Studying the Falun Gong teachings, the Fa, is Teacher’s requirement for each and every one of us from day one. The more we study the Fa, the less human attachments we have, and the stronger our righteous thoughts will be.
After being arrested for practising Falun Gong in China, I was locked up in a detention centre. One night, at about 10pm, shortly after we went to bed, the iron gate to our cell was thrown open. An elderly lady with a head full of grey hair was pushed inside. She refused to giver her name and started to go on a hunger and water strike to protest her illegal detention.
The next day the head of the detention centre interrogated her, demanding, “Why don’t you enjoy life in peace instead of giving out those leaflets?” The lady clarified the truth by telling him why she practised Falun Gong and why she gave out leaflets, told others the facts etc. The head of the detention centre was no match for her in winning the argument. As a last resort, he called in the head of the local Public Security Bureau where the lady lived. The head of the security bureau said, “No wonder that there has recently been a lot more leaflets in our area. Tell the truth, was it you?” This seemingly simple question sounds completely different in the kind of evil and harsh environment of mainland China. If you admitted guilt, ordinary people would take it to mean “doubly guilty”. So many would reply, 'No, it was not me'. The lady, on the other hand, said, “I really would like to distribute leaflets across the whole world, telling everybody about Falun Gong. It’s a shame that my means are limited.” Later I learnt through our chats that the lady was already sixty four years old. She was picked up while distributing leaflets at a train station. I also distributed leaflets while in China, but only at night or in deserted places. But she said to me, she would always go to places like train stations or hospitals as these places are packed with people.
As long as there was no interrogation during the day, the lady would sit there and recite Teacher’s articles or send righteous thoughts. She memorised Hong Yin, both version 1 and 2. She would clarify the truth at meal times when talking was permitted. Whatever she said to the detainees, such as embezzlers, street hooligans, thieves, etc, was from the stand point of the Fa, giving advice following the principles of Fa. It is hard for anyone who has not gone on a hunger strike to imagine what it is like. It is a lot more difficult to go without water than food, especially for an elderly lady in her sixties. While on water strike, she continued to clarify the truth to people around her. She also told me she had been illegally sent to a labour camp once in 2000. It was at the height of the persecution when labour camps in Beijing reached their capacities. She was sent to a forced labour camp in Shijiazhuang (in Hebei province). She resisted the persecution with righteous thoughts. Finally after five days of hunger and water strike, she walked out of that labour camp dignified and remained free until she was imprisoned in the same labour camp as me.
Two days later, she showed symptoms of illness, high blood pressure, dizziness and everything went blurry around her. I encouraged her that they would soon release her. She replied, “Don’t be silly. Who do we listen to? Only the Teacher! If Teacher asks me to go, I will go. If Teacher says not to go, I will not go.”
Conditions in the detention centre were appalling. It was winter time when I was arrested. But the police opened all the windows. We had to sleep in rooms with cold draughts with hand towels to cover our faces. Otherwise the wind would carry the thick dust collected on the ceiling fan, depositing it on our faces and bed covers. In a filthy place like this, there was not even hot water. Cold water was universally supplied for washing up or drinking. Once, out of the blue, the guard sent me and the lady a bucket of hot water for us to clean ourselves with. While cleaning, she said to me, “Don’t worry, Teacher has transformed everything for us. Let’s leave some water for them.” In that kind of misery when everyone was worried about his or her own future, she treated even such a trifle thing with righteous thoughts. She truly managed to assimilate every single thought with the Fa.
After five days of hunger strike, she was taken to the hospital of the Public Security Bureau for force feeding. As soon as the tube was inserted, she yanked it out with a pool of blood. As a last resort, the evil guards shackled up her four limbs to give her intravenous drips. She said, “Don’t waste these drugs on me. It is ordinary citizens’ hard earned money. In any case, these drugs have no effect on me. Who are you? Ordinary people. Who am I? A practitioner! Hence the difference.” They finally gave up under her strong protests. Wherever she went, she clarified the truth non-stop. After listening to her thoughtful and detailed words a fellow detainee asked, “Auntie, which university did you graduate from?” She replied, “I only attended a couple of days of literacy classes. But now I am in a university, the University of the Universe.”
After two weeks of detention, one night at about 10 pm after the lady had fell asleep, the guard suddenly woke her and asked her to gather her belongings in preparation for her release. Before she left, the lady pressed her hands together in front of her chest as a gesture to everybody in the cell, “Please remember Falun Dafa is good!” With righteous thoughts and righteous actions, she was unconditionally released yet again. This was the second time that she walked out of a detention centre dignified. But I knew very well that her righteous thoughts and righteous actions were built on a solid foundation of Fa study and were from truly cultivating inwards in her daily life. In the adverse environment in mainland China, it is difficult for anyone that falls behind on Fa study to make it. In that kind of environment, any tiny human attachment would be infinitely enlarged by the evil, causing one to fail.
