Master Leads Me Up the Ladder to Heaven Step by Step
(Minghui.org) I have been cultivating in Falun Dafa, also called Falun Gong, for more than 20 years. From being “the other woman” to having my own family, from simply cultivating myself to clarifying the truth about Dafa, my path has not been easy, but Master never gave up on me. Looking back, it's clear that Master has been holding my hand every step of the way, leading me up the ladder to Heaven.
Earning a Living Wage
I grew up in a poor farming family in the countryside. My father couldn't work in the fields because of poor health. Growing up, life was hard.
After middle school, I moved to the city to look for work. I worked many part-time, and odds jobs as a dishwasher, janitor, and housekeeper. Although I worked long hours, I only earned about 70 yuan a month.
I decided to enroll in a beauty school hoping to become a hairdresser, but soon found that I had bad reactions to the toxic chemicals in salon products. They caused the skin on my fingers to become infected and I lost all of my fingernails.
The chemicals even got into my bloodstream and resulted in lymphatic enlargement. My parents couldn't afford my medical expenses, so I took out a loan, and paid it off within two years.
I then moved to Beijing and continued to work as a nanny and a housekeeper. I traveled between a few households each day to do cleaning and cooking. Sometimes I also cleaned the common areas of the community.
Given my work schedule, I didn't have time for proper meals during the day. I often ate irregularly and even skipped meals, which took a toll on my health and caused inflammation of my stomach lining. My stomach sometimes hurt so badly that I could only curl into a ball.
I landed a job as a sales associate in 1996 which was the start of a tragedy. I met a married man at this job with whom I had an affair. This is the biggest regret of my life.
Influenced by the decline of morality in society, I couldn't resist the temptation, fell for the seduction and became “the other woman.” I was being eaten up by guilt, especially when I thought of his then three-year-old daughter.
When my parents found out about this relationship, they cursed me for bringing shame and dishonor to the family and told me to never come home again. Afraid of what people might think of me, I cut all connections to family and friends. I felt isolated and ashamed, but I just couldn't walk away from it all.
Introduced to Falun Dafa
By chance, I was introduced to Dafa. I read the book Zhuan Falun. When I looked at Master's picture in the book, he looked very familiar, as if he was family. I was not sure why my eyes were filled with tears, as I didn't feel worthy of becoming a Dafa practitioner.
However, I still went out and bought all the Dafa books and a Dafa pin. I did go to a practice site one time but dared not speak to anyone because of my shame and fear that my presence would damage Dafa's reputation. I studied the Fa and did the exercises by myself.
Master didn't look down on me. He treated me as a true disciple and purified my body. The skin on my hands peeled off layer after layer until it was no longer dry and coarse. I threw up and had diarrhea for several days in a row. The liquid that I threw up was slightly pink in color. After that episode, I never had a stomachache again.
“Sexual freedom, which has mixed the human races and muddled human ethics, is absolutely forbidden by gods. So as cultivators, you absolutely should not do that sort of thing. You may have a wife or a husband. This is the normal way of life for human beings. But you are committing a sin if you have sexual activity with someone who isn’t your husband or your wife.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Europe”)
The more I studied the Fa, the more guilty I felt. Master said,
“Those who are attached to lust are no different from wicked people. While reciting the scriptures, they even cast furtive glances; they are far from the Dao and are wicked, everyday people.” (“Cultivators’ Avoidances,” Essentials For Further Advancement)
Master treated me as a disciple, but I didn't act like one. I was just a wicked everyday person. I had let Master down.
I thought of committing suicide but as I looked around my home, I saw the drawer of my desk where I kept my Dafa books. Master said, “... suicide is sinful.” (“Fa-Teaching Given at the Conference in Sydney”)
Master's Fa awakened me. I silently looked at Master's picture, and tears covered my face. I held Zhuan Falun and knelt for a long time.
Master Pulled Me out of the Mud and Rearranged My Path
Taking my skill sets and abilities into consideration, I decided that there were three possible paths before me. I wrote each on a piece of paper, and crumpled them into balls. As I randomly drew from them, I got the same result three times in a row. It was clear what I should do.
I left the deed of the home I shared with the married man, took all my Dafa books and took a train heading North. At the new city, I worked odd jobs while learning new skills until I found a job at a factory.
