Commemorating the Fourteenth Anniversary of Master's Teaching the Fa in Guan County, Shandong Province, Part 2
(3) Visiting disciples' homes
(a) One old woman who used to practice Taoist qigong wanted to have a teacher on a higher level so she could become a qigong master herself. Her understanding of qigong was limited to health benefits. When she listened to Master's lectures she thought Master's words were on such a high level they were beyond imagination. Her mind was unable to take in all of the Fa principles at the time because she didn't completely discard Taoist theories from before. After class she went up to Master and said, "Be modest! You are boasting, but there are high-level people listening to you!" Master smiled and didn't say anything. She was judging Master with principles from a low-level qigong practice, while Falun Dafa practice targets all human notions--the key is to remove all attachments. She invited Master to her home and said the same thing to him. Master smiled again and didn't say anything. In time, she was gradually clear about what Master taught.
Master entered this practitioner's home many times and assigned her some important tasks. Master noticed some of her problems and made arrangements with two other practitioners to help her when He left Guan County for the first time.
(b) In front of the home of practitioner Mr. Rui (police officer) stood a dryondra tree. Master patted the tree a few times and said, "The tree is smiling." When Rui did the meditation exercise at night he saw the tree light up. A while ago, for various reasons, Rui had to dig the tree up. He told Master about it in his thoughts one night when burning incense in front of Master's picture. Later that night in this dream, he saw a white sheep running southeastward.
(c) There is a small gate on the west side of the Guan County Printing Factory. On the morning of November 19, 1992, Master and practitioner Li went there to do some work. One practitioner who pursued supernormal abilities in another qigong practice showed Master a woman's picture. Master was smiling, but his expression changed as soon as he saw the picture. He said, "Put it away!" It turned out that the woman in the picture had some minor supernormal abilities but was possessed by animals. The Dafa practitioner who owned the picture thus also had animal possession. Master cleared out the evil spirits. When the practitioner walked with Master as he left, Master walked some distance outside the front gate. He returned and said to the practitioner, "I've cleansed this entire yard!" Master gave this practitioner many things and watched him as he practiced cultivation. Although this practitioner didn't do well sometimes and even let Master down after July 20, 1999, Master still gave him opportunities because he saw that this practitioner would certainly become a true Dafa disciple!
(d) In the morning on November 18, 1992, a middle-aged couple invited Master to their home for a meal to thank him for saving their lives. They rented a home. The landlord had a large black dog. When Master and a few practitioners entered the courtyard the dog barked at everyone except Master. The dog laid low on the ground and didn't make any sound when it saw Master.
When Master and the practitioners went inside the home the room was already filled with people who had come to see him. One person asked Master about his enlightenment quality. Master said, "You have good enlightenment quality; practice cultivation diligently!" Another person wanted to ask something but he held back. Master glanced over the practitioners and said, "When a wise person hears the Dao, he will practice it diligently."
It was mealtime, and the food was sumptuous. Someone asked Master what he thought of the food, and Master said everything tasted the same to him. When he picked up the food with chopsticks in his right hand, Master used his left hand to catch any food that fell. We realized Master was teaching the Fa by example.
We also want to mention one other thing. When Master came to Guan County he wore a sweater with patches on them. He bought a meal voucher with credits that allows the holder to eat at the cafeteria and went to the large cafeteria for all three meals. Practitioner Ms. Liu took care of Master's food vouchers. It was the first time she followed Master on a trip to teach the Fa. She saw that Master lived very frugally and simply. One morning she went out and bought an "egg pouch" (a local specialty) for Master. Master was not happy when he saw it and gave Ms. Liu a lecture on this issue. Master left the remaining meal vouchers when he left Guan County, including those for breakfast and lunch.
After the meal, Master and us were photographed together. Master fulfilled our wishes, whether we asked for group pictures or individual pictures with Him. Our hearts overflow with warmth and joy whenever we recall those precious moments.
