(Minghui.org) I started to practice Falun Gong, also called Falun Dafa, in 1996. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched the persecution campaign against Falun Gong on July 20, 1999. During the past 20 years, I was imprisoned for 13 years because of my faith.

While imprisoned, I didn’t have access to Zhuan Falun, or Master Li’s (the founder) new lectures, but I held the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance close to my heart, and I tried to live up to the standards of a Dafa practitioner.

My firm belief in Master Li and the Fa strengthened my righteous thoughts, which were instrumental in my clarifying the truth about Falun Gong to wardens, guards, and the inmates. My environment changed for the better and the prison guards asked me to speak to inmates and teach them about the “meaning of life.”

The Onset of the Persecution

My life was tough before I started practicing Falun Dafa. I experienced many ups and downs in my youth and my life had been affected by China’s forever changing political climate. Having witnessed the CCP’s radical policies and countless political movements, I seemed to have been mentally prepared for the Party to crack down on Falun Dafa when the persecution started in 1999.

Luckily, my diligent Fa-study lay a solid foundation for my cultivation. The persecution didn’t scare me or sway me the least bit. I was able to stay clear-minded, and stayed calm when repeatedly taken to a police station for interrogation, when I was detained, had my home ransacked, suffered brainwashing, and being followed and monitored.

My wife and I were arrested in 2000 when we went to the provincial Party Committee to petition for our right to practice our faith. It was past 3:00 a.m. when I was taken to a detention center. After only a few hours of sleep, I was awakened.

At around 8:00 a.m., the second inmates lead informed me that I was going to be interrogated by the warden that day, a tradition for every new inmate at the detention center. I had heard that this “orientation” was as if you were going through hell for many practitioners, but I thought that I am a cultivator of Dafa – no one can touch me. I was very calm and relaxed and did not worry at all. It went smoothly.

The guard talked with me the next day. He wanted to know as an intelligent and highly educated person, why did I practice Falun Gong, especially as the government didn’t allow it? I told him how I suffered when growing up, why I practiced Falun Gong, and how it had changed my life.

I talked about the changes my entire family had gone through after taking up the practice—the rheumatoid arthritis that bothered me for more than 20 years had disappeared, my daughter recovered from her epilepsy, and my wife from her endocrine disorders. However, most importantly, we now understood the true meaning of life.

Crimes Committed by the CCP

I asked him if he didn’t know that the CCP had committed uncountable crimes since it came to power. Then, the numerous movements it started, including the Cultural Revolution. Even the Party leaders themselves admitted later that it targeted more people than it should have. I spoke of the decade of disorder and chaos in our nation, and our society, which had left our country in disarray.

Next, I told him about the two battles in which I participated when I served in the military. The first was known as the Shadian incident where the Party suppressed and slaughtered people of the ethnic group Hui. After the downfall of the “Gang of Four,” the Party restored the ethnic group Hui’s reputation. Then, the soldiers who participated in the battle were scapegoated and punished.

The second one was the war with Vietnam in 1979, when more than 100,000 Chinese soldiers lost their lives defending a piece of land of our country. However, when later the Party became friendly with the Vietnamese government, it returned to them the piece of land we fought for, and that so many of my friends and fellow soldiers died for.

Lastly, I said, “Now Falun Gong is being smeared and slandered by the government, but we as citizens can’t even petition for our constitutional rights and are arrested in the name of ‘disrupting law and order.’ You tell me, Is this the ‘rule by law’?”

Teaching Falun Gong in Detention Center

He nodded as I talked, and toward the end of our conversation he told me that I still had to follow the rules. He asked me to not do the three things—first, not to practice Falun Gong; second, not to promote Falun Gong; and third, not to teach Falun Gong to others. I laughed.

He wondered why I laughed. I responded that I was imprisoned because I practice Falun Gong. It would not work if I can’t cultivate. My question to him was, “Then, didn’t I get arrested for nothing?”

Practitioners cultivate based on the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. It is a good thing that people try to be good, especially when you consider that the inmates detained had committed a crime. Therefore, isn’t it a good thing if I show them how to be good people, and follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance? It can be very beneficial to you as well.

He understood what I tried to teach him and told me that I could practice and teach them the Falun Gong principles. However he did forbid me to teach them the exercises.

I thought, “If they dare to learn, I will teach them.” Before he left I told him to make sure other inmates in the division know about our agreement.

The guard made an announcement to all inmates. He told them not to disturb me, and “You learn from Falun Gong (referring to me) how to be good people.”

