The Cultivation Path of a Young Disciple
(Minghui.org) I started practicing Falun Dafa when I was 14 years old. Three years later while I was still in high school, I was forced to leave my home and move frequently for six years to avoid being persecuted. In 2009, I was arrested and sentenced to prison at the age of 23. I finally returned home after 8 years in prison in 2017. I am now 32.
Experiencing the Power of Falun Dafa as a Child
I was sickly from the time I was very young and became very ill in 1998. I was given daily injections and medicine at a local clinic, but my symptoms got worse. The doctor there couldn't figure out what was wrong and eventually told my parents to take me to a bigger hospital. I was semi-conscious when they took me home.
The next day, my parents put me in a pedicab to take me to a larger county hospital near my grandmother's home. They decided to stop at Grandma's first and ask my uncle to help us. Once we got to Grandmother's home, they put me in a bed to wait for my uncle to come home. I heard my grandmother telling my mother about Falun Dafa. As they were talking, I felt my mind become clear and my body get stronger. I got out of bed and started to walk outside. My mother was in shock to see me up and about. I told her that I was okay, that we didn't need to go to the hospital. But she was still worried. My uncle took me to the hospital later that day, and the doctor couldn't find anything wrong with me.
I stayed with Grandmother for a few days to learn the Falun Dafa exercises. I went home with a copy of Zhuan Falun and started cultivating in Falun Dafa.
Breaking Through Interference and Studying the Fa
I started practicing when I was in seventh grade. At the time, my school days were very long. I usually went to school around 5 in the morning and didn't get home until 8 or 9 p.m. I didn't have time to study the Fa during the day, but I always read a few pages of Zhuan Falun after I got home, even though nobody ever told me to.
Once someone organized a Fa-study group for young disciples during a winter break. There were a few dozen practitioners as young as 7 or 8 and as old as 20. We got together every day to study the Fa and do exercises. It was the best time.
I even studied the Fa every day right up to the high school entry exam. My father wanted me to put more effort into my schoolwork, so I covered my window and studied the Fa at night so that he wouldn't see the light in my room. Sometimes I got sleepy while studying the Fa, so I just stood up to read. I told myself that I needed to break through the interference and strengthen my will to cultivate.
I also encountered other types of interference. For example, when I wanted to study the Fa during summer or winter break, neighboring children would ask me to play with them. They played cards outside my home and made loud noises. Sometimes I would go outside and play with them, but most of the time, I resisted the temptation and stayed in to study the Fa. Looking back, I think the foundation of studying the Fa during that period of time helped me in later years.
Cultivating Solidly as a Young Dafa Disciple
I once had a dream in which I fell from a staircase of a 5-story building. I landed safely and was not scared at all in the dream. I realized that Master would protect me and I felt very safe in my heart.
I also learned to apply the standards of the Fa in everything I encounter. Master always helps me when I have correct understandings. For example, I once caught a few fish and wanted to bring them home. However, the car stopped suddenly, spilling all the water and fish out of the bucket. All the fish died. Soon after that, my stomach started to hurt. I thought it must be because of the fish that I'd killed. When I had this thought, my stomach stopped hurting.
One time, a teacher called on me to answer a question in class, but I couldn't. The teacher did all he could to embarrass me in front of the class. At first, I felt indignant, but then I remembered that I was a Falun Dafa disciple and must be able to forbear. I immediately felt calm again.
When the persecution started in 1999, I was in the eighth grade. I continued to study the Fa at home every day. During high school, I lived at the school. At first, I couldn't study the Fa at all. I then hand-copied Hong Yin and took it with me to school to read and memorize. As soon as I came home for the first summer break in high school, I read through all the Fa teachings Master had published at the time. I enlightened that I needed to validate the Fa and save sentient beings.
When I returned to school, I got up early in the morning and put Falun Dafa materials in every classroom. I told my classmates about Falun Dafa. Because of my heavy study load, I had to find time to do the exercises and study the Fa. One time when I was reading a Dafa book during study hall, my teacher walked over and saw what I was reading. He took my book away. I was very nervous because I had seen other students get expelled for practicing Falun Dafa. For several days, I studied the Fa and sent forth righteous thoughts intensively. Then I asked to speak to my teacher. I told him how my mother had suffered from asthma that could not be cured, but she had not had any symptoms after she started practicing Falun Dafa. I told him about how I had changed and other facts about Falun Dafa. In the end, he agreed that Falun Dafa is good and told me that he would not report me.
