(Minghui.org) Master said, “No matter what the situation, do not cooperate with the evil’s demands, orders, or what it instigates.” (“Dafa Disciples’ Righteous Thoughts are Powerful,” Essentials for Further Advancement II ) 

Falun Dafa (also called Falun Gong) practitioners have different understandings concerning this Fa teaching. I recently shared my understanding of this teaching with some practitioners who’d just been released from prison. 

Many Falun Dafa disciples suffered intense persecution in prison for doing the Falun Dafa exercises, refusing to be “transformed,” and refusing to do hard labor or follow other unreasonable orders from the guards. I think we should have a holistic understanding of the Fa quote above and not go to extremes. I believe this is crucial, so as not to have the evil take advantage of our loopholes and persecute us more severely. 

I have been arrested and sentenced many times. I was incarcerated for a total of 10 years. I often did the exercises, refused to work, went on a hunger strike, and refused other demands and orders by the evil while in detention. 

Master said,

“The other day I said that the Buddha-light illuminates everywhere and harmonizes everything. In other words, the energy scattered from our bodies can rectify all abnormal conditions.” (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)

My understanding of this part of Fa is that if we look inward when facing conflicts, and always have a merciful mentality, we will be protected by Master. Besides, the environment will change accordingly. Please remember: Dafa disciples have no enemies, and our only mission is to save sentient beings. 

There's Nothing Wrong with Cultivating Oneself

After the persecution began, over 20 police officers broke into my apartment to search my home. I pointed to the officer who was about to grab a statue of Master Li, the founder of Falun Dafa, and said, “Stop!” He stopped. I asked them, “Why did you break in and search my home? What law have I broken?” They said, “Somebody said that you gave them printed Falun Dafa teachings.” I said, “What proof do you have that I did? Furthermore, even if I did, that was not wrong. They guide our cultivation, and it is normal to read them!” The police had no reply and only took a few copies of the new teachings that they found in my bookcase. 

They took me to a police station. Over 20 police officers took turns interrogating me. They asked me repeatedly, “How did you get the scriptures? Whom did you give them to?” I said, “Somebody gave me those scriptures. I copied them at a photocopy store. You claimed that somebody told you that their scriptures were given by me.” They asked again, “Whom else did you give the scriptures to? Their names?” 

“We Dafa disciples call each other brother or sister,” I said, “and not by our names. Furthermore, even I knew their names, I can’t tell you. Otherwise you will arrest them. Wouldn't that mean that I would be enabling you to do bad things? It is against my belief.” They kept on interrogating me for two days, and I kept on clarifying the truth about Dafa to them. Finally, a director said, “You refuse to cooperate, then we can do nothing but carry out the policy.” 

They took me to a car. I thought they were driving me to a detention center, but they took me back to my workplace. Before they left, the director told me, “We do need collaborators. But actually, we look down upon and despise them. We admire your insistence on your belief.” 

Before long, because we appealed against the persecution, I and my wife were arrested and taken to a detention center. On the second day in the detention center, a guard talked with me. I took the opportunity to clarify the truth to him. In the end he said, “Since you are here, you must follow our rules. First, you can’t do your exercises; second, you can’t promote Falun Gong here; third, you can’t teach others to practice Falun Gong.” I laughed. He asked, “Why are you laughing?” 

“I am a Dafa practitioner,” I said, “so how can I stop doing the exercises? If I teach others to be good according to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, it is good for all of you.” 

He thought for a while and said, “Okay, you can practice Falun Gong and can also teach them to be good people, but you can’t teach them to practice Falun Gong.” I thought, “If they dare to learn, I will dare to teach.” Then I said, “That’s alright. Then please announce this to the inmates.” Then, he went to the cells and let everyone know, “You all listen! When the Falun Gong practitioner does the exercises, nobody can bother him. And, all of you should learn from him how to be a good person.” I had clarified the truth to the monitor of the cell where I was assigned, and he arranged a place for me to do the exercises. Later, he allowed all the inmates to learn the exercise movements from me. 

I was jailed in the detention center in 2012 again. When the guard talked to me, I clarified the truth to him. Finally he said, “Our responsibility is to guarantee that there won’t be problems. Since you are here, please don’t break our rules, and I will also not give you a hard time.” He asked if I had any demands. I said my only demand was to be able to practice my cultivation as usual. He then asked, “What time do you practice?” I said, “I need to send forth righteous thoughts at midnight, noon, 6 a.m., and 6 p.m. Besides, I will need to meditate for 2 hours.” 

The detention center gave two hours of “sitting time” every day for Falun Gong practitioners since 2005. They wanted practitioners to sit on the bed and do “self-examination of past mistakes” during the two hours. He agreed and specially instructed the monitor of the cell not to disturb me when I practiced, and not to assign me “standing shifts” [every inmate had to take a “standing shift.” When others sat or slept he had to stand in a corner in the cell. the real reason was that the cell was usually too small to accommodate every inmate to sit or sleep at the same time.] Thus, no one disturbed me when I sent forth righteous thoughts, and the inmates on shifts at midnight, and 6 a.m. would wake me up to send righteous thoughts. 

I Am Not Here to Work

I was detained in a forced labor camp in 2001 and was assigned to do farm work. In the beginning, I thought I should do it well, since as a Dafa disciple I should be a good person at all times. So I worked very hard and finished my tasks earlier than others every day. Three months later, the “instructor” of the brigade praised me for my hard work during a big assembly and called for other inmates to learn from me. 

But, after the meeting, I suddenly enlightened that my mission was not to work there, but to validate the Fa. I made up my mind that night to resist the forced labor going forward. I wrote a declaration and explained to the monitoring inmates why I decided to resist doing work. Since I had been clarifying the truth to them, they showed their support. I read aloud my declaration in public on the second morning during breakfast. The guard tried to persuade me to work, but didn’t force me. 

When the guards arrived for work at 8 a.m., the head of the brigade heard of my decision. He angrily approached me, and shouted, “Do you know what place this is? Do you know what you are doing?” I also said loudly, “I know this is a forced labor camp, and not where I should be. I am a good person and follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance – do you want to change me to be a bad person?” He replied, “We didn’t bring you here.” 

I said, “Then, I tell you now that I didn’t break any law. It was Jiang Zemin who arrested me and sent me here.” Then, I realized that the guards were also victims of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), so I changed my voice to a peaceful tone. I said, “You and I don’t hate each other, and my issue is not something you can decide. My resistance to work is not targeting you nor the labor camp. It targets the persecution against Falun Gong, and Jiang Zemin. You can simply report my decision to your superiors, that’s it.” Maybe he also felt that what I said was reasonable, and he went to the management office to report. About one hour later, he came back and told me, “If you don’t want to work, then you can rest in the yard.” We continued to talk for about an hour. After that, I was confined in a solitary cell. I used the monitors as my messengers, and my environment of cultivation even became better, I had more time to recite the Fa, exercise, and clarify the truth. 

One day, the guard who was in charge of monitoring Falun Gong practitioners demanded that I work. I asked him, “Why do you demand that I work?” He said, “All the others are working, why don’t you work?” I said, “How can I be treated like them? They came here because they breached the law, and they need to change themselves through labor. If they work well, they can have a shorter detention. But I was framed and arrested, and I don’t need to change myself since I had been trying hard to be a good person according to Falun Gong’s principles. Furthermore, no matter if I work or not, I will still be strictly monitored and still have no shortened detention. Then, why should I work?” 

He suddenly became angry, and yelled, “Just tell me work or not!” I answered with a smile, “Again, you need to explain why I have to work first.” Upon seeing my resolution, he changed his attitude and said, “If you don’t want to work, that’s fine.” Seeing that he’d changed his attitude, I said, “Actually when you didn’t force me to work, I have also been helping my monitors with their work. If you force me to work, I won’t do anything. I have my own principles.” 

Thinking of Others First 

Master said,

“You should always be benevolent and kind to others and consider others when doing anything. Whenever you encounter a problem, you should first consider whether others can put up with this matter or if it will hurt anyone. In doing so, there will not be any problems. Therefore, in cultivation you should follow a higher and higher standard for yourself.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)

I enlightened that we should be merciful to everyone around us, including those who intend to persecute us. If we can deal with everything with kindness, the environment will change accordingly. 

After I was imprisoned, the guards assigned monitors to watch me, which made me very uncomfortable, and I had conflicts with the monitors. But later when I looked inward, I realized that the monitors were also lives persecuted by the CCP. I took every opportunity to clarify the truth to them and told them it would be harmful to them if they reported everything I did. In the beginning they recorded every detail of my daily life, but later they only recorded my schedule every day and never reported anything else to the guard. I could exercise and transcribe the Fa normally. When the guards asked them what I did every day, they just said that I kept on transcribing the “Buddha scriptures.” 

In order not to cause trouble for the monitors, I always tried to consider how my actions would affect them. For example, when I exercised I always avoided them. I knew they wouldn’t bother me, but if somebody else saw me exercising it would create a problem for the monitor. 

When I went to the bathhouse to take a bath, the monitors left. When I finished I waited outside until I found an inmate who went back with me. The inmate asked me, “Why didn’t you just go back alone?” I said, “If I go back alone, the guards will make trouble for the monitors.” He sighed with emotion, “You Falun Gong practitioners are truly kind and always think of others’ needs.” 

I usually meditated in the early morning when others still slept. Most of the night patrolmen, who were also inmates, had understood the truth and didn’t interfere with me. But there were some exceptions. One day, a monitor told me that a patrolman had reported to him that I did the meditation on his shift, and the monitor told him, “It is none of your business.” The monitor also told me that this person was the worst, who also liked to tattle on others. Although nobody stopped my exercising, from then on, when it was the shift of those two patrolmen who tended to tattle on others, I intentionally took the one-hour interval between the two patrols to meditate, just to avoid the patrolmen from creating sins, and to keep the monitors from feeling pressured. 

