Sept. 21, 2021 | By a Minghui correspondent in Melbourne
“I would like to wish Master a happy Mid-Autumn Festival and express my gratitude to him for always being by my side. Thank you, Master, for protecting me and for believing in me, even when I do not believe in myself.” With the Mid-Autumn Festival just around the corner, Laura Cozzolino, a Falun Dafa practitioner in Melbourne, expressed her gratitude to the founder of the Falun Dafa spiritual practice. “Dafa bestows on me rationality, strength and courage. Thank you Master for your immense compassion,” she said.
Laura teaches at a church school in Melbourne and said that 2008 was a turning point in her life. That year, she moved from Italy to Melbourne and was lucky enough to start practicing Dafa. She has taught for more than ten years and built good relationships with her colleagues, students, and their parents. She’s overcome difficulties but said that she’s learned through every experience. She kept teaching online throughout the pandemic and did her best to assist her students. Her students and colleagues are very interested in the meditation sessions she offers to alleviate mental and physical stress.
A Spiritual Journey
Recalling her experiences before she began practicing Falun Dafa, Laura said, “I lived in Australia in the late 90s for my university studies and I felt a strong attraction to this land. I knew that I was meant to be here, even though I did not know how or why. Time went by and things happened—I began feeling increasingly disheartened with the way the world was going, with human beings’ cruelty, violence, rootlessness and corrupt behavior. I also had many unanswered questions about life.”
In 2008, Laura moved to Australia again to earn a postgraduate diploma. She decided to become a teacher and live in Australia.
“I moved to Melbourne hoping for a life change. Not only was I looking for a new lifestyle, on a deeper level I was seeking meaning and truth,” she said.
During her last teaching round, the mentor she was assigned to was a Falun Dafa practitioner. She told Laura about Falun Dafa. “Reading the book Zhuan Falun was mind-blowing, as all the answers I had been looking for were in it. I suddenly understood that nothing was ‘unfair’ because everything happens because of karmic reasons. Behind our messy world there is actually a perfect balance,” Laura said.
Learning to Look Inward
Laura said that practicing Falun Dafa has made her calmer, steadier, stronger and more rational. She said that looking inward is the magic tool that Master gives practitioners. “After I began practicing, I stopped getting angry. When something happens, even if it might hurt me, I’m always able to look within and eventually find the lesson I am meant to learn,” she said.
“I have always been a very active person, to the point of being unsettled. I was looking for something deeper. I am an only child and lost my dad when I was 13. I grew up in an environment where depression and loneliness were very present, and they have always been my main ‘battle.’
“After I began practicing, I became more balanced and rational. I still go through highs and lows, but now I can step back and re-adjust my perspective. Over the years, I went through some hardships, including the passing of my mother to cancer in Italy. That was one of my most enlightening experiences. Because of my righteous thoughts and the courage I was able to build up through practicing Falun Dafa, I managed to stay rational and face everything. My xinxing improved a lot during that time,” she said.
Laura was with her mother during the last six months before she died. “Even though the situation was tough, for the first time I completely put my faith in Master and Dafa. I did not allow sadness and my reluctance to part with my mother to destroy my sanity,” she said.
She said, “I kept reading Zhuan Falun while assisting mum, and I even read the book to her. Every time I felt worried, I was able to stop the attachment. I always felt that Master was by my side—I could feel his presence. Every little detail was perfectly and magically arranged, and help kept coming, often in ways I would have never thought possible.”
Using Every Opportunity to Share the Beauty of Dafa
In 2009, Laura began her new career as a teacher at a church school. She said, “Thanks to Master’s arrangement, over the years I was given numerous opportunities to clarify the truth both to my colleagues, school leaders and my students.”
She was asked to run meditation classes and deliver some theory too, as a part of a special program for Year 8 students. “We talked about the good values of Falun Dafa and the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. We practiced the exercises together.”
The school organised a Parents Night where the students displayed their works. “Some parents thanked me because their kids were calmer and more focused after my classes,” she said.
Laura used the persecution of Falun Dafa as a case study in the Year 11 Ethics curriculum. She showed students the documentaries and legal reports that David Kilgour and David Matas had published, and they had open discussions on the topic. “I also delivered an all-staff presentation on the persecution,” she said.
In 2018, Laura moved to a new school. She continued to clarify the truth to her colleagues. Many asked questions and wanted to know more about human rights violations in China.
She said, “Last year, I ran lunch-time meditation classes with the students who were interested and some afternoon sessions for staff members. Since my colleagues enjoyed the exercises, I was asked to run more classes this year, and I happily did it.
“I teach Italian and Religion, and I have always been very open about my faith, my beliefs and Falun Dafa. Through Dafa I have been able to explain many religious concepts, including sin and karma and the meaning behind some religious texts.”
Apart from her role as a teacher, she also worked as a mentor in her school these last two years. She assisted over 20 boys (14 and 15 year olds) for an hour every fortnight. She said, “During the lockdown, I continued to do my job online and I re-organised our individual sessions. I included the Falun Dafa meditation and exercises in order to offer mental and physical relief in this hard time. Most boys love it and want to continue. One was able to sit in the full lotus position, and others felt deeply relaxed after meditating for 15 minutes.
“Because the lockdown continued, I recently began running an online after-school session with some of my colleagues who truly appreciated it and asked me to do it again,” she said.
Gratitude to Master
In conclusion, Laura said, “Despite my many attachments and some setbacks, Dafa is the one thing that gives meaning to my life. It gives me the rationality, courage and strength to always get up and improve myself. Master, I am very grateful that you chose me as one of your disciples and gave me the opportunity to practice. Thank you for your immense compassion!”
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