(Clearwisdom.net) Falun Dafa spread in China very rapidly in 1995 and the number of new practitioners increased sharply. Comparatively speaking, in Shijiazhuang as a whole, the practice of Falun Gong was still at a beginning stage. People were still unclear about what Dafa cultivation was and the environment of Fa study and genuine cultivation still had not come into shape. I still remember that Teacher asked a member of the Falun Dafa Research Society to pass on a telephone message (I can not remember the original words.) The general idea as I remember it was, "The Shijiazhuang area is lagging far behind other areas, so you must study the Fa a lot and work hard on genuine cultivation."
The practitioners at the Shijiazhuang Assistant Center were so shocked on hearing Teacher's comments. They were also very worried, so they organized a trip to Changchun City to share with those practitioners by taking advantage of the Chinese New Year holidays and learn from the practitioners who had advanced ahead of us. The Beijing Falun Dafa Research Society agreed with Shijiazhuang's idea and supported our going to Changchun. In this way, a group of 17 people got on the Changchun-bound train.
Our Reception Reflected the Demeanor of Dafa Practitioners
It was the Chinese New Year holiday period when we arrived in Changchun. It was 2 days before Chinese New Year's Day so people were all on vacation time and were busy preparing for the New Year. However, the practitioners in Changchun, holding a welcoming cardboard, were waiting for us at the train station enduring the biting cold wind. At that time all the hotels and restaurants were closed for business. The Changchun Assistant Center had arranged a guest-house for us beforehand. Since all the staff had gone back home for the New Year, four or five of the local practitioners gave up their holidays, the time for them to reunite with their families, to work for us. They brought rice, flour, vegetables, meat and eggs from their homes and meticulously arranged our meals. They tried hard to give us a variety of food at every meal. On New Year's Eve, 17 of us were having dumplings at the home of the deputy-head of the assistant center. The dumplings were made and sent over by the local practitioners. There were two types of filling, preserved vegetable with beef and Chinese cabbage with pork. The deputy-head of the center showed us the couch Teacher sat on when visiting his home.
Practitioners come from different parts of the country, but they look like a family since they study the same Fa and their hearts are close together. It was particularly so after the inhuman persecution started. We were able to come to this point today in Dafa cultivation after experiencing 12 years of difficulties and hardships. We felt it was a precious time in Changchun and it would move us to tears to recall the scenes of those days.
We felt very apologetic to see that the Changchun practitioners were kept busy for us on the Chinese New Year holidays and could not return home to spend time with their families. However, a local female practitioner said, "You have come from so far to Teacher's hometown. You are all Teacher's guests, so it is only natural for us to take care of you. We study the same Fa so we are of one family." From what she said, we practitioners from Shijiazhuang found where we had fallen short. We looked at issues with human thoughts, but the practitioners in Changchun used the perspective of the Fa.
Joining the Group Exercises in Changchun
When it was time for Fa study in Changchun, we found that it was in full swing and the local practitioners were reading and reciting the Fa, and some were even copying out the Fa by hand. Even those practitioners who did not read and write kept copying the Fa stroke by stroke. The more they copied the more beautiful their characters became. Among the exhibits in the painting and calligraphy exhibition run by the practitioners in Changchun, were Dafa books copied by the local practitioners.
Our group went to the practice sites, one in Jilin University and another in Shengli Park. It was winter in Northeast China and the temperature dropped to 20 degrees Celsius below zero. At five o'clock in the early morning we went to Changchun Cultural Square to attend the group exercises. Teacher cleaned the field in person. Every day the number of people that joined the exercises reached about one thousand so the energy field was very strong. We felt the warmth all over our bodies and we did not feel cold at all even though we were not wearing gloves. For the convenience of the practitioners who went to work during the day, there were group exercises in the evening as well.
After the group exercises in the morning, some went to work and others stayed to study the Fa and share or join various kinds of activities to spread the Fa.
The group Fa study in Changchun was very well organized. Most of the venues were provided by the practitioners and some by workplaces. There was group Fa study every evening and all the practitioners would go to various venues to attend. A large Fa study group would have 80 to 100 practitioners and the smaller ones a dozen or so practitioners. The majority of them were young people. Maybe it had something to do with the number of institutions of higher learning in Changchun.
The practitioners took group Fa study seriously. Practitioners who had just finished work would all go straight to group Fa study. They would buy a steamed bread or a sesame seed cake for dinner and only return home after the Fa study. They followed the method approved by Teacher, reciting the Fa one paragraph at a time, each taking turns. When time was up they would appoint someone to continue from where they stopped on the following day.
Cultivation Is Looking Inward
The Changchun Assistant Center arranged for us to study the Fa and share with the assistants of various practice sites. We found the local practitioners measured everything with the Fa and there were a lot of moving stories of genuine cultivation. Some stories may look very ordinary from the current standards now that the practitioners have all matured. However, they were really touching during the early days of cultivation.
One of the assistants told us a story, "A male practitioner who was over 50 years old liked drinking alcohol. After practicing Falun Gong he knew he could not drink any more. However, he could not let go of it. One day he could not hold back any more so he drank some alcohol. Afterward he regretted it very much so he was on his knees in front of Teacher's portrait and expressed his wish to mend it. Teacher gave him the opportunity. However, he drank again after a period of time. Then he found Teacher's expression to be very serious in the portrait and he felt very sick as well. Teacher bore the karma for him the first time and gave him an opportunity. When he drank again all his previous karma returned to him. He passed away not long after. During the funeral there was a portrait of the deceased. People could see clearly two lines of tears under his eyes on his portrait. They knew they were the tears of regret from the deceased man." Cultivation is a very serious matter so we must cultivate ourselves in a down-to-earth manner. Only in this way will we not miss this cultivation opportunity of the ages.
An assistant told us another story. One day when he was delivering copies of Zhuan Falun to a practice site on his bike he felt very happy, thinking how much energy potency he could gain for delivering the books. All of a sudden the books fell from the bike and dropped to the ground. He got off the bike and tied the books to the back before continuing on his way. Not long after, the books dropped to the ground once again. At that moment he realized that he had a problem so he began to look for it. He looked inward and realized that the problem came from his attachments of selfishness, showing off and complacency. He found he did not always think about other people and his mentality in delivering the books was also not right, so he quickly adjusted his thoughts. He tied up the books once again and delivered them to their destination without any further trouble.
During the sharing we did not hear any accusations of other people, but all looked inward to find our own shortcomings.
Sharing on Respecting Teacher and the Fa
Some local practitioners said, at the beginning of the spreading of the Fa, since they did not know how to cultivate, they would go to see Teacher whenever they came across a problem, even a very small one. When some practitioners saw Teacher in the street they would go across the street to see him, shake hands with him and ask him questions. With more profound study of the Fa practitioners gradually began to realize that what they wanted to ask Teacher was all contained in the Fa. When their cultivation levels elevated they all came to understand the real meaning of Teacher and Dafa, and learned that our Teacher is a great Teacher and that Dafa is very profound. As a result they tried not to bother Teacher any more. When they ran into Teacher on the street they would not go forward to talk to him or ask him questions any more, but stood where they were and quietly heshi to Teacher and then left. Some practitioners would only heshi when they passed Teacher's home in the distance but did not bother him any more.
Many practitioners in Changchun had been to Teacher's home. It was very simple, with a double bed, a table and a few stools. Teacher's daughter slept on a couch. When there were not enough stools they would use cardboard boxed to serve as stools. In winter, Teacher's family, like many other ordinary families, reserved a lot of Chinese cabbage as the main non-staple food for the whole winter. There was no heater but a coal stove. The practitioners who had been to Teacher's home still felt very bad whenever they thought of the stove at Teacher's home.
Every time the Dafa books arrived they were in large quantities and on the following day the books would be delivered to all the assistant centers. One practitioner who was in charge of the materials lived on the 7th floor. At the beginning he naturally put all the Dafa books in the basement, for the sheer convenience, since they would be distributed on the following day. Later he enlightened that it was disrespectful to Teacher and the Dafa books so he moved all the books to the 7th floor even if he needed to move them downstairs on the following day. From this we could see the absolute sincerity of the practitioner in respecting Teacher and the Fa.
The valuable experience of the practitioners in Changchun helped to push the practitioners in the Shijiazhuang area forward so that we became more diligent and began to genuinely cultivate ourselves. As a result it became the turning point for the cultivation of our whole area, from healing illnesses and keeping fit to genuine cultivation of looking inward and rapid elevation of our xinxing. The practitioners knew what cultivation was and would measure themselves with the Fa all the time. It also helped to set off a new upsurge in studying the Fa.
What is recorded here is only a fraction in the spreading of Falun Dafa in Northern China before July 20, 1999. At this time, when we are celebrating Teacher's 60th birthday and World Falun Dafa Day (May 13) I use this short article to express my gratitude for Teacher's infinite grace as well as to congratulate the spreading of Dafa around the world.
These remarks serve as an introduction so that other practitioners who were involved may come and add their valuable comments. For anything I did not do well, please feel free to comment and correct.