Saving Sentient Beings While Not Being Able to Go Home
I was arrested while visiting a fellow practitioner's home in 2001. I was a junior in high school at the time. I was passing by her home and went in. I didn't know her home was under police surveillance.
I was taken to a police station. I looked for ways to escape but didn't see anything. Then my stomach started to hurt. I told the officer who was watching me that I needed to use the toilet. He took me to the restroom and waited outside. Once in the restroom, I noticed the window could be opened. My stomach then stopped hurting, and I realized this happened so that I could get away.
I tried to pry the window open. The policeman heard the noise and came in. When he saw me still there, he left again. I carefully opened the window and jumped out. Once outside, I noticed a wall about two meters tall. Without much effort, I was able to get over the wall in the darkness. Even though the broken glass on the wall stabbed me in several places, I didn't feel any pain. I believe Master had protected me.
After I escaped from the police station, I knew I couldn't go home anymore. Living on my own at the age of 18 was a big challenge for someone who was used to living at home or with other students. The isolation and loneliness were hard to put into words. It took me a long time of studying the Fa and adjustment before I got used to living like that.
After I left home and school, I spent most of my time providing technical support and maintenance for different material production sites. Even though most older practitioners find technical work difficult, this was really not hard for me. Soon I became very competent and was responsible for technical support for a large area. I often went to other towns to help out practitioners there. For six years, I moved often and encountered many hardships. But I felt honored to be able to help Master in the Fa-rectification period.
Cultivating in Prison
Right before the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the Chinese communist regime intensified the persecution. Many practitioners were arrested, including me. I was severely tortured in the detention center. Many times I thought I would die, but my unwavering faith in Master and Dafa helped me to endure. I was sentenced to 12 years in prison because of my technical background.
I had no access to Dafa books in prison. I wanted to read the Fa more than anything, and I regretted that I had not been able to memorize the Fa. By chance, I got a copy of Master's latest Fa teaching. I can never forget the moment I laid my hands on it. My heart rejoiced! I memorized the entire article in one sitting. Even now, after eight or nine years, I can still remember the article.
I knew other practitioners in prison wanted to read Master's teachings, too, and I wanted to make that possible. I was soon put into a position in which I had opportunities to come in contact with other practitioners in the prison. I believe Master arranged it so that I could help other practitioners. Working with other practitioners, we were able to pass along Master's latest teachings to almost all the practitioners in prison. Although I had fear and human notions while I was doing that, I always felt Master's protection. After I was released from the prison, I still tried my best to pass on Master's teachings to practitioners in prison because I knew firsthand the intense longing to read Master's Fa when you don't have your freedom.
I recited the Fa and frequently sent forth righteous thoughts every day while in prison. When I had opportunities, I told other inmates about Falun Dafa and convinced them to withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated organizations. Even in prison, my life was fulfilling. Only when I had attachments did I feel that I was suffering.
Participating in Group Fa-study
After I was released from prison, I felt complacent the first few days. I didn't even want to get up to do the exercises in the morning. But I always woke up early. If I didn't get up, I felt very uncomfortable. Only when I got up and did the exercises did I feel better. Now I get up every morning to do the exercises.
The biggest improvement in my cultivation came from joining a group to study the Fa. At first, many bad thoughts surfaced when I decided to participate. While studying the Fa with other practitioners, I had a hard time reading without making mistakes. There were other forms of interference, such as feeling sleepy. But every time after Fa study, I feel my head was clear and my body light. The sharing and discussion among fellow practitioners also helped me improve. After a period of time, I no longer had this type of interference.
When I look back at my cultivation path, I realize that I did not treat cultivation seriously enough at times. I let myself slack off. Master said,
“But since every minute and every second of your life is part of your cultivation, you are wasting your own [opportunities], wasting the limited time that you have on your cultivation journey, and failing to walk the path well.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2015 New York Fa Conference”)
“The instant you relax, you will be led away by human thinking and take a backward, or roundabout, route, and you will cooperate poorly with each other as you validate the Fa and clarify the facts.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference”)
I now understand that every thought is crucial. I will cherish the past and walk the path well in the time that remains.