Looking at his smiling face, nobody, especially his friends, could imagine that David Rojas, once in hopeless pain, would one day become so happy, extroverted, and helpful.
Finding Meaning in Life After a Bleak Start
David had a job in Madrid with many friends. But with no motivation in life, he didn't feel happy inside. Nothing was meaningful to him. He tried to numb himself with alcohol, but gained nothing except an addiction. Frustrated, he moved back to his parents in Sevilla, where he did not get any better. So, he moved into a house on the beach by himself, hoping to isolate himself from society.
Searching for the meaning of life, he looked for all kinds of information on the internet, including religions, yoga, and diets. Nothing worked. Even worse, he developed pain in his back and feet. Due to severe back pain, he could sleep for no longer than four hours. His feet would burn if he stood up for more than 10 minutes. So, even in the middle of the night, he had to keep moving around to relieve the pain in his feet and back.
Doctors said that he had lumbar disc protrusion and sciatica; drugs could relieve the pain but not cure them, which meant that he would have to live with them for the rest of his life.
That was not what David wanted, so he started to look for other solutions.
He thought of Taichi and yoga, and some friends asked him to try qigong. After countless failures, when he could not even sit in a chair, he found Falun Gong.
Pain Gone in Two Weeks
David was surprised when he learned that all Falun Gong instructional materials, including books and videos, are free. Everything else he had found before were rather costly. He started to learn the exercises, following the videos, and read the books he downloaded from the internet.
Although his back was in extreme pain, when he was doing the second exercise, for which he needs to hold his arms above his head, he felt comfortable afterward. The longer he held his arms up, the more comfortable he felt later. Sometimes, he had no back pain for a whole day after doing the exercises. So, he started doing the exercises for longer durations. Normally, the exercise requires one to hold up one's arms for 30 minutes, but David extended it to two hours. Meanwhile, he also extended the sitting meditation; he found that that the longer he did it, the more comfortable he felt later. When he could not fall asleep, he listened to the recorded lectures by Master Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong.
An atheist at the time, he did not believe in miracles, but he could clearly sense all kinds of changes in himself. For instance, he could stand up straight. He knew that Falun Gong was good for him, so he kept practising. Two weeks later, when he woke up in the morning, he was surprised to find that his back pain was completely gone. Looking around the empty house in which he had lived by himself for two years, he asked himself, “What am I doing here?” So, he moved back to Sevilla.
Getting Rid of Hatred and Treating Others Kindly
After moving back home, he saw the hatred that had accumulated in his heart and made him a bitter person. As he continued to practice Falun Gong, he found the hate becoming weaker and weaker. “From the teachings of Falun Gong, I learned that we need to prioritize others and look at problems from other people's perspective. When we run into conflicts, we should look inward for our own shortcomings. So I started to look for my own problems.”
“I was an autocratic person. No matter when or where I was, I only wanted to follow my own desires and only considered myself. I enclosed myself. After I started practising Falun Gong, I started to consider others. I started to realize that I had unknowingly harboured hatred toward my family members. As I practised, the hatred started to disintegrate. My heart became peaceful and happy. I became a different person.”
David gave an example of how he deals with conflicts now. Recently, he and one of his colleagues had an argument over a work-related issue. He believed that he was right and his co-worker was wrong. In his heart, a voice kept repeating, “I am right. I am right.”
But he recalled Master Li Hongzhi's words:
“Some people are always stressing that they’re right, but even if you are right, even if you’re not wrong, so what? Have you improved on the basis of the Fa? The very act of using human thinking to stress who’s right and who’s wrong is in itself wrong.” (“Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan”)
He said to himself, “We should consider others, help others, and be kind to others. In work, we should take responsibility and not get angry. This is a test for me—a test to see if I can keep calm inside, and it's also a chance for me to improve myself.”
David said, “It's really hard to control one's own emotions. But practising Falun Gong helps a lot. It makes me understand how to follow the course of nature, how to forbear, and it makes me less selfish. When I am able to achieve this, I feel my body was light, my mind is clear, I can reject the negative thoughts, and therefore I am able to peacefully face the conflict and let go of my emotion.
“Later, I could see clearly that the conflict was not as serious as I felt it was. My co-worker was also trying to do his work, so I should respect him.”
David has been practising Falun Gong for two and a half years. He is convinced that the hate-filled person he once was is now at peace and happy.
“This is a fundamental change. Cultivating Falun Gong is to change oneself fundamentally, deep down from the inside, as Master Li Hongzhi said, to return to one's true self. Falun Gong has renewed my life and made me a better person.”
Telling the Public, “Falun Dafa is Good!”
Although David had benefited from Falun Gong, he was still confused when he first heard about the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
“I wanted to know the truth. The Chinese government said bad things about Falun Gong. Although I benefited from practising Falun Gong, I wasn't sure if I knew the whole truth.”
He started to look for more information and read all kinds of news. Gradually, he came to the conclusion that the Communist Party's attacks on Falun Gong are all lies. “All the practitioners I know are completely different from how the Party portrays them. Some of them told me how they were tortured in China because of their belief. The brutality of the persecution shows that it should not exist,” David said.
“I also read the reports from newspapers, such as the Washington Post, that revealed the truth. More importantly, Master Li Hongzhi's teachings are righteous and make sense. I was no longer confused by the Party's lies. I know Falun Gong is good.”
From his own experience, David knows how deceptive the Party propaganda can be to people who don't practice Falun Gong—even he, who had personally benefited from Falun Gong, was once confused. He hopes that more people will learn what Falun Gong really is. He wants to tell everyone, especially the Chinese, “Falun Dafa is good!”
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