(Minghui.org) I began cultivating Falun Dafa when I was 24 years old. I was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 22, and while for the most part I responded well to medication, I did experience significant negative symptoms (a common manifestation of schizophrenia). This meant that I didn’t communicate much, was depressed, very quiet and withdrawn, and had low motivation and apathy.
Although you could say that it took a while for me to fully grasp and understand the essence of meditation and cultivation, I soon began to realize that the root cause of my negative symptoms was living life in the fast lane and not being self-aware and fully conscious of my thoughts and feelings.
Cultivating Falun Dafa soon changed me, and I became a more engaged, present, talkative and articulate human being instead of a scatterbrained workaholic who didn’t know how to slow down and reflect on personal issues and life itself.
I also gradually began to appreciate the beauty of traditional Chinese culture. What intrigued me most about this particular culture was how every single part of it—be it the intricate language, the food or the way food is eaten and celebrated for special festivities—fundamentally brought people together and enabled them to slow down and be completely present. I have found traditional Chinese culture to be significantly deeper and more profound when compared to the very superficial nature and largely outward-focused Western culture. Traditional Chinese culture seems to focus on inner meanings and inner beauty.
When I first began practicing Falun Dafa my family was not very receptive to it and seemed quite confused as to why I was practicing something that was fundamentally Chinese rather then sticking to my Catholic roots in keeping with how I was raised. However, due to the fact that I have close relatives who also have schizophrenia, my immediate family members saw for themselves how much better I was in terms of independence, social activities, and intellectual ability when compared to themselves, since I took up the practice of Falun Dafa. I am no longer lost. They have also witnessed my personal journey from being largely withdrawn from life to now being fully engaged.
Remarkably, all my family members now fully appreciate Falun Dafa and the beauty of traditional Chinese culture that has been presented to them through Shen Yun performances.