A 72-Year-Old Practitioner: Remaining Steadfast in Prison
(Minghui.org) I am a 72-year-old Falun Dafa practitioner, who lives in a small town in the Northeastern part of China. I used to suffer from spinal disc herniation, sore back and legs and fatigue, which resulted in being bedridden when the symptoms were serious. I also had a bacterial infection of the trachea, chest pains, and heart disease. I started to practice Dafa (also called Falun Gong) in May 1997, and my health was restored within a few months, without having to resort to medicines. My entire family witnessed my recovery, as well as other changes, and supported my decision to cultivate.
When I watched Master Li Hongzhi's lectures, I saw a smiling Buddha delivering the lecture. I thought I was hallucinating. Then, I saw Master wearing a suit. I realized that this is not a normal Fa. And regretted that I had not come across this Dafa earlier!
Because of gaps in my education, I did not recognize a lot of words in Zhuan Falun, so I spent more time than others to study the Fa. Soon enough, I could read through Zhuan Falun, and after a while, I started memorizing Zhuan Falun.
However, the persecution started two years later. I wondered why we were not allowed to learn such a wonderful Fa, so I decided to go to Beijing with other practitioners, to petition for justice for Dafa. We were arrested when we reached Tianjin, and were detained in a detention center for 13 days. On my return home, the police kept harassing me.
Clarifying the Truth about Dafa
I decided to produce Dafa informational materials and clarify the truth about Dafa, as the government appeals system did not seem to be effective. Practitioners and I hung banners with information about Dafa and distributed materials in every village in our area.
We went to every single household to tell people about Dafa and held no fear. We persuaded dozens of people to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its youth organizations. We reached home safely each day and understood that Master watched over us.
During those days, I was diligent in studying the Fa and always stayed at home to memorize the Fa during bad weather. I memorized Zhuan Falun, Hong Yin and Hong Yin II.
We clarified the truth in 28 villages. Once, we came to a family where the husband was a party member. Upon hearing about quitting the CCP, he reacted strongly against it. We were not intimidated by his reaction and continued to clarify the truth to him. Although he did not quit the Party, he became more receptive to us eventually.
Sometimes when we were hanging banners at night, we saw red lights and golden streaks in the sky, all dazzling and colorful. We knew that this was Master’s way to encourage us.
Once when we were distributing the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, we had not taken many copies with us, yet it felt as if there was an endless stock of booklets in our pockets and we were able to distribute copies to everyone in the village.
Experiencing the Power of Dafa
One time, six out of the eleven practitioners who went out to hang Dafa banners were arrested and taken to a detention center, which was a dreadful place. Many of us got scabies there. The food was worse than pig food.
Since I struggled when they tried to take a mug shot of me, I was put in handcuffs and heavy shackles. I was in extreme pain and could hardly move. So, I sent forth righteous thoughts and said to the cuffs: “Handcuffs, you’re used to restrict me and prohibit me from eating or relieving myself, and this will bring you bad karma. You’re also alive, so please let me go and you will have a good afterlife. You’re a living being, and can choose your own future. Please let go of me.” The handcuffs opened.
The guards handcuffed me again so tightly that it made my wrists bleed. At that moment, a child with pigtails appeared before me. I said, “What an adorable child you are, jumping around me like this. But I’m all cuffed and can’t give you a hug.” He just smiled and continued to jump around. I was certain that this was not a hallucination.
I endured immense pain when in handcuffs and shackles, When I could not bear it any longer I said in my mind: “Master, I really can’t stand it anymore. Please help me and have these evil people uncuff me.” Immediately after that, I fell unconscious.
The practitioners called the guards, who took off the handcuffs and brought a doctor. The doctor said: “How can you treat an old lady like this? This is terrible!” There was another practitioner, also handcuffed, who was also released.
The female guard who had handcuffed me was sick for a few days and her face was a sickly shade of green. She told me, “Your family was concerned and told me to treat you well.” I responded, “You failed to understand the reason why I went out to hang banners, and you started to persecute me. You should release me.” The guards were moved. I clarified the truth and many of the guards quit the CCP. I told them, “Don’t participate in the persecution anymore. Falun Gong practitioners are good people; how could you persecute us?” Some of them accepted the truth and treated me well.
During my time in the detention center I memorized Zhuan Falun, Hong Yin, and Hong Yin II. Another practitioner brought 30 of Master's lectures. We memorized the Fa together, and became more diligent on our cultivation path.
Cultivating in Prison
We were kept in the detention center for six month before we were transferred to a prison, and I was taken to the “transformation” ward.
The staff there was so evil. They understood that we were good people and would not renounce our faith. So, after persecuting me for about five days, they put my fingerprints on the “transformation form” when I was semi-conscious.
