Enduring a Bitter Cold Winter Night in Jail, Strengthening Righteous Thoughts with a Determined Heart
(Clearwisdom.net) In the winter of 1999, I was illegally detained in a small prison cell that was dark, damp and cold. Common criminal inmates were encouraged by the police to torture and humiliate us. Several criminals were assigned around the clock to monitor each practitioner. For the Dafa practitioners who persisted in cultivation, recited Dafa books, and talked to each other, the prisoners would slap their foreheads, calling it "brainwashing." The criminals also stepped on practitioners' chests or back and called this "stepping on the brake." They also forced Dafa practitioners to memorize prison rules and to read "Detainee's Code of Conduct." Practitioners were made to do the prison exercises, squat down, and to stay in line. They also forced Dafa practitioners to mop the floor, wash dishes, and do laundry.
I remember one night before the 2000 New Year's Day. It was a windy and extremely cold night. The prison looked especially gloomy and miserable in the winter night. A head prisoner snatched the warm clothes sent by my family. At night, I was hungry and cold. I had never felt this miserable in my entire life. At night, I was made to share a thin blanket with a violent criminal. The blanket was wet, dirty and smelled terrible. There was no bed and people slept on the concrete floor. Unable to sleep, I put on a shirt and went to a corner of the cell, sat in double lotus position and began the sitting meditation [one of the five Falun Gong exercises]. The head prisoner (a drug addict) saw this and he poured cold water on my head. I kept on sitting in lotus position and remained calm. I did not feel cold, nor was I bothered by his behavior. I had a smile on my face. The head prisoner was surprised.
During my detention, every time I stood by the window and looked out, I would feel the pain and loneliness of having no freedom. Many times the policemen forced us to write repentance letters and guarantee documents*. If the letter met their requirements, they would report it to their superior requesting for a release. A mere repentance letter would set people free. It was quite a temptation to anyone. For several nights I was thinking: Could my faith in Dafa be shaken by temptation? Should I believe the lies of the evil? Could I pass the tests of life and death by accepting the evil's demand? Should I be practical and flexible? Should I manage to get out and then practice Dafa again? I did a lot of deep thinking. One night, I had a dream. I was climbing a big mountain with all my energy. Every step was difficult and heavy (I realize now that I had strong attachments). The path got steeper as I climbed further, and it became harder and harder. I wanted to turn back but was reluctant to do so. At that moment, I heard a compassionate voice --- somebody was reciting a poem by Yang Wanli of the Song Dynasty:
Don't talk of the easiness of going down a mountain ridge,
This seduces the travelers to unfounded joy.
Situated in thousands of mountain ridges,
It may be easy with one ridge, but not the next one.
I felt a huge relief when I woke up. I was determined that I should keep on climbing. No matter how difficult and dangerous every step was, as long as I had Teacher and Dafa in mind, I feared nothing. At that moment, I was as if situated halfway across a high mountain ridge; I should not think that turning back would be easy and comfortable.
"Climbing high stairs, a path of thousands of feet,
Winding and steep, difficult to make the first step;
Looking back to watch the cultivation of righteous Fa,
Stopping in mid air, hard to be saved."
("Climbing Mountain Tai," Hongyin, draft translation)
"When it's difficult to endure, you can endure it. When it's impossible to do, you can do it." (Zhuan Falun)
Enlightened by the dream, I rejected my wrong thoughts of turning back while facing hardship. A firm righteous thought rose in my mind that I would overcome all difficulties and cultivate to the end.
It was just as Master Li said in "Coercion Cannot Change People's Hearts," (Essentials For Further Advancement II):
"The evil no longer has any way to change the determination that Dafa disciples have developed from their true understanding of the Fa through cultivation and from their Buddha-nature after the elevation of their benti in actual cultivation."
Soon after that, I was released and returned to my family during the Chinese New Year.
The above is my personal understanding. Please kindly point out any mistakes.
Nov. 25, 2002
* Three statements (also called guarantee or repentance statements) are documents coerced under extreme pressure, torture and brainwashing, designed by Chinese authorities to ensure that detained Falun Gong practitioners be appropriately brainwashed. The statements consist of a letter of repentance, a guarantee to never again practice Falun Gong, and a list containing names and addresses of all family, friends and acquaintances of the detainee who practices Falun Gong. This system was concocted by the "610 Office."
"610 Office" is an agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, with absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and all other political and judiciary systems.