(Minghui.org) The Southern U.S. Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference was held on August 27, 2023, in Houston, Texas. Fifteen practitioners shared how practicing Falun Dafa benefited them and how they were motivated to help others.

Practitioners from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arizona, Texas, and other states attended the event. Before the conference, the host recalled how Falun Dafa’s founder Mr. Li Hongzhi visited the city in 1996 and brought hope to the region.

The Southern U.S. Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference was held in Houston on August 27, 2023.

A practitioner talks about her experience during the Southern U.S. Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference.

Improving Family Relationships

Ms. Zhang came to the United States three years ago and said her parents often quarreled when she was a child. Because of this, she was selfish and stubborn and had a lot of negative thoughts. After they married, she and her husband also had conflicts, leaving their family on the verge of divorce.

One day in 2020, Ms. Zhang saw in an online video about an ancient prophecy that a sage from the east would come. She remembered Master Li (Falun Dafa's founder) and began to listen to the recordings of his audio lectures in Guangzhou, China. “Everything Master said was so good. I listened to the lectures again and again,” Ms. Zhang recalled. “What Master said was so sincere and compassionate, and every word was imprinted in my mind. When I saw Master’s Buddha statue appearing in the video, my tears flowed – I never had such a feeling before.”

Before she began practicing she had a neck problem. All her muscles felt tight and she was dizzy and could not sleep. After joining the group exercise for the first time, she was shocked that the muscle tightness was gone. She felt the decades of being instilled with the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) atheist thoughts were gone.

The Falun Dafa principles were so profound that Ms. Zhang felt as if she woke up from a dream. “I cherished this opportunity very much and asked myself why I did not know Falun Dafa earlier. The practice is so good and I am really thankful to Master Li,” she explained. “My work schedule is flexible. I have time to read the Falun Dafa teachings and do the exercises.” She said that even though she only sleeps four or five hours, she is always filled with energy.

When she read that Master mentioned memorizing the Falun Dafa teachings in various lectures, Ms. Zhang began to memorize Zhuan Falun. The first time took her over a year but the second time took only six months. Memorizing the book for the third time, Ms. Zhang said that it has helped her to fully assimilate herself to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

She said Falun Dafa's teachings also helped her understand that everything happens for a reason. “If my father were still alive, I would thank him for raising me and apologize for negative things I said when I was young,” she added. She learned to be strict with herself as a Falun Dafa practitioner while being compassionate and forgiving toward others. As a result, her family environment improved and everyone lis living in harmony.

Saving Chinese Tourists in Vietnam

Yan Nguyen from Vietnam began to practice Falun Dafa in 2016. After reading all of Master Li's lectures in three months, she realized the importance of telling people the facts about Falun Dafa. Since her hometown in Vietnam is a popular tourist attraction, Nguyen wanted to tell Chinese tourists about Falun Dafa.

One month later, Nguyen’s job miraculously changed. “At that time, I had two options – leading a team of about 1,000 people or taking a position in my hometown where my company had seven real estate projects,” she said. Remembering her wish to clarify the truth to Chinese people, Nguyen went back to her hometown in Vietnam.

In the beginning, she could only speak very simple Chinese such as “This is for you” or “Hope you will be safe.” While studying Chinese herself, she also hired a tutor. Nguyen learned quickly and memorized some contents from Minghui that can be used to talk to Chinese tourists.

Rain or shine, Nguyen did not waste a single day. While waiting for tourists, she recited Hong Yin (a collection of poems by Master Li) and “On Dafa”, or practiced her Chinese. But it was not easy. One day dozens of Chinese tourists surrounded her and laughed at her while singing the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) anthem. But Nguyen was not disturbed and continued talking. She felt Master Li was by her side helping her. As she continued talking, Nguyen was worried that these tourists had been misled by the CCP’s lies. Eventually, the Chinese tourists became silent.

Some tour guides threatened to beat her. Some tourists threw materials Nguyen handed them on the ground or spat in her face. When this happened, instead of fighting back Nguyen and the other practitioners looked within to see how they could do better. Over time, the tour guides became polite and the tourists' attitudes also changed. The tour buses also waited until practitioners finished talking about Falun Dafa. Some tourists waved as the buses left, calling out, “Falun Dafa is good” or conveyed their greetings to Master Li.

Nguyen felt Master Li had arranged for more and more Chinese people to travel to Vietnam to hear the facts about Dafa. No matter where she goes, there are always many Chinese tourists. It felt as if she lived in China. She treats them well and makes friends with them. Some have kept in touch with Nguyen.

Even though she's busy every day, Nguyen said her life is fruitful and happy. There are miraculous experiences every day and Dafa always gives her wisdom when she encounters difficulty. Sometimes when she reads Zhuan Falun, Nguyen says her body feels gigantic like a mountain. “One day after talking with Chinese tourists I took a 10-minute nap when I got home. I felt my body was as large as a mountain. I also felt my shoulder was heavy – probably due to the responsibilities on my shoulder,” she said.

Public School Teacher

As a public school teacher, Ms. Gu said the monthly school district meeting is a platform for her to talk about Falun Dafa. The attendees include parents, local residents, and students.

Gu often introduced Falun Dafa by using topics that parents were concerned about. When left-leaning opinions dominated the board of directors, she emphasized that school is a place for children to learn knowledge and skills. From the angle of traditional Chinese culture, she talked about how lust could destroy a person. She also mentioned scientific evidence showed that sex-related books and videos negatively affected brain development. Many audience members supported her efforts to prevent inappropriate content from appearing on campus.

