(Minghui.org) Over the past 20 plus years of cultivation, I have let go of chances to have an easy life again and again and have simply wanted to be a good person.

After having the great fortune to become a Falun Dafa practitioner, I was not attached to a life of comfort and ease. That presented me with many opportunities to save people and validate the Fa.

Since I began to practice Dafa, I have given myself to Master. To me, cultivation is very sacred and I am deeply grateful for the miracles and blessings I have witnessed.

1. Suffering Since Childhood

I was born into a poor family in the countryside and spent many years trying to figure out what life was really all about. My parents have five children and I was the second. Like the other villagers in our area, boys were preferred over girls. Nonetheless, my parents were okay with their firstborn being a girl but were upset when I turned out to be a girl, too. After me came two boys, both of them treasured like gems. The last child was a girl, too. But since she was the youngest, she was fine. I was considered the least useful member of the family.

There were nine people in our family: five kids, my parents, and my father's parents. But only my parents worked the land, and it hard to make a living. Since I was useless, no one treated me well. When I was five, the adults in the family told me to crawl on the ground like a cow, so that my three-year-old brother could be entertained.

Discrimination was the norm for me, and when people spoke about parental love, I had no idea what that was. My grandfather often beat me and swore at me. One time mother gave me 50 cents to register for school and said, “We don't expect much. As long as you know your name and the men’s and women’s bathroom, it will be fine.”

My grades were better than average. But as soon as I returned home every day, I had to collect vegetables for the pigs and feed them and cut grass for the oxen. In the evenings, I did my homework by the light of a cheap kerosene lamp. Early in the mornings, I would get up and pick up the chicken waste to earn work points for the family. By the age of 10, I had to hand wash everyone’s clothes and cook, and my grandfather continued to beat me. After he passed away, my father began beating me, no matter how hard I worked. “We must have had a feud in our previous life,” he exclaimed with teeth clenched while yelling at me to go die somewhere. After being beaten many times, I was too scared to go home at night. This happened a couple of times and no one went out to look for me.

In 1977, my older sister finished middle school and I finished elementary school, and that was the end of our schooling. She worked alongside the adults, although she only made half the work points they did. Besides doing the laundry and cooking, I also had to cut grass for the village’s oxen. Forty kilos (or 88 lbs) of grass would be equal to a work point that an adult earned per day. I sometimes cut double or three times that, but I was still beaten when I got home.

One day after cutting grass in the morning, I was tired and lay in bed with a fever. When my father came in and saw me in bed, he was furious, “How dare you be so lazy?!” he yelled, his fists flying as he told me to go out and die. I wept and thought, “I am only a child and I earn more work points than him. Plus, I have to wash all the clothes and cook for everyone. Why has he never cared about me? Why does he beat me so badly?” I thought and thought but could not find an answer.

I heard that going to become a nun on Wudang Mountain would end the pain. But I did not know how to get there, nor did I have any money to travel. I wanted to leave home, but I also knew that if a girl ran away like that, her reputation would be ruined. I cherished the word “virtue,” so I stayed with my family and continued to be beaten.

When I was 22 in 1985, my parents arranged for me to marry a man I had absolutely no regard for at the time. After we married, his mother found many ways to bully me. My husband's three younger sisters, father, and mother all gave me a hard time. It was very difficult and this went on for several years. The neighbors in our village sometimes complained to my mother-in-law, “Your daughter-in-law is a good person—beautiful, smart, and hardworking. Why you are still not satisfied?” I thought of leaving. But the word virtue once again held me back. Plus, I could not leave my baby girl. I endured the bullying and continued to live with a husband I looked down on.

After my daughter was born in 1987, I had to work the land, finish the household chores, and take care of the baby. My husband didn't do anything, so I had to do things that normally only men would do, such as bundling wheat stalks and cotton stems. They mounted up to the size of a small house that we used to cook throughout the year. Villagers saw this and often said good things about me.

