An “Ordinary” Dafa Practitioner I Know
(Minghui.org) Mr. Gao always calls himself an “ordinary Dafa practitioner.”
I was Mr. Gao's classmate and roommate in college. In 1998, he introduced Falun Dafa to five of us who lived in the same dorm. We all took up the practice, but I stopped in my senior year when I got busy looking for a job. I also lost contact with him during that time.
Years passed. Through other roommates, I learned that he had been persecuted for practicing Dafa. I contacted him several years ago when I found out he had been released from prison. He sounded excited over the phone to hear me; we made an appointment to meet.
Another former roommate (let's call him FR) and I went to Mr. Gao's home.
When we saw Mr. Gao, I could hardly recognize him. His face used to be thin, so I thought that he'd look sickly and pale after his detention. But he was energetic, with fair skin and a glowing face.
He was happy to invite us in, where we met his mother and siblings. I asked about his work, his life, and his cultivation.
FR interrupted me right away, suggesting that we three take a walk. As soon as we got outside, he told me I was being careless. He said that, although things weren't as bad for Mr. Gao as they used to be, Mr. Gao was still being monitored.
Mr. Gao said it was okay, but he was indeed under surveillance in and around the house. His cell phone and landline were both listened to.
I saw my mistake and realized just how reckless I had been when I casually called him up. Luckily, nothing bad happened.
Then I kept quiet and listened to the conversation between FR and Mr. Gao.
FR: I remember that you got your Ph.D. and got married but were arrested and went missing afterward.
Mr. Gao: Yes. My mentor introduced me to Dafa in college. I learned a great deal from Dafa, and my health improved tremendously. So I really believed in Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. The persecution began in 1999, but I refused to give up practicing. My mentor was arrested and we lost our group practice site. But we continued to practice.
Later on, I was admitted to the Ph.D. program. My advisor talked to me and wanted me to give up cultivation. I turned things around and explained my situation to him.
In the end, he said he agreed with me and did not oppose Dafa cultivation, but he was under pressure from both the department and the college. I would not be able to continue my studies if I did not give up my cultivation. But when I insisted, he eventually turned a blind eye to my practice.
The school then resorted to even worse tactics. They found my wife and my parents to get them to pressure me. But I managed to convince them otherwise. I took every opportunity to share the truth about Dafa and never stopped studying the Fa and doing the exercises.
In the end the authorities got desperate and arrested me. They threw me in prison without a trial.
FR: It must have been horrible in prison.
Mr. Gao: You cannot imagine it. Being forced to sit on a narrow bench all day, being force-fed pepper water, and being shocked with electric batons were all part of a daily routine. They wouldn't let me sleep, forced me to stand for long periods of time, and prohibited me from reading or doing the exercises. They forced me to read propaganda materials instead.
I went on hunger strikes. They force-fed me and gave me all kinds of injections. My face swelled up beyond recognition. I grew ulcers everywhere. The pain was indescribable.
During their conversation, Mr. Gao was calm. He showed no emotion, as though he were describing someone else’s experiences, not his own.
I interrupted him once: “You are remarkable. Hearing you talk about such terrible things––it's like they're all nothing to you. What if it happens again?”
He stopped me quickly.
“You shouldn't think about it like that. It was an incorrect arrangement by the old forces. Master Li did not acknowledge it, and it should not have happened. We ought to deny it.”
He added calmly, “Actually, you guys have good predestined relationships, too. But you wasted so much time. You will know more if you study the teachings and Master Li's recent articles more.”
We were still puzzled. He smiled and went on, “Actually, you should not think that I was remarkable for enduring what I did. Truly good practitioners would not have such experiences. It was a flaw in my cultivation that gave the old forces an opening. If I didn't have attachments, such tribulations would not have happened.”
He did not show any feelings of being wronged, nor did he seem fearful. He always had a smile on his face––a reflection of his benevolent heart.
FR: How did you finally get out?
Mr. Gao: I was sentenced to four and half years without a trial after my arrest. The most painful thing was not the torture––it was the reaction of my relatives. My wife divorced me. I could understand her situation, though. The pressure was just too much.
They told her that, if she could make me write an apology letter, not only would they let me keep my salary, they would also assign me an apartment and honor my degree.
I asked her, “What is wrong with Dafa? What is wrong with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance? How can I apologize for something right?”
She agreed with me but could do nothing but cry. We were forced to divorce. It might have been the best thing for her, anyway.
Then, my parents had to endure pressure from all sides. My dad passed away during all the harassment. Not being able to say farewell to him is my greatest regret.
I was released after four and half years. The community staff watched me. And at first, I was depressed. My mother, who is also a practitioner, supported me. I was scared and shook under the covers whenever I heard a siren. I stayed at home and did nothing for a year.
Then I began to study the Fa and Master’s recent articles. My mind became clear. I knew what I needed to do and caught up with the Fa-rectification. I knew my problem was that I did not study the Fa diligently enough.
I got hold of other practitioners, who helped me a lot. I recovered completely in six months. Not only was I more diligent about Fa study and doing the exercises, I also did well in sending righteous thoughts and telling people the facts about Dafa.
What impressed and shocked me the most was not Mr. Gao’s experience, but the way he described it. He was so calm and peaceful.
In his own words, “Now I am completely at ease. There is no ignorance or hatred, and no resentment or anger.”
This, I believe, is the mighty virtue of a true Dafa practitioner.