Meet Sandra from France

Editors note: Sandra, a French national, is a married mother of two boys. She holds a diploma in Fashion and works as a makeup artist and seamstress. She started practicing Falun Gong in 1999. This is her experience discovering and practicing Falun Gong.

How did you first encounter Falun Dafa?

Since childhood, I’ve been captivated by the human experience—our thoughts and the spiritual dimensions of our existence. I delved into extensive reading to fathom the origins of humanity. Despite my Christian upbringing, the warmth and grandeur of Christianity remained elusive during my time in catechism, prompting me to discontinue early.

At the age of 22, I ventured to Paris in the summer of 1999 to pursue studies in makeup artistry. A school exhibition requirement led me to choose India as the subject, considering it one of the greatest spiritual countries. During my stay near Paris with my grandmother, she mentioned that a cousin I hadn’t seen in years lived nearby and had firsthand experience in India. Sensing his potential assistance for my exhibition, I reached out to him.

Upon meeting my cousin, I noticed a profound change in him, radiating a calming presence. He shared that he was a practitioner of Chinese qigong, and the teachings of Zhuan Falun had profoundly impacted his understanding. His words intrigued me, particularly his mention of the accompanying book. Although the teachings hadn’t yet been officially published, Falun Dafa practitioners in Paris were creating copies. Unfortunately, I couldn’t obtain one that day. Nevertheless, I could begin the practice.

Sandra doing the fifth exercise of Falun Gong, the sitting meditation.

Frustration lingered due to the delayed access to the book, but I attended a Falun Dafa class where a Chinese practitioner demonstrated the exercises. From that day forward, I immersed myself in the practice, receiving the book sometime later—a true lifesaver. Finally, I had a comprehensive guide that addressed all my lingering questions since childhood in straightforward and clear language. Everything I sought was eloquently articulated within its pages. Surprisingly, it wasn’t India that provided the answers I sought; rather, China.

What impact has Falun Dafa had on your life?

The practice has bestowed upon me a physical and mental well-being that I was previously unfamiliar with. I sense that the exercises positively impact various aspects of my body. Previously troubled by persistent back pain, I found relief through these exercises. Their potency is remarkable; there’s no need for contemplation, just a commitment to regular practice at any time of the day.

Yet, the most significant aspect for me is that, through the teachings of Falun Dafa, I’ve come to understand that achieving a healthy body and mind requires simultaneous attention to both. They are inseparable in producing tangible results. The practice of Falun Dafa aligns with the universal principles of Truthfulness, Benevolence, and Tolerance. It calls us back to fundamental and profound values that have eroded over time in contemporary society.

Attempting to embody the principles of Truthfulness, Benevolence, and Tolerance in my daily life has become one of my most significant challenges. I strive to be more tolerant with those around me, including my family. I’ve learned to approach the difficulties encountered in daily life with a lighter perspective and greater detachment. This shift has contributed to a more positive and enjoyable life, fostering positivity even in challenging circumstances.

As a European, how did you connect to this practice rooted in traditional Chinese culture?

Before encountering Falun Dafa, China held no interest for me. It was through Falun Dafa that I gained insight into China and its traditional culture. The only aspect of Asian culture that had ever appealed to me was the image of Tibetan monks in their orange tunics. I felt a greater sense of warmth and connection in that culture compared to my Western upbringing, which I perceived as cold. I recall expressing a preference in my youth, stating that if I were to seek solace elsewhere, I would choose the tranquility of temples with monks over any Western destination to recharge my batteries.

“Attempting to embody the principles of Truthfulness, Benevolence, and Tolerance in my daily life has become one of my most significant challenges”