Aug. 15, 2021 | By Minghui correspondent Elaine
Imagine a Christmas celebration for over 1,000 children. Everyone is excitedly jumping, running around, talking loudly—some are arguing… Two hundred or so volunteers, teachers, and parents are trying to keep things in order, with little success.
Suddenly, soothing music and a calm, gentle voice is heard coming from the loudspeaker, “chen (stretch)…” “fang song (relax)…” The children immediately calm down to follow along with a woman on stage doing the Falun Dafa exercises, their young faces focused and eager.
This scene happened during a 2019 Christmas celebration in Rwanda, Africa. Afterwards, nearly every teacher, parent, and volunteer came up to the woman and thanked her for demonstrating the exercises. The woman is Lily, a Falun Dafa practitioner. One parent said, “This is the most beautiful moment of the day!” Lily’s secret of keeping the 1,000-plus children calm was to show them the first set of Falun Dafa exercises – “Buddha Stretching a Thousand Arms.”
Lily grew up in Vietnam. While pursuing a graduate degree in the Netherlands, she met her future husband and settled down there. After she began working for the United Nations Environment Programme, she was dispatched to Kenya. The couple, along with their son and daughter, live in the capital city, Nairobi.
A turning point came in 2015. At that time, Lily experienced huge pressure at work. Her coworkers are from all around the world, and many of them competed with each other for promotions. Facing the dilemma between a career bottleneck and her own high expectations, as well as a strong desire for success, Lily became depressed. This led to dizziness, kidney disease, and liver problems. With her health failing, Lily felt she had no choice but to take a long break and return to Vietnam to recover.
Lily’s mother practices Falun Dafa and she often recommended the practice to her daughter. Lily kept pushing it away, saying she was too busy with work. This time when she came home, her mother played the instructional video of the Falun Dafa exercises. Not wanting to disrespect her mother, Lily followed her advice and watched the video. After watching the video once, Lily noticed that her mind was calm and her entire body was warm as if there was a warm current circulating in her.
Lily continued doing the exercises and became a Falun Dafa practitioner. Before she began practicing, five lesions were found on her liver and doctors suspected it was cancer. Five days after she started doing the exercises, Lily underwent an NMR imaging, which showed that the cysts on her liver were benign. This gave her the confidence to return to work in Kenya.
In the following few months, because of her busy work schedule, Lily could only do the exercises for 45 minutes a day. She had not yet read Zhuan Falun, but only watched the video lectures of Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa, once a month. Nonetheless, many of her illnesses disappeared, including her liver problems, stomachache, chest pain, and asthma. Other issues were also resolved. Her chronic cough, so severe that she sometimes coughed up blood, was also gone.
Impressed by Dafa’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, Lily decided to apply them in her daily life. During her childhood in Vietnam, she was often scolded or beaten by her father and uncles. These experiences caused her to develop a hot temper, which she often displayed in her family life and at work.
As a trainer at the UN Human Settlement Program, with trainees from around the world, Lily could not tolerate others’ mistakes. She could overlook the first mistake, but when people repeatedly made the same mistake, she got angry. At home, she often got angry with her mother, husband, son, and nanny, arguing with them every day. After she began to practice Falun Dafa, Lily realised that her constant bad temper hurt others, so she strived to control herself.
In 2020, Lily went to Taiwan and attended a Falun Dafa experience-sharing conference. While there, she learned a lot from Taiwanese practitioners. When she and others arrived one hour late for a gathering, the hosting Taiwan practitioners were very nice, warm, and considerate. This made Lily reflect on her own behavior, and she knew that she needed to change her way of interacting with others. Now, she no longer easily gets upset.
At work, she also learned to consider things from others people’s perspectives. Like other African countries, most of Kenya is rural and people tend to do things at a slow pace. After realising this, Lily does her best to help people as a friend, not a boss.
