(Clearwisdom.net) Nicolas is a 32-year-old Frenchman. He works for a French company and has been practicing Falun Gong for almost five years. How did this young man, educated in the Western culture since childhood, start to practice Falun Gong, and what motivated him to continue?


In 2005, Nicolas moved from a province in France to Paris and started a new job. Because of the stress of his new, urban surroundings and his job, he wanted to find a form of qigong that could help him be calm and at peace. One day as he walked in Luxembourg Gardens, he saw a group of people doing qigong-type exercises. He didn't know anything about Falun Gong, but he talked to the practitioners and was told that the practice was very good and taught free of charge. They also directed him to a regular Falun Gong practice site in Chaumont Park.

Nicolas's interest was aroused. He had been trying to find a peaceful spiritual practice, and at the practice site in Chaumont Park he started learning the exercises and felt very relaxed and calm. He also felt that every cell in his body was energized. He thought, "This is wonderful!" Later he obtained the French versions of the books Falun Gong and Zhuan Falun.

After he finished reading Falun Gong, he felt that the views about the world expressed in the book were very interesting. They were very different from the way Westerners look at the world. What impressed him most was the teaching that whatever happens, one should always look at oneself, look inward. He had never heard of such a concept. In conflicts with others, one should always look inward. This cultivation method truly enlightened him. He was educated and believed in Catholicism, but that faith doesn't mention the concept of looking inward. "To me, this is most fundamental. Without this concept, it is impossible to change one's thinking. This is very unique." Nicolas recalled how he felt then, and said that when he read Zhuan Falun, he found more detailed explanations. After he started to practice Falun Gong, his health improved greatly. He used to catch colds twice every winter, but that no longer happens. He also finds it much easier to deal with conflicts.

Nicolas said that before practicing Falun Gong, he was pessimistic. He couldn't understand why certain things always happened to him. Falun Gong provided explanations for many things and made him look at things very differently.

For example, a colleague at work was easily agitated and always raised his voice to accuse others, making the workplace stressful. "One time he treated me like that," Nicolas recalled. "At first, it seemed like a joke. I thought that the situation would soon develop into a conflict, but I realized that I could have a different attitude toward this colleague instead of fighting with him." Because of Nicolas's calm attitude, his colleague also changed and lowered his voice. Things became much more peaceful at work. The colleague tried to find a solution to the problem with Nicolas.

Nicolas mentioned that it is through the little things rather than dramatic events that he has advanced in cultivation. He has seen changes in his own behavior, but not complete changes. Step by step, he has changed himself and gradually improved himself.

Nicolas now pays more attention to his inner feelings. He says, "This is very important in cultivation. When people are clearly aware of their inner status, they are able to control themselves properly, see their own attachments, and thereby eliminate them."

When asked what makes him continue cultivating, Nicolas replied, "Cultivating Falun Dafa completely changed my understandings about life and why we are here. I would never stop cultivating, because I feel that this is the most noble and precious thing.

"Sometimes I can sense that the world we are in is just an illusion. Sentiment and desire for the things we are attached to are all good for nothing and meaningless. In fact, changing from the inside, letting go little by little of one's attachments that make one suffer, and escaping the illusion--these are what Dafa has given to my innermost self.

"The principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are of supreme value to me. This is what motivates me to continue cultivation. Although I don't do well sometimes, and I fall down occasionally, I will continue my cultivation."

Nicolas goes to the Falun Gong practice site in Chaumont Park every weekend. On the weekdays, he practices at home in the early morning and at night. He said, "Practicing Falun Gong makes me very energetic and efficient at work. I have benefited a lot."