My Search for Truth is Over --Now the Real Work Begins
I have been seeking truth most of my life. When I was four years old, I brought a Bible to my mother and asked her to teach me to read. She did not think that she could teach me to read so she said that I should wait until I went to school to learn.
While growing up I tried to learn truth in church with my family. However, I found too many inconsistencies and outright contradictory things. I did not feel that I had found truth.
I dropped out of High School at seventeen and started traveling. I had made friends with some drug users and became a drug user myself. We felt that we were free from the ordinary constraints of society. We traveled freely on the highways, going from state to state. We worked or begged or sold drugs when we needed money. It seemed like the perfect life, at least during the time while I wasn't in jail. I learned a lot about life and a little about truth, but I knew that there was more that I needed to learn.
When I was twenty-one I joined the U.S. Navy where I continued my search for truth. I visited many different countries. I read many books about popular psychology and self help. I took college courses and went to inspirational lectures. I even tried to read some Buddhist books.
I did learn some truth during this time but I thought that this was how it would be for the rest of my life. I thought I would continue learning and gaining knowledge little by little for the rest of my life.
Then something happened. One day in November 1999 I read in the local newspaper about the Chinese government's persecution of Falun Gong. I did not know about Falun Gong at the time. I thought that qigong was a form of martial art. Since I had been interested in eastern philosophy I decided to find out about Falun Gong. I contacted the local practitioners through the Internet. They taught me the exercises and said I should read Falun Gong. I read this book and thought, "It's interesting. Maybe I'll start to practice Falun Gong after I've made some more money in the stock market."
Even though I did not consider myself to be a Falun Gong practitioner at the time, I could not stop myself from trying to upgrade my moral character as stated in Falun Gong. I realized that upgrading moral character was what I wanted to do. Still, I did not decide to become a Falun Gong practitioner right away, as I thought it was too restrictive.
One of the local practitioners continued to send me Email each week about the situation in China. This helped me keep Falun Gong in my mind. About four or five months after reading Falun Gong I decided to read Zhuan Falun. I printed the book from the Internet because I didn't want to spend the money buying it. When I started reading it, I found that I could not understand what it was saying very well, but I also believed that I was reading pure truth. One time while reading I could feel my head being lifted and my body becoming very light. Still, I did not consider myself to be a Falun Gong practitioner, but I was thinking about it.
About ten months after I first heard about Falun Gong I watched Teacher's nine-day lecture. It was during the second lecture when Teacher was talking about doing things only for practitioners that I had the clear thought, "I will be a Falun Gong practitioner starting right now." That was the happiest moment of my life!
Since that time I have discarded all other teachings from the past and I have worked hard on giving up various attachments. I know now that my long search for truth is over. I have found the ultimate truth of the universe in Falun Gong. Now my only task left to do is to cultivate that truth to the best of my ability.
In all my previous years I did not even realize that what I was seeking was truth. I just thought I was trying to improve my self-esteem and learn some things about life. Friends, if you are reading this and are thinking that you will wait just a little longer before cultivating the truth, my advice is to wait no longer. You don't know how much time you have left on this earth. Finding truth is easy; Teacher has given it to us in his book. The part that can take the most time is actually learning and cultivating the truth. If you do not cultivate truth now you may miss out on your one best chance.
The following is a quote from Zhuan Falun. In it Teacher explains what happens when a person cultivates and why a person should cultivate:
"There is another way to change one's life, and this is the only way: It is that this person takes the path of cultivation practice from now on. Why can one's life be changed if one takes the path of cultivation practice? Who can easily change such a thing? Once this person thinks about taking the path of cultivation practice and once this thought occurs, it shines like gold, shaking the world in ten directions. In its view of the universe, the Buddha School has the theory of the ten-directional world. In the eyes of a higher being, a person's life is not meant for just being human. This being thinks that one's life is born in the space of the universe and embodies the same quality as the universe; life is benevolent and made of the matter Zhen-Shan-Ren. Yet a life also establishes social relations. During social interactions in the community, some lives become corrupt and thus fall to a lower level. When they cannot stay at that level and again become worse, they will fall to an even lower level. They keep falling and falling until, in the end, they reach this level of everyday people."
Category: Beginning Cultivation