On Thanksgiving Day, people from around the world posted messages and videos of gratitude to Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual and meditation practice that was first introduced to the public in China in 1992 by Mr. Li. It teaches people to live by the three principles of truth, compassion, and forbearance.
Most of the online well-wishers were adherents of Falun Gong themselves, addressing Mr. Li as “shifu,” which can translate to teacher or master, and several shared stories of how learning Falun Gong changed their lives.
Alexander Luchansky, an IT project manager from Philadelphia, encountered the practice in 2005. At the time, he was dealing with recurring health issues, including asthma, and found it notable that he was able to breath unencumbered after he took up the meditation practice. He was also still a teenager, and trying to come to grips with the world.
“Following its principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance, I also benefited greatly, psychologically and mentally,” he said in his video message. “Falun Dafa helped me to see that light in the end of the tunnel.”
“Falun Dafa, with the principles, helps [me] to make more rational and responsible decisions. It guides us how to apply these wonderful virtues of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance in everyday life, and do the right thing, even when nobody’s watching,” he said.
He said friends and family noticed he changed for the better as well; he became more compassionate, more considerate, thinking of those around him first.
“It gives hope, into the future. And it gives us a north star, where we can aim to continuously improve ourselves while benefiting others,” he said. “Last, but not the least, I would like to thank Teacher for this great opportunity to practice in Falun Dafa, to learn about the depth and beauty of traditional Chinese culture, really understand what it means to apply truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance in our everyday life, and have a chance to be part of this wonderful community of great people that I can say feels truly feels like a land of purity.”
Jessica Russo, a clinical psychologist, learned about Falun Gong in 2001 while doing her postdoctoral residency. A psychiatry resident who also happened to be a fifth generation acupuncturist introduced it to her, thinking it could help her with her recurring headaches, fatigue, and digestive problems. Ms. Russo had poor circulation, and her fingers and feet were always cold.
“So I did the reading, and I did the exercises. And it was maybe four or five months into it, where something really amazing happened to me,” she said.
“I was lying on my bed, I wasn’t asleep, just very relaxed, and my eyes were closed. And all of a sudden, there was this warm currant that went from the top of my head, all the way down to my feet. And in that moment, until it was only about maybe a few seconds, I had no more pain … I was warm. And I was without pain. And it was really incredible.”
But daily life took over and she lost her routine; Ms. Russo said it wasn’t until 2006 that she came back to the books and exercises, and understood what spiritual cultivation was about.
“This is the cultivation system that helps you to be a better person, to be a good person,” she explained. “And that’s what I’ve been learning to do. And it’s sounds so simple, but it’s been incredible.”
“I used to be such a victim, I was resentful and bitter, and I focused so much on what I had lost and the difficulties I’d had in my childhood and throughout my life, and I would tell anybody who would listen how much of a struggle I was going through and have been going through,” she said.
Falun Gong helped her let go of these grievances, and see the good in not just other people, but also herself.
“When I was a child, I couldn’t even say ‘good morning,’ because I just felt the pressure of every day. There was not a whole lot I really looked forward to. But now, since I’ve really been cultivating, I say ‘good morning,’ and I feel excited about the day and I look forward to it,” she said. “I want to express my gratitude to the man who brought this to the public in China back in 1992, Mr. Li Hongzhi. I am so grateful that he introduced this amazing transformative practice that’s really changed my life.”
Nate Gaefcke, a college instructor from Florida, said he has been practicing Falun Gong for 12 years now, and it has changed his life completely.
People used to tell him he was “one of the angriest people they’d met in their life,” and he was physically uncomfortable to be around. Everything changed when he encountered Falun Gong’s teachings.
“A big weight was lifted off me,” he said. Friends and family saw he’d become a different person. “I could be a functional member in society. So again, I want to thank you so much for bringing this wonderful practice out to the public, and have a Happy Thanksgiving.”
Noah Magnuson, a system engineer from Alabama, said “Thank you Shifu for the opportunity to practice the cultivation, and thank you for your immeasurable compassion. Happy Thanksgiving.”
Marcos from Buenos Aires, Argentina, expressed his thanks in another online message.
“On this very special day of Thanksgiving, I wanted to pause, take this time to really thank my Master, the creator of Falun Dafa, who taught me to live by the principles, guidance of truth, benevolence, and tolerance. These also made me a better person. So on this very special day I wanted to say Thank you Shifu!”
From The Epoch Times