Treasuring a Second Chance
(Minghui.org) I started practicing Falun Dafa in April 1999. Three months later when Jiang Zemin, former head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), started persecuting Falun Dafa, I did not give up my cultivation. I went to Beijing to validate Falun Dafa in February 2001 and was arrested by the police in Tiananmen Square. I was then subjected to one year of forced labor.
I Deviated from the Fa for 14 Years
The second day after I was sent to the forced labor camp I was “transformed”, and I even ridiculously thought that my accepting the transformation conformed to the Fa. I remained that way for 14 years until I awakened and came to understand my mistake. I came back to Falun Dafa cultivation in 2015.
When I came to understand that I had followed the old forces’ arrangements, I felt deep regret and my feeling was too painful to describe. I cherished the opportunity given to me again and cherished the time Master extended for us with his enormous enduring.
At a Falun Dafa cultivation experience sharing conference, I shared my recent cultivation experiences with fellow practitioners. I hope that the fellow practitioners who have similar experiences as mine can awaken quickly.
Determined to Correct Myself
I understood that why I was transformed was because I did not learn the Fa well, I did not have strong righteous thoughts, and I did not really understand Falun Dafa cultivation. I also understood that now that I had returned I was the same as a new practitioner since I had been away from Dafa for such a long time.
Since I was given this second chance, I kept telling myself that I must correct my mistakes, I must read the Fa sincerely with all my heart, and I must conduct every thought and deed according to the Fa.
Over the past year, except for going shopping for my daily necessities I rarely went shopping and did not watch even one ordinary movie; I put all my effort into doing the three things well.
Understanding Dafa Practitioners’ Mission and Trying to Catch Up
“Clarifying the facts and saving sentient beings are what you need to accomplish. There is nothing else for you to accomplish. There is nothing else in this world that you need to accomplish.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2015 New York Fa Conference”)
Reading Master’s teaching, I came to understand how heavy the responsibilities were on my shoulders. Thinking about how much time I had wasted over the years and how many predestined people I had missed, I could not forgive myself. I understood that the only thing I could do to make up for my mistakes was to cultivate myself diligently and save more lives.
Daring not to relax, I persistently went to different townships with fellow practitioners to tell people about Falun Dafa and the persecution on a regular basis. However, for a practitioner like me who had deviated from Falun Dafa for such a long time, I did not have a solid cultivation base or strong righteous thoughts; saving lives was not an easy task.
Determined to Memorize the Fa
I asked myself, “Is just reading the Fa every day enough for me?” Something that happened later reminded me that I needed to make a breakthrough.
We decided to go to a village to tell people about Falun Dafa and the persecution. However, we accidentally entered a different village. The villagers were deeply deceived by the CCP's propaganda. Before, when some practitioners came to the village to talk to them about Falun Dafa and the persecution the practitioners were all reported and arrested.
I had a thought of leaving the village and going to a different one. However, before we could leave the village police vehicles arrived. A fellow practitioner and I were taken away by the police and detained for 10 days.
I thought about the turn of events while I was detained and pondered my problems. I realized that my righteous thoughts were not strong. Falun Dafa practitioners should save lives no matter where we are. Why did I have the thought of going to a different village? When the police wanted to take us away I did not have a strong belief in Master and the Fa, and I cooperated with the police.
During the evenings in detention when the fellow practitioner suggested that we recite Lunyu and poems in Hong Yin, I was stunned because I had never tried to memorize the Fa. I suddenly realized what my problem was.
I started memorizing the Fa as soon as I came out of the detention. I have tried to memorize Zhuan Falun three times since January last year. My righteous thoughts have become stronger and stronger. When facing evil harassment later on, I was able to keep up my righteous thoughts and deeds and did not give the evil any chances to take advantages of my shortcomings.
Truly Cultivate and Discard My Attachments
Before the persecution I thought that my cultivation was not bad, and I was able to look inside when encountering difficult situations. However, after I came back to cultivation I found that I had a lot of hidden human notions.
My attachment to personal interest was very strong; I negotiated and bargained when I went shopping. I was afraid of being taken advantage of and always weighed up the gains and losses when doing things. This attachment had already become a natural habit and I was not even able to notice it until one day something suddenly woke me up.
We often went to rural areas to tell people about Falun Dafa, and we went by bus. I sometimes paid for the bus tickets of some fellow practitioners but they forgot to pay me back afterward. My mind was somewhat uncomfortable, but I realized that I had an attachment to personal interest and it was an opportunity for me to discard the attachment.
However, when this situation happened again and again my attachment inflated and I asked the fellow practitioners for the money back. I got the money back but I felt very uneasy. Master taught us,
“If you, as a cultivator, only part with things superficially while deep down inside you still stick to something or cling to your own vital interests that you don't allow to be undermined, I'd say to you that your cultivation is fake! If your own thinking doesn't change, you cannot advance even one step and are deceiving yourself.” (Lecture at the First Conference in North America)
I deeply regretted my deed and realized I had missed an opportunity to improve myself. I should not have asked the practitioners for the money back, and I should have thanked them for helping me find my attachment. I picked up the phone and called one of the practitioners and sincerely apologized to her.
