[Selected Submission] Solemn Experience Sharing Conference Held In Yuzhou, Henan Province 14 Years Ago
Yuzhou, located in western Henan Province, is a historical, ancient city. China's first dynasty, Xia, had its capital in Yuzhou. The legendary stories of “The Great Yu Controls the Waters,” “The King of Medicine, Sun Simiao,” and the relics of “The Sacred Painter Wu Daozi” made the ancient city Yuzhou a mystical place. In 1996, Falun Dafa was spread in Yuzhou through word of mouth. A year later, with the exception of some remote mountain areas, almost every village had a practice site. It was like Teacher wrote,
“Dafa is being spread far and wide. Those who hear about it are looking for it. Those who have obtained it are delighted with it. The number of cultivators is increasing daily and becoming countless.”(“Seeking Discipleship with Teacher” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
By November 1998, there were about two to three thousand practitioners in Yuzhou, and close to twenty large practice sites. As soon as a practitioner's health improved, he would introduce Dafa to his relatives, and the new practitioners established new practice sites. Thus, many coordinators were related.
At the time, groups of people practiced Falun Gong in the mornings and evenings, at urban and rural sites, and in parks and grassy areas. During the weekends, coordinators in Yuzhou often organized large-scale exercise activities. Thousands of practitioners gathered at sports stadiums or movie theater squares to practice the exercises in unison, accompanied by soothing melodious music. Introductory posters and photos of Teacher teaching the practice and giving lectures at various cities were on display. Enthusiastic coordinators stood by the displays and explained the exercises to new practitioners. Visitors often stopped by to look, attracted by the peaceful, spectacular scenes. Many of them inquired about Falun Gong and began the practice. Sights such as these became a beautiful landscape of this small town!
Although more and more people practiced, many of them were merely doing the exercises. They didn't know how to cultivate amidst conflicts in life, and didn't study the Fa (there was a shortage of Dafa books in the farming areas). Because they were not able to cultivate according to the Fa principles, many of them remained at a perceptual stage and had a superficial understanding of Dafa.
In November 1998, in order to further spread Dafa, benefit more people with pre-destined relationships, and provide the opportunity for practitioners to look inward, find their shortcomings, and elevate themselves, Xuchang city coordinators helped organize an experience sharing conference attended by 5,000 people. This was probably one of the largest Fa conferences in the nation prior to the persecution.
Teacher in the Photo Smiled
Coordinators from various large practice sites discussed extensively whether the sharing conference should be held. The majority agreed that it should be held because Dafa is an upright Fa that guides people to be good, it has led so many lost souls and people with poor conduct to find a righteous path in life, it has enabled the sick and those who have lost faith in life to obtain health and blessings, it is a good practice that benefits the people and the nation, and we had the responsibility to let more people know about it, thus benefiting society. A very small number of practitioners were concerned because the authorities had categorized Falun Gong as an “illegal organization.” Local public security departments were watching every move of Falun Gong practitioners. Government publishers were not allowed to print Dafa books, and practitioners could only get pirated copies. Those in the rural areas read Dafa books that were hand-copied by practitioners in the cities. These practitioners were afraid that a sharing conference would annoy the authorities and cause damage to Dafa. Both sides could not agree and had heated discussions. Finally, the majority voted to organize a sharing conference.
A few days later, those who were against holding the conference visited practitioner Yun's home. Because they worked within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) system, they were familiar with the CCP's nature. They asked others to reconsider their advice. Several coordinators discussed the issues until late in the evening and could not decide. Finally, Yun said, “Dafa is so good, we should hold a Fa sharing conference!” After she said that, she inadvertently turned her head and saw the photo of Teacher on the wall smiling!
Searching For a Venue for the Fa Sharing Conference
Coordinators were not allowed to collect money from practitioners, and it was not easy to find a venue that could hold 5,000 people. Someone contacted a vocational school in Yuzhou, and the school administrator agreed to let us use the facility. Two days before the conference, the school administrator said we couldn't use the place, without any explanation. We thought it was because they received a notice from the authorities. Practitioners had already prepared their sharing speeches and were looking forward to the conference on November 15. What should we do?
We decided to not be discouraged. We felt that as long as we believed in Teacher and the Fa, we would find a place for the conference.
Finally, a practitioner found a construction site where the Yuzhou City Curtain Fabric Factory (near the medical school) was being built. There was a new structure built on ten acres of land. In order to accommodate large machinery, there were no walls inside the building, just a few columns to support the structure. This was a perfect place for the conference! Because of the new construction, there were potholes and debris everywhere. This was not a problem for practitioners though. After the morning practice, coordinators asked for volunteers to clean up the venue. In one day, practitioners cleaned up the ten-acre area and set up the place for the Fa sharing conference. Those who had business backgrounds and other expertise built a one-meter-tall stage using steel plates and bamboo rakes. They connected a power source and set up the sound equipment, decorated the stage with colorful silk fabric, hung a Falun emblem and Teacher's photo, added fresh flowers, and turned the venue into a simple and solemn place for our sharing conference!
No one asked for a penny from anyone, or forced anyone to do anything, and the final preparation was done! Someone brought a video camera, and although it was not a professional type, it captured precious memories! When the CCP persecuted Falun Gong, it claimed that we were a “strict organization.” They simply couldn't understand why practitioners acted in unison, seemed organized, and were selfless and didn't seek rewards. So they used a ridiculous label, “strict organization,” to describe us. In fact, this is the mighty power of Dafa. Teacher said,
“The book of our Dafa can solve all mysteries and can rectify all human thoughts.” ("Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference in Australia")
Dafa can transform a bad person into a good one, and rectify a crooked heart. This can't be achieved with ordinary means!
Shortly after the conference, the curtain fabric factory was stripped and not used. Perhaps the owner changed his mind. It seems to have been built for our sharing conference!
Falun Cover the Sky
The weather was clear and sunny on November 15, 1998. Although it was already November, it didn't feel cold at all, and was more like spring. The Fa sharing conference was held as planned. I don't know how practitioners from out of town found out about the conference, but many arrived by themselves or in groups. At around four in the morning, local practitioners spontaneously lined up at various traffic junctions with signs welcoming the out of town guests.
Practitioners came from Xuchang, Yanling, Linying, Kaifeng, Nanyang, and Pingdingshan. There were as many as twenty large buses.
After seven in the morning, while we were nervously preparing for the conference, practitioners standing outside of the building shouted, “Falun, look at the Falun!” More people began shouting. Practitioners who were sitting on the floor inside the building ran outside. Those who saw it came into the building with excitement and told people to go outside to look at the Falun. There was a huge crowd outside of the building. People pointed at the sky and exclaimed, “Look, they are all over the sky. There are all kinds of colorful Falun--red, green, purple, and yellow!” Someone said, “Look, they are all over everyone!” People were covered with the colorful Falun. A sixty-year-old man from out of town, wearing black-framed glasses, described the shape of the Falun with his hands. He said with excitement, “There are so many of them!”
Suddenly, the crowd applauded. In the eastern part of the sky, where the sun was red and bright but not dazzling to the eyes, many people saw Teacher's law body sitting. Very soon, bright circles were formed around the sun. The circles rapidly turned clockwise then counter-clockwise (The Falun symbol turns clockwise nine times, and counter-clockwise nine times). People were so excited, like children looking up at the sky, immersed in the sacred moment. Even the vendors who were nearby selling food and other knick knacks heard of the excitement and joined the crowd. They shouted, “It's truly amazing! We've never seen so many colorful circles!” Practitioners saw different things. Some practitioners saw lotus flowers floating in the sky. They were sparkling and translucent, and disappeared when they touched practitioners. Other practitioners saw an orange light beam from the sun to the ground, some saw Teacher's law body, while others saw Buddhas, Daos, and gods all over the sky.
The Solemn Experience Sharing Conference
The conference began at 7:50 a.m.. First, the master of ceremonies asked everyone to read Teacher's Lunyu. The sound echoed loudly in the building. From the video footage, one could see many older practitioners from the rural area reciting Lunyu. Everyone looked respectful, sincere, and peaceful.
A total of sixteen practitioners spoke at the conference, sharing their cultivation experiences. Elderly practitioners talked about their experiences in believing in Teacher and the Fa, overcoming sickness karma and feeling healthy again, and thus witnessing the miraculous effects of Dafa. Young practitioners shared their experiences cultivating in the work environment, maintaining their xinxing, looking inward, and conducting themselves according to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance to be good people. Some practitioners talked about studying and reciting the Fa, conducting themselves in their daily lives according to the Fa, and assimilating to the Fa. Many practitioners were moved to tears when sharing about their wonderful experiences cultivating in Dafa.
