Fond Memories of the Early Years of Learning and Practicing Falun Gong
I Felt a Falun Rotating in My Palm
It was January 1996. I joined a group of people at a public square where we listened to an audio recording of “Teaching the Fa in Beijing at the Zhuan Falun Publication Ceremony.” Everyone was sitting on the ground, and it was very quiet. No one made any noise or walked about. It was still winter, but the warm sunlight made it feel like spring had arrived early.
I heard Teacher say:
“Let’s all stick out one hand and lay the hand flat. Don’t use force with your hand, but keep your palm as straight as possible. Good, I will now send out a Falun to each of you, and have it turn in the palm of your hand so that you can tell for yourself.” (“Teaching the Fa in Beijing at the Zhuan Falun Publication Ceremony”)
I stuck out my right hand and I actually felt an invisible ball rotating in my palm. I felt it! It kept rotating for a long time before it disappeared. Teacher was in Beijing, more than a thousand miles away, not to mention this was an audio recording from the previous year! It was incredible!
A lady who worked as a therapist at a qigong clinic said, “Falun Gong is incredible. I saw Falun falling on people like snowflakes. There were giants taller than buildings standing all around us.” She quit her job as a qigong therapist and started practicing Falun Gong.
That was the day I stopped being an atheist. I, too, started practicing Falun Gong.
Practitioners Praise Falun Gong in TV Interviews
We organized a large group practice on January 3, 1998, and invited all Falun Gong practitioners in the city to join the event. We cleaned up the public square before the event. The practitioners in front formed neat rows for others to follow. Those who came ranged from 5-year-olds to people in their 70s and 80s. They came from all walks of life. I also met farmers that had traveled from rural areas to participate in the event. There were over 1,000 people. As soon as the exercise music started playing, the only sound in the public square was the tranquil Falun Dafa music.
I gave my meditation mat to an older practitioner who did not have a mat. I sat on top of my canvas bag instead. I entered tranquility very quickly. I felt great. When the group practice ended, there was no litter to be found on the public square.
TV reporters came and videotaped the event, and interviewed Falun Gong practitioners. I saw a man giving a live interview. He told the reporters that he was a city government official. He used to have a heart disease. He checked into the hospital a few times a year and would incur more than 10,000 yuan in medical expenses a year that his health plan at work had to pay for. He was reminded by the accounting department at work at the end of last year to report his medical expenses. When he told them that he did not check into the hospital that year, his subordinates were shocked. They exclaimed, “We have been looking after you at the hospital every year. What happened to you this year?” He replied, “I started practicing Falun Gong. Now I am well.” His subordinates said it was no wonder so many people practice Falun Gong. He added, “That's not all. The tooth I lost has grown back!”
A chief physician also told her story during a TV interview. She used to suffer from gynecological problems for many years that had arisen from the lack of proper care after childbirth. No medical treatment helped. She became completely healthy after she started practicing Falun Gong and had even more energy than an average young person. She was able to focus on treating her patients. She also became a better person, which resulted in a happier marriage. She said repeatedly, “Falun Gong is wonderful! Falun Gong is truly wonderful!”
Falun Gong Is a Pure Land
Falun Gong practitioners in my city held an experience-sharing conference in October 1998. The venue had a seating capacity of 1500. Everyone found a seat at first, but a lot of people poured in shortly before the conference started. They looked like they had traveled from far away. Many practitioners gave their seats to those fellow practitioners that had come in late. They sat in the aisles, corridors, the lobby or even outside the venue. It was packed. The organizer set up speakers outside and had a live broadcast so that those who sat outside could listen to the conference.
There were people from different age groups and from different levels of education. Some did not have any education at all. The conference lasted three hours, but no one walked about and no one coughed. It was a quiet, peaceful, and solemn event. I felt like my soul was cleansed.
The weather was chilly in October here. People who sat outside had to sit on the cold concrete. Some put a sheet of paper as a makeshift mat, and others sat directly on the ground.
An employee from my work had bilateral femoral head necrosis. He walked with crutches accompanied by his son every time he went to join the group exercise practice. He had to sit on a special prescription stool and use the bathroom frequently. Yet he sat on the ground for three hours without having to get up at all. It was a miracle. In fact, he stopped using crutches after that day because he was able to walk on his own.
I had attended many different work meetings at the municipal, provincial, and national level with mid to high-level government officials, and it was always noisy and chaotic. It did not even begin to compare to the serene atmosphere of this conference held by Falun Gong practitioners.
“I’d say that our Falun Dafa is a pure land here” (“Explaining the Fa for Falun Dafa Assistants in Changchun” in Explaining the Content of Falun Dafa)
This is entirely true in my experience. We need not be told to behave in public. It is very powerful when everyone genuinely wants to be good and kind. Falun Gong is capable of forging its practitioners into better people. One will naturally improve in such a righteous environment.
The practitioners who lived nearby volunteered to stay behind after the conference ended and clean up the venue. The staff there were very impressed. They said they had never seen the venue be so clean after so many people had been there. They said they had never seen anything like it before.
