[Celebrating World Falun Dafa Day] My 25 Years in Falun Dafa Cultivation
(Minghui.org) Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I'm a veteran practitioner in Falun Dafa. It has been an amazing 25 years since I attended Master's fourth public lecture session in Changchun in September 1992.
My Prehistoric Connection with Falun Dafa
I became interested in qigong in the 1970s. I tried numerous schools, from Shaolin martial arts to Tantrism. I spent my money buying all kinds of qigong books and learned many techniques, such as worshiping a Buddha, burning incense, chanting incantations, and drawing symbols. In my fifties, my body was quite strong, and I also developed some abilities.
Many people were practicing qigong at Triumph Park in Changchun. Someone recommended Falun Dafa to me and told me that it was a Buddha school practice. I didn't pay much attention, thinking that I had already converted to Buddhism.
At the time, Master Li Hongzhi was teaching Falun Dafa on the eastern side of Monkey Mountain inside the park, while I was teaching Tantrism on the northeastern side. I might have been only 20 to 30 feet away from Master, but I was completely unaware of it.
One morning in July 1992, I was walking outside of the park after finishing my morning exercise. Someone was selling Falun Dafa books. I bought the last one, China Falun Gong.
I read through the book and was amazed by everything it talked about. “Wow, this is the real thing! How come I didn't find it earlier?” I was ecstatic and made up my mind that I would give up Tantrism and practice Falun Dafa to the end. About 80 percent of the people who were learning Tantrism from me also started practicing Falun Dafa later on.
I went to visit a friend who also practiced qigong. As I was walking up the stairs to his apartment, several people came down. The person at the front was tall and fit. I stopped at the corner to make way for them. As they passed by me, the person at the front, with a smile on his face, patted me on my shoulder.
“Who's this person? Why did he pat me on my shoulder?” Just after he went by, I suddenly remembered seeing his photo in China Falun Gong. Following him was my friend. I went downstairs with them and sent that person off. My mind was empty at the time. Not until later that day did I come to my senses and realize that I had met the Master of Falun Dafa. My predestined relationship with Master was being fulfilled.
Beginning My Cultivation
A few days later, I attended the fourth session of Falun Dafa classes at the provincial government auditorium between September 8 and 17, 1992. Master gave lectures, and his assistants taught us the exercises. While we were learning the exercises, he would walk around to correct our movements and cleanse our bodies.
A woman attended the classes. She had a tumor in her belly and looked like she was eight months pregnant. I heard that she had seen many different doctors both in China and abroad, but no one could cure her. She came to Master for help.
I was sitting in the back of the auditorium and stood up to see how Master treated her. With just a simple wave of his hand–as if pulling something, that woman's belly immediately deflated. Her pants almost fell down. Blood and pus ran down her pants.
The entire audience was in awe, followed by resounding applause. It was a miracle. I had seen many qigong masters before, but no one was able to do this. He is truly remarkable. After the 10-day lecture, I came to understand that Falun Dafa is no ordinary qigong.
Although I had been practicing qigong for more than ten years, no one had ever talked about improving one's mind. Falun Dafa was the first one to teach students to focus on improving their minds and to follow the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance. This was the real way. I had finally found it after spending half of my life searching for it. It was extremely precious.
In terms of my collection of qigong books, some I burned and some I gave away. I had learned so many different schools’ techniques that it took me some time to completely let go of them.
Practicing the Exercises
I began to do my morning Falun Dafa exercises at the Children's Park not far from my home. Master came to our practice site one morning in early Spring in 1993. He selected a location and cleansed the environment for us. I felt strong energy when I did the exercises there.
People with a predestined relationship with Dafa constantly came to join us. Our practice site ran out of space very soon. The coordinator told us that Master had selected another location for us–a wooded area in the center of Children's Park, where anyone who enters the park from any entrance would pass by and see us. We hung up a big banner, and it was very prominent.
Without much understanding of the deeper meaning of cultivation, most of us just focused on practicing the exercise movements at the beginning. Crossing our legs during meditation was the hardest test for everyone. Some practitioners sweat all over their bodies, some kept swinging their bodies, and some had pained looks on their faces.
To help us overcome this test, Master taught us many methods, including tying our legs with ropes, pressing the legs down with heavy objects, and stretching.
