An American Business Owner’s Journey With Falun Dafa

By Angela Wang
Angela Wang
Angela Wang
June 29, 2012 Updated: September 29, 2015
exercise in Times Square
Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners exercise in Times Square to begin a day of festivities in celebration of World Falun Dafa Day on May 12, 2012. (Dai Bing/The Epoch Times)

Chris Kitze is the founder of several high-tech media companies. In his spare time, he enjoys cultural activities, travel, and being outdoors. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and two children.

In 2005, Kitze passed by a crowd of Falun Gong practitioners on Times Square in New York. In the following two years, he tried a few other meditation methods, but none had obvious effects on his health. Then he remembered the practice he once saw in New York: Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa.

“A local practitioner here in Northern California told me which books to start reading and taught me the exercises,” Kitze recalled.

The openness of Falun Dafa impressed him. “If you want to practice, practice. If you don’t want to practice, don’t practice. No one will pester you, whatever you want to do. All the materials we study, all the exercise music, is freely available on the Internet.”

Kitze said this may be why the Chinese communist regime was so afraid of Falun Gong that it launched a brutal campaign of hate and persecution against some 100 million practitioners, starting a decade ago in the country where the practice originated.

“Because it’s in your heart and mind—that’s something no government could ever control, that’s one reason why a totalitarian regime would oppose it,” said Kitze.

Through his study of Falun Dafa’s teachings and doing the set of five simple, gentle, and slow exercises, Kitze quickly noticed positive changes.

“I’ve lost weight and I’ve increased my mental and physical endurance tremendously. The worries of the world that used to keep me awake at night just don’t affect me anymore,” he said. “Doing the practice, you really expand your ability to accept different ideas and maintain a serenity I never thought I would be able to achieve.”

But the most significant changes are in his relations with others. “Arguments and fighting become things of the past. There’s really no reason to ever argue, and this has really improved our whole family’s life at home,” said Kitze.

“Every ‘bad’ thing you encounter is just a chance to improve yourself,” Kitze said. “Once your mind gets to that state, you have an inner peace that is really unshakable, it’s like a diamond, that solid.”

The improvement of the mind helped him through his everyday life. “It’s helped me in my business,” said Kitze. “I now am much more mindful of the impact of my actions on others in all aspects of my life.”
Besides the benefits on mind and body, Kitze’s life is very normal.

“As a practitioner, I live in our ordinary society. It’s not like you have to become like a monk or anything like that or give up your home, car, job, family, and so on. I have a regular job and I’m self-employed, just like I have been for the past 30 years,” he said.

Epoch Times Photo
Chris Kitze speaks about the benefits of practicing Falun Dafa at a celebration, held on May 5, in San Francisco's Chinatown. (Li Ming/The Epoch Times)

Once a week, Kitze meditates at Portsmouth Square in Chinatown with other practitioners. Frequently, tourists visiting from China are surprised to see Americans and Chinese doing a practice that has been banned in China since 1999.

By practicing there at the square, Kitze believes he can help Chinese tourists have a chance to gain a better understanding of Falun Dafa.

“People are genuinely stunned when they learn about how bad the persecution is in China,” Kitze said. He has talked to many Chinese people who had misunderstandings about Falun Dafa after seeing hate-filled propaganda directed against the practice on television in China.

“It really made me sad to see how they are being harmed by this misinformation,” said Kitze, recalling a Chinese lady who once “literally jumped away” from him after learning he is a practitioner of Falun Dafa.

“Being conditioned to that kind of media has made it very difficult for Chinese to accept anything but the lies they’ve been told,” Kitze said. “In fact, I’d say all the Chinese people are being persecuted by this, not just the Falun Dafa practitioners in China!”

Regarding the recent attacks on Falun Dafa practitioners in San Francisco, Kitze hopes that such actions will not happen any more in the city known for its “beautiful sights, restaurants and hospitality.”

“This is a very important time for San Francisco, which is a leading city in the world for tolerance and a major tourist destination for the world,” said Kitze. “We have people from literally every corner of the Earth visiting here. Having this kind of violence on the streets in broad daylight isn’t the kind of city I know San Francisco to be.”

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Angela Wang