me to put them up?" In the meantime, I started asking Master for help. Finally, they stopping tearing the posters down and drove away.
I walked forward and prepared to put up the remaining two posters. After I finished putting up one, I still had the last one left. As I was walking around and choosing a spot to put it up, the police came back. One policeman came up and said: "I already told you not to post these things. Why don't you listen?" I said: "This is the last one. I want to put it up here." After posting, I walked away. They followed me and asked: "Do you have any more posters?" "No." They drove away and I went home.
After I got home, I felt that what had happened that day was very magical. I again witnessed the power of Dafa. I put up six posters right in front of the police. Master said in Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A.: "Even though the old forces do exist, if you don't have those thoughts they can't do anything. When your righteous thoughts are strong enough the old forces can't do a thing." It was really just like this. Every time when I went out to put up posters, I always chose rush hour, so that more people could see them. I didn't care if I might get arrested. I knew I had nothing to be afraid of, since I had the Fa in my heart. I had let go of the attachment to life and death a long time ago.
Looking back, I realized that I didn't clarify the truth about the persecution to the police. Because of my competitive mentality, they stripped three posters and committed sins. I feel very sad about that. If I see them again, I will clarify the truth to them. I will give them truth-clarification materials to save them.
I have recently studied Master's new lectures and I feel I have upgraded a great deal. I feel that I get closer and closer to the state of Tao. I take worldly matters lightly, as if hearing but not listening, watching but not seeing. I don't hear what my children are saying, although they speak loudly. However, when practitioners speak to me, I can hear them very well, especially when they share their cultivation experiences on the standpoint of the Fa. I never have to wear glasses when reading Dafa books and the words are very clear. But I can't see anything when it comes to ordinary stuff. I don't know if my years on this earth are extended by Master, and I don't care. All I care about is striving forward rigorously in my cultivation and saving more beings.
I still live by myself. Other than eating and staying at my son's home, I take care of all household chores and never ask anyone for help. I will cultivate myself well and become purer so that I can better save sentient beings. Because I have a strong accent, I haven't been good at convincing people to quit the communist party. I know I will try harder in the future.
Although I am already 90 years old, I still have a lot of confidence. Regardless of how many years the Fa-rectification will take, I will do the three things well and wait for Master to come back. I have no attachments in the human world. I just have one hope, that is, to save up some money (for travel expenses) so that I can go to see Master when he comes back [to China].