Falun Gong Group Exercise Practice Sites Emerge Like New Bamboo Shoots after a Rain
I started practicing Falun Gong in February 1996. I practiced with about 20 fellow practitioners in a public park at first. Through word of mouth, we grew to 40 to 50 people in just a few months. We had to branch out. People split into several different public locations with 30 to 40 people in each location. The practitioners in our city organized several large group practice events and conferences that attracted more than 1,000 people each time.
I had to go on business trips frequently for meetings and training. Therefore, I had the opportunity to witness how far and wide Falun Gong had spread in China. I once stayed at Jinshajiang Hotel during a business trip to Shanghai. Changfeng Park is the nearest park. I decided to go to the park and see if I might run into any fellow Falun Gong practitioners. Wouldn't you know it? I saw many people doing the sitting meditation as soon as I entered the park. The volunteer assistant there was a young man who had just finished a night shift. He said he had to run some errands after he finished the exercises. He looked wide awake, not at all like someone who had worked all night.
When I took job training at the National Vaccine and Serum Institute in Beijing, I found a Falun Gong group exercise practice site in the woods near Tiantan Park. I did the exercises with them for a few days. They told me that there were several other practice locations in Tiantan Park.
I lived in the downtown area of a mid-sized metropolitan city. There were four group practice sites within two miles of my home. Larger sites had over 100 people, while smaller ones had less than 50.
I usually joined the group practice near a college. The volunteer assistant was a college professor in her 50s. I saw her patiently teaching and correcting the movements of new practitioners. She said everyone at the site lived nearby, except a few that worked at the college. People came and left freely. There was no charge. There was no sign-up log.
As the number of people increased at that location, I decided to start a new one at work, which sometimes had up to 50 participants. I wanted to give back as someone who had benefited enormously from the practice of Falun Gong. I bought two boom boxes to play the exercise music for the group practice. I bought many copies of Zhuan Falun and gave them to those new practitioners with limited means.
I usually arrived at the group practice site at 4 a.m., but there were some who arrived even earlier. There was a lady who was confined to a wheelchair after she was hit by a motorcycle. A personal assistant pushed her to the group practice site at first. She completely recovered and was able to walk again after she listened to Teacher's lectures. She was very thankful to Falun Gong. She later became a volunteer assistant. She would arrive at the group practice site before 3 a.m. with a boom box every morning.
Many practitioners experienced miracles. Everyone was very selfless and giving. If there was anything needed, people would provide it, yet keep a low profile. We didn't get to know one another because we had to hurry to work immediately after we finished doing the exercises. We did the exercises every day regardless of the weather. We all felt full of energy and perfectly healthy. Words could not describe the joy we felt during those days. To this day, I still think fondly of the time we spent together.
Meeting a Fellow Practitioner from a Different Area
The police confiscated my savings for my child's college tuition in the summer of 2003. My family hid my Falun Gong books and materials, but they didn't tell me where.
I went to the college with my child to register. The parents were arranged to stay at the student dormitory. Three other parents and I stayed in the same dorm room. There were so many mosquitoes that I couldn't sleep that night. I got up at dawn to do the exercises, only to find someone already practicing the first exercise.
It was a fellow practitioner!
I jumped out of my bed and grabbed her hands. There were two other parents in the room, so we moved to the balcony.
We looked at each other for a long time. We were both very excited to have met a fellow practitioner in a strange city in China where Falun Gong is suppressed.
We chatted and chatted. She was an English teacher in a rural area of Shanxi Province. Her husband used to suffer from active hepatitis and cirrhosis and had to check into the hospital very often. He was bedridden, so she became the only provider. She often passed out in the middle of teaching class. Her colleagues had to take her to the hospital emergency room, but she felt like ending her life each time she came to.
Just when she was in the depths of despair, a patient in the hospital introduced her to Falun Gong. She and her husband both regained their health after they started practicing Falun Gong. She got rid of her bad temper. Her children started practicing Falun Gong as well. They now own a small gas station. Her children both do well at school. Her daughter started college at the age of 16. She was admitted to this prestigious college because of her stellar academic performance. Her son was the top of his class in junior high. Both live in the dorm during the weekdays. The entire family gets together on the weekends when they study Falun Gong books and practice Falun Gong together. They are a very happy family.
Her family gas station offers very competitive prices and a good selection of merchandise. It is very popular locally. The entire town knows that her family practices Falun Gong. The local police and the mayor tried to talk her out of practicing, but she set them straight right away. She told them, “Falun Gong has saved my husband's life and saved my entire family. We shall persevere in our faith in Falun Gong even if the rest of world should stop practicing Falun Gong!”
Her daughter even brings her collection of Falun Gong books with her to college.
Time flies. It felt like yesterday when we had just started practicing Falun Gong.
