Across Many Miles, Practitioners Gather to Pay Homage to Spiritual Practice
SAN FRANCISCO—Since the year 2000, Falun Gong practitioners have gathered once or twice a year in America’s major cities, for what they call an experience sharing conference, or in Chinese, a Fahui. Each year the groups have grown larger. On Thursday, thousands assembled in San Francisco.
One man traveled from Romania, and he had a unique point of view. Andre, who did not give his last name, said, “It’s a very precious moment for example, when you go in these big parades and you let the people know about the practice, about Dafa, and about the situation in China of the brutal persecution.”
When he spoke of the practice, he referred to “Falun Gong … an ancient Chinese spiritual discipline in the Buddhist tradition. Pronounced “Fah-loon Gong,” it consists of moral teachings, a meditation, and four gentle exercises,” according to FalunInfo.net. Its core principles are truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
Human Rights Violations
Since 1999, it has been brutally suppressed by the Chinese Communist Party. FalunInfo.net stated, “While Falun Gong is practiced openly in the 70-plus countries where it is found, today in its homeland of China it is subject to well-documented, egregious human rights violations.”
Andre said he felt a sense of shared purpose with the other practitioners at the experience sharing conference. “Even if you don’t know them personally, you share a common goal, to be better persons, to cultivate your inner self, and to expose the evil persecution.”
As a person from a former communist country, he noted a difference from his native culture and the atmosphere created by a group of Falun Gong practitioners, he said. “I live in a post-communist country. We are like little harsh persons, we tend to criticize the people when we see the bad parts, we tend to look at those parts.”
This Compassionate Field
But he felt that the people who practice Falun Gong were gentle, he said. “I saw that these people were emanating this beautiful field, this compassionate field. It was like natural, nothing imposed.”
They didn’t have the idea to criticize when he was wrong but to help him. To Andre, that was powerful.
Victor Bernal, 36, is a supply-chain analyst. He is originally from Colombia but now lives in Australia. He said he had just talked to people from five different countries, and he was learning good ideas from them, about how to communicate the beauty and value of Falun Gong.
His peers were helping him “get more understanding on how we can spread awareness and clearly tell people that Falun Gong is the renaissance of ancient traditional Chinese culture.”
Baron Davis, 52, is an electrical engineer, and had not traveled quite as far as some others. He came from Little Rock, Ark., a mere 1,962 miles. He has recently started practicing Falun Gong. Talking with more veteran practitioners from other areas gave him confidence in the way he was practicing.
“I find that it reinforces what I’ve been reading, and it gives me another perspective, because I’ve met a few people from different parts of the country. So I’m getting their perspective a bit, reinforces what we’re doing, at least in Little Rock, because we meet once a week, we do readings together and of course we do our exercises every Saturday morning,” said Davis.
He started in March, but his wife has been practicing Falun Gong for a decade, he said.