Commemorating Minghui's 20 Year Anniversary: Journeying Together through Trials and Hardship
(Minghui.org) Master Li Hongzhi (the founder of Falun Gong) has emphasized the importance of Minghui during lectures for the last two years. Although I cannot fully understand its significance, I do know how critical Minghui is for us practitioners in China. During the past 20 years of harsh persecution, Minghui has stayed with us and played an indispensable role for our cultivation practice.
The Launch of Minghui
Following the arrest of practitioners in Tianjin, about 10,000 practitioners went to Beijing to peacefully appeal for Falun Gong. Instructed by secret orders from the Communist Party, various government agencies started to harass and suppress practitioners.
On June 25, 1999, the Minghui website was launched. Less than a month later, the persecution started on July 20, 1999, with wide-scale arrests of practitioners nationwide. The suppression reached every corner of Chinese society, both physically and spiritually.
During those dark days when we could not hear Master's voice, our pain and helplessness were beyond description. It was through Minghui that cultivation stories and experience-sharing from practitioners around the world became available, and were then circulated among practitioners.
These articles allowed us to comprehend practitioners' understandings of the Fa, and their faith in Master Li. We also witnessed practitioners' compassion through helping to awaken people to the facts about Falun Gong, as well as the miracles that accompanied their righteous thoughts and righteous actions. This motivated us to face the persecution and, with wisdom and righteousness obtained from the Fa, to tell people the facts about Falun Gong, selflessly and in a dignified manner.
More importantly, all of Master Li's lectures and articles were published on Minghui. This provided us with a reliable channel to obtain Master's lectures amid the complicated situation in China, where both persecution and slander was going on against Dafa.
Looking back over these 20 years, we know that Minghui has played a critical role and provided us with guidance all along.
Reading Minghui Articles
I was arrested on the morning of July 20, 1999. After several months of detention and severe mistreatment, I regained my freedom. At that time, someone gave me an article from Minghui with the title “Let our lives be forged amid the Fa-rectification.” It was an article from an experience-sharing conference in Guangzhou City in 1999, and I was moved to tears.
The author wrote, “I was happy to see the rising sun in the morning and I knew I was on the journey of returning to my true home. Turning around to a practitioner near me, I said, 'I have now realized that cultivating to however high a level is not so critical for me, as our existence is meaningful only because it is associated with fulfilling our commitment in the Fa-rectification.'” This sentence was simple and beautiful. I still remember it well after so many years.
The practitioner who gave me this article told me that the Minghui website was run by overseas practitioners. These practitioners provided updates on the persecution as well as information about our efforts in assisting Master with truth-clarification.
I was very encouraged and began to read the website every day (with the exception of the days that I was detained).
Together with Minghui
Not long after the suppression started in 1999, several practitioners from Changchun City in Jilin Province came to our city. They had traveled a long distance to share their understandings about the Fa-rectification period cultivation practice. They also talked about their experiences of going to Beijing to validate the Fa, along with the miraculous events that they had encountered.
Two of them stayed in my rented apartment for a few days. Although local practitioners were intimidated by the harsh environment, these practitioners were very assured. They went out every day to take pictures of the belongings of practitioners who had died through persecution, and they risked their lives to take photos of bedrooms and living rooms that had been ransacked following the arrests of practitioners. Many years later, I read on Minghui that these practitioners were still suffering in prison. The precious pictures they took, however, were later broadly used by news media, such as the Epoch Times and NTD TV, to expose the brutality.
Guided and motivated by the articles on Minghui, I also went to Beijing to appeal like other practitioners. After arriving there in early 2000, I lived in a practitioner's home. One evening, this practitioner used a computer to submit an update about the persecution to the Minghui website. This was the first time I had seen the website online and I felt very close to it.
Not long after its submission, this piece of news was published. Seeing my surprise at the quick turnaround time, the practitioner explained that practitioners overseas were taking shifts waiting in front of computers day and night to make sure articles would be published in a timely manner.
Hearing those words, I no longer felt lonely, although I still had some fear, and this stayed with me for a long time. When the fear tried to attack me again, however, I would think of Master, as well as the Minghui practitioners waiting in front of their computers day and night. This made me feel as if practitioners everywhere were next to me, and practitioners from the entire world were together. I felt more assured and confident. Several days later, I also went to the appeals office in Beijing without fear.
Learning Computer Skills
My city began to communicate with Minghui in March 2000. A practitioner had received training from a practitioner in Beijing and he came back with a computer. That was the first time that our region was able to communicate with Minghui through encryption. Today, many computers in our area that can access Minghui.
