PureInsight | February 14, 2005
[PureInsight.org] Perhaps it is because I like hearing stories that I often hear interesting stories from fellow Falun Gong practitioners during cultivation experience sharing conferences. At the conclusion of the Chicago Fa conference in May 2004, I told my husband and my mother, "I have decided to write a new series of articles about how Falun Gong practitioners came together as a big family. Our opportunity to get to know each other is through our predestined relationships with Falun Gong, so I have decided to name this series, 'Predestined Relationships with Falun Gong.'" They both liked my idea and prompted me to start writing immediately. This story is about my encounter with Masako during the Fa conference in Chicago because it was Masako whom inspired me to write this series.
My encounter with Masako begins with the day my husband and I arrived in Chicago. It was raining that day. After driving for several hours, we arrived at the hotel by dusk. Because of the chilly and gloomy rain outside, the well-lit hotel lobby appeared especially warm and comfortable. Several Falun Gong practitioners in yellow jackets were sitting on the sofa in the lobby when we arrived. Several of them were young practitioners and three of them were elderly ones. The three elderly practitioners were of Asian descent. They looked very peaceful, yet they also looked like they were waiting for something.
I went up to one of the elderly practitioners who looked very well educated and gentle and started a conversation with her. I asked her, "Where did you come from?"
"We came from Japan," she answered in a composed manner. She appeared so at ease that it did not look like she had just gotten off an international flight from across the globe.
"You have traveled a long way. Aren't you tired?," I asked her.
"I am not tired, but it was a long flight. Our flight was delayed for 18 hours because of the storm."
"Have you checked into your rooms?"
A young practitioner approached me and said, "We have asked practitioners in Chicago to reserve six hotel rooms for us, but for some reason the front desk found only three reservations and could not locate the other three reservations." They came from Japan, so they speak Japanese and do not speak English. I told her, "I will be glad to contact the practitioner who made the reservation for you. Do you have his or her name?"
I smiled when I heard the name. It happened to be a veteran practitioner that used to live in my city in Canada before she moved to Chicago. "I will take care of everything," I promised them. I took out my cellular phone and called her. She answered the phone and promised to check their reservations with the front desk.
While I was talking to these Japanese practitioners, my husband finished checking in and came to see me. Before I left for my room, I remembered that they came from Japan and did not know their way around Chicago, so I turned and offered them a ride to the Fa conference which was to take place on the following day. The elderly practitioner got up and thanked me courteously. It was then I realized that she needed two canes to support her in order to stand up. She also introduced me to the smiling gentleman standing next to her, which happened to be her husband. I told the elderly lady my name and my room number so that she could call me if she needed anything.
Before I went to bed that night, the elderly lady called me from her room, discussing the time to meet the next morning. She politely suggested that we must be on time for the Fa conference and said they would be expecting us in the hotel lobby. She had a soft-spoken voice. She spoke slowly but very clearly. I could not tell by her accent which city in China she was from. It was as if she could read my mind, she told me, "I am Japanese. My name is Masako", she said.
In amazement I replied, "You are Japanese? Really? You speak perfect Chinese without any Japanese accent."
She explained, "Yes, I do speak Chinese fluently, but I was born in Tokyo, Japan. I moved to China with my parents at the age of seven. When Japan surrendered after World War II ended, a Chinese family in northeastern China adopted me. I finished my elementary school, high school and college education in China. It was later when China was open to the outside world that I had the opportunity to return to Japan. My husband was a classmate of mine back in elementary school and junior high school. He is Chinese."
"I see. No wonder you speak excellent Chinese. I cannot tell by your accent that you are Japanese." I said.
"When I call people in China to share with them the truth about Jiang Zemin's persecution against Falun Gong practitioners, some of them called me a traitor. I explained to them, 'I am not a traitor to China because I am not Chinese. I am Japanese.' Some of them asked, 'Japanese people practice Falun Gong too? How does a Japanese person like you speak Chinese so fluently?' I have to repeatedly tell them the history of my life."
"How did you start practicing Falun Gong?" I had to ask.
"One of my classmates from elementary school introduced me to Falun Gong. He is also a Japanese person who grew up in China. We went to elementary school together and returned to Japan together. He introduced Falun Gong to me in 1998 and gave me a copy of Zhuan Falun. Through reading Zhuan Falun, I was astonished to learn that Buddhas, Taos and Gods do exist. I received the Chinese Communist Party's atheistic education in China and did not believe in gods. Soon afterwards, I went to Singapore to attend the Fa conference in August 1998 and had the opportunity to listen to Teacher's lecture at the Fa conference. To be honest with you, I did not quite understand Teacher's lecture because I hadn't finished reading Zhuan Falun at the time. But I felt Teacher's immense compassion."
Masako then asked me where I came from.
"I live in Canada, but I work in the United States."
"The United States? Which state?"
"Michigan. It is only a river away from Canada."
"Michigan? Do you know Lu?"1
"Yes, I know him. How did you meet him? I know for sure he is not Japanese."
"It's an interesting story. Four years ago we went to New York to attend the Fa conference. We stayed in a hotel room with two double beds. In the evening, a middle-aged female practitioner knocked on our door and asked if we would mind sharing the room with a young man who had just arrived. He decided to attend the Fa conference at the last minute, and he was unable to get a hotel reservation. I welcomed him with wide open arms. I said to the coordinator, 'My husband and I are elderly folks, and we don't mind sharing the room with a young man or a young lady.' The young man who shared the room with us was Lu. We had a hearty chat before we went to bed. Later his company sent him on a business trip to Japan. He took the opportunity to visit us and participated with our local truth-clarification activities. Thus we became very close. It appears I have a predestined relationship with practitioners in your area."
I asked Masako, "Don't you find it inconvenient and exhausting to travel across the globe to attend the Fa conference?"
"I don't consider it a long distance. My husband and I feel the happiest when we listen to Teacher giving Fa lectures or when we spend time with fellow practitioners. What's a little hardship? Our fellow practitioners in China are risking their lives everyday to clarify the truth about Falun Gong. We are very lucky."
The next morning every practitioner staying in this hotel gathered in the hotel lobby, ready to attend the Fa conference. Lu saw Masako and approached her. Masako held Lu's hands, as if she had reunited with her own son.
I heard a lot of other interesting stories from Masako that show Falun Gong practitioners are somehow interconnected with each other at some point in time. I forgot to ask Masako how her elementary school classmate started to practice Falun Gong, but I am certain that he must have introduced to other people besides Masako. Masako must have introduced Falun Gong to many people as well. It is an unforgettable and unique story how each Falun Gong practitioner came to know Falun Gong. But every practitioner I have met shared a common feeling: After we started practicing Falun Gong, it became clear to us that everything in our respective lives had been carefully arranged for us to start practicing Falun Gong. Those careful arrangements originated from our predestined relationships with Falun Gong.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2004/8/19/28742.html
1. The full name is withdrawn to protect the privacy of the practitioner.