I Obtained the Fa in Jail Eleven Years Ago
Greetings, respected Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
1. Unique Story about Obtaining the Fa
In July 2000, I was waiting to be sentenced in Zibo City Detention Center in Shandong Province over a child trading crime. I saw one inmate that was so different from the others: she was always smiling, and I was lucky to have slept next to her. She said she was a Falun Gong practitioner, and she taught me all that she could remember of Master Li's poems. This practitioner returned home after 28 days. Other practitioners later were arrested and detained inside. Within three months they taught me all 72 poems of Hong Yin in order, as well as Lunyu, “Expounding on the Fa,” “Broad and Immense,” “True Cultivation,” “The Teachings in Buddhism are the Weakest and Tiniest Portion of the Buddha Fa,” “Pacify the External by Cultivating the Internal,” “Enlightenment,” etc. Practitioners wrote the text on soap with the ends of sharp broken chopsticks for me.
A prisoner reported me to the guards, who asked me how the practitioners behaved in our cell. I said they were teaching us to be good people, to not fight each other, and to be tolerant. They then moved me to another cell. Soon another prisoner reported me again, and a guard kicked me, warned me that I was not allowed to practice anymore.
Guards moved me again, to a cell where there was a practitioner who had been on hunger strike for seven days. The guards planned to brutally force-feed her and called on me to join the torture. I told the guards I was scared and to please let me try to persuade her to eat. I told her, “I am secretly cultivating, I don't want you to suffer. Would you please eat some food?” She smiled and nodded. Soon, my sentence of five years was handed down, and I was taken to Shandong Province Prison.
2. Solid Determination
I was first taken to a new inmate ward, where there were two other prisoners that had just learned Dafa like me. One of them did the exercises on the first night and was reported. The warden kicked her once, then let her be. The three of us were assigned to the same ward.
Once a prisoner was very sad due to emotion, and I recited a sentence in one of Master's poems. Other prisoners immediately reported to the warden that I had recited a Falun Gong sentence. The warden asked me about my view on Falun Gong. I answered, “They are all good people.” But when she asked me if I practiced Falun Gong, I dared not admit it at that time.
Later I had a dream. The chicks we raised all died and then came back to life, all except mine, because I covered them with a lid. After waking up, I wondered what Master was trying to tell me. It took me two to three days to figure out that it was because I dared not admit I was a Dafa disciple. Only three minutes after I enlightened to this, a prisoner told me the warden was calling me. I told him how I had obtained the Fa in detention, how I cultivated, how my ailments had disappeared, and how my mind nature had changed.
After that, we three new practitioners would be called to listen to whenever a collaborator came to spread deviated understandings. The warden would order us to write our understanding of our crimes before cultivating Dafa, plus our understanding of Falun Gong. I wrote about how Dafa cured my sicknesses. Because my reports did not conform to their requirements, the warden often ordered me to squat in the hall. She even once forced me to squat a whole night in the winter. I was not dressed warmly enough, but Master strengthened me and made me feel a bit warm.
I often recited the Fa with the other new practitioners. We would teach each other the scriptures that we had each learned. Once I wrote down “Pacify the External by Cultivating the Internal,” but guards took it away. When another prisoner obtained the Fa in another ward, the guards blamed me. They called me to a room, shut the curtains, and ordered me to take off my coat. I had no idea what they were going to do when suddenly two electric batons hit me. About six guards had surrounded me with electric batons, and I was rolling on the ground. The guards were kicking me back and forth like a ball. I was bleeding. I could not take it anymore after more than one hour. I wrote a guarantee statement, but refused to write information about other practitioners.
My hardship increased. As long as any ward or group was doing overtime or overnight overtime labor, I had to join in. I could only sleep two or three hours a night. Master was giving me hints in my dreams. I recited the Fa non-stop. I firmly held one thought: “Even if I die, I must carry the Fa with me. Even if my head is cut off, my body will still be sitting in the lotus position. I will never do anything to disgrace Dafa!”
Another day, the guards called me to go to their office. As soon as I entered, they told me to take off my coat. I took off my coat without hesitation and threw it aside. The guards were shocked. They asked me if I was scared when they tried to shock me. I answered loudly, “NO!” I was reciting the Fa-rectification formulas, and the batons suddenly could not shock me. The guards tested their electric batons against the wall and they seemed to work. One wondered, “Why aren't they working? I just recharged it last night?” They forced me to squat in the hall overnight instead.
