I Began Practicing Falun Dafa in the USA
(Minghui.org) I was to be sent as a visiting scholar to the United Kingdom for three months in 1994. It should have been very easy to send me there, but I encountered many strange complications. For example, my application for public passport was sent to the office that handles private passports. During the immigration interview, the official claimed that I seemed to have the intention to immigrate. The staff at the Foreign Affairs Division told me that such things seldom happened. In the end, I was not able to go to the UK. One day in 1996, when I had all but given up thought of going abroad, an official from the Foreign Affairs Division suddenly came to me and told me to prepare to go to the United States. I didn't take it seriously, but one day a staff member from the Foreign Affairs Division sent me the visa and flight ticket. So, unexpectedly and smoothly, I arrived in Atlanta on September 22, 1996.
I stayed at the home of an American for the first ten days. On the tenth day, a friend of mine called and told me that her friend was going to leave her rented place. Her friend had rented it for a year, but now she had to leave after living there for just one month. She asked me to take a look at the place and see if I would like to rent it. I went there, and the home was clean and tidy. A Buddha's portrait hung on the wall of the living room. Later I learned that it was Master's portrait. An incense burner was placed on the table below the picture. The American who accompanied me there said, "This family believes in Buddha. The place looks nice and safe. You can live here." So I moved in the next day.
On October 2, the very first day after I moved in, the landlord gave me a copy of the book Zhuan Falun. I had been educated by the Chinese Communist Party and I had never believed in any god. I did not even believe in qigong. With a mindset of having a try, I read the first chapter of the book. Meanwhile, I also watched the first lecture of Master's Jinan lecture video series. I ended up watching all the videos and finishing the book in nine consecutive days. I felt it was a really good book. What I liked most and believed the most was the three characters, Zhen-Shan-Ren. I thought that if everyone followed these standards, the world would be different.
On October 11, 1996, just after I finished the book and videos, I heard that Master would be giving a lecture in Houston. Fellow practitioners in Atlanta rented eight cars and drove 13 hours to Houston overnight. At 10:00 a.m. the next day, we went to the conference room at the Chinese Culture and Education Center. Master came in at 12:30 p.m. I saw his solid form and compassionate face, in person. I felt in my heart that he was indeed a Buddha. It began with the Houston government officials presenting an honored citizen certificate to Master, after which Master gave a lecture and answered our questions. That day, while I listened to Master's lecture in person, I felt a very harmonious energy field. The practitioners listened to Master attentively, with great respect. Some questions that practitioners raised seemed apparent to me, and I felt the answers were already addressed in the book. But Master still patiently answered the questions, and brought out more principles from there. No questions were difficult for Master.
The Falun Dafa Association of Los Angeles organized Dafa disciples from New York, Boston, Washington DC, and two other regions to share experiences on October 13. I, as a new practitioner, came to understand many things about cultivation through this sharing. I was determined in my heart to discipline myself strictly with the standards of Dafa.
Master came to Atlanta several days later, on October 16, at 7:30 p.m. I knew Master would come that day, so I left school early, and headed to the Chinese Activity Center to listen to Master's lecture. I had just come to the U.S. and did not know how to get there. It was dark and no one was around, so I had no place to ask for directions. But I followed my inclination to go a certain direction. As a result, I did not take any detours at all, and went straight to the center, where practitioners were setting up the conference room. One practitioner brought a chair for Master from home. I later learned that it was the chair that I sat on at the practitioner's home. We sat on chairs too, but then we didn't want to be at the same height as Master, so we moved the chairs, and all sat on the floor. Master talked for over two hours. I was so excited, but afterward I could not remember what Master had talked about. After the lecture, many practitioners surrounded Master, requesting signatures and posing for photos with him. I remembered issues about signatures in Master's lectures, so although I had brought the book with me, and especially wanted to get Master's signature, I held back. I knew it was an attachment.
