(Minghui.org) In recent years, many Falun Dafa practitioners have experienced a lot of financial persecution, mainly with elderly practitioners’ pensions being suspended. In my city, over 30 practitioners’ pensions have been suspended, and I’m one of them.

After persecution occurs, as practitioners we must negate the persecution, look inside to find the root cause, and decide what to do next. I would like to share my thoughts on this issue after studying the Fa and reflecting on my attachments.

Attachment to Material Interests

Beginning of Cultivation: Paying Little Attention to Material Gain

I was able to eliminate much of the attachment to material gain soon after I started practicing Falun Dafa 23 years ago. I had always been generous when it came to money, even before I started cultivation. I often supported friends and family who needed help financially. After I began cultivation, I felt that I should pay even less attention to money.

I was a school teacher, and while most teachers made a lot of money by giving private lessons, I stopped doing it. Sometimes my coworkers would recommend their students to me, and they were all surprised when I told them that I wasn’t giving private lessons. Just as a fellow teacher pointed out to me, “You’re losing 10,000 yuan per month by not giving private classes.”

I also took material interests lightly at home. My husband had an affair and divorced me in 2000. I was given custody of our child. We had 150,000 yuan in our bank account, and my husband pocketed all of it. My heart was not moved. When my father passed away in 2005, my stepmother sold their apartment and then bought another one under her grandson’s name. I didn’t say anything about it, and my heart was calm, as if nothing had happened. I still took care of her. My stepbrother said gratefully, “Falun Dafa practitioners are really different. They don’t fight over money.”

I had two car accidents after taking up Dafa and had several fractures, but I did not ask for any compensation from the drivers. I recovered extremely quickly after the accidents, and many people witnessed the power of Dafa.

I was arrested and sentenced by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for my belief in Falun Dafa. I was in the detention center when the verdict came in, and everyone detained there was sad for me. Some even cried. They said that I had such a good job, and now I would for sure be fired and lose all the money. But I didn’t feel sorry for myself at all. I just thought, “I can do any job to make a living. I have to cultivate to the end no matter what, even if it means losing my job.” I still ate and slept well.

Six months later, my brother visited and told me that my school still had me on the payroll and continued making deposits for my pension. I said without thinking, “Because those belong to me.”

All of this happened for a couple of reasons. One was that I did not have an attachment for it, and I had strong righteous thoughts and did not acknowledge the financial persecution by the evil. Second, Dafa practitioners are often good employees and have high moral standards. I never fought over things with my co-workers, including promotions. I would always let my coworkers get promoted before me. As a result, when the school administration retained my position, no one objected. Many of my coworkers thought about me and worried about my pension.

I got to retirement age not long after I was released from prison. The school handled my retirement the same way as other teachers.

Minghui reports show that many practitioners were fired by their workplaces, especially those who worked for public institutions. I think I was able to keep my work position and retire normally because I’d let go of the attachment to material interests and didn’t acknowledge the financial persecution. Master helped me because of my cultivation state.

All my family members, coworkers, and friends were happy for my retirement, and it created favorable conditions for me to clarify the facts about Dafa and the persecution.

Attachment to Material Gain Grew Unnoticed in Recent Years

My parents were both intellectuals in the 1950s. They suffered political persecution by the CCP and were fired by their workplace. Their difficult financial situation contributed to emotional breakdowns, and they eventually divorced. I was only two years old and stayed with my dad. My parents married again, so I have two stepbrothers on my dad’s side and a stepbrother and a stepsister on my mother’s side.

After I was released from prison in 2009, I found out that my ex-husband had been working with my stepbrother and stepsister behind my back, and they had made a lot of money. I didn’t cultivate solidly prior to my imprisonment and still didn’t study the Fa well after being released. I grew jealous of them, and my attachment to material interests also grew. I felt that they had made so much money behind my back and did not want to share with me at all. All three of them had always been stingy with me. Especially when I thought about how much I had given my stepsiblings over the years, I would get bitter and upset.

Then, my mother came down with Alzheimer’s disease. My siblings asked me to take care of her, but they held on to her 3,000-yuan monthly pension and only gave me 2,000 yuan for living expenses. I also knew my mother and stepfather had 400,000 yuan in a bank account, as well as an apartment. However, when my stepfather passed away six months earlier, my stepbrother and stepsister sold the apartment and divided up the money as well as the 400,000 yuan between them, without giving me a cent. By law, my mother should have been given half of that, and one third of that should have been mine.

