(Minghui.org) Quite a few German practitioners traveled to New York to participate in the many events surrounding World Falun Dafa Day and the 2014 New York Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference, both of which occurred on May 13, 2014. From various backgrounds and on different cultivation paths, each of these practitioners has a unique perspective on cultivation and on the trip to New York.

Several practitioners from Germany share their stories below.

North Rhine-Westphalia Practitioner: Following Master to Return to the Origin

Ms. Eva-Marie Schiffer attended the group Falun Gong exercises at Times Square on May 15. She said that her experience was pure and wonderful. “I am very happy to see so many practitioners here, from all over the world.” She noticed that many passersby were also impressed and commented, “Falun Dafa is great!”

Eva-Marie said that her trip to New York gave her a better understanding of cultivation and she was also delighted to see Master Li during the experience sharing conference two days earlier. “I am always grateful to Master Li, because he showed me a path, a way of returning to the origin.”

Eva-Marie began practicing Falun Gong in 1998. Before that she was often confused about the purpose of life: “Why am I living in this world? Is there something of a deeper level other than my family, children, and career? Through reading Zhuan Falun, I found the answer to these questions, and even beyond. I was thrilled, because I knew that this was something I had been looking for and was unable to find anywhere else.”

With new understandings gained through practicing Falun Gong, Eva-Marie found her life more meaningful. She developed a sense of serenity and security. “Even my children noticed these positive changes in me. If I slacked off in doing the exercises or following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, they always found ways to remind me,” she said with a smile.

“Compared to the past, the biggest change for me is that, I do not feel lonely anymore,” Eva-Marie said. She said that she can feel the compassion of Master Li and the power of Falun Dafa. “Teacher showed me a direction, one of both self-improvement and uplifting of mind.” She said she still has a long way to go, but she knows where she is headed.

This was one reason why Eva-Marie came to New York to join the activities: “I want to share with others how wonderful Falun Dafa is.” Concerned about the 15-year-long persecution against Falun Dafa in China, Eva-Marie said, “I hope this will not last longer. People in China need freedom to practice their belief, towards a brighter future.”

Berlin Practitioner: Master Li Has Put Everyone in His Heart

Doan Lai, a practitioner from Berlin, was very excited to join the large-scale group exercises with so many other practitioners on the morning of May 13. “I was able to see the entire field immersed in a red light. Very beautiful and truly amazing,” she shared.

Doan first heard about Falun Dafa when visiting her elder sister in Vietnam three years ago. Her initial plan was to study Taichi. “but my sister had a better suggestion: if you want to be serious, come and join me in practicing Falun Dafa.”

Not long after she began practicing Dafa, Doan experienced tremendous mind and body improvements, just like her sister had told her she would. She thus continued the practice after the visit with her sister was over and she was back in Germany.

“May 13 is World Falun Dafa Day and Master Li’s birthday. I am really happy to be here celebrating with all of these practitioners,” she said sincerely. “We practitioners know that Master Li has put everyone in his heart. He cares about everyone with tremendous compassion.”

Practitioner from Hamburg: I Found a Positive and Uplifting Energy

Hamburg practitioner Ms. Huang joined a number of activities over the past several days and really enjoyed them. After watching the art performance at Union Square on the afternoon of May 15, she told a Minghui reporter, “This is the first time that I've seen a performance of this kind. It was very beautiful and the practitioners who performed were very talented. Their hearts are also very pure. I was deeply moved.”

“One of the performances was De Du (Be Saved),” she said. “It was very touching and I could feel compassion in the melody.” She saw several passersby also become interested in the music and stop to listen.

Ms. Huang learned about Falun Dafa about 11 years ago, first through The Epoch Times newspaper, then through reading the Minghui website. “I was fascinated when I heard about the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance for the first time,” she said. “It was also so profound, and, to me, it covers anyone and anything in the world.”

Finding Falun Dafa was a joyous moment, as Ms. Huang had been searching for such a path throughout her life. “Ever since I was a little girl, I often wondered about where I came from and where I will go.” She read many books on Buddhism and Taoism, “but none of them could give me a satisfactory answer.”

The benefits from practicing Falun Dafa were huge, Ms. Huang said. She now sleeps less than before, but nonetheless remains very energetic every day. Moreover, her temper improved greatly and she became more considerate towards others. “It is because I have been trying to follow Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance as much as I can. It works well,” said Ms. Huang.

Many practitioners also had similar experiences, including fellow practitioners in China, who remain determined in their faith despite brutal persecution over the past 15 years. Ms. Huang said that she and other European practitioners were also working hard to raise awareness and debunk the slanderous propaganda from the Chinese Community Party, so that people will know the real story.

“When we performed the group exercises earlier today at Union Square, it began to rain.” Ms. Huang recalled. She opened her eyes and looked around, and saw that nobody was disturbed. “Practitioners are unshakable, a mighty power of being one-body,” she said,

Ms. Huang attributed the serenity to the great benefits she and other practitioners had experienced. “I found a positive and uplifting energy in Falun Dafa.” She is very thankful for Master Li’s compassionate salvation. Ms. Huang added, “Without Falun Dafa, I would still be lost in a maze.”