Western Practitioner from Holland: My Path of Cultivation
Presented at the recent European Experience Sharing Conference
I am a Dutch Falun Gong practitioner from Brabant. I am 19 years old. I obtained the Fa last year. Since my youth I have been interested in the unexplained, like UFO's, aliens, people with supernormal powers, etc. I have never had any disbelief nor scepticism towards supernatural things.
Around my 16th birthday, I started to get into Eastern martial arts more and more. Many Eastern martial arts use qi, and they teach that one uses this qi for supernormal achievements. So I became more interested in qi, and got in touch with qigong and Tai Chi. Around my 17th birthday I decided to practice Tai Chi together with my mother. I enjoyed doing it because I thought I could improve my energy this way. But soon I noticed that I was about the only one who was practicing seriously. Many people around me would talk about the news and other stuff during the practice. I found it rather impolite.
After practicing Tai Chi for a year, I decided to find something else. I remembered a website I had seen before about Falun Gong and decided to have another look. I started to learn the five sets of exercises by myself from the video clips, and started to read the book Falun Gong once in a while. After some time I also started with Zhuan Falun and got more interested in Falun Gong. I have to admit that my first intention was to use Falun Gong to develop my supernormal powers. But soon I changed my mind, upgraded my xinxing and became a true Falun Gong practitioner. Falun Gong really changed my life, including my inner being. Before, I used to be rather intolerant and got stressed quickly over little things. I was also very attached to my sexuality. I discovered in myself that my character was unsteady. One week I was a tough guy, the next week I was a sensitive boy, the next week a joker, and yet another time a quiet guy. After learning Falun Gong, I at last came closer to my true self, and my character is getting closer to Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance, step by step.
During a holiday job in a warehouse, my foot was accidently driven over by a forklift. I was required to wear safety boots on the job. When the forklift drove over my foot, I noticed that the complete nose of my boot had been flattened, but my toes were spared. Afterwards I heard that the steel noses of the safety boots often collapse in such cases, with the consequence being that the toes are chopped off. In my case this didn't happen, and I was protected. The forklift driver was scared, but I was very quiet, and wasn't afraid at that moment. I neither blamed him for it nor got at all angry.
Another experience I had was when I went out with my friends to a discotheque. A very beautiful girl with long blond hair was standing close to me. She danced graciously in front of me and came closer and closer. At a certain moment she started to caress me and made several movements. I only smiled and didn't respond. At that moment one of her friends came in between us and the whole thing was over. I had a similar experience at another occasion in another discotheque.
My xinxing has improved more and more during this past year. For instance, with the fifth exercise, at first I didn't manage to get over 30 minutes. Recently I managed a few times to keep it up for an hour. What I think is that I should have pure tolerance and forbear without emotions such as anger or the like, and without the thought that I should quit.
Forbearance is something that, I think, stands for real strength. Ordinary people talk about physical strength, like in having big muscles. But I think real strength is within the forbearance of a person - to have a strong, unshakable mind.
In my eyes, compassion is something beautiful. It is being friendly and polite at all times, radiating a feeling of compassion towards all living beings around you, being able to put oneself in another person's position and considering others in all respects. Ordinary people live for sentimentality, Gods live for compassion. Sentimentality is something selfish. Compassion, I think, is just the opposite. Truthfulness to me means sincerity, doing the right things as they should be done. If one is tolerant and compassionate, I think he or she is also practicing truthfulness. Furthermore I think that the more beautiful you are on the inside, the more beautiful you will look on the outside. The internal affects the external, but not the other way around. The higher your level, the more beautiful it will be, when displayed.
Now, I would like to share some of my experiences in clarifying the truth of Falun Gong. I did a lot for this on the internet, especially at the beginning. I visited several forums on the internet where I talked about Falun Gong and the persecution, and asked people if they would be willing to sign a petition. On spirituality - oriented forums especially, the responses were very positive. I therefore decided to focus more on spiritually oriented people, because in my eyes, and from my experience, these people seemed easier to save. I went on with this for quite some time, but at a certain moment I thought I was doing something wrong. I only talked to spiritually oriented people? I thought to myself: "suppose it was wartime, and everywhere were wounded people. Who would you save first, the seriously injured ones, or the ones with minor injuries?" What I am trying to say is that I started to focus my attention more on Chinese people, since in my eyes they are more poisoned than other people. I wrote to Chinese restaurants, sent e-mails to Chinese websites, and sent letters to Chinese organizations in Holland. I also sent letters to snack bars run by Asian people. I included information about the CCP and the Nine Commentaries. Nowadays, there are many snack bars and restaurants run by Chinese and other Asian people. This gives us a good opportunity to tell them the truth. Therefore, I advise everyone to pay attention to this in their neighbourhood and surroundings.
I also joined in activities to spread the Fa, and sent righteous thoughts in front of the Chinese embassy. For a long time I only stayed at home, although I always wanted to join in Hongfa activities. However, I did not have any travelling experience. I hardly ever rode the bus or train. When I did go out, I noticed my level rose up. It's really wonderful to be in contact with other practitioners and work together in the current cosmic climate.
Finally, as for those fellow practitioners, who, just like me before, didn't go to activities to clarify the truth with other practitioners because of the long travelling time, I hope you will go anyway, because it's really a unique experience one can have only in this lifetime. Don't let the opportunity pass by!