Making Up For Past Mistakes with Righteous Thoughts and Rebuilding the Mighty Virtue of an Enlightened Being
(Clearwisdom.net) It happened a long time ago. After creating the stain, how did a Dafa practitioner walk all this way, one step after another, to make up for the losses and do even better on the future path? Some fellow practitioners suggested that I write down my experiences of how I re-entered Fa-rectification cultivation, so that practitioners can learn a lesson from it. I myself hope that it will help to encourage one another on this last leg of our cultivation path.1. Falling into darkness
After the third time I went to Beijing to appeal, I was captured and sent to a labor camp. The police there instigated the prisoners to torture Falun Dafa practitioners in order to force them into revealing their names and addresses. At that time, they took the practitioners' clothes off and poured cold water on them - in the middle of a cold winter. Amidst the harsh suffering, I cooperated with the evil persecution and told them my name and address.
After that I became depressed. Later, after I was sent back to my hometown, I was isolated and detained in the brainwashing class on our street. Since July 20, 1999, as I had been separated from the Fa and placed in tribulations for a long period of time, I felt fatigued both physically and spiritually. I felt so tired and bitter. At this moment, the evil arranged for a person who had "enlightened" along an evil path to bombard me with self-deceiving lies. Amid the absurd lies, I was not clear-minded and wrote the so-called "three statements" [Practitioners are coerced under brainwashing and torture to write these as proof that they have given up their belief. Created by the "610 Office," the three statements consist of a letter of repentance, a guarantee to never again practice Falun Gong, and a list of names and addresses of all family members, friends and acquaintances who are practitioners.]
That night, I had a dream in which a black skeleton came to my bed. No matter how hard I tried to drive it away, it did not leave. It was extremely dreadful. Upon awakening from the dream, I came to understand immediately: the consequence of deviating from Dafa was so terrible. So I made three vows to Teacher: 1. Separate my present from my past. 2. I would never ever play any role in this persecution of Dafa. 3. Those bad things that I had written should never be read by anyone nor serve any function.
I gradually came to understand that all this was so evil, and that I wanted to leave that place. However, very soon afterwards the police sent me to the brainwashing session in our district.2. Stepping out of the fog
After this heavy blow, I was low-spirited. But very soon, I came to understand that beating the depression was the first step that I needed to take to break through and re-enter the Fa-rectification. In the brainwashing center, fellow practitioners encouraged me and helped me to calm down. I pondered what my problem was and realized that if I could not find the loopholes, I might still make the same mistake next time.
First of all, I needed to calm down to study the Fa. After studying the Fa, I thought of every test on my cultivation path and my own conduct therein. I used the Fa to judge things, and found that since July 1999 when I had first started to validate the Fa, I had not done well in many tests. For example I had handed in the books, written the "guarantee letter" not to go to Beijing, etc. Looking back on my past cultivation, except for a half-year period of solid cultivation, I had long been disturbed by thought-karma that originated from the Qigong that I had learned in the past, and did not break through it. I dodged it in a passive way by simply ceasing to practice the exercises. Afterwards, I was even interfered with in my Fa-study. The result was that my understanding of the Fa just stayed at the level of trying to be a good person, and I looked at things from a non-practitioner's perspective. Since I could not let go of my numerous fundamental attachments, when I was met with setbacks in validating the Fa, I ended up doing something that I should never have done, and so created the stain. I remembered that Teacher had, on several occasions, given me hints in order for me to enlighten to study the Fa more, but I did not seriously pay enough attention to it. Before I went to appeal for Dafa the third time, I got even more obvious hints: In a dream, I was taking an exam. All the questions on the paper were very simple, and had been mentioned clearly in the book. If I had just read the book once more, I would have gotten a very high score, but I was kept busy doing this and doing that and did not calm down to read the book. I handed in my paper with regret.
