Growing Up Under Dafa's Guidance
1. My Family Benefits from Cultivating Falun Dafa
I began to practice Falun Dafa at the age of seven with my parents. Before that, they had serious health problems. My father was a high school teacher, and I remember that several times he passed out while he was teaching and his colleagues had to bring him home. My mother had had a serious heart condition since she was a child. She also suffered from bad periarthritis and a herniated disc. When I was little, she wasn't able to carry me since she couldn't lift any weight.
In the summer of 1996, my parents began to practice Falun Dafa. Within a few months, all their ailments were gone! They suggested that my maternal grandmother, who was at her 80s, attend a seminar where a video recording of Master's nine-day lectures would be shown. My grandma's heart was so bad that she could not even walk to the car. In fact, she had to be carried to the car to attend the first day of the seminar. Miraculously, after attending just one lecture, she was able to walk home by herself. Since that day, she has not taken a single pill.
My health improved as well. I no longer caught colds like I used to. Even my severe rhinitis, which had bothered for a long time, disappeared.
At that time, our understanding of Dafa was very shallow, essentially at the level of healing and fitness. We did the exercises but we did not really cultivate diligently. My father eventually got very busy with his work and stopped studying the teachings and doing the exercises. He passed away in the fall of 1998.
A year later, instead of doing the exercises together just once a week, the practitioners in our area decided to hold group practice once a day. My mother and I got up early every morning to attend. While I could not exactly pinpoint why, I was always very excited to go.
2. Understanding Cultivation Rationally
After the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched the persecution in July 1999, many practitioners in our area went to Beijing to appeal for the right to practice. My mother wanted to go but was worried about leaving me, because I was only ten at the time. To encourage her to go, I copied several poems from Hong Yin and gave them to her.
My mother ended up going to Beijing with other practitioners. As soon as she arrived, she was arrested and escorted home. When she went again and tried to appeal, she was arrested again, but this time, she was sent to a forced labor camp for one year.
Some of my relatives and family friends did not understand my mother, particularly my maternal grandfather. He was angry with my mother and me for not giving up the practice when the persecution started. For a while, I doubted whether I had made the right decision to encourage my mother to go to Beijing.
One day, after my grandfather scolded me as he did routinely, I hid in an empty room and cried until I fell asleep. I started to dream and saw the sky turn bright orange. A voice began calling Buddha names. Whenever a name was called, a golden lotus chair rose from the earth. When the chair reached a certain height, a divine being from earth flew into it. Besides lotus chairs, some of them sat on beautiful sacred animals or in heavenly carts.
I watched in awe. Suddenly, I heard my mother's name called. It was not her human name, but I knew it was hers as soon as I heard it. When a lotus chair rose up into the air, I saw my mother in a yellow Buddhist cassock fly into it. I was so excited. I shouted and shouted, trying to catch her attention. Her expression was kind and solemn but she showed no sign that she had heard or recognized me. Suddenly, a golden chain appeared beneath her lotus seat. It was connected to a heavenly cart that stopped right in front of me. I jumped into it.
I was still very excited when I woke up. I knew Master was showing me how sacred and grand cultivation is! My heart was at peace, as I understood that, sooner or later, I would see my mother again. It was a shame that I had doubted if it was the right decision for my mother to go to Beijing to voice her support for Dafa!
After my mother was released in the spring of 2001, she and other practitioners set up a site to print truth-clarification materials. Several practitioners who were forced to leave their homes because of the persecution lived there and helped make the materials. Since they were on the CCP's blacklist, the task of transferring the materials often fell to me. I would go there, pick things up, and take them home on my bicycle. Practitioners from three or four neighboring counties would then come to our home to pick them up.
In August of 2001, the police discovered the site. A friend of my mother, whose husband worked at a local police station, advised us to leave our home immediately. At that time, there were a lot of printed materials in our home. My mother and I decided that she would go to the printing site to inform the other practitioners while I would go home to pick up all the Dafa books and materials and then meet up later.
I rushed home. Before I had finished gathering all the books and materials, I heard police sirens outside. I peeked out the window and saw two police cars parked right in front of my building and another at the neighborhood gate. They started to pound on the door and yell, “Hurry up and open the door or we will break it in!”
We lived in an old building with no security door. They were pushing hard, and I could see the door frame starting to buckle. I panicked: What should I do?
Then I remembered Master's words: “Dafa Disciples’ Righteous Thoughts are Powerful” (“Dafa Disciples’ Righteous Thoughts are Powerful,” Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I sat on the bed and started to send righteous thoughts. At that time, I did not really know how to send righteous thoughts. I just sat in the lotus position, with one palm upright, thinking again and again, “Master, please don't let them in!”
