Maturing on the Path of Cultivation with Teacher's Help
(Minghui.org) I had always been a mellow, shy, and timid person. Before I started practicing Falun Gong, I would admit I was in the wrong and apologize to end a dispute, even if it was not my fault. When I first started practicing Falun Gong in 1998, I even had other practitioners walk me home after each group exercise practice because I was afraid of the dark. But I started walking home by myself a week later because I was no longer afraid of the dark.
I knew it was Teacher that had given me courage. He has also bestowed wisdom upon me so that I can keep calm and act sensibly in a crisis. Even my husband says I have become very eloquent. I, too, have felt my transformation. Teacher has given me so much that I could practically write a book about it.
My Uncompromising Faith in Falun Gong
I had been practicing Falun Gong for only a year before the Chinese Communist regime started persecuting Falun Gong in 1999. Millions of Falun Gong publications were destroyed and volunteer assistants that taught the exercises in public were arrested. State-run media began to broadcast false reports about Falun Gong around the clock to instigate hatred toward Falun Gong among the populace, and to also justify its policy on Falun Gong.
As someone who actually practiced Falun Gong and studied its teachings, I knew that all the claims the Chinese regime and its media were making about Falun Gong were lies. There had to be a misunderstanding, I thought. I thought the Chinese regime would reverse its decision once they knew the truth, so I went to the city officials and decided to share what I knew about Falun Gong with local officials.
Other practitioners and I went to the city government together on July 20, 1999, but they said they were waiting for Beijing to tell them what to do with the practitioners who had been arrested. We decided to go to Beijing the next day and appeal to the State Appeals Office as is our constitutional right. However, the office had become a trap for practitioners. The police would ask people approaching the office if they were Falun Gong practitioners. Of course we said yes because we were taught by Falun Gong to always be truthful. We were put into a police car and then taken to a detention center before we were transferred back home. I never even made it to the State Appeals Office.
After the arrest, my husband was afraid for my safety. He hid all of my Falun Gong books in an attempt to protect me. When I demanded my books back, he said he had burned them all. I was skeptical. I kept asking him for my books, but he refused to give them back. He made my favorite dishes in an attempt to satisfy me, but I refused to eat. I said in tears, “I will not eat one bite until you give me my Falun Gong books back.” He gave in and returned my books.
The local authorities sent someone to my home in 2002 to get me to renounce Falun Gong in writing. I refused. My husband wrote one on my behalf, but I grabbed it and tore it up. “It is a bad thing for you to do,” I told him.
Next the representative offered to write one on my behalf because he thought it was just a little, harmless lie. But I told him, “It is a bad thing for you to do, too.” He considered. “We will talk about it another day,” he said.
He never bothered me again.
I was arrested in 2003 for handing out information about Falun Gong. The police handcuffed me behind my back. I had a pager in my pocket with other practitioners' phone numbers on it. The police mustn't see it. I begged Teacher to help me reach the pager and crush it while still handcuffed, which I succeeded in doing.
My face was a mess and I was covered with injuries after a day of police "interrogation," but I did not tell them where I got the materials. I did not betray any practitioner. I managed to protect the one and only place where we produced the materials in our rural area.
I was sentenced to three years of forced labor. Two years later, I was given an additional four months in the camp because I refused to renounce Falun Gong, but I am proud that I didn't compromise my faith.
Producing Truth-Clarification Materials in Our Rural Area
When the persecution of Falun Gong in China peaked in 2002, I left home and went into hiding to avoid further persecution. After all the local practitioners were arrested for producing truth-clarification materials about Falun Gong, no one in the area had anything to distribute to people who wanted to know the truth about Falun Gong. There were several hundred practitioners in our area. No one was able to obtain Teacher's new articles from the Minghui website, either. We were all feeling very anxious.
I remembered another practitioner who worked in the capital city of our province. Maybe I could get in touch with practitioners in the big city through her and get materials from the practitioners there.
Before I left for the capital, another practitioner asked, “Have you even been to a big city before?”
I admitted I hadn't, so the practitioner asked, “Can you find your way around by yourself? Do you want me to go with you?”
“I'll be fine. Teacher is watching over me,” I said.
I indeed made it to the big city and found the practitioner I was looking for without any problem. I arranged to pick up materials from the city every week. I usually left in the evening and returned the next day. Initially, other practitioners would see me off and pick me up, but I started traveling independently after a few trips.
I tried to do everything on my own unless I absolutely needed help. It was safer that way. If I should get arrested, it would just be me. I would bring back 80-100 lbs of materials every week. It was amazing that a petite woman like myself was able to carry so much weight. I know Teacher must have helped me.
I used to be very shy and timid. I used to panic easily in any situation or crisis. It was incredible that I had cultivated myself to be brave enough to do this.
I could feel Teacher was right next to us, watching over us at all times. Another practitioner and I were on a bus from the city during the 2003 SARS outbreak when two police officers got on the bus and started searching everyone's belongings. We had a mini printer with us. The practitioner I was with was a little nervous because a mini printer was not something a farmer would normally possess. I said, “Let's send forth righteous thoughts. Teacher will help us. Teacher will stop them from searching our luggage.” The two officers stopped the search right before our seats and got off the bus. We were very thankful for Teacher's help.
With help from practitioners in the city, we started printing materials on our own. I volunteered to bring office supplies from the city every week. I had to bring three boxes of paper back each time. I would carry one box on my back and one in each hand. I often ended up getting bruises and blisters on my hands, but it was all worth it to know local practitioners would use them to spread the truth about Falun Gong. It is every practitioner's dream to be able to help with this cause. I have found great joy in the hardship.
It is Teacher that has given me the wisdom and strength to help establish a truth-clarification material production site despite the regime's constant threats and danger.
Reaping the Reward of Kindness
I was away from home for five years, including time in the camp and in hiding. When I finally returned home, I found my home in need of all kinds of repair. Even part of the roof was gone. It was a terrible sight. My mother-in-law had taken away everything of any value. Villagers told me my house was no longer habitable and suggested I find another place to live.
My husband had wasted his life away while I was gone. He numbed his senses with drinking, gambling and other vices. Our beautiful home was in ruins after five years of neglect.
I was heartbroken.
To make matters worse, my mother-in-law and my brother-in-law (my husband's older brother) took our harvest for the year and left us with nothing. In fact, my mother-in-law had occupied our paddies for five years. She also incurred 4,000 yuan in debt, which she asked us to pay.
I remained unmoved as a cultivator. I repaired my home with the help of other practitioners and relatives.
My mother-in-law, however, gave me additional tests.
She wanted a pair of canvas shoes another practitioner had bought me, so I gave them to her.
She wanted the pork ribs that another practitioner gave me to build up my strength, so I gave half of them to her.
She wanted the soybean oil another practitioner gave me, so I gave her half the barrel.
She had looked after my child while I was away for five years, and it was not easy for her. I really appreciate her help, so I obliged her in every way I could.
My husband was moved to tears to see that I had no resentment toward him or his mother. He quickly found a job in the city to provide for the family. After my husband left for the city, there was no one to help my mother-in-law harvest the corn, so I helped despite my petite size. My mother-in-law was very moved. She then spoke very highly of me to everyone in our village.
She enjoys listening to stories about Falun Gong practitioners. I have given her a Falun Gong amulet.
One day she accidentally fell off the roof, but she was unscathed. She told me excitedly that the founder of Falun Gong must have saved her life. When she goes to farmers' wholesale markets, she tells her friends how wonderful Falun Gong is. I once saw her showing off the Falun Gong amulet I had given her. When she noticed a friend looking at the amulet with envy, she gave it to her with pride and assured her friend that she would get another one from me. Her friend was very happy. After my husband was away, she said to me, “You are the only one I can count on now. You take better care of me than my own daughter.”
In the past few years, both my husband and my son found jobs in the city while I tended to the paddies at home. Our financial situation is getting better every year. My son is now married with a child and a good income. We have also built a new home.
It is exactly like Teacher said,
“[...] with one person practicing, the whole family benefits” (“Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference in Australia”)
Overcoming Fear of Arrest
I took every opportunity that I got to share with people the truth about Falun Gong, but I was somewhat afraid of being arrested again. One day Teacher arranged an opportunity for me to overcome my fear.
I clarified the truth about Falun Gong to a middle-aged woman sitting next to me while I was on a bus to my parents' home. The bus driver must have heard our conversation because I was sitting near him.
“You practice Falun Gong?!” he said out loud.
Everyone on the bus turned their attention to me. I immediately realized that it was the time for me to eliminate my attachment to fear.
“Yes, I am.” I replied.
Since I already had everyone's attention, I thought I might as well give a speech.
“People in over 100 different countries practice Falun Gong. China is the only country in the world that persecutes Falun Gong. Do you think that's right?”
“But you mustn't practice it if the government forbids you to,” he interrupted.
“What the government advocates may not be good. What the government opposes may not be bad. China is fraught with problems such as prostitution, drug abuse, corruption, gambling, and other vices. Falun Gong practitioners conduct themselves based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. We don't embezzle. We don't steal taxpayers' money. We don't hire prostitutes or gamble. We don't curse or use violence. We look within ourselves when we face conflicts. We are the moral fiber of the society.”
“Fine if you want to practice Falun Gong. But why do you have to tell people that Heaven will destroy the Chinese Communist Party? It has become a political movement,” the driver interrupted again.
“What kind of fate do you think awaits the Communist Party after all the bad things it has done to the Chinese people? Since its inception, the Communist Party has killed at least 80 million of us. It slaughtered the land owners and took their land. How many Chinese has it killed in Three-anti and Five-anti Campaigns, the Great Leap Forward, the Great Famine, the Great Cultural Revolution, and the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989? It has never stopped killing. It is now killing Chinese people who practice Falun Gong.”
“Isn't the Communist Party leaving Falun Gong practitioners alone these days? Isn't it just locking practitioners up for re-education?” he inquired.
“That is a lie. It has killed at least 3,000 Falun Gong practitioners.”
He was not convinced. “Have you seen anyone killed for practicing Falun Gong?” he wanted to know.
“I have.” I told them how two female practitioners died of torture injuries before my eyes in the forced labor camp. He finally accepted the truth.
I told him another story.
“When I was arrested in 2003, a police officer took 700 yuan cash from my pocket. When I asked him to give the money back, he put the money in his own pocket right before my eyes and told me he had taken nothing. A police officer is supposed to protect our personal belongings, but he stole my money like a bandit. He was doing it while executing the Chinese Communist Party's policy on Falun Gong. Don't his actions say a lot about the nature of the Communist Party?”
A middle-aged woman kept holding my hands while I was speaking to show her support. I felt Teacher was sending me strength through this woman. She wanted to quit the Communist Party's student groups that she was once a member of after she heard the stories about the Party's wrongdoings.
“When will we be able to see each other again?” she asked.
“Destiny will bring us together again,” I replied.
I feel truly honored to be Teacher's disciple.
Thank you, Teacher.