However, before I left home to validate the Fa, I did not calm down and read the book. In fact, for over a year, I had not even read Zhuan Falun ten times. "When I taught the Fa I told you before about all the problems that might occur during this malicious and destructive examination. It is indeed difficult for those who haven't truly done cultivation to come through this. Now you can see why I've often told you to read the book more, right?! The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa can shatter all lies, and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts." (Drive Out Interference)
When I later started to study the Fa again, the thought-karma interfered strongly with me, especially when I had thoughts like I did not have enough time or that there was no hope for me, etc. However I believed firmly that the Fa would compensate and rectify everything. Relying on my determination in the Fa, when reading again I found the deeper meanings of the Fa, and became even more determined. Nonetheless, sometimes I also felt low-spirited, especially when I thought of the serious consequences of deviating from the Fa. By reciting Master's new articles "Melt Into the Fa", "Expounding on the Fa", "Suffocate the Evil", "Eliminate Your Last Attachment(s)", "Towards Consummation", "For Whom do You Exist?", and Master's words in the Clearwisdom editors' article "Eliminate Evil" combined with eliminating the thought-karma by systematic study of the Fa, I knew that they were not part of me and I did not allow them to interfere with me any more. I realized that understanding the serious consequences of deviating from the Fa and the urgency of the situation should help me treat cultivation more seriously and discover my loopholes, and should not become an obstacle for me to re-enter cultivation. In studying the Fa, it also solved the problem of being afraid of being interfered with in doing the exercises, since the interference itself tried to stop me from doing the exercises, and doing the exercises was eliminating these bad things.
After understanding this fundamental problem, I realized that I should immediately re-enter the Fa-rectification and catch up with the process of Fa-rectification. The first thing I did was to write a solemn declaration to negate the bad effects of what I had done. Teacher is so compassionate, and arranged for all the related persons to come and see me, including staff from the residential committee, officers of the police substation, the district political and judiciary committee, and also my family members and friends, etc. I made use of the opportunity to hand all of them my solemn declaration. Additionally, I wrote another statement, reading it aloud to all the so-called working staff in the brainwashing class and in front of other Dafa practitioners, telling everyone that I had started to cultivate anew.
The tests soon came, one after another. One day, members of the residence committee and the police brought a video camera with them and wanted to set up an example of the brainwashing program to deceive the world's people. I read my statement aloud to them. The wicked people surrounded me, afraid that the truth might be videotaped. When they saw that they had no way to continue with their performance, they had to quickly wrap up the session. Shortly after, I was kidnapped by the police and sent to a labor camp.3. Brightness reappears
Before I arrived at the labor camp, I heard that their brainwashing session was extremely vicious. The police in the labor camp jailed the Falun Dafa practitioners with the drug-addicts, whom they used to keep watch over the practitioners.
At the beginning, they found two collaborators [former Falun Gong practitioners who have gone astray due to brainwashing and torture] who knew me to talk to me. I was really excited when I met my old acquaintances. However, I immediately realized that they were puppets sent to brainwash me. In the past, the collaborators whom I met were those who I believed cultivated better than me. When I relaxed in my mind, the evil would make use of the loopholes. Teacher said in Zhuan Falun: "In fact, it does not matter who the person is--there is only one Fa. Only by observing this Dafa can one meet the genuine standard. " In the tribulations or the tests, when the test grew so big that we could hardly forbear it, many practitioners thought about whether they could meet fellow practitioners, or simply relied on family to rescue them through "back-door" means. All these are the result of looking at things from human perspectives. At the critical moment they did not seek help from Teacher; thus, the evil would surely find an excuse to persecute us. Teacher said: "I am rooted in the universe. If anyone can harm you, he or she would be able to harm me. Put simply, that person would be able to harm this universe." (Zhuan Falun).
I felt sorry for these who had gone astray in their evil "enlightenment." The police wanted me to "talk" or "communicate" with them, saying that if I felt that my understandings were reasonable, then I should persuade them. I realized that I should not cooperate with the evil arrangements. When I was deprived of freedom, there was no room for discussion. I asked them to leave before they could even open their mouths, and told the police that I would neither talk nor share my experience with them. Since I was determined, the puppets retreated. But the police still arranged for me to remain in the evil brainwashing class. What should I do? It seemed that my only choice was to pass the tests of life and death; I would not give in to the evil test. I started a hunger strike.
Hunger striking involved a lot of suffering. However, as a cultivator amidst tribulations, I should give up ordinary people's notions. Master mentions in Zhuan Falun: "In other dimensions, people do not have bodies like this...But in this dimension people are provided with this kind of body, our physical bodies. With this body, one cannot put up with it if the body is cold, hot, tired, or hungry." So I thought, 'Would Gods be like the ordinary people who cannot put up with it if the body is hungry?' During the hunger strike, I kept reciting Master's articles and recalled Zhuan Falun. In studying the Fa, I did not feel any bitterness. On the third day of the hunger strike, I felt a little bit weak, but it went away immediately. On the fourth day, I felt very relaxed and light-hearted, with no feeling of hunger at all. I felt entirely free from worry. Even those drug-addicts were surprised. It was really incredible to them that I was able to run and walk after such a long hunger strike.
