PureInsight | April 23, 2001
Editor's note: As we read more and more stories of practitioners who obtained Falun Dafa because of the peaceful 'April 25' appeal in Beijing and China's persecution later, we feel deeply respectful and grateful for those brave practitioners in China. Perhaps one of the main reasons for their enduring such tribulations is to make this great law of the universe's known to more people with predestined relationship in the world. There are indeed many of them waiting. Let's work harder to spread Dafa in more countries, provinces, and cities.
I have been studying Falun Dafa for about a year now, and am very thankful for it.
I had been searching for some missing (to me) truths for many years and I believe that at last I have found the books and a Teacher to help me. In Master Li's books and conference speeches, right away I found dozens of answers, which ring true to me, on subjects that I had been searching for, but had not been able to find before that.
I had read about and looked for answers in various western religions, eastern religions, ancient religions, and modern religions. I had taken classes in meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, and acupressure. I had read books on Qigong, breathing, Feng Shui, NLP and probably hundreds of New Age books. It was beautifully interesting to study so many different spiritual ideas, cultural ideas, and thought systems from so many different parts of the globe. I developed a tremendous respect and admiration for numerous traditions and cultures and their values and incredible insights.
However, I had not found what I was looking for, nor the answers to my specific questions that made sense. No matter how long or where I searched, no matter how high my hopes periodically rose and then fell, in the end I still felt a lack. My conclusion was that as much truth as I was looking and practically begging for because of my particular life circumstance, was probably not on the earth at this time. There just seemed to be parts of the truth here and bits and pieces of the truth there. I thought that it was unfortunate but I figured that God must have a reason, so it was nothing to resent, but to just accept and still try to be as good of a person as I could anyway.
The only possibility I felt that was left, for the truth being on the earth, was that I had read that there were some genuine masters in the mountains of Asia, but that it was basically impossible for an American (or anyone else) to contact (let alone study with) them even if they traveled over there and searched for years.
I had made an attempt to piece together my own thought system from what seemed to me, like the most likely truths from everything that I had studied. After years of studying so many different religions and thought systems, I not only decided that I was pretty sure that the truths that I was looking for were not on the earth (anywhere that I could find them), but also that I was no better off intrinsically from studying and searching through all of those different ideas. I had not seemed to make any headway and still seemed to be at square one. What a big plethora of ideas I now had in my mind.
My heart felt that I was ultimately, really no better off spiritually to have studied so extensively such a myriad of other thought systems and ideas than if I would have just stuck with, and not left in the first place, the faith I was raised with--Mormonism. To me, the main objective of Mormonism is to help and encourage its members to be more like Jesus Christ. A high percentage of my 'most respected people' that I know personally, are Mormons. Should I just go back to Mormonism? I had done my spiritual search for the answers to my questions and admitted defeat.
My friend that had introduced me to her New Age church 12 years ago had become disillusioned with New Age ideas about the same time that I had. She had gone back to the religion of her birth -- Catholicism. I didn't know what to do, so I figured that I would just allow life to come and I would see. I didn't have to decide in any rush. I still really wanted answers to my questions.
I saw a newspaper article in May 1999 that I skimmed over, about how if people don't call yoga, tai chi or aerobics cults, why would they call Falun Dafa a cult? I saw another newspaper article in June 1999 about Falun Dafa and the estimate of 100,000,000 practitioners. To me 100,000,000 people in 7 years is a staggering figure and pretty much unfathomable. Because of my years of studying I had a profound respect and admiration for the Asian's rich spiritual heritage, so if that many Chinese citizens were interested in Falun Dafa, that quickly, considering myself a genuine spiritual seeker, I would check it out. To tell you the truth, I was a little weary of finding disappointment in all of my searches. I could always walk away from Falun Dafa if I found concepts that I could not accept, just like I had walked away from everything else I had studied in my search for the truth. I expected that the odds were almost certain that I would be defeated in my search for more truth once again, as apparently it was not on the earth. By this time, however, I did have very good confidence in myself as far as being able to investigate, analyze and walk away from--very quickly--thought systems if they didn't ring true for me. Through the years I had gotten faster and faster at finding 'flaws' that were not acceptable to me, (as I was knowing myself better and better from very honest introspection and honest searching and intellectually questioning the validity of almost every belief I had ever had) and then walking away. I figured that it would not take me very long to figure out if Falun Dafa was true or not.
The newspaper article mentioned some books. I called the library to ask if they had the books Zhuan Falun and China Falun Gong. Yes, they did and they would hold them for me. I found that I could hardly bear to put them down. All I wanted to do was read and read. This had happened to me before though. I was tired of getting my hopes dashed to pieces with new thought systems, so I tried not to get my hopes up too high, or even high at all, but I knew that I was very happy with most of what I was reading.
I kind of, sort of, figured out parts of the exercises from China Falun Gong and from the Internet.
On July 24, 1999 I had the pleasure to meet a Salt Lake Falun Dafa practitioner in person and I feel that my life has been blessed from getting to know these fine people.
I feel very lucky to have Falun Gong in my life. With as much disappointing searching for the truth as I did, I have no problem whatsoever with the statement in Zhuan Falun, on page 101, 'At the moment, I am the only person in the world, who is teaching orthodox Fa in public. I have done something nobody did in the past and opened such a large door in the Dharma-ending time. In fact, it is an opportunity that does not occur in a thousand years or ten thousand years.'
I had truly felt that I was, as Master Li states, 'these human beings are actually lost in a maze.' I had tried to find my way out of the confusion and lack of answers and had not been able to.
I would say that Master Li was referring to people like me on page 1 of 'Zhuan Falun',
'... In particular, many of our practitioners who study one practice today and another tomorrow have already messed up their own bodies. Their cultivation is doomed to fail. While others practice the cultivation way on the main street, these people are on the winding sideways. If they practice the one way, the other will interfere with it. If they practice the other way, this practice will interfere with it. Everything is interfering with them, and they could no longer succeed in cultivation practice.'
It is lucky for me that Master Li then said, 'We shall straighten out all these matters and make sure that you are able to practice cultivation later by preserving the good part while removing the bad part. However, you must be here to genuinely study this Dafa (great way).'
And then on page 9, 'The more low-level Qigong lessons you have taken and the more you have absorbed from them, the more harm they will do to you. Your bodies will have already been messed up.'
I like the idea of going back to only one cultivation way. I seem to remember a peace from childhood when I only had one 'cultivation way.' Of course, when my life reached a point that Mormonism didn't hold the answers that I wanted, my search began. And it's not like I would rather keep that mixture of thousands of ideas all interfering with each other!
On page 100 of Zhuan Falun Master Li said, 'If you step on two boats at the same time and cultivate both this and that, you cannot attain anything.' That quote is a comfort to me because I had already come to the same conclusion on my own, that trying to incorporate so many different belief systems for spiritual truth was too strange or something, somehow, though it was interesting and wonderful from an intellectual point of view. I think that keeping both of my feet in the same boat sounds better, thank you. I am happy with that.
By this time Falun Dafa is so dear to me. I am truly thankful to have answers that I can most surely accept to so many questions. I have no intention of walking away from Falun Dafa, but instead look forward with high hopes for more and more discrepancies in my thinking to be cleared away as I continue to reread Zhuan Falun.
(Source: Clearwisdom net)