(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I began practicing Falun Dafa in 1997. Great Master has protected and guided me every step of the journey over the past decade, whether I was enduring brutal persecution or xinxing tests.
We should learn to look inward if we want to truly practice cultivation
The persecution was very severe in 2001. We were then not very mature as cultivators, and had not cultivated ourselves well. We did not study the Fa much and rarely did the exercises. Instead, we had a strong attachment to when the persecution would end. We did things with human notions, a situation which the evil took advantage of. Many practitioners were severely persecuted. My husband and I were arrested at the same time, and our home was ransacked. Our young child roamed the streets for several days before he was able to reach his grandmother's home in the countryside.
When faced with brutal persecution, threats from the officials and shackles and handcuffs, I kept reciting Master's words,
"A great Arhat walks the earth,
Gods and demons fear with awe."
("Benevolent Might", Hong Yin, Translation Version A)
As well as these of Master's words,
"Why should you, a Dafa disciple, fear the evil ones when enduring persecution? The crux of the matter is that you have attachments. If not, do not endure passively, and face the evil people with righteous thoughts at all times. No matter what the situation, do not cooperate with the evil's demands, orders, or what it instigates. If everyone does this the environment won't be this way." ("Dafa Disciples' Righteous Thoughts are Powerful", Essentials for Further Advancement II)
We did not bow to the evil or become intimidated, and maintained the dignity of true Dafa disciples. We never bore hatred toward anyone, despite the unimaginable tribulations; instead, we affirmed our belief in Master and Dafa, discarded human thoughts and acted with righteous thoughts. We safeguarded Dafa and protected fellow practitioners with solid determination and showed the fearlessness and selflessness of Dafa practitioners.
My husband and I were held in two different areas and were repeatedly interrogated. During each session we were subjected to physical torture and emotional torment; yet the officials could never obtain information from us about other practitioners. Once, a police officer was furious after futilely trying to destroy our willpower and said, "If you still refuse to talk, we'll kill you! Nowadays, killing a Falun Gong practitioner is like killing an ant! No one will care!" He continued, "Actually, it doesn't matter whether you admit anything or not since we have confessions from others, which is enough to put you in prison!"
While being held at the detention center, I met a young practitioner from our area who was severely injured from torture. She was determined and never betrayed any practitioner. She told us, "The police were looking for evidence of your 'crime,' so they attempted to force me to give false testimony against you. I refused, and they tortured me. After I lost consciousness they sent me to a hospital where I was given IV infusion for a few days. After I came to, they brought me to the detention center." She also said the police were arresting practitioners left and right, which created a lot of fear. Some practitioners believed the police's lies and worked with them to spread rumors about us.
Although my heart ached, I managed to calm down and joined other practitioners in studying the Fa, doing the exercises and improving my xinxing. I looked for the true reason I was persecuted. One day, the police officer responsible for the most brutal beatings in our area brought the hypocritical head of Politics and Security Section to interrogate me. While I was still quite a few steps from him, he quickly approached me with a big plastic smile on his face saying, "I'm sorry you have suffered..." while extending one hand to me. I was disgusted with him and folded my arms in front of my chest and looked at him with contempt. The section head continued to smile and said, "I came to see you today because I want you to go home. Your child is young and he needs you."
He then asked me if I knew a certain practitioner. I said no. He said, "She used to be as determined as you are now, and she would talk to absolutely anyone anywhere about Falun Gong. She has returned home. We were going to sentence her to prison last April. When I saw her I asked her a question, 'When do you think this persecution will end?' She said, 'Within one year, for sure.' I asked, 'What if it continues after one year?' She said, 'I won't practice anymore if it lasts more than one year. I will then write a guarantee statement and go home.' So we changed the sentence to one year in a labor camp. She has since returned home. I want to know what your thoughts are." His words startled me, and I thought, "Our attachment to the time when the persecution will end has brought us such brutal persecution! This is a painful lesson!" I answered, "The dawn will break the darkness. The truth is the truth, and the black clouds will never overshadow the sun!"
Soon, the section head tore away his mask and issued arrest warrants for my husband and me. They also arrested my practitioner relative. My determination in Falun Dafa remained solid. I continued to study the Fa, recite the Fa, send righteous thoughts and speak with people about Falun Gong while dispelling the lies. I identified my gaps and improved myself.
"A Dafa disciple completely opposes everything arranged by the evil old forces. Clarify the truth thoroughly, eliminate the evil with righteous thoughts, save all beings, and safeguard the Fa with determination, because you are a part of Dafa, indestructible; rectify all that is not righteous. Those who are "reformed" and those who are being saved can only be beings who were deceived by the evil. Those who are being eliminated are the evil beings and the evil old forces. Those who are reaching Consummation through all this are Dafa disciples; and through all this Dafa's mighty virtue is established." ("Dafa is Indestructible", Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I thought, "If I just sit here and watch the police commit evil, won't I acknowledge the old forces' arrangements? I must go home!" When I shared this thought with another practitioner, she encouraged me to break free with righteous thoughts and then go into exile. I said, "I will not go into exile, I must go home! I will ask for Master's help. I'm not going anywhere. Just like the Monkey King who went into the bull monster's stomach and punished the monster, I will completely expose the evil and stop them from persecuting Falun Dafa!" When the thought of going home emerged, Master helped me. I could feel that Master was by my side at all times! I held a hunger strike for more than two months and was able to go home, because the persecutors finally realized that nothing they did to me had any effect.
