PureInsight | May 23, 2005
[PureInsight.org] When I was little, the entire Chinese population was subjected to the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) "Great Cultural Revolution." I came from Sichuan Province, a region that suffered most severely from the Revolution. In my memory every household in my neighborhood was destitute and could barely put the food on the table. The farmers in the nearby areas had it worse. They had hunger on their menu every day. Because of the extreme shortage of food, everyone anticipated Chinese New Year more than ever. It is a Chinese tradition to save the best food for the Chinese New Year. I remember that I kept counting the days, but I was utterly disappointed because we had nothing good for the Chinese New Year. The only good thing was that I was allowed to eat until I was completely full. I had anticipated the Chinese New Year for a whole year, but how come it did not turn out to be anything like what I had anticipated?
When I grew bigger and started reading, I learned two Chinese words that meant "joy." From then on, I resolved to find "joy" in my life when I grew up. Each time I encountered something terrific in my life, I would ask myself, "Is this joy?" But I didn't think I could call what I felt at any of these times "joy." I could call it "happiness," "felicity." or even "ecstasy," but I didn't think that was what "joy" should feel like.
Thus I went on with my life searching for joy, but how was I able to find it if I didn't know what it was? For a lot of people, I was having a very good, fortunate life. I was even considered among the "crème of the crop" of society in China, but I often felt distressed. I have tried to live my life in many different ways. I have made all sorts of friends, read a lot of books and tried to achieve many goals of life as defined by conventional standards. I have met nearly all of my goals and the society's expectations, but I had never felt truly joyful any time I attained a goal. Instead, I felt lost and even distressed for a long time.
Over time, I felt I grew even further from the state of joy. After having a real taste of life, I decided that there is no such thing as joy in one's life. I became sarcastic. For example, I would often try to reach a difficult goal valued by the society and then toss it all away to make a statement. "It is not what I wanted anyway!" I thought. I became irresponsible and regarded life as nothing but a foolish game. I thought I had seen through life.
It was not until the end of 1998 that I finally found the meaning of life. I started Falun Gong cultivation practice. It was a truly remarkable feeling to live a fresh new life as a fresh new person after I realized that the only purpose of a man's life is to return to his true self and that Falun Gong is the only righteous cultivation school that could lead me back to my true self. I felt extremely fortunate because I had found Teacher.
Soon after I started Falun Gong cultivation practice, I attended three Falun Gong practitioners' cultivation experience sharing conferences. Each time Teacher would grace the conference and gave a Buddha Fa lecture. But I suddenly had a strange feeling: "When I study the Fa every day, I feel Teacher is right next to me. But why do I feel Teacher is so far away from me every time I see Teacher at a conference?" After I told a veteran fellow practitioner my feeling, he told me, "Cultivate diligently. Your current cultivation level is too low."
It was June 1999 when I last saw Teacher that year. A month later, Jiang Zemin and the CCP started to openly persecute Falun Gong. Even though I was living in the United States, I could feel the CCP's overwhelming terror from China. Like many other Falun Gong practitioners, I stood up for Falun Gong and started clarifying the truth about it. At the time, the CCP's hate propaganda seemed to have reached every corner of the world. Teacher temporarily disappeared from the public's eyes. Very few Falun Gong practitioners knew Teacher's whereabouts, but all of us were overcome with worry for Teacher's safety.
On October 21, 2000, Teacher gave us a most pleasant surprise with his presence at the Falun Gong Practitioners' Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference in San Francisco. Teacher gave a powerful and uplifting Fa lecture at the conference. We were extremely excited and encouraged by the news. After all, it had been sixteen months since we last saw Teacher! However, very few practitioners in our area went to San Francisco to attend the conference because there were several large local activities to promote Falun Gong.
A few days later I went to a company to promote Falun Gong. It was an autumn afternoon with fair weather. I was wearing a Falun Gong yellow T-shirt. I spent the entire afternoon promoting the Fa and did not arrive at home until about 6:00 PM. I was thirsty and hungry when I came home. The telephone rang as soon as I stepped into the door. A fellow practitioner called and told me, "Come here at once. There is something important." I asked, "Can this wait until tomorrow?" "No. You must come here at once!" After I hung up the phone, tears suddenly came down my face. "Could this mean…?" I thought but I did not want to place high hopes. My mind went blank. I jumped into my car and thought of nothing but to rush to the place. Then I immediately regretted that I didn't even have the complete address of the location. I hated myself for not having a cellular phone. However, I was surprised that I managed to find the location anyway. When I got off the car, I saw every fellow practitioner in my area had already arrived. I knew right away that we would meet Teacher tonight!
The entire house was enveloped with an ambiance of joy. I kept switching my seat because I hoped to sit near Teacher. Finally I settled down on the area rug in front of the coffee table. Soon Teacher came in with a big smile on his face. All of us stood up and put our hands in front of our chests to pay respect to Teacher. Teacher asked everyone to sit down, and then Teacher started giving a Fa lecture. That was the first time that we knew Teacher was traveling around the United States in a van for the past year in order to endure the most unimaginable tribulation for the sentient beings. Teacher showed three fingers and said, "I have aged 30 years over the past year."
After giving a Fa lecture, Teacher said we might ask questions. Teacher was always smiling at every one of us while he was expounding on the Fa. Teacher repeatedly glanced at us with a most compassionate look. To this day I still remember the affection, the care and the anticipation in Teacher's eyes. It was as though Teacher did not wish to remove his eyes from us for even one second. Teacher repeatedly looked at each and every of us. Teacher's eyes said more than a thousand words could say. Finally it was after midnight. Teacher was bidding us farewell but everyone was reluctant to see Teacher leaving us. All of us stood up and put our hands in front of our chests to pay respect to Teacher. Teacher looked at each and every one of us one more time. Teacher was about to walk past us when he turned around and started shaking hands with each and every one of us.
I didn't remember the trip back home that night. All I could remember was that I had a sweet dream of colorful clouds. On the following day, I was still feeling dreamy when I went to work although the dreamy feeling felt more real than reality. I felt my body and my head were so light they were going to float in the air. On the other hand, I felt extraordinarily clear-headed. I felt as though I was basking in a very gentle, warm and translucent light. I felt my life was filled with Teacher's immense compassion and magnificence. It was a wonderful feeling beyond description. It was at that moment I discovered that this was what joy feels like! It was the most substantial and true feeling! Falun Dafa has taught me the truth of the universe! My life was finally complete!
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2005/5/13/32329.html