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Validating the Fa and Cultivating Myself During a Tribulation (Part 1)

Feb. 10, 2022 |   By a Falun Dafa practitioner in China

(Minghui.org) In the summer of 2019, I was arrested for practicing Falun Dafa and I was persecuted at a local detention center. In 2021, with Master’s compassionate protection, I was able to leave. 

A Painful Lesson

It was early summer 2019. It was the most crucial time of the year to plant corn in northern China. While I was busy working in the field, a practitioner from the city came to me to tell me that Mr. Huang was reported and arrested for clarifying the truth. The home of another practitioner, Mr. Zhang,was locked down—his home was a Fa study site and material production site. I couldn’t stop planting corn so I just arranged for local practitioners to intensely send forth righteous thoughts and ask Mr. Huang’s family to go to the police department and demand his release. I planned to coordinate this matter in a day or two after I finished planting.

I had a complacent mentality and I mistakenly thought that the local situation was relatively stable. The people in local law enforcement, judicial and procuratorate branches had not intensively persecuted practitioners. There were no serious persecution incidents for the past 20 years. A few times when they attempted to persecute us the situation was resolved with Master’s help and protection. I was relaxed and did little to protect Dafa books, materials, and the tools for making the materials.

Such a clear warning did not get my attention—this was a big loophole. As a result, when I just finished planting corn and got ready to go into the city, the police arrested me and ransacked my home. They took away five printers, two computers, Dafa books, truth clarification materials, and other items. It was a very painful lesson.

On the way to the detention center, I clarified the truth to the police, including the captain of the local Domestic Security Division. They told me when Mr. Huang was exposed, he exposed Mr. Zhang under coercion and inducement. Mr. Zhang in turn told the police that I was the coordinator. Thus, the police regarded me as an important target. After hearing the truth, the captain of the Domestic Security Division said he could do nothing. I realized that the people I was dealing with had no power over my case. I felt the pressure and seriousness of the situation.

At this time, I remembered what Master said, 

“I’m Li Hongzhi’s disciple, I don’t want other arrangements or acknowledge them”—then they won’t dare to do that. So it can all be resolved.” (Teachings Given on Lantern Festival Day, 2003

“I am rooted in the universe. If anyone could harm you, he or she would be able to harm me. Put simply, that person would be able to harm this universe.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)

Master’s Fa constantly strengthened my righteous thoughts. During the interrogations that followed, I clarified the truth about the persecution and told the police about the goodness of Falun Dafa. I answered every question about fellow practitioners with, “I don’t know,” or “I don’t have a comment.” The police were concerned and understood my situation. This made me realize that they have a kind side, and I felt sad for these pitiful police officers who had to do the CCP’s (Chinese Communist Party) bidding.

Calming Down and Looking Inward

I was put into the local detention center around 10 p.m. So many things were on my mind that I was awake all night. I remembered what Master told us in a poem, 

“Don’t Be Sad

Your body lies in prison—don’t be sorrowful, don’t be sadWith righteous thoughts and righteous actions, Fa is hereCalmly reflect on how many attachments you haveAs you get rid of human mentality, evil is naturally defeated” (Hong Yin II)

I realized that I really needed to calm down and analyze my shortcomings and loopholes in my cultivation. I wanted to figure out why I was being persecuted even though I didn’t slack off in doing the three things. As a farmer I usually had a very tight schedule—I was busy in the field, selling produce, family responsibilities, and so on. I was also busy with doing the three things practitioners should do, as well as the coordination work.

All of these kept me very busy so basically I had no spare time. Thus I never really took the time to calm down and take a good look inside to find my issues. Now I was detained, and I realized from the principles of the Fa that the best way to deny the old forces’ arrangements was to use their scheme and turn what seemed like a bad thing on the surface into a good thing for cultivation and improvement.

When I looked inside and carefully compared myself with Master’s teachings I found many notions and behaviors that did not conform to them. These had formed very strong attachments. I was aware of some of the issues but I still kept making mistakes. For instance, under the excuse of “we should cultivate while conforming to the way of ordinary society to the greatest extent possible,” I pursued financial profits and a better living status. In my business, I competed with my peers to fight for fame and fortune. As a result, my mind was always thinking about this and I could not study the Fa with a calm mind. I had a lot of conflicts with my son, who is also a practitioner. But I could not rationally look inside when these conflicts happened. I could not control my temper and often got angry like a ordinary person. I could not eliminate my attachment to lust. I also had an attachment to comfort and I could not consistently do the first four exercises every day. When I felt upset, I went on a social media app to relax. I often felt complacent and relished the little effort I made in assisting Master in Fa-rectification.