(4) Seeing Xiaocheng City
The practitioners rented a van on Friday morning, November 20, 1992, and drove Master to Xiaocheng. Master took the following path to Xiaocheng:
This path is located in the northwest part of Guan County, a rural highway that goes to Wanshan Township. The road was bumpy. The practitioners introduced Master to the local customs and famous historic tales. Ms. Liu said, "There are flags blowing in the wind on both sides of the road. The local gods and sentient beings in other dimensions are gathering along the street to welcome Master!" Some practitioners asked why Master would come to such a small place like Guan County. Ms. Liu replied, "There are people here that Master wants to save." The following are historic and current details about this location:
Xiaocheng is located on the east bank of the Wei River, about five li [about 1.7 miles] from southeast Beitao Town in Guan County. It is a relatively well-kept military fort named after the queen of Liao. According to The History of the Song Dynasty, The History of the Liao Dynasty and the tombstone in front of Yang Shizhen's mausoleum, Yang Shizhen was a judicial official in Shanxi Province during the Reign of Longqing in the Ming Dynasty, which was discovered among other historic relics inside the fort, Liao Dynasty Queen Xiao Yanyan had this fort built in preparation for battle against the Song Dynasty. It is called Xiaocheng (also called Fort for Horses' Rest). Although it is not well known because there are no mountains or grand palaces and it's history doesn't compare to Chang'an, the capital city of the Tang Dynasty, or Biao Liang, the capital city of the Song Dynasty, it was nevertheless a significant site in Chinese history. The famous Chanyuan Treaty was signed after a battle was fought here.
In the winter of 1004 A.D., during the Battle of Chanyuan, Queen Xiao, "an expert in military affairs," "sat in the imperial chariot and directed the army." They used Xiaocheng, a place where they could either charge forward or defend themselves, and invaded Qinghe County and Wei County, which stunned the Song Dynasty.
Kou Zhun, a famous military official of the Song Dynasty tried his best to refute officials Wang Qinruo and Chen Raosou, who argued the best plan was to withdraw and avoid the war. Kou Zhun asked Emperor Zhenzong to lead the battle himself. When the situation was desperate, Emperor Zhenzong reluctantly arrived in then-Beijing, now located in the northeast part of Daming County, Hebei Province. Yang Yanzhao advised the Emperor, "The Khitans that are now here invading Chanyuan (the Khitans were an ethnic group that made up the Liao Dynasty) are more than 1,000 li away from their country. They loot from horseback. The soldiers and horses are all exhausted. They are easy to defeat, although they are numerous." Kou Zhun also led the elite Tiger Division that killed Dalan, the younger brother of Queen Xiao, with a crossbow, which subdued the Khitans' morale. Kou Zhun and his soldiers chased after the Khitans and scored a great victory in Guan County. They eventually overtook Xiaocheng, and Queen Xiao was forced to send an envoy to sign a peace treaty in Chanyuan, located in southwest Puyang County in Henan Province. The agreement is historically known as the Chanyuan Treaty. Master wrote a poem about Yang Yanzhao,
"As I ascend by foot to Yanmen Pass,
A faint churning stirs my heart.
The ancient path of a thousand years remains,
But gone is everything of the past.
From here Yanzhao left, commanding his horse,
A thousand stormy years have elapsed.
Now, gazing down from the Pass,
I see Dafa in the central plains."
("Visiting Yanmen Pass" in Hong Yin)
When we climbed up Xiaocheng, the approximately 13-meter [42.7 ft] tall military fort, we looked around and tried to imagine the neighing horses and flying arrows and felt as if transported back in time, dressed in plate armor that reflected the icy moonlight.
Master got out of the car at the West Gate and had a picture taken with the stele commemorating the battle at Xiaocheng. He walked southward along the fort wall until He reached the highest point where He stopped and looked around. With his supernatural abilities, he opened the gate of time, and He saw Liao army military tents and mass graves where prisoners of war were buried alive.
Master also stopped at Zhongjie. The locals told us they used to see celestial maidens outside the village in broad daylight back in the 1950s and 1960s.
