Continually Motivated to Improve (Photo)
(Clearwisdom.net) The father of 24-year-old Nikolai used to worry deeply about his son. Even though he was quiet and reserved, Nicolai hated school, used drugs, drank, was irresponsible, and dropped out of school. Nikolai's father had no idea what his son wanted to do in the future. At that time Nikolai wasn't seriously into drugs or drinking, but was mimicking his friends to be accepted as part of the group. He often felt tired and could not concentrate, and sometimes he forgot to pay his bills. People did not have a good impression of him.
All this is history now. Nikolai is now working and finishing high school. He is even preparing for college after graduating from high school. He would like to study Latin and teach after he graduates. He smiled, "I don't forget others' birthdays anymore, and I pay my bills on time." Nikolai gained back the trust of his family and friends.
The above begs the question, "What happened?"
Finding Falun Dafa
Three years ago, Nikolai passed by a Falun Dafa booth in Lucerne. He was shocked and moved when he saw photos of the persecution suffered by Falun Dafa practitioners in China. He chatted with practitioners and accepted a newspaper that explained everything about Falun Gong, from the practice to the persecution. After he returned home, he read the paper several times. He had already practiced another type of qigong in the past, and he became very interested in Falun Dafa.
Nikolai found a Falun Dafa practice site in Lucerne on the Internet and learned the exercises. When he was practicing the exercises with the music for the first time, he felt very good, very comfortable and experienced a strong energy field.
He purchased the main book of the practice Zhuan Falun and The Great Consummation Way of Falun Dafa. After reading the books he knew that practicing Falun Dafa was more than just doing the exercises.
From reading Zhuan Falun, Nikolai learned that Falun Dafa teaches people the principles Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and to be truthful, kind, and tolerant. He tried to follow these principles. Before he began practicing Falun Gong he often got angry and quarreled when his brother teased him. A few days after he started the practice his brother teased him, but he remembered reading in Zhuan Falun that, "...one should not fight back when being punched or insulted..." so he thought, "Why shouldn't I try it? Try to endure it." He said, "At that moment I was already very angry and it was not easy to endure it," recalling the incident, though Nikolai now talked about it lightly. "So I focused my eyes on the desk and tried not to say anything. My brother looked at me very surprised, and nothing happened. Sometimes I thought what the book said was really good and not hard to do, but when things happened, I realized that it was not that easy. But I can do it."
During the practice, Nikolai discovered that Forbearance (Ren) is not painful but just the opposite. Falun Dafa's Teacher said,
"Forbearance is the key to improving one's xinxing. To endure with anger, grievance, or tears is the forbearance of an everyday person who is attached to his concerns. To endure completely without anger or grievance is the forbearance of a cultivator. " ("What is Forbearance (Ren)?" from Essentials for Further Advancement)
Every time he did not forbear and fought with others during conflicts, Nikolai felt bad. But, when he did forbear he felt comfortable.
Nikolai lived by the principles Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance as taught in Zhuan Falun. He was full of energy after practicing Falun Dafa. He took responsibility for his actions and worked hard. His boss was very satisfied with him. In school, he became the top student of his class.
As soon as Nikolai began practicing Falun Gong he stopped doing drugs, smoking, and drinking. It is extremely difficult to quit drugs. Before practicing Falun Dafa, once Nikolai had stopped drugs and drinking while on a three-month hike. But he went back to it after he returned home. After reading Zhuan Falun, he understood in his heart that a cultivator has to let go of such bad habits. He decided to quit drugs, smoking and drinking, and he never touched them again.
Nikolai also learned to care about others and to think of others first. In math class, a student next to him had trouble understanding what the teacher was saying and often asked him. At the beginning, Nikolai tried to answer the person as quickly as possible so he himself would not miss the next material. Later, he realized that this was not selfless and not true compassion. So, he patiently explained the materials to the classmate, even if he missed what the teacher said. He thought it more important to help the classmate fully understand.
Spreading the Truth About Falun Gong
Nikolai (right) distributing Falun Gong fliers. He hopes that more people hear about Falun Dafa and the persecution of practitioners in China
Nikolai saw many photos about the persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners at the Lucerne Falun Dafa information booth. He was shocked and could not believe this was happening. After he started the practice, like many other practitioners, Nikolai clarified the truth to many people. He participates in anti-persecution rallies and in his spare time he mans the booth and distributes fliers about Falun Gong and the inhuman persecution in China.
For Nikolai, what he's doing comes naturally: "I'm telling the Swiss people about the situation of Falun Dafa practitioners in today's China in the hopes that this will help end the persecution soon. Those practitioners in China are just like me; they practice Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and try to be good people. How can I not do anything, seeing that they are so cruelly persecuted?"
Nikolai also participates in some of the activities in other countries that are calling for an end to the persecution. He hopes more people will learn the truth. He especially hopes he can clarify the truth to more Chinese people.
I Came Here to Help the Chinese People
When Nikolai found out that a Swiss practitioner was traveling to Hong Kong to clarify the truth to Chinese people at well-known tourist sites, he decided to go along. When he arrived at Hong Kong's famous tourist spots he wasn't sure how to proceed after seeing so many tour buses and Chinese tourists. Growing up in Germany and living in Switzerland, Nikolai had never seen so many people in his life, and most of them were mainland Chinese. It was a challenge to hand truth-clarifying materials to so many Chinese.
However, it didn't take long for him to become comfortable. At the beginning when he and the Swiss practitioner distributed the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, a book that tells about the barbarities committed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) over the past sixty years, to Chinese tourists, he was uncomfortable. He and his friend didn't speak Chinese and they could not talk to these people. So they changed their method. They began carrying boards with the relevant information displayed on them, and walked around the buses. They wanted to make sure that everyone on the buses could read it.
At the beginning, he got angry when people threw away the materials or when some of the tour guides took the materials from passengers. Later he felt sad. Nikolai explained, "It is so sad that these people can't see the truth, isn't it? They have been cheated by the CCP. I know how important it is for them to hear the truth. I have seen some people smiling when they saw the boards at the beginning, but their expressions got more and more serious when they read the materials. Some of them even took photos of the boards. I can feel their joy of knowing the truth." Nikolai thinks many Chinese know in their hearts that the CCP is bad but they were never exposed to the truth. It is very important for them to see the truth displayed to them overseas.
Nikolai has been saving money. He hopes to travel to Hong Kong again this year and clarify the truth to more Chinese people. Now that he practices Falun Dafa, he feels that China is closer to him. He learned about traditional Chinese culture and he pays attention to the human rights issue in China. He hopes that Chinese people can see through the CCP's lies and learn the truth.
Today, Nikolai feels that his life is rich and relaxed. He is fulfilling his dream. He is finishing his schooling and earns his own living. Every week he visits his mother who has been in a nursing home for years, and sometimes he reads Zhuan Falun to her. His mother now understands why he spends so much effort on ending the persecution, and her own health has improved as well.
"Falun Dafa has given me so much that I have no words to describe it. Through the practice I discovered many shortcomings in myself, even those that are hidden deeply within me. It motivates me to continuously improve," said Nikolai.