When my daughter was a little older, I went to the city to work temporary jobs to make money for the family. In 1995, I was in a car accident and ended up with a fracture and bleeding in the brain. I was hospitalized in critical condition. No one in the family came to visit me. Instead, someone told me that my husband had already started living with another woman. This made it even worse.

That night I had a dream in which I saw Buddha.

“Frankly speaking, I could have led a comfortable life,” I said. “I was mistreated as a child, but I chose to endure it to be a good person. As a teenager, I was abused but did not run away, again thinking about being a good person. After I married, I did everything for the family but got nothing.

“I have lost everything. Can you tell me why I then had a car accident on top of all this?” I asked.

Buddha did not say a word. He took out a gold necklace, put it around my neck, and left. When I later thought about this dream, I knew Master was already taking care of me at that time.

2. Getting to Know Dafa

After getting divorced, I moved to a provincial city in May 1997 to fulfill my dream. I also wanted to succeed so that I could show my father who had always discriminated against me, my mother-in-law who had always bullied me, and my husband who had always looked down on me and then abandoned me.

I had a total of 10,000 yuan in hard-earned cash. It was enough to purchase a one-bedroom apartment at the time. But I chose to spend it on gaining skills in beauty and hairdressing, as well as in accounting. I cherished the money and time and studied very hard. After completing the beauty and hairdressing training, only two certificates of honor were issued and one of them was given to me.

Right before graduation, I went for a walk on the hill behind the school. There I met an old man with a white beard. He handed me a book called Zhuan Falun. I looked at it and knew it had something to do with the Buddha school, and I really liked it. Touching the three characters “Zhuan,” “Fa,” and “Lun” on the cover, I thought to myself, “This book is very good, but I have no money with me. And he probably will not give it to me for free.”

I dared not open the book. I was afraid that if I did, I would like it immediately but I had no money with me. So I gave it back to him and said, “Yes, this is a very good book. Please keep it safe and take good care of yourself.”

The man did not say anything and left. Still thinking about the book and the man, I looked back after walking a few steps, but the man was already gone. I checked around and he was nowhere to be found.

Two days later, my roommate took a copy of Zhuan Falun out of her suitcase and gave it to me. I asked where she got it. She said an old man gave it to her on the hill behind the school. I read a few pages and said to my roommate, “I will skip class this afternoon. Please take notes for me.”

I kept reading the book. The more I read, the better I liked it. I had been hoping to cultivate Buddhahood since I was young, and this was something real. Looking at the book, I said, “I want to practice this. But where can I find a practice site?”

A few days later, Master’s Fashen (Law Body) led me to a park. On a concrete pillar, I saw the words “Volunteer site to learn Falun Gong.” At dawn the next day, I went there and a practitioner gave me an introductory sheet about Falun Gong. I read that this system would be safe and that the gong would cultivate practitioners. I was thrilled. I looked at the Falun emblem and was amazed. In the countryside, I had seen a house at the end of our village that had a Taiji diagram, which is enough to suppress evil, while this emblem had four. Also, I had seen srivatsa (卍) symbols on Buddha statues before. But this emblem had five! “I will for sure practice this my entire life,” I thought. I asked a practitioner to teach me the exercises and I obtained a Falun immediately.

I had been thinking of cultivating Buddhahood since I was very young. Since Master was now teaching me the genuine Buddha Fa, I was determined to be diligent. Every day, I did the exercises, studied the Fa, and had discussions with other practitioners, because I did not want to fall behind. I looked at nearby group practice sites for the old man who gave me the book, but I did not find him.

Back in 1997, my monthly salary was only 300 yuan, and my rent was 180 a month. I planned to cultivate diligently for a while, instead of finding a job straight away. Later on, I chose to cook for companies or work as a babysitter so that I could have a good environment for cultivation. I also gave up the idea of finding a good husband. Sakyamuni had even given up his position as a prince and begged for food to seek Buddhahood. Why would I be attached to these other things?

3. Safeguarding the Fa

After the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to suppress Dafa in 1999, several practitioners and I went to the provincial government to appeal. I also went to the city government to appeal. I gave truth-clarification materials to the CCP officers and asked them to pass them to officials in the central government, and I then returned home safely. Witnessing the massive propaganda that slandered Dafa and Master, my heart ached.

In October 1999, I arrived in Beijing. The appeal center had been essentially turned to a police station and all the practitioners who went there were arrested. The police took me to Nanyuan Police Station and held me down on the floor with my arms and feet spread apart. Four officers stomped on my four limbs and the fifth one pushed on my head. A sixth officer moved a basin-sized electrocution plate back and forth all over me. The noise was loud and frightening.

Thinking to myself that I was safeguarding the Fa with my life, I was not intimidated. I also remembered Master’s words:

“My roots are planted in this universe, and so someone would have to be able to harm me in order to harm you, which means that they would have to have the power to harm this universe.” (The First Talk, Zhuan Falun)

I recited this sentence again and again. The electrocution plate broke. They repaired it and pressed it on me again. I continued reciting the Fa and did not feel the electricity, although the scene was kind of scary. But I was not afraid and went on reciting Master’s words. The electrocution plate broke again and was beyond repair. They pulled me up and I was calm, while all of them were sweating.

The officers continued to ask where I was from, but I refused to answer. One of them was going to stab my armpit with a needle but another officer stopped him, “She is still a girl after all.” In fact, I was 35 at the time and my daughter was 12. They told me to clean my hands in the restroom but let me close the gate. I looked back—there was no one around and the gate was open. This was a hint for me to go, but I did not enlighten to it. In the end, I was taken back to my hometown and detained for a month.

In October 2000, I went to Beijing again by myself. Because plainclothes officers were stopping practitioners, I gave myself a nice hairstyle, put on some makeup, and decided not to say a word until I arrived in Beijing. At Tiananmen Square, I first thought about doing the meditation but then changed my mind because it was too plain. Better to unfold a banner, I thought. Master gave me wisdom and I looked around for other practitioners so that we could do something more visible. I approached a group of people who looked nice and greeted one of them.

We chatted a little, and I told him my teacher had told me a beautiful poem and I was wondering if he had heard it. The beginning of the poem was:

“The rushing waters carried off his tragic heroism,Yet his great spirit, his loyal soul, still endures;”(“A Visit to Yue Fei Shrine,” Hong Yin)

He said he knew the poem and continued,

“All that remains of the age-old shrine is a place to grieve,Now only his loyalty remains to guide posterity.”

We looked at each other and smiled.

Master gave me wisdom and I was able to find a lot of practitioners. Coming from different provinces to Beijing for the first time, many of them did not know what to do. To protest and restore Dafa's reputation, we bought cloth, brush pens, and yellow dye. After checking dictionaries in a bookstore, we prepared six banners with both English and Chinese words on them. My heart was pure and I thought of many ideas. For example, I recommended we not roll a banner all the way, or the police would take it before we could unfold it. Instead, we should fold the banner back and forth in a rectangle. By pulling both ends at the same time, we could unfold it in a second. Another thing was to not put the banner in a bag to avoid it being found during a bag check. By placing it inside a coat or jacket, we could hold one end with one hand, then grab the other end with the other hand to unfold it from beginning to end in three seconds. We practiced this in a hotel and gained confidence.

We also balanced practitioners with two per team: those who were a little fearful were paired up with practitioners with stronger righteous thoughts. Twelve practitioners handled six banners and the rest of us were going to do the second exercise (Holding the Law Wheel). We also reminded each other not to chat (to avoid the plainclothes officers). Once there, we would keep about two yards apart and pretend not to know each other. Each team would look for a desirable spot. If someone asked us questions, we would just ignore them.

With Master's help, we safely arrived at Tiananmen Square as planned on October 18, 2000. Six banners were lined up more than 20 meters long. Several overseas tour groups came from the right and blocked the police vans that were on patrol. Many practitioners from all over China joined us in doing the second exercise in front of the banners. Some Western practitioners also came and participated in our exercises. One Western couple, both practitioners, called aloud the words on the banner “Falun Dafa is good!” and took a group picture with us. We continued holding the banners after they left and stood there for more than 30 minutes. With both Chinese and Western practitioners, we numbered more than 30. When the police came, most of our group exited safely. Only four were arrested, including me.

