(Minghui.org) The May 15 holiday is upon us again. On this day every year, I can’t help but think back to that particular first season of the year when the chill was still in the air but spring was definitely marching in steadily day by day. The lawn in front of the school building was sprouting green and the winter jasmine was erupting into blossoms. At that time, I was a graduate student in a Beijing university, but I was not at all in the mood to enjoy the fresh feel of spring after the long cold winter.

Instead, I was being troubled by sickness. Rheumatoid arthritis tormented me, and only prescribed medicines were able to provide me with some relief from the pain that made me feel that a stick with countless hairy spikes was being bored into my joints. The bloating in my stomach and backaches caused by gastric disease, especially the intermittent heart murmur that could show up any time to stop my heart from beating and put an end to my life, weighed heavily on me and dragged me into the quagmire of fear. And so, I spent most of my time alone inside my dormitory where I would listen to the hustle and bustle outside my window.

Being in constant distress, I found myself very much caught up in deep reflection about the purpose of life. Where did I come from? Why have I had to suffer so much since childhood? We live a lifetime, does the life after death have meaning? Where does that life go?

I used the time of recuperation to search out every piece of Buddhist and Taoist writings in hopes of finding an answer to what had been troubling me. Regretfully, except for learning some Buddhist and Taoist stories, I came up empty.

When one is sick, one tends to try any cure. So, I followed the instructions and illustrations in these writings to learn several qigong practices. The result was: I gained nothing. On top of that, the practices were making me physically worse.

I was almost in total despair.

On a February day in the year 1993, I came upon a collection of a variety of flyers and brochures picked up at the 1992 Oriental Health Expo. I was hoping I could find a simple but effective qigong practice to try out. In the midst of the pile of literature, I discovered a thin sheet of paper: “A Brief Introduction to Falun Gong.” After I read through its content, I felt that this might just be what I was looking for. On the one hand, it said that nothing could go wrong from doing the Falun Gong practice, and on the other, it said that in Falun Gong, “the gong cultivates the practitioners.”

So, feeling that it was worth a try, I picked up the phone and called the contact number. I was told that a 9-day lecture class was to be held that day (February 22, 1993) at the Beijing Taijichang Auditorium. So, I registered for the class.

I found out that my contact was the Falun Gong exercise site coordinator in Beijing. He drove me in his van to the auditorium. That was how I had the great fortune to be an attendee in a class personally taught by Master Himself.

It was in an ordinary, slightly timeworn auditorium that I listened to Master’s Fa for the first time.

On the stage was a regular student’s desk. Behind it was an everyday chair. A bottle of mineral water was placed on the table next to the microphone. A banner was hanging from the desk, facing the audience. At the top of the banner, embroidered in gold threads against a red background, were four horizontal words “Rotating Falun Reaches the Extremity” and flanking them was a pair of four vertical words, “Buddha Fa is Boundless,” and “Law Wheels Rotate Constantly.”

When it was time for the class, Master walked up to the stage, sat down on the chair, took out a few small cards, and started giving His lecture.

Just like me, a large majority of the people who attended Master’s class had different kinds of incurable diseases; a lot of them had also sought help from this or that qigong practice. Of course, there were also some young people without any physical ailments.

When Master explained about qigong, He let the audience feel the rotation of the Law Wheels. We all followed Master’s instruction to hold out our hands. I immediately became aware of a slightly warm substance turning on my palm and my skin had the sensations of numbness, expanding, and warmth. When I had both palms facing together, something like a column appeared, and I could feel my palms alternately repelling and being drawn to each other.

During the lecture, Master also cleansed our bodies. Master told everybody to stand and to inwardly focus on the locations of our illnesses. Then, He instructed us to stomp our feet at the same time. We followed Master’s orders. We first stomped our left feet in unison and then we stomped our right feet in unison. The entire auditorium thundered and resonated with the orderly, dull stomping sound.

Before I did the stomping, my heart was practically in my throat. I recalled the resonance theory. With so many people stomping at once, the auditorium would surely collapse. However, when I heard Master’s orders being given so calmly and forcefully, I joined the others without a second thought. Afterwards, except for the little bit of dust being raised, the auditorium still stood firm.

