(Clearwisdom.net) I am a relatively new Falun Gong practitioner who began practicing in 2009. Some of the memorable "firsts" I have had practicing Falun Gong include:

  1. The first time I did the Falun Gong exercises, I was drenched in sweat.

  2. The first time I practiced the sitting meditation, I felt I had returned home.

  3. The first time I watched the Shen Yun performance, I was moved to tears.

  4. The first time I tried to distribute materials containing important facts about Falun Gong, I was apprehensive.

  5. The first time I persuaded someone to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and/or its two affiliated student organizations, it was exhilarating.

  6. The first time I shared important facts about Falun Gong with a stranger, I sensed the magnificent importance of what I was doing.

All of these experiences have convinced me that I have been waiting many lifetimes to fulfill a promise that I had made.

As a youth, I was frail and prone to illness. So frequent were my trips to the hospital that I had become well known among hospital employees. I was quiet and reserved. Because I was afraid of the dark, I would keep the lights on at night, even after I started elementary school. One night I had a dream about what was going to happen the next day and it really did happen. Over the next few years I forced myself to believe I must have dreamed about it "afterward." I grew up as an atheist because of my family's influence. I decided that what I read about people resorting to religion for emotional support was right.

My father was a mid-level government official in our county. During the holidays, our home would be packed with gifts. My parents often told me it was important to be diplomatic, to be cunning, and to develop great interpersonal skills. I was quite confused about these values. I disagreed with them and felt their world had nothing to do with mine. I hated school and often wished I could finish right away so that I could be free. Everything was provided for me, so I lacked motivation to excel academically. My parents were too lazy to check my homework, so I was often the last in class. I was tired of my life. I often hung out with problem students and skipped school to frequent video arcades and billiard halls. I hardly attended high school. On the other hand, I did not do anything bad with those problem students, possibly because I was an introvert. I often wished I were more outspoken and physically stronger, so that I would not be bullied. In hindsight, those were really foolish ideas. Everything happens for a reason.

After it became trendy to surf the Internet, I found some important facts about Falun Gong that I shared with my parents. Although they were horrified and asked me to stop reading about Falun Gong, I knew Falun Gong was being wrongfully accused.

It was not until 2009 that I met a Falun Gong practitioner. It was during the long weekend of May 1, 2009. For some reason my father met a Falun Gong practitioner, who was going to call on my parents. I had an unusual urge to meet and talk to him. As he spoke, something connected with me and the prior stories I had heard for the longest time about Shakyamuni. I had always thought religion was the product of people's imagination, but now here was someone convinced otherwise, and what he talked about made sense.

Later, he gave me a copy of Zhuan Falun with a golden cover. Words cannot describe how I felt when I accepted the book. Once I read Zhuan Falun, everything made sense to me. If my life had been taken from me that night, I would have died perfectly content. I immediately decided to quit smoking and drinking. I was determined to practice Falun Gong until I reached Consummation.

Once I started practicing Falun Gong, I often dreamed about my days in school. One day, I suddenly realized that Teacher must have been trying to help me identify those bad thoughts so that I could eliminate them. I decided that I would be a good student if I ever got a chance to start school over again. I immediately felt relieved.

I have been persevering in practicing Falun Gong and spreading the truth about Falun Gong to this day. I might have slacked off, or had my doubts at times, but I have prevailed over them because of my steadfast faith in Falun Gong.