(Minghui.org) Looking back over the past 16 years, practicing Falun Dafa has helped me change from a hot-tempered woman into a virtuous daughter-in-law. At the same time, facing the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) persecution has tempered me into a steadfast practitioner with unshakable faith.

Looking after My Mother-In-Law

I was once extremely stubborn. There was no room for discussion with me. The relationship with my mother-in-law was strained, and we often argued over minor things, disrupting the peace in our family.

After I started to practice Falun Dafa in 1998, I constantly reminded myself to be a good person at home and in society, eventually becoming a virtuous daughter-in-law.

I have three children. When my mother-in-law got sick, we had to watch our pennies. When we had to pay for her medical care, I would remind myself of what Master' said:

“Under all circumstances, we must be good and kind to others, not to mention to our family members. We should treat everyone in the same way. We must be good to our parents and children and be considerate of others in all respects. Such a heart is thus unselfish, and it is a heart of kindness and benevolence.” (“Lecture Six” in Zhuan Falun)

Thinking back at the fights I had with my mother-in-law, I could only blame myself. Now that she was ill, as her daughter-in-law, it was my duty to look after her, as well as care for my children. No matter how tired or busy I was, I didn't complain. When it came to paying her medical bills, I took on the largest ones, not quarreling with my brother, sister-in-law, or my father's sister about who paid how much.

Not long after, my mother-in-law passed away. The condolence money given at the funeral amounted to 17,000 yuan. My sister-in-law said that she'd keep 10,000 and give me 7,000. I didn't argue. I also told her to keep the 5,000 yuan in savings left behind by my mother-in-law.

My husband complained that I was too easygoing, so I told him, “I am a practitioner who does what Master asks of me.” My husband didn't understand and said I was silly. I let his comment slide.

Facing Torture, I Did Not Fear Death

After July 20, 1999, Jiang Zemin used his authority to direct the entire nation to persecute Falun Dafa. Propaganda was broadcast on TV every day, demonizing the practice.

Other practitioners and I went to Beijing at the end of 1999 to appeal for the right to practice. We hung up a banner in Tiananmen Square seeking justice and to clear Master's name. We were taken into custody and returned to our local detention center. My boss was furious and fired me.

No matter what the detention center guards ordered or threatened me with, they couldn't shake my faith in Dafa. My answer was the same every time: “Where else could I find such a good Fa? I have to practice it to the end.”

My husband thought I embarrassed him. He took me home, questioned me, and demanded an explanation. I didn't give in. He said I was too stubborn and sent me back to my mother's. I was locked in a room in my younger sister's house, because they feared that I would go back to Beijing to protest again.

The persecution affected my husband's family, my parents, and the people where I worked. My parents pressured me: “If you just write a letter to the police department promising to give up Falun Dafa, then they won't investigate any further. You have implicated a dozen of us in the family.”

I told my parents, “You have always taught me to be a good person since I was young. My master is teaching us to be good. Which law does that break?” Seeing some sense in what I said, my parents left me alone.

In 2002 I was arrested with many other practitioners and taken to a detention center. They wanted us to tell them the names and activities of other practitioners, but we didn't.

Several of us were taken to a house in the middle of the forest, far from the city. They shackled our hands and feet, forced our heads down between our legs and used thick, heavy rods to hold our arms and legs together. An officer kept time on a watch. After 10 minutes they untied us. If we weren't untied at that time, we would probably have suffocated.

Many people were tortured this way to extract confessions from them. But we were Dafa practitioners. We were protected by Master--nothing would happen to us! We told the police, “Tormenting good people goes against Heaven. Heaven will punish you for it!”

We were deprived of sleep and tortured for 24 hours, but we didn’t succumb to their demands.

Back at the detention center, we recited Master's teachings and did the exercises as though nothing had changed. We also told the inmates in the same cell about the goodness of Dafa, exposing the CCP's trickery and deceit. We told them the facts about Falun Dafa and the persecution.

The inmates were very moved when they saw what we practitioners did and how we behaved. An inmate charged with murder cried, regretting her behavior, and said “If I knew there was such a wonderful thing as Falun Dafa and had practiced it, I wouldn't have killed anyone.”

When several practitioners and I went on a hunger strike, the guards had six of us taken to a forced labor camp. We sent forth righteous thoughts as a group to eliminate the old forces' interference.

As a result, when we were examined, every one of us had symptoms of sickness. Some of us appeared to have high blood pressure; others started having nose bleeds right there and then. The electrocardiograph (ECG) showed that I had severe heart disease, which needed immediate medical attention. The authorities at the labor camp wouldn't accept us and took us back to the detention center that same night.

This time we all experienced what Master said:

“When disciples have ample righteous thoughtsMaster has the power to turn back the tide”(“The Master-Disciple Bond” in Hong Yin Vol. II)

I warned the guards at the detention center, “If you keep on torturing people like this, you may kill them and end up being charged with murder.”

They couldn't get me to renounce my belief, so they told my family to take me home on medical parole.

Later, I slacked off in studying the Fa. I didn't keep up with my cultivation and only focused on letting people know about the persecution. Because of this, when I was clarifying the facts face to face, I was reported to the authorities.

Police cars swarmed down my street. A dozen officers blocked off the road. A few of them stormed into my house and tried to drag me into the car.

I had only one thought in mind: They'll have to take me over my dead body. When that thought crossed my mind, I dizzy and collapsed on the floor, unconscious. My daughter saw me on the floor and took issue with the police: “What did my mother do wrong? Who's going to be responsible for her when she's like this?!” The police panicked and drove away. Master had once again helped me escape danger.

A Happy Family

Because I was persecuted so many times in the first few years, my family was against my practicing Falun Dafa. My husband knew that Dafa had changed me into a better person. However, he was very practical and feared what he perceived to be the reality of the situation: Nothing good would come of going against the Communist Party. He watched me closely, not allowing me to contact other practitioners or to casually walk out the door. This caused tension in the family.

My husband had become addicted to alcohol in the past few years. His had a wild temper, and when he saw me, it would flare up. Sometimes the fights got physical.

One time he pointed his finger in my face and said, “You selfish person. Look around you. You've messed up the family, making everyone feel on edge. Do you think they can handle it? Aren't you supposed to be a practitioner? Aren't you bringing shame to your master?”

His words were like a slap across my face: Wasn't this Master using my husband's words to enlighten me? I hadn't properly studied the Fa in such a long time and had lost contact with fellow practitioners. I hadn't measured myself with the standard of the Fa, and many things had fallen by the wayside. And I thought I was fearless.

Guided by Master a fellow practitioner said to me, “You can't just do Dafa work and not study the Fa. To not follow the standard of the Fa is to walk the path paved by the old forces. You should join a Fa study group. Do what Master said--self cultivation is the first step.” A copy of Essentials For Further Advancement and some of Master's recent teachings were sent to me. For me at that time, it was like the long awaited rain after a drought.

When my husband was sleeping soundly, I hid in another room, covered the light, and studied the Fa.

Master's words were like a hammer hitting my heart:

“For a Dafa disciple, cultivation is first priority. That’s because if you fail to cultivate well, you will not be able to accomplish what you are to do; and if you fail to cultivate well, your power to save sentient beings will not be that great. And if you cultivate a little worse, then you will view and consider problems in the manner that ordinary people do, which would be still more awful.” (“Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa - Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference”)

Had I really cultivated myself? Did I look inward and not just point the finger at others? Was I validating the Fa or myself? The string of questions I directed at myself didn't suggest any answers at the time.

Once at a group sharing, Master again enlightened me through a fellow practitioner's words and cleared my confusion: "To cultivate yourself well, you must change the way you perceive things." I realized that I had to persevere in changing the unhealthy cultivation environment at home into a better one, and that I had to do the three things with reason, wisdom, and steadfastness to immerse myself in the Fa.

The more I studied the Fa in depth, the lighter my heart felt. Influenced by the Communist Party's culture, I thought that the persecution was directed by people against people. This made me do things with strong feelings of resentment and an aggressive attitude. Not only did I fail to save people, but I even made things worse.

I started to rectify my every word and action. I managed not to retaliate when my husband treated me poorly. I cared for him and looked after him, showing him a Dafa practitioner's compassion and kindness. I only had one thought in my mind: "Since we are bound by fate, then you must be here for the Fa, and I must be here to save you."

My actions moved him, and one time he spoke from his heart: “I know you are all good people. I'm your husband; how can I not see that? You have even warmed my heart of stone. It's just that the Communist Party is so vile. When has it ever been merciful to anyone? I know you practitioners encourage people to quit the CCP out of the goodness of your heart. You can help me withdraw from it, too.”

My husband's change in attitude brought, without a doubt, sunshine and happiness to our family. The whole family changed their attitude towards me and Dafa too, without my saying a thing. My sister-in-law would tell the people she met that Falun Dafa was good and also helped me persuade people to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations.

My sister's husband was once a CCP member. When urged to quit, he wouldn't listen and had things of his own to say. However, when my husband quit, my sister's husband didn't gripe and also quit. My niece teaches at a university, and when she came to visit during the New Year, she quit. I knew that this was the power of Dafa, that this was Master's work.

My family's fortunes have even improved. My husband's previous employer refused to pay his wages, but that has now been resolved. The small shop that our son opened is doing very well. Our family is happy. I know that this came about because Master created a stable cultivation environment for me.

When I asked people to quit the CCP in the past, I was elated when many did. However, when few people or no one quit, I got depressed.

Now I cultivate myself while helping people to quit, linking both together. When I am unsuccessful, I search within myself and look to see where I've fallen short. When I'm helping others to quit, I continually strive to get rid of selfish attachments, such as fear and dread that I'll lose face.

The result is that I have cultivated in myself a compassionate heart. I now see that so many people who've been deceived by the CCP and are still not unaware of it are suffering, teetering in such a dangerous situation.

I have generated and maintained the compassion that saves people, doing the three things with more focus and patience.

I now understand a concept: If we act as a practitioner from start to finish, doing everything Master requires us to do, then we are walking on the road that he has already paved for us.