Master visited the General's Platform, rising seven meters [23 ft] above ground in the northwest corner of the village. He used supernatural abilities and saw the military commander Queen Xiao wearing leather boots, a warrior's skirt and a hat made of pheasant feathers as she inspected the Liao army atop the General's Platform. Master kept talking to Ms. Liu who could also see some things with her celestial eye. Master slowly walked onto the platform surrounded by pine trees and cypresses and had a photograph taken with the practitioners on top of the platform.
After descending the platform Master walked around the north fort wall. It was still early. The practitioners asked Master whether he would like to go to Daming and have lunch there. Master agreed.
(5) Visiting Daming City
We drove along National Highway 106, located to the east of Donggu Town. We passed Banzhuang Bridge and Jintan Town, which was called Jinshatan during the Song Dynasty. According to legend, Yang Da Lang (the eldest of the Yang sons, famous military generals who loyally served the country until their deaths), Yang Er Lang (the second oldest) and Yang San Lang (the third oldest) died here during battles. This was also the last stop for Mu Guiying's (a female general) 108 victories against the Khitans. We found the Yangjia Road here.
Daming has a long history. It served as the political, economic, cultural and religious center for the southern region of Hebei Province. The Wei River, Zhang River and Majia River flow across Daming. Guan County was a subdivision of Daming during the Five Dynasties, Song Dynasty, and Jin Dynasty. It is said that Prime Minister Wei Zheng during the Tang Dynasty once was a Taoist monk here. The History of the Tang Dynasty states that Wei Zheng was born in Qucheng, Weizhou; some people claim he was born in Tao County. The ancestors of Wang Mang, who usurped power during the Han Dynasty, originally came from Yuancheng, now Baotou in Wu Village, Huangjindi Township. The Yang brothers also set up garrisons here. Daming was catapulted into political fame when it was named Beijing and it was an important strategic northern defense town against the Khitans.
After passing the Xiaoyin River our car entered Daming City. We parked before a then new restaurant (now gone) near the Daming Bus Station between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. The practitioners went inside and were seated on the second floor. The server brought menus. The practitioners wanted to ask Master to choose the first dish, but they couldn't find Master when they went downstairs. After a while Master came up with a roasted chicken. The practitioners talked amongst themselves saying, "How can we let Master buy anything for us?" Master said, "I bought it for the driver." It turned out when we had hired the van we told the driver our destination was Xiaocheng. We didn't mention Daming, so the driver went an extra distance for us. Master bought a roasted chicken for the driver to thank him. He also gave the driver a Falun emblem and said some polite words to thank him. The disciples will forever remember this incident.
After lunch we went back to a street outside old Daming City. Master stood there and looked at the gate and the street. Master and Ms. Liu saw cavalry and foot soldiers flooding out of the city. Master went to the ancient street through this gate and took a picture there. He walked southward for some distance and turned back. He stopped for a while by the north side of the gate and said the gate was used during the Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty, but not the Song Dynasty. Master told us to get into the van and go look for the remnants of Daming City from the Song Dynasty era. We later looked it up from The Dictionary of Ancient Chinese Cities, which states Daming City originated in the 22nd year of the Qian Long Reign during Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), which totally fits Master's words, although we didn't know anything about it then.
The van stopped on the Xiaoyin River Bridge. Master put film in a disciple's camera. Master brought film with Him. The Xiaoyin River is a tributary of the Zhang River and Wei River and flows south to north in the eastern part of Daming. The Zhang River arrives in Daming after passing Linzhang and Ye. An official named Ximen Bao was the administrator in Ye, now called North Anyang. A middle school textbook contains an article entitled "The River God Married a Wife," relating to Ximen Bao governing Ye. Master projected ancient images into the camera and let the practitioners see the ancient scenes--flags, people and drums on the west bank of the river.
We continued eastward and turned north. About three li [one-and-a-half miles] later we arrived at Jiaoshan Village in Dajie Township. The village is old and has a historic feeling. It is located outside the west city wall of ancient Daming City. We drove along the narrow street in the middle of the village and soon arrived in the northern suburb. We continued eastward for another kilometer [0.62 mile]. The van could no longer go forward, so we stopped on a narrow path between wheat fields. Master got out, and the breeze blew through His hair. Master looked all around Him. The smoke and fog seemed to shroud everything that has happened in the past; several ancient trees seemed to reveal some messages from the past. We could vaguely spot a hill covered with small trees next to Ge River in the north. That was the only thing left at the northwest corner of old Daming City (named Beijing at the time) from the era of the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Master stood in the field and kept talking to Ms. Liu. Master saw the then-Daming City's bustling streets, magnificent city walls and the courageous Yang brothers patrolling the city walls. When we were about to leave, Master said, "If archaeologists all had a little supernatural abilities..."