I don't know how much time passed, but the police eventually stopped pounding and trying to force the door open. I saw from the window that they were chatting downstairs. I asked Master to make them leave, and about half an hour later, they did.
I cried. I was so grateful that Master saved me! With Master's protection, I got all the Dafa books and printed materials out safely.
My mother and other practitioners at the printing site were forced to leave our hometown. Not long after that, she was arrested for distributing information. This time she was detained in a forced labor camp for two and a half years.
I moved out and went to live with other relatives. With no other practitioners around, I did not manage to keep up my Fa study or the exercises. This went on until 2004 when my mother was released. I then returned home.
Right before the 2008 Beijing Olympics, my mother was arrested for the third time. By that time I was already in college. I started to make friends and join clubs. I was trying to “enjoy” life. I only studied the teachings and did the exercises occasionally. My maternal grandmother, who is a practitioner, advised me to take cultivation seriously, but I did not pay any attention to what she said.
In the summer of 2009, a fellow practitioner came to visit my grandmother and brought some copies of Minghui Weekly and a set of DVDs called “Telling the Future.” She smiled at me, “My child, this is such a Great Law. Make sure you follow it well. Don't fall behind!”
I still don't know why, but her words really hit home and woke me up. I watched “Telling the Future” immediately. I learned how Dafa had been spreading around the world and how practitioners had been working hard to clarify the truth about Dafa. I was stunned.
I couldn't sleep that night. I got up and opened the box where my grandmother kept our Dafa books. On the very top was Master's Touring North America to Teach the Fa. I devoured it. I now understood the meaning of my life and that it was my duty to save people. Looking back, it was that night when I began to think about Dafa rationally and truly became a Dafa disciple.
3. Breaking Through the Disturbance
I wanted to cultivate diligently and make up for lost time, but it was not that easy. For one, I often couldn't concentrate when I read the Dafa books. Sometimes, after just a few paragraphs, I would realize that I had no idea what I had just read. My mind was elsewhere. I realized that I needed a breakthrough to progress, so whenever I caught my mind wandering, I would re-read the paragraph.
At first, I often had to read the same paragraph a dozen times! Sometimes it took me more than half an hour to finish a single page. But I persisted. Two days later, I felt that some bad substance had been dissolved away, and my mind was clearer. When I read the Fa, I felt every character go straight to my heart. More and more of the meanings behind the words were displayed before me. I read Zhuan Falun and all of Master's newer lectures. During those days, besides eating and sleeping, the only thing I did was read Master's teachings. Finally, I broke through the disturbance to my Fa study.
It was also difficult for me to get back to doing the exercises. I was now able to focus when I read Fa, but as soon as I started to do the exercises, all sorts of thoughts would come up. I was alarmed. I remembered what Master said:
“A person is like a container, and he is what he contains. If he contains Fa, he has assimilated to the Fa; if he’s filled with dirt, he is dirt.” (Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Singapore)
I used to enjoy listening to popular music and watching movies. I kept a lot of music and movie files on my computer, even though they were all about fame, profit, and lust. When I realized they were disturbing my cultivation, I deleted all those files and sent righteous thoughts to clean out their influence on me.
My mind became much calmer, but I still did not achieve tranquility.
“the fundamental reason for one’s being unable to achieve tranquility is not an issue of techniques, but that your mind and heart are not clean.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
Master said my mind was not clean, so I began to look carefully at what was in my mind. When I did, I found many hidden human attachments. I tried to eliminate them one by one until this gradually became a habit: I observed where my thought came from and ascertained whether or not it was aligned with the Fa.
At first, it was not so easy to let the attachments go even if I saw them.
“The reason you can get rid of those bad things is that you don’t acknowledge them as you. That is extremely crucial. It is because you don’t acknowledge them as you that you can then eliminate them. The fact is, they really aren’t you. They are the various notions, or even karma, developed from the things you have done after birth—those things.” (Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference)
Those attachments were not myself. When I understood this, it became easier to eliminate them.
4. Improving Myself While Clarifying the Facts
After I broke through the disturbance and resumed Fa study and the exercises, one day, I was touched by Master's words:
“It is a xinxing issue if you do not help stop a murder or arson when you see it. How will you otherwise demonstrate that you are a good person? If you do not help stop a murder or arson, what would you get involved with?” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
“So many people I know have been misled by the CCP's lies,” I thought. “They will be destroyed if they harbor negative thoughts about Dafa. I need to save them.” That thought came from the bottom of my heart.
The very next day, I went out with fellow practitioners to clarify the truth to people. It was not easy. There were all types of strangers, and I did not know how to start a conversation with any of them. I went several days in a row but did not manage to talk to a single person.
