The Cultivation Story of a Presiding Judge in China
"To tell you the truth, the entire cultivation process for a practitioner is one of constantly giving up human attachments." (Zhuan Falun)
For more than a decade, I have been reminding myself that I am a cultivator under Teacher's protection. I follow Teacher's words without compromise. One step at a time, I have traveled the path of cultivation to this day. As I see it, cultivation can be as difficult or as easy as you make it. It can be solemn, relaxing, and joyous at the same time. I would like to share my humble cultivation insights with Teacher and fellow Falun Gong practitioners. Please kindly point out anything inappropriate.
1. Eliminating Attachments to Fame, Material Gain, and Emotion
In the early summer of 1997, I was working very hard on having myself transferred to a different area so that my husband and I could live together. I had connections and did all the hard work. I was just about to get a transfer order when I went home on June 11 to celebrate my father's birthday and obtained a copy of Zhuan Falun. I read it from cover to cover from 9 a.m. that day to 5 a.m. the next day. Although I didn't have a complete understanding, I was blown away. I felt that it was something I had been looking for and that I finally understood the meaning of life. I decided to give up on getting a job transfer and leave it to fate. To this date, my husband and I still live in two different cities, but I have no regrets or complaints.
As a Falun Gong practitioner, I must follow Falun Gong's cultivation principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance unconditionally. In the past, I had a hot temper and would throw fits at my husband and even use violence against him. After I started practicing Falun Gong, it was my husband's turn to be the one with the bad temper, and he would even hit me from time to time. At first I tried to reason with him, but then I realized that the conflicts were opportunities for me to cultivate myself. Teacher has required us not to fight back. Therefore, I remind myself of Teacher's words when my husband loses his temper for no obvious reason.
"Forbearance is the key to improving one's xinxing. To endure with anger, grievance, or tears is the forbearance of an everyday person who is attached to his concerns. To endure completely without anger or grievance is the forbearance of a cultivator." ("What is Forbearance (Ren)?" from Essentials for Further Advancement)
I started to unconditionally search inward for attachments. At first, I endured my husband with tears and grievance, but eventually I managed to endure it unconditionally. Shortly after I started practicing Falun Gong, I was feeding my child when my husband suddenly threw a hot bowl of corn porridge and a hot wok of cabbage stirfry at my head. I did not lose my temper, and I didn't get upset at all. I changed my shirt and washed my hair. I didn't feel any pain, though my neck and shoulders were a bit red and had blisters. I realized that Teacher endured most of the pain for me.
In 1999, I traveled to Beijing four times to exercise my constitutional right to appeal for justice for Falun Gong. When I left on the first two trips, my husband was caught off guard and wasn't able to stop me. When I was about to set out on the third trip, he discovered my attempt and knocked me to the ground, and I saw stars from his impact. Then I calmed down, sat up slowly, decided to keep sitting on the ground while retrieving Zhuan Falun from my bag and started to read it. My husband then began to feel badly. He picked me up and put me in bed.
My husband is in the legal profession as well. He has been severely poisoned by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). For the past decade, I have been trying to clarify the truth about Falun Gong to him, but he would always become angry. He would beat me for the most trivial matters. One time, he forcefully kneeled on me, breaking two of my ribs, yet I hold no grudge against him. I still looked after him with a heart of compassion.
One day, I accidentally left a copy of Minghui Weekly on the table, and he became upset when he saw it. He picked it up and threw it in the trash can. When I asked him not to do that, he started to shout and hit me, saying: "Other families are having good lives, but you have brought me disasters. You will ruin my career!" I explained to him: "I have received more honors and awards since I started to practice Falun Gong. I did not destroy my career by practicing Falun Gong. Why would it destroy yours? Stop this nonsense. Our son will be home soon. It's time for me to cook dinner for you two." He would not listen to reason, however. He turned off all the lights and threatened that no one would have dinner if I refused to obey "my man." I laughed out in the dark, thinking, "I take care of everything in the household, yet you are calling yourself 'the man' and saying that I must listen to you? I will only listen to Teacher!" Later, after thinking about it more, I decided that laughing revealed that I did not have enough compassion for him.
