Becoming a Falun Dafa Practitioner and Staying Steadfast in the Face of Turbulence
Becoming a Falun Dafa Practitioner
I saw a book in a coworker's locker in November 1996 and asked him if I could take a look at it. The first page I turned to there was the article “Cultivators’ Avoidances.” I read:
“Those who are attached to their reputations practice an evil way, full of intention. Once they gain renown in this world, they are bound to say good but mean evil, thereby misleading the public and undermining the Fa.
“Those who are attached to money seek wealth and feign their cultivation. Undermining the practice and the Fa, they waste their lifetimes instead of cultivating Buddhahood.
“Those who are attached to lust are no different from wicked people. While reciting the scriptures, they even cast furtive glances; they are far from the Dao and are wicked, everyday people.
“Those who are attached to affection for family will definitely be burned, entangled, and tormented by it. Pulled by the threads of affection and plagued by them throughout their lives, they will find it too late to regret at the end of their lives.” (“Cultivators’ Avoidances” in Essentials for Further Advancement)
I was dumbstruck, and my memory returned. I remembered that I had failed to reach enlightenment in my cultivation in my previous life because I was attached to what the article described.
I talked to my coworker and found out that Zhuan Falun was the main book of the teachings of Falun Dafa, also called Falun Gong. He didn't let me borrow his book at the time.
A month later I overheard several coworkers talking and got curious. They told me that they were discussing the teachings of Falun Gong. I told them that I wanted to practice. With their help I found a study and exercise group near me.
I focused on improving my character after I learned the practice. At the time I worked in a pharmaceutical company. Most of the employees took pills home like it was nothing and shared them with family and friends. The pills the company made were very effective and sold very well. Some employees even stole pills to sell to pharmacies on the side.
My job was to compress the powdered form of the drug into tablets, which was the last step in production. It was very easy for me to take them home and share them with my parents and friends.
I stopped taking the pills home after I became a practitioner. When my family and friends asked me for the pills, I told them that I couldn't help them anymore because of my belief. They eventually understood and bought their own pills from the drugstore.
Staying Steadfast in the Face of Turbulence
Time Spent with Practitioners Validating the Fa in Beijing
Three years into the practice, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to persecute Falun Gong. I was 25 at the time and single. I went to Beijing, wanting to speak up and appeal for Falun Dafa. I met several practitioners from other provinces and stayed with them in their apartment. By studying the Fa every day, I had a clearer understanding as to why I came to Beijing. It was my duty, my responsibility to protect Dafa when it was being attacked.
Life was difficult in the apartment, but we studied the Fa intensively. We read through Zhuan Falun almost once a day. When I studied, it was as if my head was opened up and the principles of the Fa continued to flow in. My heart became more serene as I gained a clearer understanding of the Fa.
Several practitioners and I took on the responsibility of taking care of the practitioners who came to Beijing from all over the country. We prepared meals for them and went to Tiananmen to meet them and help them settle in. They left in groups each day to go to government offices to validate the Fa.
One day I got homesick. Before I left for Beijing, I’d left a letter for my parents, telling them why I was going to Beijing and not to worry about me. My father later told me on the phone that my mother cried every day.
That night I saw in a dream that a calamity was approaching. Everyone was running to safety. My parents, brother and I were at the front. As I looked back, I saw a flash flood and an erupting volcano. Many people died.
Just then a ladder to heaven appeared in front of me, and I struggled to climb up it. When I looked down, everyone was looking up at me. I knew that it was Master trying to tell me something. I decided to stay.
I continued studying the Fa and had another dream a few days later. A woman cut off my hair with a sharp pair of scissors. I knew that the hair represented my emotional ties, and realized that it was time for me to let go of my attachment to my family. I had to validate the Fa with the purest state of mind.
As I was studying Zhuan Falun in the days that followed, I saw the Fa principle that explained why I should be in Beijing and how I should validate the Fa. I knew that Master's Fashen was right next to me, protecting me at all times.
After I eventually did go home, my mother told me that the first few days I was in Beijing, she cried every day and couldn't do anything. But one day, she felt better and did not feel sad any more.
Validating the Fa Openly and Going Home Safely
A few practitioners and I went to the office of the State Council to speak up for Falun Gong. Many practitioners were already there before us. We got into the office with our identification cards, but the police quickly took us away.
In the Appeals Office of the State Council there were police officers from all the provinces. They were in Beijing to arrest practitioners from their areas and take them home before the practitioners had a chance to appeal for Falun Gong. Plainclothes officers asked me which province I was from. When I refused to answer, they searched me.
I got so scared that I started shaking. Then, out of nowhere, I remembered Master's words:
“Steadfastly cultivate Dafa, the will unflinchingThe raising of levels is what’s fundamentalIn the face of tests one’s true nature is revealedAchieve Consummation, becoming a Buddha, Dao, or God.”(“True Nature Revealed” in Essentials for Further Advancement II)
Fear no longer controlled me. The Shandong Province police took me to their office in Beijing. When I told them that I wasn't from Shandong, one of them got really angry. He ordered me to tell him where I was from and promised to release me once I did.
I told him that I didn't believe him. “The minute I tell you where I am from, you will have other police arrest me,” I said. He said that I was overly suspicious and reassured me that he'd release me if I told him.
I looked within and discovered that I did have an attachment to suspicion. I raised my voice so that the other officers, who were his subordinates, could hear me. I said, “You are their supervisor. If you go back on your word, you will not be able to lead them from now on.” I then told him where I came from. He immediately released me since I wasn't from his jurisdiction.
I continued to validate the Fa in Beijing for two and a half months before I went home.
Heart Unswayed While Being Persecuted
When I went back to work, a group of CCP officials and company management were waiting to talk to me. A CCP secretary slammed his hand on the table and started to lecture me about my “political situation.” When I saw that others were listening carefully, I began to tell him why I went to Beijing. I explained that the accusations on TV were false, and aimed at slandering Falun Gong.
The secretary was angered by what I said and began yelling at me. I wasn't afraid at all. I was just glad that I finally said what I’d wanted to say.
They wanted me to reflect on myself and write a repentance letter to give up Falun Gong. Instead, I wrote down how I had benefited from the practice and what Falun Dafa really was. The next day I was transferred to the packaging division, where I had to work longer hours for less pay.
In the new division, people still came and tried to talk me out of the practice. My mother came to live with me and made sure that I didn't go to Beijing again. The company had people stationed outside of my apartment to monitor my activities.
One morning I decided to make my position clear to my mother. I told her that if anyone ordered her to give up my Falun Dafa books, she was not to comply. She asked if she could give up one that wasn't so important.
I told her that I had already risked my life to go to Beijing to validate the Fa, that there was nothing I wouldn’t do to protect Falun Gong. I told her that I couldn't tolerate the company officials constantly coming down on me to try to make me give up the practice. If I did go to Beijing and didn’t come back, she would have to ask the company officials for my whereabouts.
At noon that day, a CCP secretary and another official went to my home to confiscate my Falun Dafa books. My mother told them that there weren't any and warned them, “You constantly harass my daughter. If she leaves and goes to Beijing, it will be you who pushed her into it. I will go after you until I see her again.” They left without another word.
Before I became a practitioner, I was a commissioner of the Communist Youth League. I often arranged activities for them. After I came back from Beijing, the league's secretary told me that I had to choose between the league and my practice. I didn't think twice and wrote my resignation.
The company management continued to talk to me about quitting the practice, and I continued to clarify the truth to them. One day they wanted to talk to me again. When one of them ordered me to turn in my copy of Zhuan Falun, I asked him if he was interested in learning the practice. When he said that he just wanted to confiscate my book, I told him to bring a knife. “Use it to carve out my heart and take it, if that's what you really want. The Fa is in my heart,” I said. They were at a loss for words, so I told them that I needed to get back to work and left.
I was a young adult when the persecution began, and the pressure that I felt was enormous. Several practitioners stopped practicing when they saw how miserable I was. Some coworkers pitied me and others despised me. I felt inferior and stressed out.
My down time lasted a while. One day, righteous thoughts came to me as I was studying the Fa. I realized that I was Master's disciple and that it was my greatest honor to be a practitioner during Fa rectification. The ones who didn't know the truth were the ones who were truly to be pitied. They not longer had a future. I felt unbelievably lucky. Happy and proud, I went back to work. After that, the persecution at work just seemed to stop.
“So for Dafa disciples, no matter how harsh this period of history that we're going through is, there's nothing to grieve over. What we're thinking about is saving sentient beings, and you should fulfill [the aspirations of] a being who came for the Fa and the significance of your coming here. So we have nothing to regret, and what awaits Dafa disciples are all wonderful things. The saddest is those people in the world who've been persecuted and the old forces themselves. Their ending is what's truly sad.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Washington DC Fa Conference” in Teaching the Fa at the Conference IV)
Looking back on the first few years of the persecution, I am pleased that I didn't do anything to let down Master or Falun Dafa. I didn't yield to the evil in any way. It was precisely because I was steadfast that Master cleaned up my surroundings and shouldered great tribulations for me. As a result, I have been safe and have had little interference with my practice and truth clarification work in the years since.