A New Western Practitioner's Path of Cultivation
(Minghui.org) I obtained the Fa in April 2015, and this is the path that I have walked so far.
I was born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico. I am a lawyer by profession and currently live and work in San Diego, California. A fellow practitioner, who lives in the same apartment building, introduced me to Falun Dafa while I was waiting for the elevator. It changed my life. Previously, my days felt dark, sad, and empty, as if no God was looking after me. But looking back, I realize that Master was already guiding my path.
Learning the Exercises and Practicing
On the first Sunday in April 2015, I met a group of practitioners in San Diego. They all welcomed me. That same day, I obtained a copy of Zhuan Falun, which I have been reading ever since.
Let me share with you some of my impressions during my first day of practice. Maybe it would help you to help new students through the process of learning. First, I remember feeling very, very enthusiastic about starting to practice: I couldn’t wait to start.
During exercise number 1, I thought: “This is very easy,” “I like this,” and “I can do this.”
During exercise number 2, after holding my arms up for a few minutes, I thought: “Is the audio player broken? Does somebody here remember that we have our hands in the air? I hope nobody notices that I need to rest my arms.”
During exercise number 3, after rotating the Falun and hearing somebody telling me “Good!” I thought: “Good, good, I can do this!”
During exercise number 4, I thought: “I will bring my mom, and my aunts, my dad... maybe, oh, my friends … so and so would love this!”
Currently, I have joined two practice groups in San Diego, and I also support teaching the exercises at a new practice site in my native city of Tijuana, Mexico, where the practice has been being well received and is growing.
Studying the Fa
The first time I read Zhuan Falun was not easy; it took me about a month to finish the book. My mind was so polluted, my human notions were so strong, and my understanding was so low that I had a hard time finishing it.
Since then, I have read Zhuan Falun 15-20 times in two different languages. I participate in three different weekly Fa study groups, and this, together with group sharing, has helped me to enlighten to Master’s Fa principles. It has also helped me break through tribulations and interference.
Experiences after Obtaining the Fa
A few weeks after I started practicing, I had one of the most interesting experiences of my life. I was processing my green card application. One of the requirements to be accepted as a permanent U.S. resident is a medical certificate stating that the person healthy. So, I went to a clinic for a medical evaluation. Everything was very ordinary. The only invasive procedure was a tuberculosis skin test, which required injecting some bacteria under the top layer of skin. Two nurses were with me in the room; one was cleaning my arm and the other one was preparing the injection.
I thought to myself: “Isn’t it ironic that to prove that I am healthy they have to infect my body with dangerous bacteria?” But, regardless, I put on my best face to fulfill the requirement.
When the first nurse tried to stick the finest and tiniest needle into my arm, she couldn’t, and tried two or three more times. Both nurses checked my arm closely and touched my skin many times. The second nurse also tried to insert the needle, but she also failed.
Then they checked the needle, but it looked ok. I could see confusion in their faces and only some redness on my skin. They both left the room without saying anything. I didn’t know what was going on. Then the second nurse came back with a new needle and said, “The tip of the needle was broken. I have a new one.” She then proceeded to stick the needle in my arm.
“We have a practitioner who broke a few needles at a hospital. In the end, the liquid medicine squirted out, and the needle still would not penetrate. He came to understand: "Oh, I’m a practitioner, and I shouldn’t have injections." He just realized that he should not have an injection.” (Zhuan Falun)
I don’t remember clearly what was my understanding of this Fa teaching at that time, but now I realize that Master’s fashen was already looking after me as a new practitioner.
Recently I went through a major cleansing. My stomach started to hurt, and I had to vomit every 20-30 minutes. I tried to read Zhuan Falun and to send righteous thoughts but my mind was perturbed. After five hours I accepted medical treatment. Afterwards I was very sad that I had failed the test. As soon as I collected myself, I read Lunyu, which made me feel very peaceful and wonderful.
Two days later, still carrying the failure in my heart, I read in Master’s Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Lantern Festival: “It’s not a big deal if you haven’t done well. Just do things well next time and try to find out where the problem was.” And also from that same lecture: “If you regret it too much then that’s another attachment.”
I knew what to do and that I might have to face the same test again, but this time I would be more prepared.
A week later, two practitioners and I visited the Chinese Consulate to send righteous thoughts. Later that day I started having chest pain, coughing, a runny nose, and watery eyes, but I really didn’t pay much attention to it. I kept doing the three things we should do, attending group Fa study and events to clarify the truth and helping with Shen Yun promotion.