That evening, my son vented his feelings about his father. My son often studies the Fa together with me. I told my son: "Your father does not practice Falun Gong. It is not easy for him to accommodate our lifestyle. With your father policing at home, neither of us should leave anything unattended. Besides, our home is also a cultivation environment. Your father is creating opportunities for us to cultivate our xinxing. We must be more considerate of him and we must save him. We must bring him to Falun Gong." My son accepted this.
A fellow practitioner once told me, "The most difficult test for a cultivator is to let go of personal gain and the attachment to our children." When I heard that, I didn't think it would be difficult to remove my attachment to my son. I was able to leave behind my two-year-old baby to travel to Beijing without hestitation. I knew my family would look after my son if I was gone, but I cannot live without Falun Gong.
Personal gain was a big challenge for me. Before my son went to elementary school, my sister-in-law promised to sell an apartment near a prestigious elementary school to me for 90,000 yuan, but then she withdrew the offer because the market price went up. I was pretty upset. My brother-in-law also refused to pay me the 50,000 yuan that I had loaned him two years before. In fact, he refused to admit he ever took any money. I was very upset. I told my husband: "Your mother has been living with us and I never complained. Your brother and sister have been taking advantage of us, and she is the mother of you three. I think it's time for your brother and sister to share the responsibilities!" My husband did not object. I tried to send my mother-in-law to her son and daughter, but neither of them wanted to take her in.
One day my son returned home, only to find my mother-in-law in tears. He said: "Mommy, why are you making my grandmother sad? If you are treating her like this, how do you expect me not to treat you the same way when you get old?" I was already feeling bad for her, but now I felt even worse. I explained to her why I wanted to send her off to her other children. Then I apologized to her. "As long as your other son and daughter do not object, my home is your home," I said. She accepted my apology, but I felt terrible about myself as a cultivator. I thought, "As a cultivator, how could I have abandoned my mother-in-law for the sake of personal gain?" I let Teacher down! After a few days, I was able to remove all of these material interests from my mind.
There is one more test that I would like to share. In October 2000, five policemen from the county came to my home in the city. The son of a fellow Falun Gong practitioner had told the police, in exchange for the release of his mother, that his mother had obtained all of the Falun Gong materials from me. The police were going to illegally arrest me. In my heart I knew it was caused by my attachment to material gain. Not long before that I was renovating my home, and a fellow practitioner had found me a contractor to buy the materials. The contractor found that I was very naive and charged me double the actual expenses. I was very upset when I found out that I had been taken advantage of. I said, "I give up practicing Falun Gong. I am always taken advantage of when I follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance."
I told the police, "If you had not come, I would have given up on practicing Falun Gong. Now I am determined that I will cultivate until I reach Consummation!" The police arrested me and incarcerated me in a county detention center for more than 70 days. I did not renounce Falun Gong in verbal or written form, but I did not expect that after I was released, the county propaganda department would bring local TV journalists to my parents' home to interview me. I refused to be interviewed and reprimanded them. Afterward my entire family was outraged, and they all rushed at me to beat and kick me. My own mother grabbed my hair and tried to smash my head against a rock. My father shouted: "Our entire family has been revolutionists! How can you be a counter-revolutionary?! I would rather break your legs and keep you under house arrest than have you embarass us!" My younger brother pointed his finger at me and said, "You will ruin our family!" I escaped their attack and replied back to my brother: "Ruin our family? Only those families who persecute Falun Gong will be ruined and condemned to hell!" My brother suddenly looked defeated, like a deflated soccer ball. The rest of the family went silent as well. For a very long time, I felt a lot of resentment and even hate towards my family.
