I was an officer in the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China before I started practicing Falun Dafa.
It was the end of 1997 when I was given Zhuan Falun (Volume II) by my wife. I was deeply impressed by the principles described in that book. Therefore, I decided to read Zhuan Falun, the main book of Dafa. After reading these books, my outlook on life had undergone a fundamental change. I understood the real purpose of life.
Upon returning to my military unit, I followed Dafa’s principles of “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance” and refused to be corrupt or accept bribes.
I helped soldiers whose families had run into financial difficulties and cleaned the toilets in our battalion campsite when I had time. I abandoned the thought of bribing my supervisors into promoting me, thus giving up the attachment to fame and personal gain.
In the early days of my Dafa cultivation practice, the interference was tremendous. I could not calm down when doing the exercises. Even some Buddhist scriptures I had studied in the past appeared in my mind when doing the exercises. As long as I suppressed them, the interference would stop after some time.
Sorrow for Giving Up Cultivation
Before the onset of the persecution, the Central Military Commission demanded that military units provide the number of Falun Gong practitioners in the army, promising that no one would suffer for it.
I was going to report that I was a practitioner, but one of my supervisors stopped me. He said that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) would not keep its word. He was proven right. I survived the persecution because of his protection. For his good deed, he landed his dream job in a local government entity upon retirement.
After July 20, 1999, more than one hundred military personnel who admitted to being Dafa practitioners were dishonorably discharged and given prison sentences by a CCP military court.
A new director was assigned to my campsite, who, being afraid that his promotion would be held up, demanded that I give up Falun Dafa. Out of fear, I agreed to his request and destroyed my Dafa books. However, I felt very sad and sorry, and cried bitterly. I knew that I had failed to live up to Master’s expectations.
After some time, I thought about cultivating again. Yet, I was so disheartened by my offense that I assumed that I had been abandoned as a Dafa disciple. Unable to untie the knots in my mind, I gave up the thought of returning to Dafa cultivation.
Returning to Dafa
My mother died in March 2000 after being persecuted for refusing to renounce her belief in Dafa. I wept bitter tears until I was numb.
I not only developed serious health problems but also woke up night after night from excruciating pain in my upper body and from nightmares.
Discouraged by the obsessive thought that Master would no longer protect me, I went to the hospital for a physical examination. I was notified that I was healthy.
In a dream one night, my primordial spirit recited, “Buddha Amitabha, protect me!” All of sudden, a huge flash of golden light shot towards me. I thought it must be Buddha Amitabha coming to my rescue. But then, I saw the Falun in my lower abdomen begin to spin extremely quickly, like a cyclone. It left my body and continued spinning over the top of my head. Its rotation pulled my primordial spirit out of my body and up into the air. I realised that the Falun, given to me by Master, was still there, and that Master was still taking care of me. I decided to return to Dafa.
After waking up, I decided to get rid of all my negative thoughts, such as “Master wouldn’t want me anymore,” “Master wouldn’t protect me anymore,” and “It’s useless to continue cultivating on my own.” I told myself that Master was still taking care of me. What was I afraid of? I let go of the attachment to life and death and no longer cared about the pain in my body. As soon as this thought emerged, my body immediately relaxed, and I heard popping sounds coming from my bones and joints. Afterward, the pain was gone.
The next day, I told my parents-in-law that I would continue cultivating in Dafa. This was nine months after I was forced to give up cultivation. One night, I had a dream, in which Master asked me warmly, “You’re back?” I answered, “I’m back.” I saw a relieved smile on Master’s face before he disappeared.
Elevating in Dafa
After I resumed cultivation, Master quickly cleansed my body: the first three days, when I would start to do the exercises in the morning, I would throw up and have diarrhea. I was fine if I did not do the exercises. I would deal with evacuation of my body and continue the exercises afterward.
After passing through the physical tribulations, my mental tribulations remained. Whenever I would pick up Zhuan Falun, thoughts like “It’s fake, don’t read it” would bubble up. I remained steadfast in reading the book and overcoming the thought karma. After three months of persistence, Master helped me eliminate the thought karma, and I no longer had such thoughts when reading the book.
However, what followed was my falling asleep whenever I read the book, sometimes after less than two pages. I couldn’t lift my eyelids and would drop the book onto the floor after dozing off. I was vexed and thought about what to do. I came up with a solution: I would slap myself in the head whenever I felt sleepy. This cleared up my mind a bit, and I would continue to read. After I persisted this way for a few months, I no longer felt sleepy when reading the book and felt much more energetic.
My next tribulation was conflicts with family. Because my wife stopped cultivating after the persecution began, whenever I studied the Fa, she would watch TV with the sound turned up. Our home had only one room. When I read out loud to cancel out the sound of the TV, my wife and child would complain that I was interfering with their watching TV. I could only train myself to concentrate, calm my mind, and block out other sounds from my space. After some time, I got used to it and could calmly study the Fa regardless of external noise.
It was the same with exercises in the morning: I had to turn down the music until I could barely hear it, before my wife was satisfied. After some time, my hearing improved.
I made quick breakthroughs around that time. Master also watched over me and kept me on track. We didn’t have an alarm in our home, so I didn’t have a way to get up and start the exercises on time. However, in my sleep each morning I would hear a telephone ring. After waking up, I realised that the phone wasn’t actually ringing and that it was exactly the time to do the exercises. It was like this every day. Over time, I got used to it and would wake up on time. If I got lazy one day and lied in bed, my body would suddenly hurt all over; when I realised my problem and started doing the exercises, the pain went away. It was really miraculous.
One time, Master allowed me to see what guanding felt like: a wave of warmth started at the top of my head and went through my whole body. It was very comfortable.
In 2002, my wife not only returned to cultivation but has remained very diligent.
Three years later, I had started working at a civilian job and wanted to produce materials practitioners could use to distribute and tell people about the persecution. I also learned to load Fa lectures and exercise music onto MP3 to help other practitioners.
This work gave me many opportunities to improve my xinxing. I wondered whether I should collect compensation for all the effort and travel expenses I incurred in providing these audio players to other practitioners at cost. I thought, “I pay less for them than the local stores charge. If I also charged for the difference, what a good income stream that would be! Wouldn’t it also be reasonable since I provide maintenance for free? Practitioners wouldn’t have anything to say about it, either.” But I immediately realised that these thoughts were wrong. Wouldn’t I be profiting from Dafa? I hadn’t let go of the attachment to personal gain. I decided to continue collecting only the cost I paid and to provide maintenance service free of charge. Over time, my attachment to personal gain was completely gone.
My 19 years of cultivation in Dafa has truly been an extraordinary journey. Although many of my attachments have been eliminated, some have not been completely let go, and in many ways I am far from meeting Master’s requirements. I still need to work hard, find the gaps in my cultivation, and be more diligent to not let down Master’s compassionate salvation.