(Clearwisdom.net) Minghui correspondents Xu Jing and Wu Sijing report:

On May 13, 1992, during the height of the nationwide popularity of qigong in China, Mr. Li Hongzhi gave the first series of lectures on Falun Gong in the city of Changchun. At this time he formally introduced Falun Gong to the public. Mr. Li Hongzhi clearly pointed out in the lectures that if one wants to increase cultivation energy, one must cultivate one's character and emphasize morality. From May 1992 to December 1994, on invitation from local branches of the China Qigong Science and Research Institute, Mr. Li Hongzhi held 54 classes and lectured on the Fa throughout China.

Mr. Lin Xiongyi, who now lives in North America, attended the last lecture held by Mr. Li Hongzhi in December 1994. Here, Mr. Lin talks with a Minghui website reporter about how he took up cultivation practice, and about the lecture.


Reporter: How are you, Mr. Li? Since every Falun Gong practitioner has a story about how he/she started practicing Falun Gong, would you please tell us yours?

Lin: I obtained the Fa in September 1994. I was just sixteen years old then. It was during the height of qigong’s nationwide popularity in China. I was attending junior high school, and I was quite interested in qigong, including martial arts, hard qigong and so on. I tried many of them. In 1994 when I went to Guangzhou to study, there was a qigong association. I joined the association. At that time, there were three different types of qigong being taught, and I did not know which one to choose. I tried one after another.

Finally, I went to Falun Gong. There were hundreds of people there. At that time, the contact person taught us the exercises. I learned some martial arts qigong before, and thought those movements were quite complex. Falun Gong, however, had only a few movements; it was so easy to learn, and I became quite interested in it.

After one week, the contact person gave us the book, Falun Gong. My worldview changed after reading the book because it talked about how to practice cultivation, about the genuine purpose of human life, which is to return to our true origin. I had never heard of such principles before.

Reporter: What is the biggest change you noticed after you started to learn Falun Gong?

Lin: I used to have a hot temper and liked to argue with others. After I started practicing Falun Gong, I knew that I had to become tolerant. In the beginning, I still could not follow the principle of "Forbearance." But Teacher taught us to "not fight back when punched or insulted," therefore, no matter what, I had to become tolerant. Sometimes, after being scolded, I wanted to fight back. But after thinking of Teacher’s words, I stopped fighting back. However, I still felt resentful.

After tolerating things again and again, as through studying the Fa and listening to Teacher’s lectures, I gradually went through this process: in the beginning, I had to force myself to endure. But I gradually began to feel that to be tolerant was a good way. Besides, when a person fights with another person with two fists pummeling one another, both would get hurt. However, if you are tolerant, you will back off a bit, and your fist will not touch his fist. This way is good for both people. I understood these principles after I started practicing Falun Gong.

Reporter: Did your family also notice your improvements in character?

Lin: At that time, my family lived in the countryside. When I went back home during summer vacation, my mother was quite surprised at the changes in me. In the past, if my mother criticized me, I would argue with her. My mother was quite surprised that I no longer argued with her. Afterwards, I told her that I gradually changed myself after learning Falun Gong.

Reporter: Even your mother was surprised at your change?

Lin: Yes, even my mother was quite surprised, for she never thought that her son could change. I used to fight back when being criticized. My mother was quite accustomed to my fighting back –usually with ten sentences if she said just one thing.

Of course, there were really a lot of attachments which had to be removed through true cultivation. There are also a lot of stories. For example, while in school, many students liked to take advantage of others during lunch time. If I saw my classmate lining up in the front, I would give my lunchbox to him and let him get the food for me. But after learning Falun Gong, I knew that this was wrong, because it was taking advantage of other people. The people in the back of the line had to wait for a long time to get the food. Another example is that when talking with others, one should talk in a kind tone. When encountering a problem, one should think about others instead of arguing with others immediately.

Reporter: You attended Mr. Li Hongzhi’s last Fa lecture. Would you tell us when the class was held?