For me, I tied my legs together. To prevent myself from loosening the rope, I asked my wife to tie my arms behind my back as well. I endured minute by minute. My wife didn't want to see me in such pain, so she went out and left me alone at home. I fell from the chair and almost fainted out because of the pain–I really wished that I could reach the standard soon. I practiced and practiced until I was able to meditate in the double lotus position for two hours. It turned out that eliminating karma and reaching a divine realm was not going to be easy.
The other practitioners at our practice site were also willing to suffer the pain in doing the exercises. We increased the duration of the second exercise from 20 minutes to half an hour, then 40 minutes, and finally to 80 minutes. I even increased my exercise time to almost 3 hours.
I was proud of myself for doing the exercise diligently, but when I told Master about it, he said to us very seriously, “Holding the wheel like this, wouldn't people all run away from you? If you like to hold the wheel, you should do it at home.”
Only then did we realize that we have to be considerate of newcomers and how to introduce the practice to others. Compared to doing the exercises, studying the Fa and cultivating our mind were more important.
After the first lecture series, I attended four more series in Changchun and Harbin between September 1992 and August 1994. Each time I listened to the lectures, I gained a deeper understanding of the Fa principles.
There were also tests. My xinxing was gradually improving. I witnessed a lot of miracles and also the enormous difficulty Master faced in teaching the Fa and saving people.
During the seventh series of Falun Dafa lectures in Changchun in May 1994, there was a practitioner who was a colleague of Master. He told us a story that Master included in Zhuan Falun:
“The last time we held a class at Jilin University, a practitioner pushed his bike as he was going through the main entrance of Jilin University. As soon as he walked into the middle of the road, all of a sudden two cars sandwiched him. The cars almost hit him, but he was not scared at all. Normally, we are not frightened at all upon running into these things. At that very second, the cars stopped and nothing happened.”
That practitioner said that he had no idea what had happened at that time. When he turned around, he saw Master looking at him from the entrance of Jilin University. After he read Zhuan Falun, he realized that Master had helped him pay back the karma.
Master talked about another accident of three practitioners in Changchun when he was lecturing in another city. I actually saw the jeep fleeing after hitting the practitioner, with a bike still hanging from its front bumper. The jeep was driving so fast that there were sparks between the bike and the ground even though it was raining and the ground was wet.
Later on, we learned that the hit-and-run driver was drunk. When the police eventually stopped him, the bike was still on the bumper. The three people, a couple and their daughter, were new practitioners who were on their way to attend Master's lecture. Despite being hit hard by the jeep, they were fine and didn't have any injuries. Master protects every practitioner.
A Paralyzed Person Stands Up
Practitioners from a practice site were taking a group photo with Master during a class. A person in his 60s or 70s, who appeared well-educated, was sitting in a wheelchair on the side.
Master looked at him and said, “Throw away your walking stick and take away the wheelchair.” That person slowly stood up, put the wheelchair to the side, and then threw away the walking stick. He first stepped out on his left leg, and then his right leg. He walked around the auditorium several times. He was so surprised and happy that he smiled and cried at the same time.
After taking a photo with Master, that person walked up the stairs himself to listen to the lecture. We learned after the class that he was a senior engineer and had been paralyzed for four years. Many people witnessed the miracle and was amazed by the miraculous power of Dafa.
I thought this person had really good enlightenment quality; he believed and did what Master told him, resulting in the miracle at that moment.
Helping with Classes
I had been helping with the logistics of the lectures, which was never short of xinxing tests. During the seventh lecture series, a lot of people came from out of town. There were both daytime and evening classes. The tickets were sold out, but people kept coming and wanted to buy tickets.
Seeing people really worried about not being able to attend, other staff members and I gave our tickets to them. We stood behind the curtain to listen to the lecture while making sure nothing interfered with Master.
The assistance center brought a lot of books for us to sell that time. We had some left over after the lectures. When we cross-checked the sales record and remaining inventory, we found some books missing. We paid for the difference with our own money. Surprisingly, the missing books were returned the next day.
Speaking of experiences that made me nervous, it had to be the lectures in Harbin in early August 1994. The lectures were held at a hockey stadium that was still under construction.
We had a lot of interference during that class. Master's eyes were bloodshot, as well as those of the assistants from Changchun. He coughed frequently, and our throats also burned. Master told us that the bad things he eliminated in other dimensions all came to his throat.
It was during summer vacation when the students went home. To reduce costs, the local qigong association arranged for practitioners from out-of-town to stay at the students' dormitories. Master also stayed there. It happened that the dorm had a power and water outage during our stay, which the school said had never happened before. It caused many inconveniences for us in the hot weather.
