(Minghui.org) I began to practice Falun Dafa in 1998. In those early days of my cultivation, I studied Zhuan Falun again and again, and was in awe of Dafa's profound principles.
Master Li Hongzhi said,
“With Falun Dafa they find answers to their many lifelong questions, and it’s only natural that they would be excited by all the new insights they gain. I know that those who are sincere about practicing will realize the significance of the teachings and cherish them.” (The Eighth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to suppress Falun Dafa several months after I took up the practice. Through the years, I have made mistakes and sometimes felt lost. But Master Li (the founder of Falun Dafa) did not give up on me and always helped me get back on track. I am very grateful. Below are some of my experiences from the past several years.
I was detained several times because of my belief. My last incarceration was in 2003 at a labor camp, where I and other detained Falun Dafa practitioners experienced unimaginable cruelty. Out of fear, I felt that I could no longer withstand the pressure to renounce my faith so I yielded. Afterward, I found excuses to justify why I'd written statements to give up my belief against my will. Nonetheless, Master Li gave me hints one after another. In the end, I knew I had done wrong and I should never have written those statements in the first place – cultivation is serious and there are no excuses.
Some of Master’s hints were in my dreams. One time in a dream I was walking in a big restroom. There was a large gaping hole in the wall, from which I could see the field outside. I did not get out of the hole and continued walking in the restroom. Upon waking up, I realized I could have left the labor camp with my righteous thoughts. But I failed to do so.
So I got up and wrote a Solemn Declaration nullifying the statements I had made previously against Dafa. In plain language, I explained to the guards the basic principles of being a good person. They did not give me a hard time.
One day when doing labor in the workshop, I made a vow to Master, hoping I could sing a song composed by practitioners to the inmates. About a month later, the head of the division came to me. She looked very happy and asked me to sing a song in front of everyone. “Sure!” I replied and began to sing:
Be Saved (De Du)We have fallen to this mazeHelpless, lost, can’t find the waySearching thousands of yearsOne day Master reappears
Be saved, be savedPlease don't miss this chance again
When she heard the lyrics, the division head wanted to punish me. “See, you asked me to sing a song and I did,” I said to her, “But I am not sure if you like it nor not.”
She did not say a word and the practitioners around me were all worried. Somehow, I had no fear at the time – I knew that the persecution was not part of Master’s arrangement.
About two months before my term expired, the situation became tense. A brainwashing session was started inside the labor camp and, from time to time, practitioners were sent there. Some practitioners who refused to renounce their belief were moved to another division for further persecution. I was terrified that I could be the next one to be pulled out and sent to the other division at any time.
“It is fear,” I thought to myself, “but it has nothing to do with me.” This way, I stopped thinking about fear, or anything related to that. As usual, I refused to wear the inmate uniform – I had not done anything wrong, nor had I broken any laws, after all. Occasionally, I came across the guards in the hallway, but they avoided looking at me. From this experience, I learned that letting go of fear in itself is also opposing the persecution.
After being released from the labor camp, I submitted a retirement request to my workplace and it was approved. This gave me more time to study the Fa every day. In the meantime, I also paid attention to sending forth righteous thoughts. Through solid Fa-study, I gradually understood why I had been persecuted in those years. I also gained a better understanding of the old forces’ interference.
I later became a coordinator for my local area and was busy saving people in many ways. After a while, I noticed that my cultivation status was not quite right. So instead of getting busy here and there, I calmed down to study the Fa more at home. Reflecting on my cultivation, I found that lots of notions had surfaced throughout the years. For example, I liked to give comments and impose my opinions on others. I also considered myself superior to others and was thus very stubborn.
Here is an example: Occasionally, based on the Fa, I came to understand that something should be handled in a certain way. When other practitioners did not agree with me, I would become anxious. When discussing this with others and unable to get the message across, I would force my opinion on others. Very often it did not end up well and I was upset, thinking that I'd done great things for Dafa and our one-body effort.
When I calmed down and took a step back, however, I realized that every practitioner’s path was arranged by Master. When I was stubborn and forced my thoughts on others, wouldn’t that disrupt Master's arrangements?
On the surface, I was worried that a practitioner may not have done well or that a practitioner's loophole could be taken advantage of by the old forces. In reality, this could just be a manifestation of my own negative thoughts. Even if that practitioner did something their way, not my way, it may not necessarily be a bad thing. Any undesirable outcome would become an opportunity for us to learn and improve together, which in turn could lead to a good outcome. If everything always went so smoothly, we might not have been able to improve. Reflecting on this, I felt ashamed of my thoughts as they were not on the Fa.
Since then, I have focused on cultivating myself. But the stubbornness was strong and it was something that could not be dissolved in one day. When discussing with others and thinking that their thoughts were not on the Fa, very often I still could not control myself and began to express my opinion. When this happened a lot, it ended up as me talking while others listened passively.
“You can also have group discussions where you learn from each other and share your insights together. Those are the formats we use.” (“The Third Talk,” Zhuan Falun)
Apparently, I did not do things as instructed by Master.
Other practitioners were forgiving and no one pointed out this shortcoming of mine. But for me, I needed to strengthen my main consciousness and look within. When it was time for group Fa-study and group discussion, I often reminded myself, “A test might come soon, please watch yourself.” Sometimes, a practitioner’s remarks could be off from my viewpoint; had it been so in the past, I would have interrupted that practitioner. Now, I just tell myself to be quiet. In my mind, there was another version of me – a fake self – who wanted to speak in the name of “helping others.” But I was able to control myself and did not say a word. Interestingly, as long as I could control myself, I found that my viewpoint and mentality on the matter at hand would change.