“While my body is amidst these mountainsMy thoughts wander to that magical placeWho was the China of antiquity?People don’t know the grandeur of the great Tang way”(“The Tang Way, Hong Yin II, Translation Version A).
I was suddenly wide-awake and started crying. I apologized to Master and promised that I would write a solemn statement immediately – the practitioners are sending forth righteous thoughts for me at home, and here I am doing ridiculous things.
The next morning, I was left in the room with another practitioner. I told her that I wanted to write a solemn statement and she said that she wanted to write one too.
The next morning, I got up early to write the statement. After that, the head of the cell came and pointed at the other practitioner while speaking to me: “Look at how disappointing she is, she wrote a statement to void her previous renouncement!” I said, “Don’t be angry. How could we renounce our faith just because someone forced us? What are we renouncing? That we are going to become bad people? I also wrote a statement.”
Then, the brigade captain came in. I told her, “I recovered from my illnesses because of Falun Gong.” I clarified the truth to her and passed her my solemn statement. She replied,“So you’re lived up to your Master’s expectations, but what about me?” She inferred that she would be losing her bonus. A sense of compassion swept over me and I started to comfort her, so she was kinder after that.
I told her that this is a dangerous job and advised her to be transferred to another position. She was reassigned to another ward of the prison, no longer in charge of persecuting Falun Gong. I still remained in the previous cell but no one dared to persecute me.
After that, I demanded to be released from hard labor. Several inmates tried to convince me to work, so I kept sending forth righteous thoughts. Eventually, the guards stopped pressuring me and were very respectful towards me.
Convincing Former Practitioners to Return to Dafa
I began to communicate with practitioners who had renounced Dafa. Soon, more and more practitioners returned to Dafa, and the prison guards were deluged with solemn statements.
A practitioner said, “Even the old lady has returned to Dafa, so what is there that we are afraid of?” Soon enough, more than 50 practitioners, all except one, returned to their faith. So I talked to her and motivated her. Some time after I was released from prison, she was also released. She told me later, “I also came back to Dafa.”
During the three years that I was in prison, I was isolated from the outside world and relied on memorizing the Fa to survive.
Before I left the prison, the police guards tried to get me to do three things.
The first was to take a prison exam. I refused to sit for it and was told that I needed to write an appeal. So I wrote: “My name is [my name], and I will not participate in the prison exams and activities because of my faith in Falun Gong.” Then I signed my name. The inmates in my cell were shocked at what I wrote, but this was how I truly felt. After that, no one required me to sit for tests of any sort again.
Also before my release, they wanted to talk to me but I refused. Later, I changed my mind when I saw other practitioners being persecuted for refusing to do the hard labor. I thought I needed to clarify the truth to these prison guards. They refused to listen and took my fingerprints. After I returned to my cell, I started to send forth righteous thoughts to reject the validity of the fingerprints. After that, I heard that the people from the 610 Office told the guards not to take my fingerprints.
Finally, I was told to sign my mug shot to ensure that I got my residence re-registered, but I refused, so they told me to go back to the cell. I told myself to stay calm, because I am fearless. My cultivation journey is arranged by Master and no evil can uproot me, so I will be able to leave tomorrow. Indeed, I was notified to leave the prison the very next day.
While packing, I distributed all my things to the other practitioners or inmates. One of them took my pillow cover. She said, “You’re someone with a faith, and I know that you are all good people. I'll take your pillow cover as a keepsake.” I also encouraged the remaining practitioners to persist in cultivation and to treat the guards with compassion.
The day before I left, I was still clarifying the truth to everyone.
Released from Prison
After I was released from prison, I continued to memorize the Fa. I had memorized 240 pages of Zhuan Falun in the prison, and the remaining 92 pages after I was released. I also memorized Hong Yin III and Hong Yin IV.
When I had 12 poems left to memorize in Hong Yin IV, I started to slack off and felt reluctant to continue. Then, I told myself not to waste any more time and I started to memorize the remaining poems.
I also made phone calls to clarify the truth and encouraged people to quit the CCP. Since my mind was focused and clear, Master helped me and many people quickly decided to quit the CCP and its affiliated youth organizations.
Whenever I am clarifying the truth, I recall a sentence from Master's poems: “Saving people before catastrophe, racing against the clock” (“Fulfilling the Vow,” Hong Yin III). I feel that nothing can obstruct me. This is because of the power of the Fa and Master’s continuous support.
“Dafa disciples are the hope for the future. Dafa disciples are shouldering the historic responsibility of saving sentient beings. To complete this tremendous mission well, Dafa disciples must study the Fa well. Only by cultivating yourselves well can you, at the same time, do well and successfully accomplish all this. Dafa is the Fa of the universe, so “Dafa disciple” is a sacred title. Consummate yourself while saving all beings and validating Dafa.” (“To the Fa Conference in Japan,” Team Blue Translation)