The Choices We Make Decide Our Fate
(Minghui.org) I was bogged down in a long period of depression when I was in my 20s. I was desperate to find a way out of it, so I joined up with a group and traveled to the Buddhist holy land of Lhasa in Tibet.
Someone in our group had a copy of Zhuan Falun and flipped through the pages with me one day. As soon as I saw the author's photo on the first page, I immediately felt a sense of calmness and security that I had never experienced before. I thought, “This is it! This what I want!” I had an overwhelming complete trust in the author of this book.
Choosing to Practice Falun Dafa
My father was severely persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) during the Cultural Revolution when I was young. My mother warned me not to say things about that period of time or about the CCP. I did as she advised.
I grew up an introvert and was unsociable. I liked being alone, and reading was my only hobby. The more I read, however, the more I became uncertain about life and seemed lost.
As soon as I read Zhuan Falun, I made an immediate decision: I will practice Falun Dafa!
From then on, I followed the teachings of Master Li Hongzhi (the founder) and embarked on my path of cultivation.
It wasn't long before Jiang Zemin, the head of the CCP, launched a brutal campaign of persecution against Falun Dafa. The propaganda and rumors were everywhere. My family, workplace, and all aspects of society pressured me to make a choice.
Without much thought, I chose to believe in Master. In such troubled times when people try to cheat and outwit each other, Master teaches us Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and how to live by these principles. Who could more trustworthy?
Many people were practicing Falun Dafa where I worked. The management put all of us in a so-called “study class” and demanded that we write guarantee statements that we would give up our belief.
I refused to write it, so the management pressured my husband to write one for me. I told them that I would not acknowledge anything my husband wrote.
Losing My Way
I was illegally detained in a forced labor camp and couldn't cope. I eventually lost my determination and will to continue in my belief. I succumbed and did a lot of terrible things. As soon as I got out of there, I deeply regretted what I had done. I wept on the floor in front of Master’s portrait and didn’t want to live anymore.
As I was crying, a thought suddenly struck me, “Nothing could be sadder to see than you just lying there instead of getting up.”
I stopped crying and looked at Master’s portrait above my head. This line of Master’s Fa came to my mind: “How could a cultivator be free of mistakes?” (“How to Provide Assistance,” Essentials For Further Advancement)
I calmed down and told myself, “Among the countless beings in the cosmos, Master has chosen you to be a Dafa disciple. You can do it! Live up to the title of Dafa Disciple. When you trip and fall, get up and keep going! Believing you can do it is believing in Master.”
In my understanding, we have choices at every moment on our path of cultivation. Every choice we make is not only very important for us, but also impacts sentient beings.
Compassion Can Change People's Hearts
I was taken to a forced labor camp a second time. The guards in these camps typically assign drug addicts to be their “helpers” and do the CCP's dirty work in persecuting practitioners. The two “helpers” assigned to me were nicknamed “Tomboy” and “Shark.” They were known for being creative in torturing their victims and beating them mercilessly.
One day, “Shark” started to swing her fist at my head.
Looking at her young but violent-looking face, my heart was deeply saddened, and I thought, “What could have made her bear such hatred toward a total stranger? She is already on the road of self-destruction for doing drugs, now the wicked Party is making her commit greater sins. This poor woman has done so much evil out of ignorance. What will her future be like?”
At this thought, I burst into tears.
Suddenly, her fist stopped in mid-air, and she slowly brought it down to her side. From then on, she no longer hit me and even told others not to.
“Shan* is really powerful.” (Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Singapore)*Shan means “goodness,” “kindness,” “compassion,” “benevolence” (as in the Shan of Zhen, Shan, Ren)
I came to understand that no matter how deeply lost a person is, as long as he or she chooses to be good, there is hope for them.
Choosing to Believe
When I was first taken to a detention center, I saw a middle-aged woman crying in the corner of the cell. I learned that she was a vegetable farmer and that her land had been appropriated but she hadn’t been fairly compensated. She’d lost her source of income and went to petition the government. But when she did, she was arrested and detained. She couldn’t bear the grief and indignation. No one could calm her down, and she wouldn't stop crying.
I was telling the inmates about the persecution and told them the story of “When the Lion’s Eyes Turn Red.” People gathered around, and I noticed that this woman was listening in the background.
When I finished, she came over and said, “I see now. Just like the Bodhisattva-turned beggar in the story, you’re delivering the message that ‘Falun Dafa is good.’” She then faced the window, knelt down, and prayed.
I didn’t know what she prayed for, but I knew she chose to believe. She went to bed quietly that night. At daybreak, the guards unlocked the door and let her go home. In the midst of confusion and tribulations, she chose to believe the truth and experienced the blessing for herself.
We Can't Shut Ourselves Away
After I was released, I locked myself at home to study the Fa because that was all I wanted to do. One day, a thought occurred to me, “What’s the difference between locking myself at home like this and being locked up in prison?”
I was alarmed and thought, “The world’s people are being deceived by lies and are in great danger. You, on the other hand, want to stay shut yourself away and seek refuge in Dafa. Are you worthy of the title of Dafa Disciple?”
I immediately put the Dafa book down, fetched my bicycle, and rode out into the countryside to let the people there know about Falun Dafa.
I hadn’t gone very far before I ran into a very frail-looking man. I got off my bike and greeted him. He told me that he used to be a military commander but now had cancer. He was also a long-standing member of the CCP. I told him about quitting the Party and its affiliated organizations to be safe, and he repeatedly said, “I want to quit!”
I was infinitely grateful to Master for giving me the opportunity to choose between serving myself or others. And because I chose the latter, I had the opportunity to help someone choose a bright future.
I ran into the same man again a month later. He had rosy cheeks and looked completely different.
I find everything is very simple now, because everything can be as simple as a choice: A choice to believe in Master, a choice to stand up for Dafa, and a choice to help offer salvation to people.