Predestined Relationship with Falun Dafa: An Interview with Anders
(Clearwisdom.net) I want to tell you about a Western Falun Dafa practitioner from Sweden. His name is Anders Eriksson.
I had never met Mr. Eriksson before, and I wondered how a native northern European could be interested in an Eastern cultivation way. Could he really understand the cultivation culture that originated in the East? I called Mr. Eriksson and interviewed him.
When I asked him about his experience practicing Falun Dafa, he shared with me his wonderful, unforgettable memories.
"Before I practiced Falun Dafa, I was interested in religions and mysterious things. I read a lot of books about such things beginning when I was 13 and practiced many of them. When I was 29, I found Falun Gong. When I read the Falun Dafa book, many things mentioned in it were not foreign to me. I had heard of reincarnation and the celestial eye before.”
In 1995, Anders found Falun Dafa online. After reading Zhuan Falun twice, he was fascinated with the place where Falun Dafa was first introduced, China. In the fall of 1996, he and another practitioner went to China.
In China, Anders met many Falun Dafa practitioners and he was very excited. In the process of sharing with them, he began to understand what cultivation was. Anders was deeply impressed by Mr. Li Hongzhi's profound principles. “It was at that time when I got my first copy of the English edition of Zhuan Falun. I also got the tape of Teacher's lecture in Sweden that summer. When Teacher talked about the cosmos and Buddhas, I was fascinated,” Anders recalled.
If it were not for the persecution of Falun Dafa, also called Falun Gong, which was launched by Jiang Zemin and the Chinese Communist Party in July of 1999, Anders and practitioners overseas would go to China every year to share their cultivation experience with practitioners in China. Unfortunately, the persecution has lasted 12 years and is still ongoing. Hence, their trip to China at the end of 1998 was the last trip to China they ever made.
Anders was immersed in his happy memories of the practice. He told me how he had the courage to speak in front of everyone about his experiences for the first time.
"I have been to China three times. The last time I was there was from December 1998 to January 1999. We went from Beijing to Dalian and joined an experience sharing conference with about 200 people. I knew they wanted to let me join them because I was the only Westerner there. It was an enormous responsibility for me.
"Yes, I needed a lot of courage because my heart was beating so fast while I was sitting there, and I was very nervous. I knew I had to get up there and talk, because everyone expected me to. A lady from the U.S. offered to translate for me, so I spoke in English about things that had happened in my practice.”
Listening to practitioners in China share their experiences had a tremendous impact on Anders. They talked about things that happened when they had to improve their personality, about their righteous belief in Teacher and the Fa principles, when they were faced with tribulations.
"Before we left, many practitioners gathered to say goodbye. I remember it was a very touching moment, and many of them cried, not because they were sad but because they saw how magnificent Falun Dafa is. The assistant practitioners in Dalian did so well in their practice. When I heard their experiences, I was very touched. A Chinese practitioner translated what they said into Swedish for me. I had my eyes closed as I listened to her, when suddenly she stopped translating. I opened my eyes and saw that she was crying because she was deeply touched as well.”
Anders has never forgotten the morning he left Dalian. At the seashore, he did the exercises with tens of thousands of practitioners, and afterward he had to leave. “When I was in Dalian, I felt a very strong energy. I felt like crying many times and I did not know why. Before we went back to Beijing, we did the exercises together on the last day and then we said goodbye. I think there were tens of thousands of us,” he remembered.
In early 1999, Jiang Zemin's regime began to harass practitioners. Anders wrote a letter to the Dalian city government and told them about the beauty of Falun Dafa from a foreigner's point of view. “The last time we were in Dalian, we kind of knew that the persecution was going to happen. We wrote a letter to the Dalian authorities, because something happened between practitioners and the police in Dalian. I tried to explain to them that Falun Dafa is good and we foreigners liked it very much. We turned the letter in, but the persecution still began a few months later.”
I asked Anders how he had benefitted the most from practicing Falun Dafa. He thought for a little while and replied, “For me, the best reward in practicing Falun Dafa is the inner peace and harmony.”
Anders loves to play guitar and has done since he was young. After the persecution began, he switched from playing classica; guitar to singing songs he composed. The songs are his true voice, reaffirming that nothing can change his determination to practice.
by Anders Eriksson
There’s too many people that do not care.
They say it ain’t no use in trying
But the oppressors, they’re everywhere,
and so many innocents are dying.
Everybody, make your choice, we have to act as one.
One body, one voice, united we are strong
They got money and they got guns,
create turmoil and confusion.
But we got spirit, and we got faith.
It’s a peaceful revolution.