New Practitioner: Seeing the Light
(Minghui.org) I was living in the British coastal town of Brighton in September 2017, when I was handed a beautiful origami lotus flower. As I gazed at the flower, my memory went back to several months earlier when I had taken a trip back to Hainan, China, for a visit.
My auntie and cousin picked me up at the airport. My auntie said, “It's not easy to live abroad especially when you are alone. Please don't forget to say 'Falun Dafa is good, and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good' because it will help you find peace.”
I said, “Okay,” thinking that she hadn't changed a bit after all these years.
Auntie asked, “You're quite stubborn sometimes. Is it so difficult to say 'Falun Dafa is good, and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good?'”
My cousin quickly answered for me, “Mom! My cousin's husband is a scientist. My cousin wouldn't believe in spiritual things like that.”
“No, it is not that,” I explained. “Actually, the essence of this universe is a noble spirit. I believe that it exists.”
My cousin stared at me in amazement. I was surprised at myself, too. Did I really say that? Regardless, I knew that I believed it.
Finding Falun Dafa
The lotus flower had totally captivated me. I turned on my computer and started typing Falun Dafa (also called Falun Gong). In little more than ten days, I had finished reading all the materials that I could find on the Falun Dafa website. My eyes were red and puffy and my brain seemed to swell. I followed the directions on the website and began learning the five exercises. I also ordered the book Zhuan Falun.
The book arrived in the mail several days later. Words can’t describe how I felt. It was truly wonderful! Thank you, Teacher! And thank you to the knowing side of me. I am fortunate to have awoken at the very last period during Fa-rectification!
No More Excuses
My husband refuses to use a smartphone, and he objects to me playing on one. He said, “You like to show off, and yet you emphasize that you aren’t. You keep sending your photos to people. Isn’t that because you want them to know the places you’ve visited, and they haven't? Such vanity!”
“No! I am not vain.” I argued back. “My relatives are all in China, and of course I want to keep them updated about me!”
“Really?” My husband said, “So why did you also post the same set of pictures on Facebook? Who do you do it for?”
I was lost for a moment and then replied, “Facebook is like a record that I keep. Isn’t it nice to look at it once in a while?”
But when I thought about the incident later that night, I felt ashamed. I kept coming up with excuses to cover up my vanity, but in actuality, it was my show-off mentality and competitive mind at work!
When I saw someone in my circle of friends post something, it prompted me to do the same and to make it even better. It was only a quick thought, but now I saw that the attachment was deeply rooted. I never paid attention to this bad habit that I developed long before I obtained the Fa, but now that I know it was my attachment to showing off, I had to let it go.
The removal of the attachment was quick and easy. Now, if my smartphone doesn’t make a sound, I don’t even remember that it's there.
No matter how small and trivial things are in our daily lives, they can help to remind us about attachments we need to remove.
A Particle of Dafa
I moved to a small town in Germany shortly after I started practicing Falun Dafa. I had the same job as I did in England and was working from home. I kept up with Fa study and doing the exercises daily. I spent a lot of time browsing through websites for more information about Falun Gong and gradually understood the truth about the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) persecution of Falun Gong in China. I went through the stages of anger, sorrow, and eventually rational reasoning. The Fa is very precious and I ought to help safeguard it! But what could I do?
How do I clarify the facts? It seemed that I was the only person practicing Falun Dafa in my area. Practitioners in a large city near me organized activities, where I occasionally participated. But I didn't go often due to time constraints.
First Experience of Clarifying the Facts
The Chinese New Year was approaching, so I hosted a celebration at my home. I made a hotpot and invited some of my husband's colleagues at his university to join us. My husband's colleagues were from Europe and North America, and they liked to make contact with people from different countries. The dinner was a big hit as no one had been to a hotpot dinner before. Everyone had a great time.
We showed our guests a DVD of a local New Year celebration when I was in England. In the celebration, I did dancing and singing, and my husband was a part of the lion dance team.
Our guests enjoyed the DVD and had all kinds of questions. Somehow the topic of Chinese kungfu came up, then qigong, which naturally led to Falun Gong. Quite a few people knew about the persecution in China but didn't know how vicious it was.
As I began talking about the persecution, some of them moved their chairs closer so they could hear me better. All of a sudden, I realized that I was clarifying the facts, but there were many questions that I struggled to answer. I felt that I couldn’t explain things clearly, and wasn't logical.
“The Buddha Fa is boundless. It all depends on the cultivation of your mind.” (“Teaching the Fa and Answering Questions in Changchun” from Falun Dafa Fajie)
After this casual gathering, I understood that clarifying the facts can happen at any moment. When my Fa study was good, I could deal with situations better, answer questions with logical reasoning, and clarify any misunderstandings while explaining things clearly.
