(Minghui.org) I am a Dafa practitioner in Canada, originally from Vietnam. I would like to share with you how I started my journey in Falun Dafa seven years ago and how Falun Dafa cultivation practice has helped me elevate my mind and body.

Searching in the Fog

I grew up in a communist country and what I learned in school was strongly influenced by the Party propaganda. As I can remember, not much of traditional culture was taught in school. Spirituality and traditional beliefs were considered superstitious. In fact, I learned more about our divinely-inspired culture from the older generation and by reading books and materials published before the communist regime took power. I then studied applied science at university, and became a strong believer in Darwin's theory of evolution. This explains why my spiritual life was so poor. Deep inside me, I believed in the existence of God even though I behaved more like an atheist on the surface.

Thirteen years ago, I suddenly got very sick and was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. The illness was cured one year later. But right after that, I started having many other issues with my health. It felt as if my body had started to fall apart. Worst of all was the severe anxiety I had to deal with. It was so horrible. I often had panic attacks, experiencing all kinds of fears. I knew that I was still who I was, but I was too tired of desperately fighting with those fears every day. I didn't want to take tranquilizers though, because while I knew they could give me temporary relief by sedating my mind, I did not want to become addicted.

I started looking for an alternative way to fix my problem. After much searching, I found a simple meditation method that I believed easy enough for me to follow. After a few weeks trying a particular qigong practice, I felt calmer and sensed the qi running in my body. I was really shocked because I never believed in qigong before. What I used to consider superstitious, unscientific, imaginary and only from kung fu novels actually existed, and I was experiencing it. After a few months of doing the meditation, I felt better physically and mentally. The anxiety and other health problems were still there but they were not as bad as they used to be.

It was a turning point in my life. I thought: “If the qi is real, then how about spirituality, cultivation, and the existence of Gods and Buddha? They have to be real as well.” I realized how wrong I was in the past in blindly believing in the theory of evolution and rejecting the existence of divine beings. So many questions began to form in my mind, and they really needed answers.

I spent the next few years studying and searching for answers. So much material out there: qigong books, books on religion, fengshui, fortune telling, the Book of Changes, the Eight Triagrams, etc. I was totally lost. I could not find one that I thought would be the right one, the one that could give me a clear answer to who I am, where I am from in the universe, what is the purpose of my life, etc.

Dafa Guides Me Out of the Maze

One day I saw a Falun Dafa brochure. The picture of the Falun Dafa practitioners sitting in meditation caught my attention. I quickly looked through the brochure and became very interested. I acquired the introductory book about Falun Dafa, Falun Gong.

I was so excited after I finished reading Falun Gong. It was nighttime, and I could hardly wait until the next morning to read Zhuan Falun. I was so happy that I'd found the answer to so many of my life's questions in Zhuan Falun. The book is so interesting that when I finished it, I wished it was longer.

Falun Dafa, founded by Master Li Hongzhi, is a self-cultivation practice based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. It is a cultivation way for both the mind and body. Like millions of practitioners around the world, I can receive health benefits and improve my character simultaneously from practicing Falun Dafa.

Body Purification by Master

After finishing Zhuan Falun, I couldn't quite decide if I should start cultivating in Falun Dafa. I knew in my heart that the discipline is very good, but it also has high requirements for practitioners. I really did not want to fail Master Li's expectations of me if I cultivated poorly.

After a few days thinking, I said to Master in my heart: “Master, Dafa is very good. I really want to start cultivating but since I am not so good to begin with, I am worried that I might fail your expectations if I don't do well. Please guide me through my cultivation. I will try my best.”

I learned to do the exercises from the online videos. Even though my movements were not precise and correct, I could still feel the energy field after a few weeks. The energy was so strong compared to the qi that I had experienced before. I felt so happy, excited, and thankful to Master because I knew that Master was taking care of me.

I'd had a bad tooth since my teenage years, which had led to gum infection. Although I had dental surgery, it did not fix the problem. The infection recurred every year or two when I was young. But the frequency of infection was getting worse over time, up to three to four times a year. Each time, I had to take antibiotics for more than a week just to get the infection under control but it never really went away. The condition of my tooth was so bad that every time I ate, I usually had to use mouthwash right away, or swelling would occur the next day.

Shortly after I began doing the Dafa exercises, the infection occurred again. When I reached for the bottle of antibiotic, I recalled Master's teaching:

“As a genuine practitioner, however, you cannot practice cultivation with an ill body. I will purify your body. The body purification will be done only for those who come to truly learn the practice and the Fa.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)

I was a bit worried at first, but right away I realized that Master was purifying my body; this was a good thing. I put the medicine bottle away and tried to endure the pain. After three or four days, the infected area was so swollen and painful that I could hardly eat. Even though the pain was so unbearable, it did feel a bit different compared to the previous infections. I remained confident and believed in Master. I did not know how long I could stand this pain, but I told myself that regardless of what would happen, I would not touch the medication.

