Flashback 1994: Master Li Hongzhi Lectures in Chenzhou, China
(Clearwisdom.net) Our most respected Master Li Hongzhi lectured in Chenzhou, China from July 15 -18, 1994. We were fortunate to have the great opportunity to hear the lectures.
Four Falun Dafa practitioners from Chenzhou had attended Master's lectures in another city the previous year. The lectures were so good that they wanted to bring them to their hometown so more good people could benefit. They attended another lecture series in Guangzhou on January 6, 1994 and invited Master Li, on behalf of the Chenzhou Qigong Association, to lecture in Chenzhou. Master finally smiled and nodded yes after umpteen invitations.
The class was scheduled for July 7 - 12, 1994, as these were the earliest dates available. According to the schedule posted on the wall, Master's schedule was pretty much filled for the entire year. Looking at his busy schedule, I imagined the hardships Master must face. Few people will ever understand the huge karma Master has borne for sentient beings.
Chenzhou is not a major population center. Its transportation system was not well established so to have too many people come into town might interfere with the residents' daily lives. To minimize the impact, Master asked the coordinator to limit the size of the class to 900 attendants. Years later, we realized Master's huge compassion and the boundless power of Fa.
An unexpected crowd gathered for the Jinan class that was scheduled just before the Chenzhou class. More than 10,000 people had appeared for it. Master decided to offer two sessions so that nobody was left behind.
The Chenzhou class was delayed for a few days because the Jinan class had not ended as scheduled. Without rest, Master flew to Changsha immediately after finishing in Jinan. He was greeted by our cheerfully waiting attendants and driven by car to Chenzhou.
The class started on July 15, 1994. Master energetically walked to the platform with a smile and started his lectures. Buddha's compassion illuminated the whole of Chenzhou!
We will never forget the days when Master was in Chenzhou. Master delivered nine lectures over four and one half consecutive days. On the first day, I thought Master's voice was too soft. Master said at the same moment: "What happened? Is my voice too low? Is it clear now?" The loudspeakers suddenly sounded loud and clear. I was amazed that Master could read my mind.
We had arranged for people to take care of Master's daily needs during his stay, but he did everything himself before we could help. Master washed his own clothes and prepared his own meals. Everything fixed for him by the practitioners was always untouched. The hotel employees even said that they could not believe there was such a decent person in the world. Revered Master always considers others. He kept his hotel room clean and folded the blanket neatly.
The tuition was originally set at 50 yuan, which was considered the lowest. It was further reduced to 25 yuan as a result of numerous discussions between Master and the coordinator. I had taken other Qi Gong classes, and the fees they charged were much higher, as much as the market would bear. In addition, those teachers were entertained at fancy restaurants. They also asked for cash and gifts at the end of the classes.
Master was still busy teaching and correcting practitioners' exercise movements the night before his departure. He tried to satisfy every practitioner's request. We divided the attendants into small groups and Master had his picture taken together with each. One episode related to photo-taking occurred in a small group seminar. Master asked one practitioner to stop taking pictures of him after the second shot. The practitioner continued anyway, but no more pictures would come out of his camera. I enlightened later that Master did not want us to develop an attachment of zealotry.
Master left Chenzhou by train. He stood on the train, having given his seat up to another person.
The number of Falun Gong practitioners at Chenzhou quickly increased after the class, rising to some thirty thousand in early 1999. There were 42 group exercise sites in town, and some of the larger sites had more than 100 persons, sometimes as many as 300, participating in the exercises every day.
A derogatory rumor about Master was spread to deceive the public after the persecution started. A public security official from the "610 Office" in Hunan Province claimed that revered Master had hoarded money from the Chenzhou event in 1994. This is untrue, and the facts are as follows: The tuition collected was used to pay for the rent for the venue, the commission to the local Qigong Association, and other expenses. We still had a few thousand yuan left. Master suggested we give the proceeds to the newly organized Chenzhou assistant center. Master did not take a penny.