One day, my grandmother said she wanted to start to clarify the truth, too, and asked me to bring her along. We went to a nearby park. Time passed and more and more people were leaving the park, but we still did not know how to start.
Suddenly, a gentleman walked over and said to my grandmother, “I see you are old but you look really healthy. How old are you?”
“I am almost 90,” she said.
He was very surprised. My grandmother naturally told him that the reason she was so healthy because she practiced Falun Dafa. She also talked about my mother who'd been persecuted just because she did not want to quit the practice. The gentleman was understanding and supportive, and he chose to withdraw from the CCP.
My grandmother and I knew that Master had brought this gentleman to us to encourage us and to show us a way to let people know the truth. I now understood that I could tell people about my own experience, which is a good example of how good Dafa is and how evil the persecution is.
When I spoke about my own experience, people were often touched by my sincerity. I also told them that mine was not an isolated case and that Falun Gong was not the only group of good people being persecuted by the CCP.
Of course, exactly how I clarified the truth depended on who I was talking to. The most important thing was my heart: I had to firmly want to save the person I talked to. Sometimes, when I talked to them just for the sake of talking to people, then the results were not as good. I kept reminding myself that my mission is to save people.
At the beginning, I tended to choose people who looked kinder. I also preferred to talk to women and elderly people. I did not realize this was not correct.
One weekend, everyone who looked kind turned me away. I started to look inward and try to figure out what was wrong. I realized that I was choosing people I thought would be easier to talk to, because I was so afraid of being rejected. I wanted to protect myself. That was selfish. Because of my selfishness, many people might have lost their chance to be saved!
I was ashamed and stopped consciously selecting the people I talked to. While I was shopping or taking the bus, I would strike up a conversation with whoever I ran into. Many people who looked cruel or unpleasant actually accepted the facts very quickly. And many young people who looked defiant in fact really disliked the CCP.
There were some people who refused to accept the truth. When I was insulted or sneered at, I was angry at them at first. In time I got used to it and I just told myself to ignore them.
One day, a practitioner shared a story about her family. Her husband, who was not a practitioner, often insulted her. She chose to ignore him. It got worse. Her husband started to insult Master and Dafa. At this point, she realized she was wrong. She thought she was being tolerant, but, in fact, she was cold and did not care about him. She did not stop him from saying bad things. By saying these bad things he created a lot of karma for himself!
She found her compassion for her husband and said, “Please do not say such things. It is bad for you. You can insult me, but it is a crime to insult Dafa, and I don't want anything bad to happen to you.” Her husband never insulted her or Dafa again.
I learned from this. Whenever I met someone who responded to what I had to say with insults, I no longer simply ignored them. Instead, I advised them not to harm themselves. I found that many of them changed their attitudes, and some of them even chose to withdraw from the CCP after prolonged conversations. As time went on, fewer and fewer people refused to accept what I had to say when I clarified the truth.
5. More People Know the Truth
One summer when my mother was in prison, she developed lumps at her lymph nodes around her neck and under her arms. I remember Master said:
“Once a problem comes up somewhere, that's where you need to go clarify the facts.” (“Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. III )
I went to the prison. I started to tell the guards the facts about Falun Dafa and asked them to release my mother.
During that time I visited the prison often. It was in a remote area. After a two-hour bus ride, it was another half an hour away by taxi or on foot. To save money, I usually walked.
One day, as soon as I got off the bus, a taxi driver asked if I needed a ride.
I thanked him and said no. He said, “I don't charge much.”
I thought that maybe this was someone I should save, so I went in the taxi. Before I spoke, he asked, “Young lady, why are you in such a place alone?”
I said I was going to the prison to demand the release of my mother. I then told him about Dafa and the persecution. He was very moved and chose to withdraw from the CCP. I was very happy that he made the right choice!
It was winter and the days were short, so it was already dark as I left the prison. Just as I started to worry about whether I could catch the bus, the headlights of a car shone toward me. As it drew nearer, I saw it was the taxi driver I had spoken to earlier. He was very happy to see me. He said he'd just dropped off another customer in the area and had decided to wait a bit to see if he could run into me, because he was worried I might not be able to get a ride in the cold weather. I was very touched.
When I tried to pay him, he would not take my money. He said, “Today I learned that Falun Gong practitioners are good people. I would like to do something for Falun Gong.”
During the years I have been telling people the facts about Dafa, I have met many truly kind people. After learning the truth about Falun Gong, many have been moved to tears. Some women wanted to buy me food. One officer offered to find me a job. Some have wanted to donate money to Falun Gong.
All of these experiences have encouraged me to do better at clarifying the truth.
In 2015, I moved abroad and began a new life. But no matter where I am, I will continue to follow Dafa and save more people.