People with Injuries
Case 15. Augusta Andrade
Augusto Andrade, 62, is a retired mechanical designer living in Raleigh, North Carolina. An injury during gymnastic exercise 40 years ago left him with a twisted spinal column. Because of that, he could not hold himself erect, his head was bent forward over his chest, and his physical flexibility and range of motion were limited. Two months after he started practicing Falun Dafa, his spinal column was straightened. Now he can sit in the meditation position without pain. He is full of harmony and his mind is peaceful.
I have been practicing Falun Dafa for two years. I would like to share one of my most dramatic healing experiences while practicing Falun Dafa. I share this experience as a testament to the great healing and rectifying power that one can experience as a genuine cultivator of Falun Dafa.
I was a very agile person in my younger days and could perform many gymnastic maneuvers. In 1958, when I was performing on the rings, I fell off and landed on my back at the end of the sand protection area. After the accident, I could not even cough, smile, or bend over for a couple of months. This accident left me with a twisted spinal column in the configuration of a slight "S" and reduced my former agility and flexibility. I used to be a fast runner and could sit cross-legged while in the army, but I could not do these things after my back injury. If I stood with my back against the wall, there would be a three-inch gap between the wall and my lower back. I could not even touch the wall with my arms, only with my palms. I also experienced backaches, but they dissipated with time. However, I was able to live a normal life. I could not hold my body erect, and my head was bent forward toward my chest. Of course, my physical flexibility and range of motion were now limited.
Because of this back condition, when I became a Falun Dafa practitioner, I could not sit with my legs crossed in the sitting meditation for even three minutes. I had to hold my legs with my arms and hands to avoid falling on my side or on my back. It was an agonizing experience every time I did the sitting meditation. However, I was wholeheartedly determined to endure any agony or tribulation. Thus, during the first month, I was able to increase my practice time to 15 minutes, even though the pain I experienced was unbelievable.
One day during the second month of my cultivation, I experienced something miraculous. While meditating in the park with fellow practitioners, I heard loud cracking sounds coming from my spine, specifically from the discs between each vertebra. It was a moment of tremendous bliss. With each cracking sound, I felt my spine being stretched and straightened vertebra by vertebra. The whole experience only lasted about five seconds. The feeling of relief I felt was indescribable. The tears of joy I shed that day were endless. I enthusiastically shared my experience with each member of the group.
The condition of my back after, as compared to before, this miracle is like day and night. Now standing with my back against the wall, there is less than an inch gap between my lower back and the wall. My arms can now comfortably touch the wall. I now walk upright with my head held straight. Although I cannot yet cross my legs during the meditation, my knees are now 50% closer to the ground. I no longer have to hold them with my arms for fear of losing my balance and falling over. I do not experience any pain in my back at all during the meditation.
This physical miracle, however, was nothing compared to the emotional and spiritual gains I experienced. The straightening of my back sparked the beginning of a new life inside my heart, a life with a different perspective. This physical change became the motivation for a spiritual change. It gave me a stronger purpose to cultivate myself to the highest plane possible. It is hard to believe that, as a person previously full of complexes, miseries, and misunderstandings, I am now full of harmony and have peace of mind. Falun Dafa also helped me to walk out of the pain and depression caused by a heartbreaking divorce. I now have greater understanding, which allows me to accept miseries, misfortunes, and uncomfortable situations as they arise. With the straightening of my back, I probably grew about two inches in physical height. Yet inside my soul, heart, mind, and spirit, I grew by immeasurable leaps and bounds. Ever since the miracle, my desire to promote and share Falun Dafa wherever I am and whenever I can has increased. I cannot describe the compassionate wish in my heart for everyone to be able to know and practice Dafa and realize how profound and beneficial are the teachings of Falun Dafa.
(Adapted from Mr. Andradeís article written in 2000.)
Case 16. Glenda McNiece
Glenda McNiece, 42, is a natural therapist working in Buderim, Australia. A motorbike accident more than 20 years ago left her with a broken collarbone and back injuries, which had caused neck, shoulder, and sciatic pain for years. A previously fractured left foot was numb and painful. Practicing yoga and meditation helped her improve her mobility, but the pain persisted. After learning Falun Dafa, she felt immediate relief from the neck and shoulder tension. She also gained strength in her arms and legs.
