My Search for the Truth
I am a Falun Dafa practitioner. Maybe you've heard about the persecution of Falun Dafa (or Falun Gong) practitioners in China. Over the past five years, many people have been committed to mental institutions, tortured, detained, imprisoned, and even killed, simply for refusing to give up this practice. Unfortunately, most Americans don't know about this situation, or they've been given a negative impression, and so the persecution goes on. My intention is to give my impression of Falun Dafa, and hopefully, bring an awareness of this situation to the people of this country--a country that was founded on the basis of religious and spiritual freedom.
All of my life, I have been searching for answers to all of life's most fundamental questions: Why am I here? What is the purpose of life? Why do bad things happen to good people? Who is God? Why does He allow all of this?
As a child and again as a teenager, I searched for the answers in Christianity, and even though I sensed wisdom and truth in the teachings of Jesus--being honest, loving thy neighbor, turning the other cheek--there seemed to be something missing. Maybe something got lost in the translation.
I didn't have a problem with not understanding everything about God's actions--I mean He is God after all, and so how can I expect to understand Him? However, I did feel that I had some legitimate questions about justice. For instance, why do really bad things happen to seemingly good people? Why are babies born with deformities? How could this person's life of ninety years be equal to that person's life of 25 years? If all you have to do to go to heaven is believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins, then what kind of a place would heaven be? I mean, I know a lot of people who believe that, and I'm not really sure that heaven would be better than earth if that were the case. Also, what happens to people who have never been exposed to Christianity or believe in some other god or religion? Obviously, I had a lot of questions that could not be answered within the framework of contemporary Christian religions. Consequently, I gave up the search--at least for the time being.
When I was twenty-three years old, I became ill. Over the next few years, I became unable to work, and I was eventually diagnosed with lupus, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and vasculitis.
I had problems with every joint in my body; I couldn't stand, sit, or use my hands for any length of time; I had no stamina and slept for about twelve hours every day; I often had acute pain that came and went for apparently no reason and chronic pain that could last for hours; I often could not get comfortable enough to go to sleep; because of the amount and kind of medication that I took, I developed a lot of digestive problems; and I often ran a low-grade fever for days, and sometimes, weeks at a time.
Over the last two years, the vasculitis had become quite bad. I would often break out in large hives all over my body, and would get large spontaneous 'bruises' on my legs and arms that were not the result of any trauma and which took an unusual length of time to heal. I knew that this could not go on indefinitely, and so I had come to accept the fact that the length of my life was severely limited.
I thought that I would just try to live what was left of my life the best that I could, but I still longed for the answers to those age-old questions. Even though I believed I would receive the answers when I died, I decided that I would ask for them while I still lived. So, one day, I imagined myself crying out to the universe for help.
I remembered reading in a book that if you ever have a question, you should go to the library. Even if they don't have the answer, they can probably help you find it or where to go to get it. So, I went to the library to look for the answer.
In the foyer, there is a bulletin board with flyers, announcements, etc., and shelves beneath. I looked all over the bulletin board, all over the shelves, and on the bottom shelf, underneath something else, there was a brochure: a bright blue brochure with oriental characters on it. As soon as I saw it, I knew it was the answer. It was a Falun Dafa pamphlet, and inside was a contact name and number. That was February 6th of 2000.
I started practicing Falun Dafa within days. Within weeks, I was able to stop taking all of my medication, I became free of my illnesses, and I was eventually able to go back to work. These things were really just fringe benefits to me--after all, I was just looking for answers, not healing--but I became well just the same!
The practice of Falun Dafa is very simple. It consists of five exercises--four standing, and one sitting meditation--and a set of three principles, which we believe to be the nature of the universe: Zhen (True), Shan (Good), and Ren (Endure).
The exercises are gentle and relaxing, as well as energizing. The practice of implementing the principles-to be True, Good, and Endure--is simple, and yet amazingly powerful. You may notice that they are the same basic principles that Jesus taught, as well. At the very base level, Falun Dafa is learning how to be a better person in every aspect of life: at home, at work, and socially. At a higher level, the goal is the same as other practices: wisdom and enlightenment. Falun Dafa is not a religion: we don't worship any particular God, although we do recognize the existence of great enlightened beings throughout history such as Jesus, Sakyamuni, Lao Zi, Amitabha, etc.; we don't have temples; we don't have any type of administration; we don't have any rituals; there are no requirements; there is no membership; and we absolutely do not involve ourselves with money. If you want to learn about Falun Dafa, any practitioner can and will teach you the exercises for free, all the books can be downloaded from the internet for free, and we do not even accept donations. It's a pace-yourself kind of course--you practice when you want to, how often you want to, and for how long you want to. It is completely up to you whether you practice or not.
Falun Dafa may very well be the largest spiritual movement in the history of the world. Right now, there are an estimated 100 million practitioners world-wide, with practitioners in over 50 countries, including the United States and China. All we want is to be good people and be able to practice our beliefs--our cultivation--without persecution.
Speaking of those answers: I did find them, as well. I also found a peace of mind and a sense of being that I never could have imagined. My goal is still to live my life the best that I can, but I also want to share what I have found with others who may be able to benefit as well. I would also like to inform those who believe that we all have a basic human right to practice our beliefs without being persecuted about the situation for millions of Falun Dafa practitioners in China.