Then, one day, I couldn’t get out of bed. I had a terrible headache, pain all over my body, fever, chills, an uncontrollable cough, and a runny nose. I decided to stay in bed and work from home. As the day passed, I felt worse and worse. So I took the book and looked at Master’s picture. I thought about asking for Master’s help. But then I thought that I might need to be cleansed, and so I endured a bit more. After studying the Fa, I looked at Master’s photo again, and this time I did ask him for help.
I continued reading Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Lantern Festival. One question related to sickness karma stood out and Master responded: “...you should go do whatever you're supposed to do.” And in Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005,I read:“The old forces will then lose interest, thinking, "These people aren't moved. If none of them are moved, what is the point?" They will then let the matter drop, and that person's sickness karma will disappear instantly.”
That’s what I did, and by the next day, I felt almost back to normal.
Clarifying the Truth
When I decided to start clarifying the truth, I tried to memorize facts of the Kilgour-Matas report on forced organ harvesting because I wanted to present the facts well.
My first event was a medical conference in Tijuana, Mexico, that hosted 300-400 doctors. I had arranged a booth to provide information about the organ harvesting in China, to collect signatures, and to let the doctors know about Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH).
During the event, I clarified the truth to the mayor of Tijuana, who is also a doctor by profession; the U.S. Consul General, who was in the venue at a different meeting with the U.S. Ambassador; and to almost all the assistants at the conference at the same time. I thanked Master for the great arrangements.
My law firm was also giving a presentation at the conference about the cross-border legal implications of medical tourism. I had done the research and prepared the presentation for my boss. But half an hour before his presentation, my boss had to leave due to a family emergency, leaving me with the responsibility.
First, I almost panicked, as I had never done a presentation on such a large scale with that type of audience. Then I remembered that I am a practitioner, that it was Master’s arrangement, and I knew what I needed to do it. I said to Master: “Ok, I’ll do it, just help me.”
That’s how I began my presentation! Overall, the response from the doctors and other people in the medical field was great. I knew and I felt that Master was there with me all the time. It was an incredible experience on my path as new practitioner.
Since then, I have attended a second medical conference in Mexico, and I have also visited different medical associations, such as family doctors and plastic surgeons, to clarify the truth and collect signatures. I am currently working with another doctors’ association for their next medical conference in November. I think Master may have seen some skills in me that I don’t see yet, but I am happy to accept any of his arrangements.
When I decided to participate in sending righteous thoughts at the global times, I encountered a lot of interference. Within 24 hours of setting up the alarms and arranging my schedule at work, my body felt heavy, my day at work was upside down, and there was one problem after another. At the end of the day I thought about it and realized that maybe I needed to experience that to be aware of how powerful our thoughts are and all the loopholes that I had.
The next day, my refrigerator broke, so I had to call my landlord. On the third day, I had a major leak in the bathroom, and I called the landlord again. Then we needed to break walls and remove the carpet because of the leak, so I had to call the landlord again. I thought about clarifying the truth to my landlord, but I felt he wouldn’t take it well at that moment. All these troubles were disturbing my days and distracting me from my Fa study, but my righteous thoughts did become stronger. The old forces were giving me tribulations, but I now feel sure that I am capable of fighting them because Master has entrusted us with this power during the Fa-rectification.
“So you must take sending forth righteous thoughts seriously. No matter whether you think you have the ability or not, you should do it. What you eliminate from your own mind are ones which have an effect within the expanse of your own body; at the same time, you need to eliminate the external ones, which are directly related to the dimensions you’re in. If you don’t eliminate them, then they not only persecute you and restrain you, but also persecute other students, other Dafa disciples.” (“Fa-Lecture at the Conference in Florida, U.S.A.” from Teaching the Fa at the Conference II)
How Falun Dafa Has Changed My Life
As I mentioned earlier, my days before Falun Dafa were dark and empty, and my heart felt lonely and lost. Falun Dafa has brought me a very promising future. It enables me to return to my true self. Letting go of human attachments and human notions bit by bit, I feel I am losing interest in the meaningless things that used to fill my life.
At work, I have learned to treat my clients with more compassion instead of complaining about them. Now when I encounter any problems, I always look inwards, and as soon as I find the attachment, it disappears immediately. I am also becoming aware of the way I communicate with others and the intentions behind my words. I rarely feel moved by bad memories anymore. Instead I feel thankful for my life experiences, because everything was part of my inner search that brought me to Dafa.
Thank you, Master!Thank you, fellow practitioners!
(Presented at the 2016 San Francisco Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)