Improving xinxing through cultivation
I finally returned home after more than five months in detention. I lost consciousness on several occasions and nearly died a few times. Master said, "Poison is just poisonous, and if you want it to stop being poisonous it can't do that." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A." November 30, 2002)
The officials had exhausted their schemes; although they thought my life was at risk, they never let up on their close surveillance of me. Officials from the police department, the judiciary department, Procuratorate, legal department and my workplace took turns monitoring me. They threatened to take me to prison at any time.
My mother who was in her 70s looked at me - skin and bones and barely clinging to life - and said, "You are a Dafa practitioner! Master is looking after you. You don't have any illness. Now that you are home, you should stand up because there are so many things to be done!" With Master's help and with my family's urging, I sat up and said to Master in my heart, "Master, please help me. I must be strong to do what I'm supposed to do. If I can break out of the evil's den, I absolutely will not let the evil persecute me anymore!"
My son brought me a mirror the day after I went home and said, "Mom, you haven't seen a mirror for six months; now, take a look." I looked up and saw an emaciated face that bore no resemblance to me. I was frightened and closed my eyes. I did not look in a mirror again for a long time. I persisted in daily Fa study and hand-copied Master's new articles and found ways to send them to incarcerated practitioners. I did this for several years; the incarcerated practitioners strengthened their righteous belief in Master and Dafa. My husband was incarcerated for ten years, but he persisted in his belief and never bowed to the persecutors.
I finally recovered with Master's protection, and joined the current of Fa-rectification. Once my health improved slightly I joined my family, several members of whom are also practitioners, in producing Dafa materials. At first we made large stamps with the words "Falun Dafa is good" and "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good" and bought large boxes of ink and imprinted these words on two-sided tape. We also made similar stamps using a hard sponge and imprinted the words on walls by soaking the sponge in either ink or paint. The size of the words is large; they are easy to read from a distance. We could use it up to one hundred times after each filling, repeatedly. We resorted to various means to expose the evil and rescue fellow practitioners. We experience miracles with Master's help and by acting with righteous thoughts.
Once a practitioner and I went to an official's hometown during the Chinese New Year to expose his crimes against Falun Gong. We bought large yellow pieces of paper and wrote his name, address, relatives' names, professions and the details of his brutality against Falun Gong practitioners. We also wrote that good is rewarded and the evil will reap its own karmic retribution, and that salvation is only possible by bearing good thoughts toward Falun Dafa.
We produced some pamphlets, flyers and stickers. At dusk we took off for the village, past the operating hours of the public bus, so we rode a small electric vehicle. The practitioner said, "The village is about 50 li [14 miles] away, and round trip is about 100 [28 miles]. Also, there are two people on this vehicle. I don't know if we can make it back." I said, "No problem, we are doing the most righteous thing. Master will help us and so will righteous gods!"
With Master's help we quickly arrived at the village and posted the yellow banners at the most prominent, busy spots. We walked through two villages and distributed and posted the rest of our materials. It was close to midnight by the time we finished. We set off for home. The vehicle was slow but steady and kept going until we arrived at our doorstep. The practitioner was surprised and commented, "What a miracle! Usually when I ride it alone it would run only about 60 li [16 miles], but this time it ran 100 li [28 miles], carrying two people!" I said, "Well, let's call it 'miracle car' then."
Once, we learned about someone who believed the regime's propaganda reported a practitioner to the police, who then arrested him. We quickly made posters and banners and put them up in the evening and during the day at the market, in front of the supermarket, the police department, the detention center, walls and electricity poles. The detention center was located outside the city perimeter, so we posted the notices there last. Just as we put glue on the wall a police car drove close with bright lights on. It was a narrow road, and we had neither place nor time to hide. "What should we do?" The practitioner anxiously asked me. "Send righteous thoughts, so they cannot see us!" I answered as I proceeded to put the poster up on the wall. The police car drove by us and went into the detention center. Because we acted with pure righteous thoughts, our posters and banners stayed in place for several days and also greatly shocked and suppressed the evil. The incarcerated practitioner was soon released.
We established a small materials production site with Master's guidance; it has run smoothly over the past several years.