After the hunger strike, I was immediately released from the brainwashing session and transferred to another place.
However, the persecution still continued. Every Falun Gong practitioner who had been abducted to the labor camp would be sent to the brainwashing class. Some of them even created stains in their cultivation. In the brainwashing session, the evil people asked those who were going astray to write Cultural Revolution-style materials "exposing and criticizing" Falun Gong, to sign their names, and to allow themselves to be shown on the closed-circuit TV. This was done so as to deceive the others and force them to give up their righteous belief and walk into the terrible abyss. For those determined Dafa practitioners, the police forced them to run in drill formations and do physical labor tasks.
The police also asked the state-controlled TV station to go to the labor camp to videotape and concoct a deceitful TV program to say how the labor camp was like a "life-giving spring breeze and gentle rain", beneficial and helpful for all. All these were evil. As a Dafa particle, as an upright Dafa practitioner, how could I not care about seeing the wicked people trying to deceive the world's people? To cooperate with evil is to help it grow. I made a decision and would definitely not cooperate with any evil arrangement: I would overcome the evil imprisonment and persecution of Dafa practitioners.
Since then, there occurred a scene in the labor camp: every day, when it was time for drills, meals, lining up, and doing the physical labor , there was always a person who was dragged down from upstairs. In winter, he stood in the wind with only thin clothes. In summer he nobly and uprightly stood in the sun. He never cooperated with the police or the drug-addicts and never did the drills or the labor. He never answered roll call or signed his name. Sometimes he practiced the Falun Gong exercises in the exercise yard in front of the police, and sometimes he was beaten up by several drug-addicts.
The police asked me, "Why don't you follow the regulations of the labor camp?" I told them, "I am a cultivator and not a prisoner. The regulations in the labor camp are used to restrain prisoners and have nothing to do with good people." I recited Teacher's articles to them and told them the principle that good deeds would be rewarded with good and evil deeds would be met with evil ends.
Every day there were several life-and-death tests. Three meals downstairs, five roll calls. Doing drills, doing the forced labor, meetings, getting up and continuing to practice the exercises. Almost every time that I did not cooperate with the evil, I would be attacked by the drug-addicts.
Once a drug-addict asked me to recite the "thirty regulations for prisoners," and said that if I did not recite it, they would not allow me to sleep. They took shifts to watch me, saying that they'd continue until I would recite the rules. I was not a bit intimidated. Sleep is an element to restrain everyday people, who cannot do without sleep. But a cultivator is beyond the everyday realm. How could cultivators be restricted by human elements? This went on from noon to midnight, when the drug-addict who watched over me got tired. He asked me whether I had recited it. I said I would not recite it. Then he asked: "Are you going to sleep?" I said, "Yes," and he let me sleep. After that, no one asked me to recite the prison regulations.
Every time I did the exercises, the drug-addicts beat me. Once I felt excruciating pain, and I could hardly endure it. I thought, should I still practice the exercises? In fact, all life is created by the Great Law. So I thought, "Let me be wherever I have come from." I closed my eyes and said in my heart to Teacher: "I place my life in your hands." And then I started to do the exercises, but this time the drug-addicts did not torture me again, and merely held my hands to stop me. In the evening, the police came and asked whether the drug-addicts had twisted my hands. Then, they asked them not to torture me any more.
In order to force me to report to them when I wanted to leave, the drug-addicts did not allow me to go to the washroom. They said that if I did not report to them, I would not be allowed to go to the washroom. I paid no attention to them and continued doing what I wanted to. They dragged me backward. After a long time, I felt that it was difficult to forbear, and the drug-addicts told me that as long as I would just agree to report to them, they would allow me to go to the washroom. How can a practitioner follow the instructions from the vicious people? How can I give in to them? I paid no attention to them and insisted on not reporting to them. After a while, the drug-addict went downstairs and entrusted another prisoner to watch over me. That man showed me to the washroom. Since then, every time when I did not report to them, when the prisoner on duty saw it, they did not care.
