UK: Teaching Falun Gong to Elderly People at a Sheltered Housing Scheme

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Two weeks ago, someone called and asked me whether I would consider teaching Falun Gong to a small group of elderly people in a sheltered housing scheme. She said only a few of them would be able to do the exercises properly due to their age. I told her that I would be very happy to do this and would like to encourage those who were unsure about joining in to come and watch for a start.

After I arrived in the sheltered housing scheme, the warden led me to the coordinator project. She took me to a room where I met the rest of the group. They were aged between 60 and 80, bright and jolly. I thought how they have waited all these years for today; I treasured the opportunity as much as they did.

When they were all seated, I greeted them and introduced myself. I started the session by telling them that Falun Gong is a very good exercise system and anyone can practise. When they heard that there is even a 96-year-old practitioner, they felt totally at ease. I showed them the first exercise, explaining the purpose of this exercise as I practised. By the time I finished the demonstration they were ready to have a go themselves. We went at a steady pace without the music that usually accompanies Falun Gong exercise classes, correcting the postures when needed. They paid attention to everything I said and tried their very best. When we finished doing the first exercise three times, I let them sit down again and asked how they were feeling. Two people commented that their usually cold feet now felt warm. The rest of them were saying how good they felt. One lady said she had not done any exercises for years and was surprised at how much she has enjoyed it. I explained that although we cannot see the energy, it is there working to our benefit. They seemed to like this idea a lot. I then told them that the exercise is usually done to music but considering the overall circumstances today, I chose to go slowly without music. I then demonstrated the first exercise with music for them. They said that it looked so much better with the music. I promised them we will use the music next week.

Towards the end of the session, I told them that Falun Gong is based on the principles of ‘Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance’ and briefly explained how practitioners try to follow these principles in everyday life. They immediately said everyone should learn it and then there would be no war and the world would be peaceful. I am very grateful at the opportunity to share something so precious with these people.

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