Remembering Master Li Hongzhi's Visit to Taiwan in 1997 (Part 1)
(Minghui.org) The founder of Falun Gong, Master Li Hongzhi, visited Taiwan in November 1997. During his weeklong visit, Master gave two lectures, one in Taipei and the other in Taichung. His lecture was an important milestone for the spread of Falun Gong in Taiwan.
Ms. Nie Shuwen was responsible for arranging the reception. She was told that Master did not want his visit announced to the public to avoid inconveniencing practitioners. He also asked that overseas practitioners not make too much of an issue or come to Taiwan because of his visit. Nevertheless, many practitioners outside of Taiwan were excited about Master's visit and eager to come.
Some practitioners could sense when Master arrived in Taiwan. For example, the night before, Ms. Hong Yueshou from Hong Kong saw in a dream many Gods and Buddhas gathering above Taiwan.
Master arrived in Taiwan on the evening of November 15. He was privately greeted at the airport by Ms. Wu Shengchi, an engineer from the Taiwan Television Company. After dinner, Master met a group of practitioners who had been given only short notice about the gathering without being told why.
More than ten practitioners had come to the Taiwan Television's meeting room. Everyone was stunned to see Master enter the room, smiling. They stood up to greet him.
“Master taught the group the Fa for about an hour,” recalled Ms. Wu. “He used the curtain of the meeting room as an example to explain the need for Fa-rectification. 'When the top part of the curtain tilts even a little bit, the bottom part will be all out of shape,' Master said.”
Ms. Wu recalled that as soon as Master entered the room, he said that all the conflicts they were experiencing were arranged by him. Ms. Chen Shinlin, a coworker of Ms. Wu, said that most of the practitioners had taken up Falun Gong just over a year earlier. They did not understand the Fa very well and faced many disputes and conflicts among themselves because of human notions. Everyone beamed when they heard Master say that he had arranged the conflicts.
At the end of the gathering, Master decided to hold a lecture for all practitioners the next afternoon. The lecture was held at the Sanshing Elementary School in Taipei.
Lecture in Taipei
Attendees of the small meeting started to call other practitioners even though it was late at night. Mr. Liu Huangying, an electric and plumbing contractor, was among the callers. After making all the phone calls, he was too excited to fall asleep.
Also excited about the upcoming lecture was Ms. Yeh Shuzhen, an economics professor at National Taiwan University. She had practiced Dafa for less than a year but recovered from all her chronic illnesses, including headaches, intestinal adhesions, and diabetes. She made sure to arrive at the venue very early so she could sit in the first row.
Many practitioners came to Taipei from other cities and counties from the northern part of the island. There were more than 1,000 attendees. More than half of them had only heard about Falun Dafa but hadn’t begun to cultivate in Dafa.
Ms. Chen Shinlin recalled that Master talked about the word “righteousness [yi]” and said that it was a quality of Taiwanese people.
After lecturing for five hours, Master answered questions from students. Since most were new practitioners, they might not have understood Master's lecture well and their questions were very superficial. Even so, Master patiently answered all of them.
One person asked Master about differences between people in China and Taiwan in obtaining the Fa. Master answered that people in China have no concept of Gods and Buddhas, so it is harder for them to begin to cultivate, but once they start, they continue practicing very firmly; Taiwanese accept all religions and start practicing more easily, but it’s more difficult to stay true to one practice. Master also said that Falun Gong would spread widely in Taiwan in the future.
Another practitioner recalled, “We brought our friends, bosses, colleagues, and relatives who didn’t practice Dafa. At the end of the lecture, Master said, ‘Today, some people who should not be here are in the venue. They left in the middle with stomachaches.” Master also said, ‘I’m giving you the gold, but you only want a handful of soil on the feet of the Buddha.’”
A Model of Excellence
Ms. Chen said, “Many people tried to greet Master when he finished the lecture and walked to the platform. I asked Master what I should do about the book Zhuan Falun, the main book of Falun Gong, which was marked with lines. Because of the background noise, Master put his hand next to his ear in order to hear my question clearly. He then compassionately answered my question, saying that I could just let go of it and not make any more marks. His kindness and ease made me feel so peaceful.”
Mr. Liu Huangying helped break down the setup and clean up the site after the lecture. Standing at the center of the platform, he realized there was glare from the projection lights on both sides of the platform and it was almost impossible to keep one’s eyes open, but Master had stood at that spot for five hours. To Mr. Liu, this was the most unforgettable thing about Master Li.
Mr. Wu Shengchi shared an amazing story, “On November 16, I dropped Master off at the lecture site and left to park in the school parking lot. It was about dinner time when the lecture was over. I wanted to quickly take Master to dinner, but my car stuck in traffic in the parking lot. I was so anxious and tried to push my way out. I didn’t know how, but I was able to get out rather quickly.”
Lecture in Taichung
This lecture was not originally planned. Ms. Nie said that many practitioners in the southern part of the island did not come to the lecture because they expected to see Master in the south. She implored for an additional lecture, and Master agreed.
More than 1,000 people attended this lecture as well. It started at 1 p.m. on November 20 at Taichung Wufeng Agricultural and Industrial College and lasted six hours with only a short break.
In the lounge, a group of people surrounded Master to get his autograph. The site was a mess. Master did not say a word but kept smiling. Seeing this scene, Mr. Hu Naiwen, who was a Chinese medicine doctor, said that Master's elegant manners made him feel happy and gave him the impetus to start practicing Falun Gong.
Master did not take water throughout the entire lecture. Mr. Chiu Tianshi, who was in charge of the lecture arrangement, was nervous, thinking that Master should have ended the lecture sooner to rest. However, many practitioners surrounded Master to ask questions. He shook hands with the practitioners, smiled, and patiently answered their questions.
At dinner, Master explained the reason he took only one short break during the 6-hour lecture. He said that he wanted the students to have a clear and complete understanding of the Fa. According to Mr. Chiu, Master might be concerned that those students had many complicated thoughts and resistance; they might not have been able to obtain the Fa if he did not finish the lesson right then.
Mr. Chiu said, “Master does not stand on his dignity and look down at people. He is always affable and kind to everyone.”
People Blessed Wherever the Fa Goes
Ms. Liao Shiaolan is a graduate of Stanford University with a Master's degree in computer science. She said, “There was a major criminal case under investigation in Taiwan during Master's visit. The daughter of a famous entertainer was abducted and killed. The criminal was still at large. Master was surprised that the felon had committed this crime on the island and that society could not do anything about him.”
This criminal was arrested when Master was giving the lecture in Taichung. One student asked Master whether the arrest had something to do with his visit. While Master did not answer the question directly, Ms. Liao remembers that Master said that people are blessed wherever the Fa goes.
(To be continued)