(Minghui.org) I’m from a small town on the east coast of Canada called Hampton in the province of New Brunswick. After finishing high school in 1998, I began studying Computer Science at the University of New Brunswick (UNB). Mid way through the second year of the program, I became less focused and was not doing well in some of my classes. I was drifting along with the unhealthy side of university life, spending too much time hanging out and partying with friends and not enough time studying. I also felt something was missing in my life, and a lot of questions I had were not being answered by the classes I was taking.

One night I laid awake, thinking to myself what I should do with my life? I started by asking myself what I really like and found interesting? The answer that came to me was that I liked the concept of finding something that would help guide me to become a better person. If I could learn how to improve and become better, I would be able to navigate the world no matter what field of study or career path life had in store for me. Since I had been practicing martial arts since I was 16, I felt there must be something out there from the ancient traditional Chinese martial arts that could lead me in the right direction. I decided at that moment that I would follow my heart to pursue this wish.

A few months later my university was organizing a summer camp exchange trip to China. I thought this could be a good opportunity to follow through on my wish, so I signed up for the three-week long summer camp.

Throughout the trip I kept asking the Chinese teachers how I could learn qigong, since that was my purpose for going on the trip. Usually the teachers would mention things like martial arts and Tai Chi, but said they didn’t know where I could learn qigong. However, on the last day of the trip one of the Chinese teachers sat down next to me in the quiet classroom, as the students were finishing up our final calligraphy writing lesson. With a very soft voice this teacher whispered that she knew I was looking for a practice and proceeded to tell me how there is a practice that had been banned by the government. When I heard this, my first thought was that it must be a very good and powerful practice. How could a practice from this ancient and mystical civilization be banned, I thought? I also felt very curious about why this teacher was whispering so secretly. I needed to know what this practice was called, so I asked her to tell me the name of it. She whispered back slowly “Falun Gong.” Say it again, I asked, because I wanted to be sure I could remember it. After the third repetition I felt it sank in and the name “Falun Gong” became clearly imprinted into my memory. Shortly after this conversation, the class ended and the students went outside to take a photo and celebrate the end of the summer camp.

When I returned home to Canada, I went online and searched for Falun Gong. I found the website www.falundafa.org and started reading the books. I quickly noticed changes in my thinking. One day I was sitting on the couch watching TV in the basement, and my sister walked over and punched me in the shoulder for no reason. It wouldn’t have been a big deal, except that I had recently dislocated and injured that shoulder playing sports, so it was still quite sore. I lost my temper, and snapped back at her in anger, but once I did a passage from the book Falun Gong flashed into my mind,

“There is an ancient saying: "When an everyday person is humiliated, he will draw his sword to fight." It means that when a common person is humiliated, he will draw his sword to retaliate, will swear at others, or will throw punches at them.”

I realized at that moment I was wrong and apologized to my sister. I felt the teaching was very powerful and could sense the impact I was having on my mind.

One year went by and I read Falun Gong a few times, but I had not attempted the exercises because I wanted to make sure I learned the movements correctly, but there were no practice groups in or nearby my hometown. From the website, I could see there were two options; I could go to Halifax which was the closer option. However, many of my high school friends were attending a university there and I thought it might be harder for me to focus on learning the practice and make a fundamental change in my lifestyle if I got distracted in that environment.

The next closest option was Montreal, which is around 10 hours from my hometown by car. However, one of my good friends was living in Montreal at the time and training to become an Olympic athlete. Going to Montreal seemed like the best option since it would also be easier to live a positive and healthy lifestyle with this friend who had a strict training schedule.

My friend had a small basement studio apartment near Olympic Stadium in Montreal, and he agreed to share his place with me. Once I was settled in, I called the local practice site to confirm the schedule for the group exercises on Saturday morning. I didn't know my way around Montreal, so I studied the map, got some instructions from my friend and made a plan on how get to the practice site on time.

By the time I got off the subway at the nearest stop it was almost time, so I started running towards the practice site. I arrived just in time. We sat down to begin the sitting meditation. I was out of breath and my heart was pounding from the running. I took a few deep breaths and began listening to the instructions given by the assistant of the practice site.

In the preparation instructions for the fifth exercise there is a line saying that “Compassion should arise in the heart.” (The Great Way of Spiritual Perfection) At that moment my heart was filled with mercy and compassion towards all people suffering in the world. After the hand-gestures is the Strengthening Sphere-Shaped Supernatural Powers position. As soon as I maintained that position an incredible sense of joy permeated my being. “You're finally doing it, you're finally doing it” was singing out from inside me.

The pain in my legs became very intense, but I kept thinking about what it says in Falun Gong about the black substance moving down to your legs during the meditation.

“When one is in great pain, there is a large chunk of the black substance—both inside and outside of the body—coming down and being eliminated. The pain one experiences while sitting in meditation is intermittent and excruciating. Some understand it and are determined not to unfold their legs.”

Several weeks later after practicing and reading with the group, I started to pass out flyers in Chinatown. At first, I just listened to what other practitioners were saying and read the flyers to get familiar with their content. I then started having some basic conversations with people and answering their questions.

After six months in Montreal, I returned to my hometown. Before leaving Montreal, I packed a duffel bag full of flyers and truth clarification materials to bring back so that I could continue letting people know about this wonderful practice.

Not long after I returned to my hometown, I started working full-time and used my spare time in the evenings to practice in the park and hand out flyers and talk to people about the practice. One night shortly after starting this routine, I had a dream that I was flying up into the universe. I took it as a sign that my level had risen. I continued going out to practice in the park and pass out flyers to let more people know what Falun Dafa is and how it’s being wrongfully persecuted in China. Sometimes, I felt a strong energy on the top of my head whenever I had a positive and productive conversation with someone about Falun Dafa. I had more dreams about flying up into the universe, and each time it seemed like I was going up higher and higher. I was encouraged, as it seemed like the more I practiced and followed the teachings, the higher my level was rising.