My name is Zhan Shiqian and I am 66 years old. I participated in the college entrance examination in Rugao, Jiangsu Province and was accepted into Nanjing University. I stayed in Nanjing after graduation and became an engineer in a mechatronics institute. I was married to my wife in 1972 and we have 2 daughters. I also took my mother from Rugao to Nanjing and we lived together happily and peacefully.
If there was anything that bothered me in my life, I would say it was my practice of Falun Gong. I practiced Falun Gong and believed firmly in ‘Dafa.’ I was one of the earliest cultivators in the district of Maigaoqiao, Nanjing Province, and other disciples in this area were my apprentices or disciple’s disciple. I was definitely a ‘senior’ disciple of Falun Gong. However, I did not expect that the difficulties in my life would become bigger and bigger and now I do not know how to handle them. The root of all the difficulties was the ‘Three Abandons’ practice method that I summarized from speeches of ‘the Master’.
Abandon my mother for ‘the Master’
Although I was not exactly a member of the ‘Three Graduating Classes’, I was a hard-working student and a professional in my work place. After all these years of study, my deepest feeling is that students need to pay attention to the knowledge the teachers taught in the classroom because these are that is the most important and basic information. I obey this rule in my study and working, as well as during my practice of Falun Gong. I paid a lot of attention to the instructions of ‘the Master’ Li Hongzhi and I collected almost all the writings, recordings and video documents of ‘the Master’. After years of research, my realization on the most important instruction taught by ‘the Master’ was that we needed to ‘let it go’. He told us before, ‘it is time for putting down persistence, as a cultivator, you have already known and done letting go the persistence of the world (including the persistence of human body), and letting go life and death’. I thought ‘the Master’ was extremely right! Therefore, I began to ignore the persistence of the world, including affections and love which were fantasy to me.
One day in July, 1999, my mother suddenly asked me whether I was practicing Falun Gong and I admitted to her frankly. My mother was angry and tried to persuade me again and again to give up practicing. I ignored her because I did not care about the so-called family affection. My mother kept asking me to stop practicing Falun Gong for almost one year. It was not possible and ‘the Master’ was really much smarter than my mother! After the Spring Festival in 2001, my mother asked my brothers and sisters to come to Nanjing to give me an ‘ultimatum’. In order to keep the absolute loyalty to ‘the Master’, I rejected their request of withdrawing from the Falun Gong organization. Unexpectedly, my mother was on her knees begging me to give up Falun Gong. However, even if all my relatives added-up, they could not equal to the importance of ‘the Master’ in my mind at that time. My brother even tried to punch me for this! I could not leave Falun Gong, the only thing I could do was to ask them to leave me. My mother went back to our hometown, Rugao, and left me with the words ‘You are not my son’! Whatever, I did not want a mother like you.
Abandon my work for ‘Dafa’
As I was practicing constantly, I felt my ‘power’ went deeper and deeper, and thought ‘Dafa’ became more and more mysterious. However, it became more difficult to achieve higher level. Sometimes, I felt what ‘the Master’ said was hard to follow. I believed this was my own problem since I did not ‘abandon’ the world completely. ‘The Master’ said, ‘in the world, only Buddhism can clearly state the spaces, lives, and the whole universe where human being and other materials exist’, ‘there is no pure land in human being society except Buddhism’. The reason why I did not achieve a higher level was that I was attached to too many things, especially from work. All of the research at work was way too clear and simple, not like ‘Dafa’ which was very mysterious. It was not worthy to spend so much time on these ‘simple’ things. I decided that I should devote all my time and energy to ‘Dafa’ so that I could know it more thoroughly.
I decided to resign at the end of 2001 because I could not let the things from work to affect my ‘learning of Fa’. People from work and my family members were shocked when they heard the news. My supervisor and department leader came to my home several times asked me to ‘change my mind’. They said that based on my professional skills and capability, my company had considered to promote me to the Director of the Engineering Office, and would rehire me when I got retired at the age of 55. I would also get an increase in my payroll. If I quit, I would lose all the security and welfare. I, of course, did not care about all of these things. It was only ‘Dafa’ that needed me to figure it out. If I could not get a clear idea on ‘Dafa’, I would not achieve higher levels and my power would be reduced. I would rather give up a job like this and give up my salary.
Abandon my family for achieving ‘consummation’
The biggest difficulty that I met during my practice of Falun Gong was that I could not get a ‘Falun’ on my ‘lower abdomen’ as said by ‘the Master’. The Master said that ‘Falun’ needed ‘to be put during learning class by him’, but he went to the US. I always wanted to go to the US to attend the ‘learning class’ and ask ‘the Master’ to put ‘Falun’ into my body. I knew that as long as I got the ‘Falun’, I would solve all the difficulties I came across and my life would reach ‘consummation’. However, I did not have a salary after my resignation and I depended on my wife who went out to do a part-time job and my daughters who were married. I did not have enough money to go to the US. Since achieving ‘consummation’ was my dream and I had to make it come true, the only way was to sell my apartment. I did not expect my wife to be that angry because she said that she had tolerated me for all these years. She tolerated me for not caring about the family but now she could not bear that I wanted to sell the apartment. Where would we live after selling the apartment? She would divorce me if I continued like this. She asked my two daughters and my sons-in-law to come home and persuade me one after another. I was so familiar with this kind of situation because my mother and leaders of my company had done this before, and I was not angry at all but kept repeating to them the relationship between ‘putting Falun’ into my body and ‘achieving consummation’. I insisted in selling our apartment and they did not listen to me. My wife was furious and moved to my daughter’s home as well as taking away the property ownership certificate of our apartment. I received a subpoena a few days after that my wife wanted to divorce me! I would rather give up my family if it prevented me from ‘achieving consummation’. I was very calm when I was in the court and agreed to divorce my wife but I had to have the property so that I could sell it. My wife cried in the court and insisted on divorcing me. The judge did not listen to me and awarded the property to my wife. The property compensation given by my wife was not enough for me to go to the US. Now I become the doorkeeper of my previous company so at least I had a place to live.
I was sad because the reality broke my dream of ‘achieving consummation’. I thought a lot after my divorce. Unexpectedly, all the unreadable theories of ‘Dafa’ became much clearer after seeing the reality. I even realized that ‘pursuing Dafa’ and ‘achieving consummation’ were all visional. No matter if I went to the US or not, ‘the Master’ did not have the ability to put ‘Falun’ into my abdomen! I kept being muddleheaded for all these years and the ‘three abandons’ that I was proud of turned out to be the reasons for losing my humanity.
I went back to my hometown Rugao several times and my mother refused to see me. I also visited the leaders of my company, and they offered me a job of being the doorkeeper which was very generous. I visited my wife and daughters and wanted to remarry my wife, but she said she did not forgive me and asked me to wait. I want all the things that I abandoned before, but now, who would give them to me?
Photo of Zhan Shiqian