Finally, they locked me in solitary confinement. The guards shouted at me and said if I did not write information about other practitioners, I would not be released. My mother was arrested for a child trading crime, too, and was locked in another ward. Guards used her to try to “transform” me. She cried, shouted, and threatened me. I did not move and sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the evil elements behind her. She quit talking and just listened to me.
The guards ordered collaborators to take turns trying to brainwash me. I went on a hunger strike to protest. They said if I still refused to accept the brainwashing, they would force-feed me. I said, “If you quit letting those collaborators bother me, I will eat.” They stopped coming.
Two procurators came to the solitary confinement. They heard I had begun cultivating after being in detention for other crimes. They were mad at me and shouted, “Do you say Falun Gong is righteous or evil?” I had fear and did not answer. After they left, I recited Master's article, “Expounding on the Fa.” “So why doesn’t the side of you that is your original nature rectify the Fa?” I thought, “Yes, why not say anything? Why not write Falun Dafa is great?”
On the 12th day in solitary confinement, I told the guards that were monitoring me, “Give me paper, I will write.” I wrote, “Falun Dafa is righteous! My Master is coming to save people. It is impossible to keep me from learning Falun Dafa.” The guards took my paper away when they saw what I had written so far. I was going to sign my name as “Dafa disciple.”
The warden stomped his feet when he saw what I had written. He said I had became firmer the longer they kept me locked up. He asked how come I was like a real Falun Gong practitioner now, although I was previously a criminal to begin with. I was sending forth righteous thoughts the whole time when he was there, giving him a headache. He came the next day still with a headache and signed me out from the solitary confinement. I told him that whoever participates in the persecution would meet with retribution unless they quit doing such things. He truly stopped directly hurting practitioners.
Guards changed their attitude towards me 180 degrees: no one dared to be brutal to me. The practitioner who taught me Falun Gong in the detention center was in a confused state of mind, and the guards told her to brainwash me. I did not waver. There were 17 practitioners in our ward, and only four solitary confinements. We decided to do Falun Gong exercises together. The first day the guards were mad, but did not do much besides yell. We finished the exercises. All those who once accepted the brainwashing regretted their “transforming,” and published Solemn Declarations to express their determination to cultivate Dafa.
Another fellow practitioner who obtained the Fa in prison was tortured during my solitary confinement period. She failed the test. I dreamed she died. Then I begged Master to let me meet her to help her. Master granted my wish. I told her about my dream. The guards arranged to let her brainwash me, but I told her how I passed this test and helped her write a Solemn Declaration. She became a firm practitioner.
I was then tortured until I was unrecognizable. I reported the guards that shocked me with electric batons and those that locked me in solitary confinement. The prison director came to see me, and I told him how I was tortured.
One fellow practitioner sang a song composed by a Dafa disciple, “Coming for you,” on Mother's Day. Guards took away the microphone, stopped letting her contact anybody, and tried to lock her in solitary confinement. The other 16 practitioners went on a hunger strike and a labor strike with the condition that she be released unconditionally. The guards had to release her soon.
The guards would order me to squat when I entered their office. I answered with dignity, “I paid for my original crime, now you are adding false charges! I have no crime to pay for now.” The guards tried to force me, but in vain. Ever since then, they provided me a small stool in their office. Whenever they asked me to write anything, I would write, “Falun Dafa is great” or one of Master's poems. Finally the guards were scared of letting me write anything. They also quit setting a quota on my labor—I could do as much as I wanted.
I dreamt of an athlete accepting prizes, and my name was on the list. Others received small pieces of jade, and I got two keys. I also dreamt I was admitted by a university and even became a graduate student. I was then released early by 11 months and returned home.
3. Never Relax in Cultivation
In 2004 I returned home, a far away province. I did not find any fellow practitioners at first. I then clarified the truth to friends and family, and my third sister-in-law obtained the Fa. I wrote down Hong Yin in a notebook and the sub-titles in Zhuan Falun from memory. Fellow practitioners in Shandong Prison brought in many new scriptures and information on the Fa-rectification process. I knew I had to clarify the truth and save sentient beings when I left.
I bought paper and a brush pen and wrote, “Falun Dafa is great” and Zhen-Shan-Ren is great” on paper and cloth materials, then posted them outside. The fellow practitioners in Shandong I had gotten to know in prison kept mailing me new scriptures, until I was connected with local practitioners.
I could not find fellow practitioners in my hometown for over a year, so I went back to Shandong Province by train and found a fellow practitioner I knew in prison. She gave me a copy of Zhuan Falun, the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, new scriptures, and Master's other teachings, a full box. They were sending forth righteous thoughts for me to let me get back home safely. I also sent forth righteous thoughts and returned home without incident.
I opened a food store and played the Nine Commentaries to my customers while they were eating. An old man told me a practitioner had given him a DVD, but he dared not play it. His wife also got to know a practitioner in detention, who helped her. He wanted to thank her. I was overjoyed and quickly asked him where this practitioner was located. I found she was still detained, but the second time, she was released. Finally, I was connected with a local group.
Cultivation turned quiet, but still my xinxing was temped. I dared not relax in saving sentient beings. I used family members' old X-rays and cut out stencils for, “Falun Dafa is great, Zhen-Shan-Ren is great.” Then I went with fellow practitioners to spray paint during the night before a big market event. We each went along one side of the street. I begged to have some rain, then it rained lightly, and people all hid in their homes. We sprayed on white walls, pillars, and glass. It was so beautiful! We finished after midnight. Normally there would be no taxis, but when we reached the road, a driver was taking a nap on his wheel. I woke him up. He said, “I am here waiting for you.” I knew Master let him wait here for us!
The next day was bright and sunny. I went to the big market and saw our previous night's work beautifully done. People chatted, “Has Falun Gong's reputation been restored? How did they get those characters up there?” Many people took photos of them.
We passed out materials to nearby towns individually. At first, I dared not to distribute truth clarification materials face to face, for fear of people yelling at me, “What are you doing?” I looked inside: “Why not be open and dignified when saving people?” Master taught us in “Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa:”
“'How can I work on the cultural mainstream? I don’t know what to do!' When you visit nicer communities, you’re too scared to say anything, hesitantly holding out that pamphlet with great trepidation. Do you think that could save people? Immediately that person is going to think you’re not trustworthy, right? You really don’t need to think too much about it— rather, go about it with confidence and dignity. You’re a Dafa disciple. Don’t you realize that you are saving people?”
I enlightened that I must openly save people. I held the materials and gave them to people face to face, with a very steady mind. I would say, “Now is a time of disasters. I've brought you a letter of peace.” Or I say, “I am here to bring you peace and safety.” People were all very acceptive. Some did the three withdrawals, some were hesitant. I then told them, “You can write on paper currency that you quit. God will see.”
I helped about seven people enter cultivation after having clarified the truth to them. One of them works with me in a supermarket. My boss promoted me after only having worked there for half a year, and I got the same pay as those who have been working for four years, because, as a practitioner, I am a good employee. The new practitioner was angry and thought it was not fair. She then said she would quit cultivation. I just smiled at her and said, “If I refuse to accept this little money in exchange for your xinxing to upgrade through this incident, I'd rather decline this promotion.” She no longer felt angry, resumed Fa-study with me, and we worked together to write letters to save people.
Recently we read the article on Minghui Weekly about buying and setting off firecrackers. I felt this was our responsibility. We quickly went to set off firecrackers near local police departments. One new practitioner was scared and dressed up like an old lady, but after lighting the firecrackers, she said her fear was burned out!
Two fellow practitioners were arrested. We went to a detention center to send forth righteous thoughts in close proximity. We worked together to expose the persecution on the web, produced materials specifically exposing this incident, and posted them all over their workplace, other homes, communities, police/procuratorate/court, and detention centers. When we went to the detention center, many fellow practitioners were sending forth righteous thoughts. With smooth cooperation, those two practitioners were released in less than ten days.
But the evil always survives among our human attachments. One of these two practitioners told us after being released, “The authorities released us first in order to find other practitioners.” Many fellow practitioners were scared and said they would now avoid seeing them. They even stopped studying the Fa with them. Soon they were both arrested again and taken straight to prison to serve sentences. This was a huge lesson for us. I enlightened that we are short on one-body cooperation, failed to cultivate away fear, and failed to expose the evil in a timely manner. We actually just hid ourselves.
This how I changed and became a Dafa disciple after being a child trading criminal. The changes in me were vast. Cultivation must be solid. Master's every word is a test. The answer lies in practicing according to Master's words and further enlightening to the profound inner meanings in Dafa. I will diligently advance together with all fellow disciples!