Mr. Fang, a native of Bac Ninh, Vietnam, shares his experience of remarkable recovery from physical and mental ailments that he suffered as a consequence of his tormented childhood.
This is an account of how I went from a life of misery and fear to finding a true path towards happiness and contentment.
I can’t put a number on the times my poor mother suffered beatings at the hands of my father. As far back as I can remember, my father would scold, beat, and chase my mother out of the house, even in the dead of the winter.
Sometimes, he would drag my mother by the hair to the nearby pond and force her head under water. Other times, over the smallest things, he would pour a pot of hot soup over her head, burning her scalp. It was beyond heartbreaking to see this as a child.
“Beat her to death! Beat her to death!”
Those were the words of my grandfather cheering my father on as he beat my mother. I remember that harrowing voice even now.
The adult men in my life didn’t care about the torment they inflicted on their families. All they cared about was releasing steam at the expense of their wives, who were devoted to caring for their husbands and children. For years, the sounds of my father beating my mother haunted me, even in my dreams.
Every time we saw our father cruelly abuse our mother, my brother and I helplessly trembled with fear. We would hide in a corner, our hearts pounding, not daring to move an eyelash. All we could do is endure the violence.
For some reason my father made it a tradition to beat my mother on the first day of the New Year. On the first day of Spring, people feast with food and drink; but in our household, as the New Year approached, I would get more anxious, wishing for it to never arrive. I didn’t want to witness my poor mother bearing another beating. The hypnotic smoke of incense that filled the air during the New Year festival was an ominous reminder of this dreadful experience.
I didn’t have any friends at school. No matter how hard you try to keep things private in the countryside, people will find out about your family affairs. They knew everything. My schoolmates would not come to our house and I didn’t dare to go out to play or go to anyone’s house. I could only accept a fate of loneliness and fear.
I lived in silence, alone and anxious. My psychological condition weakened my health and I developed many chronic diseases.
Without friends, I didn’t play outside, and didn’t partake in any school activities. My father insisted that I always come home immediately after school.
Once my school launched a fundraiser and asked students to buy bamboo toothpicks to raise funds to help those with disabilities. My father wouldn’t give me any money for the fundraiser, making me the only student who didn’t contribute. When asked by my teacher for my contribution, I repeated father’s words: “We can make toothpicks at home ourselves, no need for us to buy.” I was really embarrassed in front of the class. My father would also never pay my school tuition on time, causing me much humiliation.
Trying to Find a Way out of Violence
I grew up wishing to someday run away from the earthly hell of our house. In early 2005, when I was 19, I followed my cousin and left town. I was willing to go anywhere to escape that terrible home.
Mr. Fang practices one of the exercises of the meditation practice Falun Dafa.
I left my mother, the poor woman who suffered without complaint but did not run away. Even when she eventually divorced my father and went to Hanoi to start a business, she couldn’t bear being apart from her children, and came back home, where she continued to suffer at the hands of my father.
Even though my body had left that hell, I could not escape the painful memories that frightened me every day. I had a very dark view of life, hating my father and all relatives from his side.
I was suffering from depression and a number of diseases, including Hepatitis B, sinus infections, heart rhythm disorders, and asthma. What’s worse, my heart was full of hate, and I couldn’t forgive my father and his side of the family.
I had questions that I could not reconcile: Why was my mother beaten so cruelly without anyone coming to her defense? Why did she return after her divorce to suffer those beatings again?
I had settled in the South. My mother eventually joined me, and we relied on each other. I attended vocational school while my mother worked as a secretary for a company. Even though I had attained a level of stability on the outside, I was still stick inside, both mentally and physically.
I kept to myself, not knowing, or even caring, how my other relatives were doing. The mood of someone suffering from depression can vary a great deal and I struggled with feelings of stubbornness, silence and hate. Usually, people in their twenties are full of hope and love, but my twenties were filled with darkness and the sufferings of a wounded soul.
Fortunate to Find a Way to Happiness
At age 27, in 2013, I unexpectedly found happiness. That’s when a door opened for me and I found my true self. I was taken out of the mud, cleansed, and once again became human. I found a way to get back to being a good person.
That year, my mother had fallen very ill. I searched the internet for healing methods. To my surprise, I found a lot of useful information on a website introducing a meditation practice called Falun Dafa and thought that this school could heal the wounds of my body and soul.
With curiosity, I downloaded and read “Zhuan Falun,” the main text of Falun Dafa, and was drawn in by the book. I suddenly had a clear understanding of what causes suffering in the body and soul, and learned that I was the only one who could remove the burden of hatred.
Mr. Fang reads “Zhuan Falun,” the main text of the meditation practice Falun Dafa.
After this, I eliminated my hatred towards my father and his side of the family, and towards anyone else I held a grudge against. The heavy stone of hatred that had weighed on my mind for so many years was finally broken into pieces and melted away.
I practiced Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance—the tenets of Falun Dafa—in every thought and every action. I viewed my situation and environment in a simpler way, and suddenly found that life is not as complicated as I had once thought.
As Falun Dafa teaches, a human life very precious. Once I understood this, I saw my path, and was no longer afraid or felt lost. I realized how to live a good life, to live properly. This is the most important thing. Because death is not scary, illness is not scary. What is truly frightening is doing something wrong without realizing it, and not knowing what we live for.
More than three years have passed since I first learned about Falun Dafa, and my life has completely changed. The exercises of Falun Dafa have given me a healthy body and a loving heart. I now know how to forgive and be tolerant.
I now know how to discard my negative qualities and thoughts, and keep the good ones. That’s what I treasure most from the immense wisdom of Falun Dafa. And after more than three years of practicing, I felt so good that I didn’t need to take my medication any longer. I didn’t have to go to the hospital to treat the chronic diseases that I suffered before, which saved me so much money.
What is more special, before hearing anyone mention two words “Bac Ninh,” the name of my hometown, I immediately felt very uncomfortable in my mind. Now, I no longer choke when someone mentions it, and I can let go the memories of my childhood full of tears. I am now sure of one thing—wherever I go, and whatever I do, I have hope. I have the right to choose my future to be happy each morning, to choose the joy to replace sadness. I knew how to transform my present from anguish and hatred into beautiful, wonderful moments. I know how to live slowly to better contemplate this life.
The thing that makes me the happiest is practicing the exercises of Falun Dafa at the park with my friends, aunts, and uncles. My fellow practitioners of this meditation exercise are honest and bright. They sympathize and share their difficulties and happiness with me. They always make a point of cultivating their character for the better, and strive to always think and act in line with the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.
From the pits of suffering and hatred, I was fortunate to find the heights of happiness. This practice helped me find my way back to my true self, healing the wounds of my soul and body in the process. Before, I was like a walking corpse who now became a new person, a person who found joy and purpose in this world. I am so grateful to Falun Dafa for giving me back my life and happiness. By sharing my story, I would like to wholeheartedly help others and hope more people can have the luck and happiness that I do.