When we first heard back from Minghui, we were very touched by the greetings from overseas practitioners and we were in tears. From that moment on, our hearts were together with Minghui and we were never separated.
We passed on the technological skills we had learned to several practitioners. These skills included using a computer, overcoming the internet blockade, and using encryption during communication. We then visited practitioners in town after town, and village after village, to help more practitioners learn the skills.
Many practitioners who had never touched computers later became experts and were able to reinstall systems and software. A practitioner in her forties had come from the countryside to learn the technology from us. She said that she had never seen a computer before and her progress was very slow. It took her almost a week just to learn how to use a keyboard and a mouse. The practitioner who was teaching her became upset and the practitioner herself also felt bad. She had been detained and tortured for practicing Falun Gong. Although she had never wavered during her detention, the computer really gave her a headache and she cried out.
Nonetheless, she stayed and later began to make progress. Many days later she was able to submit a Solemn Declaration, voiding the previous words against Dafa that she had spoken under duress during detention. She has kept submitting articles to Minghui, and they are often published.
The practitioner in Beijing who taught us the computer skills was later imprisoned for 10 years. After his release, he wrote in an article, “Occasionally Chinese tourists ask overseas practitioners how much they were paid to distribute materials at tourist sites. I can answer that question. Because of my belief, I was put in jail for 10 years and tortured in many different ways. I not only lost my personal freedom in those 10 years—the most valuable golden time in my life—my family was also broken and my child was separated from me. So, how much money would it take to replace that? No amount of money can, because it is priceless and sometimes people forget there are principles and faith in this world.”
Reading this article, I was deeply touched. I wanted to tell this practitioner that although he spent his best years in prison, his efforts had helped us to connect with Minghui in the safest way, and bring blessings to more and more people.
It is the same with overseas practitioners, I think. No matter whether they are in their twenties, thirties, or elderly practitioners, their dedication to Minghui has helped save people and bring eternal life.
In September 2000, we downloaded two articles from Minghui: “Jiang Zemin Cannot Shirk the Responsibility for the Persecution of Falun Gong (first posted in September 2000)” and a related article. We printed them and made many copies to distribute in several major cities. People not only knew the truth about Falun Gong through reading these articles, but they also learned the name Minghui.
My child came back home from school one day saying that people, including police officers, were reading these articles posted on a pillar in a nearby shopping center. One man in my neighborhood had praised the articles posted in my residential building and said it was a great way for Falun Gong practitioners to speak out with their suppressed voices.
Another practitioner's husband was also impressed by this. He praised his wife for these efforts and said he would like to help put up materials too.
Almost 20 years have passed, and many people now know the name Minghui very well. One person who lives in a nearby apartment complex said he is always eager to receive materials from us, and he reads each issue in detail.
I was once detained in 2003. When no other police officers were around, a police officer who was in his thirties took a truth-clarification flyer from his pocket and told me that he enjoyed reading every issue. Later on at the police station other officers also said good things about the quality of the booklets. Some said they were just like materials printed by professionals.
My child often joked with me, “I bet that, in the future, Minghui will be the biggest news media in China.”
Printing and Distributing the Nine Commentaries
During these years of truth-clarification, Minghui has guided us through all the major truth-clarification efforts. In 2005, we received the printable version of the Nine Commentaries of Communist Party (Nine Commentaries) from Minghui and began to print it in large quantities. Most practitioners understood its importance, and we began to distribute the nicely printed copies to the public.
High-level officials, local police officers, and people from various backgrounds were all interested in it and discussed it. We compiled some of the feedback we had received and submitted it to Minghui for publication.
Master has been taking care of us each step of the way and offering blessings to people wherever we went. In the beginning, we distributed the Nine Commentaries. Later on, everyday people began to circulate it too. Then more and more people began to quit the organizations affiliated with the Party.
'We Are Here For You'
In the early days, we lacked technical skills and very few everyday people could overcome the internet blockade to access overseas websites. For security reasons we rented an apartment with wired internet and communicated with Minghui from there.
I downloaded articles from Minghui every day, and when it was time to open the Minghui website, I felt as if I was sitting together with practitioners from Minghui. The peace and happiness were so overwhelming; it was as if I could forget about the harsh persecution.
The practitioner who rented the apartment said he suspected that the police had been tracking that place. I was very worried because I had left my computer that I used to contact Minghui there.