As if born again, I felt free like a bird just released from a cage. Life was good, as I no longer bore the mental burden of being the other woman. I was happy every day and smiled all the time.
I strictly followed Master's teachings, and tried to live up to Falun Dafa's standards of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Beside doing my job well, I voluntarily swept the workshop every day. I was always happy to help if any of my co-workers needed anything.
I was sitting on a small stool washing a big pile of sheets for the contract workers at the factory one time when the purchasing manager stopped by. He asked me, “I've been watching you for a while now. You do this every day. Why?” Seeing that he was truly confused, I smiled, “I practice Falun Gong. Our Master teaches us to be a good person, and I always consider the needs of others first.”
He stood up quickly, paused, and asked, “Oh, are all Falun Gong practitioners like you?” Because of my past, I told him, “Yes, but I am the worst one.” He was not convinced, “You're the worst? What is Falun Gong all about? The Falun Gong practitioners that I know are all good people, and completely different from what the news says. But some of them were arrested.”
I told him, “Falun Gong is the best. Our Master is the most righteous. The news reports slandering Falun Gong are all lies. You will know if you get to know us more.” After our conversation, everyone at work knew that I practiced Falun Gong.
Guided by the principles of Dafa, I never fought for petty benefits nor took any personal conflict seriously. When faced with conflicts, I simply explained myself with a few words and laughed it off. Everybody at my workplace liked me, and because of that, none of my co-workers believed the lies of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). I also stopped watching any kind of news programs around that time. It was the fall of 2000, shortly after the launch of the persecution.
Starting a Family
A co-worker soon asked me out. He was a year older than I, very mellow and very handsome. I couldn't imagine lying to him, and didn't dare to expect more than I deserved. I put my pride aside, told him about my past, as well as the fact that I might not be able to conceive.
To my surprise, he was able to look past my infertility, and didn't care about my past. We started dating, and were married after six months. I was finally able to have a normal life and live with dignity.
My husband and I were both hired by a big food processing company for different skill sets. We worked from dawn to dusk every day and tried to do a good job. My husband is a caring man, and took good care of me. We didn't have a lot of money, but we were happy together.
Soon, we had enough saved to start our own small business. The hard work we put into it was paid off, and we opened a second location within a year.
Although things were going really well for us, a piece was missing. Whenever I had a spare moment, I longingly watched mothers with their babies and small children. I so envied the expecting mothers and their bulging bellies. I felt sad and guilty that I couldn't give my husband a child.
My husband saw right through me and suggested that we get examined. The results showed that we were physically capable of conceiving, despite the fact that I just couldn't get pregnant. My husband tried to comfort me, “Just let nature take its course.” We both avoided this subject.
While doing the second exercise one morning, I felt a cramp in my lower abdominal area. After I finished doing the exercises, I went to the bathroom, and felt something sliding out of me. I took a closer look and found a balloon-shaped sac, the size of an egg, and the color of an eggplant. I asked myself, is it a uterine tumor? Why was it not found in the multiple physical exams that we took? It was Master who cleansed my body and helped me get rid of it.
When I found out that I was pregnant a few months later, my hands couldn't stop shaking as I held the lab results. My husband couldn't contain himself and started babbling. I saw him going outside and wiping tears from the corner of his eye. He had wanted a child as much as I did.
The birth of our son brought us endless happiness and hope. It made me a mother and completed our family. I know that our son is a gift from Master, and he is here to obtain the Fa. Looking back, I now know that Master had been watching over me long before I obtained the Fa and started on my new path.
Helping Master Rectify the Fa
Because our business required indirect killing in the cooking process, my husband and I, after discussing it, decided to sell the business in September 2008. My husband went back to being a factory worker and I found a job as a sewing operator, which gave me the flexibility to take care of our child. I also was able to study the Fa and do the exercises with him on the weekends.
I got a truth-clarification DVD in the fall of 2012 from my father who is also a practitioner. I finally understood what “quitting the CCP and its youth organizations” really meant, and why as practitioners we need to urge people to quit the Party.