Almost all of my family members were cadres of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), but they are sentient beings waiting to be saved nonetheless! Moreover, they had been victims of the CCP's hate propaganda against Falun Gong. Their knowing side or their true nature would not want to treat me like this, and I had to save them. I decided to let bygones be bygones. Now, I am truly kind to them. I pay attention to my nieces and nephews' lives and educations, buying them gifts if I find something good for them. I try my very best to follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. According to our local custom, children should look after their parents. My parents' home was too old and decrepit to live in any longer, but my two brothers turned a blind eye. I gave over 100,000 yuan to my parents to buy a new home. My sincerity and actions have touched my family. In me, they have witnessed the kindness of a Falun Gong practitioner. In addition, I often clarify the truth about Falun Gong to them. My entire family has now quit the CCP and the two affiliated student leagues they were once a member of. My parents have also started to practice Falun Gong.
I sincerely thank Teacher and Falun Gong for giving me so much. If it had not been for Falun Gong, I would have been entwined with personal conflicts, grievance, emotions, and material interests. I would have become corrupted in my career and ruined myself by creating a lot of karma. I don't have to live in a temple to cultivate. As long as we handle ourselves as cultivators and guard our xinxing, cultivation can be simple, relaxing, and joyous!
2. Clarifying the Truth to Save the World's People
After my son attended kindergarten, I started clarifying the truth about Falun Gong and about the CCP to his teachers, and sometimes I would take them out for dinner. The husband of my son's middle school teacher works in a prison. I have learned from our conversation that he has a good relationship with the management of a local women's forced labor camp. I decided to network with the management level of the forced labor camp through him in order to clarify the truth to them and to improve the environment for fellow practitioners imprisoned in the camp.
One day, I called on him at home. He had seen my bicycle and teased me, "A presiding judge without four wheels?" I smiled, saying, "It is too expensive to maintain a car." He continued: "How are you not able to afford a car? You judges take bribes all the time." The smile receded from my face. I explained in a dignified manner: "Only the CCP would do such things. They take bribes, extort and steal from public funds. I follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. The Teacher of Falun Gong has taught us to be thoughtful of others, selfless, and altruistic. I am proud to say that I have never taken any bribe or stolen from taxpayers since I started practicing Falun Gong." But he said, "There is nothing wrong with taking money for the work you do for others." I said: "I consider it an insult to receive any gift or bribe for doing my job. The CCP has installed the theory of atheism in the Chinese people and, as a result, people no longer believe in karmic retribution. People in China are losing their morals. Government employees are corrupt. The entire society is becoming increasingly depraved. Only Falun Gong can provide a pure land. Only Falun Gong can restore morality in the Chinese society." My speech won a look of admiration from him, as well as other people at the scene. He then agreed to quit the CCP and its two affiliated student leagues. He also offered his help should I need any in the future.
I have not stopped clarifying the truth since the CCP started its hate propaganda against Falun Gong and Teacher in 1999. In the beginning, I did not know what it meant to clarify the truth, I just knew that everything about Teacher in the CCP's propaganda was completely false, and that there is nothing wrong with wanting to follow Falun Gong's principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. I resolved to have people know that the propaganda against Falun Gong contained nothing but lies to instigate people's hatred against Falun Gong.
In October 2000, I was arrested for practicing Falun Gong. When I was taken to a detention center, I refused to answer any questions. I told the officers: "I have committed no crime at all by following Falun Gong's principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. You are persecuting good people. You are the ones who are committing crimes." The warden produced a gun and pointed it at me, threatening, "One more word and I will shoot you." I stepped forward and pointed at my neck: "Go ahead. Shoot me. Shoot right here!" The warden was frightened, and he dropped the gun and turned pale.
