The Path Returning Home (4)
II. An Awakening
One day in September of 1999, I received a phone call from my brother. He said, "You should not go out, the current situation is very tense; the practitioners are under arrest." I asked him, "Why are you arresting elderly men and women? They are practicing Falun Gong, not doing anything wrong." "Not elderly men and women! Right now they are mostly college students, graduate students, even Ph.D.s! You don't know, currently, tens of thousands of practitioners are going to Beijing. They are being arrested everywhere!" "Tens of thousands? Where are they living?" "Under the city highway bridges, in the parks, and on the hills. Our police station arrested two practitioners from Jilin Province today. One of them ran away, still handcuffed. They were very pitiful; there were only dried steamed bread and salted vegetables in their bags, with a thin towel for a cover." My tears welled up when I heard this. I was standing on the balcony, unable to control my crying. My fellow practitioners from other places were enduring such hardship for speaking out the truth for Dafa! Soon after I called and told other practitioners. Like me, they felt their hearts dramatically shaken.
Not long ago two practitioners from the Northeast had come to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. They stopped by my place. Because of my barrier in comprehending, thinking few people would not work, I persuaded them to go back and help their assistants with Dafa work to have more practitioners stepping forward together. A week after, one of them, a man in his 20's, came back. He said he felt something wrong after he went back to the Northeast from Beijing. Why is he "fleeing" back when he is undertaking such a holy thing? He said he came out feeling his whole body was very light, but he felt he could not walk one step when he went back. He did not go back home, but went directly to the city government to appeal for Falun Gong, was arrested immediately and sent to the detention center. He went on a hunger strike for five days before being released. He said there were many fellow practitioners detained; most of them were on a hunger strike. After listening to what he said, I said I still wanted to wait until more practitioners are stepping forward; otherwise there would not be any effect. He said, "What are you waiting for? Our Teacher was declared a "wanted person," but you are still waiting?" Listening to this I felt very guilty, and then asked him, "Could you wait for a couple of days with your next appeal for Falun Gong so that you could tell our practitioners your experience?" He said, "You could do these things." The next morning he left. Later on, there were many practitioners coming here to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. It was like an avalanche, with more and more practitioners coming each time. By contacting more and more practitioners from other places, I eventually enlightened the responsibility of a Dafa practitioner, namely when the evil persecutes Dafa and slanders Master, a Dafa practitioner should use his life to safeguard the Fa, no matter how many practitioners we have, no matter how insane the evil is.
- Detained three times in the detention center, I went on a hunger strike four times to establish the new environment
On October 14, 1999, I wrote a letter to the company leaders and told them, " I am a Falun Dafa practitioner. I know the truth. I must expose the true facts to the government and tell them to stop their persecution of Dafa. Otherwise, when the truth is unveiled, you will say it is a shame that I did not tell the truth." The following day I went to the Appeals Office of the State Department, wrote down that Falun Dafa is a great cultivation Fa; it teaches people to cultivate xinxing and to be compassionate. I also asked for them to clear Master and Dafa of any wrongdoing. I further asked for the withdrawal of the evil decision to declare Falun Gong an illegal organization and to release all illegally detained Falun Gong practitioners. After I wrote this down, I turned it in to the reception person and asked if he could forward it to the higher authorities. He said, "Yes, you can wait." Then he told me not to leave. It was a policeman, though, who came in next.
I was detained in the police station for two days. At 1:00 a.m. on the second day I was sent to the detention center. There were four practitioners from other places in the same cell who were neither practicing the exercises nor holding a hunger strike. I shared the experience with them. I thought we should create our own environment. Then we were all practicing the exercises and went on a hunger strike. I knew a practitioner should study the Fa and practice the exercises under any circumstances. After a four-day hunger strike, on October 18, I was released unconditionally. My boss told me not to go to work but wait for the "result." He also told me that the vice president of the company got a phone call from the State Department and was criticized. He lost his temper when he was on the phone, "Why are you yelling at me? It was not me who asked her to go." I told the company leader that appealing is a right that the Constitution gives to the citizens. Illegal detention tramples on human rights, and not allowing me to go to work also violates the law.
