On the 12th and 13th of February, there was a health expo in Skövde, ninety miles northeast of Gothenburg. There were all sorts of exhibits, from treatment methods to consultations. Amongst the showcases, there was one table where one could neither buy anything nor get any kind of treatment. However, here you could receive a small paper flower, folded in pink, yellow, red or some other beautiful colour and you could find out about something very special.
On this spot there were four people who came to let people know about the cultivation practice of Falun Gong. They brought a bag filled with homemade paper lotus flowers to hand out to the visitors at the expo. The purpose of handing out the lotus flowers was to tell people what cultivation is all about. The practitioners explained that the lotus flower grows from the mud in dark and dirty waters. With great patience and forbearance, it grows firmly upwards on a thick and strong stem and eventually bursts into blossom above the surface as a pure and beautiful flower. The lotus flower has always been a symbol of cultivation, because it grows in such harsh conditions but still develops into something pure and beautiful.
At the expo, there was a stage where the practitioners displayed Falun Gong’s tranquil and calm exercises. The sitting meditation exercise was demonstrated by a practitioner sitting in a huge lotus flower made of cloth. At the same time as the exercises were shown, one of the practitioners spoke to the audience about what Falun Gong is and what cultivation is and what effects the exercises have. She also told everyone that Falun Gong-practitioners have been subjected to over five years of brutal persecution in China at the hands of the communist regime.
Many visitors got information flyers and several wanted to get details of the Falun Gong practice site in Skövde. The practitioners displayed the Chinese characters Zhen-Shan-Ren (Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance) as a backdrop to the stage. These are the guiding principles of Falun Gong practice and practitioners regard them as the fundamental characteristic of the universe. Falun Gong cultivation practice is a process of continually improving one’s moral character by following these guiding principles. The Chinese characters were left on stage for the rest of the expo and the practitioners were happy for all the people who passed by and saw them.
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