"As your Master, I can't leave behind a single disciple, and I'll tell you that as a coordinator, you can't leave behind a single one of my disciples. (Applause) When a student is on good terms with you, you do things with him, and when someone doesn't listen to you, you exclude him? You can't be like that, and as your Master I don't want that kind of coordinator. You need to coordinate in a way that allows people to work together, and you need to continually improve based on Fa and form an upright environment, so that Dafa disciples can do well the things of validating Fa, like clarifying the truth, saving sentient beings, and restraining the persecution." ("Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students" April 2004)
I realized that Master does not want to lose a single disciple. He wants us to improve as a whole body and form a righteous environment. It is necessary to help other practitioners step forward. Over the past few years my family has suffered severe persecution. Practitioners told me, "So-and-so betrayed your family, and rumors were everywhere. We all thought you betrayed us." Other practitioners said to us, "Your husband brought the persecution onto you. If he couldn't take the torture, that's fine, but he just had to sell out his family."
I felt horrible when I heard these words. Although I did not get angry I felt extremely wronged, and I tried my best to explain things to them. As a Dafa disciple I know how to deal with it correctly, but I did not completely let go of the emotion in my mind, so I left a knot in my heart that constantly surfaced whenever conflicts arose. As a result, I was reluctant to talk to practitioners whom I thought were unreliable.
Through Fa study and speaking with other practitioners I realized that anything that happens during cultivation is good; whether it appears to be good or bad, it is Master's arrangement to help us improve. My mindset changed constantly during Fa study and cultivation, and my xinxing improved gradually. At first, I made several copies of the Minghui Weekly newsletter each week; then I made between 10 and 20 copies, and recently I made close to 200 copies of Master's latest articles. My small production equipment played the role of a large production site.
As the demand for Dafa materials increased my workload went up exponentially. I truly felt the difficulty of maintaining a materials production site. In the spring of 2005, Master arranged for me to meet a practitioner who is a technical expert. With his patient instruction and help, I not only learned lots of computer techniques but also helped other practitioners in the area. Now, production sites cover every corner of our region.
"Students in Mainland China actually have a much tougher time. Their materials production sites are basically at a household level, and they spring up everywhere. In other words, people walk their own paths. Each person, or some that are coordinating with each other on a small scale, is walking his own path." ("Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005, November 5, 2005)
When I look back on the arduous cultivation path of the past several years, I sincerely thank great Master's thoughtful arrangements. I want to thank Master! I also want to thank fellow practitioners!
Looking beneath the surface and truly practicing cultivation
Recently I reflected on all of the xinxing tests I experienced on the path of cultivation - whether I did well or not. Master arranged many opportunities for us to eliminate human notions. I can look inward to a certain extent, but sometimes it takes a long time for me to resolve an issue. I now know it is because I did not truly look inward and remained on the surface. I found excuses and focused on others' faults, which caused me to become stuck in tribulations for a long time and not able to extricate myself.
Once I worked with a practitioner on a certain issue. I was too attached to my own ideas and did not consider her feelings, so I made a bad impression on her. We often bickered. Sometimes I refused to argue with her to save face, and sometimes I looked for ways to explain things to her, and at other times I verbally agreed with her, although I actually thought otherwise. The result was the opposite of what I wanted. Over time, her misconceptions toward me deepened. She gave me looks and said ugly things to me. I was upset and depressed and couldn't understand why I could stand up tall in front of the officials and take self-interest lightly, and my family has been all but destroyed by the evil, yet a fellow practitioner would treat me this way. I thought, "If it wasn't for cultivation, we never would know each other; if it wasn't for the persecution, my family and job would be second to none! It's only because I practice cultivation now; otherwise, I would not take this from anyone." I realized that these were not the thoughts of a practitioner. I saw this as an opportunity to improve my xinxing and pushed it out.
Master said, "If you want to improve yourself, you should search your inner self and work hard on your heart." (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun, 2000 translation version)
I thought, "Although the practitioner has some faults, the conflict is not a coincidence; there must be attachments I must discard." When I calmed my mind, I realized that after years of having my mind poisoned by the CCP culture, I could not discern certain human notions, including the intent of showing off, selfishness, intent to validate myself, fear of being looked down on, and taking other practitioners' help for granted, as I thought my family had suffered severe persecution. This is in pursuit of others' help. Weren't the practitioner's words targeting my notions? She was helping me improve, and I should thank her.
One day in the spring of 2009, I discussed something with a practitioner. Right after I finished talking, the practitioner yelled at me for no reason. I felt wronged and couldn't understand it. That night I had a dream in which I stood in a palace. I saw Master walking in and sitting down in the middle of the palace, and I sat beneath Master's left hand. I was extremely moved when I saw Master, but when I tried to talk to Master he waved his hand and said, "You should thank her." After I woke up, my tears soaked the pillow. Thank you, Master, for constantly watching over me!
Cultivation made me realize in a profound way that conflicts are only the surface. The truth is that the conflicts were caused by my ego and strong attachments. If I can truly dig deep and identify where I went against Dafa's principles, I will be able to let go and improve myself, and the problems will subsequently be resolved. Let us improve as a whole body and mature, so Master can worry less about us!
The above is a summary of my cultivation. Please point out anything inappropriate.