(Minghui.org) My mother was practicing Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, when she was pregnant with me. I was born into a family of Falun Gong practitioners. I am 17 now. I would like to share my thoughts, and how I recently improved in cultivation after I participated in three Falun Dafa parades.

1. The New Year's Parade

When I learned that I would be dressed up as a celestial maiden with two other practitioners for the New Year's parade, I had mixed feelings. I was happy that I would be able to introduce our great practice to the spectators. But at the same time I worried that I would be freezing on the day of the parade. I wasn't able to wear warm clothes under my costume like the other two practitioners because my costume happened to be snug. I began to have second thoughts.

I told my parents my concerns. After discussing with them, I found a deeply-buried sense of selfishness inside me. I told myself that no matter how cold the weather was going to be, I would be in the parade. I knew that the parade was for me to validate the Fa and at the same time to cultivate.

As I stood on the float on the day of the parade, I felt so cold, as if my blood was frozen and my fingers were about to fall off. I told myself that I needed to keep a smile on my face and asked Teacher to help me. I recited in my head Teacher's words that I'd memorized. Instantly, I felt that Teacher was right next to me. I had only one thought and that was to help more people know about this great practice and the wrongful persecution.

As the float went past the table set up by the Chinese Communist regime, it struck me that our procession was extraordinarily sacred and powerful, and the evil elements that sought to interfere with us were petty and insignificant. Our float constantly received praise, and I almost forgot that I wasn't dressed warmly.

I could barely move when the parade was over. My mouth couldn't open and I was trembling from the cold. Nonetheless I realized that I didn't have that strong sense of self anymore. For a long time, my self-centeredness had been keeping me from moving forward in my practice. I often complained about others. This parade allowed me to let go of self and make room for righteous thoughts.

2. The 4.25 Parade

A total of seven practitioners, including me, dressed up as celestial maidens in the parade to commemorate the April 25 peaceful protest. During the parade I saw people who were paid by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to wave Chinese flags and shout words slandering Falun Gong. I felt really sad and sorry for them. I thought of walking out of the procession to talk sense into them and let them know of the persecution. At the same time I realized the immense amount of compassion Teacher must have to shoulder so much for those who were deceived by the CCP's propaganda.

I also saw many people cheering for us. I was glad that they had awakened. I believe that there are many more kind and just Chinese people out there, waiting to hear from us about Falun Dafa.

3. The Falun Dafa Day Parade

One year I went to practice dancing in a place where practitioners prepared equipment and costumes for the May 13 parade participants. They were busy designing and sewing the costumes, and cutting and trimming the characters to make the banners. Many of them were so busy that they skipped meals or slept very little.

Seeing these practitioners, I was determined that I must do what I needed to do with everything I could. In the process of getting ready for the parade, I found many attachments and notions stopping me from doing better. I knew that I had to let go of self and coordinate better with others. Only through working with others would I be able to help Teacher save people.

As our procession moved across Manhattan, I had a smile on my face and felt ever so grateful to Teacher. I danced with a thought that I wanted to bring bystanders the best thing available to them. Many took photos and videos of us dancing. Some came up to me, asking to have their photo taken with me. The admiration and support from the spectators inspired me enormously. It is such a blessing that I am able to practice Falun Dafa and be a part of it.

I thank revered Master and hope that young practitioners like me can come out more often to support activities that validate the Fa.