After I was put in a cell, I often witnessed inmates fighting over trivial matters. I shared with them what I have learned from Falun Gong's books and recited what I could remember from them. I also taught the inmates Falun Gong's five exercises. Soon they learned to tolerate and forgive each other. They also started to get along well. There was a woman that was detained for 15 days for getting into a fight. On the day of her release, she asked to have her last meal with everyone and cried when she left. An employee commented: "It is the most curious thing. I have never seen anything like this at the detention center!" The agents later asked to see me in the office, and they told me: "Don't just teach the inmates Falun Gong. You must teach us too and tell us about Falun Gong." I started to tell them what Falun Gong is really about and taught them the Falun Gong exercises. Soon they transferred me into a roomier and more comfortable solitary cell. They also found me a copy of Zhuan Falun and allowed me to study the Fa and practice the Falun Gong exercises.
One day, the detention center bought a batch of milk that was past the expiration date. I approached a disciplinary staff member and said, "Please taste the milk. If it has not gone bad, I will pay for the milk. If it has gone bad, please replace all the milk with a fresh batch." In the end, everyone got fresh milk. After word of this got around, shouts of "long live Falun Gong!" flooded from the men's division, echoed by the women's division.
After I was released from the detention center, I did two things. First, I went to my boss and quit the CCP. I stopped submitting any membership fees for the CCP or attending any CCP activities. Second, I demanded a refund for the 5,000 yuan in fines they had collected when they put me in the detention center.
I did not commit any crime by having a personal spiritual faith in Falun Gong. I was illegally arrested for having a personal faith. Why should I pay any fine? I told myself I must get the money back or it would be karmically bad for those who took the money. I went to the County Public Security Bureau, the Political and Legal Committee, the People's Congress in the county, the County Political Association, and all the other political and legal agencies associated with the persecution of Falun Gong. Each time, I asked to meet with the management and I clarified the truth about Falun Gong. Finally, I gave them an ultimatum: "I am only making one more visit to get my 5,000 yuan back. If I don't get a refund in two weeks, I will go to Beijing again to appeal. In addition, I will file a lawsuit against all of you!" In ten days I got a full refund of 5,000 yuan. Throughout the process, I have helped many CCP cadres understand the truth about Falun Gong.
Since the CCP began suppressing Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, I have been clarifying the truth about Falun Gong everywhere I go. One day, I called on the chairman of the 610 Office to clarify the truth. He threatened: "You are always telling people Falun Gong is good and the CCP is bad. Why don't I ask your boss to send you to the provincial brainwashing center to clear your head?" I asked, "Do you know what is in my head?" He did not reply, and I said: "My head is full of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. If you should brainwash me, what would be left in it?" Next I clarified the truth about Falun Gong and explained the principle of karmic retribution to him. We became close friends, and he left the 610 Office. Now he is my boss. A few days ago, he and I went to a village for a court case. We had to go to the village secretary of the CCP for assistance. Before we left, I gave truth-clarification materials to the secretary, and he has now quit the CCP.
Everyone around me knows that I practice Falun Gong. In fact, I clarify the truth about Falun Gong publicly. All of my colleagues have quit the CCP and its affiliated student leagues. One day the assistant head judge came to my office, and a colleague of mine asked him jokingly, "Boss, we have quit through the presiding judge. Have you done it?" He looked confused and asked, "Quit what?" I answered with a smile, "Why don't you finish your work first? I will expalin it to you later." I then found an opportunity to explain the facts to him, and he agreed to quit the CCP and its affiliated student leagues.
It has been more than a decade since I started practicing Falun Gong. I have been following Falun Gong's cultivation principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance at work and received a myriad of honors as a result. I have received many difficult cases, but no one has sought appeals for the cases I preside over. In fact, many cases end up with reconciliation at court. For every case I preside over, I tell the plaintiff and the defendant that I practice Falun Gong and follow Falun Gong's cultivation principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and that I make decisions based on facts and ask them not to seek underhanded ways to influence my verdict. I assure them that everyone is equal at court, and I ask them to tell the truth. Next, I explain to them what Falun Gong is, what the CCP is really about, and what karmic retribution is. Normally, the disputes are harmoniously resolved as a result.
