(Minghui.org) The happiest moment of my life took place more than 22 years ago when I was fortunate to see Master Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa, in person.

It was a clear breezy day on December 30, 1998. I did the five Falun Dafa exercises with other practitioners as usual from 5 to 7 a.m. in the gym of the military academy where I taught. After that, we read the Falun Dafa teachings together in a different building. Just before 8 a.m., my mother suddenly rushed in (I did not have a cell phone at that time) and told me to call back a fellow practitioner right away. I dialed the number and an excited voice on the other end said, “Master is here! Come over to my house quickly!”

“Ah! Master is here!” I flew from the fifth floor to the first and ran to the gate. The school is located on the outskirts of the city at the foot of South Mountain and is a closed campus. Motor vehicles are strictly forbidden near the entrance, but when I reached the gate, a cab was dropping off a passenger. It was as if the cab was waiting for me. I took the cab and arrived at the fellow practitioner's house in the shortest time possible.

I went straight upstairs when I got there. In the living room on the second floor, I saw our compassionate Master sitting on the sofa. About 70 to 80 practitioners from our area, filling the balcony and other rooms, were also there, listening to Master teach. I greeted Master and sat down in the place reserved for me, with only a coffee table between us.

I couldn't help but stare at Master. I was so excited that I barely remembered what he said. I saw many fellow practitioners were in tears.

The most impressive thing was that Master pointed up with his left index finger and put his right palm on top of the finger, explaining to us what “heaven” is and what other dimensions are. I’d often heard practitioners talking about the miraculous things they saw in other dimensions, but I couldn't see anything and didn't understand what they were talking about. But the moment Master raised his index finger, I felt the existence of another dimension, the vastness of the cosmos, the depth of the universe, and the profundity of Falun Dafa. My view of the world, life, and values were changed fundamentally.

Master asked if anyone had any questions. Prior to the meeting, I had many questions that I often discussed with fellow practitioners. But at that moment, my brain went blank and I couldn't think of one. I thought so hard about what question to ask that I missed the first few questions other practitioners asked.

Then, for a moment, the room got quiet, and everyone looked at me. I plucked up my courage and stuttered a question. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but the general idea was that, as a practitioner, I often quoted Dafa content when I was teaching classes or taking roll call, but I couldn't say that the quote was from Master. I wondered if what I did was okay.

Master pointed to the back (in the direction of my military school) and said that it was always good to guide and educate people in positive and good ways.

Master talked from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. without a break or a sip of water. And I heard that he was going to another city in the afternoon. When it was time for Master to leave, we all followed him, reluctant to see him go. We wanted to go with him to see him off. The local practice site assistant asked soldiers in uniform to send Master off. I made a quick count and saw there were about two dozen service members, including those from the army, navy, and air force, half of whom were in uniform.

I learned that Master would be riding in a van and thought about how I could find a seat close to him. I searched for him and saw a group of people talking at the back of the van. I thought Master must be among them, so I kept my eyes on them while I sat down in the second row. The last practitioner to get into the van was a navy captain in uniform. But the van was almost full, so I moved to my left to make room for her. The practitioner in the front signaled for me not to squeeze Master. Only then did I realize that I was sitting right next to him!

Master moved closer to the window and said, “It's okay; sit down.” At that point I realized why everyone had sat as far back as possible. They’d wanted to leave more space for Master so he could rest, but I’d only thought about myself. I saw the gap in character between me and other practitioners.

It was strange that I’d often dreamed of seeing Master, but when I was sitting right next to him, I didn't dare to look at him. All kinds of attachments and thought-karma filled my mind. I thought, “I have so many attachments that are now all being exposed to Master.” And I worried about a few holes in the rank plate on my uniform, which might have made me look sloppy. I didn't want Master to see it.

Throughout the trip, Master always smiled and spoke compassionately to fellow practitioners. I was so nervous all the way that I don't remember a word they said. I was trying to figure out how to salute Master when we got off the van. In 20 minutes, we were at our destination. Master got out of the van and shook hands with each one of us to say goodbye.

I was afraid that Master would miss my turn, so I followed him closely. Whenever he shook hands with a practitioner, I moved behind that practitioner and waited. But before it was my turn, Master turned around. Then I moved around to another line. As if Master knew what I was thinking, he changed direction four times and shook hands with all the other practitioners except me. When he was about to board a car to go to the other city, I couldn't help but shout, “Master!”

Master turned around and said, “There’s still one left.” I stepped up and held Master's hand tightly. A warmth surged in my heart and I really felt that this was the happiest, most unforgettable, and precious moment of my life. Master patted my hand and said, “Cherish it!” (I was so happy and also nervous that I am not sure those were his exact words, but when I recalled this moment later, I felt that was what Master said to me.)

When Master got into the car, we all lined up in formation and saluted until the car was out of sight. At that moment, I was overwhelmed with emotion. I shouted, from the bottom of my heart and in the loudest voice I’d ever used, “Master, don’t leave me behind! I want to go home with you!”

Twenty-two years have passed, and the scenes from that day remain vivid in my mind. During my 26 years as a Falun Dafa cultivator, I have felt Master's encouragement all the time. In order to follow Master to return to my original home, I must steadfastly follow the requirements of Master and Dafa, do the three things well, and assimilate to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance under all circumstances and at all times. There are no shortcuts in cultivation.

Thank you, compassionate Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners!

Chinese version available

Category: Personal Accounts of Early Days