Since I had already clarified the truth to the first inmates during “orientation,” he even arranged to give me a quiet space for doing the exercises. He later led all inmates in the division and joined me to practice Falun Gong.

Developing a Cultivation Environment

After being released from the detention center, my wife and I left our hometown in 2001 to avoid being taken for brainwashing. We were arrested while on the road, and each one of us was sentenced to two years of forced labor. I was separated from my wife and placed in a different division. The guard first assigned two inmates to monitor me, and later five inmates watched me around the clock in two shifts.

Afraid of the inmates becoming sympathetic towards me, the guards replaced those that monitored me often. I had 28 different inmates monitoring me throughout my two-year term.

They all were very nervous when they started their assignment. So, I asked them, if the guard told them that I kill people or myself, and all said yes. I said, “It’s a sin to kill or to commit suicide. Do you think I look like a killer?” They told me that I appear to be a very nice person, and probably won’t kill anybody.

But, I made sure that they knew the game plan, and that I knew that they wanted to earn bonus points to get their term reduced, and be released early. Under such a scenario, I would not cooperate, and they would get into trouble.

They dared not look for trouble with me. I also said, “If you want things to go smoothly then do whatever you need to when the guards are here and when they leave, just let me be. We can help each other out.” After that I did not run into any problem.

Most of these inmates were drug addicts who had hurt their families, so they didn’t visit or care about them. Few received financial support from their families. I helped them as much as I could, and they all appreciated it very much. I told them how wonderful Dafa is, and especially the principles of “you reap what you sow.” Most of them understood what I said and some even started practicing Falun Gong with me. Some helped relay messages between me and other practitioners.

Once a new inmate was assigned to monitor me. I got up one night to meditate, and he tried to stop me. It had never happened before so I was quite upset and yelled at him. Other inmates pulled him away. I realized at that moment that I wasn’t being compassionate toward this new guy and regretted treating him that way.

The weirdest thing happened the next day when I was taking a walk in the courtyard after lunch. The weather was nice that day but all of a sudden I heard loud thunder. The inmate who tried to stop me the night before was sitting about five feet away from me and he suddenly shouted, “Ah!” He was struck by lightning in the lower back and couldn’t get up. Since that incident, everybody treated me with respect.

Going on Strike

When I first arrived at the forced labor camp, I thought that practitioners should be good people wherever they are. So, I worked hard in the fields like other inmates. Whatever I was assigned to do, I always did a good job and finished it quickly. Because the inmates monitoring me didn’t have to work in the field, they all started helping me.

After I had been there for three months, the division political instructor called my name going down the roster. He took a moment and praised me for working hard and always doing a good job. He said that I set a good example for others. It all of a sudden hit me that I am a practitioner, and I am here to validate the Fa, not to work in the fields. I decided to go on a strike to protest my illegal detention as a way to validate the Fa, and clarify the truth.

I wrote a statement to declare that I would not work in the fields anymore and explained the illegality of me being held at the forced labor camp. I argued that Falun Gong was wrongfully persecuted and that I didn’t break the law nor do anything wrong. All I did was to follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

I let the inmates monitoring me know about my plans to go on a strike and let them know how determined I was. I told them, “If the guards order you guys to restrict me, don’t do it, no matter what. It is not good for you.” They all expressed their support and understanding.

The next morning, I read my statement in front of the entire division at breakfast. I explained to the guard on duty why I was on strike at 7:00 a.m., before the workday started. He didn’t say anything. When the other guards arrived to work at 8:00 a.m., the division head heard about the strike but didn’t come looking for me until much later.

The division head is known to be very vicious and everybody there was scared of him. As soon as he saw me, he pointed at me and shouted that I needed to realize where I was, and there was no such action as going on a strike. I told him in a loud voice that I should not be here, as I did not commit any crime by following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Then I asked, “What kind of person are you trying to turn me into?”

As soon as I said those words, I realized that these guards were also the victims of the Party’s lies, and I could not push them to the evil side. I needed to help them see the truth. I calmed down and told him that he was fooled by the Party’s smear campaign. Anyway, I didn’t want to argue with him about who is right and who is wrong. I explained that this had nothing to do with him and the guards, but with Jiang Zemin’s (the former CCP leader) persecution policies. I let him know that I would not let him control me. I suggested that he should report to his superiors and he would not be held responsible.

The division head came back after more than an hour. His attitude was completely different now, and he said to me that I did not have to work anymore in the fields. We talked for quite a while and he learned a lot about Falun Gong. Since then, he never created trouble for me.