4. Apology from the Detention Center’s Deputy Director

After being detained in my province’s liaison office in Beijing, I was taken to a local detention center, where I met the head of the domestic security division. He and I saw each other at the same time. “It’s all over now,” the chief said. “The CCP is over [for arresting a good person like you].” When an officer asked me during interrogation why I had come to Beijing, I told him to write down: “Falun Dafa is good and Master Li Hongzhi (the founder of Falun Dafa) is righteous,” I told him, “Please restore the reputation of Dafa and Master Li.”

I did the exercises and recited Master's teachings in the detention center and refused to yield. One day a deputy director surnamed Zhang told me to stop doing the exercises. I told him that Falun Dafa helps one become a better person and achieve Buddhahood. Plus, harming me would not do him any good. “In fact, you are able to be a deputy director because of virtue you accumulated in the past,” I explained. “It would be good if you could pretend not to see anything. You will have more blessings later on.” After listening to me clarify Falun Dafa, he accepted my advice and did not say negative things to me.

One morning when I was doing the exercises, the director of the detention center came. He watched me finish doing the third and fourth exercises and left without a word. After that, an officer called me to her office and yelled, “If you dare to do the exercises again, I will cut off all your hair!”

I was not angry and smiled at her. “You know, everyone wants to be a good person and Falun Dafa practitioners are cultivating Buddhahood. Maybe someday, all of the determined practitioners will reach consummation and become Bodhisattvas or Buddhas,” I said. “At that time, they may talk with each other about the mighty virtue accumulated during the harsh persecution. One of them may say, ‘Cultivation is indeed difficult. Because I wanted to be a good person and follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, the police put me in jail and even cut off all my hair.’”

“I know you are a kindhearted person, too,” I continued. “I don’t think you would do that, right?”

“Ha, you are just like my elders,” she smiled. “You know what? The director just criticized me and that is why I yelled at you.”

“I know,” I said. “We all want to be good people. In fact, if you endure a little for practitioners right now, you will be blessed with much more later.”

After I told her the real story of Falun Dafa, she was delighted and brought me tea and snacks. She also encouraged me to do the exercises as much as I wanted. “I think your Master must be proud of a disciple like you,” she said earnestly.

Another day, Ye, a hot-tempered deputy director, saw me doing the exercises.“How dare you do the exercises in the cell?!” he screamed, hurling dirty words at me, “Kneel down right here!”

Knowing that I was a dignified practitioner who practices Falun Dafa and follows the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, I knew I could not do that, so I ignored him.

“Falun Gong! Falun Gong!” He screamed two more times, while I did not do anything. As he screamed “Ahhh,” the third time, he fell down on the floor.

All the inmates in the cell were stunned. One of them finally said, “It seems director Ye has incurred retribution. I wonder if he will be okay.”

About 40 minutes later, Ye showed up at the gate again. “Do you ladies want some tea?” he askd quietly.

The inmates were stunned again. “Yes, please. Thank you!” they replied one after another.

This turn of events started a long discussion that day.

“I remember someone had a cold the other day and asked for water. The officer said 'No way' and berated us,” one inmate said. “Today, no one asked for it and the officer offered us tea. Isn’t that strange?”

“Ye first ordered her to kneel down and a moment later asked if we wanted tea,” continued an accountant who was detained for bribery. “I guess he must be scared and knows life is important.”

“I agree,” said a drug offender. “He must have been frightened after he fell down. He has learned of Falun Gong’s divine power.”

When the tea came, the conversation continued.

“Ye is smart,” said someone who was detained for fighting over the ducklings she had raised. “People say that ‘after offending a Bodhisattva, one burns incense to ask for forgiveness; after offending parents, one offers tea for reconciliation.’ Ye used tea to apologize to a Falun Gong practitioner to seek redemption.”

Those who witnessed this, the inmates and officers, were shocked and learned that Falun Dafa is extraordinary.

(To be continued)