Becoming a Dafa Practitioner with Confidence and Poise
(Minghui.org) I am a 46-year-old cook. I practiced martial arts and qigong from a very young age until I was 24 years old. Although I practiced qigong for years and read many qigong books, it was just as Teacher said:
“Most who are involved in those practices have little to no idea about higher stages and what they entail.” (Zhuan Falun)
I experienced some phenomena that Teacher described when practicing martial arts or different qigong, such as sensing others, the energy needle, the grabbing method, and the ability to eat glass, just to name a few. My soul also left my body and saw other dimensions. However, no qigong master could explain the phenomena clearly.
I was muddleheaded and treated many patients using qigong healing. I could basically cure anyone. During that time, I drank about one and a half liters of alcohol and smoked two packs of cigarettes every day.
Because I practiced martial arts, I was deeply attached to fighting and had a lot of interference from other dimensions. Sometimes I fought for a whole night, became very tired, and had no energy to work the next day. But after I had a drink, the energy came back.
Practicing Falun Dafa
One time, when I was practicing qigong in a park, I bumped into my uncle. He told me about Falun Dafa and said, “Nothing can compare with Falun Dafa.” I felt that he wasn’t telling the truth, so I didn’t chat with him. But somehow the name Falun Dafa triggered something in the bottom of my heart. It sounded like something deep.
I visited my uncle and asked him, “Do you believe in the existence of other dimensions?” He said, “That’s nothing abnormal. Zhuan Falun talks about it.” Then he introduced Dafa to me and gave me the main book of the practice, Zhuan Falun.
When I got home, I opened the book and saw Teacher's compassionate smile. I thought, “Master Li, if you are as my uncle described, please show it.” In response, Teacher’s picture shone brightly. I became excited and curious. After I calmed down a bit, I opened the book again and thought, “Master Li, was it true what I just saw?” Teacher’s picture blazed with dazzling light. Once again, I closed it. After a long pause, I opened the book a third time and thought, “Master Li, please show me one last time.” This time, I saw an energy column from Teacher’s head shooting upward. It was truly amazing! I couldn’t help but kneel down and bow until my forehead touched the ground. I decided to practice Falun Dafa.
Letting Go of Attachments
As I began the practice, I realized that letting go of attachments was serious and important. If I had known that practicing Falun Dafa meant that one couldn’t smoke or drink, I would not have opened Zhuan Falun because I was addicted.
It was amazing that after I began to read Zhuan Falun, I didn’t think of having a cigarette or a drink for three days! I didn’t know how I could have gone so long without thinking about drinking or smoking. Wow! I realized this practice was truly awesome and that I had better be serious about it.
Unfortunately, I resumed my drinking after a little while, but it gave me a terrible headache. I said to Teacher in my mind that I would no longer drink. Then I had a dream. Someone gave me a bottle and told me that it was pure liquor from Maotai and that I should try it. I said that I practice Falun Dafa and had quit drinking. In fact, since I let go of that attachment, not one person tried to persuade me to drink, including those who didn’t know that I practice Falun Dafa.
I was a cook and was quite good at it, even at a young age. Therefore, I developed a strong attachment to showing off. I was competitive and had various human notions. I fought for fame and couldn’t accept any criticism. Even my employer didn’t dare to say no to me, fearing I would quit. If people below me did something wrong, I scolded and hit them. But I was a good buddy and always paid for everyone when I went out with them. When anyone had any trouble and needed help, I was the first on the scene. Therefore, I had many friends.
Now that I thought of all these things, I felt sad because all my human notions were exposed. How could I change if I kept holding on to my attachments? I understood that I needed to let go of all human notions and was determined to change for the better. Then, I noticed that I changed every day.
The most noticeable change was my appearance. It was as if my body was being renewed. The apprentices that worked with me were happy and often said that I no longer hit or abused people. All my relatives and friends saw the changes after I began practicing Dafa. Therefore, after the persecution started, none of these people believed the lies spread by the state-controlled media.
Two months after I began practicing cultivation, my third eye opened. At night, I would see a Daoist sitting with his legs crossed who said, “Buddha is the righteous Fa. Cultivate diligently,” before disappearing. In the morning, my wife and I could see Falun (law wheels) turning on our canopy.
I still remember the first time I finished reading Zhuan Falun. I wrote in my diary: “Money and beautiful women can’t be kept. Wealth and honor can’t be kept. Good wine and gold cups can’t be kept. Practicing cultivation this lifetime leads to Consummation.”