An elderly practitioner from Yanling County shared his experience on stage. He used both hands in the Heshi position as a gesture of acknowledgment, then spoke slowly and loudly, “Today I would like to talk about how I was able to stand up straight after being a hunchback for thirty years.” After everyone applauded, he continued, “I'm sixty-one-years old now. I lived a miserable and painful life during the last few decades. Around New Years in 1996, I very luckily obtained a copy of the book Zhuan Falun. The more I read, the more I wanted to read it. Before I went to the practice site to do the exercises, my back miraculously straightened up. The big lump on my back disappeared as well. People around me noticed it, and thought that Dafa was amazing. Many of them began to learn the exercises.”
Meie, a forty-year-old practitioner from Xuchang County, cried while she shared her story. I can't recall the title of her sharing, but I remember the story. Prior to practicing Falun Gong, she was diagnosed with three types of cancer: breast cancer, stomach cancer, and another type. She and her husband were so sad after hearing the news. She cried every day, and couldn't eat or sleep. Her neighbor told her about Falun Gong. She said that Teacher would purify her body, but she had to let go of the attachment of curing her illnesses first. Meie didn't believe her neighbor, but decided to give it a try. After a few days of practicing Falun Gong, she felt hopeless, “Where is Teacher? Who is taking care of me? If Falun Gong can heal me, why do I need to see a doctor?” One day, she picked up Zhuan Falun and read Lecture One. Everything Teacher said made sense. She couldn't help but cry and felt hopeful! She felt hungry and wanted to eat. Her husband cooked a pot of noodle soup and she ate four big bowls of it! Her husband was very happy, and said, “Eat as much as you can. I'll cook some more after you finish this pot.” Later she went to the hospital for a check up, and everything was normal. The doctor who examined her was very surprised after comparing the x-rays and lab reports from her previous visit. He said, “Why is your blood test result normal this time?”
An Unexpected Inspection
During our sharing, at around 10:00 a.m., several government vehicles arrived outside of the building. The vehicles belonged to the public security department, trade and commerce ministry, and other government agencies. The officials entered the building and asked to see the person in charge. (What they didn't know was that there were only volunteers teaching the exercises for free, and people were free to come and learn as they pleased, so there was no one truly in charge of anything). A female practitioner welcomed them and answered their inquiries, such as “What are you all sharing about? Do you collect money from the audience? Are you charging for the tea you provide at the conference?” They didn't know that practitioners volunteered to bring tea from their homes for the attendees of the conference.
The officials walked to the back of the conference room. They noticed that the conference proceeded in an orderly manner. They listened to the practitioners who shared on stage. They saw the honest and peaceful faces of the audience sitting on the floor, including people of all social status, professions, genders, and ages. They couldn't see anything illegal going on. One of them made a comment as they were leaving, “There are so many people here. Everything is so orderly and there is no need to hire staff to maintain order. Incredible!”
From the presence of the officials, we knew that the CCP had plans to persecute Falun Gong! Nevertheless, the majority of the police force didn't volunteer to do it. This brutal persecution has ruined so many lives!
Fourteen years has passed in the blink of an eye. The conference held fourteen years ago is still fresh in my memory. After the conference, more people began practicing Falun Gong. There were a total of 5,000 practitioners at that conference. Moreover, the experience sharing encouraged more practitioners to truly cultivate themselves. On July 20, 1999, when the CCP began persecuting Falun Gong, practitioners in Yuzhou stepped forward to appeal for justice for Teacher and Dafa. Like practitioners in other regions of China, amidst the lies fabricated by the CCP, and under the tremendous pressure and the test of life and death, practitioners in Yuzhou overcame difficulties, continuing on their paths. Their unbreakable spirit and extraordinary will proved that Dafa is indestructible! Today, the CCP can hardly maintain the persecution, and the Fa-rectification process is approaching the end. Practitioners in Yuzhou will follow Teacher's instructions and continue to study the Fa well, cultivate ourselves well, clarify the truth, and save sentient beings.
May all sentient beings obtain blessings from Falun Dafa! May more sentient beings be saved during this special period of history!
From the Call for Submissions to Commemorate the Twentieth Anniversary of Falun Dafa’s Introduction