(Minghui.org) A young man in my area was offering to teach qigong exercises for free at the beginning of 2000. My friends were all excited about it and said that I should attend.

I had never even heard of qigong or the practice called Falun Dafa. In fact I had a hard time pronouncing it. Knowing that my close friends would be there--and out of curiosity--I went.

Falun Dafa intrigued me from the outset. I had no idea if I would continue with it but just took it day by day. It has been almost 15 years since I started this practice.

I liked the idea that it was free, as I'd always wondered how could you charge for something that is so good and that you just want to share it. Something kept pushing me to keep going.

One of the most important lessons I have learned is that what we choose to do has consequences and affects what happens in our life and the world today. Every thought and act has consequences, and the choices we make either strengthen or weaken our spirit or soul.

As the old saying goes: "We sow what we reap and we reap what we sow." It's the law of cause and effect, and we are all bound by it. People pay for what they do by the lives that they lead. Living by the universal principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance upgrades our moral character and helps us to be more selfless and considerate of others.

I did have doubts at times, but mostly I was pretty solid in believing there was a higher being that helped direct our lives. I didn't get the answers I was seeking through Christianity, so I delved into metaphysics and began studying the fundamental nature of being and Buddhist philosophy, among other things. Although I did seem to have gained new understandings, they still didn't satisfy my deep seated questions on life and the universe and why we are here.

I grew up in a solid family environment, but I didn't take it to heart what it meant to be responsible for my actions. I was rather rebellious when I was young. Years into my adulthood, I seriously understood that there were always consequences for my actions. However, I didn't realize how serious those consequences were until I started practicing Falun Dafa.

Falun Dafa has answered my questions on life and helped me realize how we drive everything around us. Therefore, we shouldn't focus on others but on changing ourselves.

There's a saying that I like: "When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself." Other people are like a mirrors – you draw to yourself what you need to learn. Since we don't know their circumstances, I don't believe we have any right to judge others.

By taking responsibility for our actions, we are not only helping our spirit, we are also setting an example for others.

I have also come to understand that everything happens for a reason, and I don't believe it's by luck or coincidences. Nor do I believe that we live in some kind of crazy, accidental universe, but that things happen according to certain laws of the universe and are pre-arranged by divine beings.

I have found the answer to be in paying attention to every thought and action, and by letting go of attachments and old habits that don't serve us. I believe if we adhere to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, we will increase our virtue and have a good future.

I still have a long ways to go to becoming selfless, but by looking within to make sure every thought and action is in line with the universal principles, I inch a little closer. There will certainly be a day of reckoning. To live a life that is worthy and virtuous will guarantee that there will be no regrets.