[Selected Submission] Nineteen Years of Cultivating in Dafa
(Minghui.org) I was born into a family of a minority ethnic group in southern China and received an undergraduate degree at Tsinghua University. I was introduced to Falun Gong in the winter of 1993, while on a business trip in Beijing. I just happened to see the newly published book Falun Gong and bought a copy to take a look. By the time I had finished reading It, I was deeply subdued. I admired the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance that Falun Gong promotes, and so began to practice. It has now been 19 years. Little did I know that I would be persecuted for my belief. However, by living according to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance I have been able to rise beyond the suffering and reached a new height in my life.
Becoming a practitioner of the Buddha Fa
I have been raised and educated under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) atheistic culture since I was a child, and by the time I had graduated from university and was in my early twenties, my atheist views had grown strong and dominant. If someone talked about Gods, Buddhas, demons or ghosts, I would really look down on them and think that they didn't know what they were talking about.
Even so, I still ran into a problem that I couldn't find a convincing answer for in my atheist belief. My parents taught me to be honest and kind. However, when I faced a conflict that affected my personal values and interests, I asked myself why I should stick to my principles of being honest and kind? I could not find an answer. Yet I wasn't prepared to give up my principles either. I have talked to many of my seniors on this subject and read a wide range of books covering a variety of topics, from ancient to modern, Chinese and foreign. I found that there were many knowledgeable people in this world, yet I had not found a person or a book that could truly solve my problem.
Though I still hadn't found a satisfactory answer, the process had helped me to break down some of the barriers that I had unconsciously built up through my atheist beliefs. Electrons orbit nuclei, planets orbit stars, and every day the sun, moon, and all the stars rise from one place and set in another. I came to believe that there is a common force behind everything and that maybe this is what people call “God.” After I had carefully read the book Falun Gong once, I finally figured it out. It was like waking up from a dream, or seeing the sun appear from behind the clouds for the first time. The book explained many principles of being a human being and about cultivation, all very clearly and concisely. The question that had been puzzling me for so many years had finally been answered.
Choosing between wealth and belief
After leaving university, I was assigned to work at a local research institute. I started as an assistant, and then became an engineer, chief engineer, and then director. I had been there for 20 years, and worked my way up through the ranks. Due to my outstanding achievements, I was named “Technical Personnel with Outstanding Contributions” of the city and “Academic Leader.”
I later met someone from my hometown who also worked in the same field, but on a provincial level. He said that he had been asking about me and was hoping that I would go to work at the provincial office. They had many projects there, and were in great need for professional researchers. However, I rejected his offer, because I had no aspirations of becoming an official and preferred to continue with my usual work. The management in my workplace were also treating me very well, so I didn't want to leave.
I was still in my thirties, and I knew that there was still a chance for me to move up if I changed my mind. All I had to do was to grovel a little, and it wouldn't be hard to get a position in the circle of officials. But I preferred to continue doing my work. I felt that the atmosphere of the political world is not healthy, with so many conflicts and lies being spread, and having to do things against one's will. There are too many people like that nowadays, and I could not accept it.
Later, I was transferred to an institution of higher education and became a teacher. When someone from the school police department recognized me, he asked, “Haven't you served one term as a member of the provincial Political Consultative Conference?” I replied, “Yes. I have also served one term as provincial Deputy to the People's Congress. I think you can understand that I don't have any ambition in politics. I am sticking to my own beliefs.” He indicated that he agreed with me.
What you give and what you get
The person who introduced me to Falun Gong in Beijing also taught me the five exercises, but to my surprise he did want anything in return. When I returned home from my business trip and practiced the exercises at a local practice site, still nobody ever asked me for any fees. Today, because I cannot openly purchase Dafa books in China, I can only ask fellow practitioners with the right equipment to help make them for me, but I always insist on paying them for the cost of the materials and printing. Our Teacher voluntarily teaches us the exercises and the principles of the Fa. Practitioners then voluntarily spread the practice to others.
Before I began to practice Falun Gong I used to suffer from many illnesses including gastritis, bronchitis and migraines, but all my illnesses soon disappeared without taking any medication. Our Teacher has told us:
“I do not talk about healing illness here, and neither will we heal illness. As a genuine practitioner, however, you cannot practice cultivation with an ill body. I will purify your body. The body purification will be done only for those who come to truly learn the practice and the Fa.” (Zhuan Falun)
My life has improved dramatically too. Our Teacher said:
“What I've told you is that you should be a good person wherever you are and have others say that you are a Dafa disciple. You need to handle the things in your family well and handle the things in your workplace well.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference”)
I respect and take good care of my parents and in-laws, and the relationship with my family is naturally very good. When I am at work I actively take on responsibilities, and consider others before I do things. When I encounter tribulations in life, I'm able to look at the situation calmly before progressing forward. This is the state that I've reached through gradually tempering myself in my cultivation.
Dafa has completely changed my attitude towards life. Not only my quality of life has changed, but the people around me have also benefited. People who know me like to work with me and be friends with me. Whether I know them or not, many people come to me for advice. No matter what I encounter, I'm continuously learning from my experiences.
Rising beyond the suffering
When the persecution against Falun Gong started and lies and propaganda were being spread through the media, I faced a big trial at that time. Stories of practitioners self-immolating or killing their family members made me question the actions of practitioners, thinking, “Their behavior does not meet the requirements of the Fa.” I even saw some news about Teacher living in a mansion in Shenyang City. I became very skeptical, and wondered whether I was involved with sham qigong like how the CCP propagated it to be. I went over and over it in my mind and eventually came to the conclusion that what I follow is the principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and I am willing to spend my life according to this standard.
Since making this decision to continue in my cultivation, I have run into many difficulties and experienced various setbacks. Yet no matter what, nothing could shake my confidence in the Fa anymore.
Returning to the right path
Before I started cultivating in Dafa, I also came across ancient prophecies and also read the Bible. Through studying the Fa, I progressively understood the truth about life. It is truly worrisome to see the world's people still being deceived by the CCP. For example, the atheist ideology that the CCP has instilled in the Chinese people dares to let them do all kinds of terrible things, losing their sense of shame. The CCP wantonly distorted history, educating generation after generation to mistakenly think that the history of mankind is the history of class struggle. Chinese people have forgotten traditional values and and teachings of kindness and justice.
The CCP has exhausted all means to plunder the Chinese people of their wealth, attempted to steal their land and completely destroy the environment. Isn't this an unprecedented national crisis? Yet so many people are completely occupied with competing for petty personal gain and are unaware of it at all. When I see that the entire nation is sliding into the abyss, should I watch on the side and not do anything? Teacher said:
“...we must save them and think of ways to save them! Even though they may be confused at the moment, or they may have lost their capacity to recognize truth or reality, owing to their concepts being warped by the Party culture over time, we still have to find ways to save them.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2005 Manhattan International Fa Conference”)
Like other practitioners, I must step forward and clarify the facts, awaken consciences to discern between good and evil, and bring back the culture imparted by Gods. Don't we wish that the next generation could live in a better society?
From the Call for Submissions to Commemorate the Twentieth Anniversary of Falun Dafa’s Introduction