We just want to briefly mention the story of one of the practitioners in our van on that day. He started smoking at a young age and after he grew up, he developed abilities to cure minor ailments for people. He was also addicted to alcohol and was only comfortable if he drank a large amount of alcohol daily. Master was compassionate toward him and used a powerful gong to cleanse him. He normally smoked more than a pack a day, but he forgot to smoke that day. He didn't think about it, even when he saw the driver smoking. He quit drinking and smoking with Master's help. Now, whenever he recalls Master's compassion, especially when he hears the song "Thank You, Master," his tears flow.
We returned on the same path we had arrived - a narrow trail between two fields. We hit an asphalt road after going southward for about three li [0.93 mile]. This east-west road was actually in fact the old Daming City main street. It is now called Da Street. It reaches the Old East Gate on the west bank of Wei River. The entire road is more than ten li [3.1 mile] long. Soon we arrived at a stone tablet before the Ancestral Hall of Di Renjie. The Ancestral Hall is located to the west of Mr. Di Renjie's Bar and across from the Dajie Township Police Station. The tablet was original, but the pavilion was built in 1996. Master got out and walked up to the stone tablet surrounded by wheat fields.
Di Renjie was born in Taiyuan, Bingzhou, in the 607th year during the Sui Dynasty (581-618) and died during the 700th year in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). His alternate name was Huaiying. He was appointed chancellor in the early years of Empress Wu Zetian's rule. Di Renjie was later imprisoned and demoted to chief of Pengze County because of being slandered by Lai Junchen. In 696 A.D. Khitan forces occupied Jizhou, Hebei Province. Empress Wu appointed Ri Renjie mayor of Weizhou. The Khitans withdrew as soon as they heard about the appointment. Di Renjie was honest and outspoken. His subjects liked and respected him very much, and they voluntarily built an Ancestral Hall and a stone tablet to honor him. The Di Renjie Ancestral Hall withstood war and bad weather but took an especially hard hit during the Cultural Revolution. Now only the tablet remains. Master stood there for a long time.
One old man came up and told Master, "The Daming County government is planning to build a Daming Tablet Inscription Museum about 100 m [328 ft] to the east of the Di Renjie Ancestral Hall. A while ago they tried to dig out this tablet and put it in the museum, but soon after they started, yellow slushy mud emerged from all around the tablet. The more they dug, the more slush gushed out. The diggers took turns but they couldn't get the tablet out, even as they worked late into the night. When they returned early the next morning they saw the slushy mud had completely filled up the area where they had been working. They had no choice but to leave the tablet in place."
We drove eastward for 100 meters [328 ft] and saw a 12.34-meter [40.5 ft] tall stone tablet. The tablet is called the Wang Qiang Tablet. Some people claim it is used to commemorate the virtuous work of Weibo governor He Jintao, while others claim it is used to commemorate an article written by Emperor Weizong from the Song Dynasty (960-1279). We read the eight-word seal script on top of the tablet and believe the last claim to be correct.
Master looked carefully at the inscription on the tablet and the huge turtle underneath the tablet. We heard Ms. Liu say, "There is a small tablet inside this large tablet. When the large tablet has weathered away, the small tablet will reveal itself. It will forever remain a mystery for mankind."
