July 26, 1998 was the happiest day of my life. On this day, I had the enormous great fortune of meeting our revered Teacher for the very first time and listening to Teacher giving a Fa lecture to and answering questions from local Falun Gong volunteer assistants in Changchun. I would like to share some of the most precious moments I remember with my fellow practitioners.
On July 26, 1998, several fellow practitioners and I went to the Falun Gong general assistance center to attend a conference and deliver materials. The conference was held in a conference room on the second floor of the Shangrila Hotel. As soon as I entered the conference room, I was stunned by its ambiance. Behind the speaker's table hung a large tapestry in red and gold velvet. The speaker's table was covered with a dazzling yellow satin tablecloth. There were several microphones on top of the table. On the border of the stage there were nine large baskets of flowers. The conference room was extremely solemn and quiet. I thought, "Judging by the elaborate decoration, Teacher may be gracing the conference!" Perhaps everyone had thought of it. That was why the order in the conference was impeccable. People took their seats in an orderly fashion from the first row to the back according to the order of their arrival. There must have been a few hundred practitioners that day, but no one walked around once they sat down and no one was picking their seat. No one was chatting. The entire conference room was enveloped with a solemn, sacred and peaceful ambiance.
At around 3:00 p.m., we suddenly heard someone announcing at the entrance, "Teacher is here!" Everyone instantly stood up and welcomed Teacher with huge applause as loud as thunder. It really was Teacher!
Teacher has a tall and robust build. Teacher walked with steady steps from the aisle at one side of the conference room to the stage. As Teacher was walking towards the stage, He smiled kindly and shook hands with fellow practitioners standing next to the aisle. I had anticipated meeting Teacher for a very long time. When it actually happened, I found myself breathing short and my heart palpitating. I smiled and applauded at the same time as tears of joy flooded my face. A female practitioner next to me cried audibly. The sound of sobbing was heard from different areas in the conference room.
Teacher is truly thoughtful of us disciples at all times. After He sat down, Teacher stood up again and said, "Lots of people want to see me, so I'll sit a little higher today." ("Teaching the Fa at the Assistants' Fa Conference in Changchun")
There wasn't anything appropriate to raise Teacher higher at the time. The staff found a beer case and put it on top of the chair, but it wouldn't do. Finally, they put one chair on top of another. The seat was elevated, but it was not stable enough to sit on it. In fact, Teacher sat slightly on the edge of the elevated seat with two hands leaning on the speaker's table. Teacher practically stood throughout the entire lecture and Q&A session for over five hours.
Teacher explained fluently His immensely profound Buddha Fa in simple, plain language. I felt as though Teacher's Fa was a gentle shower nourishing our hearts and inspiring our enlightenment quality to germinate in our minds. When Teacher told us that he had drunk a bowl of poison for each and every practitioner in order to consume our karma, I felt so terrible that I burst into tears. Our revered Teacher has endured immeasurable pain and hardship in order to save us!
For over five hours, Teacher continued to lecture yet did not even have a sip of water. During the ten-minute break, Teacher was surrounded by practitioners and patiently answered their questions. Although Teacher had opened a bottle of water, He did not have the time to drink any of it. As I watched Teacher during the break from a distance, I felt terrible and anxious. Tears welled up in my eyes again. I thought, "Teacher, please take a rest for a while." But Teacher did not have any break before he returned to the stage and continued the Fa lecture.
After the break, more practitioners poured into the conference room. Even the aisles were packed with practitioners. These practitioners hurried to the conference as soon as they heard the news during the break from the practitioners that were already here. It was a touching scene.
I was sitting in the front row next to the aisle. Because I helped deliver the question notes onto the stage, I had the fortune to walk towards Teacher while he was addressing practitioners' questions. Hence, I had four opportunities to see Teacher at close distance. Teacher looked so dignified, solemn yet gentle. For a moment I thought of nothing at all except walking onto the stage.
Teacher finished lecturing after 10:00 p.m. When Teacher came down the stage and walked down the aisle next to me with a kind look on His face, I was applauding and staring at Teacher like a silly child. I had forgotten where I was until Teacher offered to shake my hand. I hurried to grab Teacher's big and thick hand. As though He was leading a child, Teacher led me walking forward with him for about five steps. My head was completely blank at the time. I walked with Teacher like a silly child.
It was already midnight when I returned home after seeing Teacher off. Fellow practitioners and I were too excited to sleep, so we practiced the sitting meditation together at the hotel.
In order to teach us more Fa, Teacher did not leave us until he had to. He did not have a moment of rest before he hurried to the train station to catch the night train to Beijing. There is no end to Teacher's sacrifice and worry for us. The only way we can repay Teacher is to do the three things well, fulfill our prehistoric pledge and return to the beautiful homes we have left for such a long time.
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