(Minghui.org) Holidays allow us to get away from our routines for a bit and reconnect with the essentials of life. No, I don't mean paying bills, upgrading gadgets, or shopping. I'm talking about allowing the soul to take a sip of positive energy and good values, and quench the spiritual thirst that everyone has, whether they know it or not.

World Falun Dafa Day on May 13 is such an important day. It is a celebration of “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance”, universal values distilled through 5,000 years of ancient civilization.

So let's mark our calendars, and take this opportunity to immerse ourselves in the ancient wisdom that inspired countless legendary figures in China's history and millions around the world today.

Way of Life

In the minds of many Westerners, Falun Dafa is a religion and one specific type of belief. However, in ancient Chinese civilization, such self-cultivation practices were adopted throughout society. It went beyond a religion practiced by a group of people; it was a way of life embraced by an entire civilization.

A friend recently remarked that after the Renaissance, Westerners separated themselves from God, explored “my relationship with God,” and generally saw the divine as being separate from oneself. On the other hand, Eastern philosophy focuses on the internal, hence, “there is a Buddha in me.”

Chinese tradition emphasizes spiritual self-discipline and veneration for the divine by internalizing it and carrying it out in one's daily life. This spirituality was apparent in people from all walks of life, not just monks but court officials, physicians, farmers, and so on.

Falun Dafa, also called Falun Gong, carries on that spiritual tradition. It is a discipline in which “assimilation to the highest qualities of the universe—Zhen, Shan, Ren (Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance)—is the foundation.

Practitioners adhere to the principles while playing different roles—as parents, children, business professionals, members of the community—it is truly a way of life that permeates every aspect of their lives.

The Power of Dignity

“Neither riches nor honors can corrupt him; neither poverty nor humbleness can make him swerve from the principle; and neither threats nor force can subdue him.” Throughout the ancient times, this was the standard for Chinese people.

However, under communist rule and having lived through the Tiananmen Massacre and a litany of brutal political campaigns, contemporary Chinese have adopted a different mantra after being instilled with communist ideology: “Human beings die in pursuit of wealth, and birds die in pursuit of food.” China's once proud cultural roots were severed; wealth has become the ultimate purpose of life for all too many.

When Falun Gong practitioners were faced with the overwhelming persecution launched in July 1999, they had to choose whether to ignore their conscience, or stand by their dignity.

They chose to stay true to their beliefs despite torture, imprisonment, cessation of their pensions, the loss of their jobs, and public humiliation. They have persevered through 15 years of persecution and helped more Chinese realize the value of dignity and compassion, and to have faith again in what is good.

Millions practice Falun Dafa in over 70 countries on 6 continents. Falun Dafa's teachings are published in over 30 languages. It connects contemporary people of all cultural backgrounds with ancient wisdom, and that quiet dignity has resonated all over the world.

Values Worth Celebrating

Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance are values worth celebrating. To be able to witness these values unfolding in the world at large is a privilege. To celebrate the phenomenon and its values is even more precious.

Visit Minghui.org for articles and artwork from all walks of life to celebrate 2014 World Falun Dafa Day. This May 13, make a date with Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance.