An Eternal Candle
(Clearwisdom.net) In 1992 as Master traveled to different cities to spread Falun Dafa, I followed Him to many places to learn the practice. Ever since, I have read the precious book Zhuan Falun and other articles written by Master. To express my innermost feelings, I have spent several years in preparation and recently I finally finished writing this experience sharing article.
I often compare my life to a burning candle: The long candle of my childhood shed a lot of tears. In my adulthood, the flame flickered and was nearly extinguished in the cold wind. And just at the moment when the cold wind was about to blow the candle out, great and benevolent Master came and saved me, and integrated my life into the light of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Now, the candle of my life burns eternally.
1. The Misery of My Early Life
A Childhood Soaked in Tears
I was born into a farmer's family. My mother died when I was five years old. Afterward, I lived with my grandmother who was a Catholic. She was very kind and endured hardships. By example she showed me how to maintain a good character and not seek personal enjoyment. She also taught me to be a good person, not to beat or swear at other people, and be tolerant. She also told me, "There are spiritual beings three feet above one's head," and that good and evil would be treated accordingly.
When I was eight years old, my grandmother became sick and had to lie in bed all day, so I had to take care of her. Day after day, I repeatedly did the necessary housework: the laundry, cooking, bathing my grandma, and emptying the urinal.
When I was eleven years old, my grandmother died, and I finally went to school. Later, I had a step-mother. She often had me do a lot of housework, and if there was anything that she was less than satisfied with, she would beat and curse at me. I was often beaten and had many bruises all over my body. Usually I didn't have enough food to eat. I wore ragged clothes and looked like a beggar and went to school, starving. Later, my step-mother forced my father to kick me and my little brother out of the house. After we left home, we were helpless and had no one to depend on. In those years, we lived like beggars.
When I was seventeen years old, my older brother who was a village official helped me find a job. After that, I finally settled down and stopped the wandering life of a beggar.
An Adulthood Worse Than Death
In the mid-1970s I was introduced to the man who later became my husband. At the time, I didn't know what a predestined relationship was, but I just felt pity for my parents-in-law who were both sick. So I agreed to the marriage out of compassion. After we got married, I gave birth to two girls in a row. Later, I became ill for more than ten years.
When I first became sick, I would throw up all the food I ate, and couldn't eat anything after. Within three months, I lost 40 pounds and I had high blood pressure, heart disease, a gastric ulcer, and other ailments. I had more than a dozen diseases that I knew the names of, as well as many other nameless diseases. The most painful were the open wounds on my chest. I repeatedly fainted because of the persistent pain. In order to find a cure for my illnesses, I went to all the major hospitals. I also went to Beijing and many other places to see doctors, but my illnesses just became worse and worse.
Finally I had to lie in bed all day because I was so weak. The tremendous pain was so unbearable that I often fainted. In those days, my life was just like a candle that was burning down to the end. I was frequently afraid that I would pass away at any moment, leaving my children and husband behind.
2. My Happiest Times
The First Time I See Master, I Am Given a Brand New Life
One day in 1992, revered Master came to my hometown to teach and spread the Fa. At that time, I had already given up any hope for recovery and felt like I was waiting to die. After I heard the news that a great qigong master was coming to town, I wanted to have him treat the illnesses for me. My family members took me to see Master, and on the way there, I had a very good feeling that I never had in the past. After I saw Master, I felt that I knew Him before. Then I recalled a dream I had several months earlier, in which I saw a person with great compassion, and that person was Master who now stood in front of me.
Master asked me to stand there and close my eyes, and then He touched my head a few times. In less than two minutes, all my illnesses disappeared just like they were blown away by a gust of wind. The most astounding thing was that the wounds on my chest were completely healed. At that moment, I became a brand new person! I found happiness again after struggling in hardship for thirty-nine years. I sincerely wished to cultivate myself well to repay Master and become a qualified Dafa disciple.
Obtaining the Fa
I went to Master's lecture series in my hometown. At the end of the classes, I knew I had found what I had been looking for. I knew how precious the Fa was, and I was also aware of the rarity of this opportunity to cultivate Falun Dafa. So when Master had lectures in other cities, I would often go to attend them. Each time after attending a lecture series, both my body and my mind experienced significant purification and elevation. I could feel Master was raising me up and then pushing me further ahead.
I learned the five sets of exercises very quickly, and I could achieve tranquility in a very short time when doing the meditation. As I was studying the Fa, I entered other dimensions from time to time. I felt the rapid changes taking place in my body and the breakthroughs in levels.
When I first studied the Fa, I didn't know many characters, and I only listened to other practitioners reading the Fa in group Fa study. After I returned home, I would ask my children to read the Fa to me. In addition to joining the group exercises and Fa-study, I also did the exercises and studied the Fa on my own at home. I enlightened that to assimilate to the Fa is the real purpose of being human. All the tribulations I had in society or at home were opportunities to cultivate myself, eliminate karma, and get rid of my attachments.
Assisting Master in Spreading the Fa
Master gave me a second life, so I tried my best to let more people know about the wonderfulness of Dafa. I went everywhere in my city talking to people about the wonderfulness and beauty of Falun Dafa and how great and compassionate Master is, by talking about my personal experiences. Many people obtained the Fa and benefited from Dafa. Whenever people wanted to learn the exercises, I was willing to teach them at any time. From the time I obtained the Fa until July 20, 1999, I introduced Dafa to all my friends and family members. Many of them started cultivation practice in Dafa.
When Master was spreading the Fa in China, many practitioners from my area also followed Master to listen to the lectures. Many local practitioners went to Master's lectures in Beijing, Jinan, Shijiazhuang, Tianjin, Zhengzhou, Dalian, Changchun, Harbin, Yanji, and Guangzhou, including a seventy-year-old practitioner and a little child. During the lectures, they all stayed at very cheap hotels and only ate the food they brought, or had instant noodles. I was just as frugal during that time. Later, we had videos of Master's lectures and instructional exercise videos and also the precious book Zhuan Falun, so we formed a Fa study group. Sometimes we played the lectures at home, or we played the videos for our neighbors and then taught them the exercises. Sometimes we would bike to villages miles away to spread the Fa and teach people the exercises. We would do this continuously for nine days, leaving and returning each day on our bicycles. Countless people knew the greatness of Dafa, and many people obtained the Fa and became Dafa disciples.
3. Days of Horror Begin
On July 20, 1999, Chinese Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin launched the extremely brutal persecution of Falun Gong. All sorts of TV programs, radio programs, and newspapers were slandering and defaming Dafa. The black terror arrived at my hometown.
One day in late July 1999, the local party secretary ordered my workplace to hold an emergency meeting specifically about me. In the meeting, they attacked Master and slandered Dafa. The director of my workplace and the head of the security section often went to my house to harass me. Later on, police officers were staked out next to my house and monitored me constantly. When I left the house, they kept following me. Officers from the 610 Office often broke into my house and threatened me. They also illegally arrested me and took me to brainwashing centers, detention centers, and forced labor camps several times. It was quite normal for police officers to break into our house in the middle of the night. At the height of these attacks, they broke into my home as often as five times in one day.
Another day in late July 1999, the local government organized a big meeting to attack Dafa and they ordered several Falun Gong practitioners to attend this meeting and publicly slander Master and Dafa. I stayed calm. I only had one thought: I won't go there! Even walking into that meeting would dishonor my revered Master! As I had that thought, my body froze and couldn't move. When the government officials saw what was happening, they gave up and left.
Going Back to Save Sentient Beings
After I returned home from the April 25, 1999 appeal in Beijing, the local government started to watch me and my family twenty-four hours a day. Once the persecution began in July 1999, I planned to go to Beijing and clarify the truth to defend Master, but because I was watched by police officers, I wasn't able to go.
Later, I established a materials center with several other practitioners. We collected truth-clarification materials, banners, and CDs from other cities and distributed them in local communities. We also displayed messages that read "Falun Dafa is good" in public places in our city. At the end of 2001, the head of the local police department, directed by the 610 Office, led dozens of police officers to break into my house and forced me into a police car. After we arrived at the police station, I refused to get out, so a police officer dragged me out of the car. Later they transferred me to the Dashi Detention Center. I thought, since I had come here, there must be people here waiting to be saved. So I clarified the truth to the people I encountered there and I asked Master to strengthen me: "I need to go back to validate the Fa, I can't stay here, I want to go back to save people."
At that time it was winter. They forced me to stand on the cold concrete ground barefooted. There were several times that they wanted to torture me, but as soon as I saw the torture instruments, I fainted from shock. I was very weak. During the six days I was kept in the detention center, I lost consciousness more than once. The guards were afraid that if I died there, they would be held responsible. So they contacted my local police department and told them to take me back. I was so weak that I had lost the ability to walk, so my husband had to carry me back home.
One afternoon in February 2002, less than a week after I had been arrested, the head of the police department directed many officers to break into our house. They arrested my husband and brought him to the local brainwashing center, and then they transferred him to the Jinan Forced Labor Camp the next morning.
My husband was kept in the forced labor camp for twelve days before he was released. During that short time, he was severely tortured to the point of mental collapse and lost a dozen pounds in a few days; he barely had the strength to walk. He suffered from extreme pain all over his body and became incontinent. For several months afterward he couldn't sleep at night and he often had unbearable headaches and dizziness. He was so scared during that time.
The local 610 Office also looked for chances to take away my children. My older daughter stayed at her classmate's house and my fifteen-year-old younger daughter wandered the streets in the daytime and slept in temporary sheds on construction sites or in unfinished buildings at night. Thanks to some good-hearted people she had some food to eat.
One day in March 2003, the police officers came to my house again. This time, they used the excuse of giving me a physical examination to take me away, and put me onto a stretcher and used an ambulance to take me to the detention center. The following day, several police officers and doctors used the same method to transfer me to the Jinan First Women's Labor Camp in Shandong Province. They sentenced me to three years of forced labor. I thought, wherever I went, I would spread the truth there. Everyone I meet has a predestined relationship with me and I should save them.
Before I was taken to the labor camp, I underwent a physical examination, and I clarified the truth to the doctors. The result turned out to be that I had symptoms of a severe contagious disease and none of the doctors dared to come close to me. So the labor camp refused to take me and the detention center was afraid of the consequences of keeping me, and they had to send me back home.
During those most horrific days, 95 people from the 610 Office and my workplace participated in persecuting me. They broke into my house and harassed me 81 times, and arrested me six times, in addition to the countless hours of monitoring me, my family, and my home. Even my non-practitioner relatives were persecuted by them in different ways. When they ransacked my house, they stole more than ten thousand yuan.
During the persecution that has lasted for more than ten years, I have often recited Master's Fa to strengthen myself. At the hard moments, I often told myself: "I am a Dafa disciple! I remember the Fa in my heart! I have Master to protect me! For Master, and for the sentient beings who are waiting to be saved, I won't slow down my pace in assisting Master in Fa-rectification!"