(Minghui.org) Dafa practitioners behind bars in China today are still being subjected to the most inhumane treatment. Seeing this, some practitioners give in to negative thoughts, such as that practitioners “transforming” under duress is inevitable so why not save oneself from the tortuous pain and “transform” early while still at the detention center? I would like to tell my fellow practitioners that this is not how it should be. Cultivation is not an ordinary matter, it's extremely serious.

Master tells us:

“Those who want to have you obtain good things in ordinary human society are demons. If you always get your way among everyday people and cannot pass this test, you will not make progress. If you live very well among everyday people, how can you cultivate? How can your karma be transformed? How will you have an environment to improve your xinxing and transform your karma? Everyone should be sure to keep this in mind.” (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)

We should be very clear that we are on a path to divinity. Unwavering faith in Dafa is fundamental to Dafa cultivators. We can become Dafa disciples now only because we were divine beings in the past who made a solemn vow to the gods. The persecution we are facing is severe beyond measure, but we should have nothing to fear as Master's fashen and many gods are watching over us. So long as we remain rational and have righteous thoughts and actions, we should be able to triumph over our tribulations.

I would like to share with you my own experience behind bars.

I have been practicing Dafa since 1996. I was once illegally sentenced, and served four years in a women's prison where cruel and unrelenting mistreatment was meted out to Dafa practitioners.

My refusal to acknowledge that I committed any crime brought me many punishments, including forced standing or sitting for long periods of time, being given little to no food, beatings (a dirty rag was stuffed into my mouth and I was held down by four people then viciously beaten by many), verbal abuse (insults were shouted at me and my family all day) and other forms of humiliation and mistreatment. I was forced to stand for 16 to 17 hours in one spot daily, and my food ration was cut, which reduced me to just skin and bones while my legs and feet became terribly swollen. If ever I relaxed my posture slightly while standing, the prisoners assigned to watch me would punch and kick me. After two months of this extreme torture, I was stumbling on my swollen feet. I could only move by shuffling along with much difficulty. Still, the prison guards would not let me sit down, as they were hoping that I would collapse and give in.

I kept myself going by constantly reciting the Fa in my mind, which helped to strengthen my strong faith in Dafa. I sent forth righteous thoughts every day to redirect any pain, injuries, drowsiness, and fatigue from my body to those of the torturers. Consequently, they felt extremely tired, whereas I remained wide awake and alert. I also enlightened that I had to improve my xinxing and take my tolerance of others to a new level, and that letting go of my resentment towards the jailers and torturers would in fact be an opportunity for me to move ahead in my cultivation. I therefore treated everyone kindly in this dimension while simultaneously ruthlessly eliminating all evil in other dimensions by sending righteous thoughts. I was able to put into practice Dafa's teaching: “...refrain from hitting back when attacked and refrain from swearing back when sworn at.” (Teaching the Fa at the Founding Ceremony of the Singaporean Falun Dafa Association, Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. I) My stoicism and poise ultimately earned the respect and sympathy of the inmates and prison guards alike.

Under Master's protection, I did not need to shuffle around for more than a day before I was able to walk normally again. The same thing happened a second time so they gave up punishing me that way. Instead, they made me sit all day on a small low stool with an indented center, and worse still I was only allowed to rest on a third of the seat. After prolonged periods of sitting in that manner, my buttocks became very painful, due to the raised edge of the stool. Nevertheless, as I persevered with reciting the Fa and sending righteous thoughts, I always felt my whole body warm up as if I was inside a warm energy cocoon. For that, I was extremely grateful to Master for strengthening me and to fellow practitioners outside for their moral support.

Aside from physical punishments, the persecutors also made sure my life in prison was hell. Inmates in charge of watching and torturing me resorted to the most despicable ways to break my body and spirit. They stuffed toilet-cleaning rags into my mouth or my cup, disturbed my sleep by waking me up every hour, forbid me from using the toilet during the day, refused to let me buy my daily essentials or to use toilet paper, made me store my own rubbish in my cupboard to rot, banned me from using water for personal hygiene or to wash my clothes, sometimes didn’t allow me to hang my wet clothes out to dry, and put rubbish under my blanket or splashed water on my face, bed, or under my blanket, etc.

I demanded my basic human rights, only to be told, “You said you are not a criminal. In this prison criminals have their rights but you are not one so you don’t have those rights.” What a depraved excuse that was! Criminals have rights but not those who live by the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance! It’s tragic that these young educated guards should be so morally corrupt due to years of brainwashing by the Party.

A prison guard once told me, “You, like the others, can 'transform' in here and then void it by announcing on the Minghui website, can’t you?” I was horrified that these guards would have such an impression about us cultivators. I corrected her sternly, “Cultivation is most sacred, it’s not to be taken lightly. All the gods are watching us and we can’t fool them, we can only fool ourselves. If we want to succeed in cultivation, we have to pass this test sooner or later.” Being locked up is also a test for cultivators to see what choice they will make under such adversity. To pass such a serious test, we will have to completely let go of any fear.

The Chinese regime’s persecution of Dafa practitioners is now in its 19th year. My personal experience is that if you have complete and unreserved faith in Dafa, evil will not be able to cause you harm. Our righteous thoughts and actions can disintegrate any evil. Our cultivation is indeed an arduous journey and we can easily fall behind if we don’t strive to make progress. Master tells us:

“When it’s difficult to endure, you can endure it. When it’s impossible to do, you can do it.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)

Master has already told us:

“Unless you, yourself do not want to do so, you can make it, provided you want to overcome them.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)

Let’s do well in the time that remains for us to cultivate and not let Master and ourselves down.