Not only that, but the bus that took us from the hockey stadium to the dorm broke down on the road, and the assistants had to push the bus all the way to the stadium.
On the eighth day of the class, four men carried a severely ill patient on a stretcher and wanted to push their way in during the lecture. We stopped them because Master had said he wouldn't accept seriously ill patients in his classes, as Falun Dafa is a cultivation practice and not for healing illnesses. The men were angry for not being able to get in.
I told this to Master after the lecture. He said that the patient was already dead and that his primordial spirit had already left.
The next day, which was the last day of the lecture, those people returned right after Master finished the lecture. When they went up to the podium, we all left with Master from backstage. They made a scene inside the stadium, and many people saw them.
I heard that the patient came from Jinzhou, Liaoning Province. A practitioner from Changchun asked them to come to the class and ask for Master to treat the patient. This practitioner demanded that Master treat the person, but Master declined to do so. The practitioner tore off the Falun emblem on his clothes, threw it on the ground, and threatened Master, “I'm not practicing anymore!” Master said to him solemnly, “You're not worthy!” That person was still angry. He was the one who brought in the dead patient to cause a scene on the last day.
“In the course of teaching the Fa, there have also been things that have not gone smoothly, and different kinds of interference have been quite enormous.” (Zhuan Falun)
“Steering the Fa Vessel before disaster descends,Millions upon millionsthe hardships and perils, blocking my path,” (“Suffering to Save,” Hong Yin)
“Transmitting the True Fa,Proves harder than just hard.Many are the demons who impede,Risks piled atop risks.” (“Composure Amidst Calamity,” Hong Yin)
Although Master didn't elaborate much on this, only he knew how many difficulties and battles he had with the evil on the human level and in other dimensions while teaching the Fa.
The Cultivation Environment in Changchun
In two years of cultivation, I gained a deeper understanding of the Fa. Many practitioners around me began to memorize the Fa, and we shared our experiences about it.
Master came back to Changchun on September 18, 1994 after teaching lectures in other cities. In a classroom at Jilin University, he explained the Fa for the assistants in Changchun. The assistant from our practice site told Master about our memorizing the Fa.
Master said in the end:
“Could we take the lead in my hometown in organizing group study of the Fa at set times? We can’t just do group practice. You can read and discuss together chapter by chapter, section by section. Fix the study time the way you do with group practice. I think this will be more beneficial; it can address specific issues, and this will allow us to follow the Fa when we run into actual problems later on. We’ll get the ball rolling, and it will lead the way for assistance centers around the country.” (“Explaining the Fa for Falun Dafa Assistants in Changchun,” Explaining the Content of Falun Dafa)
From then on, we began our daily Fa study in the park after morning exercises. We mainly studied the book Falun Gong at the time. We gained significant improvement in our understandings of the Fa, and we also realized the importance of cultivating our xinxing.
Two months later, on November 20, 1994, Falun Dafa practitioners in Changchun held our first cultivation experience sharing conference at the Mingfanggong Auditorium in Jilin University.
The conference was solemn and sacred. Although it was in late November and winter had begun, the weather was warm on that day, and it was bright outside of the auditorium. Those practitioners with their celestial eyes open saw many divine beings coming for the conference. Some practitioners also videotaped the scene of light clusters entering the auditorium, one by one, above the heads of practitioners. Many practitioners saw the video.
Master talked about this in “Talk in Guangzhou to Some Assistance Center Heads From Around the Country,” Explaining the Content of Falun Dafa:
“Changchun has made a videotape in which the students had lively speeches and the students in the audience were also excited—some even shed tears. They were really happy because the meeting was made lively and the atmosphere was great. It’s just like what one of you said just now—that in that field, nothing was missing except that I wasn’t there. It’s just like when I hold seminars, the field is very strong. You could say that it’s a Falun Gong gathering, and it’s similar to a Fa conference, so the effect is excellent. When we have a lot of students in the future, the students can do it this way and talk about their experiences and understandings. Studying the Fa like this is very educational. Students talk about what they’ve gained after learning the practice. In some ways this is even livelier than our speeches.”
About a dozen practitioners shared their experiences, and the entire conference was more than five hours. I was so excited and kept shedding tears. It had only been two and a half years since Master imparted the Fa, during which time its cultivators had improved unbelievably quickly.
The book Zhuan Falun was published in early 1995. Practitioners sent the books from Beijing, and we went to the train station to pick up. Sometimes we drove trucks to nearby cities to pick up the books. Our responsibility was to help every practitioner have a copy so that they could study the Fa. Sometimes it rained when we picked up the books, and sometimes we had other troubles, but Master protected us and the books.