When I examined myself, I was so shocked. In the past, I often thought my cultivation was better than others. In fact, in many aspects, I had gone very far away from Dafa’s standard. This was a big loophole. I thought to myself, “I definitely deny the old forces’ arrangements. But as I sat in the detention center, I realized this was a test for me and I should let go of all my human attachments, validate the Fa, and save the people here.

Cultivating a Heart of Great Forbearance in the Midst of Tribulation

As soon as I arrived at the detention center, I began to clarify the truth to the people in my cell. But due to the CCP’s poisonous lies and propaganda people’s moral standards were declining. Most of the inmates there were those whose moral standards were extremely low. As the result, in this environment, validating the Fa and clarifying the truth was even more difficult.

There were two roll calls every day, one in the morning and one in the evening. When the count reached me, I always shouted, “Dafa disciples cannot be included!” After doing this a few times, I then shouted, “Falun Dafa is good!” A deputy director on duty said, “In the future, you don’t have to participate in roll call.” Some people highly praised me and gave me a thumbs up, which helped to some extent in opening up the situation for me to talk to them about Falun Dafa and clarify the truth.

However, it also aroused strong jealousy and resentment from the head gangsters among the inmates, who started to bully me. They openly took away my toiletries, stole my toilet paper to prevent me from using the toilet, deducted my meals, poured cold water on me, forcibly shaved my eyebrows, painted dirty pictures on my head and face, and insulted me with dirty words. Every day, one by one they came to look for trouble, and beat or pinch me. Later, they came in a group and beat me.

I was respected in my everyday life, work, and social environment. I also had a certain degree of authority in my family. Among practitioners, everyone respects each other. Thus, I had a strong attachment of being unable to handle criticism or being looked down on by others. I never imagined that I would be humiliated to such an extent. At first, I really couldn’t take it.

So I just repeatedly recited Master’s Fa,

“Tempering the Will

To consummate yourself, reaping Buddhahood,Let joy be found in hardship.Physical pains count little as suffering,Indeed, cultivating mind is hardest.Each and every barrier must be broken through,And everywhere does evil lurk.Abundant troubles rain down together,All to see: Can you pull through?The world’s miseries endured,One departs the earth a Buddha.” (Hong Yin)

This helped me strengthen my courage, will, and righteous thoughts.

Some practitioners’ third eyes are open and they can see scenes in other dimensions. My improvement in cultivation depends on enlightening based on the Fa. I realized that I needed to cultivate a heart of great compassion and great forbearance. For those who bullied me, I went from having lots of anger, resentment and disdain, to having pity, tolerance, and forgiveness, and then to having sincerity and kindness. I was their grandfather’s age. But I started from being forced to wash their clothes, bed sheets, etc., to later on putting off my pride and taking the initiative to help them. This process was so hard and painful for me mentally. I felt that it was even more difficult than Han Xin’s humiliation when he crawled between the legs of a bully (referring to a story in Zhuan Falun).

One young man who bullied me the most was a college graduate. Every day, he harassed me with some bizarre questions and he would beat me if I didn’t answer them. If I chose to answer them, it was because I used the answer to clarify the truth or to talk about upright principles. If something I said did not conform to his views and concepts, he would still curse at me and beat me. When I sat on the edge of the bed, he would lie down behind me and put his stinky feet on my shoulders. I would just say to him, “Son, your socks are dirty, let me wash them.” Just like that, I would wash his socks whenever he did this. One day, he finally said to me, “It seems that you practice ‘forbearance’ to the maximum extent.” He used to deliberately take away food from my meals, but from then on, he never did that again and even started to give me food from his plate.

One day, an acquaintance was detained in my cell. He was an old man and was seriously ill. The reason he was detained wasn’t serious so I knew he wouldn’t be there very long. I realized it was an opportunity Master arranged for me to communicate with my family. Also, while I was interrogated by people from the local police station and the procuratorate, I realized that due to insufficient evidence, they would continue to intensify the persecution in some areas. I also found out that some practitioners who were not clear on the Fa principles were gradually straying from cultivation. I felt that there was an urgent need to tell practitioners outside about these changes and update the information about me.

As expected, my acquaintance was released just a few days after I secretly told him these things. I thanked Master for the arrangement. I later learned that after my son got the information, he went to speak to the leaders of the detention center many times to report my situation. The detention center guards talked to me alone about it. I truthfully told them about the situation but at the same time, I expressed my forgiveness toward those ignorant youths and said that I did not want them to be severely punished. The guards praised my tolerance and decided to transfer me to another cell with better conditions. When I was notified to move to another cell, the young man who persecuted me the most said, “I have an indescribable sad feeling that you are now leaving. When you get to the new cell, take good care of yourself and be sure to stand strong and tough.”

