My Experience with Falun Dafa
A US practitioner, New York, USA
I am a US practitioner, and I live in New York City. I have my own business in Public Relations and Marketing. It is difficult to speak the words to express the depth, feeling and gratitude that I have since I became a cultivator of Falun Dafa.
I am going to take you back to a time in my life that was a pivotal point. When I was 29, I had uterine cancer. During the surgery, there were complications and I was left in a coma for 10 days. During that time I had a 107-degree temperature, and I was also completely paralyzed. Nobody expected me to live. It was during that 10-day period that I had a near-death experience. I encountered a phenomenon that completely changed the course of my life. I could not explain the events that had happened to me until now.
I was traveling through what seemed like a long tunnel and I was traveling faster than I have ever moved in my life. This seemed so unreal! Me, flying without an airplane, the surroundings became so intense and bright. I was astonished as the brightness increased, coming from everywhere. My mind kept telling me that what I was experiencing was impossible, and yet it was happening. It was like a million streetlights blazing all at once. This incredible intensity of light came from this Divine Being. The Divine Being that I encountered during the near death experience told me, "You have a mission and purpose here, and your destiny will show you what that is. You will know when you reach it."
I know now that I have reached the miracle that I have been searching for. Through Falun Dafa, I have experienced the most dramatic changes in my life. I am making changes within myself that I never knew possible.
Over one year ago, right before I started with Falun Dafa, the 3-year relationship that I was involved in broke up, and I was left heartbroken. I was studying with a Guru from India; however, he did not like the fact that I was so emotionally upset and decided to leave me. I was also very attached to both of these men. As if that weren't enough, I was also embroiled in a major legal suit. I was devastated, both emotionally and financially.
I am usually a healthy person, but this situation seemed beyond my control. I went to see a doctor who put me on various pills: hormone, thyroid and anti-depressant pills and ones for anxiety and others to get some sleep. This was in January 1998.
In February of 1998, I attended a New Life Expo in New York City where I discovered Falun Dafa. As I walked past a booth located in the back of the large open hall, I felt a strong energy drawing me in. I walked over and met a young man named Sam who was smiling from ear to ear. I asked him, "Where does all of your energy come from?" I also asked him, "How can I get some?" I expected Sam to sell me a new vitamin, an energy drink or a new age product. Instead, he laughed and replied, "It is Falun Dafa and there is no cost required." Naturally, I was shocked. I purchased a book because I felt this was different from anything that I had ever tried.
After searching for the past 25 years, and participating in 75 workshops and seminars that dealt with different degrees of spirituality and transformation, I didn't find that miracle that I was searching for. The best comparison that I can use would be that those workshops gave me euphoric "high", which I had hoped would stay with me. Unfortunately, after a week or so I was back to my old habits and ways.
I started to read Zhuan Falun and several days later, I noticed that the more I read, the more I felt positive and focused. I thought I was getting hot flashes as my body was getting warm while I was reading. I continued reading. The lonesomeness and despair that I felt in the past two years started to leave me. For the first time in months, I put aside my self-pity, my self-recrimination, my fear of being alone, and of not knowing all thoughts of any kind about myself, and I longed to gain an understanding and learn what a cultivation path Falun Dafa is.
After one month of practicing with the video and reading the book, I was invited to a group practice in my neighborhood. As I practiced the exercises, especially the second exercise where I raised my arms above my head, I kept wondering how much longer the others would hold this position. I had done the exercise with the videotape and it was easy and shorter. I peeked out of one eye to see when everyone would change positions. I could feel tremendous shooting pains and tension in my arms. At moments I thought I wouldn't be able to stay in this position, and I wanted to stop. I then remembered from my readings that the pain feeling was my karma releasing. Even though my mind was supposed to be still, I could hear my mind saying, "Stay with it and think of all the negative karma you are burning!" "Burn karma." I had tears dripping down my face. As I continued holding my arms in different positions, the pain subsided and I could feel sensations of heat move through my body and sensed strong emotional feelings and a very deep physical release that was very peaceful. At other moments, it felt like I was in a state of a powerful purification. I was able to manage to hold my arms in the position with more endurance after the third time.
In March last year, at the convention, when I saw Master Li, I experienced an awesome light radiating from him, even brighter and more intense than I remembered from my near death experience. Everything began to melt into this light. Clouds of light and brightness shone all around me. I just sat there and bathed in this intense light. I felt such an incredible unconditional love that I had never felt before, it was so astonishing and way beyond my wildest imagination. I knew the moment I saw him that this was the miracle that I had been searching for since the near death experience. My search was over. The experience of seeing Master Li enhanced my commitment to Falun Dafa. As each day passes, I become clearer and I am more at peace in my heart and mind. I am always conscious of raising my heart nature and speaking from my heart, and I know I am protected every moment.
In April, I had tremendous pains in my right breast and within two days that area swelled to the size of a baseball and was extremely painful. I went to a doctor and he told me, "Gail, you have a complex cystic mass with a major infection in it causing you the pain. It must be removed." Their solution was to inject a 5-inch needle to draw out the infection. It did not sound like something I wanted to do, in fact, it was frightening. I got a great deal of support from my new family of Falun Dafa practitioners and I decided to just keep practicing. After three months, the "baseball" and the pain disappeared.
Reading the book and doing the exercises brought me back to my true self, my true spirit. This was the beginning for me! My life is totally new. For the first time since my near death experience, I felt whole and one with myself. According to the book, "because man has committed wrong deeds in the past, he should suffer the pains. Man is likely to commit wrong deeds in a maze, which is called the karmic principle of reward and retribution in Buddhism." I also have learned that the only way we can change our lives is through the path of cultivation.
Whatever test or tribulations we encounter, whether or not we can get through them, the cause of all of it is within us. Over the next few months, everything took its course and it all started to change for me. We started a presentation group to introduce Falun Dafa to small groups. We immediately started working together and learning how to communicate in new and different ways. I know that for the first time, it is becoming easier and easier to speak in front of small groups, because I am speaking from my heart. In the past, I have always been uncomfortable speaking in front of groups, even though I have been a top executive with major corporations. I was so self critical, I never thought I could speak right. In early March, a group of us were to do a presentation evening at an acupuncture office in midtown New York. Before going to the office, I had a terrible headache and was really tired. Normally I would call and say, "I am not coming, I don't feel very good." However, I was the one leading the presentation so I had to be there. When I got to the office and started to talk and teach Falun Dafa, my headache and pain disappeared. It was truly a miracle.
When I speak about Falun Dafa, the words seem to flow from my heart. It is a great learning experience and is a wonderful opportunity to raise our heart nature. Thank you, Master Li and all the Falun Dafa practitioners around the world and especially my new family from the New York area. I know I am learning a new way of how to be in the world and I am forever grateful.