Three days passed and I dared not go back. With no communication with Minghui for three days, I was extremely lonely. Walking on the street at night, I thought that I had missed three days of Minghui articles. In addition, every 10 days, Minghui would publish a compiled booklet of sharing articles from practitioners. I always printed them for local practitioners. Without them, some practitioners were fearful to do anything and some even stopped practicing. As more and more practitioners began to read the booklets and benefit from them, we started printing about 10,000 copies per issue. But now, we had nothing.
I decided to send forth righteous thoughts and go back to retrieve the computer.
Walking on the stairs in the darkness, I could hear my heart pounding. After getting in the room, I planned to pick up the computer and leave immediately. However, the computer made a beeping sound, as if reminding me to read the messages. I did not understand why a computer would give off a sound when it was turned off, but decided to check anyway. I turned it on and downloaded the encrypted message. “How are you doing? We have not heard from you for a few days and hope everything is fine,” the message said, “We are here for you.”
Calmly and resolutely, I downloaded articles from the past few days and responded to the message from the practitioner.
After that, I looked around and felt surprisingly gigantic. Everything around me was still, and without any thoughts, I felt my main consciousness was very tall. Then, facing me was another figure, almost as tall as the sky. I could not see the face, but I knew he was from the other side of the ocean where the overseas practitioners are. Those words, “We are here for you,” really touched me and reassured me.
I decided to continue communicating with Minghui in this place. I knew I would be safe, because Master had enlightened me with the gigantic figure of Minghui—Minghui is here with you and you will be safe.
Moving Forward in the Long Night
Like a messenger from Master, Minghui has connected all practitioners in the long, dark night that is the persecution. Through reading Minghui, we were able to correct our mistakes and do well, and I felt ever more deeply the compassion and sacrifices of Master.
After the persecution started, between 2001 and 2002, the hate propaganda used to brainwash the masses was more reckless than ever. Some practitioners who used to actively go to Beijing to appeal now suddenly reversed themselves and began to attack Dafa. Some practitioners were misled and many of us felt helpless.
I was very worried because I never expected something like this would happen. I felt chaotic inside and feared that those people might damage Dafa.
We wrote to Minghui, telling them what had happened and explaining our concerns. Feedback from Minghui reminded us to remain calm and be firm in our belief in Master, as well as the Fa. The feedback also said that Master was taking care of us and we should not be disturbed. There were also some detailed suggestions.
Not long after that, Minghui published many articles about people who had enlightened along an evil path, as well as articles to wake them up. We downloaded these articles and compiled them into a magazine. We then shared them with other practitioners. Local practitioners discussed these issues and shared our understandings. We were thus able to overcome this interference.
This is just one episode in our journey of assisting Master with Fa-rectification. Over the past 20 years, the sharing articles from Minghui have helped us stay on track during the Fa-rectification.
This happened quite a few years ago. Early one spring morning, it was a little chilly and I was reluctant to get up. I was thinking that I went to bed too late, and my bed was so warm. However, I heard a bird chirping, loud and clear, again and again, as if the bird would not stop unless I got up.
I got up and turned on the computer. There was a message from Minghui about an urgent matter. I responded to the message and was thankful for the bird waking me up. I could imagine the bird might have been welcoming the warm spring and the blossoming plants.
Looking out the window, however, I was stunned that there was snow everywhere—on the tree branches, the ground, and the roof. It was heavy snow and there were no birds at all.
From then on, I would hear the bird chirping whenever there was a message from Minghui. This was the case no matter whether it was in the morning or in the evening, summer or winter. This magic bird and the happy sound accompanied me for many years.
Since the publication of “The Knowing Heart” on Minghui, we have known that compassionate Master has established Minghui as a trustworthy website for us. In those days when we could not see Master or hear his voice, Minghui gave us assurance, because Master's lectures and articles would be there to guide us.
Over the past 20 years, more and more practitioners have been able to access Minghui. Through reading Minghui, they are improving themselves and walking the path well to assist Master with Fa-rectification. Since its establishment, Minghui has played an important role and helped fulfill the missions of Dafa disciples.
Master has talked about Minghui in two recent Fa conferences. This makes me deeply understand the importance and achievements of Minghui. Master said:
“But it’s cultivation, so aren’t these the most magnificent and extraordinary kinds of things you can do? When Dafa disciples are in the most difficult of circumstances and need to hear a [supportive] voice, Minghui.org is there for them. So think about how extraordinary your work is.” (“2018 Fa Teaching Given in Washington, D.C.” Yellow Team Translation)
On the 20th anniversary of Minghui, I would like to thank the Minghui team for the help and guidance the website has provided us for the past 20 years. Above are just some of my experiences, and I sincerely wish Minghui will continue to do better and better, and bring hope to more people.