Awakening People's Consciences While Imprisoned
(Minghui.org) I was unexpectedly arrested one month before the 2008 Beijing Olympics. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) carried out mass arrests at that time, and the detention center was very crowded. About 20 people slept on one bed; we were packed like sardines. Within a few days, my back was sore.
One morning, I said to a few of the inmates, “What if I were to stand and do the Falun Gong exercises at night? That would make more room for you to sleep, wouldn’t it?”
An elderly lady who had been convicted of drug trafficking began to swear at me. She said that I was bluffing and wouldn’t really dare to do that: “You think that this is like your home? This is a detention center!” Hearing that, I realized that I must do the exercises that day.
A Well-Reasoned Argument
I went to talk to the guard in charge of our cell and told her I would do the exercises every night. She became furious and shouted, “Do you know what kind of place this is? This is a detention center! You can’t do the exercises here!”
I said, “Why am I held here? Isn’t it because I practice Falun Gong? If I don’t do the exercises, would I still be a Falun Gong practitioner? If I’m not a practitioner, you can let me go home. I respect you and hope you’ll treat me the same way. I am not a criminal, nor I have violated any law. There is nothing wrong with practicing Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance. I used to be very ill, but I was saved by Falun Gong and became healthy. Now you put me here and won’t let me practice, which is the same as taking away my life.”
I was very calm and continued, “Tonight when everybody goes to bed, I’ll start doing the exercises standing on the floor. Not only will that make more room for others to sleep, but I’ll also get to do the exercises.”
She challenged me by saying, “Don’t you practice Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance? But you are arguing with me. We don’t allow you to practice, but you still persist. Is this forbearance?” I told her that Master Li Hongzhi taught:
“Forbearance (ren) is not cowardice, much less is it resigning oneself to adversity.” (“Beyond the Limits of Forbearance” from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
“You have to put yourself in my shoes,” she responded. “I am the guard in charge of this room. If you were to do the exercises here, I wouldn’t have done my job properly and they’d take away my bonus pay.”
“Could you please tell me where I should go to practice the exercises so that you don’t lose your bonus? I think if I went to the director’s office, you would be fine. How about you send me there? I will do the exercises every day, the director will then wonder whether I should have been arrested in the first place.”
When she saw my persistence, she said she’d ask the director and get back to me. Later that afternoon, she asked me one more time if I would drop the idea of doing the exercises. I said no. She paused, then said, “If you really want to practice, then please go ahead. Let me make an announcement to everyone.”
She took me back to the cell and told everyone that I would start practicing Falun Gong in that room. The surveillance system would be operating so if anyone caused trouble, they would be caught on camera. Afterward, she left.
People from our cell all stared at me. The elderly lady who swore at me in the morning gave me a thumbs-up and said, “Good job! I had thought you were bluffing, but it turned out to be true. I admire you. I’ll listen to you from now on!”
Besides doing the exercises, reciting the Fa, and sending forth righteous thoughts, I used the rest of my time to talk to the inmates and awaken their consciences. Most of the inmates I had contact with renounced their memberships in the CCP.
Opposing the Persecution Through Righteous Actions
I was later illegally sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. At the prison, I worked long hours every day. The work was very intensive. My job was to put a lining in each pocket of items of clothing. I recited the Fa while working, usually reciting the introduction to Zhuan Falun, “On Dafa.”
One day, I suddenly felt very sad while working. I thought that because I hadn’t done well, my loopholes were taken advantage of by the old forces; I was held in this evil den doing hard labor every day and couldn’t go out to save people. I knew I must completely negate the old forces’ arrangements. So I sent forth strong righteous thoughts to dismantle the evil den and also asked for Master’s help.
I suddenly saw a small pencil on the workstation. I grabbed it and wrote in the lining of a piece of clothing: “The Fa rectifies the Cosmos; the evil is completely eliminated.” While writing, I sent forth very powerful righteous thoughts. After I finished, I took the clothing to the ironing table. A prisoner saw the words on the lining and reported me to the guards.
I was called to the office. The prisoners in the workshop were all worried that I would be tortured, which could be anything from being shocked with electric batons or held in solitary confinement, to being strung up.
At the office, the guard slammed the table and shouted hysterically that I had undermined the production process. She asked me what I could do to reverse the impact. I had no fear, smiled, and told her I practice Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance and am a good person. Therefore, I would never do anything against the law.
She asked me, “You wrote on the lining. Is this true?” I replied yes. She demanded to know what I wrote. I looked her right in the eyes and repeated the phrase. She deflated like a balloon and curled up in the chair and couldn’t sit up straight. She then whispered that I could go, so I headed back to the workshop.
Everyone from the workshop looked at me strangely. They couldn’t understand how I came back so easily. In the past, whoever violated the prison terms would be punished. I not only didn’t get punished but came back with a smile on my face. It was Master who protected me. I truly felt what Master said:
“When disciples have ample righteous thoughtsMaster has the power to turn back the tide” (“The Master-Disciple Bond” from Hong Yin Vol. II, Translation version A)
Awakening the Conscience of the Team Leader
One time, every prisoner was given a pen and paper and required to write a “thought reflection.” All practitioners imprisoned in our ward refused to write one. But when the guard came to me, I thought it was an opportunity to clarify the facts, so I asked for a pen and five pieces of paper.
I wrote down the lyrics to a few Dafa songs I could remember, filling all five pieces of paper. When I handed them over, the guard took a quick look and said I should give them to the team leader myself because she was too scared. The team leader took the papers from me and put them in her pocket without even looking at them.
The next day she called me into her office. She said that my memory was amazing given my age. I replied, “It’s because I am a practitioner. Dafa can help open up one’s wisdom, keep one fit, and elevate one’s moral values. However, such a wonderful practice is persecuted in China. People who practice Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance are arrested and imprisoned. Do you think that’s right?”
I took this opportunity to clarify the facts to her. She gladly accepted what I said. Before I left, she said if the opportunity arose she’d like to learn Dafa.
On Fridays, I was required to watch brainwashing content on TV. We were not allowed to sit in the lotus (double-legs crossed) position. I had worked for the whole day and really wanted to relax by sitting in the lotus position. So I naturally put up my legs and sat on the bed.
One inmate shouted at me to take my legs down and that I was not allowed to do that. I smiled, “I never heard that was against the law. When you went to a temple, didn’t those Buddhas all sit like that? If you can persuade them to take down their legs, I’ll follow suit. Otherwise I won’t.”
My words made everyone laugh. The inmate went to look for a guard. In a short while, she came back as if nothing had happened.
My actions made the other inmates feel that I was an upright, approachable person with a great sense of humor. They liked to interact with me. Whenever I had a chance, I made use of it to awaken their consciences.
There have been many stories on my cultivation path. Under great Master’s benevolent protection, I have broken through one trial after another while validating Dafa.