(Clearwisdom.net) I am a practitioner in Chicago. During the lunar calendar New Year of 1999, I was reading the book Zhuan Falun on an airplane flying back to Taiwan. At that time, I studied the Fa because I wanted to quit smoking. I had this thought because one of my friends in California told me that one could quit smoking by reading the book Zhuan Falun. She mailed me Zhuan Falun. First, I did not have the mindset of giving up smoking. I did not know that I should try to finish reading the book without any interruptions. Neither did I know anything about interference. I would feel very sleepy whenever I read the book. I would continue reading the book after waking up. I put the book aside when I was busy. I would pick it up and continue with my reading if I had some spare time. I spent quite a long time before I finished reading the entire book. As a result, I did not give up smoking. Neither did I have any intention to quit it in my mind. I am not a very sensitive person. Therefore, I did not feel anything after reading the book. I only knew that I liked to read that book whenever I had some time. I did not understand why.

Since I came to the U.S. in 1985, nearly every year I would go to see my accountant during tax preparation time. Every year, she would tell me some stories of cultivating Buddhahood, or that she practiced such and such qigong and felt pretty good, etc. She hoped that I could join her to learn them. Then she would give me contact phone numbers and addresses. From what I could remember, it seemed that each year there was a different qigong, which had different addresses and phone numbers. I did not go to any of them and neither did I care to. At that time, I was perhaps like many people who have three children and are busy all day long working for a living. My children had to borrow money to attend college. How could I find time to go to learn qigong with her? Now my family situation was different. Three of my children have graduated from college. Moreover, some of them have jobs and even their own families. In the Spring of 1999, I went to the accountant’s office asking her for help on my tax preparation. She looked pretty healthy and younger. Before she began telling me about what new qigong she was practicing, I told her that one of my friends in California mailed me a book with a golden cover. I told her that I could not remember the title of the book. I told her that I had already started reading the book but had not yet finished it. She was very surprised and said, "Is it called Zhuan Falun?" I said it might be. She was very happy and immediately told me the practice site location and schedules. On March 17, a Wednesday, after work I went to look for the practice site following the address given to me by my accountant. The address was accurate. However, I could not find the gate after walking around that area for a long time. Later on, after a fellow practitioner’s help, I finally found the gate. That was when I truly began to practice Falun Dafa.

Not long after I joined the group practice, one day morning while I was driving to work, I suddenly had a thought, "Should I practice this Gong? I am a nurse. If I practice, I should not take the materials from the hospital." I thought it over again and told myself that what I took were only some things worth a few dollars. However, a practitioner should not take others' materials. I should get rid of this bad habit and follow the law principles on the book written by the Master. I should let go of the ordinary people’s pursuit of benefit. Once I had that thought, I saw a whole new different world in front of me. I was filled with happiness. I can still remember that beautiful feeling even now.

Right after that, I went to the Chicago Overseas Chinese Educational Center and attended the 9-day seminar. I watched Master Li’s lectures and learned the exercises. Since then I began to practice cultivation. Every day I studied the Fa and did the exercises. I tried very hard to follow what Zhuan Falun said. Soon, I found I didn't need those medicines I took every morning to cure my backache and thyroid gland. I also had been taking drugs that prevent thrombosis and vitamins. In addition, I threw away all those books at home with bad information in them.

During the second week after I participated in the group practice, one morning, I remembered clearly that I put the cigarettes and the lighter in my pocket. However, when I arrived at the office at the hospital, I found that the cigarettes and the lighter were not in my pocket. If it happened before, I would immediately go back home and get them. However, on that day, I thought to myself, "Today I will give it a try and see whether I can give up smoking." As a result, I did not think about smoking for the whole day. Moreover, I did pretty well at work. I could not believe that was real. However, as soon as I got home, I found ten packs of cigarettes. I only finished five of them. It would be a waste if I did not finish smoking them all. Therefore, I began to smoke again. Although I smoked again, it tasted weird. At that time, I did not have a better understanding of the Fa, and finished smoking the remaining five packs. That night at around 8pm, I remembered clearly that it was another test for my xinxing. I thought to myself "Should I go and buy some more cigarettes?" At that moment, I immediately thought about what Master Li said in Zhuan Falun,

"Smoking is another attachment. Some people say that smoking can give them a lift. I’d say you’re only fooling yourself, really."

