Sarnath is one of the four holy sites of ancient Indian Buddhism in northern India. It was here that Sakyamuni first passed his Dharma. Here, Chris runs a homestay. The small brick house, about 10 minutes from the big stupa, is hidden in the green trees.
Christiane Elisabeth Teich is from Germany and she is known as Chris. She has loved nature and travel since childhood, traveling to 55 countries for decades. At the age of 21, Chris visited India for the first time. She was a student studying sculpture at the time. Surprisingly, this ancient country had a wonderful predestined relationship with her.
While being a social worker, Chris worked as a volunteer for seven years in Africa, spending a few months in Ethiopia during the Great Famine of 1985, helping to set up schools and children’s homes; then went to South America to serve local communities. She constantly saw peoples’ suffering and death. These experiences shook her heart. She was eager to understand what is the true meaning of human existence and what are the root causes of misfortune?
In those days of wandering, Chris’s doubts had not been resolved. On one occasion, at a Women’s Day event in Ladakh, she saw an American Chinese woman doing a set of standing exercises. She was immediately attracted to this and found out that it was the ancient spiritual practice of Falun Dafa.
Chris had seen all kinds of doctrines and practices of spiritual devotion, and this time she encountered Falun Dafa, after which she devoted herself to research. After a period of contemplating, she determined to practice Falun Dafa. After 15 years, Chris said: “This kind practice has completely changed me. I used to be sick and had a lot of illnesses. After the practice, my health greatly improved. For any kind of problem in everyday life, now I can handle it on the ground and in peace.”
After practicing Dafa, Chris was healthy and peaceful and wanted to share this good news with others. She went on the road again and introduced Falun Dafa throughout India. To date, she has visited more than 60 schools and traveled to Ladakh, northeast India, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, and Karnataka.
When Chris practiced with local teachers and students, she also talked about the sad things: “This peaceful cultivation practice is cruelly suppressed in its birthplace — mainland China. Because the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) promotes atheism. Since 1999, many innocent Falun Gong practitioners have been persecuted and killed. When I introduced the miraculous effects of Falun Dafa to Indian teachers and students, I also told them how the CCP persecutes these good people, while worldwide everyone has recognized and welcomed this spiritual cultivation method.”
Chris’s face radiates calmness and joy. When talking to her, you can feel her heartfelt happiness and touching appeal, as if she can melt the bitterness of life. Looking back on the past wandering and wondering, Chris said: “I traveled around the world, I got a lot of love and warmth — but the best harvest is the peace of the soul… The suffering of the world has not ended and I found the practice of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. I love to share it with everyone. It allows people to regain hope and to lead a better life.”
Translated by Jean Chen