(Minghui.org) I am now 71 years old. Before I started practicing Falun Dafa in 2004, I was a compulsive gambler with a lifelong gambling addiction. It was Falun Dafa that changed my life and gave me a second chance.
I started to gamble at the age of 10. I remember spending whole nights gambling away during the week-long Chinese New Year holiday when my parents would allow me to do whatever I wanted. When I was 15, another girl in my village and I scammed all the gamblers in our village. I was proud of myself and believed that I was smarter than others.
Before I got married, I asked my future husband if he was concerned that I was addicted to gambling. He was an honest man and thought I was joking. He said carelessly, “Only people with money gamble. How are you going to gamble without money?” He was wrong.
After we got married, I was still obsessed with gambling. My mother-in-law took care of everything around the house, and I didn't have to do any housework. When my sons were young, I sneaked out of the house to gamble, trying to avoid being caught by my husband or mother-in-law. When the boys got older, I openly gambled. When I worked night shifts, I went out to gamble during the days; when I worked day shifts, I tried to switch my shifts with others so I could leave work and gamble. My life was consumed by gambling and nothing else.
I took early retirement so that I could have more time to gamble. My family lived in poverty because I lost any money we had gambling. One time I got really sick at a gambling house and was taken to an emergency room. The doctor told my husband to take me to a larger hospital. Even though I was in great pain, my head was clear. I knew we didn't have money for hospital stays. I was also afraid that my husband would find out that I had lost all the money we had. I decided to give up treatment and go home.
When I got home, I saw a butterfly on my bed. I thought maybe a god had come to save me. And I did get better.
Even though I was suffering from all kinds of ailments, it didn't stop me from gambling day and night. My family was disgusted with me. Neither son wanted to live with me. My older son and his wife asked my husband to live with them and let me be. I had nowhere to turn.
My sister was a Falun Dafa practitioner. She knew my situation and advised me to take up the practice. In early November 2004, I started reading Zhuan Falun, the main teaching of the practice.
I was shocked by what I read. The book explained many questions I had. I also realized that my life would not be salvageable if I stayed on the path I was following. I decided to practice Falun Dafa. Within six months, all my illnesses went away.
Once I regained my health, I went back to work to pay off my gambling debts. I worked at a factory that manufactures leather bags. At work, I did whatever was assigned to me without worrying too much about personal gain. There was one particular type of work that nobody wanted to do. I told the boss that I could do it.
My boss came to the workshop to inspect our work. He thought I was honest and hard working. He doubled my wages without me asking and told me that a worker like me was hard to find. When I told him that I was a Falun Dafa practitioner, he almost jumped.
“If you had told me you practiced Falun Dafa, I would not have hired you no matter what,” he said. “Now that I have seen with my own eyes that you are such a good person, I know Falun Dafa is good and that we were all fooled.”
Later I explained to him many things about Falun Dafa, including the Tiananmen Immolation Hoax. He and his family all decided to withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party and its organizations. Eventually, I was able to tell everyone at work about Falun Dafa and the persecution.
I stopped working after I paid off my gambling debts. It took three years.
Even though I experienced many miracles after I started practicing Falun Dafa, I was often tempted and interfered with by the desire to gamble. One time I taught someone how to play the lottery. I twisted my ankle the next day and I couldn't walk over ten days. I didn't understand why. I talked to another practitioner and learned that teaching others how to gamble was also a bad deed.
Another time I really felt like gambling. I decided that I would gamble with the elders in my neighborhood. I wouldn't take their money if I won and I would pay them if I lost. I thought this way I would not be playing for gains and it would still satisfy my desire to gamble. Great idea! I played with them the whole day. The next day I woke up with two swollen eyes. I couldn't even open them. I also had a splitting headache. I immediately realized that I was wrong about gambling the day before. My eyes were fine two days later.
One day, I saw a lottery ticket and was able to see the winning combination. I told someone else to get it. It turned out to be the correct combination, so I was feeling pretty good about myself. That night I started to vomit and had severe pain in my abdomen, as if my insides were being torn apart. I writhed in bed from the pain all night long. I knew I'd made another mistake. I repented in front of Master's picture and asked for his help. I was able to sit in the lotus position. But the more I sat, the worse I felt.
I was just about to give up when I remembered Master Li Hongzhi's words: “When it’s hard to endure, try to endure it. When it seems impossible to do, or just hard to do, give it a try and see just what you can do.” (The Ninth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
I sat there for five minutes. All of a sudden, everything passed as if nothing had happened. I looked at the clock and saw it had been nine hours since I was up in the middle of the night. After a few experiences like that, I have no interest in gambling anymore. I don't even want to watch others gamble. I believe Master has taken away that desire that tormented me my whole life.
I was sent to prison for three and a half years for telling others about Falun Dafa and the persecution. Another time, I was detained for 15 days. My family and friends supported me all the same because they saw how I had changed.
How fortunate I am to be able to cultivate Falun Dafa! No words can express my gratitude to Master. I only wish to be more diligent in my cultivation.