I was introduced to Falun Gong almost a year ago, hearing of a class practicing in the suburb of New Farm in Brisbane. My partner began going to the classes to learn Falun Gong after he was told a group of people were doing the exercises there. After a couple of months I decided to begin the practice myself, putting aside my yoga exercises of 15 years.
Twenty-two years ago I was involved in a motorbike accident, which left me with a broken collarbone and back injuries, including bruising around the vertebrae and a misaligned pelvis. I suffered severe neck and sciatic pain. Over the years, I have managed to overcome these injuries to a degree by practicing yoga and meditation techniques. Though my mobility improved, I still suffered some neck, shoulder, and sciatic pain.
I also had numbness and pain in my left foot from having broken it 10 years ago, as well as ongoing intermittent pain in the abdominal region from menstrual and intestinal spasms.
When I first started practicing Falun Gong almost a year ago, I felt immediate relief from the neck and shoulder tension, as if a great weight had been lifted from me! As I continued, I found my overall strength greatly improved, especially in the arms and legs.
I practiced hands-on healing for many years as an alternative health practitioner, thinking it was a good thing to do. I wanted to share with others whatever had helped me. Although I was often witness to many miracles during that time, I found I was frequently taking home the symptoms of my clientsí illnesses, and struggling to let go of other peopleís thoughts and feelings. Through these painful experiences, I eventually learned I was not only interfering with other peopleís karma, but also taking on their karma as well. I made up my mind to focus on the tools of my profession, rather than use my own energy for healing.
Physically, I have noticed that Falun Gong has greatly improved the balance and coordination between the left and right sides of my body. It has had a regulating effect on my menstrual cycle, eradicating cramps and breast soreness. My intestinal spasms are diminishing. The circulation in my left foot has been restored, as there is less pain after walking any distance.
A great amount of heat is generated in my body while doing the exercises, and the physical sensations of energy circulation are very strong while practicing. Beginning the day with Falun Gong has been wonderful for me. I have often woken up in the morning worrying about one concern or another. After completing the exercises, I am always able to feel more positive.
(Adapted from Ms. McNieceís presentation at the 2000 Australia Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference.)
Case 17. Paul Chan
Paul Chan, 40, is from Belfield, Australia. He suffered from problems due to a spinal injury 15 years ago. Timely treatments only relieved the pain temporarily, and the problem progressively worsened. He also developed high blood pressure in 1996. At less than 40 years of age, he could no longer work normally. He attained Falun Dafa at the end of 1996. After fully understanding the principles of Falun Dafa, he started genuine cultivation and became free of pain and illness. He was able to return to work.
I am Paul Chan, from the Campsie practice site. I have practiced Falun Dafa for almost two years. In these two years, the boundless power of Dafa has resulted in enormous changes in both my mind and body.
Before I became a cultivator of Falun Dafa, I was plagued by spinal problems for more than 15 years. Although I did have proper treatment when necessary, it could only temporarily relieve the pain, but could never completely eradicate the problem. Moreover, the problem got worse. Finally, I had to have an operation. But it was not as effective as I expected, and my overall condition did not improve.
It seems that troubles never come alone. On New Yearís Eve of 1996, I was found to have high blood pressure. I spent New Yearís Day in the hospital. I could hardly walk because of the pain in my spinal column. I could no longer work because of high blood pressure. I would be out of breath and my heart rate would increase drastically during any activity involving active movement. I was very frustrated and depressed. When I was young and healthy, I would not feel exhausted even if I played two consecutive games of soccer or basketball. Now, I wondered if I would have to live in such poor health for the rest of my life.
Luckily, at the end of that year I was introduced to Falun Dafa at my cousinís home. When I first learned Falun Dafa, my understanding about the practice was poor, and I maintained an experimental attitude toward it. Later, I attended the 9-Day Workshop and listened to Master Liís lectures on videotape. After the first lecture, I felt uncomfortable throughout my whole body all the way home. Once I arrived home, I practiced the exercises and read Zhuan Falun as usual. Then, I realized Master Liís compassion and felt the power of Falun Dafa. In Zhuan Falun Master Li said, "Some people may have a physical reaction somewhere. Some may feel uncomfortable in one way or another, as different kinds of discomfort will manifest. These are all normal. I am telling everyone that no matter how uncomfortable you are, you must continue to attend this class. Once you walk into the classroom, all of your symptoms will vanish, and there will not be any danger. There is one point to be made to everyone: No matter how much you suffer from the Ďillness,í I hope that you will continue to come, because it is difficult to obtain the Fa." From then on, throughout the rest of the lectures, I felt electric-like currents of energy penetrating my body. I attended the rest of the Nine-Day Workshop.