On December 21, 1994, Teacher began the Fa lectures in Guangdong Province. In November, the contact person told us that Teacher was preparing to hold a class in Guangdong Province, and that it might be the last one. I had never attended Teacher’s class so I wanted very much to go, so I quickly signed up.

Reporter: How many people attended the class?

Lin: There were about four to five thousand people inside and about one thousand outside.

Reporter: Would you please describe the situation at that time?

Lin: It was in a basketball court. The stage for Teacher’s class was built on the other side of the court. Some of my classmates and I sat in the center of the basketball court, which was not far from the stage. There were a lot of people around us of different ages. Many people went to have their diseases cured. So I saw a lot of sick people.

When it was seven o’clock, everyone suddenly stood up to applaud. I saw a man about 6 feet tall coming out of the door in the middle of the court. This person was tall, benevolent, and very handsome. Teacher walked around the court and greeted everyone.

Reporter: Did all those four or five thousand practitioners attend Mr. Li Hongzhi’s class for the first time?

Lin: I originally thought that many people attended the class for the first time. Afterwards, I heard from the contact person that half of the participants, at least two to three thousand people, came from other places. Some of them came from Heilongjiang Province. Many of them had attended the Fa lectures many times.

Many of them had to eat instant noodles to save money in order to attend Teacher’s lectures. The contact person told us that in fact many of the people outside came from other places. They felt very sad because they could not get tickets. Teacher also knew that they went through a lot of hardships and it was really hard to obtain the Fa, so Teacher asked people to put a television set outside. About one thousand people watched Teacher’s lecture over closed circuit television.

Reporter: Did you feel that the content of the lecture was easy to understand?

Lin: I had read the book Falun Gong, so basically what Teacher said did not contradict my understanding. The qigong that I learned in my junior high school year was nothing compared with Falun Gong. Some of the martial arts and hard qigong we learned at that time only taught you some movements or aroused your desires for fame and reputation. For example, they would tell you that weapons could not hurt you after you learned hard qigong. You could hack a stone with your hand, or you could crush a rock with a squeeze of your hand.

Reporter: Those things tempt the youngsters a lot.

Lin: You are right. We loved those things a lot because of our attachments to showing off. It felt odd that Mr. Li Hongzhi would not teach us how to crush a stone. Instead, he taught us how to be good people, to be considerate even in hardship and to improve our xinxing during conflicts. Those things really touched me. I felt that Teacher was quite different from other qigong teachers, because they only taught us how to gain something and how to do some movements. However, Teacher really taught us how to cultivate and how to enlighten.

Reporter: Some of your junior high school classmates also attended the class at that time. Did they also decide to practice Falun Gong just like you?

Lin: Many of my classmates also thought that Falun Gong was very good. I remember after the Fa lectures, we often studied the Fa and discussed it together. We practiced Falun Gong every evening. We would go to the practice site to do the exercises. Moreover, when we were in Guangdong Province, there was a big group practice of thousands of people. There were thousands of practitioners doing the exercises in the Tainhe Gymnasium in the morning.

The energy field at the practice site was benevolent and peaceful, with strong energy. When you went there, you would not see anyone with a long face. You would not see a person with malicious eyes. Practically everyone was smiling, with a rosy complexion. It gave me the impression that those practitioners were all very good people.

Reporter: Thank you.

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In December 1994, Mr. Li Hongzhi held the last Fa lectures in China. In the subsequent years, he went to other countries, such as America, Asia, Europe and Australia to spread Falun Gong throughout the world. Though ten years have passed for those Falun Gong practitioners who attended the Fa lectures in China, their recollections are still very vivid. Just like Mr. Lin Xiongyi, everyone can truly realize how the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance have changed their lives greatly. The changes impressed them deeply. Sometimes, it is even like a rebirth. That is why Falun Gong still exists, and even becomes stronger and stronger after seven years of persecution by the CCP.