I also looked within. Occasionally I considered myself superior to others and I easily became agitated. When I looked inward, I realized that my heart had been disturbed. So I tried to calm down and remain silent. “You too are also struggling with that same issue, so why do you think you are qualified to point out omissions in others?” I said to myself. I learned a lot this way. Looking back on what I had done in the past, I also realized that I had lost many opportunities to look within and improve myself.
Another issue is anger. I knew it was wrong to get angry with others, including practitioners. Nonetheless, I still could not control myself. One time when discussing with a practitioner, her comments triggered my fear. Believing that she did not understand my situation, I yelled at her.
After that, I developed hemorrhoids that kept growing. I looked inward to see what had gone wrong with me. I found fear, selfishness, stubbornness, and anger. I apologized to that practitioner. But the hemorrhoids continued growing, making it too painful to sleep. This had never happened to me before.
“It’s time to fix your bad temper, right?” asked my husband. I was not convinced, but I did not counter him, either.
Yes, this was the time to fundamentally get rid of the problem, unconditionally.
Master taught us,
“Don't our Dafa disciples have to not return blows or insults, even in the face of evil? Don't you have to forbear? To patiently clarify the truth? Then when you lose your temper, what was that for? What is there for a cultivator to get angry about? And shouldn't there be even less of that when you are with other cultivators? No matter who you are, you are cultivating. How come you always get mad at my disciples? Did I agree to your acting like that towards my disciples?” (Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York)
Reflecting on Master’s words, I was really ashamed of myself. The next day, I sat on my bed sending forth righteous thoughts. In the beginning, I planned to send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the factors that caused the hemorrhoids. Later on, I realized that they had occurred because I had not cultivated myself well – so it was my own fault. If so, I thought, it would be better to send forth righteous thoughts to strengthen practitioners who were out on the street clarifying the truth to people. This way, I kept sending forth righteous thoughts and could feel a strong energy field. I did not feel any pain from my hemorrhoids either.
About 50 minutes later, I stopped sending forth righteous thoughts and straightened my legs. There was no pain anymore – it was gone. I knew that Master helped me since my xinxing had met the requirement of the Fa and I had let go of selfishness. Thank you, Master!
From then on, I made up my mind to never ever get angry again. I was determined to get rid of this demonic nature that had bothered me for a long time. After that, I experienced several instances that would have normally triggered my anger. But I was able to pass the tests. I also felt that Master had helped remove the substances related to anger from me.
Once again, I returned to the state of peace and harmony that belong to a practitioner.
In the early days of the persecution, I had a strong attachment to competing. Every time I talked with police officers or managers at work, I tended to argue with them. Under the huge pressure from the massive suppression, plus inadequate cultivation on my own, it was very difficult for me to remain calm.
One time I talked with a police officer about Falun Dafa, and he replied, “If it is good, you can practice it at home and there is no need to come out distributing materials.”
He warned me, “Otherwise, I will arrest you.”
One sentence came to my mind, “If you dare to arrest me, I will dare to distribute materials!” Nonetheless, I held back and did not say it out loud.
When I got home, I asked myself why I got agitated so easily? It is true that Falun Dafa practitioners had been wronged and I spoke from the angle of a victim. But from the perspective of cultivation, those people who persecute us are the true victims – since they are facing dire consequences in the future for their bad deeds. Were I always to protect myself and complain about injustice toward me, how could I become considerate of others as a genuine practitioner?
One day last year, the newly appointed Chinese Communist Party (CCP) secretary at my workplace came to talk with me. “This time I will do well with righteousness and selflessness,” I told myself. Then I explained to him what Falun Dafa is, talking with him as if he were my family.
I told him that practitioners follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance to be better people.
“You know, there is an old saying, ‘One would rather stir up the water in thousands of rivers than disturb the peaceful mind of a Taoist,’ This highlights the great sin of persecuting people of faith,” I said.
I also explained that the suppression of Falun Dafa had no legal basis, and, as in many previous political movements, the CCP always punishes key perpetrators afterward in order to shirk responsibility and ease public anger.
“It’s really not worth it [persecuting practitioners,],” I added.
Our conversation was not long. But I was calm and answered all of the questions he had. He was also polite.
Early this year, the secretary contacted me again telling me that there would be a “law education” (brainwashing) session and asking me to attend.
“No way!” I replied resolutely.
He told me that the issue was not over and he would contact me again at a later time.
After this, I thought about the conversation. I realized that once again, I had been protecting myself with human notions. I only talked about how I should not go to the brainwashing session, instead of explaining things from his perspective.
I guess I failed the test again, I sighed.
The Party secretary and several other supervisors from my workplace came to my home again in May. Again I told myself to remain calm and kind.
When they knocked on the door, I opened it and let them in.
“You know, it is an order from above – I don’t know how to deal with it,” said the Party secretary. He had heard from others that I was a tough woman who always argued with them about the persecution.
“That is fine,” I replied, “we have not seen each other for a while. I'm glad we can have a good chat.”
He told me that the purpose of the visit was for me to fill out a form to attend the brainwashing session.
“I know you are in a difficult situation,” I replied. “Let’s take a step back and see what kind of difference this brainwashing session can make.”
I explained to him how Falun Dafa improved my physical health and my character. I also explained the harm that the persecution has brought to innocent practitioners and their families. Using my own experience, I shared the feeling of joy and peace obtained through the practice of Falun Dafa, along with the great pain and extreme despair that I experienced when I was sent to brainwashing centers in the past and was forced to renounce the faith that I cherish more than anything in my heart.
I told him that sending me to the brainwashing session would not do me or him any good; instead he might regret it forever. Plus, the workplace has to pay lots of money to send someone to stay through the entire brainwashing session.
“I did not know all this,” the Party secretary said. “Thank you!” He left with the other people and they never came back again.