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European Practitioners Share How They’ve Changed after Practicing Falun Dafa (Photos)
“My friends asked me, ‘Alexander, how come you have become so good, so nice?’
I told them, ‘Because I practice Falun Dafa!’”
August 11, 2013 | By Minghui correspondents Xiuming Tang and Zizhu
(Minghui.org) Practitioners from Europe gathered in Copenhagen, Denmark, on July 20 to exchange cultivation experiences at the 2013 European Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference.
Although all of the practitioners at the event have done their best to adhere to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, as taught in Falun Dafa, each person has his/her own, unique cultivation path.
The following stories describe the amazing changes that some practitioners have undergone since they started practicing Falun Dafa.
Alexander from Russia: I‘m Always Smiling Now
Alexander (back) and other Russian practitioners at Copenhagen’s Parliament Square
Alexander, a young Russian businessman, said that his father has been practicing Falun Dafa for 10 years, and has benefited from it tremendously. He often encouraged Alexander to take up the practice, but it wasn’t until four years ago that Alexander decided to do that. He attended the conference in Copenhagen so that he could learn from other European practitioners.
Alexander said that practicing Falun Dafa has completely changed his life. Before practicing, he smoked, drank alcohol, and indulged in other bad social habits, including arguing and fighting with people.
Although he knew that his behavior wasn’t good and wanted desperately to change himself, he found that he did not have enough inner strength to do so. As a result, he continued to indulge in destructive behavior patterns and was later diagnosed with kidney, liver, and spinal disorders.
It was at this time that he thought about trying Falun Dafa. Not long after he began reading Zhuan Falun, the main book of Falun Dafa, all of his physical symptoms disappeared and he felt great. What surprised him the most was that he always had a smile on his face.
His new attitude on life surprised a lot of people that knew him.
“My friends asked me, ‘Alexander, how come you have become so good, so nice?’ I told them, ‘Because I practice Falun Dafa!’”
Jiri from Czech Republic: Reading Zhuan Falun Has Changed My Life
Jiri from the Czech Republic
Jiri, a practitioner from Czech Republic, said that 10 years ago his wife went to New Zealand for two months and met a Czech friend who was practicing Falun Dafa there. Jiri ‘s wife began to do the Falun Dafa exercises with her friend and continued doing them when she returned home. After seeing how much she had changed in two months, he also decided to give Falun Dafa a try.
Before he began practicing, Jiri had always wanted to be a good person, but he never thought that this goal was synonymous with cultivation practice.
“I found that after reading Zhuan Falun , I changed a lot,” he said. “I’ve let go of many of my attachments. I became kinder and more peaceful, and my family relationships have all improved.
“My relationship with my father had always been rough, at best. But after practicing Falun Dafa, I started to work at his company, which was unthinkable before!”
Jiri said that shortly after he began to practice Falun Dafa, he participated in several local activities to raise awareness about the persecution of Dafa practitioners in China.
He thought that the Copenhagen conference was helpful for European practitioners.
“I think it is very important to meet other practitioners from Europe to form one body,” he explained. “Attending the conference is a valuable opportunity, which enables us to improve our character through sharing cultivation experiences.”
Mendoza from Austria: Dafa Is a Righteous Path
Mendoza from Austria
Austrian practitioner Mendoza said that prior to taking up the practice of Falun Dafa five years ago, he had been practicing tai chi. When he realized that tai chi had little to do with cultivating one’s mind, he was disappointed and gave it up.
On May 13, 2008, Mendoza visited his mother’s home and saw a copy of Zhuan Falun on a bookshelf. His mother had bought the book in 2006, after stopping by a Falun Dafa informational booth in Hamburg, Germany. She put the book on her bookshelf and never read it.
As soon as Mendoza began reading the book, he smiled broadly, realizing that this was the Great Way that he had been looking for. He visited the Falun Dafa website, phoned a local practitioner to learn the exercises and then told this practitioner, “I want to learn Falun Dafa.”
When asked what Falun Dafa meant to him now, Mendoza replied: “Falun Dafa is my life. Falun Dafa has allowed me to know who I am and how to be true to myself.”
Mendoza said that he liked to be around other practitioners.
“Seeing so many Falun Dafa practitioners from so many European countries makes me feel very warm inside. I feel like I am a member of a big family,” he said.
He started to participate in local efforts to raise awareness about the persecution in China several weeks after he began practicing Falun Dafa.
“I saw a few paintings in the Art of Zhen, Shan, Ren International Exhibition, which really shocked me,” he said. “The practitioners depicted in the paintings reminded me of Jesus Christ and great sages of the past, who were also persecuted.”
“Although I felt very sad in my heart after viewing the paintings, I also felt happy. Why? Because I saw that even though Falun Dafa practitioners were being persecuted, they fearlessly refused to yield to the evil.
“These practitioners insisted on being themselves and adhering to their own beliefs. Thisempowered and inspired me to have the courage to firmly believe that Falun Dafa is a righteous faith.”
Mendoza said that commemorating 14 years of the persecution—which began on July 20, 1999, and is still ongoing—with other practitioners in Europe “was a special day.”
He described the start of the persecution as “a starting point that will be forever recorded in the annals of history.”
“For me, ’7-20′ also represents the courage that practitioners have to stick to their beliefand tell the world that they have been falsely accused and slandered,” he added, referring to the fact that the communist regime in China has deployed all state-run media to continuously defame Falun Dafa since 1999.
“As practitioners, we must make the world aware of the persecution, explain that innocent practitioners are still being persecuted, and that the persecution must stop immediately.”
Dejan from Serbia: Falun Dafa Gives My Life Purpose and Meaning
Dejan from Serbia
Dejan from Serbia has been practicing Falun Dafa for more than eight years.
One day, while visiting the Czech Republic on business, he came across several Falun Dafa practitioners.
“I was walking along a street in the Czech Republic in 2003, when I saw a man meditating,” Dejan recalled. “ He was very focused and had a peaceful countenance about him. I was immediately drawn to what he was doing and did not want to take my eyes off him.
“When a Dafa practitioner offered me a flyer, I accepted it, which is very rare for me because I usually don’t take flyers from anyone. I took the flyer back home with me.
“Two years later, my wife became very ill. After locating the flyer that the practitioners had given me, I said to my wife: ‘Let’s practice Falun Dafa together. According to the practitioners that I spoke to, it appears to be very effective in treating illnesses.’
“There were no practitioners in Serbia, so we went online and learned how to do the exercises. After a month of practicing, my wife was surprised to find that her health had definitely improved, which made us both very happy.
“If it wasn’t for my wife’s poor health, I might not have embarked on the path of cultivation. Six months later, I began to practice in earnest. I started to read Master’s Fa everyday and later participated in Dafa-related activities, which was initially hard for me to do, but I knew that I had to do it.
“Falun Dafa means everything to me; it gives my life purpose and meaning. This is what I have always been looking for. I cannot remember my previous lives, but in this life, I had always been looking for this.
“Both my parents and school teachers taught me many things, but I know that only Master Li Hongzhi is capable of teaching me the truth. This understanding comes from the depths of my heart.
“I don’t feel like I’ve ever been a really good person, so it wasn’t easy for me to let go of my cleverness and follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Recalling the struggles and hardships I had endured prior to practicing Falun Dafa reinforces my determination to cultivate myself well.
“Before encountering Dafa, I felt as if I had gotten lost in a big, thick forest and that there was no way out. Since I began cultivating, I know that I am walking on a solid path. Although I cannot see the end of where I am going, I can clearly see a guiding light.”