Acute appendicitis and death of a fellow practitioner wake me up completely

6 Jan

My name is Chen Qingfen. And I am 61 years old, female, a retiree from the Star Power Plant Company in Suining City, Sichuan Province. The last thing I’m willing to mention is my story of practicing Falun Gong. Bewitched by the cult, I once cast off beloved ones; fooled by Li Hongzhi’s theory of rejecting medication, I nearly died middle-aged. When I see today that some old people of my age are still obsessed with Falun Gong, I decide to let them know my bitter experience in the hope that more and more practitioners could break away from the cult and return to normal life like me.

Poisoned and bewitched, I was led astray

My husband died many years ago. Although my two daughters were all teachers and lived in Suining City around me, they were very busy and seldom spent a day accompanying me. To make things worse, I suffered from asthma and had to take a lot of medicine for years. Sometimes I stayed awake the whole night or had to put a square stool on bed and leaned against it to sleep. And I was often afraid that I might stop breathing some day. In October 1998, l retired from office and was tortured by boredom and depression as I stayed at home alone, for I had already become accustomed to a busy and regular life.

In February 1999, when I studied the piano at the Suining University of the Third Age, some of my classmates told me that practicing Falun Gong could help people keep fit, remove karma and ward off calamities. They also claimed that Falun Gong taught people “Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance,” and enhanced people’s morality into a high level. Among my classmates, Ms Xi was an impressive one. And we all called her “elder sister Xi”. She was short, living in the close vicinity of our university, and had a protruding belly because she suffered from liver ascites. We often made fun of her by saying that she was in the sixth month and expecting a baby: “you’ll be having your baby soon, won’t you?” Nevertheless, I was told that Ms Xi “attained the Fa” as early as 1996, and in order to “promote the Fa,” she persuaded a lot of people into practicing Falun Gong. Being an idler at that time, I thought to myself: if practicing Falun Gong was really beneficial to people’s health, it might free me from taking medication. Why not go ahead with it? So I decided to have a try – I followed Ms Xi and practiced Falun Gong every day at the Rhino Square or the Provincial Farm Machinery School.

I was very conscientious with whatever I did, including Falun Gong practice. In addition to collective study, cultivation and experience exchange, I did personal cultivation at home for two to three hours every day. And before long, I bought a portrait of Li Hongzhi, a meditation mat, and some books such as Zhuan Falun, Explaining the Content of Falun Dafa, etc. Because of my “rapid advancement,” I quickly became a core member at our practicing spot, similar to Ms Xi. And I frequently took the floor at cultivation meetings, talking about my personal understanding. One month later, I felt energetic in walking and doing things. And I thought it was Falun Gong that made my life meaningful. Assuming that Falun Gong had worked wonders for my health, I firmly believed Li Hongzhi’s theories such as “Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance,” “Getting into High Levels,” “Fashen Protection” and “Removing Karma,” so on and so forth. And I stopped taking medication and practiced Falun Gong wholeheartedly. Following Li Hongzhi’s order of “promoting the Fa”, I joined fellow practitioners and preached at every one I met, asking them to practice Falun Gong.

Sticking to the wrong course, I drove out my beloved ones

My daughters and son-in-laws were totally opposed to my cultivation. They urged me to believe in science and continue medical treatment so as to prevent my illness from deterioration. But I was deaf to their objections and buried myself in cultivation, hoping to “get into higher levels” and “reach Consummation.”

In July 1999, the Chinese government banned Falun Gong according to law. And before long, my two daughters came to my house and asked me to stop practicing Falun Gong, saying it was an illegal organization. But I thought practicing Falun Gong was of great benefit to my health, and it ended my suffering of taking medicines. If my daughters were filial to me, they should encourage me to continue my cultivation; otherwise, they were not dutiful. So I drove them out of my house angrily, told them to leave me alone, saying “never come to visit me.” Failed to persuade me, my children left my house, feeling broken-hearted.

On the other hand, I was also feeling sick at heart: I took great pains to bring my children up, yet they all went against me after growing up. Later, I learned the famous teaching Master Li Hongzhi had made at the Fa Conference in Sydney: “Who are your real relatives?… From one life to another, how many parents, wives, sons, daughters, sisters and brothers have you had in each lifetime?… you are even unable to count them…Which ones are real?… Your real parents are in the place where the universe created you. That is where your parents are…Therefore, your real parents are right now watching you over there, hoping that you will return; but instead of returning, you get lost here and still feel that your relatives are all here.” Master’s words put me into a better mood, and I began to regard my children as strangers or even obstacles in the way of my cultivation. Since then, when my daughters called on me occasionally, I would keep them at the doorstep and refuse to let them in; or I deliberately go to fellow practitioner’s home doing cultivation, scarcely had any conversations with them.

Stricken by an acute disease, I came to realize the truth suddenly

I still remember the incident clearly: in the morning of May 3, 2001 while I was sitting cross-legged at home and doing my cultivation, a sharp pain at my stomach suddenly stroke me. And soon I was writhing in pains at bed. My moaning and groaning attracted neighbors, they came in and offered to take me to hospital. Concealing the unbearable pain, I told neighbors that my discomfort was not an illness, it’s because my Master was removing karma for me. And I refused to be hospitalized. In spite of my objection, neighbors called in my daughters and son-in-laws. They were anxious about me and pleaded in tears to send me to hospital, but I insisted on staying at home. At last, it was my elder daughter that broke the stalemate in the afternoon: she called in the 120 Emergency Service and I was sent to Suining People’s Hospital by force. Upon arriving at the hospital, I was almost prostrated by pains. After medical examination the doctor told me, I suffered from an acute appendicitis. An operation must be performed at once or I would lose my life. They also added: I would have already died if I had had an hour’s delay.

Trapped in the illusion that the illness might be cured by way of “removing karma,” I refused to have an operation although I knew exactly how dangerous the disease was, and I even dreamed of “looking inward” to dig out the root cause of my illness. But with the approval of my beloved ones, the doctors performed the operation, saved my life and ended my sufferings.

On May 14, 2001, I was discharged from hospital in the afternoon. On my way home I heard a funeral hymn and knew that some one had passed away; but I was shocked to learn that the deceased was my fellow practitioner, Ms Xi, the one who initiated me into practicing Falun Gong. I also learned from others that since Ms Xi rejected medical help, her liver ascites developed into cirrhosis. And she died as the result. People told me: Ms Xi died in the posture of cultivation, sitting cross-legged.

I was not only frightened, but also puzzled: according to the book Zhuan Falun, one’s illness arose from the karma, and practicing Falun Gong would remove one’s karma. As a devout practitioner, I did my cultivation wholeheartedly and was almost out of contact with my daughters and relatives, yet the “retribution” I got from cultivation was an operation! But somehow, I soon realized that, comparing with Ms Xi, I was actually a lucky bird. As far as I knew, Ms Xi was the most devout practitioner at our practicing spot, always following Li Hongzhi’s teachings to the letter and sticking to her cultivation till her death. Yet she had already died of disease. And I, with children and grandchildren around, was still enjoying family happiness in the dry tree. And I could see from the expression of their eyes that all my children and grandchildren loved me deeply. But in order to reach Consummation, I was really ungrateful and heartless towards my beloved ones in the past. And I felt that it was selfish to hurt their feelings in the name of cultivation.

Now I am living with my elder daughter’s family. Thanks to medical treatment, my asthma has been brought under control and my health improved greatly. I plant vegetables in the yard or help do some housework, bustling about and feeling happy and preoccupied. During the weekends, the whole family would go out for a walk or sightseeing, I find for the first time that life is so wonderful.

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