Physical and mental health is directly correlated to the positive cultivation of one’s mind and body, which is why meditation, something that has been around since ancient times, is being increasingly taken up by people in today’s bustling society in an effort to enhance their lifestyles.
Many meditation disciplines that aim to spiritually uplift a person are based on ancient Eastern traditional values and are proven to have great health benefits. Meditation is a traditional part of Eastern culture, and the West is increasingly embracing it.
One example is the spiritual discipline Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa), which is now practiced worldwide after being made public for people to practice free of charge by Mr. Li Hongzhi in China in 1992.
In addition to Falun Gong’s five sets of gentle, easy-to-learn meditative exercises, Falun Gong guides a practitioner in the practice of “Zhen-Shan-Ren” (Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance), which is the heart of traditional Chinese culture.
It’s well known that meditation develops not only sensory awareness but self-awareness, i.e. one’s thoughts, which has allowed for many practitioners of meditation to overcome fears, and addictions to smoking, drug abuse, and so on.
Whether sitting down in the comfort of one’s home, in a park, or even beside a tranquil lake, meditating for a little while each day is a pleasant and rewarding exercise with positive long-term benefits. The combination of mind and body cultivation helps to maintain a state of continuous well-being.
Meditation has a calming effect, which can reduce stress and anxiety, re-attuning one to nature. For kids, it’s a great way to aid in sound development and is a healthy habit that can be carried forth through to adulthood.
The little girl pictured below, named Fadu, was 3 years old at the time this photo was taken. She is being helped by her mother, Jane Dai, to practice Falun Gong’s seated meditation.
The meditation position with both legs crossed is called the full lotus, resembling the lotus flower.
Children’s bodies are flexible, and young boys and girls can usually easily sit in the full lotus position. The benefits of the lotus position is that it has a grounding and calming effect on the mind, in particular emotions, and body.
Sadly, certain individuals in China’s ruling elite perceived Falun Gong’s meteoric growth a threat to the Chinese regime’s autocratic rule and mobilized all levels of the Communist Party, the police, and national media to persecute and vilify the popular practice, which was estimated to have 100 million practitioners by 1999.
China’s appalling human rights record is no secret, but the persecution of Falun Gong—involving live organ harvesting—is horrific.
Fadu’s father, Chen Chengyong, was an honest and kind man who lived by Falun Gong’s principles.
When Fadu was 9 months old, her father was brutally beaten to death by the Chinese regime’s henchmen because he simply spoke out for Falun Gong.
When Fadu’s father was murdered, Jane escaped with their daughter and found refuge in Australia.
After coming to terms with their horrific loss, Jane reflected on how the lotus flower rises out of the mud and blossoms beautifully above the water’s surface—untainted and pristine.
That’s when Jane established Petals of Peace, a project that aims to raise awareness about little Fadu’s story, and about the persecution that millions of Falun Gong practitioners are still subject to in China today.
Both Jane and Fadu traveled to over 40 countries, even as far afield as South Africa, to tell their tragic story to NGOs, governments, and community groups.
Petals of Peace is for all ages and is popular among children, who learn how to make origami lotus flowers “as a gesture of peace and friendship to children less fortunate.”
The project, run by volunteers worldwide, holds workshops in schools, festivals, and community events.
The initiative is still growing and blossoming. For more information on Petals of Peace, or to invite this free community initiative to your area, click here.
To find a Falun Dafa practice site near you, click this link for a list of local contacts. All Falun Dafa activities are free of charge.
For more on Falun Dafa, watch the video below: