A Kid Who Gave Up in 1999 Returns to Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) I have wanted to write this article for a long time. I recently read an article written by a practitioner who started practicing at the age of 11 in 1995, gave up in 1999 due to her father's opposition, and started again in 2007. I decided to share my own story in hopes of encouraging more kids to return to Falun Gong.
Falun Gong Turned Me into a Good Kid
I was born into a destitute family. My mom was constantly ill, so my dad had to take care of the family. My dad had to get up early every day to make us breakfast before he left for work. When he got home, he had to make dinner. Our home was fully stocked with Western and Chinese medicine for my mom. My older sister and I lived with our maternal grandmother because of my mom's health.
After he started practicing Falun Gong in 1998, my uncle introduced Falun Gong to his wife, my mom, my aunts, and my grandparents on both sides. My mother got her health back once she started practicing Falun Gong.
When I first started practicing Falun Gong, I often placed my stereo by an open window because I wanted my neighbors to be able to hear Teacher's lectures. I used to be a mischievous boy. I often beat up on other kids until they cried. I stole things. I pulled seedlings from people's paddies. I didn't know why I got rushes from doing mischievous things. In the end the villagers told their kids to stop playing with me. My parents got a lot of complaints for the trouble I made, but no punishment could change my behavior. My mischievousness ended when I started practicing Falun Gong. Nearly every villager noticed my improvement. They kept praising me when they saw my parents.
I Was Lost Once I Gave up Falun Gong
When China began to suppress Falun Gong in July 1999, my mother and some relatives went up to Beijing to exercise their constitutional right to appeal for Falun Gong and their right to a spiritual belief, but the police intercepted them. When the Chinese regime's media began to run propaganda to instigate people's hatred towards Falun Gong, we faced even more pressure. We succumbed to the pressure and gave up practicing Falun Gong.
Once I stopped practicing Falun Gong, I began to act like an ordinary person. I thought about the meaning of life. I thought we lived just for ourselves. When I started junior high, I decided that we would live for love.
My mom and my relatives started practicing Falun Gong again by 2005. I had already learned the truth about the lies in the Chinese regime's hate propaganda against Falun Gong, so I began to explain to my friends that the staged self-immolation act was a hoax to instigate people's hatred towards Falun Gong, and it was staged in an attempt to justify the Chinese regime's persecution of Falun Gong. I also tried to persuade my friends to quit the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) student organizations.
I knew then that we live to return to our true, innocent selves, but I was already lost in the secular world. I sometimes practiced the exercises with Mom, but it never lasted more than a few days.
I became completely estranged from Falun Gong when I left home for college. After I finished college and started working, I would only come home once a year for the Chinese New Year. (Chinese New Year is the biggest family holiday in the year for Chinese people. It is comparable to Thanksgiving and Christmas in the United States.) Mom would always talk to me about cultivation. Each time I read Falun Gong books, I pondered whether I should practice Falun Gong or not. There were so many things I did not want to let go of. I found it hard to even give up smoking. I was very much in love. It was a stupid idea in hindsight, but I thought it would be wonderful if I could cultivate with my girlfriend or my wife when the Fa-rectification reaches the human realm.
I started using software in 2011 to bypass China's firewall. I read Teacher's books and articles every day, as well as other Falun Gong practitioners' articles. It became increasingly clear to me what I must do as a Falun Gong practitioner to save people from the CCP's lies. I have also seen through the nature of society after a few years of work experience. I began to relate to what Teacher said about secular society in the lectures.
Starting All Over Again
I finally resolved to practice Falun Gong again on November 15, 2012. I would spend at least eight hours a day studying Falun Gong books and reading other practitioners' articles. It took me 10 months to finish studying all of Teacher's books and articles. I knew then that I had missed a lot of opportunities. I was ashamed that I had not stepped forward when Falun Gong was slandered and other practitioners were persecuted for their faith in Falun Gong. Why did it take me so long to realize that? I had been astray for far too long. I had nearly missed the precious opportunity to practice Falun Gong for the sake of my career, love, and money. Fortunately I realized that they were transient and returned to Falun Gong in time.
I quit smoking and drinking when I started practicing Falun Gong again. I had thought it would be difficult to quit, but it was completely effortless once I resolved to practice. I used to ask merchants to write more than I spent on the receipts when I went on business trips so that I would be reimbursed more. Now I would never cheat like that again. I deleted all the games and secular music from my computer and mobile phone. I have also stopped watching TV as much. I don't claim the free prize just by buying a beverage, because I don't think I have done anything to earn it. I try to follow Falun Gong's teachings in every aspect of my life.
“Let each and every thing be measured against the Fa. Only then, with that, is it actually cultivation.” (“Solid Cultivation” from Hong Yin)
When I went home for the 2013 Chinese New Year, my mom and my relatives were all very glad to hear that I had started practicing Falun Gong again.
My father has never practiced Falun Gong, but he knows that Falun Gong is good. He didn't believe it when I first told him I had quit smoking and drinking. He was very impressed. He once told me, “Of anyone, you're the one who really needs to practice Falun Gong.” I used to be very rebellious, and my dad thought only Falun Gong could steer me in the right direction.
When I chatted with a cousin, she wept with joy to know that I had started practicing Falun Gong again. She, my sister, and I were kids when the Chinese Communist regime began to persecute Falun Gong, but they have not returned to the practice. I saw myself in them. Sometimes my sister and my cousin would practice the exercises and study Falun Gong books with their moms, but they are not really cultivating. While I am feeling anxious for them, I am glad that another cousin has started practicing Falun Gong again.
I met with friends and old school friends during the Chinese New Year holidays. Each person that I clarified the truth to has quit the CCP and/or its two student organizations. On the other hand, I was unable to bring myself to clarify the truth to many of my other friends. I feel that I haven't been living up to the title of a Falun Gong practitioner. I feel I have failed them and fallen short of Teacher's expectations of me. I slackened off in doing the exercises for a few days after I got back from the Chinese New Year holiday vacation. I then dreamed of Teacher giving a lecture. Teacher told me after the lecture that I was not cultivating diligently. I felt so terrible about myself. I said, “Teacher! I am sorry!” Teacher told me, “You have eliminated some of your attachments.” I replied, “I promise I will be more diligent.” I would like to take this opportunity to promise our magnificent and compassionate Teacher that I shall be more diligent in my cultivation and become a worthy Falun Gong practitioner.
Some Thoughts about My Second Chance
I used to think it was impossible for me to cultivate because I had too many attachments that I was unwilling to let go of. But once I made up my mind to cultivate, I found it was not as difficult to let go of my attachments as I had feared. Take drinking as an example. How can a man not drink if he wants to be social? But I found it very easy to quit drinking once I started practicing Falun Gong. Take another example. I once hesitated a lot before I clarified the truth about Falun Gong to a work colleague. Once I made up my mind to save him from the CCP's lies, all the concerns and worries went away. It is exactly like what Teacher said:
“At times when your human attachments are severe and there is interference from evil and bad factors, however, it will instead be the case that when you get stronger it becomes weaker, and when you get weaker it becomes stronger.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference ”)
I also found it very important to study the teachings a lot. Even if you have not completely returned to Falun Gong, you must study Teacher's lectures and other practitioners' articles about their cultivation insights.
“The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa can shatter all lies, and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts.” (“Drive Out Interference” from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
Only Teacher's words can show us the path while we are cultivating in the maze that is the human realm.
I would like to suggest that those practitioners who are parents guide their kids in their cultivation. Try not to be too emotionally attached as parents. Try to be a fellow practitioner and find out the problems your kids are facing. Try to have your kids read more of Teacher's lectures after 1999.
I would like to urge those kids who have gone astray to return to Falun Gong quickly. You will never have another opportunity if you should miss out on Falun Gong.
“Whoever misses out on this historic opportunity, whoever misses out on this chance, when you realize what you've missed out on you won't even want to live even if you are allowed to!” (“Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference”)
“Indeed, do you realize something? You are Dafa disciples, and countless beings above, beings simply limitless in number, envy you. If today I were to offer any high-level god, no matter his greatness, the chance to come and be a Dafa disciple, he would leap at the opportunity in a split second—the instant my words reached him he would come. He would be simply elated, for everyone who is aware knows that this way he could not only save himself, but also the countless sentient beings of his world. That is simply the most extraordinary thing in the future cosmos. (Applause) But that’s not feasible. Dafa disciples have established the requisite mighty virtue over the course of their reincarnations in this world throughout history. In the beginning, many people came to Dafa disciples’ practice sites. But nobody knew who some of them were, as they’d be gone in the blink of an eye after the exercises were over. Many a god truly wants to be a Dafa disciple, but cannot.” (“What is a Dafa Disciple”)
I sometimes feel really sorry for those people who are busy with their lives. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to practice Falun Gong. Do not lose the opportunity of cultivation simply because it seemed easy for you to find Falun Gong.
Those kids who once practiced Falun Gong before 1999 are now young men and women in their 20s. I think that I was eager to see progress - so eager that I would feel frustrated or give up altogether if I failed to meet my goal in cultivation.
“But right now we can’t tell you to all of a sudden let go of everything—if you were to let go of everything, you’d become a Buddha today.” (“Teaching the Fa and Answering Questions in Zhengzhou” in Zhuan Falun Fajie - The Law of Zhuan Falun Explained)
“It's not a big deal if you haven't done well. Just do things well next time and try to find out where the problem was. There's a prominent phenomenon in you folks' cultivation, which is, after you haven't done something well, you're only overwhelmed with regret, and you don't do it over. If you regret it too much then that's another attachment. Once you've done something wrong, seen where it was wrong, and recognized it, then do it well next time, do it over. If you trip and fall, and just keep lying there instead of getting up, (audience laughs) then that's no good.” (“Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference”)
I would like to urge those kids who have given up Falun Gong to return to Falun Gong! Teacher and fellow practitioners await you!
My understanding is limited to my present level of cultivation. Please kindly point out anything inappropriate you may find.