(Minghui.org) Shoppers in a traffic-free area in northern Germany have an opportunity to encounter a Falun Dafa booth and to learn about this ancient meditation practice for mind and body.

Barbara, a frequent volunteer at the booth, resides in a northern German town and represents all characteristics attributed to people in that region—conscientious, responsible, modest, upright and warmhearted. She is the good soul who organizes everything, and is always there when needed. The following is the story of how she began practicing Falun Dafa.

Discovering Falun Dafa at an Exhibition

A signpost for an esoteric exhibition led Barbara to Falun Dafa. At that time she was in a desperate search for something that could cure her insomnia and migraines. Thus, she visited the exhibition several days in a row and bought lots of different items.

“I saw a Falun Dafa booth in one of the corners,” she recalled. “There were practitioners doing a standing meditation and a child sitting in the double lotus meditation position. I was fascinated, but had no idea what this was all about.” Without further ado, she joined them and did so for several days.

Barbara asked where she could continue to practice after the exhibition was over. A practitioner told her there was no practice site in this town yet. Thus, Barbara began to work with the practitioner compiling a list of those who showed interest in learning it. “More than 30 people registered on that list,” she remembered.

Practitioners from Hamburg agreed to come again and teach the exercises in Barbara's town. Because another practitioner had left, soon afterwards Barbara became the coordinator of a new exercise group. In support of the new group, practitioners from other cities agreed to come during the weekends. Barbara also started to participate in exhibitions the following year, providing people opportunities to learn Falun Dafa.

End of a Long Search

Before Barbara began to practice, she suffered from different kinds of ailments. Since childhood she had insomnia. Therefore, she looked for and constantly tried new treatments, but they were unsuccessful. She even took pain killers at times.

“I suffered from insomnia and migraines. Even after trying different treatments bought at the esoteric exhibition my health did not improve. I tried everything and nothing helped, such as Tai Chi, acupuncture and yoga,” she said.

Barbara shared her first impression after trying the Falun Dafa exercises, “I did not know what to expect at first, but the exercises were rather simple, but powerful. I just had a strong sense that this was what I needed!”

Sleeping for the First Time

Barbara had slept only one-and-a-half hours each night for years because of insomnia.

“I fell asleep after I had read the second page of Zhuan Falun. This is the fist time I experienced this in my life. Thus, I kept reading the book. At first, I did not understand much. But, something prodded me on to keep reading. Even before finishing the entire book did I experience the importance of Fa study,” she added.

Barbara's migraines, which had impaired her life and work, started to ease up. “I felt somehow lighter after studying the Dafa teachings. Every evening, it did not take long to fall asleep. Suddenly, I could sleep--something I couldn't have imagined in the past. I could sleep for four or five hours. This was a wonderful gift,” she said.

Tireless Commitment to Expose the Persecution in China

Shortly after she learned the practice, Barbara heard about the persecution of Falun Dafa in China. “I could not understand it,” she recalled. “Actually no normal person can understand this—somewhere in the world people who had not committed any crime and who wanted to live by good principles are being persecuted!” she said.

From that time on, Barbara told anyone she came across about the persecution, and especially when she encountered a person from China, since many of them have been deceived by the regime's propaganda against the practice. Her husband supported her efforts.

“My husband bought equipment for me and took informational materials to wherever needed. For example, he drove several hours to other cities to help us. He also drove me to the International Society for Human Rights (SHR) in Vienna.”

Improving the Information Booths

At first, Barbara and practitioners from Hamburg set up information booths downtown where there are many pedestrians. Later, she bought her own information booth, including banners and a matching table cloth.

“In the beginning, I set up the information booth with practitioners from Hamburg. But, then I thought, 'Because we have so many practitioners, if we set up more booths in different locations, we can reach more people. With enough practitioners in our city, we can maintain several information booths and even support many other towns.'”

However, just informing people on the street didn't feel like enough to Barbara. One day she thought about contacting government officials. “I searched for the addresses of the town councils and then told them about the persecution of Falun Dafa in China and our local events. I also reached out to the media.”

Both the spiritual practice and efforts to help stop the persecution give Barbara a deep sense of fulfillment. She said that, through Falun Dafa, Master Li Hongzhi brings “positive energy” as well as “positive changes to the world.”