Stories from Aunt Ming Zhu (Part XIV): A Few Matters during the "Special Period"

Xiao Mei

PureInsight | February 6, 2006

[] When Aunt Ming Zhu was talking about her fellow practitioner aunt Li, she couldn't help recalling her own experiences during the "special period" when Falun Gong was first banned in Mainland China. Although she felt very heavy recalling her experiences during that time, she decided to share it with everyone. She hopes that readers will gain a glimpse at how much Falun Gong practitioners in Mainland China have been suffering and how much compassion they have been exhibiting while clarifying the truth to the worlds' people.

Right after July 20, 1999, the wicked Chinese Communist Party ramped up its slanders and attacks against Falun Gong practitioners to the highest level possible. It was if billowing dark clouds has covered the sky and earth. All the televisions and newspapers attacked Falun Gong in the same manner. Notices from the Police Department were posted everywhere, from residence compounds to the entrances of all kinds of stores, and even on every electric pole along the road. The contents of the notices were to order Falun Gong practitioners to turn over all Falun Gong books, videos and audiotapes or CD's, and that those who refused to do so within a certain period of time would be fined heavily. Many Falun Gong practitioners who had benefited from the practice mentally and physically were arrested and beaten, including all the volunteer assistants in my area. Some had their ribs broken from the beatings and were carried back home. Some even became paralyzed from the beatings. But practitioners were not frightened. They courageously stepped forward to appeal for Falun Gong and clarify the truth to the government.

I didn't go to the government to appeal for Falun Gong because I had lost my confidence in the evil Communist Party a long time ago. I knew that it had planned the persecution and there would be no use talking to them. Instead I took action in my own way, mainly in three aspects.

The first aspect was to strengthen my own Fa study and practice of the exercises. Before July 20, 1999, I had no sense of urgency. I was happy every day because of the fundamental improvement in my health. I just loved buying Teacher's books. There was a small bookstore selling Teacher's books. I used to call them often and ask when new books would arrive. When others went to Beijing, I would ask them to bring me Teacher's new books. I bought many of Teacher's books and gave them to my friends and relatives. Because they knew I had been in very poor health in the past but had become very healthy and strong after practicing Falun Gong, they often came to ask me about it. After listening to my experience, many of them started to practice Falun Gong. They all praised Falun Gong and said, "This practice is truly good. I used to have so many illnesses, now they're all gone." I gave away more than one hundred copies of Zhuan Falun; some I gave to people face to face, and some I sent out through mail. But I didn't pay close attention to my own Fa study. It is something that I regret to this day.
The crackdown against Falun Gong on July 20, 1999 took me by complete surprise. Personnel from my neighborhood committee came to demand my Falun Dafa books from me and so did some people from my workplace. I refused to hand them over and asked them, "What do you want them for? Do you want to learn Falun Gong? In that case I can teach you. But if you want to turn them in to have them destroyed and burned, I cannot give them to you. You don't have to worry about these books. I will take care of them myself." After they left, I thought, "what if they come to ransack my home?" I realized the urgency of the situation and realized the most important thing for me was to intensify my own Fa study. Therefore, unless I had to go outside to take care of things, I stayed home and studied the Fa quietly. I spent a lot of time studying the Fa during that time and came to understand a lot of principles of the Fa. I also practiced the exercises more, and prolonged the sitting meditation from one hour to two hours. I became much more diligent in cultivation practice after the crackdown started.

The second aspect was to clarify the truth to people around me. I took every opportunity to introduce Falun Gong to people around me and clarify the truth about Falun Gong to them. The following are a few examples:

One day I was shopping at the local market. A woman from the countryside asked me for directions. Her mother was suffering from heart disease, and she came to the city to look for a hospital for her. I told her, "You're really a filial daughter who wants to ease your mother's pain with your hard-earned money. I had heart disease before, and had been treated for over ten years with medical care, but I wasn't cured."

She asked, "But you look very well. My mother looks totally different from you, she cannot move her body." I explained to her, "I used to be like that as well. Now I'm OK. I was not cured by the hospital. I was cured after practicing Falun Gong. I didn't even have to spend a penny. It has been four or five years now. I have not taken a single pill or a single injection. Don't I look great? I can do anything now." She was puzzled and said, "Wasn't it said the Falun Gong is a cult?"

