Dafa Brightened Up My Life

After I started working I suffered from many illnesses. From the waist down I always felt cold to the bone, even during the hottest days of summer. My abdominal wall was hard like a rock. The inside of my chest and abdomen area felt like it was filled with a thick, sticky, burning substance, causing my chest and my sides to always feel full and bloated, with a burning sensation. I felt stuffy and irritated, as if the gas was going backwards. My head was swollen, painful, and I felt drowsy. My tongue, the back of my neck, and the top of my head felt stiff and made me short of breath when I talked. I stammered because it was really hard for me to speak. I also suffered from chronic stomatitis and often got red blisters on my tongue and in my throat. If I ate something that was slightly too cold or too hot, my symptoms would get worse. I also had chronic enteritis. If I ate something that was slightly too greasy or heavily seasoned, it would cause continuous stomachache and diarrhea. I had chronic rhinitis, which seriously affected my breathing to the point that I had to breathe through my open mouth during the night. I also sweat in my sleep and often woke up in the middle of the night to find that my underwear and blanket were wet. I didn't sleep well. During the day, I was often tired and always wanted to rest. If I stayed up until 2 a.m. to meet a deadline, I would be dizzy for the entire day the next day. Sometimes I would completely lose consciousness and pass out when I got up to use the bathroom. The most scary thing was that when I took a nap during lunch or fell asleep during the night, I often felt that I couldn't move even if I tried really hard. It felt as if there was a loud roaring sound in my head and an intense current going through my brain. That gave me the fear of death. Sometimes I would feel drowsy during the day as if I were drunk. I tried really hard to control my thinking and keep myself conscious, yet my illnesses made me feel like I was in a dream. I felt like I was separated from the world by a layer of paper. I was depressed. I suffered like that for more than ten years.

The hospitals could not diagnose the cause of my illnesses. They treated my head if I had a headache and treated my foot if my foot hurt, yet there was no long term effect. The doctors of traditional Chinese medicine examined me and said that my condition was too complex and they didn't know where to start. I had seen all the well-known Chinese medical doctors in my area, yet their prescriptions made me worse and worse. Later they avoided me when they ran into me. In order to get well, I had been practicing Tai Chi for more than 10 years, had tried many types of qigong, and had taken up long-distance running. I had tried many special prescriptions that had been passed down through the years. One time, I took a big risk in trying a poisonous Chinese medicine special prescription. I took time off from work and stayed in my hometown so I could focus on healing. After taking the medicine, I had diarrhea that wouldn't stop. In less than half day I became so skinny that my eyes sank into my skull. I almost died. The next day, my family members were shocked when they saw me. In order to get rid of my illnesses, I studied traditional Chinese medicine. I made decoctions with all of the commonly used herbs and two types of compatibility of medicines according to Chinese Medicine and tried them all to learn the properties of different types of herbs. I tried all the prescriptions from Chinese Medicine, Treatise on Febrile Diseases, and Synopsis of Golden Chamber so I could test the effect of each on my body and study ancient Chinese medical theories. “A long term patient makes a good doctor.” After a few years, I was able to prescribe medicine for others, and sometimes the effect was quite good. Yet I couldn't cure my own illnesses.

Due to my illnesses, I lost hope in pursuing my dreams. My desire to take care of my parents and my brothers also became a burst bubble. Many career opportunities passed me by in front of my eyes. I dared not to accept any proposals that came my way.

In 1997, Falun Gong and Zhuan Falun were very popular at the local bookstores and book vendors. Since I had practiced many types of qigong and had learned that qigong was nothing more than just exercises for healing and fitness, I flipped through the books a few times but never bought them. One day I heard someone say that there was a Falun Gong class, so I went along. They were teaching the exercises when I got there. The practitioners who hosted the class introduced me to Falun Gong and Zhuan Falun and told me that I should read the books and study the Fa primarily. At the time, I had a very busy schedule and often had to work until 10 p.m., so I didn't watch the videos or learn the exercises at that time. I only brought the books home. I opened Zhuan Falun that night and started reading. As I read and read, I was completely engrossed. I only had one thought, “This is what I have been looking for all these years!” Through reading Zhuan Falun, I learned that people had done wrong in the past and acquired karma and that was what caused illnesses or tribulations. I learned that gong is acquired through cultivation, not obtained through practicing exercises. In order to get rid of illnesses and develop gong, one has to value virtue, cultivate xinxing (mind or heart nature; moral character), and be a good person. This is cultivation, while most qigong is only a low-level practice. All of a sudden I realized many, many truths about life. My seeking heart settled down and has not searched anywhere else since.

