‘She Instilled in Me a Deep Appreciation and Respect for Asian Culture:’ Grateful Flight Instructor on Eve of Mother’s Day

May 10, 2021 Updated: May 10, 2021

Terri Morse, a flight instructor from Pennsylvania, spoke at a rally to celebrate World Falun Dafa Day on May 8 at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia. She thanked her mother for guiding her to Falun Dafa, an ancient Chinese spiritual practice consisting of simple, slow-moving meditation exercises, and shared her incredible story of recovering from Lyme disease after practicing Falun Dafa.

The following is a transcript of her speech:

Today, on the eve of Mother’s Day, I would like to give special thanks to my mom. She instilled in me a deep appreciation and respect for Asian culture. I have very early memories of her telling me that the grandfather of Asian culture is China and that through the study of traditional Chinese culture, one could relate to all cultures.

I first learned of the practice of Falun Dafa 22 years ago. Thanks to my Mom’s earlier guidance, I was able to immediately recognize it as a profound part of traditional Chinese culture, something to be deeply cherished.

Epoch Times Photo
Terri Morse (right) doing Falun Dafa exercise at Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pa., on April 17, 2021 (photo by Serena Shi/The Epoch Times)

From the moment I first started to practice, my life has been enriched and blessed in ways I could never have imagined.

Ten years previous, in 1989, I had been diagnosed with Lyme disease. The side effects of the disease were very debilitating. Some of my symptoms were: chronic fatigue, loss of hearing, fibromyalgia, neuralgia, chronic allergies, asthma, chronic back pain; the list went on and on.

While the physical pain was very intense, I found the mental pain to be even more difficult to endure. The mental anguish compelled me to review my life and to search my soul, inquiring more deeply about the spiritual aspects of life.

The suffering was the catalyst for me to realize that if I was to improve both mentally and physically as a person, it would be through the improvement of my heart and mind nature, my character, a connection that transcends mere bodily health and physical fitness.

Upon my first reading of Zhuan Falun, the main text of Falun Dafa, so many questions that I had about life and the meaning of my existence were answered. Falun Dafa has assisted me to live and act upon the guiding principles of the practice: Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance—in essence, to return to the core of my true self.

In the process of improving my character, by continually striving to live by these principles and letting go of negative thoughts, emotions, and attachments, my mind is more at peace and the chronic side effects of Lyme disease have miraculously disappeared.

Professionally, I am a flight instructor. In 2014, I had the opportunity to fly a historic, all-women’s transcontinental air race from California to Pennsylvania. Before the race, a local newspaper reporter interviewed me. She asked me a great question, regarding how do I prepare for something like this, both mentally and physically. She suggested the more typical mediums, like running and working out. My response was meditation, or more specifically, Falun Dafa.

In 2013, a groundbreaking study by researchers from Wisconsin, Spain, and France reported the first evidence of specific molecular changes in the body, following a period of meditation. The study indicates that meditation has the power to overcome stress, control inflammation, and provide pain relief—at the genetic level.

Modern day life depicts stress as a constant factor, prevalent in every aspect of our lives today.

Air racing can be a very competitive and stressful sport. In preparation for and during the course of this grueling, four-day air race, spanning over 2,300 nautical miles, the practice of Falun Dafa gave me abundant energy and guidance to manage stress and stay well-focused.

I came to realize that this four-day race was like a microcosm of life in general. No matter how stressful and difficult life may be, can I always strive to live by the guiding principles of Falun Dafa? I came to see for myself that possibly achieving first place and gaining the big prizes in cash, material goods, and fame would only be superficial and not worth much, without being a good person and regarding others’ welfare first.

I am eternally grateful to Mr. Li Hongzhi for introducing Falun Dafa in 1992 to the general public—traditionally only taught in private.

In seven short years, the Chinese regime estimated that over 70-100 million people in China were actively practicing, the benefits were openly acknowledged. The return to a traditional practice filled a longtime void, enabling people to reconnect to their true culture and nature. So much of China’s cultural inheritance had been lost or destroyed over the years since 1949 by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

In July of 1999, the Chinese regime banned Falun Dafa in China, launching a brutal persecution and campaign to eradicate it.

The CCP continues to perceive Falun Dafa as a threat to its ongoing coup to control the hearts and minds of the people in China. Fortunately, this profound practice continues to flourish outside China and is practiced in over 100 countries around the world.

In the shadow of the Liberty Bell, together, we can raise awareness of this vicious, sinister persecution, calling for its immediate end.

We encourage everyone to visit our tables, become more informed, sign petitions, and share information with friends and family members.

Today, in honor of World Falun Dafa Day, we can openly celebrate its introduction to the world, in 1992, and the enormous benefits it imparts to society through its guiding principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance—principles that the world can never get enough of and needs now, more than ever.

Thank You.