September 28, 2016 | By Yongzhen, a Falun Dafa practitioner in China
(Minghui.org) I began to learn Falun Gong along with two other people on March 2, 2014. It was the heaviest snowstorm in the city’s history that day. People stopped going to work and instead went out to remove snow throughout the entire city. As the snow was cleaned up in the city, my mind also came to be purified by Dafa.
Lying Was My Job
I was a journalist at our local TV station for about 20 years before I practiced Falun Gong.
When I graduated from college and first worked as a reporter, I was eager to be a good reporter. I felt reporting was a chance to serve people and reflect the true picture of society.
However, a colleague wrote an article to criticize something, which nearly caused our boss to lose his job. Since then, our boss asked us to be political and work for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) almost every day. He said that it did not matter how good our articles were; it was much more important, he said, that reporters remain obedient to the CCP.
I worked as a reporter and gradually became used to the environment of deceit, flattery, and ignorance to the suffering of the lower classes. I thus became numb to work and life. Even my facial expressions became mechanical. I felt that I had no passion for my work or family members.
Yet, my boss still praised me. He commented that I was more mature and good at my work. I won the title of “model worker” and received bonuses and other benefits.
I had to report on each department and certain offices of city hall on TV at least twice a year, in order to show how much work government officials had done for the people, and to let them know that the communist regime was working very hard to serve them.
For example, an agricultural department official said how much more rice the land had grown and how much more peasants had earned.
Charity department officials said how many people suffered from disaster and how much the regime had done to help the people.
The city hall leader said how much income for their residents had increased, how much tax the factories had paid, and so forth.
As we became more familiar with each other, these officials later would tell us that the figures were fabricated for us to report on TV. Then we reporters told them that we would just report according to what they said.
I got to know all the departments, including the court, the Procuratorate, the police station, and many other government departments. With no single exception, each was to carry out their supervisor’s requirements. In other words, the requirements of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
If a writer wanted to express his own ideas, to discuss real questions for people, or to seek justice for everyday people, he was against the CCP, which meant trouble for him. Therefore, all the government officials learned not to care about the country, the nation, or society.
How Many True Words Have I Spoken?
My husband’s college classmate was arrested due to her practice of Falun Gong, and the local media reported her case. My husband also said he wanted to read the Falun Gong book. I was scared by the rumors fabricated by the CCP, so I stopped my husband from seeking it.
I was curious about Falun Gong, however, because some people I knew were Falun Gong practitioners. I knew they were very good people, completely different from what the state media portrayed.
The police department asked our TV station to cooperate by smearing Falun Gong in 2001. I’d had opportunities to meet Falun Gong practitioners since the CCP had launched the persecution of Falun Gong.
I was brought to a detention center by a policeman and asked to record some scenes. After my work was done, I did not leave immediately, although the police had left.
I was outside nearby a cell. A young man in his 20s quickly introduced the facts about Falun Gong to me. He said that the “Tiananmen self-immolation” was fake.
I said, “How can that be? That was reported by the Chinese Central TV.”
He explained that the burning man’s hair had not burned, the gasoline bottle did not melt, and the fire blanket was already held behind him. Self-immolation takes but a brief moment to happen, yet Tiananmen Square is so big—how could the fire department have arrived so quickly?
I was not moved by his words. Later, I learned that the young man had died due to the persecution after he did not denounce Falun Gong.
He asked me sincerely, “You are a reporter. Have you ever thought about how many true words you have spoken?”
I thought about how I had interviewed each level of department officials of the CCP and was deceived each time. But I still reported the figures given to fool Chinese people, which had happened for years and years.
Lying was too easy, but reporting the truth was extremely hard. Any reporters who dared to speak the truth could be accused of being involved in political issues, lose bonuses, or offend relevant officials. One may even get fired or go to jail.
I had become used to lying for my work. I used to edit footage to highlight only the facts that would slant the story the way my boss wanted. My colleagues and I wrote articles that won first prize rewards nationwide, but most of the content was fabricated.
I was frightened by our government. I thought about how it fabricated lies in order to suppress kind people. I thought about my father and one of my relatives, both of whom were persecuted by the CCP.
My father was an honest technical person. He had been targeted for persecution during the period of the Cultural Revolution, and he was branded as a “reactionary academic authority.” Two groups of guards fought to criticize my father and some of the guards were wounded in the battle. I was a target of discrimination in my class due to my father. No single classmate in junior high school dared to talk to me.
