Cultivating While in a Detention Center
(Minghui.org) I was arrested in 2017 for talking to people about Falun Dafa. After being held at a local police station for two weeks, I was transferred to a detention center.
During my imprisonment, I talked to everyone I met about Falun Dafa and clarified any misunderstandings they had. I recited the Fa, sent forth righteous thoughts and constantly searched within myself for any attachment. I felt Master Li Hongzhi’s constant presence, protection, and encouragement.
My tears fell whenever I talked about Master. Even though I was imprisoned, I considered myself fortunate and did not hold hatred toward anyone who tried to harm me. I regretted the things I did not do well due to my attachments. I'd like to share a few incidents that happened to me during my time in the detention center.
“These Cannot Touch You”
After I arrived at the detention center, I was forced to watch and listen to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda. I was afraid that these negative substances would get into my mind. I resisted listening and sent forth righteous thoughts. I begged Master for protection. I suddenly had the thought, “These things cannot touch you!” I was relieved. The sound of the propaganda became distant and barely audible. It was just like Master said, “ ...a tiny finger will be more than enough to crush it.” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)
A Young Woman Learns about Falun Dafa in the Detention Center
To prevent practitioners from encouraging each other, only one Falun Dafa practitioner was placed in each cell. As I entered the room, everyone in the cell treated me nicely, especially a young lady who I'll call Lian (alias). She greeted me warmly and said, “Let me know if you need anything.”
At bedtime, Lian showed me a small book. It was part of Lecture One from Zhuan Falun written by hand. I was very excited. She said that another Falun Dafa practitioner had been in this cell before me and introduced Falun Dafa to her. Lian was frustrated because she wanted to learn more but the other practitioner left. She was very happy to see me and treated me like her own family.
Even though Lian was a new practitioner, she was very diligent. She used all her free time to study and memorize the little Fa literature the previous practitioner left her.
I wanted to write down Master’s poems and teachings I remembered to help Lian. The problem was that we were not allowed to have pens or paper. We asked Master for help.
A few days later I received the court’s indictment. I asked the chief guard for a pen and some paper so I could write my defense letter. When I was done, the guard did not ask for the pen back. We collected paper from our forced labor jobs and made them into a little book. I wrote down every one of Master’s poems or lectures that I could remember. Including what Lian already had, she now had four little books to study. She was very happy and believed that Master gave us the pen and papers to encourage her to study the Fa.
Every day we studied, did the exercises and shared. Whenever new cellmates came we told them about Dafa. Some wanted to practice Falun Dafa and joined our Fa study.
Whenever we had free time, Lian would ask me about Master, about other practitioners’ cultivation and anything about Falun Dafa. She shared her understanding of the Fa and cultivation experiences. Lian said Master often encouraged her in her dreams. When she first arrived at the detention center, she constantly cried and could not sleep nor eat. She completely changed after becoming a practitioner. She was happier, healthier and was the first to offer a helping hand to her cellmates. Everyone around her witnessed Dafa’s miraculous power.
My Defense Letter
I showed the first draft of my defense letter to our cell guard. The guard knows the truth about the persecution against Falun Dafa, so she never interfered with our group Fa study or exercises. She told us she would have joined us if it were not for her job.
The guard said my words were too sharp and “political.” I showed my letter to our chief guard. The chief guard said the same thing and advised me to rewrite it.
I believed the problem must lie in my letter. I had to rewrite it.
After I re-read my first draft, I saw the loophole. I did not write from my heart and did not consider the readers’ perspective. Simply put, the letter did not awaken readers’ compassion.
I begged Master for wisdom to sort out my thoughts and write a letter that showed the greatness of Dafa.
One night, Master’s Fa appeared in my thought one line after another. The words guided me. I finished my letter the following day. I showed the new draft to the guards again and they approved it. Many who read it said, “If I were the judge, I would release you immediately.” The chief guard reminded me to stay calm and wished me the best before I left for court.
My fear was eliminated a little bit at a time. My fear surfaced again when my lawyer told me the date of my hearing. Searching for the root of my fear, I realized I was looking at the surface manifestation with human notions. I felt the court, the legal system and everyone who worked there was evil. In fact, they were being used and harmed by the old forces. Our duty as practitioners was to save them.
“...because I don't acknowledge them. But I knew that they'd do things this way, so I was left with no choice but to go along with their ploys and turn their ploys against them. That's the situation.” (Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Lantern Festival)
Master is in charge and has the final say. Our only responsibility is to save people, including every person inside the courtroom. When I talked to people at the farmer's markets I was not afraid. Quite the contrary, I was proud and happy. When I remembered this, I knew what I had to do during the hearing. Master said, “...matter and mind are one thing.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun) If I thought I would be persecuted in the courtroom, I would be persecuted; however, if I saw it as a chance to talk to more people about Falun Dafa, then Master would help me save them.
When I entered the courtroom, I was no longer afraid. I only wanted everyone in the room to know that Falun Dafa is wonderful.
Prisoners Helped by Dafa
Living without a foreseeable future and freedom can make prisoners angry. They liked talking to me after seeing how steadfast and optimistic Falun Dafa practitioners are.
I understood their feelings and encouraged them with the principles of Dafa. I stressed the importance of living by high moral standards no matter where they were. I explained that the only way to lessen their suffering was to be compassionate and generate less karma. Whenever we had free time, I would tell them about the goodness of Falun Dafa and expose the lies behind the persecution. Many of my cellmates said they felt calm when they sat near me.
One middle-aged woman had back pain. I advised her to repeatedly say, “Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” Afterward, she told me that she was finally able to have a restful sleep.
After a drug addict with chronic headaches started reciting, “Falun Dafa is good” she said she felt relief and eventually became a practitioner.
A top hospital official was awaiting her sentencing for bribery. She had met a few practitioners while she was detained. One night, she went to the window and shouted, “Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good! I will practice Falun Dafa after I go home!” During her next hearing, she was sent home on probation.
I befriended a young white-collar professional woman who was a Buddhist. She told me about a dream she had. After an earthquake, she saw many books scattered on the ground; some were about Buddhism and there were also Falun Dafa books. First, she picked up a book about Buddhism, but put it down and picked up a book about Falun Dafa. I pointed out it meant she was destined to practice Falun Dafa. She was released soon after me. I gave her reading materials and showed her how to get on the Minghui website.
During my imprisonment, I sensed Master’s constant presence. Master guided and protected me through this difficult time. I reminded myself that my life is with the Fa and that I must be a diligent cultivator.