Falun Dafa Helped Me to Better Understand Christianity
Joe Payne, Illinois, USA
Hi, my name is Joe Payne, and I am from the Chicago area. I am 35 years old, a software consultant, and I have a wife and 3 children. Living in the US, I had little exposure to Qigong or Falun Dafa until I started practicing last July. Here is the continuing story of my experience with Falun Dafa.
At the point in my life when I first came in contact with Falun Dafa, my life can only be described as chaotic. My relationship with my wife had been shaky for years and continued to worsen. My health had deteriorated over a period of a few years. I was afflicted with ailments ranging from stomach and intestinal problems to anxiety and depression. For anxiety and panic attacks, my doctor had recently placed me on a large dosage of Xanax to take every day.
Spiritually, I had come to a low point in my Christian living. And my mind suffered from the many unknowns in this life. I had questions about life, death, and the ultimate purpose of life. With my Christian background, I could not understand the concept of the soul. Did the soul begin at the time when you are born or at the time of conception? Did it grow during your lifetime and continue to live after your death? All of it made no sense to me, and kept me longing for the answers.
At the advice of my doctor, he suggested I look into meditation. I attempted feebly to do this myself, but it did not help much. Then, another consultant brought Falun Dafa to our workplace to show it to fellow co-workers. This is the point in my life where a new person had begun to emerge.
Of the original people that came to check out Falun Dafa, about 5 of us practiced regularly every day at lunch time. Immediately, I began to experience things I couldn't explain. At first, my hands and feet became immensely warm during our practice. Just before lunch time, I would feel sluggish and lazy and doubted whether I could endure the exercises that day. But after doing the exercise, I felt amazingly refreshed and revived. At the same time, during the 5th exercise, I began to have visions. It was like a dream, except everything was so clear and vivid. I remember the first vision that appeared to me quite well. I was floating in infinite space, sitting cross-legged and in meditation. Before me was a Chinese man, also cross-legged and in meditation, floating in space. Then, his lips moved and spoke in Chinese. I could not understand the Chinese words, but it did not matter because my mind understood everything. He told me I was currently suffering from a few different ailments, which could easily be remedied. He told me to visit my doctor again and change my medication, as the current one I was taking was harming me. He also told me to go to see my dentist. I know that it sounds like I was starting to have severe mental problems as well. Nevertheless, I did as instructed.
Taking the Xanax had controlled my anxiety, but my circulation was very poor now. My legs constantly ached all the time. So, upon visiting my doctor again, he changed me over to another medicine, Ativan. Immediately, I began to feel better and a lot of the aches went away. I went to my dentist for a checkup. I felt that there way nothing wrong with my teeth, but proceeded anyway. To my surprise, I had a large abscess starting under one of my molars. My dentist was very surprised I wasn't in any pain but he said that sometimes that occurs. I had a root canal done on the tooth and that cured the infection. Again, I started to feel better. OK, I was very interested in Falun Dafa now! You must remember that I had no previous knowledge of Qigong or Falun Dafa before I started, so I never thought that any of these experiences would happen. But they did!
I remember next that the warming of my hands and feet went away, only to be replaced by what I would describe as a type of electrical current flowing through me every time I practiced. Then, the most amazing experience came during the 4th exercise when my hands went over my head and in front of my face. I could see my hands with my eyes closed! Except, not in the fleshy kind of sense, but as white light. It was my hand shape but all white light. I thought I was dreaming, so I shut my eyes very tight, but it did not matter; I could still see them and the outline of my arms, or any other part of my body, in front of my head as a beautiful white light. It was as though my body was all energy.
During this time, I was exercising and reading the Zhuan Falun every day. Suddenly, one day, I had noticed something had happened to me. I was no longer feeling anxious any more. I felt calmer than ever before. Inner peace and wisdom was filling my thoughts. My questions about life were being answered. My daily conflicts and problems were no longer a burden, but a challenge, an experience. I had renewed interest in experiencing life again.
Around January of this year, as I was doing the exercises, I had this sensation of something dark and black on me, dragging me down. I started to sweat excessively. Then, all of a sudden, the sensation let go of my body, like it fell off and dropped to the floor. I immediately felt as light as a feather, as though I could have floated out of the room. I now feel this way every time I exercise--light and relaxed. But since that experience, I have had no need to take my medication. Initially, I just reduced my dosage. After doing so, I felt fine, so I cut back some more and some more until I just stopped taking it.
Spiritually I have changed as well. So people ask me at times about how you can practice Falun Dafa and be a Christian. I tell them that since I've started practicing, I've become more Christian than ever before. When I re-examined the New Testament, the content of the message being taught is exactly the same as what I read in the Zhuan Falun. Even though Falun Dafa is a practice and Christianity is a religion, both point you down the same path, so I never find conflict between the two. The only difference is that now I find more meaning in the Christian lifestyle than I did a year ago, because of Falun Dafa.
I sometimes cannot believe I am in the same body I was a year ago. I have no anxiety or stomach problems anymore. I no longer take medication. I feel energetic in my body, and calm and relaxed in my mind. I face life with a different attitude. I'm doing things again I used to like to do years ago and stopped doing for some unknown reason. I have good relationships with my wife, my kids and other people.
I'd like to share this practice with Westerners who, like me, didn't know about Falun Dafa but want to change their life. I hope my story can help a few people change their life for the better.