(Minghui.org) May 13, 2022, was the 23rd World Falun Dafa Day and the 30th anniversary of Falun Dafa’s public introduction. For the past 30 years, more than 100 million practitioners in more than 100 countries have benefited from practicing Falun Dafa. They are of different cultures and ethnicities, but they all uphold the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. Their physical and mental health and moral standards have improved through the practice.

To mark this significant anniversary, practitioners in New Zealand shared how they started on their paths of cultivation and expressed their infinite gratitude to Master Li, the founder of Falun Dafa.

Master’s Boundless Compassion

Mr. Niknil Govind

Mr. Niknil Govind, originally from India, is now a company manager in New Zealand. He started to practice Falun Gong in India in 2006 when he was in college. Zhuan Falun answered many questions on a spiritual level that he had pondered since he was a child. He practiced and studied the Fa every day and introduced Falun Gong to people on campus. He was full of energy every day, and his gastrointestinal problems that had troubled him for many years disappeared. His grades also greatly improved.

He came to New Zealand for graduate school. Because he was no longer with his group of fellow practitioners, he slacked off. His attachments to comfort, ease, and lust that hadn’t been removed resurfaced. His cultivation state continued to decline. He felt ashamed and depressed.

“My health was deteriorating. My brain sustained some damage that I believe was from depression. I couldn’t hold long conversations with anyone because I had major issues recalling and remembering words,” he said.

“On top of that, things at home environment were a mess—my parents and my disabled sister lived with us, and my wife and my mother never got along well. They fought all the time over trivial things. And that often led to high levels of stress, tension, and grief for all of us. All this stressed our relationship as a couple, which led to depression and anxiety issues for my wife. She was in very bad shape.

“I was beset with depression because of my personal state, and my family was falling apart. I had no one to share this with as I didn’t have many close friends. It was the toughest tribulation that I had ever faced in my life.

“However lost I was, I never lost my belief in Dafa and Master. So I once again started to practice. I studied the teachings and did the exercises every day. I also sent righteous thoughts every day. I slowly started to notice that my mind was getting clearer. Since I resumed cultivation in early 2019, I’ve gotten rid of all those bad habits that stemmed from lust and desires and have remained clean.

“At present, I hardly ever think of lust or have a desire for it, and I reject any thoughts that arise from it. I stopped watching TV a long time back. Things at home are now harmonious and peaceful. My wife has also taken up the practice.

“I cannot put my gratitude into words nor can I ever fully thank our venerable Master enough for saving me from the inevitable destruction. I realize that I can only ever repay a fraction of what Master did to save me by cultivating solidly and fulfilling my vow. I have only one thought in mind and that is to genuinely cultivate well, improve my xinxing, and reach the standard where Master wants me to be.”

Understanding the Meaning of Life

Margo MacVicar

Margo MacVicar is the head of the New Zealand branch of the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC). She is also responsible for the broadcast and promotion of many Falun Gong films in New Zealand. She is positive and optimistic, with a smile on her face every day, but her life has been very bumpy.

“When I grew up, I had many obstacles to overcome,” she recalled. “I was one of 10 children, so things at home were chaotic. My position in the family meant that I missed out on the care and attention that every child needs. As a result of this, I grew up very shy and reserved. I had very little confidence and didn’t trust people. I always resented not getting my needs met when I was young.

“For the early part of my life, I lived a reserved, guarded existence and was always cautious of people. I thought I always had to protect myself. In spite of my unfulfilled life, or maybe because of it, I was always attracted to spiritual things. As a result, I was always searching for what I perceived to be a more meaningful existence. I searched far and wide and even traveled to India in the hope of finding a spiritual master. I dabbled in many different practices, but I knew that none of them was quite right.

“In 2000, my life came crashing down, and everything I ever knew was taken away. We had a death in our family, my husband and daughters left home, my stepdaughter got run over by a car, and, finally, I lost my precious cat. This was the last straw, so I decided to run away from home. I was totally broken and felt there was nothing left in life for me.

“Although I had been through a traumatic time, I had a vague sense that things were going to be OK. I settled in another part of the country where I started to build a new life. I continued to search and finally started practicing qigong. This was short-lived as I soon realized that it was simply focused on healing and fitness. I was looking for a holistic practice that involved mind, body, and spirit. Shortly afterward a friend of mine suggested that we go to our nearby town as she had seen a sign promoting a spiritual practice. This is how I was introduced to Falun Dafa.

“Within five minutes of doing the first exercise I experienced a combination of the most intense pain in my upper back and arms and an overwhelming sense of joy—I knew I had found what I was looking for. I immediately bought a copy of Zhuan Falun and stayed up all night reading it from cover to cover. My joy and sense of peace at this time were indescribable.

“Sometime after I enlightened to the fact that all the tribulations in my early life were to pay off karma. I also came to understand that my latest tribulations were necessary for me to be able to obtain the Fa.

“I feel truly blessed, because Falun Dafa has given my life meaning and direction. My health issues, including a deep sadness, dissipated and have been replaced with a tremendous feeling of peace and contentment. Previous intense fear has been replaced with a knowing that all is going according to plan.

“I sincerely thank Master for his patience and compassion throughout my long and arduous journey. I hope that many more people will have the opportunity to experience this glorious practice of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

I Seem to Have Become a New Person’

Rodney Saez

Rodney Saez started practicing Falun Gong in 2005. He had always been looking for things in the spiritual realm. He once went to Europe to study qigong. After he returned, a friend introduced him to Falun Gong. When he read the first lecture, he felt a sudden burst of excitement. It seemed that door after door was opened, and those questions about life, human beings, and the universe that had troubled him for a long time were answered.

After practicing, the first thing that improved was his health. His ailing left kidney functioned normally and his spinal pain went away. He no longer pursued fame and fortune or conflicts but looked inward to find inner peace. He said he really enjoys practicing the exercises and makes it a point to study the teachings every day. He often participates in truth-clarification activities.

He enlightened that the biggest obstacle for Western practitioners to learn Dafa was that they like a comfortable life. But in cultivation, you run into tests every day. The tests may be so big and painful that sometimes they can’t bear them.

He thought that cultivation in the human world was more difficult than in a temple, because in a temple, one is forced to let go of everything, including work, family, and emotions. If one can let go of emotions, one can be at peace. But in ordinary society, one has to work, pay bills, and face all kinds of temptations—and still must pass many tests.

“I know that Master has been protecting me for so many years,” Mr. Saez said. “Through cultivation, I seem to have become a new person. I thank Master for giving me the opportunity to practice Dafa and for everything that Master has done for me.”