[Celebrating World Falun Dafa Day] Enjoying the Calm and Freedom Cultivated in Dafa
(Minghui.org) January 2016 marked my 20th year of practicing Falun Dafa. No words can describe the purity, greatness, and glory I have experienced from Dafa. I want to share a few short stories from my early days of practicing Falun Dafa. My aim is to encourage fellow practitioners and myself to remain as diligent as we used to be in our early days of cultivation.
The Practice Site at the South Campus of Jilin University
I was a 22-year-old postgraduate student at Jilin University when I started practicing Dafa in 1996. There was a Falun Dafa practice site at the south campus. My first visit to the practice site took place in winter, when temperatures of -10C were typical.
There was a relatively warm corner at the site, but no one tried to occupy it. Instead, the veterans and group leaders managed to keep this best location for new practitioners. Sometimes if a newcomer didn’t wear gloves, the veterans would immediately take off their gloves and pass them to the newcomer. This created an environment of consideration of others, from which one could see the goodness of Falun Dafa practitioners.
At that time, we did the standing exercises for an hour in the morning, the standing stance exercise for 40 minutes after dinner, and the meditation after Fa study in the evening. Everyone at the practice site was very diligent.
Throughout my life, I had been quite coddled, picky, and afraid of hard work. It was natural for me to sleep a short while more in the morning. One day, I slept a bit longer when it was time to do the exercises. I dreamed that my group leader was doing exercises in the snow, which reminded me that I couldn’t be lazy anymore. I realized that laziness is a kind of demon.
There were quite a few windy days in April, which made it even more difficult to do the exercises outdoors than during the cold winter. The wind blew the sand up and towards our faces and mouths. One day after dinner, upon noticing the yellow dusty sky, I decided to forgive myself for once and not attend the group exercises in the evening.
In a little while, a fellow practitioner knocked on the door, “Let’s go for group practice.” I declined, and she left. Within no more than two minutes, another fellow practitioner approached me, “Let’s go for group practice.” I smiled. It seemed that Master would like me not to miss the exercises that evening.
On our way to the practice site, an undergraduate student from Hubei Province joined us. I commented, “Look at the sandstorm in our Changchun. There is no spring here, despite its being called the everlasting spring city.”
The undergraduate smiled, “You don’t know how much I envy that you are from Changchun, which is the birthplace of Dafa. The city will become a holy place in the future, where people from all over the country will come for pilgrimage.” Hearing this, I realized how poor my understanding was of the importance of Falun Dafa.
On another occasion when we were doing the second exercise and holding the wheel in front of the head, the cassette player ran out of battery. The group leader said, “Let’s carry on. Please listen to my command.” We felt especially peaceful and serene, as if time had stopped, and we remained in a very beautiful kingdom of spirit. After the exercises, the group leader smiled and said, “Today, everyone did the standing stance for over an hour.”
In those days, most of the young practitioners had very pure minds. They spoke their minds in terms of passing tribulations, making mistakes, and cultivation experiences. When we saw human attachments in fellow practitioners, we pointed it out directly, while fellow practitioners were open to accepting advice. In our Fa study group, everyone was able to feel the confidence, the freedom, the joy, and the directness from being open to each other.
The practitioners in our group benefited from our frank group sharing. For example, a practitioner talked about how to understand “without any distracting thoughts.” He said slowly and peacefully, “when we eat, we should focus only on eating; when we work, we should focus only on working.” This reminded some short-tempered and anxious practitioners of what they should strengthen in their cultivation.
At another time, a practitioner was asked by her boss to lie on some paperwork. It seemed that this must be done; otherwise the paperwork couldn’t get accepted. She was struggling to decide what to do. She then raised the issue in the Fa study group, and a fellow practitioner immediately recited Master’s teaching,
“I don’t say things I don’t want to say, but what I say has to be true…” (Zhuan Falun)
Other practitioners also shared their experiences on this matter. The practitioner left for home with steadfast righteous thoughts and confidence. Shortly after, we learned that the boss no longer asked her to play tricks in the paperwork.
We young practitioners did not practice Falun Gong to keep fit and heal illness. Instead, we were impressed and convinced by the purity, the beauty, and the principles of Dafa. My fellow practitioners at the university were all excellent in their character and learning. They were well-regarded by other students. In the eyes of my classmates, I was pure, often had a smile, and walked especially lightly. They told me, “If we were talking about something not so nice, we would change the subject if we notice you approaching.”
Among the three students in our room, two practiced Falun Dafa. The other one simply showed off to her friends, “Look, my room’s energy field is good.”
Most of my classmates had read Zhuan Falun and were aware that Falun Dafa taught people to be good. They didn’t practice Falun Dafa for various reasons; either they felt that Falun Dafa demanded too much in terms of character, or they had attachments of which they were not able to let go. However, no one made negative comments about Dafa.
Doing the Exercises at Culture Square
In March 1998, I graduated and became a lecturer at Jilin University. Since I moved away from the south campus, I joined the Culture Square practice site.
In those days, Dafa spread very well in Changchun. There were people practicing the exercises in the morning at every park, square, beside the bridge, and in the street corners. In this material and impetuous time, with so many people who tried to be good people in the city, it seemed as if the city really had become a spring city with hope.
At the Culture Square practice site, 300 to 500 people did the exercises every morning, which was very noticeable. When a large scale group exercises was held, the landscape was magnificent and spectacular.
