Cultivating Steadfastly After Starting Practicing Falun Dafa in 2009
(Minghui.org) In May 2009, one month after I was hired as a staff member at a community center, I was fortunate enough to become a Dafa practitioner.
In 2003, I received a truth-clarification email with a link to the anti-Internet-blockade software. I installed the software and was able to access websites blocked by the Chinese government, including New Tang Dynasty TV (NTDTV). This access to the truth and real news opened my eyes and mind. I was very impressed by the NTDTV staffers' wit, compassion, and tolerance.
I finally realized on May 9, 2009 that their outstanding quality was a direct result of their being Falun Dafa practitioners. I knew that if I wanted to be like them, I would need to be a Falun Dafa practitioner, too. That's how I started my path of cultivation.
During the first 20 months of my cultivation, I was quite diligent. The first 10 months was my personal cultivation period. Teacher helped to create a cultivation environment which allowed me to spend over 10 hours each day immersed in all elements of Dafa: studying the Fa, reading fellow practitioners' experience sharing, listening to Dafa music, watching past Shen Yun shows on DVD, doing the exercises, clarifying the truth to my family members, sending forth righteous thoughts, and sending out truth-clarification emails.
Every day, I was enlightened by Dafa and moved by fellow practitioners' stories. I advanced quickly in cultivation.
During the second 10 months, I fully joined the Fa-rectification effort. Originally, I had planned to wait for Teacher to make arrangements that would allow me to do Fa-rectification work with other practitioners. However, due to my many attachments and my karma, it was very difficult to break through the distrust between myself and other practitioners.
I realized that I should not rely on other practitioners to do Fa-rectification work. Driven by my strong desire to validate myself, I started to work on multiple truth-clarification projects by myself: I authored, printed and distributed truth-clarification letters, brochures, posters, and stickers; designed and printed truth-clarification sentences on paper currency bills and used them; made truth-clarification phone calls; sent out truth-clarification text messages; made and distributed Shen Yun DVDs; made and mailed truth-clarification DVDs; and participated in the 7th Chinese Fahui Internet Experience Sharing Conference.
Protest Against Persecution at Forced Labor Camp
Due to my long-held attachments to showing off and doing things, I used the amount of truth-clarification work to validate myself. Right before the 2011 Chinese New Year, I was clarifying the truth to my co-workers by giving them Shen Yun DVDs, treating it more like a task I needed to complete rather than fulfilling the sacred mission of saving people.
I was subsequently reported to the Community Office by the Party Secretary of the Community Center, and later taken to the detention center by the local police. Two months later, I was transferred to the local forced labor camp.
Being sentenced to 2 years in a labor camp was a daunting experience for me. Although I was knowledgeable and able to clarify truth from different angles, I had a strong mentality of competitiveness, showing off, reputation, and jealousy. Therefore, I couldn't really save people, and I couldn't negate the old forces' arrangement of detaining me in the labor camp.
I looked inward and found that my attachment to validating myself was so strong that it controlled my behavior unknowingly. I felt dejected because I could not let go of my self and be compassionate. Because I had often fallen asleep when reading Zhuan Falun during the first 2 years of my cultivation, I had mostly listened to audio recordings of Teacher's lectures. Consequently, I hadn't memorized much and was unable to recite Zhuan Falun at all; I could only recite some poems from Hong Yin , Hong Yin Volume II , and several of Teacher's short lectures.
With Teacher's help and my unwavering belief in Dafa, no matter how hard the evil forces tried, they were unable to “transform” me. However, I wasn't able to completely eradicate the interference. During my incarceration, I was targeted by the evil forces and held in solitary confinement a good part of the time.
I couldn't communicate with any other practitioners, and I couldn't study Zhuan Falun or Teacher's other lectures. Consequently, I was unable to rectify the situation and get rid of the evil forces' arrangements. I also couldn't elevate myself and save the people around me. Teacher knew the pain I felt. Although I was fighting the persecution with hatred and anger, Teacher still protected me. Many miraculous things happened during those two years.
At first, the labor camp didn't allow me to have contact with anyone, including my family members. They threatened my relatives and destroyed my truth-clarification material production site. Meanwhile, they had started working on “transforming” me, using verbal abuse/torture, forcing me to watch videos and read books that defamed Dafa, pretending to care about me, manipulating my relatives to “transform” me, forcing other inmates to “transform” me, and torturing me with electric batons. Fortunately, I was able to see through their tricks and stop their torture with righteous thoughts.
Teacher continued to help me by improving my memory and enabling me to express myself better. I was able to articulate my thoughts so well that the labor camp officials became concerned that I might influence the guards and other inmates. They were instructed not to talk to me at all.
I was forced to sit on a small stool (17-18 hours daily) for 3 months, without moving or talking, and then made to watch DVDs that defamed Dafa. I then began to point out all the misinformation, lies, and logical errors I noted in the DVDs to them. Frustrated and unsure of how to deal with me, they locked me in an empty room. Whenever possible, I continued to use the content of their propaganda DVDs to clarify the truth to my personal monitors. A couple of them even withdrew from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations.
The physical and mental tortures were never-ending in the labor camp. Sleep deprivation was one of the first tortures used. I was only allowed to sleep for 4 hours each day. Later on, I was forced to sleep more than necessary—no less than 9 hours each day—in an attempt to use the attachment to comfort to weaken my will.
Another torture was lack of food, and then water. On hot summer days, the inmates assigned to watch me and I were confined in a small, unventilated room and only given a small amount of water to drink. At one time, I wasn't allowed to shower for over 20 days during the summer.
In winter I was given enough water to drink, but then not allowed to use the bathroom. Throughout my imprisonment, I was often not allowed to do anything except for sitting by myself and washing my clothes. For the first nine months at the labor camp, I was not allowed to write anything. I also didn't see sunlight for a long time.
Even though I faced such difficulties and uncertainty, I could still sense Teacher's benevolent help and protection. For example, sitting in one position for a long time could make me feel tired and sore. Often, however, I could feel Falun rotating on my arms and legs, muscles all over my body would twitch uncontrollably, and sometimes I could feel a big hand holding me at my waist. Afterwards, I would feel energetic again.
When I was denied water and felt very thirsty, I thought of other practitioners' suffering, how they were able to continue to treat everyone with great compassion, and Teacher's immense benevolence. I vowed to Teacher I would never stray from my belief and cultivation.
With this righteous thought, I immediately experienced a lot of of moisture in my mouth, quenching my thirst. When I wasn't allowed to use the bathroom, the pain from holding the urine was so great that I thought I would go crazy. Then I thought of Teacher again and told myself to let go of my human notions. I didn't feel the urge to urinate anymore. Due to prolonged sitting, I ended up with sores on my buttocks. I didn't worry about it, and they healed overnight.
In addition, I could also feel Teacher performing guanding (a purification process in the Buddha School) on me many times. I began to realize that Teacher was really there with me. All the things that happened to me, including different forms of torture, were actually targeting certain attachments.
Whenever I ran into difficult situations, I looked inward, found the attachment or human notion that caused the situation, and sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate it. Whatever the situation, it would then be resolved instantly. Although there were a lot of constraints, I used every opportunity I could to clarify the truth. Whenever I was asked to write something, or if anyone talked to me, I would talk about Dafa.
I also spent a lot of time reciting the Fa and sending forth righteous thoughts. I couldn't actually study the Fa, practice the exercises, or have any contact with fellow practitioners, but I used all of the difficulties I encountered to improve my xinxing, including eliminating the mentalities of self-validation, aggression, zealotry, pursuit of comfort, and lust.
Learning to Use Cell Phones to Clarify Truth
When I was released from the forced labor camp, I had lost my family and my job. Needing to support myself, I found a sales job at a training school. I spent almost all of my spare time doing thethree things that Teacher has instructed us to do well. I chose to use cell phones to do truth-clarification work. I bought two used cell phones and learned to make truth-clarification phone calls and send truth-clarification text messages.
I continued to cultivate alone, but I read the Minghui website quite often. The Minghui website's technical tips section helped me a lot in learning how to set up cell phones for truth-clarification work.
Using cell phones to spread truth-clarification messages may appear to be a safe activity, but I realized that we practitioners still need to be careful. For example, we should not keep the phones on at home or in the workplace. When changing the phone's identification number, making truth-clarification phone calls, or sending truth-clarification messages, we should choose an inconspicuous public place to work in.
I also realized that the best time to make truth-clarification phone calls is during the 3-5 hours in the evenings after work, when people are more likely to be free to talk and not yet in bed. This makes for a very short time period to work with. In order to squeeze in as many calls as possible during those hours, I decided to forgo or rearrange some family chores and live a simpler life.
For instance, I would do some laundry and house cleaning in the morning, and some at night. To save cooking time, I cooked two days' meals at a time. When it was time to make calls, I would shop for groceries; since it's safer to make calls while moving, I carried the groceries with me while calling. On weekend days, I would spend most of the day outside making calls.
Over several months, I made more than 20,000 calls. With all this walking, my feet were covered with thick calluses, and the soles of many shoes became severely worn. People had different reactions after hearing the truth about Dafa, but regardless of how they reacted, I always sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate any interference, so these calls could save more people. To strengthen the message, I would also send truth-clarification text messages to people I had previously called.
The more calls I made, the more I could feel people's desire to learn the truth and be saved. Whenever the receiver wanted to withdraw from the CCP and its affiliated organizations, I would cry, feeling relieved that the person was saved. I was also moved by the compassion and wisdom of fellow practitioners who had thought of using cell phones to save more people. I also felt ashamed of my attachments of fear and self-protection, which were still causing me difficulties with doing face-to-face truth-clarification.
When I became worried about my cultivation state, Teacher arranged for me to find an overseas job. As I'm now preparing to leave mainland China, I'm determined that no matter where I am, I'll be a Dafa practitioner and continue to do truth-clarification work. That's what people are waiting for, that's what Teacher wants, and that's my predestined responsibility.