As the left-leaning opinions continued to influence people of all ages, Gu decided to tell them how freedom of belief is suppressed in China through the documentary, Eternal Spring. When playing this movie in the monthly school district meeting, Gu explained how the CCP suppressed faith systems like Falun Dafa in China along with the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

Looking back on her life, Gu is thankful that she grew up in a family with traditional Chinese culture while receiving education in the U.S. All these helped her to tell people about Dafa and fulfill her mission as a Dafa disciple. “My job is a teacher in the school, but I also interact with lots of people, students, their parents, other teachers, my family, friends, neighbors, and other members of the community,” she said. “All these are opportunities for me to follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and inspire others positively. This is also a process of validating the Fa.”

A Family of Three Generations

Three generations of the Smiles family practice Falun Dafa. Grandmother Patricia Smiles talked about letting go of attachments such as competitiveness and jealousy while interacting with other practitioners.

A practitioner recently moved in with the family. She does not have a job, instead, she often goes out to talk with residents in the community about Dafa. Patricia remotely works from home six days a week for news media. Observing this practitioner's flexible schedule, Patricia felt unbalanced. She realized her attachments of competitiveness and jealousy were exposed.

One day when she read the section about jealousy in Zhuan Falun, Patricia suddenly realized that she was like the abbot monk mentioned in the lecture and was shocked. “I asked Master for help so that I could get rid of such negative thoughts. When I did the exercises later that day, I felt compassion and I knew that was how I should treat that practitioner,” she said. “I also realized this was an opportunity to eliminate my attachments. When I let go of them, all my bad thoughts were gone as if they never existed.”

Patricia’s daughter Tabitha Smiles used to work in many news media and was a producer of a video program. It was a startup business and there were no examples to follow. “When the project failed, I felt as if I had reached the lowest point in my life,” she said. “I knew I was attached to validating myself. But I encountered one failure after another. When looking inward, I realized I did not have a good understanding of Dafa's principles and I did not let go of fundamental attachments. I mistook doing projects as cultivation and saving people.”

As she continued to look inward, Tabitha noticed her cultivation improved. When she joined the Epoch Times, she wanted to be a customer service representative. But she later became a manager and was responsible for training other customer service representatives. “I knew Master Li gave me these skills to validate Dafa and save people. There is nothing special about me,” she explained. “This is also a good place for me to cultivate myself and let go of selfishness.”

Tabitha’s daughter Genvieve Quintanilla experienced severe depression in the past. When she began working in the Tianti Bookstore in New York several years ago, she began to practice Falun Dafa and bought a copy of Falun Gong. She finished reading the book in one night. She said she was very touched and the experience was amazing. Her depression was soon gone.

Right now working as a customer service representative, Genvieve said she had encountered some customers who were yelling and screaming. “But when I sat down and listened to them calmly with no resentment or other negative feelings, the problems would soon be resolved over the phone. They thanked me for my patience and shared the happiness from their heart. They said they really like the Epoch Times and thanked them for their hard work.”

Looking back on these experiences, Genvieve said she is thankful for these customers. “Their anger gave me opportunities to eliminate karma, improve xinxing, tell them about the persecution in China, and share how good Dafa is,” she added.

A New Life

Vivian was born in an artist family in Hanoi, Vietnam. Because her family was wealthy, she was arrogant and had many bad habits including smoking, gaming, and drinking alcohol. She went bankrupt at age 20 because of her gambling. After getting married, her business did not go well. Both her husband and her parents criticized her. To make things worse, she was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer.

“I was only 30 but my life was nearly over,” Vivian recalled. “I hated everyone including myself. I often verbally abused my parents and my children. My children said I was a tigress.” Vivian was even more upset during the property separation when she and her husband divorced. If anyone mentioned her ex-husband or his family, she became infuriated.

Fortunately, Vivian heard about Falun Dafa through her second husband and began practicing. Soon after that, she regained her health. “I also came to understand where my problems came from. That anger and bad thoughts were not part of me. They were from bad substances that accumulated over time,” she said. “I tried to look within and send forth righteous thoughts. It was not easy since the bad thoughts returned when I slacked off in cultivation. I am a new practitioner but I could feel that Master Li has helped me so much.”

Now when she talks with her parents and children, Vivian is always patient and kind. “After each conversation, I look inward to see where I can do better,” she continued. “We treat each other well and my family is filled with laughter. My children trust me and ask for my advice. They also support my practice of Falun Dafa since they know the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are the best.”

Vivian and her husband own a restaurant. “I know that this is an opportunity from Master for me to cultivate, tell people the facts about Dafa, and save them,” she said. “Each of our dishes is of high quality at a reasonable price. Our business is going well and I treat our employees and our customers well. When there are conflicts, Falun Dafa's principles show me how to handle them with compassion.”

Vivian was also able to let go of her resentment toward her ex-husband. Whenever she sees him or her former in-laws, Vivian treats them with compassion and tells them about Dafa. Seeing her positive attitude, they were also impressed by how great Falun Dafa is.

The conference ended at 4:30 p.m. The attendees liked the experience sharing very much. One practitioner said she would cherish the cultivation opportunities and make the best use of her time to improve and save people.