After coming out of the center, we surrounded Master to shake hands. I also stuck out my hand. One young man said, "So attached." I immediately withdrew my hand. So I did not shake hands with Master. I felt so regretful after coming back. I learned from fellow practitioners that Master had a meal with them before the lecture. They asked what Master would like to eat, Master said that anything was fine, just be simple. Master even ate the bun that a practitioner didn't finish and had left on the table.
Master came to outside of the building where I rented at 2:10 p.m. on October 17, ready to go to the airport and take a flight to New York. I went downstairs to see him off. My face blushed and I said, "Others shook hands with you yesterday, I also wanted to, but was afraid it was an attachment, so I did not shake hands with you. I regretted it all evening. Today you came, and I still wanted to shake hands with you." Master smiled and stuck out his hand through the car window, nodding his head and said, "Sure, sure, let's shake hands." I shook Master's hand, big and soft, and my heart beat fast. Master asked, "Are you going to the airport with us?" I felt so excited and did not know what to say. I said incoherently, "I won't go. I have already delayed you. I wish you a safe trip."
Master's car started driving away, and after it had gone over 10 meters, Master was still waving at me. I stood still for quite a while, watching the car going away, and my face got flushed. After I returned to my room on the second floor, my heart was still beating fast. Thinking of my wishing Master a safe trip, I felt embarrassed, "Master is a Buddha, does he need me to wish him a safe trip? He will be safe for sure, and nobody could harm him."
Upon learning that Master would give a lecture in New York, several of us decided at midnight to go to New York the next day. We drove to New York on the morning of October 18. It was raining hard on the way. But thinking about meeting Master soon, we were single-minded and just hoped to arrive early.
Master came to the conference room of the Chinese Students Activities Center at 1:15 p.m. the next day. Before the lecture, many asked to take pictures with him. Master said, "I will set aside some time to take photos with practitioners from different regions." We applauded. The room was packed with people, with some even standing in the aisle. It was probably over 1,000 people.
After the meeting, the organizer arranged for practitioners from different regions to go to the platform and pose for photos with Master. When it was the time for practitioners from Atlanta, over ten people went to the platform. A female practitioner could not stop shedding tears. She said, "I can't hold my tears back when I see Master. I cannot be in the photo." Then she covered her face and got off the platform. A few days earlier, I heard a practitioner saying that wanting to be in a photo with Master was also an attachment. I was a new practitioner. I wanted to be in the photo, but at the same time I was afraid it was an attachment. In the end, I couldn't help but stand near Master. Then I thought, "I am a new practitioner, so I should not take a good spot." I then stepped backward, and let veteran practitioners move forward a bit. I heard from others that Master did not have any food since 6:00 a.m. until he finished giving a lecture and taking photos with practitioners, when he had a bowl of noodle soup.
Reflecting on how I obtained Dafa, I can see that Master arranged it step by step. I grew up in a culture of communism and I did not believe in anything. It would have been impossible for me to obtain Dafa if I were in China. In the U.S., all I came across were steadfast Dafa disciples with PhD and Masters degrees. They explained the miraculous and profound nature of Dafa from a scientific angle. I saw so many scholars learning Falun Dafa, and what they explained made so much sense. I also felt their sincerity, compassion, and tolerance. I therefore believed that this Fa was the truth of the universe. If people all studied Dafa, their moral standards would elevate. I was determined to study the Fa, and practice cultivation in the Fa.
During those several months in U.S., other than taking care of my regular work and studies, I concentrated on studying the Fa, doing the exercises, and sharing experiences with fellow practitioners. During this period, I treated Dafa as the most important thing, and in my mind it was the only thing. I couldn't wait to tell my friends and family in China about this wonderful Dafa. So a week before my original return date, I changed my flight and returned to China early.
My landlord wrote to me later and told me that shortly after I went back to China, Master went to their home. When he saw my photo, Master said, "She came to the U.S. just to obtain Dafa."