Studying the Fa and Improving My Xinxing Despite Imprisonment
(Minghui.org) I started practicing Falun Dafa shortly after July 20, 1999. I have come a long way since then and I would not have been able to come this far without Master's protection.
Studying the Fa Is Our Foundation
When I first started practicing, I was very focused on studying the Fa and had strong righteous thoughts. However, after a while, I became lax and gradually, with more and more worldly temptations, I spent little time studying the Fa. It took me a long time to read Zhuan Falun through even one time. I was taken advantage of by the old forces and was sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment.
In prison, I reflected on my issues and found opportunities for discussions with other practitioners. I realized that most practitioners studied at least one lecture from Zhuan Falun every day. If they had more time, they would also study other lectures and memorize and recite the Fa as well. I was well below this standard and clearly saw the gap.
When I first got to the prison, they took away my hand copied Falun Dafa articles. I went on a hunger strike to protest; I did not even drink water. People were amazed that I was still so energetic, even though I had no food or water for three days.
Later, I stopped the hunger strike at the suggestion of other practitioners. In the next two years, my Dafa books in the cell were never touched by the guards or the inmates. Other practitioners would leave their books with me if they had no place to store them.
Every day after I returned from the workshop, I wasted no time in studying the Fa. I also memorized Hong Yin, Hong Yin II, and Hong Yin III, with a total of 208 poems (not including the lyrics). They were hand copied for me by fellow practitioners. In this prison environment, Dafa articles were so hard to come by, so I memorized them all. Till this day, whenever I am on the bus or walking, I recite Hong Yin to keep the worldly thoughts out of my mind. At many critical moments, it was the lines from the poems that came to my mind that strengthened my righteous thoughts and helped me pass one test after another.
Cultivation Is About Improving Xinxing
As I studied the Fa again and again and measured myself against the Fa requirements while I was in prison, Master showed me many of the Fa's deeper meanings. Once, I read in the Fourth Talk of Zhuan Falun, “Transforming Karma”, “We transform karma mainly through tensions with other people that test our character. That’s how it usually plays out.” (Fourth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
All of a sudden, Master's Fa opened a door for me. I enlightened to many inner meanings of the Fa. Historically, cultivation happened in the temples, whereas Falun Dafa has no structure. We cultivate amongst non-practitioners and we come across conflicts and troubles just as non-practitioners do. However, because we are cultivators, the troubles have been arranged according to our xinxing and levels by Master. Our cultivation is to do our best in everyday society. There is no model to follow; we must walk our own path as each of us will come across different troubles.
For a long time, I was unable to let go of emotions concerning my father who had passed away. I also felt attached to the workplace where I was employed for over ten years. I would have flashbacks of some of the memorable moments; they were deeply held emotions and even my mother, wife or best friends could not truly understand me. In fact, I think all of us have such deeply held secrets. They are well hidden and hard to get rid of.
However, improving xinxing is about letting go of those things that are the hardest to detach from. Master will give us all kinds of opportunities so we can eliminate our most fundamental attachments.
I wasn't sure if I could go back to my old job. People were very friendly to me; everyone sent their regards. I thought my boss had indicated that I could return to my job, but I waited a long time, and nothing happened. I was really low. I tried not to think about it, but I did not let go of it.
Master teaches us,
“Sometimes you think that something is yours, and other people tell you it is, when in fact it’s not. So maybe you think it’s yours but it turns out it’s not. That will reveal whether you’re able to let it go. If you can’t let it go it’s an attachment.” (The Seventh Talk, Zhuan Falun)
Soon, I got a notice that the boss wanted to meet with me. They asked me to return to work on a part-time basis. Although the pay was not as high, I could work from home and had more free time. Fellow practitioners reminded me that everything was arranged by Master. This arrangement was to give me more time to study the Fa, clarify the truth and do Falun Dafa related work. My understanding improved a lot as a result.
After that deeply held emotion was removed, I felt lighter. As cultivators, under no circumstances should we have emotions towards anybody or anything. Emotions on the surface were easy to see, but emotions held deep inside also need to be addressed. If we have a sincere, unwavering heart, Dafa will display magical transformations in front of our eyes.
We Are One Body
In prison, depending on which unit you were in, you could have such freedoms as reading or copying Falun Dafa articles. As every one of the Dafa practitioners longed for studying the Fa, it was important to protect Dafa articles and the ebooks.
On one occasion, another unit was about to be searched and those practitioners asked if we could help store their Dafa articles and ebooks. I hesitated as I already had some and worried that it might draw the attention of guards if I kept more. However, a fellow practitioner in my unit volunteered to store the Dafa materials for them. He said that we must help them out and if it were not convenient for me, he would do it. He was a timid guy, but did not hesitate this time. I was inspired as well as surprised. Once we received the copies, we divided them up and stored them separately for two months without issue. In this super challenging environment, whether each and every practitioner can do their best to validate the Fa is a test of the one body. When we can think from the perspective of others, and are willing to take on responsibilities, things can change for the better.
Another time, we were asked to copy the Sixth Talk of Zhuan Falun for practitioners from a different brigade. I used my lunch time and free time after work to copy them. When I was done, I was not sure how to pass the copies to the practitioner. Should I carry them on me? What if they search me today? I sent out a righteous thought that practitioners were waiting to study the Fa and guards must not search their bodies. For the next three days, I carried the copies on me.
During this time when authorities were closely monitoring us, it was hard for the members of the different units to see each other. Normally we walked in a single file with one group following after another; never did we walk alongside another unit. And yet, on the fourth day, when my group was just around the bend, another group came up to walk along with us. All of a sudden, someone poked me and I realized it was the practitioner who needed the Sixth Talk of Zhuan Falun! I immediately took out the copy and gave it to him. Soon after, the two units separated and walked one after another. It was just a window of a few minutes that I was able to pass the copy! Words could not express my gratitude towards Master. Only Dafa practitioners can feel this magic!
When May 13 was approaching, we were contemplating doing something to let the inmates know about this special day. We decided to each write a letter about May 13 and also include our own experience with Falun Dafa and pass them around during the breaks. One letter explained that: “May 13 is World Falun Dafa Day. On this day in 1992, Master Li Hongzhi introduced Falun Dafa to the world's people. Falun Dafa (also called Falun Gong) is an advanced practice of Buddha school self-cultivation. It is a discipline in which “assimilation to the highest qualities of the universe, Zhen, Shan, Ren (Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance), is the foundation of practice. It also has five sets of exercises.”
We used all the time available to pass around our letters. As people were reading them, they had many questions for us, such as if people of other countries know about Falun Dafa. Between the two of us, we talked to about 40 people. Although it was not a big number, everyone knew about World Falun Dafa Day and that it was going to happen in a few days.
On Friday, my unit had an announcement that we would have Saturday off instead of Sunday due to some logistics issue. And Saturday was May 13! Everyone received this blessing as they understood the truth! Some people commented, “Falun Dafa is amazing; you get the day off on World Falun Dafa Day!”
The longer I have cultivated, the more I feel that as disciples, we only did what we were supposed to do. Everything was arranged by Master. As long as we treat ourselves as cultivators, miracles will happen. What awaits Dafa disciples are the magnificence of elevation.