Also during that trip, the local practitioners helped me print out all of Master's scriptures starting from 2000. After I systematically studied them, I deeply felt that I was far behind in the Fa-rectification progress. Master is so compassionate to have given me the opportunity to catch up and fulfill my vows.
As someone who had benefited so much from cultivation, I had the responsibility to spread the truth about Falun Dafa. It is the Great Way that only comes around once in a trillion years.
The CCP is the devil and the culprit behind this chaotic society and declining morality. Its lies have deceived people worldwide. Countless sentient beings are blindly following the evil, not realizing that they are facing destruction. I finally realized that it was my path and my destiny to help Master rectify the Fa and bring the truth to the Chinese people.
I quickly became part of the one body of practitioners. Fellow practitioners taught me how to use the internet, download, print, and burn CDs, and other skills for making truth-clarification materials. I joined my father and other practitioners to hang banners, post stickers, and distribute truth-clarification CDs and booklets in small villages.
As Dafa worked its wonders, my entire family started getting involved in clarifying the truth. My sisters started using currency bills with truth-clarification messages, and my mother helped sew truth-clarification banners. My nieces helped print banners and went with me to distribute truth-clarification fliers late at night. My brother helped deliver truth-clarification materials, and my older sister took me on her electric scooter to small villages to distribute fliers. She even let me stand on her shoulders to hang a banner one time. My husband drove us to remote regions to clarify the truth.
Almost all of my free time was spent on clarifying the truth about Dafa. Although tiring, it made my life meaningful, because I was fulfilling my vows as a Dafa practitioner. It makes my heart happy knowing that those who have been deceived by the Party's lies can now choose a bright future.
Experiencing the Persecution Firsthand
For a while, I was so busy with truth-clarification projects that I couldn't calm my mind for Fa study, or doing the exercises. The old forces exploited this loophole and targeted me for persecution.
After covering a large area distributing truth-clarification fliers, I was followed and reported to the police. Seven plainclothes police officers broke into our home that night, arrested me, and ransacked our home. I was taken to a detention center where the guards striped me naked and gave me a prison uniform to change into.
The next day, my husband transferred money into my account first thing in the morning. When I refused to answer the authorities' questions after several days of interrogation, the detention center authorities froze my account. I couldn't purchase any daily necessities, not even a bar of soap.
It was near the end of November and it rained nearly every day. I stood in the hallway of the ward and looked at the gloomy skies.
I could hear Master calling me,
“In the chaotic world, like pure lotus flowers—plum blossoms, a hundred millionCold winds only accentuate their beautyThe interminable snowfall and rainare the tears of gods,Who look longingly for the plum blossoms’ returnNever, ever get preoccupied with worldly thingsSteel your righteous thoughtsFor all [that you have gone through] since ancient times,Was for none other than this time around.” (“Plum Blossoms (in Yuan verse),” Hong Yin Volume II)
I responded quietly in my heart, “Master, I now know where I fell short. I will cultivate well no matter where I am.”
The guards didn't get the information they were looking for from me, and my case was put on hold indefinitely. I adjusted my expectations and quickly settled into my new environment. I was kind to everybody, and helped with washing dishes and cleaning.
I openly clarified the truth at the detention center to whoever asked. At first, people didn't understand why, and asked me, “Weren't you arrested for talking to people about Falun Gong? Why do you still dare to talk about it?”
I told them, “Because Master is compassionate. Master said, '...everyone in the world was part of my family.' (“Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference”) That is why I do this. It is to help people understand the truth about Dafa.”
I watched people leaving the detention center for one reason or another—some were released because their families had connections, some bribed high-ranking officials, and some were released on medical parole. People told me that my case was forgotten, but I knew that Master was testing me.
In that harsh and isolated environment, I was able to focus on and improve myself. I relinquished many human notions and attachments, such as the attachment of always rushing to get things done quickly, always trying to get into others' business, jealousy, lust, and my competitive mentality. I was able to take self-interest much lighter and was even more thankful for the opportunity to cultivate in Dafa.
The notice of being tried came very suddenly and the procuratorate demanded that I be sentenced from three to four years in prison. During the break between the first and second court session, a guard told me, “Write to your husband and ask him to send some money.” I was baffled, “I have enough money. Why should I ask for more?” Another detainee explained, “The guard was hinting that your husband bribe the judge.”
