Knowing the Fa by Heart Kept Me Safe and Sane While Incarcerated
(Minghui.org) I was in my second year of university when I started practicing Falun Dafa. That was in the summer of 1995. I remember being so excited when the new term started a month later – I was now different from all the other students because I was a cultivator!
I came out of the library one time, after having spent some time memorizing the Fa. I looked up into the sky and made a solemn vow: I will be a cultivator for the rest of my life. I will definitely not pursue any worldly desires!
When a classmate asked me, “Is Falun Gong really that good? What's so good about it?” I told him that if you put a pile of gold in front of me or held a knife to my throat and asked me to choose, I would always choose Dafa.
I repeated pretty much the same words to the people I met in my six years of illegal incarceration for my faith in Falun Dafa. I explained to them that even before the persecution of Dafa practitioners, I vowed to uphold Dafa in the face of any threats to my worldly status or even my life, and I was only honoring that vow now.
I memorized every one of Master’s Fa teaching articles as soon as they were published and thereby built up a solid foundation for my cultivation later. The terror of the persecution never for one moment made me waver in my conviction. I had absolutely no hesitation in joining fellow practitioners who thronged to Tiananmen Square from all over the country to stand up for Dafa.
I was sent to a forced labor camp for 18 months in late 1999. It was difficult to get a hold of Master’s new articles during that time, but when I did get one, I would have it memorized after reading it just a few times. Recalling and reciting Master’s articles has kept me safe and sane while I was behind bars.
Master helped me to enlighten to deeper meanings of the Fa as I recited the articles from memory. As a result I was able to overcome many adversities. Here are a few examples.
Understanding Master's Fa
The very first time this happened was when a guard in charge of “transforming” practitioners came to talk to me inside the labor camp. After I recited the whole of Master's article “For Whom do You Practice Cultivation?” to her, without saying a word she gave me a long meaningful look and then gently asked me to leave. I was left alone by the people involved in transforming practitioners after that.
Toward the end of my 18-month detention in the camp, I was put in solitary confinement. I was at a loss as to what I could do to validate the Fa. It seemed that I had done everything I could, but the harsh treatment only escalated. (Master had not yet taught us to send forth righteous thoughts at that time).
I really felt powerless in the face of mounting tribulations and didn't know how to overcome them.
I didn't understand what Master meant when he said, “...the parts that have been successfully cultivated...” or “...your enlightened, original nature will automatically know what to do.” (“Expounding on the Fa,” Essentials for Further Advancement).
Then I recalled this passage:
“If a cultivator can let go of the thought of life and death under any circumstance, evil is sure to be afraid of him. If every student is able to do this, evil will of itself no longer exist. All of you are already aware of the principle of mutual-generation and mutual-inhibition. If you are not afraid, the factor that would make you afraid will cease to exist. This is not to be self-imposed, but is achieved by truly and calmly letting go of it.” (“Eliminate Your Last Attachment(s),” Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I also remembered Master once said,
“If you can let go of life and death, you’re a God; if you can’t let go of life and death, you’re a human...” (“Teaching the Fa in New York City,” Lectures in the United States).
Everything then became clearer to me. My understanding at the time was that the parts of us that have assimilated to the Fa and the parts of our original nature that have enlightened is in fact the God side of us, and it’s this God side of ours that can let go of life and death.
It was this understanding that had helped me through many life-and-death tests later on.
Plagiarizing the Fa is a Sin
Another example was at a women’s prison. The person tasked with transforming me was a former practitioner who I had previously admired. She had taught me how to get on to the Minghui website and how to format and print truth-clarification materials.
After listening to her try to twist Master's words to fit her narrative in the morning, I was really upset. Master’s article titled “Suffocate the Evil” later appeared in my mind.
The next day, I recited that article to this former practitioner, emphasizing this particular part:
“All of the students who are clarifying the truth today in order to validate Dafa have done really well. I have thoroughly affirmed this. What they have done is absolutely correct—there’s no doubt about this. I hope everyone remains clearheaded.” (“Suffocate the Evil,” Essentials for Further Advancement II)
When I asked her who her master was, she wouldn't say.
I went on to recite this:
“Cultivation practice is a great and magnificent thing. Why can’t you tell the interviewers in an open and dignified manner that you do those things because you practice Dafa cultivation? If the reporter does not want to mention Dafa, we should not cover up for any form that plagiarizes Dafa and fails to validate it. All of us are trying to be good people, and this is in the interest of society and mankind. Why can’t we have a just and legitimate environment? Disciples, you should bear in mind that Dafa is harmonizing you and you are also harmonizing Dafa.” (“The Fa Rectifies the Human Heart,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
After I finished reciting Master's Fa I said to her, “Now you don’t even acknowledge yourself as a Falun Dafa practitioner and Dafa’s Master as your master. So by you quoting Master you are in fact plagiarizing the Fa and that is a sin. Do you understand that?” She and the guard next to her had nothing to say.
Why Sign a Guarantee Statement?
A fellow practitioner who had remained steadfast in her faith under harsh treatment in a prison relented when she was threatened in a brainwashing class. She signed a guarantee statement to renounce her belief and was allowed to go home.
This practitioner regretted what she did later on. She told us that she knew the prison authorities would not have freed her if she signed a guarantee statement in the prison, but she was certain that those in charge of the brainwashing center would let her go if she signed it in the brainwashing class. She thought her mistake was her inability to resist the temptation of going home.
I thought over what she said and calmly told her, “I don't think that's the reason. You put your freedom as priority over validating Dafa. If a Dafa practitioner were to take validating the Fa to be of foremost importance, he or she wouldn’t sign the guarantee statement because it would be very upsetting just to hear Dafa being maligned.
“If every bone and every cell in your body knows that Dafa is the most righteous and Master is the greatest, you wouldn't give in to the evil under any circumstance. When your life or freedom is under threat, if your first thought is to let others know about the goodness of Dafa rather than your own safety or interest, you will naturally know to do the right thing.”
I remember when I was in prison, someone once said to me, “Look at you, there are so many positives about you. But if you agree to sign [the guarantee statement], you'll be much better off in here. Why don’t you want to do it?”
“Why don’t you look at it this way,” I replied. “I refused to sign it even though I knew that I would be treated better if I did. I’d rather suffer. Doesn’t that make you curious and find out for yourself whether it’s as great as I claim it to be? If that’s the way you would be thinking, then all my suffering is worth it!”
Her facial expression changed to one of respect.
Master Has Always Protected Me
I did not give in whatsoever during my time incarcerated. My original prison sentence of seven years was cut short when I was released on bail. Upon my return home, a relative said to me, “Seeing you back feels like a God is coming home.”
The persecution of Dafa and its disciples has gone on for 21 years. I have been through a lot in my 26 years of cultivation. Master has looked after me and walked with me through my many challenges and life-threatening situations. Looking back at those times, I can't hold back my tears of gratitude to Master.
Lastly, I hope more of those people who bore grave risks coming to this world are saved by Master. I also hope that every Dafa disciple, regardless of whether they have strayed from or sinned against Dafa, can reflect on how fortunate they are to have become a Dafa disciple and the delight and amazement they experienced in the Fa. Cherish the cultivation journey under Master’s care, pick yourselves up and do better from now on.