Greetings Master! Greetings fellow practitioners!
By a new Falun Dafa practitioner from Bulgaria. 2017-12-26.
I am 45 years old and I serve a life sentence in the prison in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. I practice Falun Dafa since several months and I wish to share which changes Falun Dafa brought to my life and the life of my parents.
In prison we don’t have many activities, especially the prisoners with life sentences. One day in the spring of 2016 the guards and our inspector told us that there will be a presentation of the spiritual practice Falun Dafa. It had to do with doing exercises and listening to music. To that day I hadn’t heard anything about Falun Dafa and I hadn’t done anything like it. I decided to go and see what it was about. There were a few practitioners from Stara Zagora. At the point of meeting them I felt strong excitement and during their short presentation of the practice I was listening with interest. I first read the small book Falun Gong and then got Zhuan Falun via the practitioners in Stara Zagora. From the first time I read the book I felt that something was changing in me, something was rising, lighting up and that it’s something I have been looking for my whole life. I understood that Falun Dafa is good, that it is a practice that offers salvation to all beings. Reading the book I received answers to many questions but many more came up. Practitioners from the town visit us every week for an hour and a half and during that time we manage to discuss most of the questions, to read Zhuan Falun and to do some exercises together. I felt in my heart that Falun Dafa is something that I will be doing in the future and that the purpose in my life will be to cultivate and improve myself based on the Fa.
In prison, for a prisoner to be OK, he needs to have cigarettes and coffee. There is nothing more important than that. Everything else is secondary. I was smoking for 35 years and I have never stopped smoking for more than two months. The influence of Dafa on me was great and during the first month I decided to let go of some major attachments. I stopped with the cigarettes and the coffee and I managed to arrange for food without meat. With every day passing my amazement was growing as I had no need for cigarettes. During my previous withdrawals I was always finding a reason to get angry for something and to light up a cigarette. I have eaten meat my whole life and I have never imagined that I will not eat it especially here in prison where food is not very good and scarce. It has been 6 – 7 months now that I don’t smoke and 6 months that I’m not eating meat and it has been easy for me to quit.
My parents are old, my mother is 70 years old. During my visiting hours and phone calls I shared with them what I was doing and that it is something good. For the 70th birthday of my mother I gave her Zhuan Falun as a gift which was given to me by a practitioner who regularly and on a weekly basis comes to the prison. I told my mother that this is the biggest possible gift I could give them in this lifetime. She also read the book and since then her life has also changed. As every elderly person she also had her health problems and was taking blood pressure medication. She hadn’t finished reading the book once when she decided to not take any pills anymore. We live in a small town and for now there aren’t any other practitioners there but once fellow practitioners from Stara Zagora visited her in her home, spoke with her about Falun Dafa, showed her the exercises and my mother was very pleased and grateful for that. At the moment she also reads the book and does the exercises daily. Now when we see each other or speak over the phone our conversations are always related to Falun Dafa and cultivation.
This is my ninth year in prison. Before I didn’t know what to do, what to think about and how I will make it through my permanent life sentence. I wanted to start court proceedings to get compensations for my stay in the prison and the bad hygienic living conditions. I was thinking of anything. I had accumulated a lot of anger and hatred in me related to past and present events in my life. Dafa helped me to open my eyes, see the light at the end of the tunnel, to become aware of my existence, to understand why I was here, to understand the truth about human life, pain and suffering, to see the overall picture and to take things lightly.
Before Falun Dafa my time was spent watching TV and reading literature. I was wondering what to do and how to fill my time. Now the day is short and time flies. Days and weeks are passing and I don’t feel them. In the morning I get up at 5:50, send forth the morning righteous thoughts, then there is breakfast and time in the open air where I do the first, third and fourth exercises, I go back in and do the second one, lunch and then I send forth righteous thoughts. Not long ago a practitioner from the town brought me materials and taught me to do lotus flowers. I sit down to fold them and during that time I listen to a lecture from Master Li Hongzhi. After that I read sharings, teachings of the Fa in different regions and other materials that my fellow practitioners are providing me with and then I send forth righteous thoughts at 18 o’clock, then I do the fifth exercise and at 0:00 I send forth righteous thoughts. This is how my days in prison go by and at my current level and understanding I am thinking that this is Master’s arrangement for me. I have been given all of my time and I have to take advantage of it to constantly study the Fa, to send forth righteous thoughts and to try to let go of as many attachments as I can in order to raise my xinxing. I hope that soon more prisoners will start to practice Falun Dafa and that we will be able to study and practice together.
At the end I will finish with a poem from Hong Yin, volume II:
Falun Dafa is great
The colossal firmament,
illuminated by the Fa’s light
Only after the immense force
of Fa-rectification sweeps through,
Are the boundless wonders known
Falun Dafa is great
Gradually enters the human realm
The sentient beings need not worry
Gods and Buddhas are smiling.”
I have unshakable faith in Master, the power of righteous thoughts and reaching enlightenment! Thank you Master! Thank you fellow practitioners!