I told Master, “Master, my money is only for saving sentient beings. I will not spend even one penny on bribes. It's your decision when I get to go home.”
I ended up getting a two-year term, which even the guard thought was strange. When the verdict was announced, I had already been detained for close to two years and was released shortly after that. I can't imagine what Master had to suffer to take care of this tribulation for me.
Thankful for My Supportive Family
It was already dark when my husband and I got home after he picked me up at the detention center on the day of my release, but our son was still up and waiting for us at the door. He quietly said “Mother” when he saw us.
I took one of his hands and put my other hand on his shoulder. I asked him, “Do you understand everything that has happened?” He said, “Mother, I understand. Falun Dafa is good. We have to follow Master.” I let out a long sigh of relief—even though my son was young he had strong righteous thoughts.
My husband later told me that when I first got arrested, the police went to my son's school twice and questioned him without the presence of a parent or a teacher. I can't imagine what they had said to my boy, and if they had threatened him.
My son was very worried about me. He didn't think I would come home again but didn't say a word to his father about it. He often had nightmares, and woke up in the middle of the night crying. Until one day he couldn't take it any more and asked my husband, “Father, please tell me the truth, will mother ever come home again?” My husband told him, “Yes, your mother will come home.”
Since then, the boy never asked about me again. He kept it all to himself, because he knew that it would just make his father sad. He made a calendar with the date of my arrest clearly marked and was counting the days to the day I would be released.
My husband also recounted his experience over the past two years. Because of the implication policy by the CCP, all our family members suggested that he divorce me. His response had always been, “We have been married for 15 years, and everyone in the village knows that she is a good person. She didn't commit any crime. If she was imprisoned for anything else, I would divorce her; but she was arrested for practicing Falun Gong and trying to become a better person. I will not divorce her because of that.”
It didn't matter who asked about my arrest during those two years, my husband told them about the Tiananmen Square Self-Immolation hoax, how Dafa had spread all around the world, and that Dafa practitioners were framed when they were directed to line up outside of Zhongnanhai on April 25, 1999.
He had gone to many government agencies to petition for my release and was disappointed each time. He had to take care of our son, deal with my arrest, and work to provide for the family. Everything added to his worries, and nobody could understand the pressure he was under.
He told me when he couldn't take it anymore, he would compare himself to the person Master mentioned in Zhuan Falun who suddenly lost his job, had a sick parent, a trouble-making child, and a wife who had an affair. He said that comparing himself to that person, his situation suddenly didn't seem so bad.
A Visit from Local Officials
Two months after my release, the secretary of the city Political and Legal Affairs Committee and a group of his subordinates came to my home in the name of “consolation.” As soon as they walked in, they saw my son's many awards and drawings hanging on the wall. The secretary smiled, “You've done such a wonderful job raising your boy.”
I invited them to sit down. “I was imprisoned for two years and have not spent much time with him. His achievements have nothing to do with me. It is because he believes in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.”
The secretary's smile froze and it was suddenly quiet in the room, so quiet that it was a little awkward for a minute. An official from the 610 office broke the ice, “We all care about you and your family. We visited your family and your son every year during the past two years. Now that you're back, we just want to make sure everything is going well. Please let us know if you need anything.”
I smiled, “We can take care of our son and our family. The neighbors and villagers treat us just like before. You guys are all very busy and if there's nothing else, you don't have to check on me or my family anymore.”
The secretary said, “If the practice is good, just practice at home and don't make such a big case for us. I will get rid of the criminal record in your file in a few years.” As he stood up and started walking toward the door, the person behind him quickly took out a red envelope and put it into my hands, “It's from the secretary. Take it please.” [Editor's note: In China, monetary gifts are traditionally offered in red envelopes.] The local officials all knew how ridiculous the persecution against Dafa is.
I have joined the local truth-clarification effort and been part of the one body for more than two years now. With fellow practitioners' help, I have been fulfilling my vows as a Dafa practitioner in various ways.
After watching the film Coming for You, I thought about my family, friends and all the people around me. I realized that we can't take any one life lightly as they all came for the Fa. We have to cherish what each being has sacrificed and endured for us during the persecution. We have to bring these lives along when returning home, as it is what Master wants.