By a practitioner in Ireland
Women of all ages have a reputation for often looking in the mirror to see how they look, if their hair is right or if their clothes are right. Men do this too, but seldom admit to it. How we think and feel about others does not show in the mirror. Neither does it show if we are good or bad. It only
reflects what we look like on the surface and how we appear to others.
Since becoming a Falun Gong practitioner, I have learned to look inward. The Fa is a great mirror for showing how I look on the inside. I can't hide any attachments, faults, anger, jealousy, unkindness or lack of compassion from the Fa. If I haven't taken the trouble to be nice to someone, just because I feel a bit tired, the Fa lets me know. If at any time I don¨t think or act as a cultivator, the Fa lets me know.
The Fa has become the guiding force for who I am and I feel that I am surrounded by it. If I have a thought to take a day of work because I feel tired, I remember Master Li's words saying that we "must do everything well.￣
However, this mirror works both ways. It also shows me how I have improved my character, my way of thinking, my attitude towards others and my way of looking at life.
The Fa is a divine light, which clearly shows me how to apply Dafa principles in my heart, thoughts and deeds. However, it can only work if I open myself to it and not get lost in the midst of mundane issues.
Before I knew about Falun Dafa my life was much different. I worked hard and was very ambitious to be successful. I measured success by how intelligent a person was, how good a job they had, how hard they worked or how well educated they were. I admired smart people and wished that I could be smarter. I felt that this was what people needed to be in order to be good parents and in order to set an example for their children. I was quite judgmental about those who didn't work or didn't educate their children properly. I had come from a poor background and didn't get to go to college. So, over the years I educated myself by attending courses, studying for diplomas and such, until I came to realize that this just made me a more informed person, but not necessarily a better person.
There was always something missing, but I didn't know what it was. I studied several religions and even took study lessons with these religious groups. I needed something to believe in, but I wasn't aware of it all the time.
While shopping in Drogheda with my husband a little over two years ago, we saw a group of young Chinese people collecting signatures for Falun Dafa. We read the posters about the persecution and signed the petition. We also brought home some
leaflets. I was very impressed with the peacefulness of these young people, some of whom were sitting in meditation. It was very beautiful.
My husband searched the Internet for more information about Falun Dafa. I thought it was just another type of exercise group, so I didn't pay much attention. My husband downloaded the exercises and started to practice. I still didn't pay much attention, as he has always been interested in physical exercise. When the time spent exercising increased from one to two hours each night, I began to feel a bit resentful and ended up having a row with him. hen he asked me to try exercising with him, saying it would be good for my health. I had chronic asthma and was on medication most of the time. I also had been in the hospital three times over a period of eighteen months. My lung had collapsed; I could hardly breathe and was eventually sent home with strict orders to use a nebulizer machine and to take steroids.
I began to practice the five exercises and each time after the second exercise, "Holding the Wheel," I was able to breathe easily for the first time in years. All my muscles relaxed and I felt able to take deep breaths without coughing all the time. When I was given Master Li's book, Zhuan Falun, it took me six weeks to read the
first chapter, because I didn't read it diligently. When I got to the second chapter I felt as though I couldn't read it enough. I knew that this was what had been missing in my life. The exercises now had meaning and I had no doubts about Master Li's teachings. I did have a problem understanding some of the Fa, but I knew from speaking to other practitioners that if I continued to read and study I would eventually understand. From Zhuan Falun, I understood that if I cultivated diligently and began to elevate my character, I could become a Falun Dafa practitioner. Each chapter opened new insights for me and I was determined to be a good practitioner and cultivator.
I started to go with some practitioners to where a class was being held. It was here that I gained enough
confidence to practice the exercises in front of others. I still was worried about looking foolish if I did the exercise incorrectly. I was impressed by the kindness of the practitioners in the way they corrected my posture or my movements. I learned how to do the
five exercises properly. hey are very graceful, but very powerful and effective. One day I was doing some housework, and I went into my bedroom. his was the day that I realized that I no longer needed all the medication I was taking. I got a large box and threw out all of my medication, including the nebulizer machine. I had been practicing for about three months at this time, and since then have never needed any medicine, a doctor or a hospital. My health has greatly improved.
I then started to go to the group practice at Dublin City University every Sunday. There was a beautiful feeling within the group. Each time I felt energized and determined to cultivate well.
I have been a practitioner for just two years now. In that time my life has changed dramatically. My fundamental thinking has changed. I now teach the classes in Trinity College in Dublin every Tuesday and
Thursday night, with the help of other practitioners. I have traveled to other parts of Ireland to introduce Dafa to others, and handed out
leaflets so as to give people the opportunity to know about Falun Dafa.
For the first time in my life there is a sense of belonging and knowing my way home. The road is long, but only as
difficult as I make it. Master Li has shown me the way
and now it is up to me.