What gave me the most pain was that one day after I was detained for more than 80 days, by coincidence I glanced at the guard’s desk and saw a copy of my son’s ID card and the illegal detention form of a fellow practitioner in my village. What I had been most concerned about for so many days and nights finally happened. How would my wife, an elderly woman who was emotionally fragile, bear the double blow of both her husband and son being detained? How could my two innocent and lively granddaughters face such hardships? How would my gentle daughter-in-law shoulder such a burden?

My rationality told me that I must remain calm. I repeatedly thought over the matter, “Even though I have attachments and loopholes in cultivation, I firmly believe that I didn’t do anything wrong in practicing Falun Dafa. This is the old forces and the CCP committing crimes.” I thought of the Fa principle taught by Master that “Everyone has his or her own fate.” (Lecture Five, Zhuan Falun) I thought of how I should deal with the tests according to the Fa when relatives and friends suffered a hardship. I thought of Master’s teaching, “When it’s difficult to endure, you can endure it. When it’s impossible to do, you can do it.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun) I told myself that I must pass this test of sentimentality towards family by memorizing the Fa. Fortunately, I made it through.

Although I endured a lot of hardships, I was able to eliminate karma, let go of my attachments, and elevate my xinxing during the tribulations. More importantly, I clarified the truth to the people I encountered. Some chose to withdraw from the CCP and its affiliated organizations, and some wanted to practice Dafa and began to memorize the Fa. All people are making choices when they hear the truth.

Believing in Master and the Fa

The detention center was divided into four sections: A, B, C, and D. Each section had five or six cells placed in parallel. Dafa practitioners were all put into different cells so they would never see each other. When I was transferred from cell B02 and on my way to cell A03, I passed by the window of A01. My son was in there and he saw me. During my cell’s outdoor time the next morning, I heard someone shouting, “Dad!” I recognized his voice. My heart was filled with mixed emotions.

Each cell had its own outdoor area and the neighboring cells were separated by high walls. Only the front and the top were metal fences. Thus the people in neighboring cells could hear each other, but could not see each other. However, items could be thrown or exchanged through the gap in the front fence. My son and I began to pass notes to each other in books. We were both very grateful to Master.

My son already had a desire to practice Dafa in the early days after I began to practice, but he could not stick with it. Since he formally began to practice Dafa more than a decade ago, his desire to fight hard among ordinary people had always been obstructing him, so he was unable to cultivate diligently. While studying the Fa, he understood a lot of the Fa principles. Instead of looking inward he often compared others with the Fa. He became very healthy and he knew how miraculous Dafa was, but he just couldn’t cultivate himself.

I was always very anxious about him, but my attitude towards him was often direct and rude. So, we had a lot of conflicts and contradictions, and often argued fiercely. Both of us realized our shortcomings after we calmed down, but we behaved badly when we encountered the problems again. His other big issue was that his main consciousness was not strong. Whenever something didn’t go according to his wish, it would be difficult for him to control his emotions. When I heard that he was also being persecuted, while I was worried for my family at home, I was even more worried about how he would survive the tribulations in the detention center.

The main idea of his first letter to me was, “Facing the coercion and enticement at the police department, I did not give in and I did not cooperate. I just clarified the truth to them. I didn’t let Master down. The most difficult part was when they used the tears of my mother and wife and the future of my two daughters to attack me psychologically. They said they would take me to my daughters’ school and show me to the public, and embarrass my second-grade daughters in front of the teachers and classmates. I couldn’t help but burst into tears. I still didn’t compromise, but I was desperate and totally at a loss.

“I really don’t remember being taken back to the cell. It was time to eat and I was usually very hungry, but that day I had no appetite. My mind was filled with chaotic thoughts. I felt like the world was spinning, and I was on the verge of collapse. At this time, I heard “Falun Dafa is good; Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good” in my ears, and I recited it over and over again. I then awakened and my mind was clear. I knew I was a Falun Dafa practitioner. No matter how wicked or how tricky they were, I would just firmly believe in Master and Dafa and not waver. I started to recite Lunyu over and over again, and I finally passed this test.”

He also passed me a letter he wrote titled, “A Letter to All Beings in the Universe.” In the letter, he told the truth about Falun Dafa. He explained that he would never regret the choice he made to practice Dafa and expressed his determination to continue to practice Dafa. He circulated the letter throughout his cell. I also showed it to everyone in my cell. People in that kind of environment are very bored and they were very happy to read and pass around others’ letters. The letters between us were widely read in both cells. We used this opportunity and turned our communication into truth-clarification. The effect was very good.

(To be continued)