Because my attachment to material gain had grown so much, I did not realize that it was a good opportunity for me to improve and eliminate my attachment. When I talked with my family and friends about it, since they were not practitioners, they gave me suggestions that expanded my attachment even more. In the end, I had a big argument with my stepsiblings, and they said they would find a sitter for my mother instead of having me take care of her.

After the argument, I finally realized that it was due to my attachment to material interests. Moreover, they had both quit the CCP, and I did not want to affect their understanding of Dafa, so I sincerely apologized to them. They were also regretful because hiring a sitter would cost a lot more, and they would have to rent an apartment for my mother. Instead, when I took care of my mother, she just stayed in my apartment. So in the end, I continued to take care of my mother while they continued to give me the same living expense.

My attachment to material interests was not eliminated, however. I only felt that I shouldn’t argue with ordinary people because it could affect their being saved. I also resented them.

Because I could not let go of this attachment after several years, my pension was suspended in June 2020.

Reflection on the Financial Persecution

Losing my pension was very painful, and when I looked inside, I knew that my cultivation was far from Dafa’s standard. Many fellow practitioners have walked on their cultivation path and validated the Fa over the past twenty years, and they were not interfered with. Compared to them, I had stumbled so many times and my cultivation was never solid. Even though I took material interests lightly in the beginning, my attachment was not eliminated and grew so much without my noticing it. Through studying the Fa and looking inside, I realized that this attachment and several others led to my persecution by the evil.

I have been memorizing Zhuan Falun. Master said,

“If someone’s good news is made public, others will right away become very jealous. Some people are afraid of mentioning awards they win or benefits they receive from their workplaces or elsewhere, lest others feel uneasy upon learning the news.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)

“We therefore believe in following the course of nature. Sometimes, you think that something should be yours, and others also tell you that it is yours. Actually, it is not. You may believe that it is yours, but in the end it is not yours. Through this process, it can be seen whether you can give it up or not. If you cannot let it go, it is an attachment. This method must be used to get rid of your attachment to self-interest. This is the issue.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)

I realized that when I felt bitter about my ex-husband making money together with my stepsiblings, it was because of my jealousy. I could not stand their “good news,” and it made me uneasy. Moreover, from the above Fa passage, I realized that when my mother’s deposit and pension were not given to me, it was precisely because those were not mine. They did not belong to me.

When I dug deeper, I found other attachments. I always wanted to save money and often thought about when I would be able to save up certain amounts. I also had strong sentimentality toward my children and relatives and gave them a lot of money. Sometimes I also liked to shop and spent a lot of money that way–I had wasted so much Dafa resources.

My attachment was especially strong toward my children. I had received about 300,000 yuan of pension payments over these years, and the majority of it was given to my children for their businesses. I realized that I was taking Master’s compassion for granted. It was Master’s boundless compassion that saved my job even when I was sentenced to prison, but I did not treasure it.

When I looked even further, I also found the attachment of zealotry. Because I had retired from a public institution and had a relatively high pension, I was often admired by friends and families. I felt I was capable and valued by others, so even when I was sentenced I kept my job. Other practitioners were fired when they were sentenced. Sometimes when other practitioners encountered difficulties, I was able to lend them some money, which made me very happy. When these things happened, I would immediately realize that all these was given by Master, but I did not eliminate my attachment to zealotry right away.

Master said,

“In other matters and in the course of cultivation, one should be sure to not develop the attachment of zealotry—this mentality can be very easily taken advantage of by demons.” (Lecture Eight, Zhuan Falun)

I also found other attachments, such as having a bad temper, fear, and resentment toward family and fellow practitioners. Moreover, I had very strong thought karma. My family was very poor when I was a child, so I always dreamed about becoming rich.

Local practitioners have helped me a lot. Once during a group sharing, my resentment became obvious. A practitioner took the initiative and stayed over to share understandings with me for a long time. She helped me realize my fundamental attachments, helped me separate out those thoughts coming from the old forces that were forced on me, and helped me realize that all the bad thoughts were in fact not me and that my main consciousness must dominate. Thank you, Master, for arranging other practitioners to help me move forward on my cultivation path.

