Actually, Cultivation Isn't That Hard (Part 1)
(Clearwisdom.net) I started practicing Falun Dafa in 1998. During my cultivation in Dafa, I have always followed Master's teachings and placed emphasis on Fa-study (1) and xinxing [mind or heart nature, moral character] cultivation. I have a strict requirement for myself in my daily life and at work. Whenever I get into a conflict, I first look inside myself to find the cause of the conflict. My xinxing has thus improved a lot.
Since July 20, 1999, with righteous belief in Master and righteous understanding of Dafa, I have remained a determined cultivator. Moreover, from my personal experience, I have realized that truly, cultivation is not hard as long as we are rooted in Dafa and firmly follow Master's words.
From the moment I decided to take up cultivation, I have believed in Dafa's principles completely and have never had any doubt. When I encounter a conflict, I take Dafa as my teacher and look inside to find my own problem. For instance, when I encounter tribulations, such as experiencing serious karma-elimination, I never have any doubt about Dafa; instead, I feel that I am walking on the path of cultivation and I am doing everything according to Master's teachings. Thus, my cultivation progress has been relatively smooth.
On July 22, 1999, evil propaganda seemed to blanket heaven and earth. It deceived almost all our fellow countrymen and women. It also tested the righteous belief of every Dafa disciple.
The first test was being forced to turn in Falun Gong books. At that time, many practitioners turned in their books one after another. Some turned in all their books; some turned in a couple of books just to cope with the requirement. I was the only practitioner who was a Communist Party member at my work unit. Another retired party member had turned in all his books. The Party Secretary at our work unit tried to persuade me to turn in the books. He said to me kindly, "You are a Communist Party member. If you turn in just a couple of books -- those that you don't read very often -- that will be good enough." I replied seriously, "If I turn in the books, how can I study the Fa? Where can I buy these books in the future? I won't turn in even a single book." I thus didn't turn in any books and protected all of my Dafa books. With such determination, although I encountered other dangerous situations, my house was never searched.
Later, there was a notice that stipulated, "No CCP member is allowed to practice Falun Gong." Because everyone knows clearly how good I am at work, the party members who attended the meeting tried to avoid the subject of my cultivation and just made some vague comments to me without actually applying any pressure. Thus, I passed another test.
However, I myself never evaded this topic in my daily life. Whenever my supervisors, colleagues, relatives and friends talked about Falun Gong, I told them clearly that the propaganda on television about Falun Dafa was false. I told them that after I started to cultivate in Dafa, my health was restored and my character improved. I further told them that the changes in my behavior were the result of the teachings of Falun Dafa. Although the outside environment has been quite severe, I have never had any pressure in my mind, and have been enjoying a relatively relaxed cultivation environment. Because I didn't realize how seriously the evil was sabotaging Dafa and defaming Master, I limited my activities to spreading the Fa and clarifying truth only to the small group of people around me in my daily life, and I did these things without a second thought.
One day in June 2000, I went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Dafa and took with me several appeal letters. After I got off the train at the Beijing station, I went to the post office at the station directly. I sent an appeal letter to Beijing Appeals Bureau. Then I took a taxi to Tiananmen Square and unfurled a four-meter-long banner with "Falun Dafa" on it. I was then illegally arrested and imprisoned.
Since I had dared to go to Beijing, I had no fear at all. I really felt that I had let go of fame, personal interest and sentimentality. While in the police van, I gave an appeal letter to the police and hoped that they would help me submit the letter. At Qianmen Police Station in Beijing, I reported my name with a calm mind. When the police asked me if I was a party member, I said "Yes." The police said, "It's most telling when party members come to appeal." Tears immediately came to my eyes. I was very thankful to Master who had enlightened me through the police's words.
Later, I was escorted to my hometown's local liaison office in Beijing. I handed the police another appeal letter. After they passed the letter around and they had all read it, they started to chat with me. From the beginning, I didn't take them to be enemies. I told them the facts about Dafa and answered all kinds of questions that they raised, in plain language with a compassionate heart. The atmosphere was quite harmonious. Some policemen told me some strange things that they had personally experienced and said that they believed that goodness would be rewarded. Later, a forty-year-old policeman talked to me alone about some religious issues, and I answered all his questions. Then he told me that his nephew had a liver disease. The family had spent a lot of money and tried many methods, including witchcraft, but nothing worked. He asked me if practicing Falun Gong could help. I told him affirmatively that if his nephew would truly practice Falun Gong, he would recover for sure. I knew that he was discussing this with me sincerely and I knew that he was convinced. During the 24 hours of my detention there, the police didn't make any trouble for me. Moreover, they gave me their mailing addresses and phone numbers before the personnel from my work unit came to take me back to my hometown. These policemen came from different police stations in my hometown.
