(Minghui.org) As people around the world celebrate the 2021 Chinese New Year, Falun Dafa practitioners paid their respects to Master Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa. They expressed their gratitude, writing about their cultivation experiences and how Dafa's guiding principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance have brought positive changes to their daily lives.

“Falun Dafa Gives Me Hope in Troubled Times”

Valerie Avore, a Falun Dafa practitioner in Troy, Michigan

Valerie Avore, a practitioner in Troy, said, “Thank you, Master, for bringing Dafa to the world. Today’s world is full of chaos. Dafa has given me hope and made me calm and pure.

“Using the principles of Dafa to guide my life, I can understand the truth more clearly in today’s chaotic society and can find common ground with people who disagree with me. I’ve learned to consider others first and listen to their viewpoints, and my life has become more peaceful and compassionate.”

Valerie wrote, “My neighbor’s ideology is completely different from mine. We usually just wave at each other but seldom chat. One snowy day, he was helping clear the snow from my driveway. I went outside and thanked him. He told me that he had participated in the Vietnam War. He said that he saw a placard on my car that he strongly agreed with. It said, “End the CCP” (i.e., “End the Chinese Communist Party”). We talked for a long time. Even though we have different viewpoints, we found common ground.”

“Thank you, Master, for bringing us this broad and profound Dafa. When I remember 'Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good' and use these principles to guide my life, every day is filled with hope.”

Teacher: Thank You, Master, for Helping Me Navigate Life

Mary Manthey, a Falun Dafa practitioner in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Mary Manthey from Ann Arbor is a teacher. She said, “Our world is now in a state of chaos. Sticking to the truth is more important than ever. There are many distractions and temptations in today’s society that try to divert us from the path of justice.”

On the occasion of the Chinese New Year, Mary expressed her gratitude to Master for guiding her to upgrade her character and showing her how to navigate her life's journey.

She said, “Thousands of words cannot express my gratitude to Master in my heart! Master, you have worked hard! I wish Master a Happy New Year!”

Young Practitioner: Falun Dafa Is My Moral Compass

Annie Chen, a young practitioner from Troy, Michigan

Annie Chen is a young practitioner from Troy. She said, “I started to practice Falun Dafa with my mother when I was two years old. I didn’t fully understand the profound meaning of Falun Dafa when I was young. I was naughty, and I just imitated my mother's movements. As I grew older, I realized why I wanted to practice Dafa. Falun Dafa is great. It has always been my moral compass and taught me to be sincere, kind, and tolerant in my daily life.”

She said that, during these difficult times, Falun Dafa gives her and her family hope, peace, and health, “I am very grateful that Master taught us Falun Dafa and brought it to the world. I wish Master a Happy Chinese New Year!”

New Practitioner: Thank You, Master, for Giving Me a New Life

Vivian LaFarge, a new practitioner from Ann Arbor, Michigan

Vivian LaFarge from Ann Arbor said, “Thank you, Master! My journey of cultivation has just begun. Thank you for giving me a new life.”

Vivian shared how she began to practice Falun Dafa. She said, “I knew about Falun Dafa when I was in college in my early 20s. I lived in Atlanta at that time. I occasionally went to the park and did the Falun Dafa exercises with practitioners there because my heart longed for goodness. I did not learn the principles of Falun Dafa. I just did the exercises.

“I later joined a religious group. I lived all over the world because of my work. After I returned to the United States and married, I left that religious group. Because of my experience with that group, I was on guard about all such practices.

“Since childhood I felt I had a connection with gods and lives in divine realms. Sometimes I felt very sad because I couldn’t find a way that could systematically guide me. My health also began deteriorating to the point that I became bedridden. My family began to prepare for my funeral when I wasn't even 40. Just as I was getting ready to have a major operation, I also began to firmly believe that there must be a spiritual practice that could help restore a person’s health.

“I began searching on the Internet for that practice (Falun Dafa) that I'd learned back in Atlanta. Finally I saw Falun Dafa on YouTube and watched all the videos about it. I clearly saw how the media slanders Dafa. Those slanderous remarks just proved to me that Falun Dafa is the truth, because only the truth is subjected to organized attacks. The video that exposes the staged self-immolation also played a key role. I felt that I was standing with Falun Dafa. It was the autumn of 2018 and my life changed.

“I was able to connect with the local Falun Dafa practice site and began to do the exercises with the group regularly. I experienced wonderful changes in my body. I also started to practice on my own.

“My health quickly recovered after I began to practice, and I felt even better than when I was in high school. My career has also improved.

“One day at the practice site, I was suddenly unable to do the second exercise. Why couldn’t I stand up? I felt dizzy whenever I raised my arms. I tried to kneel while holding my arms up but that didn’t work, either. The coordinator said, ‘Ask Master for help.’

“I asked Master in my heart, ‘Can I follow you to study the Fa?’ What happened next was startling. A voice replied, ‘We have already been waiting for you for a long time.’ I realized that was Master's voice! I'd heard a voice in my head talking to me since I was little. I never knew whether this voice was mine or from heaven. At that moment I finally understood that voice was Master's!

“I couldn’t stop crying. I thought, 'Compassionate and great Master has been watching over me since I was born!' I felt enveloped by kindness and spiritual comfort, a feeling of returning home, and a sense of belonging. I finally found what I had been looking for all my life! I was still crying when I returned home.

“I’m an engineer and I’m naturally strong-willed. My husband thought that something terrible had happened. As he comforted me, I went from crying to laughing, and I told him what happened. He was also greatly moved and began to believe in Falun Dafa. He started reading Zhuan Falun and practicing the exercises.

“Thank you, Master, for introducing Falun Dafa. I need to study the Fa well. My cultivation path has just begun. Thank you for giving me a new life!”