That day, the last part of the class was learning the first exercise. At that moment, the entire auditorium was bathed in a warm, soft yellow glow. Absolute silence reigned, with only the sound of the directions for the exercise movements quietly echoing.

After a student demonstrated the first exercise, we all followed accordingly. We first relaxed our bodies, closed our eyes slightly, tongue touching our upper palate, then we did one movement after another. The first exercise was “Buddha Showing a Thousand Hands.” Following the stretching and the relaxing, I immediately felt that my body was enveloped in a strong energy. I felt warm all the way through. It was as if an automatic device was controlling the opening and closing of all the joints in my body.

The auditorium was way too quiet. I opened my eyes and saw Master walking around correcting students’ exercise movements.

On the way back to my dorm, I was overwhelmed with excitement. A joy from the depth of my being filled my heart and saturated every cell in my body. Another sensation suddenly caught me by surprise. It was a feeling of buoyancy. It was as if a set of springs had been installed at the bottom of my shoes. I was practically hopping.

It was the end of February. The empty street felt a bit cold. There was not much traffic. My usual feeling of unease was replaced by one of true intimacy. The fear of death that had engulfed me day and night was like the thread of an old sweater being pulled away swiftly, leaving nothing behind.

In the ten short days of learning the Fa and the exercises, I cultivated my xinxing exactly according to Master’s teaching. I used Master’s criteria of a good person to examine my every thought and every deed in my past. I discovered that although I had always thought of myself as being a rather good person with moral standards generally higher than others around me, I was actually walking along a dangerous, downhill path.

Master’s teaching untied many a dead knot in my life. I began to understand that everything that happens is the result of karma from past lifetimes. I began to strictly require of myself to follow Falun Dafa’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and to put others in the forefront in my every dealing with them. I steered completely away from all bad habits of smoking and drinking, and from the cynical attitude that I had developed as a result of my family’s past political persecution.

That was how I walked onto Falun the path of Dafa cultivation practice. At the end of the ten-day lectures, I discovered my rheumatoid arthritic pains, intermittent heart murmurs, and irregular heartbeats had all disappeared without a trace. Every night at 10 o’clock, I would leave my dorm, go to an isolated spot near the school building, and do the first four exercises.

Later, I was fortunate to attend Master’s lectures at the Tenth Beijing Falun Gong Master Classes in the Second Hospital Auditorium of the Department of Space, as well as the Eleventh Falun Gong Classes sponsored by the Chinese Gongli Gongfa Research Council Committee on Qigong held in Beijing's Public Security University.

After graduating in 1994, I also attended the Third Guangzhou Falun Gong Classes sponsored by the Guangzhou City Federation of Trade Unions held in the Guangzhou Gymnasium in the Yuexiu District of Guangzhou as well as the Fifth Guangzhou Falun Gong Classes, which was the last time Master lectured in Mainland China.

In May or June of 1999, when Falun Gong was suppressed and slandered, I went to the State Bureau for Letters and Calls, and to the People’s Daily, to appeal and request that the defamation be stopped. On July 20, 1999, I went to Xidan Street to join up with other practitioners to safeguard Falun Dafa, to defend Master’s innocence, and to protect our right to freedom of belief

Afterwards, like many others, I was targeted, searched, detained, and suffered other forms of persecution, but I never made any compromise. From beginning to end, I stood firm on my belief in Dafa.

During that time, many good, kindhearted ordinary people stepped forward in droves to resist the persecution against me and stood up for me, a practitioner who follows the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance as his life’s standards.

In the blink of an eye, 20 years have gone by. The then-graduate student is now middle aged with grey showing on both sides of his temples.

Through the window, looking at the trees and bushes being dyed a shade of green and the wild peach full of little pink flowers, I can’t help but think back to those days and nights during which I first attended Master’s Fa lectures.

I recall Master’s face and voice and look and smiles. I remember the joy of obtaining the Fa.

Through the window, gazing at the far off sky, my mind’s eye dwells on the July 20, 1999 photograph of Master, after He left New York, sitting on a high mountain looking down in contemplation at the world and its people below.

I miss Master very much. When I often recall Master’s benevolent grace in saving me, tears of gratitude stream down my cheeks.