During the following ten days, I talked to fellow practitioners daily and exchanged views with them. I always thought we should step forward to safeguard Dafa. On October 27, 1999, the persecution kept escalating. That evening the TV broadcast Jiang regime's propaganda, slandering Dafa and convicting Dafa. One practitioner, though, told me, "It has not been officially decided." I asked her, "Are you waiting for them to decide before you go stop them?" That same night, by telephone, she and I invited some practitioners to go to Tiananmen Square with us, to go to the office of National People's Congress to appeal. On October 28, 1999, even before I stepped on the steps of the Great Hall of People, a vicious police officer seized my hair, beat and kicked me, dragged me into a police van, and locked me up in the Tiananmen Police Station. The police station was full of people. Over one thousand of us were sent to Fengtai Stadium. At about 12:00 a.m. the district police took us over. I was detained in the local police precinct for two days. After that I was put into the Chaoyang Detention Center. In the detention center I took the initiative to study the Fa and practice the exercises, took the lead to go on a hunger strike. But there were some practitioners who didn't understand. I told them that cultivation is the most righteous and best thing, that we represent the image of Dafa, that we should be a practitioner everywhere we go, behave according to the standard of a cultivator, and never allow anyone to detain us like a criminal. Someone said I brought trouble to others, and also asked me whether a deity or a Buddha would do the same? I told her, "When gods and Buddhas come, they will offer salvation to people. They will not treat themselves as criminals; they will not stay here to eat a meal or recite prison regulations, but let people obtain the Fa and teach people to cultivate. The true purpose of human life is to return to one's origin. If the criminals can see us practicing the exercises and therefore obtain the Fa, it is the most fortunate thing that can happen to them. We are not bringing trouble to people. We should never give up cultivation, never give up the responsibility to safeguard Dafa because of the evil's persecution." Later, more than a dozen of the practitioners understood. I was handcuffed because I took the lead to practice the exercises. When practitioners saw this, they all stood up to do the exercises. The guard opened the iron door, dragged a few practitioners out, and detained them in other cells where they took the lead to practice the exercises. Many cell detainees started a hunger strike and practiced the exercises at the same time. Later, when practitioners did the exercises, I spoke out the names of the exercise positions for them. After six days of hunger strike I was released unconditionally.
By the end of the year 1999, the suppression was getting more insane. All of those who continued to practice were arrested from home. On December 9, 1999, at 3:00 a.m., I was resting at a practitioner's home. The vicious police started a large-scale search in the residential section. Whoever was a practitioner, even their family member was arrested and taken into the detention center. They didn't even let children who were a few years old off the hook. All were asked whether or not they would cultivate Falun Dafa. All those who answered positively would be sent to the detention center right away. A few practitioners and I were handcuffed to a big tree after we were arrested. Later I was detained in the Shunyi Detention Center for one month. During this period I took the initiative to practice the exercises. Over a dozen practitioners were all handcuffed. I told them we should protest with a hunger strike. Only two of them went on a hunger strike with me. One of them said her reason for going on a hunger strike is because it's not convenient to use the toilet when the hands are cuffed and she didn't want to make trouble for others. The other one said she didn't know why - just felt it's the right thing to do. I said, "Because we are cultivators, they arrested us. Because I practiced the exercises, they handcuffed us. They are not aiming at us as individuals; the evil is aiming at the Fa, aiming at our cultivation, therefore I must go on a hunger strike." Later, the practitioner who said she "didn't know why" saw "Beyond the Limits of Endurance" written on a piece of cloth in her dream. When I heard this I said, "Now it is the time for 'Beyond the Limits of Endurance.' It is the time to put down our concern for life and death and use our life to safeguard the Fa." When I saw practitioners eating steamed corn bread with their hands while wearing handcuffs, I felt very sad. We are cultivators! We should be able to let go of everything! Why couldn't they put down the few bites of steamed corn bread? Three days after the hunger strike, two practitioners who went on a hunger strike and I were taken out. The police first called me into a room and said to me, "If you start to eat, I will unlock your handcuffs." I said, "I will not eat if you don't let me practice the exercises." The police officer said, "You can practice the sitting exercise, but you can't do the standing exercises." I said, "No. Five set of exercises were taught to me all at once, all of them must be practiced." Finally, they let me go out first, and called the other two practitioners in. A little while later, they came out, their mouths full, chewing steamed bread and said to me, "Let's eat. They allow us to practice the sitting exercise." I was called in again. They asked me again, "Will you eat or not?" I said, "No, I won't eat." They said again, "If we allow you to do the exercises, would you eat?" I said, "If all five sets of exercises are allowed to be practiced, I will eat." They didn't say anything else and unlocked my handcuffs. The other practitioners' handcuffs were also unlocked.
Shortly thereafter, another practitioner came. She told us that she heard the government leadership had sent a spy to assassinate Master. My heart stopped. They can't do this! We would not let the evil force succeed. But imprisoned in jail, what could I do? I must go on a hunger strike and use my life to stop them! The same practitioner to whom Master had hinted to go "Beyond the Limits of Forbearance" started a hunger strike with me. After three days she was taken out and force-fed through a tube, which was left in her throat for a day. This detention center authority usually ordered one male inmate to use tubes for force-feeding. The practitioner was pushed down to the ground. Several male inmates to restrained her to be force-fed. Her clothes were covered with blood. I was taken out also. I had never had a force-feeding tube inserted into me. When I saw blood on her clothes and a tube taped to her face, I felt a little bit intimidated, but I knew that no matter what happened, I should not give in. Because my blood pressure was over 200 and my heart rate was 130 at that time, they dared not to insert a tube into me. On the morning of the fifth day a voice whispered into my ears, "It could truly cause people to die." Tears rolled down my cheeks. Looking out of the little cell window, I thought what on earth did I own that I was still reluctant to part with? For Dafa I could put aside everything. I must persist, even if I die. They took me to the hospital to check my blood pressure, which was still very high. They made some powdered milk for me and asked me to drink. I resisted. Three wicked police officers cuffed my hands behind my back, dragged me by my arms and legs and threw me onto the surgery table to forcibly insert the tube into me. After I had returned from hospital I was cuffed with both feet to the ground. I kept telling the police and inmates the truth about Dafa. An inmate came to seek me out and said, "I will be released tomorrow; tell me something about Dafa. If it is really good, when I go home, I will find a book and start practicing, too." The tube was left inside my throat, through my nose, for five days. The male inmates also used filthy syringes to pour cold water down my throat and injected some kind of murky medicine. When they inserted the tube through my nose, the right side of my body ached from top to bottom. First it was the head and face. I felt so miserable that it felt like my eyeballs were about to pop out. After that, my teeth started to become awfully sore. Afterwards came my arms and then it was my back and legs. Finally, all the pain went out through my feet. I knew that, had I not cultivated, I would have suffered from one-sided paralysis. During cultivation, whenever I felt uncomfortable or was having some difficulty, I had never attributed it to Dafa and Master. I knew that Master had suffered a lot for me. I also knew that once I remained firm and determined no difficulties would be too hard for me to overcome. When they first inserted the tube into me, I thought that at least I should withstand this for three days. Jesus was hung on the cross for three days. On the third day, Master hinted to me that I harbored the attachment of fear. I knew that I should continue to persist. On the fifth day, when checking my blood pressure, they forgot to put the handcuffs back on. At midnight I felt it really hard to breathe. I pulled out the tube out from my nose. There was still a blood clot in my nose. The white tube was soaked red. The prison doctor told me later that after ten days, the tube would have to be pulled out anyway, else it would disintegrate. Many times during those days they had urged me to eat. The prison doctor also told me to eat. If I did, he would pull the tube out for me. He also asked me to give him a chance to win an "honor." I refused them all. After I stopped the hunger strike I was transferred to another cell. Some practitioners told me that they all thought that "my hunger strike was a sign from the wicked side. It was for me to practice. It was selfish." I told them the reason why I held the hunger strike, and that the police once told me that if I stopped the hunger strike they would cook some food especially for me, and would let me practice by myself in a private room. I said, "That way I would not truly stand up for and rectify Dafa. Isn't it even worse than staying at home and secretly practicing by myself?" I knew that I was a Dafa practitioner, a part of Dafa. I represented the image of Dafa practitioners. I absolutely could not do such thing.
Another one of the practitioners in my room was beaten so severely that her body was bruised and swollen all over. She said that after the wicked police beat her, they forced her to squat in the position of "Horse Steps" (squat down with legs bent) on the snow in her bare feet, and poured a mixture of cold water and wine down her neck, saying that this way it would create heat and evaporate faster. Her cotton jacket was all soaked, her feet frozen onto the ground. Afterwards, the wicked police stuffed medicine in her mouth and took her back to the cell. When she took off her jacket, her body emitted white steam.