After I found these attachments, I calmed down, began to study the Fa and gave my best effort to cultivate. Whenever I had a bad thought, I would quickly notice and eliminate it. I would not follow these thoughts because it was the old forces who wanted to destroy me. When I was truly able to cultivate, I no longer got sleepy while studying the Fa or sending forth righteous thoughts. Several days ago, when I was doing the second exercise, I saw a big Chinese character for happiness and celebration. I knew it was an encouragement from Master.

Recently, along with memorizing Zhuan Falun, I have also spent time studying Master’s other teachings. I felt that my field got much cleaner and I could let go of more of my attachment to material interests, especially after reading Master’s teachings about money and wealth.

Master said,

“Being so strongly attached to material interests and money—is that cultivation? I can tell you that money is the biggest obstacle for a cultivator.” (“Fa Teaching Given in New York City,” Fa Teachings in the United States)

“There are also those who cultivate Buddhahood and yet have an intense desire for money and wealth. They don’t say it out loud, but the instant their heart or mind stirs, people at high cultivation levels or Buddhas know it.” (“Lessons from Buddhism,” Zhuan Falun Volume II)

“Those who survive the world without direction and with poor enlightenment quality live for money and die for power, being joyful or anxious over petty gains. They compete bitterly against each other, thus accruing karma throughout their lives.” (“Enlightenment,” Essentials for Further Advancement)

“Those who are attached to money seek wealth and feign their cultivation. Undermining the practice and the Fa, they waste their lifetimes instead of cultivating Buddhahood.” (“Cultivators’ Avoidances,” Essentials for Further Advancement)

Root of Large-Scale Financial Persecution

I would like to discuss my reflection on our overall situation and how we should act.

Letting Go of Attachments

In recent years, the CCP has intensified the financial persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners. Many senior practitioners who were sentenced were also fined and had their pensions suspended. What is the cause? Is it because Dafa practitioners’ overall cultivation state is not up to par, and many have the attachment to material interests?

The old forces can take advantage of our attachments and use the evil factors in the world to persecute us financially. The old forces see that many of us have not let go of our attachment to material interests, so they think we have not reached their standard and want to test us by putting us in tribulations.

Two practitioners in our area were sentenced, but their pensions were not suspended. These two practitioners are not attached to material interests.

Is it time for us to let go of our last attachments, especially that to material gain? Even though it is the old forces interfering with our cultivation, Master has said,

“Whatever you experience during your cultivation—whether good or bad—is good, for it comes about only because you are cultivating.” (“To the Chicago Fa Conference,” The Essentials of Diligent Progress Vol. III)

We are Dafa disciples in the Fa-rectification period, and we came to this world with missions. Even those who practiced minor cultivation ways in the past had to give up the attachment to material interests. As practitioners of Dafa, shouldn’t we let it go as soon as we can and put all of our effort into saving sentient beings?

The majority of us who have been sentenced by the CCP were sentenced because the old forces were able to take advantage of our fundamental attachments. But after being persecuted, did we reflect on our shortcomings and let go of our fundamental attachments? Did we learn from it and improve based on the Fa? We should all carefully think about these questions.

Being Compassionate and Eliminating the Evil Factors with a Righteous Mind

Master said, “Dafa Disciples’ Righteous Thoughts are Powerful.” (Essentials for Further Advancement II) Sending forth righteous thoughts is one of the three things that Dafa practitioner must do well. Facing this severe financial persecution, while we look inside, we also need to send forth strong righteous thoughts to eliminate the evil factors behind the government workers who are implementing these forms of persecution.

Master said,

“I have asked disciples to send forth righteous thoughts, because those so-called evil beings are in fact nothing. Yet because the old forces have taken advantage of Dafa disciples’ mercy, the evil beings that are protected by the old forces have been deliberately persecuting, so what Dafa disciples are enduring is no longer just their own karma, but something they should not endure under the evil beings’ persecution. Yet these evil beings are extremely base and filthy, and are not worthy of playing any role in the Fa-rectification. In order to lessen the persecution of Dafa and Dafa disciples, I have asked disciples to send forth righteous thoughts to clear away the damage these beings deliberately do to the Fa-rectification, thereby lessening what Dafa disciples should not endure during the persecution and, at the same time, saving all sentient beings and consummating Dafa disciples’ paradises.” (“The Effect of Righteous Thoughts,” Essentials for Further Advancement II)

We should be compassionate when we send forth righteous thoughts and not have resentment toward the people involved in the persecution. Only this way can our righteous thoughts be pure and powerful. These sentient beings who are involved in the persecution are in fact most pitiable because they face elimination.

Letting Go of Fear

In normal times, we may not have a chance to contact the people who are involved in the financial persecution. When persecution occurs, it really gives us an opportunity to clarify the facts and awaken their conscience. We must let go of our fear and take the initiative to clarify the facts to them.

But many practitioners have not been able to take this step. They are too scared to face the situation after their pensions were suspended. The persecution in the area would then worsen. They would first suspend the pensions of practitioners who were recently sentenced, then those who were sentenced almost 10 years ago, and recently a practitioner who was sentenced 18 years ago.

But many practitioners remain silent. The depraved people are very happy. Because they could get the money from practitioners so easily, they do it to more practitioners.

The financial persecution is as bad as other forms of persecution, such as imprisonment. It takes away senior Dafa practitioners’ basic living rights and stops them from fulfilling their missions of awakening people’s conscience. At the same time, the perpetrators commit crimes against Dafa practitioners, and they face the worst outcome. It also makes it difficult for our families who do not practice Dafa to understand the situation, and it could lead them to resent Dafa. This is the old forces’ arrangement, and it is destroying Dafa practitioners and ordinary people. Master does not acknowledge such arrangements, and neither can we.

Master said,

“Whenever a tribulation comes, you do not see it with the side of your original nature but view it completely with your human side. Evil demons then capitalize on this point and inflict endless interference and damage, leaving students in long-term tribulations.” (“Expounding on the Fa,” Essentials for Further Advancement II)

“Having humanly fostered the evil demons, you allow them to capitalize on the loopholes in the Fa. When a tribulation arrives, if you, a disciple, can truly maintain an unshakable calm or be determined to meet different requirements at different levels, this should be sufficient for you to pass the test. If it continues endlessly and if there do not exist other problems in your xinxing or conduct, it must be that the evil demons are capitalizing on the weak spots caused by your lack of control. After all, a cultivator is not an ordinary human. So why doesn’t the side of you that is your original nature rectify the Fa?” (“Expounding on the Fa,” Essentials for Further Advancement II)

Facing the financial persecution, many practitioners have become pessimistic. They feel helpless and lost, and some even started to doubt Master and Dafa. In our area, few practitioners have been able to act righteously, go to the agencies to clarify the facts, and protect their rights under the law. Some have gone to inquire in the social security bureau but were afraid to clarify the facts or mention Dafa. Their reasoning was that the officials would not listen if they mentioned Dafa. When they went to the bureau the next time, they could not even get past the security guards.

Some practitioners helped others write letters and reported the illegal suspension of their pensions, but they also did not mention Dafa. They did not hear anything back. Some said that because Dafa practitioners’ real names were on the letter, government employees could look them up, find out they were Dafa practitioners, and stop looking into the case. But why don’t we openly present our identities as Dafa practitioners? Why would we be afraid that the government staff would not help us when we reveal our identities as Dafa practitioners? If we don’t mention Dafa, wouldn’t they still find out and refuse to meet with us? In fact, these sentient beings are waiting for us to awaken their conscience.

Master said,

“From my perspective, as your master, during the Fa-rectification I absolutely don't accept the using of this evil persecution to test Dafa disciples, and Dafa disciples shouldn't have the wrong idea that they can cultivate higher by enduring persecution. Dafa and its disciples oppose the persecution, that is Dafa disciples' duty. If you don't cultivate yourself based on the Fa, you can't cultivate higher by just enduring persecution, much less reach the standards for a Dafa disciple. Don't acknowledge this so-called "environment" that the old forces have provided, because during the Fa-rectification I would have had all beings assimilate to Dafa, and it wasn't at all necessary to temper Dafa disciples amidst this kind of evilness.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. V)

“Yes, when you do things to work against the persecution, you are in fact clarifying the facts to people and saving sentient beings.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2014 San Francisco Fa Conference”)

I was also lost for a while when my pension was first suspended. I did not want to face it and did not want to go and speak to the government officials. But after studying the Fa, I quickly adjusted my state and was able to face it. Fellow practitioners cooperated with me, and together we began to clarify the facts to the relevant personnel.