For more information, please see the following websites:
Faluninfo.net (for information about the persecution/to sign an electronic appeal)
Falundafa.org (for information about the practice itself)
Please see my webpage for biographical information at: http://hometown.aol.com/barbbatson/myhomepage/index.html
How To Fall With Style - The Art Of Sin
Adam had it right when he covered himself with fig leaves. It's not that he thought it would cover his sin. He knew this was impossible. But he suddenly recognized his own weakness, and he doesn't try to battle it. Instead, he covers it. Out of sight, out of mind. But when God asks him why, he comes clean, accepts his punishment, and and continues to cover himself. Now that's how we're suppose to do it.
Motivated By All The Wrong Reasons
Sometimes trying to be spiritual holds us back from actually living the spiritual life we want. In our quest to live such spiritual and good lives, we often avoid the stuff that makes us seem unspiritual, even if that very stuff can move us toward our own spiritual growth.
Integrating Soul And Science
"Spirit is beyond the void of space. This realm, beyond the void, is not an empty nothingness; it is the womb of creation. -- Nature goes to the same place to create a galaxy of stars, a cluster of nebulas, a rain forest, a human body, or a thought... That place is Spirit." (1)
The Truth of Reactions
In my life, I have tried to be Good and Pure and True. In these qualities, I have failed miserably. Why is it so hard to be good? Why is it so difficult to act in harmony with our mental ideals?
Learning to Listen
The second verse of Amy Grant's song, "Angels Watching Over Me," reminds us that God has given His angels charge over us to keep us in all our ways - even when we are not aware they are there. Amy sings, "God only knows the times my life was threatened just today. A reckless car ran out of gas before it ran my way. Near misses all around me, accidents unknown, Though I never see with human eyes the hands that lead me home. But I know they're all around me all day and through the night. When the enemy is closing in, I know sometimes they fight To keep my fight from falling, I'll never turn away. If you're asking what's protecting me then you're gonna hear me say:" Angels Watching Over Me . . . ."
Getting Back to the Basics of Truth
Anyone who has invested time, energy and effort into finding their own truth knows that ignorance is NOT bliss. Understanding the religious environment that we grew up in should be the natural first step towards defining our own belief system. All too often, we grow up getting bits and pieces of religion, but never take the time to look at the bigger picture.
Word Sculptures of a Mystical Experience
The Mystical Experience
God?s Presence When Troubles Come
Life, no matter how we choose to look at it, is a constant battle. It is the beginning of a struggle that continues until we breathe our last breath.
Religion or Spirituality
There is a natural tendency to asociate spirituality with religion, but they are very different. That I did not know before I researched and wrote "Spiritual Clarity." Religion is an organized system of beliefs in and the worship of God or gods. Spirituality is finding your own authentic self. Each individual needs to find their own way to spirituality and if that includes religion, so be it. Some people will be perfectly content to just believe as they are told, others will need more. Nothing is wrong with either path.
The Truth About Lifes Challenges (Living By Zen)
The great gate is open, but travelers seek everywhereâ?? - Eshin
God Can See Your Heart
Today is the day that I'm getting back into exercise. I sprained my ankle last week and although I've been swimming and rode the stationary bike, today was the day that I decided to go for a 1 hour walk.
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses. --HEBREWS 4:15
Are You a Microwave or Crock Pot?
In our fast paced society we often want everything done quickly or your boss wants it done yesterday. In your spiritual life are you a Microwave or Crock Pot? I think often we want God to answer our prayers in Microwave fashion. I prayed a specific request today and I want it answered today. If our prayers are not answered quickly, we often wonder, "What is God doing?" We also decide to go it on our own and not wait for God's direction. Often it is difficult to wait on God's timing.
Insulting Spirit or Exposing the Me
While it isn't my intention to insult anyone (Alright, for the purposes of this article it IS my intention to insult any 'one', and I'll explain that later) I would like to offer a few suggestions for your reading enjoyment and/or disdain.
Bone Box of the Rich and Famous
The contrast between the two men could not have been more striking. Caiaphas, the high priest, was among the rich and famous, arguably the most powerful Jew alive in A.D. 30. He had married into the high priest's family and now was himself high priest for a year by Roman appointment. With a PhD-level rabbinic education, Caiaphas was urbane and sophisticated.
How to Develop a Spiritual Success Partner
1. Identify a woman who is "like minded," who has the attitude and exudes the philosophy that you like and feel drawn to? someone who is on the same wavelength spiritually.
Where Do You Cast?
"Cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7.
An Analysis of Western Mans Guiding Presuppositions
An analysis of Western man's guiding presuppositions, A Review of the book "Impulse of Power" by Jack Kettler
A Man Called Jesus
What Is The Universal Subconscious?
There are many different and interchangeable terms that are used to describe the Universal Subconscious mind. But whatever term you use, metaphysicians and scientists agree that our Universe is a field of vibrating energy. Things that are denser operate at a lower frequency, and then there are also finer forms, such as thoughts and emotions, which operate at a much higher frequency. All of these things make up a collective Universal consciousness that we all share.
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