I Started Cultivating Dafa While Working in China’s Prison System
(Minghui.org) When I worked for the Tianshan Wool Textile Corporation in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, I was assigned to work in the prison system in 1999. I was responsible for arranging raw materials, cost accounting, and supervising the processing.
Between 2002 and 2008, I worked as a technical instructor for sweater production at Xinjiang Fifth Prison, and I came into contact with a special group of people – illegally sentenced Falun Dafa practitioners.
They firmly believed that they had not done anything wrong, and they were not intimidated by the guards at all. Their unwavering belief deeply impressed me.
With my own eyes, I saw a Falun Dafa practitioner refuse to wear the prison uniform. The guards then assigned four criminal inmates to watch him around the clock. They did not let him eat or sleep, and the guards beat him and shocked him with electric batons, but they were unable to break his will.
The guards told me that, in the solitary confinement block, they had a bed-sized wooden board with metal rings on its four corners; the victims’ hands and feet were lashed to the rings. Electric batons that hung on the wall were used on the victims. I was horrified just listening to their descriptions, but the Falun Dafa practitioners were not afraid.
Learning about Practitioners While Working with Them
There were more than 200 prisoners where I worked, including seven or eight Falun Dafa practitioners. The guards assigned those who were educated to help me do the bookkeeping. A practitioner named Hu Jingyao was one of them.
I was curious about the practitioners and made an effort to converse with and observe Hu Jingyao. I learned that he had been a chemistry teacher in a technical school and was originally sentenced to two years in prison for practicing Falun Dafa. At his trial he had told the judge, "Falun Dafa is good and cultivating Falun Dafa is not wrong." Adding insult to injury, the judge added another year to his term.
His wife, a doctor, was also sentenced to two years imprisonment for practicing Dafa.
I found him to be a very nice person. He was kind, knowledgeable, and polite. I quietly watched him while we worked. I realized that practitioners were not at all like they were portrayed in the propaganda on television. On the contrary, they were very good people.
I Became Interested in Practicing
When the guards were not around, Hu Jingyao told me a lot about Falun Dafa, and I gradually became interested. I wanted to learn what was taught in the main book of the practice, Zhuan Falun. Hu Jingyao told me to talk to one of his friends. I eventually obtained a copy of Zhuan Falun.
Through reading Zhuan Falun, I learned that Falun Dafa teaches people to do good deeds, to be good, to tell the truth, and to improve their character. I came to understand that Zhuan Falun is truly a good book.
I also developed respect for the Falun Dafa practitioners. If more people could practice Falun Dafa and follow its teachings, far fewer people would do bad deeds that go against their consciences, and society's level of integrity would rise.
I came to understand the imprisoned practitioners. They had the divine principles of Falun Dafa in their hearts, which gave them courage and endurance. A longing to practice Falun Dafa began to arise within me.
Helping Practitioners Cost Me My Job
I quietly started bringing Falun Dafa books to the practitioners in the prison, until guards cleaning a prison cell found some of them. The head of the prison suspected that I was the source of the books, and the management threatened me. I was very frightened, but I did not tell them anything.
Even though I lost my job and was afraid the prison authorities would harass me because I had witnessed the torture methods the guards used, I had no regrets about helping the practitioners. I longed to leave China to avoid danger.
I went to Australia in 2010 to join my son who was studying here.
Conducting Myself According to Dafa Principles
I found a job in a restaurant and worked 12 hours a day to make a living. My arm swelled up after the first week, and my wrists hurt so much that I couldn't even hold a plate.
My coworkers suggested that I see a doctor. I knew that, as a Dafa practitioner, I must have righteous thoughts. I understood that all the suffering I was experiencing was to eliminate my karma. The swelling started to disappear after several days, and my wrists stopped hurting.
Another time a customer handed me payment for a $30 meal and left. I noticed that there was a $100 bill--and not a $10 bill--underneath the $20 bill. I hurried after him and returned the extra money to him.
My Conduct Helped More People Learn about Falun Dafa
I worked diligently at the restaurant and volunteered for the hardest and dirtiest tasks. The restaurant owner knew that I was a Falun Dafa practitioner. Through my conduct, he gradually learned about the practice and realized that it was good. He promoted me to be the manager.
As the manager, I was responsible for all the restaurant's purchases. Some suppliers offered me bribes so that I would buy their goods. I understood the principle of "No loss, no gain." (Zhuan Falun) and politely refused their offers. The owner also recently put me in charge of the operating cash flow.
Our local group Falun Dafa group studies and does the five exercises together on Friday nights. The restaurant owner knows that I want to go to group study and often helps me with my work so that I can leave earlier.
Diligently Cultivating Myself at Work
The restaurant's business goes up and down. When the business was not prospering, I felt pressure as the manager. I was easily irritated and often spoke harshly to others. Sometimes I hurt their feelings.
I improved enough to recognize when I was wrong and quickly apologized to them.
“For us cultivators conflicts come up suddenly. So what should we do? If you always keep a compassionate heart, and a peaceful state of mind, when you run into problems you’ll handle them well because it will give you space as a buffer.” (Zhuan Falun)
I was gradually able to consider issues from other people's perspectives and my temper improved. The people in the restaurant also supported my practice. When I needed to take time off to join Falun Dafa activities, the restaurant ran smoothly.
Sharing My Experiences with Fellow Practitioners
After reading experience sharing articles written by practitioners who started practicing Falun Dafa while in prison, I also wanted to share my experience of how I started.
I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to cultivate Falun Dafa. Throughout my 14 years of cultivation, I have gradually improved. Thank you, Master, for your compassion and care.