Another elderly practitioner not only memorised the entirety of Hong Yin, version 1 and 2, she could also recall the associated page number of each poem. In the labour camp, she remained unmoved despite beatings and abuse from the drug addicts. In winter time, she was locked up in a cold and dark room. Each drug addict had two blankets and four or five cotton padded mattresses. But she was only given one thin cover. It was so cold that her feet were filled with chilblains. She was not allowed to wipe away the stuff from her nose that run down to her chest. For more than half a year, she was not granted a shower. Her hair all stuck together and her cloths were stinking. The evil exhausted its tricks without being able to shake her righteous beliefs. With a solid foundation of daily Fa study and her firm belief in Falun Dafa, she never gave in to the evil.
Another mainland practitioner that I know studies four or five lectures each day, finishing one reading of Zhuan Falun every two days. For several years he persisted without any slack. He gets up early each morning to do the exercises. On Sunday mornings when there used to be righteous thoughts at five, six and seven o’clock, he got up at 3am to do the exercises, send righteous thoughts, read two lectures of Zhuan Falun, and then go to work. To my knowledge he never once overslept. Whenever I could not resolve a conflict with family or friends, I would share with him. Every time he would smile at me and say: “Simply study the Fa more.” After each sharing with him, I felt so refreshed because he opened my heart with the Fa.
Even though it has been a while since I came overseas, I still recall with nostalgia the time spent with fellow practitioners in mainland China. When we were together, we shared purely from the standpoint of the Fa. There was no compliant or chit-chat like ordinary people, no barriers amongst fellow practitioners but rather open heartedness and frankness. Without exaggeration, the relationship amongst practitioners in mainland China was closer than that of family members. Due to the evil persecution, we could not often get together to share like overseas practitioners. Every meeting was a long time coming. To go to a meeting one had to get rid of followers or surveillance. Each sharing made me realise my gaps with fellow practitioners. After returning home, I could not wait to study the Fa more since fellow practitioners also elevated their understanding through reading the Fa more.
Right now our biggest task is to clarify the truth and save sentient beings. Many practitioners encountered the problem that often our truth clarification cannot get through to our family members. Of course there is interference by the old forces. But it also has to do with us. A fellow practitioner close to me used to have a big temper. Before cultivation he once got into a fight with his boss at work and almost threw his boss down from the 1st floor. All of his colleagues were afraid of him. After cultivation he completely changed into another person. At the beginning of large scale truth clarification, he took the initiative to clarify the truth to his bosses at work. Surprisingly, his bosses were very supportive, saying, “We witnessed with our own eyes the changes in you since you practised Falun Gong.” In 2003 and 2004, right in the heat of the persecution, he won two consecutive years of performance awards at the firm and the bureau. A colleague pointed out at the evaluation meeting, “Boss, there is Falun Gong in our firm.” The boss replied, “Who told you that? There is none if I do not report it.” In the beginning of 2005 when truth clarification and urging people to quit the party started on a large scale, his relatives all quit without much effort at all. From this practitioner I learnt when we study the Fa well and reach certain standards, our righteous fields will change the environment around us, saving those with pre-destined relationships with us.
Another elderly practitioner who came from the countryside to Beijing to file a compliant was locked up in a labour camp. In order to coerce her into giving up her beliefs, the evil made her squat under the sun in forty degrees summer heat. Not only did she have to hold her head with both hands, but she also had to bury her head in between her knees. A drug addict was told to push down on her head. After the evil police left, the drug addict said to her, “You can lift your head to rest a bit.” The elderly lady replied, “Lady, don’t get into trouble on my behalf. I can take it. Since I came out I have never thought about going back.” Even when she herself was brutally tortured, the elderly lady was still thinking about others. Like in Teacher’s teachings, she displayed the magnificence prior to the birth of a Great Enlightened Being.
Overseas practitioners have a multitude of truth clarification projects. There is little time to study the Fa or do the exercises let alone studying the Fa with concentration. The less one studies the Fa, the more human attachments one has. Doing things with human attachments will inevitably lead to gaps in coordination or communication, barriers, and complaints. From my and mainland practitioners’ experience, there is no conflict between studying the Fa and doing things. When I was in mainland China, if I could study two or three lectures with concentration each day, which seemed to take a lot of time, things would go a lot smoother. No matter how busy my schedule was, everything would get completed before I knew it. In fact when the state of our cultivation reaches the standards of Fa and we do things with a pure heart, we have already entered other dimensions, which is the reason why things will go smoothly. With little Fa study, things would not go smoothly. There would be a lot of interference, such as computer problems, printer problems and family issues. In the end we spent a whole day doing nothing. The practitioner I just mentioned, who gets up early every morning to do the exercises, read one or two lectures of Fa, and then go to work, said that initially he felt tired and sleepy from getting up early. Nowadays he wakes up about 3am each morning without feeling a bit of drowsiness. In fact he is no longer constrained by time in this dimension. Studying the Fa well does not only benefit doing things. Since the persecution started in 1999, we had been validating the Fa together until I was arrested. There was no barrier amongst us. When we shared the energy field was always calm and peaceful.
As Teacher told us, when we reach consummation, we will not be able to find each other. It is difficult indeed for mainland practitioners to even see each other. This is not an issue for overseas practitioners. Let’s treasure this rare karmic relationship, break the barrier set up by the old forces, form one body to finish our final path well, and make good our oath.
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