I used to have dreams about my previous lives. Sometimes I was a king, a monk or a woman, and sometimes I was a cow or another animal.
Once I had a dream about ancient times. My seven or eight brothers and I wore armor. We rode horses and had long guns. We came to a city called Youzhou. As soon as we entered the city, we were chased by thousands of soldiers. We fought hard until only four of us were left. We wanted to find our defeated brothers, so we continued fighting. There were too many enemies, and I was overpowered. Then, I woke up, and a thought flashed through my head: I was once Yang Sanlang of the General Yang tales. (ed: The Generals of the Yang Family is a collection of Chinese tales about a military family from the earlier years of imperial China's Song Dynasty (960–1279).)
Another time, I had a dream about the Shang Dynasty. The king was a tyrant, so I helped to overthrow his dynasty. I suddenly had wings, flew into his city, and told his soldiers that the Shang Dynasty had come to an end and that they had to surrender and welcome their new king.
Another time, I dreamed that I saw Sun Wukong and the Dragon King in another dimension. I said to them, “You saw me, didn’t you? Why didn’t you stop to greet me?” They saluted me, and the Dragon King said, “You’re busy doing things to validate the Fa, which is the most sacred. We didn’t dare to disturb you.”
Falun Dafa Displays Its Power
Back in 1999, I owned a restaurant that was infested with rats. From a few at first, the rat colony increased to the point where they could be seen wandering around in the kitchen even during the day. They were not afraid of humans. The staff knew that I practiced Dafa and didn’t kill lives. But there were many rats, so they bought rat poison.
Although I didn’t kill lives, I did understand that rats could not take over humans’ living environment. Therefore, I wrote a notice, “Dear rats, you are overdoing it now. This is not a place for you to fool around. You need to leave and go to a field to find your food. I practice Falun Dafa and want to be compassionate. I don’t kill lives. But other people live here too. They won’t leave you alone. Please run away quickly.”
I read it out loud and everyone thought it was funny. I pasted the notice on the kitchen wall. The next day, the rats were gone. Everyone witnessed the power of Dafa.
One summer, the mosquito screen at home was damaged, and mosquitoes often got into the house through the holes, especially at night. They didn’t bite me or the children, but they did bite my wife. She got up in the middle of the night to swat them, but the moment she turned the light on, they disappeared.
This made my wife furious, and I was also affected by her anger. She blamed me for not fixing the screen. I said, “This is not a coincidence. Perhaps you owe them something from your previous lives, and now they return to make you pay them back.” I talked to the mosquitoes in my mind: “I am a Dafa disciple. This is the Fa-rectification period, so please do not interfere with my resting time. If we owe you something, please put it aside for now. One day when I achieve Consummation, I’ll return to you all the blessings, which will enable you to have a good future.” All the mosquitoes were gone, and my wife saw the power of Dafa.
Surviving the Persecution
I had a dream shortly before July 20, 1999. I was told that Falun Dafa was banned in China and that the police would arrest Falun Dafa practitioners. I decided to keep practicing Dafa because I had benefited so much from Dafa.
In another dream, two men were chasing me with a baton. They beat me, and one of them grabbed my hair and dragged me toward a mountain. The other put a steel needle in my foot. I bit my teeth, tried to endure the pain, and thought that I would not give up my faith. They dragged me to the top of the mountain and left.
A mountain door opened, and out came a tall, elderly monk. He bowed to me and said, “Please come with me.” He took me to a room, where I saw Teacher sitting with his legs crossed. He looked at me and smiled. I quickly knelt on the floor, and tears filled my eyes.
I woke up, and my pillow was all wet. A short time later, the Chinese Communist regime launched the persecution. By then, I realized that Teacher was suffering.
We began to distribute truth-clarification materials to tell people about Dafa. Because of a lack of experience, we didn’t act rationally, and I was illegally detained. In the detention center, practitioners studied five lectures of Zhuan Falun every day. We also clarified the truth to the inmates. Those who understood began doing the exercises with us. The inmates said, “Dafa disciples are in charge here. They have the final say!”
I still remember a university student I met. He told me, “There are many great books left behind by sages. You guys can read them and nobody cares! Why would you become a prisoner for reading Zhuan Falun? Is it really worth it? I read Zhuan Falun once, and I didn’t see anything special about the book.”
A practitioner replied, “I once recited Laozi’s Tao Te Ching and some parts of Confucius’s Analects. But these two books cannot be compared with Zhuan Falun. If you want to truly understand the inner meaning of this book, you need to have the right mindset.” The student kept quiet. He listened to us read the Fa every day. After several days, he also began to practice Dafa.
