(Minghui.org) I learned about Falun Dafa in autumn of 2002 after I had bought the Croatian version of Zhuan Falun, the main book of Falun Dafa, by Master Li Hongzhi.
I had been practicing Tai Chi for four years. I had been satisfied with practicing Tai Chi, but after a while I gradually and intuitively felt and began to understand that only performing physical exercises was not enough. I felt that one needed a deeper understanding of practicing a cultivation system, and that cultivators should be able to reach a higher level of consciousness and truly cultivate themselves, in addition to doing exercises.
Unfortunately, and erroneously, many Eastern practices, including Tai Chi, are being taught only as physical exercises in the West. They are seen only as methods to improve health and relax. I read books from different spiritual paths, but I soon discovered that I could not go beyond the beginning level without the help of a true spiritual teacher.
I then visited the Falun Dafa website and was immediately drawn to it. The design was nice, and the symbol of the practice, the Falun, was shiny and beautiful. I really liked the fact that everything could be downloaded for free, including the books, music, and videos. That is not a minor thing, as due to today's morality crisis, and spirituality being a hot topic, there are many self-proclaimed, false spiritual teachers making money by selling their false spirituality to gullible people.
I initially had problems accepting Falun Dafa's requirement of following only one school of cultivation when practicing Falun Dafa. While I was practicing Tai Chi, I was learning other qigong exercises at the same time, and the Tai Chi instructors encouraged me to do so. They believed that it was okay to mix and match various qigong exercises and spiritual paths.
Only after taking up cultivation in Falun Dafa did I realize how important it is to truly follow only one spiritual path, one school of cultivation. Otherwise, a person's body and mind turns into a mess, and there is no opportunity for improvement on the cultivation path.
I was also somewhat scared at the mention of demons and the need to be protected by a Master. That is why I did not immediately take up Falun Dafa, but continued with Tai Chi.
However, I still kept visiting the Falun Dafa website and tried to learn the exercises. The more I read Zhuan Falun, the better I understood the teachings. I read the book over and over again, as it was quite easy to follow, especially compared with other spiritual books. The part about a “clear and clean heart” especially touched my heart. That was exactly what I had been looking for – a clear and clean heart is the key to spirituality, to cultivation. It was after I read that chapter that I experienced a big breakthrough and decided to practice Falun Dafa.
A weekend workshop about Falun Dafa was to be held in our Tai Chi club in December 2002 by practitioners from Austria. I attended and was very pleased with what I heard and saw. I learned the exercises and stepped on the path of Falun Dafa cultivation practice.
I continued practicing Falun Dafa and Tai Chi for a couple of months, but as Dafa advises that one should only follow one cultivation way and not mix cultivation practices, I eventually stopped practicing Tai Chi and devoted myself only to Falun Dafa.
I decided to get rid of my various qigong books and associated items, which I had accumulated over the years. My roommates told me that it was a pity to throw away books, and that I should sell them in an antique shop or donate them.
I explained that based on what I read in Falun Dafa books, that they would harm anyone who obtained them, so I'd rather throw them in the trash. I decided that I would only give Falun Dafa books as gifts in the future. I also threw away dozens of statues of Eastern deities that I had bought over the years. I now have only the photo of Master Li Hongzhi, a picture of the Falun, and Falun Dafa books in my room.
In the beginning, I paid much more attention to doing the five exercises, and much less to studying the Falun Dafa teachings. This resulted in very slow progress on my cultivation path. As I continued to study the Falun Dafa teachings and listened to explanations and support from practitioners, I realized where I was going wrong. I realized that in addition to regular exercises, it is very important to study Zhuan Falun and to raise my xinxing, because Falun Dafa is cultivation of mind and body.
“If you only practice the exercises without improving xinxing and without the powerful energy that strengthens everything, it cannot be called cultivation practice; neither can we treat you as Falun Dafa disciples.” (“I Treat All Practitioners as My Disciples” from Zhuan Falun)
I continued on my cultivation path. As time passed, I understood that Falun Dafa is magnificent, powerful, and universal, yet such a simple teaching. What makes it special is that practitioners cultivate their minds and bodies, placing a strong emphasis on xinxing and following the highest principles of the universe, “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.”
“Without cultivating the heart, no one can make it.” (“Practicing Only One Cultivation Way” from Zhuan Falun)
Practitioners from Croatia translated Zhuan Falun. Diligently studying Zhuan Falun significantly improved my understanding of the Falun Dafa teachings.
Master Li explains the principles of true cultivation and the universal laws using clear and simple language. These principles are given to people to cultivate and fulfill their purpose for being on Earth. It is sad and very dangerous that today in human society there is less and less truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, and everything is measured by fame and money.