I Learned Falun Dafa In a Forced Labor Camp
(Minghui.org) Before I started practicing Falun Gong, I repeatedly violated the law, and was twice held in forced labor camps. The second time, I met a Falun Dafa practitioner and fulfilled my predestined relationship with Dafa.
I was the fifth child in a laborer’s family. After my parents had four children, due to the financial stress, they decided not to have any more. One night, my mother dreamed that a white bearded old man gave her a large human-sized piece of ginseng, and said she could eat it forever. The next day, she felt pregnant again. She went to the hospital, where the doctor told her that she was already four months pregnant, and it would be dangerous to abort at that stage.
I was very clever and quick to learn ever since I was very young. But I gradually learned many bad habits. I was sent to a forced labor camp for three years in 1993, for selling stolen goods. It was a miserable three years, and other inmates taught me more bad things. When I was released in 1995, I decided to leave my hometown to seek my fortune in south China. I went to Huizhou City, Gangkou City, and Dongguan City in Guangdong Province. I was arrested in 1999 for stealing, and sent to Shanshui Forced Labor Camp in Guangdong Province for three years.
Even though I was in a forced labor camp, I didn’t give up the dream of becoming rich by any means, good or bad. I just counted the days, endured the long hours of slave labor, and waited my turn.
In October 1999, the guards gathered all the inmates on the athletic field to announce a new central government policy. It was about cracking down on Falun Gong. Even thought this was the first time I'd heard of Falun Gong, I didn’t believe it was as bad as the authorities said, because my experiences had taught me that the police, prosecutors, and judges were all just thugs in uniforms. I became curious about Falun Gong and wanted to know who had fallen victim to the regime this time.
Less than a month after the announcement, many Falun Gong practitioners were transferred into our labor camp, including elected people’s representatives, a director of police a department, professors, all kinds of teachers, a scientist from the Seismological Bureau, laborers, and many others. I was assigned to a cell with a Falun Gong practitioner from the Seismological Bureau. My first impression of him was that he was very kind and looked almost like a Buddha.
When we were alone together, I asked him questions about Falun Gong. He didn't look down on me as if I were an incorrigible thief. He was patient and glad to answer my questions. When I learned that Falun Gong was a righteous cultivation practice, I asked if he had a book for me to read. He said he used to have a book, but he couldn’t bring it into the labor camp. But he could recite all of Zhuan Falun. I begged him to recite the book for me.
It took about a month for him to recite the nine lectures in Zhuan Falun , and my brain absorbed the Buddha’s teaching like a sponge. During that time, just like other practitioners who attended Master’s lectures or read the books, I experienced the joys of obtaining the Fa, having the Law Wheel installed in my lower abdomen, the opening my celestial eye, energy flowing over the body, a feeling of compassion, eliminating various attachments, etc.
After reciting Zhuan Falun , he recited some poems from Hong Yin. One day after we had finished the work in the factory, he lowered his head on the table and began to recite a poem,
“Oh how many the years, looking for the master, Finally the day has arrived to meet him. Cultivate and return, the Fa now gained, And follow your master to return, consummated.” ("Destined Return for the Holy Fruition," from Hong Yin)
I didn’t know why, but when I heard it, tears began to fall, and my heart was deeply moved. He said this was “When one’s Buddha-nature emerges, it will shake ‘the world of ten directions.’” (Zhuan Falun)
I then heard thunder in my ears. At first I thought it was going to rain and looked outside and asked other inmates. No one else had heard anything. So I understood that it was “shake ‘the world of ten directions.’” in other dimensions that only I could hear.
After obtaining the Fa, I understood the meaning of the dream my mother had before she had me, and I knew that my life was for Falun Dafa.
After I had listened to Zhuan Falun , we began to share our cultivation experiences. I asked him to teach me the exercises. He said that because we were in jail, the situation was difficult. He offered to teach me the meditation first. I started with one leg crossed in the half-lotus position, and then moved to the full lotus with both legs crossed.
I used all the time I could find to meditate, including before work, after work, and at bedtime. The feeling of meditation was wonderful. In half a year, I heard the Fa, learned the exercises, experienced many xinxing tests, and elminated many attachments. Even though life in the labor camp was harsh, I still felt it was a very happy half year.