From then on, I kept reminding myself to look for my own insufficiencies and to correct them. I know I have a lot of human notions, but I am determined to keep cultivating to improve myself. I kept Master’s teaching in mind to cultivate my every thought and deed,
“Being diligent means that he is able to watch his words and actions closely every moment, pay close attention to his thoughts, and is able to be strict with himself, and is usually able to conduct himself strictly. That describes someone who is diligent in cultivation.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital”)
Only by cultivating myself diligently can I be worthy of Master’s compassionate salvation.
Talking about Falun Gong with an Attentive Mind to Save More Lives
Since I came back to Dafa cultivation I have often thought about, “If I had been continuously cultivating Dafa, I would have told someone about Falun Dafa and the persecution, and I would have given someone the Dafa book to read. However, the time has passed and I had missed these opportunities.” When I thought about this I felt guilty. And I knew that all I could do was to put all my effort into doing the three things. In the process of telling people about Falun Dafa I reminded myself to speak wholeheartedly.
The following is an example of cooperating with fellow practitioners to advise a person to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its youth organizations.
During the busy farming season in spring two fellow practitioners and I went to a farm. The husband was plowing in the paddy field and the wife was doing some farm work. A fellow practitioner and I talked to the wife and the other fellow practitioner talked to the husband.
The wife was very kind and easily agreed to quit the CCP’s organizations with pleasure. However, I saw that the other practitioner stood on the side of the field alone, but the husband went to the other end of the field to continue plowing. The practitioner said, “He did not want to listen; he told me he is a CCP member. Why didn’t he listen to what I told him? Did I do anything wrong? Please give me a hint.” She then asked me to talk to him.
I was moved. I had never looked inside for a reason in this kind of situation and the practitioner’s words enlightened me. I told myself that I must be compassionate to touch his heart.
We approached the husband. While observing him I said, “You work very hard. You work hard all year long, but your budget is still tight. How much money has the corrupt CCP officials embezzled! This is all the people’s money.”
Speaking about changes in China’s dynasties, I explained to him the inevitability of the CCP's demise and I told him that when the heaven eliminates the CCP, it is not only the name of the CCP that will be eliminated, but all the CCP members will also be eliminated; we are here to tell you how to avoid this catastrophe.
He kept silent. I was not discouraged and kept talking in a compassionate tone, “If you don’t quit, we do not have the heart to leave here and we will be blamed by our consciences if we do. We are truly here for your well-being.” At this moment, he finally spoke, “I will quit!” He then thanked us.
With this experience, I would like to share with fellow practitioners that if we all had the mentality of that practitioner our truth clarification would be much more effective.
Several police officers in our county received retribution for persecuting Falun Dafa practitioners. I organized these facts into a letter and found some articles on the Minghui website. I sent these materials to a female CCP official. She had rejected our information about Falun Dafa before. After she received my mail, she quit the CCP. This case greatly encouraged me.
Discard the Attachment to Comfort to Save More Lives
It is more difficult to talk about Falun Dafa and the persecution in rural areas, especially during the busy farming season. The people are all busy doing farm work in the fields and we have to walk a long distance to be able to meet them in the fields.
Once while I was talking to an old man in a field, I saw another man far away. I pondered whether I should go and talk to him afterward. While I was thinking, another practitioner had already started going that way. After she came back she told me that the man was like he had been waiting for us, that he had joined the CCP affiliate Young Pioneers before, and that he quit the organization when she spoke to him.
I was moved. Master wants us to save more lives. How should I think about giving up on someone simply because of the distance I may have to travel? Thereafter, no matter how far the distance, I would walk over to a person and talk to him or her.
Treasuring This Second Opportunity
While writing this part of the article, I recalled a Minghui article, “Oil Painting: This Is Our Master, You Still Have a Chance to Redeem Yourself.” [Translator’s note: In the painting in the article a 610 officer was kneeling before Master’s picture.] This article shocked me greatly. I knew I had disappointed Master's compassionate salvation and I had lost too much time; I was guilty.
I looked at the painting again with tears in my eyes, as if I was the person kneeling in the painting, “Master, do I still have time to atone for my sin?”
Thanks to our great Master and thanks to fellow practitioners’ help. Let me encourage our fellow practitioners and myself with Master’s teaching,
“When it comes to the Fa-rectification and what I choose, all beings' harmonizing and completing things according to my choices and contributing their best ideas and approaches--not to change what I want, but to harmonize and complete things according to what I've said--is the best thought a being in the cosmos could have.” (Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Lantern Festival)