After Zhuan Falun was published, Master went abroad to teach the Fa. The assistant center organized practitioners to study the Fa and do the exercises together.
With strong human attachments, we had a lot of conflicts with each other. The conflicts among assistants in Changchun reached its peak in the summer of 1997. We longed for Master to come back and resolve the problems for us.
When Master came back this time, he met with some practitioners. The weather had been cloudy with some showers, but the rain stopped as soon as Master arrived. We all shook hands with Master. His hands were so warm and soft. The energy from him was like an electric current running through my body. At that moment, all of my complaints and confusions were dissolved. I forgot the questions I had wanted to ask.
Maybe everyone else had the same experience, as no one mentioned anything about our conflicts. We surrounded Master and listened to him teaching the Fa. We also took a group photo with him. We all felt his immense compassion.
During that period, Master published many articles that were included in Essentials for Further Advancement later on. These were heavy blows for us and corrected the common problems most practitioners had in their cultivation.
The practitioners in Changchun held a painting exhibition at Nanling Sports Stadium in May 1997 to commemorate the fifth anniversary of Master introducing Dafa to the public. People from around the country came to see it, and it was great a display to introduce Dafa to people. Many started to practice Dafa after seeing the exhibition.
When we put all our hearts into preparing the exhibition, the conflicts among us eased. We came to understand that this was an opportunity given by Master to improve as one body. When he came back to Changchun the next time, he praised the exhibition and said twice, “The merit is boundless!”
Master's Last Lecture in China Before the Persecution
About a year later, on July 26, 1998, we were notified of an assistants' meeting. A coordinator asked me to pick up flower baskets he ordered from a shop. There were more than ten flower baskets in the largest size. Although the coordinator's son was having his wedding around noon, I knew immediately that they were not for the wedding, and that Master had come back.
I took the flowers and attended the wedding. In the afternoon, I went to the hotel where the meeting was held. More than 700 assistants from Changchun came for the meeting. We were sitting there, quietly waiting for Master.
Earlier that month, a TV station in Beijing had broadcast programs attacking Falun Dafa, damaging Dafa's reputation in society. We all felt pressure from the environment. Master talked for five hours at the meeting. He guided us to look at things positively and pointed out some of our shortcomings in cultivation. He also asked us to thoroughly study Zhuan Falun.
That was the last time Master taught the Fa in China before the persecution. I didn't fully comprehend everything he taught that time. When the persecution suddenly started, I understood the reason he emphasized Fa study. Only with good Fa study can we endure the brutal persecution. Master had told us everything.
When the persecution started in July 1999, every practitioner was put to the most serious test.
Seven police officers came to my home. They stood at the door but didn't dare to come in. One person said to me, “We know you practice martial arts. Don't use it against us. Let's talk at the police station.”
It turned out that I had been reported to the police for passing out materials about Dafa. I had a lot of materials at home. I said to the police that I could go with them, on the condition that they don't take things from my home. They agreed. I was deceived. While I was at the police station, another group of officers went to my home and confiscated all the Dafa-related materials.
I was arrested again a few years ago. The police also confiscated materials in my home and attempted to sentence me, but with Master's protection, I soon returned home.
I was hit by a car and my arm was dislocated. The driver wanted to take me to the hospital. I refused and told him that I would be fine, as I practiced Dafa. I let him go. He was very grateful. Although my arm was in such pain that I couldn't fall asleep at night, I continued to do the exercises. My arm recovered in a month.
Amid the persecution, the evil seeks every opportunity to persecute us. Without Master's protection, I don't know what would have happened to me.
I listened to Master and was diligent in my Fa study and doing the exercises. I ran a material production center and made a lot of materials for fellow practitioners. Sentient beings are longing to be saved! I knew everything we have is given by Master and should be used to validate the Fa.
We continued our tradition of celebrating May 13 each year to express our gratitude towards Master. We couldn't have a parade or rally, so we bought cakes and fruits and celebrated at home. We shared our cultivation experiences, and some veteran practitioners recalled the precious days with Master. Our righteous thoughts were strengthened during the event.
Time flies. It has been 25 years since Master introduced Falun Dafa to the world. I am very proud that I have also cultivated in Dafa for 25 years.
It has been 20 years since I last heard a lecture by Master. As I near my eighties, I miss Master so much! I long for the day when Master returns to Changchun.
Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners!