Obtaining Falun Dafa in Prison
(Minghui.org) In 2007, I was arrested after being falsely accused of stealing money, and brought to a local detention center.
First Encounter with Falun Dafa
A year later, I received a request from the detention center guards to take care of a newcomer who had been arrested for practicing Falun Dafa. By then I had become the leader of a cell block.
During our conversations, I told her that I had been practicing Buddhism for over twenty years and asked her why she had chosen to study Falun Dafa instead of Buddhism. She told me, “Falun Dafa is very good. You should learn it too.” I retorted, “You ended up in detention because of this practice, yet you still advise me to learn it? Falun Dafa is involved in politics. I refuse to learn it.”
The newcomer then told me, “You need to understand the truth first. You seem like a good person. I’ve been illegally detained here a number of times already and physically beaten with each visit. Since this is the first time I’ve encountered such a kind cell block leader, I must let you know the goodness of Falun Dafa.”
Somewhat bemused, I agreed to listen to her. However she insisted on writing something out for me to read. I found a pen and paper and the newcomer wrote,
“To consummate, obtaining Buddha’s fruitLet hardship then be treated as your joy”(“Tempering your Will” from Hong Yin)
I was astounded by the elegant beauty of this phrase and asked the newcomer to write more. At that time, I paid little attention to the meaning of the words, but a strange phenomenon occurred. During my silent perusal of the words, a wonderful sounding male baritone voice began reciting the words in my ear. This encouraged me to read the words the newcomer had written over and over, in order to hear that soothing baritone voice.
The newcomer was surprised to see my elated expression and asked me why. I described the phenomenon, only to receive her happy reply, “Master is guiding you. It seems your chance to obtain Falun Dafa has arrived.”
The newcomer proceeded to pen a dozen more poems and essays which had been written by Master Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa. I never heard that nice voice again, but my reverence for Falun Dafa rose after reading each passage. By then, I knew within my heart that Falun Dafa is truly good.
The Dafa practitioner was soon released, while I was sentenced by corrupt law enforcement officials to 12 years of imprisonment in November 2009. The unfairness of my sentencing made me realize how those in power were exploiting the law as a tool for making money through bribery. Over time, while lamenting my fate, a spark of desire started growing in the depths of my heart. I started to keep an eye out for Falun Dafa practitioners.
The Importance of Righteous Thoughts and Memorizing the Fa
Towards the end of 2011, I finally met another Falun Dafa practitioner. Although our prison group consisted of more than two hundred people, with Master’s arrangement, the prison assigned us as partners. During the four years we spent in prison together, we encountered frequent tests of our faith in Dafa. Each time, our firm belief and strong righteous thoughts helped us to pass each tribulation.
We worked out an arrangement. Under the constant scrutiny of the guards, the practitioner would concentrate on transcribing Master’s teachings from memory once a week, while I sent forth righteous thoughts. Initially, she was only able to pass me one to two sheets of writings. Slowly, this increased to five or ten sheets. Eventually, she managed to transcribe an entire book in one sitting. I hungrily read and memorized everything. Even now I can recall that time with a sense of awe. Although the guards constantly patrolled our area, they seemed ignorant of our actions. Such is the power of strong righteous thoughts!
Guards would also often conduct random searches of our livings quarters and working areas. We were even subject to sudden body searches. We often stowed copies of Dafa scriptures in these areas and could only rely on righteous thoughts to safely tide us over the inspection.
For example, while walking from the dining area back to our work space, an order would suddenly be issued and everyone would have to stand still for a body inspection. Even the contents in our pockets would be subject to scrutiny. Many a time we carried copies of Dafa scriptures in our pockets. On such occasions, we would beg Master for help while diligently sending forth righteous thoughts. With Master's continued protection, despite frequent scrutiny by the prison wardens, we miraculously managed to avoid being discovered over the four years we spent there.
Over our four-year imprisonment, the practitioner transcribed for me many of Master’s teachings, including Essentials for Further Advancement, Essentials for Further Advancement II, three quarters of the entire book Zhuan Falun, some parts from The Essentials for Diligent Progress Vol. III and more than one hundred and fifty poems from Hong Yin. Finally she told me, "I'm sorry, I have failed you. I can only remember so much.” She continued to blame herself, despite my continued reassurance and sincere gratitude.
To our surprise, the prison suddenly announced the practitioner's release. Less than a month later, I was also released from prison. We have kept in touch and I remain greatly indebted to this practitioner. Our time together has become a precious memory and I often recall her words, “Do not thank me, all this was given to you by Master.”
This experience taught me the importance of memorizing the Fa while living in mainland China. Although I have been freed for more than two years, whenever I feel the temptation to slack off, I recall my time in prison and my diligence is redoubled. Master has made the best arrangements for me and I continue to treasure this opportunity to quickly advance in cultivation practice.