Before that I'd even told my wife that I wanted to go to a coastal city, find a stable job, and take her with me. I had always been looking for my life's destination. I eagerly read Zhuan Falun and sometimes tried to learn and practice the movements according to the book Falun Gong. I read the book until 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning every night and finished reading Zhuan Falun in less than a week. Without even knowing it, I became relaxed mentally, my thoughts cleared, my mind opened, my whole body was unblocked, and I was able to walk briskly. All my illnesses disappeared! When I used to play Chinese chess with others, I got stuck after just a few steps as if my thinking was blocked. If I read until 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning, I would be tired at work the next day. Now my entire body was light. After that, I took the time and went to three other classes where Teacher's Fa lecture videos were shown. Every time I was in the class, I felt really tired and sleepy after listening to only a few sentences. I couldn't stay awake and fell asleep. Yet I was always in such a state where I was never really in a deep sleep. I knew it was Teacher treating the illnesses in my brain. From then on, I started cultivation practice.

I began to practice Falun Gong in 1997 and soon my wife also started practicing. At that time, our daughter had just started kindergarten. She listened to us when we read Zhuan Falun every day and went to the practice site in the afternoon to watch us exercise. It has been 15 years, and the three of us have never gotten sick or taken any sick leave. Hospitals are foreign to us. During this time in my life, I was often treated to meals and drinks because of work. Drinking is not allowed in cultivation—“...drinking alcohol can make one irrational.” (Zhuan Falun) I thought, “Wouldn't it be great if my job didn't require drinking? That would save me a lot of trouble.” After a month, I was transferred to work in the office. I was very excited. I knew that Teacher had arranged this for me.

On July 20, 1999, Jiang Zemin and his followers launched the persecution of Falun Gong. All the media, including TV and newspapers, slandered and attacked Falun Gong. There were many lies fabricated, such as “hanging to death,” “cutting open the stomach,” and “self-immolation.” We all knew they were groundless rumors and attempts to frame Falun Gong and deceive the general public, because such things were the opposite of Dafa's requirements. Teacher asked us to strictly follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and our paths are the most righteous. After the persecution started, officers from the public security department and the 610 Office repeatedly harassed and persecuted us. My workplace was implicated and my superiors pressured me whenever there was a meeting. Even my family and relatives were pressured and thus became panic-stricken in front of us. Yet we never had doubts in our hearts. When a person has acquired the real Buddha Fa, realized the truth about life, and gone through many hardships and difficulties in life, what could possibly make him give it up?

Seeing My Smile, They Couldn't Cause Trouble Anymore

I started a new job, and most of the accountants, bookkeepers, and officials in the office and department at work were wives of government officials with status and social background. They didn't really see eye to eye and always competed with each other. They were all about big talk, sarcasm, and putting on airs. People who had to do business in that office all thought that the people there were not friendly, were difficult to talk to, and hard to work with. I often heard them quarreling with people who came to do business. It was difficult to do business planning and budget planning, as the boss had to beg them and he was often turned down. Others also picked up on their way of doing things and always negotiated, accepted work with conditions attached, and were picky about the work assigned to them.

After I started, a lot of assignments that no one else would accept, including the boss' operating expenses claims and reimbursements, were assigned to me. I went back and forth between the boss, accountants, bookkeepers, and other parties involved and tried to coordinate them. Because I had started practicing Falun Gong, I remembered Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance at all times and was strict with myself. I was not afraid of people who were unfriendly, difficult to talk to, or hard to work with. If someone said that my paperwork was not complete, I would go to the right person and make up what I was missing until it was fixed and that person was satisfied. It was just a couple more rounds of running back and forth. I always dealt with people cheerfully and never argued about anything. When I requested reimbursements, I never reported a false amount in order to get more money. Some receipts had whole numbers on them that was more than the actual amount spent; I always wrote the actual amounts on the receipts. People at my workplace really trusted me and they never had any doubt about any of my expenses. They all liked to ask me for help with important issues that involved cash. Slowly, conflicts between the co-workers disappeared and the working relationships evened out. One day, the wives were chatting in the courtyard and one of them said, “How did people here become so nice!” Only I knew the answer. I conducted myself and dealt with things according to the standards of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and was able to resolve any conflict. Dafa practitioners all have a very powerful, purely righteous, and benevolent energy field, and this field also rectifies everything around it.

I treated people who came to do business with sincerity and warmth, and tolerated their angry words. Whether or not things could be solved, I always explained things to them clearly. One day, a group of renters who rented the retail space at my workplace came together due to some problems regarding the building structure and rent. I paid attention and listened carefully to each one of them until they finished, then explained the situation to them. They later told others that they had been ready to cause some trouble at my workplace, yet when they saw my smile, they didn't cause trouble anymore.

After that, the issues and problems that had been put off and never gotten solved and the projects that no one else would take on were all given to me.

There was a construction project we worked on that had been completed for more than two years, but the account hadn't been closed. The contractor was an employee on leave without pay, and the technician didn't know how to do the budget and final account. There were many rumors among the employees, so other technicians didn't want to get involved or offend anybody. One day, at an all-employee conference, I was assigned to close that account. Someone was also assigned to help me. I asked the director in charge of construction and the technicians to provide the original acceptance record. Together, we went out to the field and confirmed all the records according to the building. In the end, I asked everybody to sign the paper. At the same time, I carefully researched the market prices of the materials at the time, studied the quota and selection, consulted technical authorities, and finally completed the account reasonably, equitably, and truthfully. All the supporting and verification documents of the project account were detailed and in evidence. The result was a huge difference compared to the contractor's account, but he didn't raise any objection. From the beginning to the end, there had been three all-employee conferences, and I explained to all the office employees the entire process of finalizing this account. Everybody was satisfied. In the following years, the county supervisory department and auditing department investigated and audited this project twice. Through examining the final account, they found no violation of the rules.

My company was in charge of managing a residential community. For a few years, we had problems collecting utility and waste management fees. Water and electricity were often cut off, the dumpsters were overflowing, and there was no place to dump trash. The boss at my company was often criticized by his superiors. I visited each residence and learned about their circumstances. I explained to them how the water and electricity meters worked, answered their questions, and solved their problems. I reestablished records for utility fees. I read the meters with the residents each time, made sure that we agreed on the numbers, and always provided receipts for the collected fees. I also listed the formula I used to calculate the fees, the standards, and the readings of the meters so the residents were clear on what was being charged. If there was nobody home during the day, then I went in the evenings, or if nobody was home during business hours, then I went after work. If nobody was home during the week, then I went on weekends or holidays. Thereafter, the water and electricity never got cut off because of unpaid fees. The people in the community were very respectful and grateful. A position to serve others and one that was considered a lower position compared to others became a position that was well respected. After the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started persecuting Falun Gong on July 20, 1999,

I have been illegally arrested, sent to a forced labor camp and persecuted. This work was not taken care of, and many projects became paralyzed. An official of the upper management team said that our company could be without the deputy director but not without so-and-so (me). After I was released from the forced labor camp, an employee from headquarters said, “After you were gone, it seemed like half of the sky had fallen at your branch.” My hard work was recognized by my superiors and fellow co-workers. Before the persecution started, I was named the “Advanced Worker” in the company every year.

Living in the Silt Without Being Stained

Since I worked on many projects at work, it was impossible to avoid attending and being treated to business meals with the boss. Corruption in mainland China had become the norm in people's minds. All business activities such as contracting projects, functions of government branches, management agencies exercising their normal duties, the public security and judicial organs hearing cases, the working relationships between workplaces, and economic exchanges with villages, townships, and local governments, all involve eating, drinking, and entertainment. A lot of work is accomplished at such occasions. And many of the hotels provide the entire series of services from eating and drinking, playing cards or mahjong, dancing, to lounging (prostitution).