Clarifying the Facts at a Language Class
After moving to Germany, I attended a German language class at night. There were seven people in the class including the instructor. Everyone came from a different country, and four of them were in the medical field. The instructor tried to present a lot of her teaching in a way that related to the medical field. I was inspired by her initiative and began searching for reports on the Minghui website related to the CCP's crimes of organ harvesting.
I found an article about a doctor in Xinjiang who immigrated to England and exposed his experience of participating in the CCP's crimes of live organ harvesting against the Uyghur's (an ethnic minority in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, China). I found some statistics and persecution cases collected by the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, along with some video clips on the Internet related to these issues.
I put all of these materials in a Word document and printed seven copies. I wrote a short presentation paper and kept reminding myself to have righteous thoughts. I then wrote an email to the instructor and told her that I'd like to make a two-minute presentation in our last class.
However, I didn't receive a reply from her. Feeling anxious, I brought the prepared materials to the class on the last day. The instructor called on me unexpectedly and told the class that I had prepared a presentation for them.
That was the first time I had ever made a presentation in German. Although it wasn't long and the audience wasn’t large, I still felt tense. I was shaking and my heart was trembling. It wasn't my first time giving a presentation, but I had never experienced such anxiety. My body was shaking so much that I had to stop halfway through.
At that time, my mind was blank, and I kept telling myself to relax. I knew that I couldn't stop in the middle of my presentation, so I decided to put the prepared speech aside. I began talking from the heart. I spoke slowly and finally finished.
Everyone was looking quite solemnly at the materials I brought along. The instructor raised a couple of questions. She had heard about the persecution but didn't realize it was still ongoing. She said that she was sickened upon hearing about the cruelty.
My classmates started discussing the subject and raised more questions. I reminded myself to be righteous and act responsibly. I dared not draw any conclusions and suggested to everyone that they look for more information online.
They all expressed an interest in pursuing the topic further, and the instructor said that she hoped I would continue to help everyone understand more about what I presented. I was pleased that it aroused everyone's interest. The more people know about the subject, the more we help relieve the suffering of the practitioners in China.
“When It's Difficult To Endure, You Can Endure It”
After I started practicing Falun Gong in England, I learned to do the five exercises by following the instructions on the Falun Dafa website. On the third day, 20 minutes after I began doing the sitting meditation, my legs started to feel quite painful. I tried to persist for ten more minutes by clenching my teeth. I then remembered that Teacher asked us to have the tip of the tongue touch the hard palate while filling the heart with compassion, so I shouldn't clench my teeth.
My facial muscles started to tremble. At this moment, I thought of Teacher's encouraging words,
“When it's difficult to endure, you can endure it. When it's impossible to do, you can do it.” (Zhuan Falun)
I was able to endure the pain for a bit longer, and before I knew it the meditation had finished! I was then so tired that I fell into a sound sleep.
While I was sleeping, I felt that someone was walking by my bed. The person was translucent and of similar height to myself.
I felt uncomfortable and was about to remove my bed sheet, when the transparent person held it down and just wouldn't let it go. Then it lay down next to me and held onto me. I turned the other way and forcefully threw a fist at it. The face of the transparent person caved in. I kept punching at it nonstop until it left my room. I opened my eyes and realized that it was a dream! But it felt so real.
Later, I kept thinking of the dream. Was it a spirit possessing my body? Or was it a living being who had something to do with my karma?
One morning, when I was doing the second exercise, I felt short of breath. I closed my eyes and felt things becoming darker and darker. My ears were ringing and my stomach was churning. I felt sick and wanted to vomit.
Again, I thought of Teacher's words,
“When it's difficult to endure, you can endure it.” (Zhuan Falun)
I really couldn't hold my arms up any longer. I brought them down, then slipped and fell on the floor. I opened my eyes and my mind was blank. I started having cold sweats, and the pain in my stomach returned. I stumbled into the bathroom to relieve myself. After I finished, all the symptoms disappeared.
From then on, when I did the exercises and encountered various situations, I tried to understand what was happening. I felt that, because I tried hard to study the Fa and raise my xinxing, Teacher was taking care of me and helping me to improve.
I obtained the Fa seven months ago and have gradually understood the meaning of life. This is a rare opportunity not to be missed! The gate to Heaven has been opened for me. Perhaps the path to the future will still be foggy and full of challenges, but I will not miss any opportunities to improve myself.
Teacher's words keep ringing in my ears:
“When it's difficult to endure, you can endure it. When it's impossible to do, you can do it.” (Zhuan Falun)