Having benefited from Falun Dafa herself, Lily also tries to introduce the practice to others. One example was the Christmas celebration for over 1,000 children back in 2019.
Teenager Gives up Video Games
Lily’s 14-year-old son Michel started to practice Falun Dafa in February. Every morning, he wakes up early to do the exercises and read one lecture of Zhuan Falun. He found doing schoolwork much easier and he has lots of energy every day.
Playing video games was the norm for Michel and he often played them until very late each night. During his 8th grade online classes, because of his addiction to video games, he hardly did any schoolwork. Busy with games all day long, he seldom went outside and he stopped participating in the sports he used to like.
After becoming a Falun Dafa practitioner, however, Michel stopped playing video games. “I think this attachment is very bad, maybe even as bad as the attachment to smoking, so I stopped it,” he wrote in a recent experience-sharing article.
Michel began to share his new realisations with his friends. One of them used to play video games a lot with Michel. Now when they visit each other, they usually do the Falun Dafa exercises or read Zhuan Falun.
Following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, Michel also became more mature. The family has had a nanny since Michel was one year old. Michel often argued with the nanny because he always wanted to eat snacks in between meals. After becoming a Falun Dafa practitioner, Michel stopped doing that. Whenever the nanny complained about him, he apologized to her.
His relationship with his father also improved. “Before I became a practitioner, my dad and I would often argue about things, anything from using the proper cutlery during meals to my future plans,” he wrote. “But now that I am a practitioner, my dad and I no longer have any conflicts—because to have a conflict you must have at least two people to fight or argue, and I do not fight or argue back.”
A Worry-Free Nanny
Phaustine was born in Kenya and she is 36. As the nanny for Lily’s family, she has practiced Falun Dafa for three years.
Lily’s mother gave Phaustine a paper lotus flower with the words, “Falun Dafa is good.” Phaustine then gave it to her little daughter Rebecca, who liked it a lot and was very happy to have it. Rebecca was often sick. When she fell ill, Phaustine had no choice but to take time off work to take care of her. Three months after Phaustine began to practice Falun Dafa, her daughter was no longer sick. In fact, everyone in her family is healthy and happy. She attributes this to the blessings of Falun Dafa.
Phaustine feels that the biggest change she noticed after she began practicing Falun Dafa is her mindset. She knows that nothing is coincidental so she is no longer worried about superficial loss or gain in life. She recently suffered a loss due to an investment. Had it happened in the past, she would have been depressed for a long time. Now she has learned to manage her emotions. Phaustine reminded herself that frustration and depression will not help the situation. As a Dafa practitioner, Phaustine knows how to cope with difficulty and she has confidence in the future.
Story of a Neighborhood Family
Kamran, 10, is an Indian Kenyan and is a neighbor of Lily’s family. About one year ago, an elderly person in Kamran’s family passed away, leaving the family in great sorrow. Kamran’s mother was so sad that she could not sleep. When Lily and Michel came to offer condolences, they told them about Falun Dafa and taught the family the exercises. They also did the exercise together several times a week and the family’s situation has greatly improved.
Two weeks passed and Kamran’s mother was surprised to find that the family member who benefited the most was Kamran. The little boy had heart disease, and he had difficulty standing or walking. Due to his breathing difficulties, he could hardly do sports and frequently needed to stop and rest even when he walked. Plus, he was often cold, despite the time of year.
After learning the exercises, Kamran’s condition changed dramatically. His mother said his body is now warm. Kamran said that instead of feeling tired all the time, he has much more energy now. When he’s asked what his understanding of the practice is, the boy shyly replies, “Falun Dafa is great!” And his entire family agrees.
Since Falun Dafa was first introduced to the public in 1992 in Changchun, Jilin Province, China, the practice has benefited an estimated 100 million people in over 100 countries on nearly all continents. People of every nation and ethnic group long for good health, safety, and hope. Millions of people have had this longing fulfilled in Falun Dafa.
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