Hundreds and thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have weathered the storm of the persecution since July 1999. We are healthy and happy. We continue to follow the teachings of Falun Gong and have become increasingly moral and good. We are truly happy despite the persecution. I believe that eventually the world will agree with me that Falun Gong practitioners are the happiest people in the world.
Saved by Falun Gong Twice
A local practitioner named May (pseudonym) moved back to Shanghai after China began to suppress Falun Gong on July 20, 1999. She began to slack off in practicing the exercises and studying the Fa. Her illnesses returned and she was diagnosed with stomach cancer. She spent over 300,000 yuan for cancer treatment in the best Chinese medical hospital in Shanghai, but she got worse. Her body swelled up. She developed fluid in her chest and stomach. One day the hospital asked her to check out and indulge herself. They meant to tell her that she did not much time left.
She did not want to give up. She remembered that she used to be completely healthy and energetic when she was practicing Falun Gong. Accompanied by her son, she took a flight home on Chinese New Year's Eve. She checked into a specialized hospital right away. When a fellow practitioner visited May in the hospital, she could not even recognize her. With tears in her eyes, she asked May, “Do you still believe in Falun Gong?” “I do!” said May. The other practitioner quickly brought her a small tape player and played Teacher's lectures for her.
When her friend and fellow practitioner visited May in the hospital the next day, all the swelling had gone. May looked all better. In fact, she was able to eat and drink again. She even saw her friend off all the way from the second floor to the first floor. People sharing the same ward commented, “She stayed up listening to the recording and got well overnight. What type of recording is that? It is a miracle!”
The police arrested May after she checked out of the hospital. She told the police the miracle that had befallen on her, but they did not believe her. May then produced her medical history, which said “late-term cancer spread to the rest of the body.” The police were shocked to see her medical history and released her.
May's son immediately moved her back to Shanghai to keep her from being arrested again. A neighbor was speechless when she saw May had fully recovered from late-term cancer. “You...you...you...” was all she could utter. It took her neighbor a while before she could ask how May was cured. May told her, “All I did was to repeat 'Falun Gong is good' and 'Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.'” Her neighbor told everyone in the community. Eventually everyone in the community learned that Falun Gong is good!
May moved back to our area not long ago. She has a healthy, glowing complexion. She is also full of energy. She goes out every day to clarify the truth about Falun Gong, even though she is already in her 70s. She says no words can express her gratitude for Falun Gong. Only those who have practiced Falun Gong can relate to her experience!
It Would Be Wonderful if the Entire Society of China Would Identify with Falun Gong's Principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance
A practitioner named Christine (pseudonym) was the departmental chairman in a hospital. She was sent to a forced brainwashing facility because she refused to renounce Falun Gong. A retired colleague who is also a Falun Gong practitioner named Dina (pseudonym) was sleepless when she heard the news. She began to call Christine's boss at work every day. She condemned him for allowing the police to arrest such a great person as Christine. He claimed that he was new to the job and it was the 610 Office that made the arrest.
Dina began to tell the boss about Christine, that she had never taken any bonus or commission since she started practicing Falun Gong. When her department was profitable, she got a 2,000-yuan bonus in her account. She withdrew the bonus and shared it with her department. She returned her share of the bonus, but wrote a letter thanking them for the bonus. She was entitled to a 150% bonus every month, but she refused to accept it, because she said it would be wrong to take such a big slice of the pie. She had never accepted any bribes from any pharmaceutical or medical supply company. She said that she would make decisions solely on the quality of the product. She intended to keep the price low by refusing the bribes so the patients could enjoy better prices.
Dina demanded, “How many people can you find in the hospital that are like Christine? Who else has the same level of integrity and morality?” Her boss was speechless.
Her boss eventually went to the brainwashing facility to demand Christine's release. When they refused, her boss bribed the staff there so that Christine would get better treatment.
I was once put in a forced brainwashing facility as well. I was very frail after I was released because of the abuses I was subjected to. The departmental chairman and a professor called on me with a flower basket and gifts. The chairman was saddened at the sight of me. “You were such a wonderful doctor. You always came early and worked overtime. You were always thoughtful of your patients. You were always polite, patient, and gentle with them. I have traveled all over China, but I have rarely met any doctor that is as good as you. Please get well soon. We look forward to you returning to work soon!”
The professor said, “A professor has now been arrested for practicing Falun Gong. He is known in his department as a wonderful person. His salary was suspended, and he was only given 400 yuan for basic living expenses. How do you make do with only 400 yuan with today's inflation? I would never have allowed it if I ran the college! What is wrong with having your own spiritual belief? The chairman of the surgical department was arrested and detained in a forced brainwashing facility not long ago. He kept cursing the police on the way to the brainwashing facility. The police knew right away that they must have arrested the wrong person because a Falun Gong practitioner would never curse. However, the police refused to admit that they had the wrong person, so they kept the professor there for 40 days!”
They both lamented that right and wrong have been turned upside down in China: good people face persecution while bad people run rampant. They both commented that it would be wonderful if the entire society of China would identify with Falun Gong's principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.