Master consented to a group photograph with the practitioners in front of the tablet. One practitioner jumped in a hole in front of the tablet and took a picture for the tablet. We drove back and passed Jintan Town, Xiedian, and Nanpan where Queen Xiao had camped her army. We drove eastward from the road in the north of Yishen Village. When we got to Nanguan and turned north, one practitioner told Master that in the southeast corner of the city used to be a well that produced crystal clear water, but it was sealed. Later on, people had built a brick kiln in order to find this well. Master said, "I see it. People are not allowed to use it now, but they will in the future." Master also said Guan County residents suffer from many illnesses because of a black river that flows across the city. Master cleaned out bad things in other dimensions, and said things would improve once the black river changed its course; then clean well water would again irrigate the land of Guan County. Master mentioned the trip to Daming in the evening lecture.
(6) Touring Lingyan Temple
Master was about to leave Guan County on the morning of November 23, 1992. Some practitioners came to say goodbye to Master and others came to see Master off. Practitioner Rui drove his car. Master got into Rui's car and Rui asked Master if he wanted to visit Lingyan Temple. Master said, "You can arrange the itinerary today." We drove past the Majia River and arrived at the old city of Liaocheng. The old city square expansion project had just been completed in October and it was not open, so Master didn't go up. We just circled the Guangyue Building. He said there was a Buddha statue upstairs.
As we left Liaocheng Master made a hand gesture, and subsequently a Taoist appeared, wearing a purple gown and carrying a "whisk" (a divine weapon of the Taoist School). This Taoist, with a long white beard flowing down his chest, sat cross-legged on the side of the road. Some practitioners thought he had come to welcome Master. Master said, "He's not here to welcome us. I rescued Lei's master. Lei's master was not in the glaciers, as Lei had claimed, but he was in a cold palace." Lei was a practitioner in our car that day. It is so difficult to save people! Master not only scooped us up from hell, but also spared no effort to resolve all benefits and grudges we have accumulated over countless lifetimes. We disciples can never repay Master's boundless Buddha grace. We can only strictly conduct ourselves according to the Fa, do well with the three things, and follow Master home at consummation.
Lingyan Temple is located at the south side of Fang Mountain within Wande, Changqing County, to the north of Tai Mountain. Fang Mountain is also called Yufu Mountain. According to legend, renowned monk Lang Gong came here to give Fa lectures during the East Jin Dynasty (265-420): "Wild beasts bowed and rocks nodded at him," which is why the temple is called Lingyan (literally translated as "spirited rock"). The temple was built during the North Wei Dynasty (386-534) and reached the peak of its popularity during the Tang Dynasty and Song Dynasty. There were then more than 40 palaces and pavilions, more than 500 meditation rooms, and more than 500 monks. Lingyan Temple, Guoqing Temple in Tiantai, Yuquan Temple in Jianglin, and Qixia Temple in Nanjing were called the Four Rarities among all temples, while Lingyan Temple was the most famous of the four. Deep mountains surrounded the temple. There are pine trees, cypress trees, renowned sites such as Langgong Stone, Kegong Bed, Bizhi Pagoda, A Thin Slice of Sky, Duisong Bridge, Five Steps and Three Springs, Spring on the Mirror Lake, Greenery on the Fang Mountain, Bright Snow Through a Hole, among others. The great writer Su Dongpo wrote a poem here, "Walking Up the Huangmao Hillside in Drunkenness."
We had a simple lunch outside Lingyan Temple at noon before climbing the mountain. Practitioner Rui bought the entrance tickets and walked in front of the group alongside Master. Master said to him, "There are 500 people following us." Rui turned back and said, "I don't see anyone." Master smiled and said nothing. Rui later learned there were 500 Law Guardian Gods following them.
Rui continued to walk upward with Master, followed by Dai and Liu. A while later Rui saw a girl about 15 years old following the group. She carried a basket filled with bottles of spring water. Practitioner Dai saw the same person, but what he saw was a middle-aged woman. Rui didn't want the girl to follow us but Master said, "Let her follow us." Master drank two bottles of spring water from the girl's basket on the way climbing up and walking down, and Rui paid for the water. The girl disappeared without a trace after we came down the mountain. Master told us, "She is the local land god."
