(Clearwisdom.net) How did I become acquainted with Falun Dafa, The Universal Law, and what made me, a former Catholic for almost 60 years, wholeheartedly embrace Master Li's teachings? You see, the resident Catholic priest had given me the title "local heretic" 40 years ago for asking too many questions about dogma, about the priesthood, and about organized religion in general. He told me I had no business in the Catholic Church, so I left. Certain things I had learned about Christianity from early childhood on, though, made sense, for instance the tenets in The Sermon on the Mount and The Ten Commandments. But I saw little of these teachings put into practice by the church-going people around me and became disillusioned with organized religion. I determined that organized religions come from people, but spirituality comes from a higher power. Fortunately, a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine introduced me to Falun Dafa in 1997.

Reading Zhuan Falun for the first time was an initial revelation, a puzzle, an enigma, a challenge--so many teachings made sense, and others required a different mindset. But the more I read this book, and the more I read Master Li's lectures that serve as adjuncts to the practice, the happier I became that I had finally found a way to save my soul and hopefully approach spiritual perfection, if not in this life, then in the next. Along the way I was healed from ten different health problems that had plagued me for a decade and was able to discontinue all medical care and medications. An added bonus was the gradual, effective abandonment of my impatience with people and things and the development of a good modicum of tolerance toward my fellow man. I figured out that a higher power controls things, and we are wrong when we erroneously assume we are in control of our lives.

Self-discipline is so important for our progress: in Fa study, in interactions with others, in Fa-related activities. I don't manage to do this well at all times, but I am getting better. What a relief to know that, as long as I do my best based on the principles of Truth-Compassion-Forbearance and conduct myself according to Master's teachings, my earthly life will be a positive example to others around me. I believe that in some ways I had an easier road than other practitioners who grew up without The Golden Rule when I first decided to lead my life according to the cultivation parameters. Westerners don't have thousands of years of mental baggage to deal with; ours is a more recent culture, so it might be easier for us to accept this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the divine culture inherent in the practice of Falun Dafa. Fortunately, people of all nationalities who practice Falun Dafa work well with each other, support each other in times of trouble, and see to it that all of us reach glory, according to Master Li's plan.

I am so thankful for the good fortune I have had in having Falun Dafa become a part of my life, blessed with the knowledge that I have finally found what I have looking for all these many years. As May 13th approaches, the 11th World Falun Dafa Day, I hope that many others will step forward to share their stories with us as well. I believe it is a good way to honor the practice of Falun Dafa in our own small ways, while paying great respect, thanks, and tribute to Master Li in grand celebration of his fast approaching birthday.