Every morning, the site and the surrounding areas were very well cleaned up by practitioners, with those arriving early meditating together. When it was time to do the exercises as a group, everyone would neatly line up. After the exercises, the site remained as clean and tidy as before.
One day I arrived earlier than usual, when a few practitioners were meditating. Although a few children were playing and making a lot of noise, the practitioners kept meditating calmly. One of the children bumped into an elderly practitioner who was meditating. This older practitioner, with patience and a smile, helped the child up and continued the meditation. After a period of time, this older practitioner’s grey hair turned black, which was really amazing.
Our Fa study group was located in the vicinity of Culture Square, with people from all classes in society: teachers at nursery schools, primary schools, middle schools, and universities; engineers; doctors; people previously in service; government officers; workers; and housewives. No one cared about social class differences in the group. We all cultivated ourselves in line with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. We helped one another to improve our xinxing and shared cultivation experiences with one another.
An elderly practitioner shared her story one evening and receive many compliments. It was in late autumn, when every household started to keep some vegetables for winter consumption. The practitioner was riding a bicycle on the street when she noticed that an elderly man ahead had dropped a bulk of spring onions from his bicycle. She passed him and told him about it. She then helped the man tie up the spring onions again, and the man was grateful to her. But just at the moment, the man’s wife arrived and spoke nastily to the practitioner. The situation attracted many spectators, which was very embarrassing.
The elderly practitioner politely explained what happened to the wife, but she was ignored. The practitioner then got on her bicycle and left. She told fellow practitioners, “I forgot about it after passing the bridge; I only recalled it after hearing about how to pass tests from your guys.”
A practitioner shared, “Such things have often occurred. Many practitioners have had this kind of trouble and dealt with it very well. They had open and broad minds and were able to keep calm when things got worse, and they never felt they were being wronged afterward. That's not possible for most people.” It was just as what Master had taught,
“A wicked person is born of jealousy.Out of selfishness and anger he complains about unfairness towards himself.A benevolent person always has a heart of compassion.With no discontentment or hatred, he takes hardship as joy.An enlightened person has no attachments at all.He quietly observes the people of the world deluded by illusions.”(“Realm” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
If we can’t achieve a state of no discontent, no hatred, and take hardship as joy, then we are not benevolent. In this case, we would be far from the standard set by Dafa.
There was an electrician in our Fa-study group. When he first joined our group, he was chubby, weak, and did not speak politely. Before he practiced Falun Dafa, he used to go fishing and even used electricity to kill the fish. Once, he even caused his wife’s miscarriage by beating her up. After studying Falun Dafa, he became calm and was able to think about others. His family relationships became better and better.
From 1998 to the eve of the persecution of Falun Dafa, we witnessed the changes in him over the 18 months. He became healthier, stronger, nicer, and more polite than before. We complimented his achievements. After the persecution started, he petitioned the provincial government bodies. When we discussed how to support visiting practitioners from surrounding counties who came to petition, he already took action by cooking a few pots of eggs and getting them delivered.
I felt that our Fa study group was really a pure land that was hard to find. Everyone in the group cherished the environment very much.
Enjoyable Calm and Freedom Cultivated in Dafa
At the end of March 1999, I took an examination to enter the Ph.D. program. During the preparation period, I didn’t feel any pressure that I was not able to handle. I dealt with the exam with calmness cultivated from Dafa, and in the end I achieved the highest score on the exam.
I later learned that most of the Ph.D. candidates were under huge pressure before the exam. Some of them booked a room in the best hotel on campus ten days before the exam, simply to have a good preparation period; some visited their advisers to curry favor; some experienced sleepless nights, and some had their minds go blank in the interview due to nervousness.
On the contrary, I stayed in a low-cost inn during the exam period. After the exam, I helped my roommate to prepare her oral defense for her master's dissertation.
I talked to her about Dafa and took her to a Fa-study group.
Some people envied my positive attitude of keeping calm. In reality, I realized that it was Dafa that bestowed my calmness due to my not paying attention to fame.
When studying for my Ph.D., although I was the youngest in my class, I usually offered help to others at school and in everyday life. I was called the “Saint.” Once, when walking with my roommate from the classroom to the room, she shivered; I took off my coat and put it on her shoulder. During the ten-minute walk, I could feel a big Falun (law wheel) turning on my back, warming me. I realized that Master was looking after me and felt extremely grateful. My roommate then asked, “Don’t you feel cold?” I told her how I felt on my back, which convinced her.
One of her good friends was a powerful officer in the city. One day, she told the officer, “Please don’t get involved in persecuting Falun Gong. I say this because I have a Falun Gong practitioner for a roommate, and I cannot see anyone better than Falun Gong practitioners.”
Policeman: Your Master is Who I Admire the Most
After the local TV signal was intercepted with information about the persecution of Falun Dafa on March 5, 2005, the government carried out large-scale arrests of Falun Dafa practitioners. I was arrested as well. Although I managed to escape within a day under Master’s help and fellow practitioners’ righteous thoughts, I lost my job at the university, dropped my Ph.D. study, and left Changchun.
At the police station, I told a young assistant officer to find another job instead of persecuting Falun Dafa practitioners. He whispered to me, “The person I admire the most is your master. So many professors and Ph.Ds follow him, and they don't badmouth him, even at the expense of losing their future. Such a remarkable master!”