After I was released I went to work. On Chinese New Year's Eve I was told that my salary would be withheld, but that I was required to work nonetheless. As it turned out, that same day I was sent to the local police station to be detained for "my own benefit," because they heard that there would be some activities on Tiananmen Square. What on earth kind of ridiculous bandit logic is that? I shook off the hands of the one who was about to detain me and ran onto the street. The police who drove here to take me did not get me. More unreasonable was that they went to the police station where my elder brother worked and harassed him, demanding that he find me.
Since the Chinese New Year of 2000, I had been going from place to place, abandoning my home and avoiding the homes of my relatives. The police could not find me. They would page me saying that they had invited me to go to the police station "to celebrate the New Year." They asked me my whereabouts. I told them that I was on my way to Jiang's home to sue him for being a wicked being. On Chinese New Year's Eve, I witnessed the scene of Tiananmen police officers brutally beating practitioners. On New Year's Day (Chinese lunar calendar), the wicked police paged me again and asked me to go to the police station "to chat." I told the officer that he was completely unworthy of my trust. I would not be deceived. I also asked him to pass the request to his chief to immediately release all the imprisoned practitioners, otherwise we would see them in court. During that time I was often followed. My home was monitored. Once I met a neighbor who told me that an incognito police officer mistakenly thought she was I and followed her.
One day at the end of May 2000, it is turning warmer. I went back home to get a change of clothes. The police knocked on the door soon after I came in. I stood in the room quietly and did not answer the door. After a while I heard them talking to each other, "She is not home" while walking down the stairs. I looked outside through the curtains and saw three police cars and more than a dozen police and plain-clothes police down there. I noticed there was no police on the other side of the building, so I jumped out of the deck from my apartment on the second floor and escaped. Later, a fellow practitioner said I should not have escaped. I should behave in an upright and noble manner. I told her that I should not stay there waiting for the evil forces to persecute me; that is not an upright and noble manner.
- Breaking though the selfishness, I suddenly enlightened to a new level
I was doing Dafa truth-clarification work for a while. One day when I was riding my bike on the street, I was thinking that I have become a "professional" cultivator now. I can give up everything for Dafa. How can the evil forces persecute me? I felt very happy when I thought of this.
During my cultivation I never felt any hardship when being detained, tortured, or eliminating sickness-karma. However, I suffered for a long time when not being able to break through my selfishness.
Chinese New Year's Eve 2000, I went to Tiananmen Square with a fellow practitioner and witnessed the ruthless evil police beating Dafa practitioners. The fellow practitioner said, "Let's send the news to the outside world." We left, went through all the barriers and exposed the evil successfully. However, I felt uncomfortable about it, feeling like a deserter.
Some former assistants and Dafa leaders could not step forward to validate Dafa. Some felt they had already done a lot for Dafa and some said, "What were you doing when we were arrested? Now I just want to settle down and read Zhuan Falun." I knew they were wrong, but I did not know what was wrong and thus I could not persuade them.
Before Master's birthday in 2000, lots of fellow practitioners were planning to go to Tiananmen Square to validate Dafa. I could not make up my mind, thinking a lot for myself when considering whether or not go to Tiananmen Square. I could not resolve the issue on the basis of Dafa, I left the choice to flipping a coin.
Before I went to the Tiananmen Square, I decided to visit other cities and exchange experiences with practitioners there. Most practitioners, however, did not want to see me at all. I told myself it was their own decision whether or not to go to Tiananmen Square. Why should I bother? I would go by myself if I had to. I can only cultivate myself. A fellow practitioner asked me to consider the situation for Dafa as a whole and not go to Tiananmen for now, but I could not accept his opinion. The next evening some fellow practitioners helped me find my problems. One criticized that I have not been arrested for a long time. Another criticized that I didn't go to Tiananmen Square because I viewed myself higher than other fellow practitioners. Another one said he would take this last chance and go to Tiananmen Square. I was confused and unable to make the right decision.
During the following couple of days I met some fellow practitioners from Guangzhou and Changchun. They went to the Tiananmen Square, walked around and planned to go home afterwards. After we had exchanged our experiences, they went to Tiananmen to safeguard Dafa that very noon. Another fellow practitioner asked me to come to his place to exchange experiences that night. I watched nine other practitioners going to Tiananmen the next day. All of a sudden I cried, the righteous thoughts came to me and I was clear - my personal Consummation was nothing compared to awakening more people to step forward and validate Dafa.
I finally broke through the selfishness. I felt a mini-explosion inside me. All of a sudden I enlightened to a new level and realized that all the confusion came from my selfishness.
(To be continued)
March 21, 2002