When I woke up the next day I was surprised to find that half of the pain was gone, and a couple of days later the pain was no longer there at all. I was also feeling something happening with the tooth over the following weeks, like an invisible force pushing the whole bad tooth out of the tooth bed. One day I effortlessly took the tooth out to discover that the gum underneath was almost totally healed. What a miracle I'd just witnessed! It is the power of Dafa.

During the first two years of my cultivation, our benevolent Master purified my body many times, and each time was always a miracle. The anxiety that I suffered in the past was also gone. All of the illnesses were no longer there. I was also addicted to smoking and was a heavy drinker, but I was able to abandon those bad habits simply with Dafa cultivation. I really can't express my gratitude enough for Master's compassion and salvation.

Elevating My Character Under Master's Guidance and Protection

Master said:

“If you truly follow the righteous way in cultivation practice, nobody will dare to do something to you at will. Besides, you have the protection of my fashen, and you will not be in any danger.” (Lecture three, Zhuan Falun)

Throughout the whole course of my cultivation, I always feel Master's protection. A few years ago, I was in a car accident. Driving home from the Sunday group exercise, I was waiting at the intersection for the green light. There was another car right behind me also waiting. A third car approached very fast from behind us and slammed into the car behind me. The impact of the collision was so strong that it made the car in the middle hit my car, bounce back and hit my car again. As a result, my car was pushed forward about a meter. When I realized what had happened, I told myself that I had the protection of Master and I would be okay. I got out of the car and told the young girl who'd caused the accident that I was okay and asked if she and the people in the middle vehicle were alright.

To my amazement, no one was hurt and all the cars suffered only minor scratches and dents. A tow truck arrived on the scene a few minutes later. When he saw what had just happened, he said it was a miracle. Later on, I understood that Master protected not only me, but the other people there that day as well. I am so grateful for Master's compassion and protection.

I really did not want the other two drivers to have any consequences from their insurance companies, so I told the young girl who caused the accident that I was absolutely alright, unhurt, and the damage to my car was trivial so I would not make any claim to the insurance company. I told her not to worry about it. But since it was the first time I'd had accident like this and it involved a third car, I was not sure if I should report it to the police by law. I went to the police station later to explain the situation, and the police officer said that I did it right and should not be worried about it. When I think about this accident later, I could not believe how Dafa has changed me. If I did not practice Falun Dafa, I would not behave as I did that day.

Like many other Falun Dafa disciples around the world, I try to elevate my mind and behavior to be a better person. Before starting my cultivation in Falun Dafa, I used to be antagonistic, egocentric, opinionated, and hot tempered. I used to behave as though I was the only good person, and I would consider anyone whose thinking did not align with mine as bad. I judged people based on their appearance and my own prejudices.

From Master Li 's teaching, I understand that I have predestined relationship with all of the people I meet in my life and I should cherish the opportunity to be with them.

I began to improve my character by learning to consider others first and to put myself in other people's shoes. As a result, my relationship with my family members, friends, and coworkers has improved a lot. A friend of mine told me that my inner self has changed for the better.

I work for a small family-owned wholesaler. In the past, when I thought other employees treated me unfairly, I used to fight back just to prove myself and to let them know that they should not take advantage of me. Soon after starting my cultivation, I realized that my previous behavior was not appropriate for a Falun Dafa practitioner. Fighting for my own interest and benefits would indeed make others suffer. I told myself: “I should not live my life like that anymore. I should change, be kind and tolerant to others whenever I can.”

Master said:

“Desiring a good life may infringe upon others’ interests, whet one’s selfish desires, take away others’ benefits, or lead to bullying and harming others. One will compete and fight for personal gain among everyday people. Isn’t this going against the characteristic of the universe?” (Lecture Two, Zhuan Falun)

I also changed my attitude when dealing with our customers. Instead of complaining and blaming them for unpleasant experiences, I learned to listen to their needs, try to give them sound advice, and even try to stop them from overbuying. By applying the principles and standards of Falun Dafa, I improved my relationships with my colleagues and customers. Some customers said that they'd shopped at many different stores but they never had as positive an experience as they'd had with me and my company, and they really enjoyed shopping with us. Some customers even found the owner to tell him they thought I was exceptional.
I want to let my friends out there know how wonderful Falun Dafa is. It is the most beautiful thing that has ever happened in my life and I have benefited so much from Dafa cultivation. Just like me, you too came a long way through numerous hardships, lifetime after lifetime, just for this moment. I hope you will not miss this precious opportunity, and that you will benefit from Dafa cultivation.

To my fellow practitioners, I want to thank all of you for your precious, constructive advice and sharing over the years. Let us keep being together, be more diligent on our cultivation path and assist our benevolent Master in saving more sentient beings.

I will never be able to express enough my gratitude toward my revered Master for his compassion and salvation. It is an honor for me to be a particle of Dafa.

Please kindly point out anything improper in my limited understanding.