One time, the construction contractor of the project that I was in charge of treated us to dinner when the bosses and I went to check on the progress of the project. After dinner and drinks, everybody went to the dance room. A few young girls came up and each grabbed one of us. I said to the girl that was approaching, “Sorry, I don't dance. I just want to be alone.” Before the song ended, the other five people in my group each went into a booth with a girl. After a while, they came out of the booths looking pale and disheveled. My boss knew how I conducted myself and that I practiced Falun Gong. He said, “People like you can't be found anymore. In our field, you won't succeed if you don't do this.” Indeed, the government officials, government staff, President of the Tribunal, judicial staff, business owners, officials of construction companies, even the village committee secretaries at the most basic level, and village directors that I associated with all participated in these despicable acts with no exception. I always went to the front lobby after we had done eating and discussing work. I always sighed at times like this, “It is frightening how much the human moral values in society have declined. It's lucky that I practice Falun Gong. Otherwise I might be just like them.” People who worked in my department knew that Falun Gong practitioners don't drink or smoke, and have nothing to do with the bad behaviors common in the society.

However, the CCP uses all types of evil methods and tries to force Falun Gong practitioners, people who follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, to “transform.” In the brainwashing centers set up by the CCP Political and Legal Affairs Committee and the 610 Office, they arranged four times as many guards as practitioners to “transform” us. People from the educational system were transferred to play videos that slandered Falun Gong and to preach heretical ideas to the practitioners. Police officers were transferred from the basic level police departments and often detained practitioners separately in dark rooms and used illegal interrogation methods to threaten and intimidate us. The officials of our workplaces and family members were forced to put even more pressure on us. The officials and officers from police stations, vice squad teams, and the 610 Office, regardless of rank, all came out fully armed to the brainwashing center in more than 10 police cars. They gathered all the illegally detained practitioners for the so-called “publicly announced forced labor” on-site meeting. They created an uproar. They hosted dance parties and ordered all the practitioners to dance. At dinner parties they enticed and tried to force practitioners to drink alcohol. The money spent was extorted from practitioners' employers and out of practitioners' salaries. Their criterion was that if a practitioner smoked and drank alcohol, then that meant he had “transformed.” How corrupt and evil is that? At the forced labor camp, the guards also said the same things—as long as a practitioner smoke and drank, he was considered “transformed.”

The brainwashing center was set up in a hotel. Young girls hung out, nagged, and flirted with the officials of the Political and Judiciary Committee, the 610 Office, and the police officers. During the latter period of the brainwashing session, everybody lived in a big dorm and all activities were open to the group. A few police officers played cards with the young girls from the hotel. While playing cards, one of the young officers in uniform held a girl tightly and rolled around on the ground. A lot of people turned around. It was such a disturbing sight! Late one night, a few gangsters came into the hotel and tried to extort money from the hotel owner. The owner whined, and his wife begged for almost two hours. Yet the officials of the 610 Office, police officers, and government officials who were just separated by a wall in the next room monitoring Falun Gong practitioners didn't dare to make a little bit of noise. Another night, at this brainwashing center that was closely monitored by numerous public security police officers, a thief came in and stole underwear from the female guards that were being line-dried outside. Despite the evil environment, Falun Gong practitioners adhered to their belief. A guard transferred from the government branch had to admit at last, “We're here to 'transform' you guys. In fact, we've almost been 'transformed' by you guys.”

Dafa Opened My Wisdom, and the Boss Said He Needed to Learn from Me

In recent years, my company has handled a lot of design projects with tight schedules. These projects involved many specialized fields of study such as irrigation, residential construction, and road construction. We often encountered new technical challenges. The technical staff normally would only do what they knew how to do and rejected the work that they didn't know how to do, or were not familiar with. This created a lot of pressure for the director of the company. I am a Falun Gong practitioner. I couldn't and wouldn't say “no,” because it was my responsibility to solve difficult technical problems. Whatever was assigned to me, I would quietly do my job with no attached conditions and would always finish my job perfectly and on time. That's how I became the technical leader, and whenever there was a complex design it was assigned to me. Even the writing of the official documents and reports became my responsibility. In order to complete the design assignments, I continued to learn and study technology of different fields, specifications, standards, budgeting methods, and relevant economic knowledge. I did a lot of research, and consulted with experienced technical staff with an open mind. In order to catch up with modern office technology, I familiarized myself with and learned to utilize computer software, computer graphics, and budgeting software. There wasn't enough time during the day, so I utilized my time after work, on weekends, and on holidays. I often worked all night in order to finish a project, yet never felt tired. I am a Falun Gong practitioner. I studied Zhuan Falun and did my exercises every day. I always felt very energetic and full of inspiration and wisdom in my studies, research, and design. To me, the only thing lacking is time.

When I ran into a difficult problem and it seemed that there was no solution, oftentimes I would get a phone call, run into someone, or figure out some other way that would lead me to the relevant technical materials, information, or the opportunity to learn the needed things from others. If someone asked me about the things that I knew, I would teach them everything without holding anything back. They all wondered how I could learn so much, knew everything, and there was no problem too difficult for me to solve. That's because I looked at everything I encountered at work as part of my cultivation. I had no consideration for fame or reward, no condition attached, and I always looked inward and examined myself for shortcomings when there was a conflict. Thus, many problems were solved easily. During this process, I often experienced for myself the wonderful feeling of “After passing the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!” (Zhuan Falun).

Since the CCP began to persecute Falun Gong in 1999 to the time I was persecuted at a forced labor camp, until now, a few former bosses were afraid to name me as the “Advanced Worker.” At our annual party at the end of the year which all the employees of the company attended, the current boss made toasts to everybody. Every time he saw me, he said, “I respect your faith. Keep up the good work!” On many occasions, he has praised me for my achievements. Since he's able to rightfully evaluate and regard my cultivation and work, and doesn't seem to fear the CCP as much as the previous bosses, he has positioned himself well. Thus, during his tenure, he has had very good luck. He has had many construction projects and they all went smoothly. Even when he ran into problems, he was able to quickly turn the situation around.

My efforts and my hard work were evident to everybody at work. One time, while reviewing technical personnel for the promotion of professional and technical titles, the manager in charge of the reviews said, “The technical staff who are sitting here should all learn from so-and-so (me). He doesn't accept any gifts (bribes). In order to insure the quality of the construction work, he could stand next to the mixer for three days, 24 hours a day, during the winter. Which one of you can do that? Some people turned to the contractor's side after only a few drinks with the boss of the construction company and didn't care about quality anymore. So-and-so (me) cranks out designs and plans, and which one of them isn't excellent? Every time I went to his branch, he's always busy writing and calculating and he is always the last one to leave. How many of you can be as patient as he?”

One year my company had a meeting to recognize excellent employees. A few officials from the company's upper management asked for me beforehand, and arranged for me to give a speech at the meeting representing all the “Advanced workers.” I hesitated a little, thinking, “I wouldn't want to give an elaborate speech full of “Party culture.” As if the officials read my mind, one of the deputy directors said, “It doesn't matter what your motivations are, as long as it serves the purpose of motivating the other employees!” So I said at the meeting, “This is what I ask of myself: to be a good employee at work, an excellent technical worker. Whatever is assigned to me by my superiors, I come up with a way to do a good job with no conditions attached. To be a good husband, a good father, and a good son at home. In society, to do well in all aspects and strive to be better. When interacting with co-workers, I learn from others, think of others, always look for my own shortcomings when there's a conflict, and treat others with compassion.” Several upper management officials highly praised me after my talk. A deputy director even said, “I truly admire So-and-so's state of mind. I feel that I need to learn from him in many areas. I can't even do as well as he does in many aspects.”

I didn't try to compete with others. I only followed Teacher's requirements for Falun Dafa practitioners, and tried to continuously improve myself, do well, and do better. All the practitioners that I know of, each does exactly the same in their own social environment and at their own jobs. I think it's because each practitioner has the responsibility to validate the Fa.

From the Call for Submissions to Commemorate the Twentieth Anniversary of Falun Dafa’s Introduction