(Minghui.org) The 2017 North Carolina Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference was held at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on April 2.

Thirty-three practitioners shared their stories on how they progressed and passed various tests in their cultivation practice, and how they made efforts to raise awareness about the terrible persecution that this ancient spiritual practice is facing in China.

After the conference, many practitioners remarked that they felt inspired to be more diligent in the practice and to do better what Teacher (Falun Dafa's founder) asks of them.

Finding Dafa and Diligently Improving Himself

Al had been searching for guidance from the divine since he was young. He finally learned about Falun Dafa and became a practitioner. He worked very hard to let go of his attachments and improve himself. Because of certain social pressure, at one point he stopped studying the Falun Dafa teachings and stayed away from other practitioners. He described that period as feeling as if he was lost in a storm.

He also experienced a marriage crisis. Through studying the teachings and doing the Falun Dafa exercises every morning, he was able to pass the tests. By following Dafa's teachings, he has also become a good father and husband.

Al shares his experiences in practicing Falun Dafa.

Traveling the World to Raise Awareness

Amy shared that when she read Teacher's “Lecture in Sydney” in January 1998, she felt that every word was as loud as thunder in her head. She has been a practitioner ever since. After the persecution began in 1999, she and her family traveled to Washington DC, Geneva, and China to tell the leaders of the world why the persecution was wrong.

She has spent a tremendous amount of time promoting Shen Yun ticket sales and marketing for the Epoch Times newspaper. Yet none of these activities hindered her performance at work. She even received a promotion at her job before this year’s Shen Yun tour began.

Letting Go of Self While Promoting Shen Yun

Tracy has been able to work closely with other practitioners in promoting Shen Yun shows in recent years. She took on responsibilities as soon as they were assigned and wasn't selective about the work she was asked to do. Gradually she built her confidence and was able to sell lot of tickets. It was at this time that she became over-zealous. She began to criticize other practitioners.

Later she suffered severe illness karma. She was able to pass the test and eliminate many of her attachments. Since then her attitude about selling tickets has changed. She doesn't get over excited as she did before, because she understands that she is only doing the work on the surface and Teacher is the one who offers salvation to people.

Studying, Letting Go of Self, and Cooperating with Others

Jaclyn began memorizing the teachings in Zhuan Falun in September 2012. She talked about the most obvious changes she experienced as a result of memorizing the Fa. She was able to quickly catch a lot of her thoughts and behaviors that did not conform to the teachings. Also, she was able to calm down with few thoughts in her head when she meditated.

Through practicing Falun Dafa, Jaclyn has become more patient. Once, she spent a lot of time designing an advertisement for a client and going back and forth to modify it, and sometimes the other party did not like it. She needed to make a lot of changes and sometimes had to start over again. She found this frustrating but was able to quickly look at things from the other person's point of view. She worked with the person calmly and made changes repeatedly until the person was satisfied.

One practitioner shared how he went from having nothing and no hope in life to becoming energetic and happy because of the practice. Another shared how the teachings of Falun Dafa helped her with the difficulties of caring for her elderly mother at home. Yet another practitioner was able to eliminate the attachment to monetary gain in the process of dealing with conflicts with coworkers.

Louise found the Falun Dafa teachings invaluable in meeting the challenges of caring for her mother, who suffered from dementia and depression.