Dafa Disciples Have Compassion and Dignity

We Dafa disciples are tolerant and compassionate, but when we confront persecution, we should hold strong and resolute righteous thoughts that can disintegrate the evil factors in other dimensions, although we do not target the people in this dimension. 

I was taken to a forced labor camp in 2002. One day, the guards gathered all detainees in the exercise court and began to search all the cells. I saw the brigade director and the head monitor entering my cell, and after a while, I saw them walking out, the guard holding a thick pile of papers. I said, “Those papers are mine; why did you take my belongings?” He said, “These are prohibited, and we have to confiscate them.” I said, “Those are the drafts of letters I’m writing to different departments and cadres. It is the right endowed to me by the Constitution, and the policy of the labor camp also allows it. If you take my things without my approval, you are behaving illegally!” He still held my papers, walked away, and said, “I said they are prohibited; then they must be prohibited!” I said loudly, “I will sue you! You have to keep my things secure, not one piece better be missing!” Shortly after he left, he came back again, holding my papers, and said, “As you said, I won’t misplace any of your papers. I put them into the bag in front of you, I will seal the bag and keep it for you. When you are released, I will return them to you.” Then he sealed the bag and returned it to me when I was released. 

The guards labeled themselves as the representatives of the government. They claimed that if any inmate contradicted them they were opposing the government. When I was transferred to a new section, I found there were many unreasonable rules. An inmate had to stand in “military position,” and shout “[Their name] inmate is passing!” or “[Their name] inmate is reporting to enter!” When the inmates saw a guard, he had to stand up straight, lower his head and shout “Hello, officer!” I was told that a fellow practitioner detained there who refused to shout “Hello, officer” was hung up intermittently for half a year. I thought, “I am a Dafa disciple, the hope of the salvation of sentient beings. I can’t let those guards be so disrespectful to Dafa disciples.” So when I saw guards, I would recite the Fa in mind, “Compassion should arise in the heart, and the facial expression should be peaceful” (Chapter II, The Great Way of Spiritual Perfection), then looked at them, smiled, and gave them a nod of recognition. I never shouted “Hello officer,” but was never punished for that.

The guards regulated the detained Falun Gong practitioners who refused to be “transformed” to wear a red “confinement badge.” I refused to wear it. When the guards talked to me about it, I explained the truth to them. They didn’t force me to wear it from then on, but instead, often asked me questions about traditional morality. 

One time, the warden called me into his office, I also didn’t shout “Inmate [my name] is reporting to enter,” and just directly walked in. The office director said to me, “You even didn’t report to enter in front of the warden?” But before he finished, the warden said, “That’s fine, he doesn’t need to.” Then he asked me to sit down and said, “It’ll soon be Chinese New Year. We bought some fruits to reward the inmates with good performance. This is your share.” I asked him, “Anything else?” He said nothing. Then I thanked him and left. 

Sometimes I also “cooperated” with the guards. I was imprisoned again in 2012. One day, the director of the brigade who was responsible for the “Falun Gong issue” talked to me. He asked me to write a self-introduction, the more detailed the better. I told him that I never signed anything or wrote anything to the police. But, after he repeatedly requested it, I changed my mind and thought it would be a good opportunity to clarify the truth to the guards. I took two weeks to write a statement of nearly 10,000 words. I explained why I practiced Falun Gong, the benefits I experienced through practicing Falun Gong, and why it is illegal to persecute Falun Gong. After I submitted it, the director came to talk to me again but still using the Party’s cliches. I asked him if he had read my statement, and he said no. I said, “Please read it first before you talk to me. I took half a month and wrote it according to your request.” Nearly one month later, he came back. He said he had read my statement twice and found it very moving, and he fully agreed with what I’d written. From then on, he did not bother me. 

I was released in 2010. Two days after I was released, the police officers from the local police station, along with some officials from the 610 Office and the residential area management office, came to my home, bringing some gifts. The registrar officer among them asked me to go to the police station to be fingerprinted and to sign something. I refused. The police officers said, “If you don’t go through this procedure, then you can’t get your household registration and your new ID.” I said, “No matter whether I get my ID or not, I am still a citizen of China and still a Dafa disciple.” Months later, the police called me to go get my household registration and my ID. I asked, “Any preconditions?” The officer said, “No. The leader of the police department said your condition is special, and we agreed to register your household and issue your ID.” 

I just did what a Dafa disciple should do, based on the Fa. But, because I couldn’t study the Fa and exercise properly over a long time, I have to catch up. I need to study the Fa well, cultivate myself better, and use the limited time left to save more sentient beings. 

Chinese version available

Category: Journeys of Cultivation