Deepening My Understanding of the Teachings
(Minghui.org) On November 7, 2000, I was illegally arrested and held in a detention center for 48 days. Then I was sent to Masanjia Forced Labor Camp. In this article I would like to share what I encountered in the detention center that led me to develop a deep and personal understanding of the teachings.
Talking to a Guard about Falun Dafa
When the Communist Party’s persecution of Falun Dafa began in 1999, it was a dark period of time in China. In the detention center, nearly 30 people were held in a cell measuring about ten by ten meters. More than a dozen of us were practitioners. We had to eat, sleep, and go to the toilet all in this one room. There were no beds, so we just slept on the floor, all on our sides so that we would fit.
There was a sewing machine in the detention center office. The guards brought chores from home to the office and made everybody do the work for them. Because I could sew, I was kept in the office. That was how I became acquainted with the people there.
One day a practitioner in the next cell did the exercises, and the guard-on-duty beat her. Several days later, the one who guarded my cell sent me to the office to do some sewing for the guard who had beaten the other practitioner. Like me, the guard was from Shandong Province. The fact that we came from the same place helped me to make an easy connection. I said to her, “You look pretty nice to me. I want to say something but I’m not sure I should.” She told me to go ahead.
“Please do something to accumulate virtue for yourself. I practice Falun Dafa, and my teacher [Li Hongzhi] taught us about ‘Loss and Gain.’ Everyone carries two kinds of substances on their body, white and black. Doing good deeds accumulates the white substance, and doing bad things accumulates the black substance. These substances stay with you lifetime after lifetime and will also affect future generations. When you hit someone, you give away your white substance to the person you hit and the person's black substances will come to you. So please don’t beat anyone.
“I lived through the Cultural Revolution,” I continued. “My co-workers who beat up others died tragically, some in a car accident and others of cancer. Very sad. So please heed this as a lesson. We Falun Dafa practitioners are kind people who cultivate Buddhahood. When you hit these people, you’ll create lots of karma for yourself and leave this destructive legacy for your children. The virtue you collect will benefit your future generations.”
What I said surprised her, and she responded, “I’ll remember that. I won’t hit anyone from now on.” Then she asked me to tell her what was going on with Falun Dafa.
I said, “I practice Falun Dafa because it keeps me healthy and teaches me to be a good person. Before that, I was so sick I was often bedridden. To climb the stairs to my home on the seventh floor, I had to stop and rest four or five times. I spent lots of money seeking a cure, but nothing ever worked. In less than a month after I started to practice Falun Dafa, I became very healthy and was never tired. My teacher taught me so many wonderful things but didn’t take one single penny from me. I read Zhuan Falun and did the exercises and my health problems disappeared. Now the regime orders us to stop practicing and arrests us. Lots of rumors are being fabricated to slander Teacher Li. Shouldn't I say something about this? Don’t we people have a saying, ‘The favor of a drop of water will be rewarded with the gratitude of a fountain of water?’ When you are in trouble, should I add fuel to the flame by saying bad things about you?”
She answered, “No, you shouldn't! And I can’t do anything against my conscience. Okay, you folks go ahead and do your exercises.”
From then on, whenever she was on duty, she told all of us practitioners, “You Falun Dafa people can do the exercises now. I am on duty today.” She also said to others who were being held in the detention center, “You guys need to learn from these Falun Dafa practitioners. They are all good people!”
Young Inmates Understand Falun Dafa Is Good
Several inmates once asked me what Falun Dafa was all about. I told them that it would be better to ask a veteran practitioner. Two days later, they asked me again. I repeated what I had said previously. They told me that they couldn't understand what the veteran practitioner said.
I thought that my understandings of Falun Dafa were only at a shallow level, but I responded, “My understanding of Falun Dafa is that the teachings emphasize three words: Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. You conduct yourself truthfully and always tell the truth. You are compassionate to everyone and treat everyone the same way. Forbearance means you don’t fight back when you are being hit or sworn at. That is the standard required of cultivators. Do you think Falun Dafa is good?” These young inmates raised their fists and shouted, “Falun Dafa is good! Falun Dafa is good!”
I felt so happy for them, because once they understood the truth, they made the right choice.
New Prisoner Learns about Dafa and Changes Her Ways
One night, a new prisoner was admitted to the detention center. She had been charged with forcing young females to seduce men and then arrange for others to catch the men and extort money from them. When she was being brought in, she grumbled and vowed to take revenge on the person who reported on her.
I looked at her and said quietly, “If you pay someone back like that, when will it ever end?” She said, “You’re right. But I can’t help it. I have to make a living. Besides, they aren't good people either.”
I said, “You can do something else to make a living. The money you make like this isn't clean anyway, and if you give it to your children, it will only bring them misfortune. How are you going to face your grandchildren? Will you tell them how you got the money? You have to accumulate virtue for your children.”
The woman paused for a while and said, “You’re right. I need to think this over.”
At the time I had a copy of Teacher’s article, “Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference” and read it out loud for her. The woman remarked, “I want to be a person with the white substance one day. I don’t want to be full of the black substance.”
“To have the white substance and be a good person, first of all, you need to stop swearing at people,” I said. “I can do that,” she said. I really didn’t hear her swear anymore. One day she was about to open her mouth but she just moved her lips and didn’t say anything. I asked her, “Did you want to say something?” She said, “Yes, I was about to swear but then I remembered that I want to be a good person, so I swallowed my words.”
Reflecting on My Time Spent in Detention
Officers from the police station came to the detention center to review my case with me. I told them, “Please tell your boss that using force and abusing the law cannot change people’s hearts. Falun Dafa teaches people to be kind. You arrested the wrong person.”
The guards at the detention center had heard the truth about Falun Dafa and understood. When the police came to review my case, a guard told them, “You folks made a mistake. This is a good person; you should release her!”
I tried to be kind to everyone at the detention center. When I was being transferred to Masanjia Forced Labor Camp, they put some groceries in my bag without me knowing. They all cried as they waved goodbye to me. When I got to the labor camp, the guards there checked my bag and confiscated my “gifts.”
I started to practice Falun Dafa in 1998, but I didn’t cultivate solidly and only had a shallow understanding of the teachings. So when I told others about Falun Dafa, it was only at a surface level. By interacting with people in the detention center, I felt I developed a deep and personal understanding of something Teacher said:
“Only the evil humans remain and are still acting out. Moreover, all people with righteous thoughts—and I’m not referring to our students—all everyday people with righteous thoughts are standing up against this. This is because the evil was restraining people before, and after the evil was eliminated, people became clearheaded and now they’re reconsidering and reassessing all these. The lies and fabrications will all be exposed one by one.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference,” Guiding the Voyage)