According to their leader, because the banner I unfurled was rather large, they had already reported my name to my province, and none of them was willing to help me get the banner back. I did not blame them. After all they were only ordinary people and did not practice Falun Dafa. When I left their office, they all saw me off at the entrance gate and emphasized that I should not come to Beijing again. They didn't want me to suffer from unfair treatment again. By sharing this experience, I mean to say that the police are also human beings and they also have kind sides. As long as we don't have fixed, negative opinions about them, and if we try to save them with genuine compassion, I really feel that we will be able to melt their hearts with our compassion.
After we got back to my hometown, I was sent to the police department directly. At the police department I was very calm. When the police took my affidavit, I answered their questions and at the same time I was very clear about the fundamental issues. They could not get any information from me that they could use to harm Falun Dafa and Dafa practitioners.
As soon as I was sent to the police department, my husband came to the police department through some connections he had with the people who worked there. The police specified explicitly that as long as I wrote the "Guarantee Statement," I would be allowed to go home. I told the police, "Why did I go to Beijing? I didn't go to Beijing just to come back to the police department and promise you that I would not practice any more. I will not write such a statement." I was very firm. They didn't force me. Another practitioner I knew wrote the "Guarantee Statement," but the police didn't think that the statement was up to their standard and asked her to curse Master. She said she could write the "Guarantee Statement," but would not curse Master. Just then, her husband also came to the police department to force her to follow what the police said. He swore at her and even beat her. From what happened to her, I clearly saw how the evil would reach out for a yard after taking an inch and how the evil escalated its so-called test in the persecution of Dafa practitioners.
Later I was sent to a detention center. The first test in the detention center was a body search. I had on me a hand-written copy of Hong Yin [the collection of Master's poems]. As we were wearing thin clothes in summer, it was very easy for the police to find the books that we had carried with us. I remembered Master telling us that just by having our hearts unaffected, we would be able to handle all situations! As a result, the police didn't find the hand-written Hong Yin I had with me, even though the policewoman searched me carefully, even my bra. I was able to bring Hong Yin to the cell. Other practitioners had managed to bring in Zhuan Falun and Essentials for Further Advancement, but they did not have Hong Yin yet. Once again, I felt the power of righteous thoughts and Master's great compassion.
In the detention center, more than 20 detainees were held in a room that was smaller than 20 square meters. We ate, slept and relieved ourselves in the same cell. I was not affected by all these inconveniences. During the daytime, apart from sitting on a board [a form of punishment] and cleaning up the cell, I constantly clarified the truth about Dafa to the non-practitioners in the cell. Most of them were kind-hearted and it was easy for them to accept the truth about Dafa. Practitioners then taught them to recite Hong Yin. At nighttime, after they had gone to bed, practitioners would quietly study the Fa behind their blankets.
Days passed. I felt everything was in a routine pattern. I even felt comfortable in the detention center. I realized that this was wrong. How could such a routine life in the detention center be the high-level cultivation that many practitioners considered it to be? It was definitely wrong. The whole process of one's cultivation is a process of letting go of attachments. How could we get rid of attachments in such a comfortable environment? Soon, Master published the article, "Towards Consummation." Many practitioners stepped out to validate Dafa, and many were arrested and sent to detention centers. Some of them started to practice the Falun Gong exercises as soon as they were imprisoned. I was deeply moved. I asked myself, "Should I do the exercises too? If I do the exercises, the police will beat me. The police beat practitioners with such thick rubber tubes." I evaluated my thought according to the Fa and I was determined to practice the exercises. Of course a Dafa practitioner should do the exercises.
During those days in detention, my husband came to visit me twice with some of his friends and some of my colleagues. It was very difficult for them to get permission to visit me. He needed to get approval and signatures from several departments. During the visit, the police stood right behind me. I kept talking to my husband and our friends. I said, "When your benefactor receives an unfair treatment, are you going to keep silent? When a critically ill patient is saved by cultivating in Dafa, how will he or she react to its suppression? We Chinese people emphasize conscience. 'If one receives a small help, he should repay the obligation in a big way.' Our Master has given so much to us and I have benefited so much from Dafa, how can I not step forward to uphold justice? I am a party member. When the Communist Party makes wrong decisions, how can I not speak the truth?"
(To be continued)
Fa: Law and principles; the teachings of Falun Dafa.