Falun Gong practitioners introduced the peaceful meditation practice on July 4-6, 2014, at the Altona Cultural Festival in Hamburg, Germany, the biggest community fair in northern Germany. This is the twelfth year that practitioners have participated in the event.
This year, in addition to an art exhibition and exercise demonstration, practitioner Zhang Huiwu also started a postcard campaign to rescue his elder brother, Zhang Huiyu, who has been detained for 12 years in Jinzhou Prison, in Liaoning Province. Huiyu is a senior registered architect. He was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment for practising Falun Gong.
|Practitioners perform exercises at the Altona Cultural Festival in Hamburg||Practitioners introduce Falun Gong to people at the Altona Cultural Festival|
|Practitioner Zhang Huiwu calls for rescuing his elder brother, who has been detained for 12 years|
When some event attendees asked about the postcard campaign and offered to donate money, a practitioner replied, “Thank you for your kindness. We don't accept money, because we are here to raise awareness of the severe human rights violations against this peaceful meditation. Your signature means a lot to us.”
After one lady signed a postcard, she learned more about the exercises. Upon leaving, she said to one practitioner, “This persecution is just too bad, especially live organ harvesting. We all support you.” “Sometimes knowing the evil, can help us tell the difference between right and wrong.”
One middle-aged woman who was from Mexico, said she had lived in Hamburg for many years. After hearing of the organ harvesting from living practitioners in China, she was very angry, “This reminds me of the history of Mexico many years ago. But what’s going on in China right now is much worse.”
“This is cold-blooded murder, and even the Nazis did not do something this bad.” She added, “If one wants to be a better person, is there anything wrong with it?!”
People Interested in Learning Falun Gong
A father and son, both residents in Hamburg, came up to the table and chatted with practitioners. “I am learning another type of meditation, but I did hear about the persecution [against Falun Gong] before. Could you tell me how this meditation is special?”
A practitioner said to them, “Falun Gong practitioners focus on following the principles of Truthfulness-Forbearance-Tolerance. In conflicts, we don't try to change others. Instead, we look within for our own problems. Also, we don't isolate ourselves from society. We try to be a good citizen and cultivate ourselves in daily life.”
The father was surprised yet happy to hear that. He agreed that it is the key to cultivating in daily social life. “Your words have touched my heart. I will read the book Falun Gong,” he said.
Upon seeing practitioners sitting still during meditation for a long time, one lady was curious, “I am an active person. Do you think people like me can try this meditation?” The practitioner explained to her that the Falun Gong movements were easy to learn, and that one could naturally improve mind and body through the exercises. The lady happily took some materials, “I will definitely look into them. Maybe I will see you at your group exercise site next time.”
“This Is What We Really Need”
A local radio station interviewed some practitioners, and asked them to briefly describe Falun Gong. They were also interested in information on the group exercise times and locations.
One lady came with her granddaughter, a student majoring in philosophy. The lady said she had tried meditation in the past, and was curious about Falun Gong. After hearing a brief explanation from one practitioner, she said to her granddaughter, “My dear, listen to what they just said. It seems philosophy has some common ground with Buddha school practice.”
A 25-year old dad came to the booth with his 5-year old daughter. He was excited to see the words “Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance,” and said to a practitioner, “As you know, I can find the persecution information online. But this [Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance] is what we really need.”
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