Searching For Falun Dafa in Tbilisi, Georgia
My name is Zurab. I am 30 years old. I have a wife and a four-year-old daughter. I live in Georgia (a former Soviet Union republic) in a little town called Gori.
I began my spiritual search as a devotee of the orthodox Christian church. In my first year at the University, I was introduced to eastern culture and philosophy, which immediately transformed my heart. I just fell in love with the East. I found such deep connections to Indian and Chinese traditions that my eyes used to fill with tears whenever I watched or read programs or books on those subjects. Although I was quite a good student in economics (mostly it made me happy to make my parents proud) my mind and heart always floated somewhere beyond. Yoga became the first practice that opened up for me the "field" of mind and body cultivation. At that time my awareness of these things was very limited and mostly I groped by intuition and a sense of the "inherent goodness" that I always felt in myself and held dear because it gave me a certain mild sense of safety. I liked the practice of Yoga. I even had the experience of seeing scenes through the "third-eye." This experience made me quite scared, as I was sort of sucked into another dimension and I could hardly pull myself out. Meanwhile I also tried various forms of Chinese qigong, read volumes of various metaphysical books, and dreamed of going to India, Tibet, etc. Although I was not unhappy with all of these, still I felt uneasiness in my heart. It was a feeling that is like when you are waiting for something else, something that is going to bring you "home" (it's difficult to convey). I should also admit that my body started gradually getting messed up and I felt and looked less and less healthy.
In 1998 as I was taking a stroll down Rustaveli Avenue (the main street in Tbilisi, capital city of Georgia) occasionally browsing outdoor bookstands without any intention, I stopped at one of them. I glanced over the beloved section of metaphysical books and like a magnet my eyes fell on an almost hidden book cover with partly visible front images. Absolutely intuitively I took out the book for a closer look. It was in the Russian language (translated from Chinese) and it was Falun Gong by Master Li Hongzhi. Immediately I felt more space in my mind and started to chat with myself: "That's something new. I like the images. (I am opening the book) It feels very different. It would be interesting to buy it. Oh, I've got only 10 Gel (about 5 USD) and the book costs 8 Gel, still I need to get home. I'll buy it some other time, right. Well, no, there's something special. Zurab, you have done a lot of irrational things in your life, do it once again. All right, all right I am buying it, buying it..." Thus I took the book home. The last section of the book contained illustrations of the five tranquil exercises. Quickly I tried the first one and I felt something that I never ever felt before with any exercise I had done before. Earlier I mentioned about "inherent goodness," and now I clearly sensed the improvement of that goodness in me. Falun Gong was improving my own very nature.
I read the book of the Great Master and I realized that predestination had brought me to the most precious thing on earth. This was the book of true, genuine, orthodox cultivation practice of mind and body. From Falun Gong I learned that there was a principal book called Zhuan Falun ("Turning the Law Wheel") by the founder of Falun Gong, Master Li Hongzhi. I started frantically searching for the book (at that time I did not have a computer and the Internet was a novelty in my country). I searched throughout Tbilisi in vain. But, again there was that predestination. Days later I was in Tbilisi again and towards evening I went to the post office. Once I had finished with my own business and was leaving the place, approaching the door, there was a bookstand in front of me and suddenly it dawned on me, from that distance I half felt, half saw what I was searching for. Hastily I approached the stand and took out a copy of Zhuan Falun together with the Great Consummation Way of Falun Dafa (Russian translations). Upon arriving home I sat down to read Zhuan Falun. After reading several paragraphs, tears started rolling down my face. From the depths of my heart I kept repeating: "I have found what I have been looking for, I have found It."
Now, I practice Falun Dafa wholeheartedly and have experienced huge benefits in my body and mind. Although I am able to sit in lotus position for up to 4 hours, I know that without improving my xinxing I am unable to realize true progress. True cultivation is the cultivation of one's heart, one's self. As we assimilate to the nature of the universe we also change towards goodness. It is beneficial to the society in general as well, but the most real things are invisible to others.
After the persecution started it became very difficult to practice. I had a feeling that everything was collapsing around my body and mind. The more I felt pressure the more I read Zhuan Falun and practiced cultivation. I know 100% that this was the only "bridge" that took me to the more peaceful shore of the present time. Through those several years I was a lonely practitioner in my country.
Later, I was visited by two Canadian practitioners, and in several days we managed to clarify the truth to several NGOs and government organizations. We made a very nice, almost 1-hour long live radio program, established a practice site in Tbilisi and were on TV on the Morning Show introducing this wonderful practice. I am so grateful to these Canadian practitioners that I can't even explain it in words. Their selfless assistance created Dafa's foundation in Georgia.
The more I practice Dafa the more I find it difficult to convey the greatness of our revered Master Li. Master Li with his Great Buddha Fa for me is the only reason to exist in the Universe. The latter's existence, nothing could be more obvious, comes from Master's Benevolence. I wish all practitioners including myself would at least strive to comprehend (though in vain) the incomparable purity and magnificence of the Teacher who has left for all of us, without exclusion, the Fa of the Universe itself. Let us all be more diligent in doing the three things and persevere right to the last step in cultivation of Falun Dafa. Let all of us feel in the depths of our hearts and express through "Non-Omission" genuine gratitude and respect towards Master Li Hongzhi.
Category: Beginning Cultivation