From learning Dafa, I have gained understanding about many things. More importantly, I learned the truth of the universe. I now treat loss and gain lightly. I am little affected by fame and gain. In society, I want to be a good person. I try to get rid of my attachments and improve my Xinxing. I practice the five exercises daily, which keeps my body fit. The illnesses have left me entirely. Even mild colds or flu do not affect me at all. I personally consider that Falun Dafa benefits society, as well as individuals.
(Adapted from Mr. Chanís article written in 1998.)
Case 18. Steve "Jones"
Steve is from Ottawa, Canada. He was in a car accident 13 years ago. He could not walk and was in severe pain for a few weeks after the accident. Medicine did not grant him any relief. He eventually found relief through Chinese acupuncture. During the next 10 years, he suffered off and on from his back problem. Sometimes, he had to lie in bed for as long as a month. His posture was corrected within days after learning Falun Dafa, and the discomfort caused by his previous injury has disappeared. After having unsuccessfully attempted to quit smoking for several years, Steve quit smoking after practicing Falun Dafa for only a few months.
I have been practicing Falun Dafa since October of 1998, one year and seven months now. The physical benefits that I have received since beginning cultivation are numerous, and in my personal view, miraculous. I tried to quit smoking on a daily basis for a number of years without success. However, after a few months of living within Dafa, living with the thought of assimilating into the nature of the universe, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, I recognized that smoking was the biggest lie (untruth) in my life, and I easily let go of this attachment. Master Li explained how some people are unwilling to let go of their illness, and I saw that many of my discomforts were caused by smoking. Ten days after quitting, while practicing the first exercise of Falun Gong where we stretch out our right arm, I felt an explosion in my chest. Cold air rushed into a part of my lung that had become "unplugged." I had been experiencing chest pains in this area for some time, and now they had exploded like a bomb, and disappeared completely over time.
Through practicing Falun Gong, I have felt a tremendous change in my body. My posture has been corrected, and the pain of previous injuries is all gone. I was in a car accident 13 years ago. A few weeks after the accident, I sneezed, and, as a result, I saw stars, could no longer walk, and was in severe pain. Pills were prescribed that only knocked me out, allowing me to sleep, but offering no real relief. Doctors insisted that I needed an operation on my back. Fortunately, my mind kept telling me not to have this operation. Eventually, I found relief through Chinese acupuncture, but was told that my pains might return when the weather was inclement. The following spring, I needed more acupuncture. Throughout the next 10 years, I suffered off and on from my back problem. Sometimes I had to lie in bed for as long as a month, other times for a few weeks, and occasionally, for a few days. I was attending a group practice and study session at my second day of learning Dafa. I had been sitting on the floor for more than two hours, and when I started to get up, my back exploded. I saw stars. I thought to myself, "OH NO! Iíll be laid up for weeks." My back had never exploded, nor did I ever see stars, except for that first time 10 years earlier, when all of these back problems started. I was lying on the floor moaning. A local practitioner told me to forget about the pain, get up, and do some exercises, so that the pain would go away. I tried this, and the pain lessened. Within a day, I was back to normal, and I have never experienced another problem with my back. At that time, I thought that I would be out of action for a month. Now, I realize that this was actually a healing experience.
I find the sets of five exercises are not only gentle and stress relieving, but also strengthen my body and energy field. My mind becomes peaceful as I gradually enter into the state of ding (deep tranquillity). I simply calm my heart and mind and enter into this state in sitting meditation. Of course, this is not always easy for me, and I recognize this difficulty as being just another part of cultivation. I realized one day that the thoughts that arise during practice are precisely my attachments--the very attachments that I must abandon. Since beginning cultivation, I have been able to abandon many of my attachments and take things lightly.
One day as I sat, I felt energy enter my hands. It intensified gradually, especially over the last 15 minutes of the sitting meditation, expanding from my hands up my arms and around my whole body. It was a very strong feeling that I can only describe as an electrical type of charge. Upon completing the exercise, I asked a practitioner to feel my arms. I knew that he felt the energy field around me. He told me not to pay any attention to this and not to seek after it. I realized that this would be an attachment. Master teaches us to want nothing, to gain naturally.
(Adapted from Steveís presentation at the 2000 Canada Falun Dafa Day Celebration.)