At first, because my state was not pure enough, when I met the section chief of the local social security bureau, she tried to scare me off. She told me to give back the 300,000 yuan in pensions that I had received during the past several years, or else she would sue me. I did not get angry. I came back and shared with fellow practitioners to see where I needed to improve my xinxing. I found that I was not compassionate enough.

When we met the second time, I truly thought of her needs, and her attitude completely changed. She explained it to me with much patience, and I used the opportunity to clarify the facts to her. Later on, I also met with the deputy directors and division leads. No matter whom I was talking to, I always talked about the facts of the persecution, the Tiananmen self-immolation hoax, and so on. I could not meet with the bureau director in person, so I wrote him a letter and called him.

Because I retired from a public institution, in order to find an excuse for suspending my pension, the local social security bureau tried to force the education bureau to fire Dafa practitioners who had been sentenced. The day I heard about this, I went to look for the local education bureau’s director and human resource division leads. The guards did not let us in, so we sent forth righteous thoughts. Eventually the guards gave us their office phone numbers.

We were unable to reach them over the phone, so I wrote them letters and told them about my work situation at school after practicing Dafa. I also talked to my school’s principal. He was very understanding and righteous, and said that he would talk to the education bureau about my situation. He said that a great teacher like me (I was awarded as one of the city’s “key teachers”) should not be fired. Four months have passed, and I have not received any punishment from the education bureau.

Using Legal Means to Counter the Persecution

As Dafa disciples, we must completely negate everything arranged by the old forces, including the financial persecution, which is one of the three persecution policies originated by the CCP.

Master said,

“The current evil persecution has been imposed on Dafa and the disciples by the old forces. Isn’t everything that is done to resist the persecution the most magnificent display of Dafa disciples being responsible to Dafa and to themselves?” (“Path,” Essentials for Further Advancement II)

“Whereas real Buddhas are guardians of the cosmos and are responsible for all righteous elements in the cosmos.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference,” Guiding the Voyage)

Therefore, we cannot recognize this kind of persecution in our minds, and we cannot feel helpless. We must be clear in this Fa principle. At the same time, we need to use laws to protect our rights and resist the persecution, because Master has told us that Dafa disciples’ righteous path today will be an example for the people in the future.

But, we cannot have a combative mentality when we use legal procedures. What we are doing is awakening people’s conscience, because stopping them from committing crimes against Dafa is also saving them. We should not be attached to the outcome. All we are doing is awakening their conscience and clarifying the facts.

On the Tiandixing online forum, fellow practitioners have prepared the relevant laws and provisions, the detailed process in each step, samples of administrative complains, and defense statements for this purpose. Minghui recently published the article “Official Agency Withdraws Letter Demanding Falun Gong Practitioner Pay Back Pension Received During Wrongful Term,” which provided us simple and clear ideas and procedures.

Hiring a lawyer from another city would cost 20,000 yuan, and most of us who are suffering financial persecution cannot afford it. I consulted a local lawyer who knew the facts about the persecution. We discussed past cases of financial persecution against Dafa practitioners, and he was very interested. His fee of 3,000 yuan was reasonable and affordable.

The city’s judicial department disallows lawyers from defending Dafa practitioners who plea not guilty. However, this kind of case is about pensions, not beliefs, so after lawyers learn about the persecution, they are often willing to take on these cases. In fact, with the resources provided on Tiandixing, we can defend ourselves in court, but I still think it’s better and more formal to have a lawyer.

I have given all the information to my lawyer, and he is very confident, especially after seeing the legal victory by fellow practitioners in Liaoning. The Xichang case linked above tells us that there are also righteous judges, and we need to give these sentient beings opportunities to treat Dafa correctly. Moreover, these two cases are enough to prove that suspending our pensions is illegal.

Chinese version available

Category: Improving Oneself