A High School Student's Experiences Following the Path of Dafa
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings Master! Greetings fellow practitioners!
My name is Thomas. I am 15 years old and attend the fourth grade of high school. I would like to share with you how I started and have been following the path of Dafa.
When I was 9 years old, my mother chose to follow the teachings of the Great Law, Falun Dafa. She explained to my sister and I the principles she learned from Dafa. I was amazed and was happy listening to Dafa almost every day of my life. It seemed familiar to me, as if I had suddenly awakened to something I knew before. My heart always felt as if there was a powerful light illuminating inside. My mother made a couple of attempts to teach my sister and I the exercises with little success. I was probably not ready to learn quite yet.
At the age of 13, I declared to my mother that I'd decided to become a Dafa disciple. Since then, I have attended several Dafa conferences and parades, and helped my mother with the practice site where she coordinates. Actually, when I reflect a little bit, it feels like I have always been a Dafa practitioner. My decision at the age of 13 indicated that I firmly made up my mind to practice Dafa.
At school, I felt sad at times when I saw that my classmates seemed lost, did not know how to behave, lost their tempers so easily, teased each other, disrespected the teachers, etc. In those moments, I felt so grateful that I had obtained Dafa. My new understanding of the meaning of life and a clearer mind allowed me to handle these situations in the correct way.
I am aware that our responsibility is to save sentient beings, so I am constantly looking for ways to accomplish that. The making of the lotus flower, for example, has given me one of those opportunities. I started to bring to the school a little case with materials to make lotus flowers during breaks. Little by little, some kids started to approach and ask if I could make one for them. I let them choose the color and then I made the flower. With that, I started to receive more, how shall I say, 'orders'?, and I happily made them. I attached a Dafa card to each flower. Anyone who wanted a flower would get one, even children who were not nice to me. I remember an unfriendly girl, who also approached me for a flower. Another student came, "You are not going to make a flower for her, are you?" I looked at him and said nothing, and then sent him away. I realized this girl was just as entitled to receive a flower as anyone else. Otherwise, where are the principles of compassion that I have earnestly learned from Falun Dafa? Master's compassion is so immense that he even wants to save the criminals that viciously persecute Falun Gong practitioners in China. I would feel ashamed if I allowed any human notion of resentment or animosity to surface.
Earlier this year, the teacher in charge of "Creation and Invention" day at the school asked me if I would like to give a workshop introducing Falun Dafa to fourth and fifth grade students. I gladly accepted. The day arrived and I was prepared with my presentation and the lotus flower materials. It was the first time I had done such a thing, but I believed that everything would be fine. Though I was a little nervous at first, I managed to control my fear and not let any negative thoughts crop up in my mind. Everything went fine. Each child left the workshop with a lotus flower they made themselves, materials for them to make another one, a Falun Dafa flyer which included information about the practice and the persecution as well, and a couple of the Clearwisdom Review newsletters, Dutch version. They were very happy.
At my school, which is not catholic, one has to choose between following a religious course or lessons on morality. Every year I choose the religious course, which focuses on Catholicism. The main reason is because I know that my father, who is catholic, would be very happy if I did so, and it costs me nothing to please him. Practitioners should do everything possible to maintain harmony in the family. Catholicism is an orthodox religion and though I listen to what the religious teacher says, my heart stays focused on my cultivation in Dafa. Moreover, I have the opportunity to validate Dafa to my teacher and my class. A couple of times, the teacher has allowed me to explain Dafa to the students, to show the exercises and to talk about the persecution. My teacher ended up borrowing the book Zhuan Falun from me.
Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is the great characteristic of the universe that I try to assimilate to every day of my life. I know that I have a long way to go. I have deeply rooted attachments, such as my beloved computer games, which I know I will be able to give up as I become stricter with myself in doing the three things a Dafa disciple should do. I understand the great importance of cultivating my xinxing, so sometimes I wonder if I do behave as a Dafa practitioner. This thought became a little bit more intense a couple of weeks ago, but then just a few days ago a student approached me and asked me why I did not answer back when I was insulted or told nasty things. What a relief! A principle of the Great Law is to not hit back when hit, and be able to forbear. I have naturally been doing that. I should not, however, feel complacent and allow my standards to be relaxed. I should vigorously continue improving.
As a Dafa practitioner at my school, I know that some kids may think of me as a strange person, but I know that most don't. On the contrary, every day I see that I am gaining the respect and trust not only of my fellow students, but also of my teachers. I consider it a duty to put Dafa in high regard before others eyes, so I will always watch my behavior. In that way, I give them the opportunity to be able to open their hearts and receive Falun Dafa some day.
I will finish by saying that thanks to the boundless power of Dafa, I am here in front of you reading my experience-sharing article. I am shy in nature, which could make it hard for me to do this. But now, I am steadily growing into a more confident person. I thank Teacher for his compassion and benevolence. Thank you fellow practitioners for listening to me.