"That is false slander. Don't listen to them. Otherwise you'll be deceived by them. When you go home, find out if there are people practicing Falun Gong in your village. It's very simple to learn. It is composed of a book and five sets of exercises. It will work only if you follow the xinxing requirements in the book. If you want to take your mother to the hospital, I'll tell you the address now." I told her the directions to the hospital in detail. She was very grateful and said, "Thank you, auntie." I could tell that she believed me, and then of course she could tell right from wrong.

My first concern was not to have them practice Falun Gong. My first concern was to let her understand the truth about Falun Gong. Of course, it would be for the best if she could get her mother to practice Falun Gong, but that depends on her predestined relationship with Falun Gong. As a human being, the most important thing is not to oppose the Buddha's Fa. Opposing it would be the most dangerous thing for a human being.

Another day, I went to buy meat at the end of the day after work. It was getting dark. The vendor mistook the ten yuan bill that I had given him as a hundred yuan bill, and gave me back a lot of money in change. I told him he had made a mistake, and I had only given him 10 yuan. He thanked me profusely and said, "I haven't met anybody as good as you." I told him, "There are a lot of good people now. All practitioners of Falun Gong would do the same. It's not easy for you to stand here all day selling meat, your whole family is depending on you. My Teacher has said, 'one will lose De (virtue) if he gains ill-gotten wealth.' On the other hand, you vendors shouldn't shortchange people either. A gentleman is not avaricious and takes only what belongs to him." He said thankfully, "Grandma, it's so well-said. You didn't cheat me, instead have helped me and educated me. Please come again next time. I like listening to you."

Another day, I went to a deli store. When I went to pay for my purchase, the owner checked the authenticity of my bill with a bill checker. In China, almost every store has one because fake bills run rampant, and no one can trust anyone. I told him, "A few days ago, I had got a fake bill from the Agricultural Bank across the street from here. After I withdrew the money, I went straight to my workplace to pay for my apartment, and they found one fake bill. I went back immediately to the bank, but they refused to admit it…" Before I finished, the storeowner said, "How could the bank admit it? Nowadays there is no such thing as credibility. People only trust money. You should spend the fake bill in the market in the countryside, where there is no bill checker." I said, "Oh no. I already felt very bad losing the money. I cannot shift the pain to others and let others suffer. I will put it underneath some glass as a souvenir, and remind myself to be careful next time."

"Grandma, you're so kind-hearted. Nowadays so few people are kind-hearted. Look at those people from the government and the tax department, they all want to eat our food and take things without paying. When the police arrest somebody, they will release him as soon as he pays some money. When do they do anything righteous? They do it all for money. To put it blankly, they are all bandits, worse than Kuomintang (In China, more than fifty-years of communist propaganda makes people believe that Kuomintang is the worst group of people in the world)." I said, "You truly have a lot of knowledge. I used to refuse to believe that a state-owned bank would cheat people. Now it is hard to tell right from wrong. You see the police arresting Falun Gong practitioners all over the place. TV and newspapers have been attacking Falun Gong blindly. Don't believe in it. Practitioners of Falun Gong are all good people. Remember my words." He said, "Grandma, you're right. The people that are labeled 'bad' by bad people must be good people." I smiled. I felt his logic was quite right. With such a standard, he will not believe any lies easily.

The third aspect was that I persisted in burning incense for Teacher everyday. I started doing it before the persecution had started, but I didn't do it every day. After the persecution started, I began to do it every day. I burned incense in front of a small picture of Teacher every day. By doing this, besides expressing my respect for Teacher, I made myself remember Teacher at every moment and remember that I was a Falun Dafa disciple of Teacher's.
To avoid trouble, I took many precautions, such as watching the door more closely and making sure the door was locked from the inside when my family members went out.

I feel very bad remembering my experiences during that time. Why has a great cultivation practice that teaches people to be good people and benefit all of society been persecuted? Why does the government not allow citizens to become good people openly and nobly?

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