After the visit to the mountain, we went to see the Bizhi Pagoda. The Bizhi Pagoda was built during the 12th year of the Tianbao Reign during the Tang Dynasty, or 753 A.D. It is located on the west side of Thousand Buddha Palace, a Lingyan Temple landmark. Master had his photograph taken with all the practitioners per Rui's request and a picture with Rui alone. It was late and time for dinner. We went to a restaurant at the foot of the mountain. Someone tried to order the dish "Fried Buddha's Hand" and Master said, "You people eat it. I won't." He looked unhappy. We didn't order this dish, because Master hinted that person was disrespectful toward Buddhas. Master said later in his lecture,
"In the past, people were filled with limitless respect when they mentioned the Buddha, and they talked about Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Arhats only on magnificent occasions. Today's people, however, toss out the name of a Buddha in an extremely thoughtless and perfunctory manner. This results from humanity's disbelief in the existence of gods having come to this point. Since humans are not supposed to mention Buddhas by name casually, this is a major issue that involves whether or not one shows respect to Buddhas. But nowadays, people casually make jokes about Buddhas and even vilify Buddhas when they eat. Many of the names of their dishes are actually slandering Buddhas. Dish names such as 'Arhat Food,' 'Buddha Jumping over a Wall,' and the like are cropping up, and they amount to swearing at and slandering the Buddha. Worse, some of these vegetarian restaurants are owned by lay Buddhists or monks, neither of whom seem to know that they are actually insulting the Buddha." (Teaching the Fa at the International Experience-Sharing Conference in Beijing, 1996)
There were 167 grave towers to the west of Lingyan Temple; inside the grave towers were the bodies of head monks at Lingyan Temple from the Tang Dynasty until the Qing Dynasty. It was late on the 23rd so we didn't stop there for long. Early the next morning Rui asked Master whether He wanted to visit the grave towers and Master said yes. Rui had tickets from the day before, but the staff refused to let us enter and told us to buy new tickets. Master said, "Let me talk to them." Master said a few things to the staff members. They smiled and said, "Come on, go in!" Rui said to Master, "I'm wearing a police uniform but I can't even compare to You!" Master smiled and said nothing. We don't know what Master said to the staff members.
Master walked before every pagoda and sometimes held up one hand in a greeting gesture. Sometimes He stayed a bit. Master said, "Each pagoda has the images of the person who was originally buried there. They are all talking to me."
After we left Lingyan Temple, Rui asked Master if He wanted to go to Thousand Buddha Mountain in Jinan City, and Master agreed. Halfway up the mountain was a large Buddha statue, and lots of tourists were there. The other practitioners burned incense and kowtowed in front of the Buddha, but Rui didn't want to embarrass himself because he was wearing a police uniform. Master said, "You can light incense and I'll put it in the burner for you." Rui listened to Master. He lit incense and gave it to Master who put it in the big burner in front of the Buddha statue.
We kept climbing and arrived at Xingguo Temple. A Taoist monk around 60 years old invited Master to a guest room and prepared a pot of tea for Master. Master didn't drink it and said goodbye after a brief conversation.
After Thousand Buddha Mountain we went to Shunjing Street. Rui asked Master to help him choose some qigong books to buy, but Master would not let him buy any qigong books. Rui later bought a sham qigong book from Liaocheng. He met another Dafa practitioner on a bus. The other practitioner had a headache as soon as he saw this qigong book. Sham qigong harms people!
After lunch we went to the train station as Master was leaving for Beijing. When we arrived at the West Jinan Train Station, all tickets to Beijing were sold out. Rui wanted to get a second class ticket even if it cost a lot of money but couldn't. He was anxious but couldn't do anything. Master said to Rui, "You can just buy station tickets (a ticket that allows the holder to board the train but does not guarantee seating) for everyone."
After Master left Rui still felt bad about not being able to get a seat for Master. In the evening Ms. Liu called and said, "Master's compartment was nearly empty while all the other compartments were exploding with people. They (the practitioners who followed Master to Beijing) slept the whole way." Rui was surprised and happy when he heard it.
Master has always remembered practitioners in Guan County. Master sent a congratulatory letter to the practitioners in Guan County in January 1993. The letter started with "Disciples in my hometown: Happy New Year! Guan County, the No. 1 County of China." (Guan County literally means "Champion County.")
(To be continued)