The teacher would ask our entire class of students to mock Confucius by writing down some untrue sentences on the blackboard.
My aunt’s grandfather worked very hard to save money to buy a small piece of land. The CCP categorized him as a landlord and did not stop attacking him. He was eventually persecuted to death.
Through my own experiences, I knew that most of the people persecuted by the CCP were good people.
I was debating what I should do. I was required to shoot some footage. The article about Falun Gong was written by the Public Security Bureau, so even my boss was not allowed to rewrite or change a bit of it.
I submitted my work and lied again. I did not realize I was smearing Buddha. I felt guilty. Later, I transferred to a different job and finally stopped being a CCP reporter.
Falun Gong Changed Me
I began to practice Falun Gong in 2004 because I suffered from all kinds of diseases. I could not cross both of my legs in the first month, but miracles soon happened. Multiple growths in the blood vessels of my legs disappeared. My severe nearsightedness was healed, and I no longer needed to use eyeglasses just a few months later.
I was nearly 50 years old, but I grew taller after the practice began. My upper body improved and my hips rounded out. My female colleagues noticed the improvements of my body.
Falun Gong’s founder, Master Li said:
“When you leave the auditorium a lot of you will feel like you’re a different person. And I guarantee even your view of the world will change. You’ll know how to handle yourself after this, and you’ll know that you can’t be in a fog like you were before. I guarantee it. So your character has already caught up.” (The Eighth Talk from Zhuan Falun)
I had changed into a good person. I cared for the elderly people in my family. I no longer wanted to change them. I treated my husband gently and stopped being bossy. I used Dafa’s principles—Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance—to guide my son and no longer yelled at him. Our home was harmonious.
My work as a journalist for the CCP of 20 years had formed a bad habit: Lying had become second nature. After I practiced Falun Gong, I needed to get rid of this habit. Sometimes when I realized I was lying, I slapped my mouth. With longer and more diligent practice of Falun Gong, I was gradually able to control my speech and no longer lied.
I still had challenges, though.
For example, my whole family was eating together one time. My sister-in-law burst out her complaints to me. She said that since I gossiped about her, my parents disfavored her and gave all their money to me. I was shocked, but Master’s Fa appeared in my mind:
“For us cultivators conflicts come up suddenly. So what should we do? If you always keep a compassionate heart, and a peaceful state of mind, when you run into problems you’ll handle them well because it will give you space as a buffer. If you are always compassionate and friendly to others, if you always consider other people when you do things, and whenever you have issues with other people you first think about whether they can take it or whether it will cause them harm, then you won’t have any problem. So, when you cultivate you should follow high and even higher standards.” (The Fourth Talk from Zhuan Falun)
I was not moved by her words. I was thinking about their situation and sympathized with them. My elder brother and his wife were laid off. They had a hard time making a living with their present jobs. They were under a lot of high pressure and worried about their family.
I looked within and still found many of my own human notions. My attachment of seeking fame and profit was very heavy. I did not like hearing bad words from others, and my fame-seeking mind was strong. I really wanted to earn more money. I was shocked to find these attachments.
My parents transferred ownership from one of their properties to my elder brother and his wife. I did not complain about it.
I led a simple yet happy life. I would hop and skip while walking. My son asked me why was I so happy every day. I told him that I lived in line with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, which is the cosmos’ nature. I do what heaven tells me to do, I said, so how could I not be happy?
My Whole Family Benefits from Falun Gong
My father dared not practice Falun Gong because he was persecuted by the CCP. Yet he said that Falun Gong’s Master was great, and he predicted that all of China would practice it in the future. He said that he would support my practice until that day came. His support of Falun Gong healed his high blood pressure and constipation. He became energized. He is nearly 90-years-old and he can still get around easily, even in winter.
My mother liked to recite “Falun Dafa is good; Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” Her various illnesses were healed. She began to practice Falun Gong at the end of last year. Many miracles have happened to her since then.
She used to wake up at midnight to eat so her stomach would not hurt. But now she sleeps until 4:00 a.m. when it is time to practice Falun Gong. She often saw Dafa books shining with golden light, and the words on the Dafa pamphlets were all golden.
I have cultivated Falun Gong for 12 years. I feel that I am so lucky to hear about the upright way Falun Gong practitioners have responded during the harsh persecution. I have appreciated the practitioners who’ve risked their lives to spread Falun Gong all around the world, a spread which eventually found me.
Category: Journeys of Cultivation