Since I was jailed and persecuted for my persistence in continuing cultivation, I did not cooperate with any of the regulations in the labor camp. The police looked at me as someone who needed "special attention." They arranged the most wicked 3 or 4 drug-addicts to watch over me. They isolated me from the other practitioners, not allowing me to talk to them. They did not even allow my visitors to see me and kept me under close surveillance. There was someone following me even to the washroom. The long-term loneliness was the most difficult test. I kept reciting Hong Yin and Essentials for Further Advancement, Teacher's new articles and the parts of Zhuan Falun that I still remembered. I recited "Lun Yu", the foreword of Zhuan Falun. In the process of studying the Fa and validating the Fa, I saw the Fa's inner meaning, one layer after another. I kept studying the Fa non-stop every day and my Xinxing (heart and mind nature) and levels also kept improving. I did not feel bitterness even in the most difficult situations.
One day passed after another. Everyday I was dragged downstairs several times. The wicked people endlessly interfered with and persecuted me. I looked inwards to find my own problems, and found that every time this happened, I had put down the issue life and death. Therefore, this tribulation must be something imposed on Dafa and practitioners by the old forces, whose purpose was to shake Dafa practitioners' righteous belief in Dafa. Finally, after several months, the police had used up all their tricks and still had not achieved their goals. They did not pay any more attention to me, seeing that I was not even afraid of death. They did not force me to follow their regulations and just locked me up without letting me go downstairs, and I also did not have to do the drills or the physical labor. It was arranged for someone to bring meals upstairs to me. Master Li's new articles were passed into the labor camp, one after another. We all realized that we should deny all arrangements made by the old forces. Some practitioners who did not understand me before also came to understand. Dafa practitioners in the labor camp began refusing to do the labor tasks and drills, and did not answer the roll calls; we no longer cooperated with the evil arrangements.
When the police in the labor camp saw that not much could be done anymore, they fiercely began to retaliate against us. They realized that from the very beginning up to then, I had not cooperated with the labor camp regulations. They tried to set me up as an example by persecuting me even more severely in a "strict discipline class."
The police and evil drug-addicts did not even allow me to leave the room unless I reported to them. Two days later, I had not had any bowel movements, and my lower abdomen was so bloated that I could hardly sit up. When I went to the lavatory, a lot of blood dripped into the toilet, accompanied with sharp pains. However, I still managed to keep my own way and refused to cooperate or give in. The police soon found me and said: "You can go without reporting to us." Righteous thoughts once again helped to destroy the evil's arrangements.
Shortly after this I was shut up in a "small cell." The little cell was an isolated room of no more than ten square meters (about 100 square feet). There was only a bed and a narrow corridor. For 24 hours a day, I was jailed in the cell. Everyday, eating, drinking, and going to the toilet, everything was done here. Everyday I could not see sunlight. What I ate was the cold meal with unboiled water [note: drinking water in China is normally boiled for sanitary reasons], and I was separated from the outside world. I could not make phone calls or receive visitors.
At this moment, my body displayed some symptoms: my two feet were as hot as a smoldering iron. My eyes could only dimly see. I lost control of my bowels. At night, I had a low fever and my heart beat rapidly. I had difficulty walking and felt numbness in my limbs.
The police separated me from the outside world and even from the rest of the labor camp. Even amid the severe tribulation and the most difficult situation, I kept sending forth righteous thoughts. I realized that I should leave the labor camp.
Dafa practitioners are a whole body. When the other practitioners learned about my situation, some of them had my situation posted on the Minghui website, while others kept sending forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the evil elements in other dimensions that were persecuting me. Finally, 11 months after I was sent into the labor camp, I left it under the name of "receiving medical treatment on bail." This was achieved without a single day of cooperation with the labor camp regulations. I did not do the drills, perform the physical labor tasks, or answer to the roll calls. In doing so and in refusing to sign any documents that were degrading to Dafa, I thus removed my own stain and stepped back on the path of assisting Teacher in the human world.
This lesson made me more clearly understand the seriousness of cultivation and see the nature of this persecution. Teacher told us in one article after another that we should study the Fa more, that the Fa can make up for everything, that the Fa can rectify everything, and that the Fa will finally lead us out of delusion and through the test of life and death, and help to rebuild the mighty virtue of an enlightened being.