There was a case about a traffic accident, in which the plaintiff was hit by a car. She had a severe femur fracture, but the defendant refused to pay for the medical expenses. One day, I heard this woman crying at the courthouse and asked to see her in my office. Then I found out that she felt she would stand no chance to win the case because she could not afford to bribe me, so she decided that she would cry in the courthouse to get people's attention. I explained to her my principles and the benefits of practicing Falun Gong. I also gave her truth-clarification materials about Falun Gong. She then decided to withdraw her complaint and started practicing Falun Gong together with her son.
There was a case arising from a dispute over a contract filed by a young man in his 30s against the county's food bureau for failing to pay 260,000 yuan in contract fees. I explained to the plaintiff about Falun Gong and gave him some truth-clarification materials. After a week, he told me that he had withdrawn the complaint, and I was astonished. He said, "I have been reciting in my heart 'Falun Gong is good!' and 'Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good!' every day. I have had a good week and made a lot of money. I could have easily made 260,000 yuan in all the time I had spent on the lawsuit, so I decided to withdraw it."
There are many similar stories, but there have been a few exceptions. One day, a man from my hometown called and asked to meet with me. When we met, he took me to a nearby restaurant. It turned out that he had lost his left eye when a beer bottle exploded, and he decided to file a lawsuit against the beer manufacturer and asked me to "take care of his case." I clarified the truth about Falun Gong to him and suggested that he start practicing Falun Gong. After the dinner, although I insisted on getting the check, he paid. The beer manufacturer compensated him 10,000 yuan, but he thought it was not enough and asked for a judicial expert. The judicial expert then decided that the accident was caused by improper use, so I had to rule against him. One day, he suddenly barged into the courtroom and started to reprimand me in front of 17 people. He said that I told him about Falun Gong, asked him to practice Falun Gong and had him pay for dinner. I remained very calm and said, "You can insult me, but don't speak ill of Falun Gong. You have lost your left eye. Please protect your remaining eye [from karmic retribution.]" When I escorted him out and returned to the courtroom, I told everyone about his case. They all gave me a thumbs up and someone commented, "Now I know that people who practice Falun Gong are righteous!"
There is another case that had lasted for more than a decade before it was escalated to my level. The plaintiff was a village committee and the defendants were 17 farming households. The village committee had asked the farmers to pay an increased land contract fee, but the farmers refused. The plaintiff was not happy with the verdict from the first level and the intermediary level of courts. I was glad when my boss assigned the case to me because I got an opportunity to clarify the truth to a lot of people, including the people from the village committee. I traveled to the village in a police car with a pack of truth-clarification materials. Once in the village, I laid out a lot of materials at major intersections. Next, I arrived at the village committee. There were four village cadres at the village committee office that were just about to leave for lunch, and they invited me to join them. During lunch they started to talk about the case and cursed the CCP. I took the opportunity to tell them what the CCP is really about and the truth about Falun Gong. They were all ears, but the chairman of the women's committee, who was cooking outside, asked everyone to leave. She told them: "She is definitely not from the courthouse. Don't listen to her." I did not respond and continued with my lunch. It took them a long time to come back to the table. I guessed that they might have gone to check my identity and told them jokingly, "You are definitely not good cadres that villagers can trust because you won't listen to anything about Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance." They responded, "That's not true!" After I returned to work, my boss confirmed that the village committe had called to verify my identity. I summoned the 17 households to the courthouse and told them about Falun Gong, and then summoned the village committe to the courthouse and told them, "Farmers are an underprivileged class of the Chinese society. The village committee will not get much money from them. Don't fight over petty amounts of money with common folks. Accept the original contract fee." Next, I explained to them that the CCP will be met with its karmic retribution, and it is important to severe ties with the CCP. The five village cadres decided to quit the CCP right away and withdrew the lawsuit.