The goodness of Dafa manifested in practitioners’ conduct inside the detention center. We did things selflessly and were compassionate, which impressed everyone in the prison. Both the prisoners and the guards changed their attitude toward practitioners and showed more respect.
Not one practitioner was forced into giving up their faith. We successfully created an environment that was good for everyone, so we could do the exercises, study the Fa, and clarify the truth.
Clarifying the Truth
The first job I got after leaving the detention center was as a cook. The chef gave me a hard time, but I conducted myself as a true cultivator.
After nine days of work, I finally moved the chef’s heart. He said, “Your skills are excellent. Yet you don’t smoke or drink. I’ve never seen people like that.” I told him about Falun Dafa and the persecution. He said he was glad to have met me. He came to understand that the media was not telling the truth.
Several days later, I had a dream. There was a golden dragon in the sky. As time passed and things changed, it became dull and gradually shrank in size. I tried to feed it, but it shook its head and said, “I’d like to eat the skinned eggplants.” Then I awoke.
I thought of the fussy chef that I met when I first came to work here. He made me remove the skins of a full basket of eggplants. He also said, “I want to eat the skinned eggplants.” His name was Kong Xianglong (ed: the first name in Chinese means “auspicious dragon”). This incident made me realize that all lives have their origins. It wasn’t a coincidence that I had met this cook. Teacher arranges everything, and I need to cherish all the people I meet.
A friend once invited an official over for dinner. As soon as the three of us sat down, the official's cell phone rang. I decided to talk about Dafa before he rushed off. I told him that I did not drink because I practiced Dafa. I spoke for over an hour, and his phone no longer rang. Occasionally he asked questions. Finally, he got up and said, “Wow! So that is how the Chinese Communist regime persecutes Falun Dafa! Quit! Quit! I want to quit the evil Party! Thank you so much for telling me all these things!”
Witnessing Dafa's Extraordinary Power
There was a large billboard hanging over a main road, and it featured slogans that slandered Teacher and Dafa. Many practitioners heard about it, but because the billboard was so big and high, nobody could think of a way to remove it. I went there and came up with a plan to get it removed.
We went to the location at around 10 p.m. One of us sent righteous thoughts, and the other two blackened the slogan by using an ink-soaked towel tied to a long stick.
The next day, workers used a fire truck’s water cannon to wash the ink off. We went there again the next evening and painted it red. When I went to check it out on the third day, there was a new layer of red paint, and the evil slogan was now written in black.
When we were about to arrive to change the billboard for the third time, I placed our toolbox in the bushes by the curb and walked over to take a look. It was strange that all the lights around the billboard were off, including the street lights. When we walked to the billboard, we sensed something was wrong. I said softly, “We can’t do it tonight. Let’s go back.” By this time, I saw about eight people hiding in the dark. A voice said, “Arrest them?” Another person said, “Just wait a bit longer.” We left without any problems.
When we got back home, we calmed our mind and shared our understandings. We were doing the task using human notions. We didn’t focus on eliminating the evil factors in other dimensions. We looked inside to find faults in ourselves. We sent righteous thoughts to eliminate everything that stopped us from removing the negative slogans.
That night, I dreamed that I was listening to Teacher's lecture. When he finished and was about to leave, I spotted something muddy on Teacher’s shoulder. I rushed over to Teacher and told him that I would clean his shirt. Then, I woke up. I understood that the dream was to encourage me to go on, and this increased my confidence in removing the evil message from the billboard.
On the fourth night, after we finished sending righteous thoughts, we went to the billboard again. I sent righteous thoughts toward the person guarding the billboard while my fellow practitioners painted the billboard with black ink. As soon as the task was underway, a police siren went off. I sent righteous thoughts while walking toward the police officer. He was stunned and looked at me motionlessly. The practitioners finished their task, and the officer and I remained staring at one another. When I realized that the practitioners had gone and I was the only one left, I thought, “What am I doing here? Go!” I got on my bike and left safely.
Another time, we found a banner slandering Dafa at the gate of a parking lot. In the middle of the night, another practitioner and I took a ladder to the gate. However, the banner was held up by a thick wire, which I did not have the strength to remove. I asked Teacher for help, and the strength in my arms grew so I could pull down the banner.
Many evil things happened in my region over the years. As soon as we saw anything evil, we removed it. We defended Teacher’s dignity and Dafa’s dignity. During our efforts to remove evil slogans, we could always feel Teacher’s compassionate protection and Dafa’s boundless power.