In the summer of 2000, because I misunderstood the teaching, I decided to eliminate the attachment to food, and began to give my food and water to other inmates. I didn’t eat or drink for three days. On the fourth day at lunchtime, the leader of our squadron ordered me to see him. “Are you practicing Falun Gong with that guy?” he asked. I immediately saw it as a test to see if I would betray Master and Falun Dafa. I gave him a brave and direct answer, “Yes, I heard him talking about Falun Gong. I believe Falun Gong is good!”
This angered him. He ordered several inmates to handcuff me to a basketball hoop on the playground with my toes slightly off the ground. After two hours, one inmate reported to the leader that my hands were very swollen, so I was let down to sit under the basketball hoop out in the sun. It was a hot summer day with bright sunshine. I didn’t cry out during the whole time. I was comparing my suffering to what Jesus had suffered on the cross. My body felt the pain but my heart was filled with divine feelings. I recited the Fa I had learned and measured my behavior and thought with the Fa. I told myself, “I am not afraid of you. No matter what you do to me, I will endure it all.”
The afternoon work session was over at 6:00 p.m., and inmates were supposed to walk from the factory back to the labor camp for supper. The squadron political adviser came over to me and said that he would gather all the inmates on the field to hear me denounce Falun Gong. If I publicly criticized Falun Gong I would be released, otherwise there would be more severe punishment.
I told him, “Falun Gong is good. It can make a bad person like me good. I will not say anything to defame Falun Gong.” This angered the political adviser, too. He ordered the guards to bring all five electric batons in the squadron to shock me. In pain, I closed my eyes and rolled around on the ground but I didn’t cry out. After ten minutes or so, they stopped and asked me the question again. I gave them the same answer, after which they shocked me again.
During that time, I felt my heart was protected in something seemingly like a coconut shell. A lot of snakes were biting at the shell but they couldn’t crack it. And my heart didn’t feel any pain.
The guards saw me rolling on the ground and brought a heavy chair out to use the legs to restrain my neck. One guard sat on the chair and the others stood with one foot on me, and shocked me at the same time. An idea popped into my mind, “A Falun Gong practitioner has dignity. It is illegal and not right to treat me like this.” Since my hands were cuffed behind my back, I could only move my head. When I raised my head, a strong energy filled me and I turned the chair over with the guard sitting on it.
The political adviser didn’t give up. He ordered the guards to cuff my hands around a coconut tree. I was then shocked me again. I moved around the tree in pain but I didn’t cry out.
After a while, their electric batons ran out of power. The leader ordered me to denounce Falun Gong, but I refused. My persistence really angered them. They poured salty water on me to make the electric current stronger and borrowed all the electric batons from another squadron including one with the highest voltage, a 360,000-volt, two-foot-long electric baton. All the guards took turns shocking me.
I didn’t cry out the entire time. I believed this was a life or death test to see if I truly believed in Falun Dafa. Just like Master said,
“Grand talk counts for naught when it comes to life and death, Actions reveal what is true.” ("The Knowing Heart," from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I guessed that the squadron leader and the political adviser initially wanted to use me as an example to scare other inmates away from Falun Gong. But the result was the opposite. About 2,000 people in the two squadrons saw the courage and virtue of a Falun Dafa practitioner.
The defeated leader and the political adviser finally gave up and released me. A guard took me to supper. Walking across the field, I raised my head to look at the moon and silently vowed to follow Master to consummation. I broke my fast and ate supper. I also looked at myself but didn’t find any burns or injuries.
The guards told me to join the others at the night work session in the factory until 11:00 p.m. Some of the guards in the factory called me to a corner and asked how I had endured so much electric shock, and they had many questions about Falun Gong. I tried to tell them the merit of Falun Dafa and my experiences. Even though they were the ones who shocked me, I had only compassion for them in my heart. From then on, whenever guards or inmates talked about this incident, they always said they had to respect Falun Gong.
The guards subsequently separated me from other Falun Dafa practitioners and forbid me from talking about Falun Gong to other inmates, but it couldn't change my faith in Dafa. Before I was released, out of respect, an inmate told me that his mother had Falun Gong books. After I was released, I found her and she provided me with books.
Every time I recall this memory of obtaining the Fa in a forced labor camp, I am very grateful that Master saved me and led me onto a path of righteous cultivation.