A Westerner's Experience of Practising Falun Dafa

In experience sharing articles about how westerners started to practise Falun Dafa, many people have shared how they sought many answers, read many books, tried different methods of cultivation, or had some bad attachments before they were introduced to Falun Dafa. After reading Zhuan Falun and practising the five exercises, his or her life changed for the better.

I would like to honestly state all the contradictory feelings I had whilst embarking on the long road of practising Falun Gong, rather than detailing why I decided to follow this cultivation method in the first place.

When I first read Zhuan Falun I did so with no expectations but just out of curiosity, in an effort to understand the message contained therein. The exercises were welcomed, especially as they appeared to be simple and were similar to other Qi (vital energy) exercises I had previously tried.

The format of Zhuan Falun was unusual, as I expected the usual "how to" manual
detailing all the benefits, but was most surprised to see that it was only a translation of nine lectures given by the founder of the practice, Master Li Hongzhi. At first I was a little disappointed but decided to read the book from beginning to end with no belief that it would change my life. After all it never set out to be a "how to" Qi manual and indeed I was quite cynical that it could change my thinking and the way I had already practised.

I will be very candid. My first impression was, how could the Master claim to know all the information shown in the book, after all he was only a man! I also felt the benefits to be gained were dubious, but I persevered with this cultivation method with no expectations at all. It was just yet another method I would try!

I attended one of the freely run classes to learn the five sets of exercises that are taught in Falun Dafa and continued to read both Falun Gong and Zhuan Falun and felt no particular health benefits but I began to, more importantly, understand the message of what Falun Dafa teaches. I began to wonder how the founder of the practice knew so much about so many things and gradually the realisation came to me of the greatness of this Master and the principles taught in Falun Dafa. I experienced no sudden conversion. Rather the truth came to me like a beautiful dawn on a spring morning. I will not give you any specific account of my attachments eliminated or my improvement in health but what I will say is that I only realised the changes in me by reflecting retrospectively on my progress after some time.

I did experience many dramatic incidents, where people close to me improved both in health and character and there were three incidents where I was saved from serious injury. Again it was only on reflection that I realised what had happened and I was humbled by the goodness, truth and strength of the Fa - Law or Principle taught in the Buddha School, in this case it refers to the teachings taught in Falun Dafa.

I see and understand many things now, especially amongst my fellow practitioners, and I have learnt that I must have faith in Master, in that he knows what is in the hearts of every practitioner, including me.

I had the attachment of trying to correct what I perceived to be failures in those practitioners around me and became anxious if my efforts failed to have the effect I thought they should have. Now I know that faith and righteous thoughts can overcome anything.

Master said that each of us has his own personal journey and we are all at different levels and behind each of his words there are many levels of understanding. I found that I would try and find various passages in Master's writings to justify what I now know to be a human stance or opinion, and to quote them in support of those opinions.I realised that as each of the Master's words are capable of deeper truths, depending on our level, then it follows that we cannot and perhaps should not use Master's words in this way to support what are after all just our human views.

My understanding of the Fa is changing continually and the last thing I want to do is make everybody think or act in the same way I do, which in all probability is inadequate anyway!

In conclusion, we have all heard the words "the Fa is good", I would like to add that I not only find it good but I find it beautiful! As my understanding improves I see more of the beauty of the Fa, especially in the simplicity of "Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance." We should all do the three things well and it is my belief that on my personal journey I have a duty to spread the Fa as widely as possible, so that all sentient beings can perhaps experience the same beauty I do.

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