"Smoking doesn’t do the body one bit of good. If a person has smoked for a long time, when a doctor does an autopsy he’ll find that his trachea is all black, and even the insides of his lungs are black."

"Aren’t we practitioners trying to purify our bodies? We want to keep purifying our bodies, and keep moving up to higher levels. So what are you putting that in your body for? Isn’t that the opposite of what we’re trying to do? Besides, it’s another strong desire."

"See yourself as a cultivator, and treat it as an attachment today and try to quit, see if you can quit. If you really want to cultivate I urge you to quit smoking today, and I guarantee you can quit. In the field of this class, nobody thinks of smoking. If you want to quit, I guarantee you can quit, and when you next pick up a cigarette it won’t taste right."

I thought about that for quite a long time. Finally, I decided to quit smoking. Thus, I finally got rid of the smoking habit. All my friends who knew I smoked before felt Dafa is amazing, especially my children. I became healthier and happier after giving up smoking. I became a much nicer and more peaceful person. My relationship with my children has improved. They gradually felt the wonderfulness of Dafa! Although at present they have not obtained the Fa yet, they know Falun Dafa is good in their heart!

In June 1999, Chicago held its first Fa Conference. Master Li came to the conference. That was my first time seeing our great Master. I felt extremely lucky! At that moment, since I did not have a better understanding of the Fa, and didn’t study the Fa deep enough, I could not remember too much of what Master Li said in the conference. However, I felt I was more fortunate than my ordinary friends since I was a disciple of the great Master! Whenever I think that I am a disciple of Master, as a Dafa practitioner in this Fa rectification period, I would require myself to follow what Master Li says and try to be a genuine disciple.

Right after the conference, there was the "April 25" incident and on July 20 Jiang Zemin began the full-scale persecution of Falun Gong in China. Suddenly, vicious propaganda, rumors and slander, of Falun Gong appeared everywhere. The CCP spread its evil influence to many countries around the world. In the U.S., some television stations influenced by the CCP played programs smearing Dafa and slandering Master Li. At that time, since I had not practiced very long and didn’t study the Fa deeply enough, I was not that calm when compared to senior fellow practitioners. I didn’t watch the CCP’s television programs and strove not to be interfered with by the evil. In the meantime, I continued to participate in group Fa study and practice. We exchanged our understandings of Fa and strictly followed the path of Fa rectification until today.

By the end of 2004, according to the U.S. government regulations, I reached the age of retirement. I thought to myself that I would have more spare time to study the Fa, practice the exercises and do some Fa validation work after retirement. Senior fellow practitioners in Chicago are very fortunate. We have a very good cultivation environment. In addition, we have those younger fellow practitioners who are enthusiastic to help us. Therefore, as long as you have the willingness to do some Dafa work, you can find them any time. The younger fellow practitioners are very active and enthusiastic in installing the programs that allow fellow practitioners in China to download Dafa materials anytime. At home, you can send faxes and make truth-clarification phone calls. You can go to the Chinese Embassy to send forth righteous thoughts. On Tuesday and Friday, we deliver newspapers to many locations. On Thursday, we distribute the English newspaper in subways and some major locations with more traffic. Saturday morning is the best day. In the morning, we go to the Chinese Embassy to send forth righteous thoughts, do the exercises and distribute truth-clarification materials. In the evening, we attend group Fa study and discuss with each other our Fa understandings. We try to look for our shortcomings and try to work harder and upgrade together as a team.

Master Li asked us to do three things well. He said,

"The three things that Master has taught you in the Fa to do well seem simple, but [things such as] whether you are diligent and the Attainment Status you will achieve are linked to it." (Teaching the Fa in Canada, 2006)

In the same Toronto Fa Conference lecture, Master Li said:

"So everything that you do, be it your balancing well your family relationships while you live among ordinary people, balancing well your relationships in society, how you perform at your workplace, how you conduct yourself in society, etc., none of these are things you can just go through the motions on. All of these are part of your cultivation format, and are serious matters."

I must remember Master Li’s teaching, "The Closer to the End, the More Diligent You Should Be." I will firmly follow the path arranged by Master Li until the end, follow Master Li and return to my genuine home.

Thank you!