[Celebrating World Falun Dafa Day] Becoming a Better Person
(Minghui.org) My name is Naeim. I am a Falun Dafa practitioner from New York City. I have been practicing Falun Dafa since early 2010. Before starting the practice I had experimented with many different types of meditation and the like. At the time, I was a student of Philosophy at the university.
My first encounter with Falun Dafa was a few years before I started practicing. I was only 16 years old at the time. I had to pass by Flushing (a predominantly Chinese neighborhood in New York) to go to school, and for about two years I would get a flyer about Falun Dafa almost every day. Sometimes the flyers would be in Chinese, and even though I did not know Chinese at all, I would take them and say “xiexie” (the only word I knew in Chinese) to the person.
A student sitting next to me in class happened to know someone who practiced Falun Dafa. He told me a little bit about the persecution that was going on in China. I could not believe what he was telling me. I went online and read a little about the practice, and also watched some documentary videos. I did not understand why such good people who do such beautiful meditation exercises, and follow Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, were being so heavily persecuted. After I finished school and stopped passing through Flushing, I forgot about Falun Dafa.
Around 2009 I became interested in Chinese language and culture. Aside from experimenting with different meditation systems, I started reading Tao Te Ching on a daily basis, and trying to put the teachings into practice in my daily life. I also began learning Chinese on my own. Around the same time a friend of mine who was also experimenting with different meditation systems told me about a book he had found. He said it was the most complete doctrine he had ever seen, and explained things more clearly than anything he had laid his eyes on. It was the main book of Falun Dafa, Zhuan Falun. He read the book in only a few days, and started practicing immediately.
I started reading the book and practicing the exercises after a few months. After about three months, I began to notice many changes in myself, both mentally and physically. In the past I was often very tired, and always had a pale face. That all started changing when I started practicing. Even people around me, including my wife, were particularly surprised at the changes in my appearance. I had been a very skinny person with a pale face. But in a matter of only three months I gained weight and had rosy cheeks. I became very energetic, and was no longer constantly tired and fatigued.
My moral character also underwent great changes. I learned that as practitioners of Falun Dafa, we were required to do our jobs very well. This was something I had never paid much attention to in the past.
One of my biggest problems was my relationship with my parents. They lived far away from me, and sometimes I would go for months without speaking to them. I had a lot of resentment and hatred towards them for no apparent reason, and had no interest in talking to them. My relationship with my father was especially tense. Master Li says:
“Under all circumstances, we must be good and kind to others, not to mention to our family members. We should treat everyone in the same way. We must be good to our parents and children and be considerate of others in all respects. Such a heart is thus unselfish, and it is a heart of kindness and benevolence.” (Zhuan Falun)
In the beginning of my cultivation, whenever I read this sentence I felt very uncomfortable, because I knew I was not acting like a Falun Dafa practitioner. I was not kind to my family and was not practicing the shan (kindness) that practitioners are supposed to have. But fortunately this all changed.
As I practiced more, I gained a better understanding of the principles, and came to realize that I should be nicer to everyone, including my parents. My relationship with them has since improved dramatically. We keep in touch and there isn’t any tension between us.
Furthermore, I used to lie a lot. Throughout my life I had the bad habit of lying all the time. Being truthful is one of the main principles of Falun Dafa. I have since become a much more truthful person through practicing the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
However, there were some obstacles on my path right after I started practicing. For instance, I watched a lot of videos on Falun Dafa made by the Chinese Communist Party, with English subtitles. They were all slandering Falun Dafa and its founder. I was a bit confused. They were saying the exact opposite of everything Falun Dafa was. Some of the videos said that Falun Dafa promoted killing and suicide, yet Falun Dafa explicitly forbids any kind of killing.
I met thousands of practitioners from all over the world when I attended my first World Falun Dafa Day. With so many practitioners outside of China, why were there no criminal cases or public disturbances by Falun Dafa practitioners like the ones the Chinese Communist Party claimed? Besides, most of the overseas practitioners that I came into contact with were highly educated and very rational people. They weren’t at all the low class, uneducated, superstitious people (I don’t mean to discriminate against these people, as many of them are good people, too), as the Chinese Communist Party’s propaganda videos said. All of these instances confirmed the goodness of Falun Dafa and deceitful nature of the Chinese Communist Party.
In fact, Falun Dafa had a very good impact on society in China. There were many examples of factories and workplaces improving after the people there learned Falun Dafa. There were also many outstanding citizens. Furthermore, these cases were explicitly reported by the Chinese media before 1999, when the persecution began.
I truly hope that more people will come to understand what Falun Dafa is. Wherever Falun Dafa has spread to, it has benefited the people there greatly. It has certainly benefited my friend, my wife, and myself greatly, and it continues to do so to this very day. It is very unfortunate that the Chinese people living under the communist regime do not have the privilege to understand Falun Dafa better, and benefit from it, as do thousands of people worldwide.