(Minghui.org) I’d like to tell you what I’ve been through this past year during the Chinese Communist Party’s “zero-out” campaign, which targets all Falun Dafa practitioners on the Party’s “blacklist.” I hope that what I learned will be helpful to practitioners who may be facing similar tests.
At the outset of the “zero-out” campaign, we learned that the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) issued a secret document to implement a strategy that would span three years. The authorities would examine each practitioner’s family and social connections. Not a single practitioner the CCP placed on its “blacklist” would be spared. When I first heard about this, I did not immediately negate the old force’s arrangements. I took this as a test we all had to face. When practitioner May (alias) said, “This is not up to the Party. Master has the final say in all things.” I thought to myself, “Yet the Party held meetings and formulated a policy to be carried out across China. Are we able to negate this nation-wide campaign?” I was immersed in human thoughts.
I did not think of Master, did not firmly believe in Master and the Fa, and did not remember that worldly phenomena do not apply to cultivators. I forgot the Fa principle that one is to “pacify the external by cultivating the internal.” (“Pacify the External by Cultivating the Internal,” Essentials for Further Advancement) I also did not realize that I should help Master rectify the Fa and save sentient beings through this “zero-out” campaign, or that this was another opportunity to validate the Fa. I subconsciously acknowledged the old forces’ arrangements.
As a result, officials at my work unit called me in for a talk. They contacted my friends and asked them to persuade me. Failing that, they applied pressure on my family. My daughter is kind. She grew up respecting her parents and accommodating others, but she was not able to withstand the pressure. She was caught between her mother, who she loved, and the brutal CCP regime, who she feared. She had to go to work and take care of her parents-in-law and young child. She was upset, lost sleep, and begged me to go along with the authorities and just practice privately at home.
I explained that I did nothing wrong, and could not compromise by signing any agreements. That would amount to blaspheming the Buddha Fa while condoning evil. I could not face my conscience and turn a blind eye to the plight of tens of thousands of cultivators and their families.
I said that signing the paper was facilitating the persecution against other practitioners as well as those who were carrying out the persecution, “This will not only hurt you, it actually hurts those who are applying pressure on us.” My daughter cried often, and once even banged her head against the wall in frustration.
My husband is impatient and not good at words. He suffers from heart disease and high blood pressure, and easily gets upset. He was worried that my not signing would bring trouble to the family. Our daughter and son-in-law both have good jobs and promising career paths. My husband was worried that being implicated by me could sow the seeds of disharmony between the young couple. They might end up being discriminated against at work and by their neighbors. He warned me that if I refused to give in, he would divorce me. He was angry and depressed.
I sent forth righteous thoughts to clean up the interference and my attachments, but it did not seem to help. I tried to stay calm, avoid conflicts, and be understanding of their position. I also asked them to understand that I was not doing this for myself—in the long run it would benefit them. They argued that they did not mind forfeiting the benefits, and simply wanted to live a quiet life without the CCP’s incessant harassment. They took the Party’s policy of “three years of dealing with die-hard practitioners” seriously.
They heard that there would not be much publicity, but the authorities would apply extreme pressure to those implicated, which terrified them. They all knew that Falun Dafa is good, but they were overwhelmed by their fear of the Party.
It was not their fault since they were not practitioners. I could not expect them to side with me. I had to avoid talking too strongly, which would deepen their misunderstanding. Some fellow practitioners told me to be firm. I knew my daughter quite well. She loves me dearly. I needed to be considerate so they would not take my steadfastness as causing the family harm. Practitioners’ compassion is beyond what they could perceive. I needed to consider our persecutors who were hoping we would save them.
My Fear Causes Illness Symptoms
This tribulation related to family members is a tough one. On top of that was my attachment to fear, as I recalled the torture the regime used on practitioners. This was a test of life and death for me. I had to eliminate my attachments, do well in my family, and eliminate my fear of death. One day I felt engulfed by a thick blanket that dropped around me from other dimensions. I felt suffocated, and did not think of disintegrating it right away. My misery became a physical tribulation. I suffered from excruciating stomachaches and felt as if my intestines were squeezed. I reflected on my poor cultivation state.