Guards Want Inmates to Understand the Truth of Falun Gong

I was arrested again in 2012. I realized that I must have had a loophole in my cultivation which was exploited by the evil. However, since I was already in the detention center, it would now be my cultivation environment. Wherever I was, as a Dafa practitioner, I must do the three things well. Plus the lives in the detention center needed to be saved as well.

Master said,

“Imprisoned as you are,don’t be sorrowful or sadCarry on with righteous thoughts and actions,and the Fa is with youCalmly reflect on the attachments you haveRemove your human thoughtsand evil will naturally die out”(“Don’t Be Sad,” Hong Yin Volume II)

At first I was detained at a transitional ward. Later a division head named Zhu requested that I was placed in his division. There were quite a few inmates on the death row in this division. Having been sentenced to death, these inmates just don’t care about anything. A few had attacked the guards. A few also liked to pick fights and were difficult to manage.

The inmates on death row didn’t need to perform hard labor, so Zhu asked me to teach them classic texts aimed to elevate a person’s moral conduct and spiritual life. I of course was happy to comply because I naturally made connections to the beliefs of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance of Falun Dafa. We had three-hour classes daily.

Zhu called me to the office one day and shared that he was told that I taught the inmates Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance? I said yes and asked him, “What is wrong with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance? This is the universal values of all humankind and the sole criterion of what’s good and what’s bad.”

I went on and told him the changes that had been taking place in the division. For example, people nowadays are quick to blame others when something goes wrong, but the inmates now know to examine themselves first.

One inmate that all others called “boss” used to be short-tempered and would swear and pick a fight with others. He was shackled once because he was involved in a fight. But he is now very considerate and cares about others. During times of conflict, he knows to examine himself first and is willing to listen to others’ opinions.

Furthermore, to encourage other inmates to give him suggestions and point out his shortcomings, he rewards them with an egg each time someone gave him an honest opinion.

Today, I said, “Everybody in the division is now considerate of others. They are caring and help each other out. They all get along now.”

Then, I gave him two more examples of how two inmates had changed. Both were given a death sentence because one committed rape and murder, and the other was a gang member who committed robbery. In fact, Zhu himself had witnessed these things and knew all about them.

He said, “I admire that you were able to change them, especially the gangster boy who always picked fights and bullied others. He is such a headache. I am surprised that even he has changed. He even told me that he would not strike back when hit and would not curse when cursed.”

Before ending the conversation I told him that this change of heart happened because my Master had taught me to follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. In turn I let the inmates know how they could change.

Before Zhu ended the conversation he asked me not to let his superiors know because they would not understand.

Assigned to Improve Morality in Detention Center

Big fights often broke out in another division where all the inmates were involved, and the entire division was put on maximum security where they had to stay indoors all day other than going to the cafeteria. They were not allowed to watch television or order extra food (the prison makes a profit from selling extra food because the portions are small and the food is not very nutritious) and had to sit on a bench every day. The guards at this division invited me to teach the inmates the “meaning of life” and how to be good people.

I helped the inmates understand why they committed crimes and are imprisoned. I explained that their true selves are buried by the atheist theories they were taught early on in life. Since they don’t believe in higher beings and don’t think that one is rewarded for good deeds, and one would receive retribution for doing bad deeds, they are not scared of anything. They don’t think of cause and effect.

“To gain fame and self-interest, you fight with others,” I said. “You live to prove a point and save face. Your mentality has been completely changed by the atheist theories. When you got involved in a fight you wanted to kill that person. But I bet, the majority of you regret what you’ve done in hindsight. You think what I said is reasonable, and that I have a point, right? That is because your knowing side is waking up and it knows that it’s bad to commit crimes.”

For them to understand the reasoning behind my discussion I said that what Buddhism believes is that human beings have Buddha-nature, as well as evil nature. Once the Buddha nature has emerged one sees clearly who one has become. They needed to know that they had to control their demon nature and no longer do bad things.

Anyway, the higher beings are watching, and when a person lacks virtue, and commits too many bad deeds, he may even get struck by lightning.

One inmate stood up and shared that he was struck by lightning. He shared his story and sincerely advised everybody to no longer do bad deeds.

This division changed dramatically since then. There has been fewer and fewer fights and less people making trouble for the guards. The guards were relieved. When the word spread, I received many invitations to talk to inmates at other divisions whenever they had a day off working in the fields.

Practitioners all have abilities. As long as we regard ourselves as a cultivator and as our xinxing improves, our environment will change for the better.