Falun Gong practitioners in my county have been very diligent in cultivating and clarifying the truth about Falun Gong. We coordinate well by dividing up work among us. We have visited many villages and clarified the truth to people face to face.
In October 2009, four fellow Falun Gong practitioners and I went to a tourist spot in the mountains to clarify the truth. Villagers' homes are spread all over the mountain, which made it difficult for us to reach them. The five of us divided into three groups, and I assigned myself to households on the top of the mountain. While I was clarifying the truth, a fellow practitioner at the foot of the mountain called me and told me that a fellow practitioner had been arrested. I told them to drive off without me and I would take care of the rest. I distributed the materials as soon as possible and headed down. I saw a police car in pursuit of me, but it was difficult terrain for a car. The policeman got out of the car and pursued me on foot. He shouted: "Where are you running to? Where are your materials?" I turned around and said: "I have distributed all of the materials. If you want a copy, I can find you one." He was speechless. I told him: "I came from the county courthouse. Let's go to the police station. Open the door for me, please, I need to warm up."
When we arrived at the police station, I saw the arrested practitioner, but I didn't tell the police that I knew her. I clarified the truth to the police officers and asked them to release her, but to no avail. When a bus arrived, I got on the bus and clarified the truth to the passengers. About eight passengers decided to quit the CCP and its affiliated student leagues. As soon as I got back, I had a fellow practitioner drive me to the home of the head of the Public Security Bureau. We were met with some interference on the way there, as it was windy and dark. Once at the home of the public security bureau head, his wife kept complaining, but I was impervious. The head of the Public Security Bureau told us that the practitioner had been sent to the detention center of a neighboring county. We arrived at the detention center the next day, and they told us that she had been sentenced to 15 months at the city's women's forced labor camp. That evening, I went to the deputy head of the Public Security Bureau. I pointed out that there is no law in China supporting what they did and I clarified the truth about Falun Gong. The deputy head quit the CCP. I felt very guilty afterward and felt that I should have stayed with the arrested practitioner and faced the test with her together.
For the past 11 years, the truth-clarification work has become part of my life. One day, I was driving to the city right after a rain shower, when a van suddenly drove past me and blocked the road. I had no idea what was going on. A young man got out of the van and shook his wet shirt while he shouted angrily: "Are you blind? Why don't you look when you drive? I was washing my car when you splashed all over me." I apologized and said earnestly: "I didn't do it on purpose. How should I compensate you? Do you want money or new clothes?" Then he looked embarrassed, and I clarified the truth to him and persuaded him to quit the CCP. He asked for my phone number before we parted. When I was almost in the city, he called me and said: "So, it is actually your phone number. I thought you might have given me a fake number." I replied: "I follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Why would I lie to you?" He said excitedly, "Whether you like it or not, I will befriend you. I will call on you when I am in the city."
Falun Gong has given me so much.
The CCP has been destroying Falun Gong practitioners' means of income, reputation, and even their lives, but two prison terms have only reinforced my faith in Falun Gong. The Fa is with me at all times. I have not lost my job; in fact, I have received more honors and recognition since I started practicing Falun Gong.
Once, I traveled to a village and needed to wash my hands after I finished repairing my car. I called on a local person and asked for clean water. He brought me a basin of clear water, a new hand towel, and a new soap. I was very appreciative and asked: "Why are you so nice to me? We don't even know each other." He laughed and said: "But I know you. You are the Bao Qingtian in our county." [Note: Bao Qingtian is the most famous, thorough, and fairest judge in Chinese history.] I know that's the nickname that my colleagues and the people in my area have given me, but I would not have earned it without Falun Gong.
"Live with no pursuit,
Die not caring about staying;
Clear out all wild thoughts,
Cultivating to a Buddha is not hard."
("Nonexistence" from Hong Yin)
Teacher has exhausted himself to save the sentient beings in the universe. As a Falun Gong practitioner in the Fa-rectification period, is there anything that I cannot let go of?
Thank you, Teacher!