When I talked to other practitioners I could not hold back my tears. I felt as if I was about to collapse and tightly grasped the hand of the practitioner next to me for support.
Two practitioners who studied the Fa with me had a clear understanding of the Fa principles. May remained calm and reasonable. She warned me, “If you can’t pass this test, the next one may be worse.”
Both practitioners visited me frequently at my home. They helped me examine myself, and shared their views based on the Fa’s principles. They gave me stiff warnings which actually helped me dig out the root cause of my attachment.
They told me to read Master’s Essentials for Further Advancement, Essentials for Further Advancement II, and Master’s Fa lectures in 2008 and 2009 as well as new articles. I realized the importance of doing this, and read more Fa. I kept reading even though I felt I was not absorbing much. I read the Fa aloud when I was not getting it. Later it occurred to me that although it did not seem effective, the Fa carried power. Ann also gave me a copy of Law Handbook on Resisting Persecution. After reading it, I clearly understood that freedom of belief is in compliance with the law, but this persecution is illegal. My heart was rectified and my mood was no longer as low. I would like to thank these two practitioners. I am grateful for the group cultivation environment Master created for us, and I’m most grateful for Master’s strengthening and protection.
I knew I did not let go of any attachments or remove my human thoughts. I was simply persevering. I kept the firm belief that Dafa was right, Master was rectifying heaven and earth while saving sentient beings. I was touched by Master’s compassion and greatness and hoped to be a Dafa disciple who, “... presiding over Heaven and Earth, rectify the human realm.” (“The Foretelling,” Hong Yin Volume II)
With this simple thought, Master helped me. This test helped me realize that death could no longer restrain me. There was not much I had to worry about as long as I followed the path Master arranged for me.
“So just put in the effort needed and leave the rest to your teacher. The intent that you have to develop higher energy and make progress will suffice. It will be your teacher that does the real work, and it will be beyond anything you could possibly do.” (The First Talk, Zhuan Falun)
After I had this realization, three leaders from my work unit came to my home. I was not there. I knew I had to face them eventually. Avoiding them would result in misunderstanding and not validate Dafa. I asked Master to strengthen me, and I headed into work unit while sending righteous thoughts.
The bureau chief was busy and I waited for a long time in the hallway. He was polite and told me that he was about to retire. Throughout his career he observed how the CCP handled “Falun Dafa issues.” He said this was the first time it was elevated to a political task. He asked me to think it over and consider my child’s future and the impact on my family.
He said, “If your pension is suspended, is it really worth it? There’s no point confronting forces that will no doubt overwhelm us anyway.” He said that practitioners walked a straight path. Signing the document was only taking a small detour.
I could sense his kindness as well as the gravity of this round of the regime’s persecution. But with Master’s strengthening, I was not intimated. I knew that I should take the initiative. I calmly thanked him for his concern and suggestions. I took the opportunity to tell him about the greatness of Dafa, and how the persecution violated the law. I gave him a letter containing facts about the persecution and U-discs which had information about Falun Dafa.
I said I felt he needed to know this since he was the deputy chief in charge of political and legal affairs in my work unit. I said this information would help him know more about Falun Dafa and practitioners. He refused to take the materials. I was not able to save him, but I broke through fear and was able to face up to the challenge.
Earlier I had sought advice from fellow practitioners regarding attachments to fear. Some practitioners reminded me of what Master said,
“...just by having your heart unaffected you will be able to handle all situations.” (“Eliminate Your Last Attachment(s),” Essentials for Further Advancement II)
Others reminded me of Master’s teaching,
“With such an enormous Fa here, the Fa will be with you when your thoughts are righteous, and this is the greatest assurance.” (“Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. X)
Others kept telling me, “Believe in Master and believe in the Fa.” At the time I was falling short in my cultivation, and could not internalize what they told me. I could not eliminate my deep-seated attachment to fear.
During an in-depth discussion with May, she recalled how she eliminated her attachment to fear under extremely evil conditions a few years back. She went on producing truth clarification materials while the police car was parked outside her door. I also remembered practitioners who went to Beijing to validate the Fa while carrying their babies. Countless practitioners endured inhuman torture in prison, put aside life and death, and remained steadfast in their belief in Dafa. Countless more poured in all their resources to save people.
These extraordinary acts of fellow practitioners had an effect on me. I caught a glimpse of their high realms as they upheld Dafa with honor and openness at the cost of giving up their lives. I compared their behavior with my being handicapped by not wanting to upset my family. I was following the path arranged by the old forces, and selectively overcoming hurdles. There was a gap between my realizing my shortfalls and my being able to actually carry it out. I told myself to let go of the attachments to being comfortable. Only to have done it was genuine cultivation, which would set it apart from empty talk.
Seeing me stressed to the limit, Ann was concerned that I could not bear much more. She suggested I leave home. Another practitioner’s words came to my mind, “Where can you hide? Everyday people may not be able to find you, but the evil in other dimensions can. Running away is not the best choice. The only straight and broad path forward is to act righteously, validate the Fa, and save sentient beings.” I knew I had nowhere to run. I decided to persevere despite the difficulties.
During a discussion with practitioners it was mentioned whether I should sign the paper, but later publish a solemn declaration to continue cultivating. I thought, “Now that I have decided to eliminate my attachment to fear, I should not dodge responsibilities, should not make excuses, and should not avoid confronting tests head-on. Only doing things based on the standard of the Fa is cultivation. At critical moments, we must forge ahead rather than take a step back.”
One night, my husband insisted on calling my elderly parents to tell them he decided to divorce me. He said he was obligated to tell them personally. I urged him to stay calm, and not upset the elderly. He refused to listen. I said firmly, “I don’t want a divorce. But if you insist, I’ll do as you wish.”
I said, “Throughout these years, I gave you and everyone in the family all I have. Any karmic debts I owe you should have been repaid by now. Nothing would grieve me more than to give up cultivation. I hope you can understand and support me. It doesn’t matter if you call my parents. No one can make me change my mind!”
After listening to me, he answered with a grunt. Afterwards things quieted down at home. I sensed the disintegration of evil factors in other dimensions. I pointed out to him before that there was nothing wrong with being a kindhearted person. Everything our family had to bear was because the CCP decided to persecute practitioners. This persecution accelerated the erasure of traditional culture, the decline of moral standards, and corruption of humanity. He knows that Dafa is good.
From that night on, I placed myself and my family in Master’s hands. My heart was no longer tormented. In the face of my family’s complaints and indifference, I did my best to take good care of them and understand. At the same time, I was resolute that I would never sign anything nor cooperate with the evil. My belief in Dafa was adamant to the extent that I would rather take a step forward and die rather than take a step back to stay alive.
This past April, the CCP started a new round of harassment. May said, “Last year you were in such terrible shape. This year, you are as adamant as diamond. What a difference!”
Here I’d like to thank fellow practitioners for their encouragement. Other than being determined not to sign anything, I did nothing. I truly sensed that Master removed my deep-seated attachment to fear.
Now I deeply understand Master’s words: “...just by having your heart unaffected you will be able to handle all situations.” (“Eliminate Your Last Attachment(s),” Essentials for Further Advancement II)”. And “[to] believe in Master and believe in the Fa” no longer sounds empty to me. Instead it is concrete, true manifestation of the Fa, and is the guideline in my cultivation.
This ordeal helped me to see clearly that in cultivation, regardless of trials we encounter, as long as we “Follow Teacher closely, steadfastly cultivating Dafa.” (“The Knowing Heart,” Essentials for Further Advancement II) As long as we believe in Master, face up to challenges, and solidly cultivate in the Fa, Master will strengthen us all the way until we have returned our true home.
Let me again express my gratitude for Master’s compassionate protection! My gratitude to fellow practitioners’ selfless help! It was this strong field of righteous thoughts which enabled me to continuously rectify myself in face of the overwhelming “zero-out” campaign, to mature on my cultivation path, and to do my small share in validating Dafa.
Please kindly point out any deficiencies in my understanding.