From November 11-16, 2008, nearly 1000 Falun Gong practitioners from all over Europe attended an Experience Sharing Conference in Berlin, Germany. Although they came from different countries, spoke different languages and had different cultural backgrounds, when talking about their own experiences in cultivating Falun Gong, the differences were not significant. All practitioners were talking and listening from their hearts.
Among those who spoke, some talked about their experiences in co-operating with fellow practitioners and some talked about clarifying the truth about the persecution against Falun Gong to Chinese people.
Russian practitioner: Chinese people, please come and get to know the truth
Ms. Kim, a Korean practitioner from Russia, said that the speeches at the Fa Conference deeply touched her. She was very pleased to be able to attend the Conference and meet many friends. More and more new friends attend the Conference every year.
Four years ago, she started to practise Falun Gong. During her cultivation, she realised that throughout her life she had been looking for a Master, but she did not understand that she had finally found what she was looking for until she started to practise Falun Gong. "My husband passed away when I was 38. I had to look after my two children. I was very puzzled why my life was that difficult and full of fear. Now I feel that I can fly freely like a bird. I don't know how to express myself but I felt very safe after I started my cultivation."
There are many Chinese people in Russia. Together with other Falun Gong practitioners, she distributes newspapers exposing the human rights atrocities happening in China in the hope that people will learn the truth. It was not easy at first. "In the beginning, the Russian police wanted to scare us by saying that the market areas were very dangerous because those Chinese people were fighters who hated Falun Gong, and they will beat us. So we clarified the truth to them again and again. Now we can distribute newspapers at two out of three big markets without restrictions."
Every week, they distribute nearly 1000 newspapers: "On seeing us arrive there, we could hear many people saying 'Falun Gong, Falun Gong.' Later we did the Falun Gong exercises outside the markets. The Chinese people sometimes stood there watching us for 20 or 30 minutes. Once I saw a man whose eyes were full of tears. I thought that this man might have been a practitioner before. Our doing the exercises there reminded him of those pleasant days and times. He stood there watching until we finished our practice. It was a pity that I don't speak Chinese so I couldn't express it, but I feel that Chinese people are very close to me."
The attitude of the Chinese people is also changing: "Because of the language problem, though I could not explain things to them as I have done to many Russians, I know that the newspaper can purify their thoughts which I can see as well. In the beginning, they refused to accept the newspapers. Later on, they would say, 'Falun Gong is good. Falun Dafa makes one feel good." Many of them have become friends of Ms. Kim.
"I have told them that Falun Gong is only persecuted in China and the persecution will end very soon. Now you are in Russia, please take a newspaper and get to know the facts about China by reading it. We love China. Please don't think that we are against China, it is not so. I love the Chinese culture and Chinese people."
After reading materials, many Russians have also started to practise Falun Gong and clarify the truth about Falun Gong to other people.
For more than nine years since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started to persecute Falun Gong, practitioners both from China and abroad have never stopped telling people from all walks of life about the benefits Falun Gong has brought to people both physically and mentally, and how the CCP has been brutally persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. More and more people are calling for an end of the persecution, from which also many people have got to know about Falun Gong and started to practise themselves.
Among the practitioners who attended this Fa Conference are many who have started to cultivate in recent years.
Czech practitioner: I have found the meaning of life from cultivation
A practitioner from the Czech Republic felt that attending the Fa Conference helped him a great deal in improving his cultivation: "I have found that I have a lot shortcomings and I have improved a lot from attending the Conference. It is a very good opportunity for me to hear how other practitioners overcame difficulties and how they upgraded themselves. This has encouraged me because I have also had many difficulties."
"In her speech, one woman's experiences were similar to mine. She was like a mirror. She talked about her shortcomings which are also ones I have, so it was helpful to me. I think it was a good opportunity for us to improve ourselves. I am very pleased to be here and I will attend it next year."
"I have improved a lot since I started cultivating. Falun Gong is easy to learn and is powerful. Its level is very high. I have learned what I cannot learn anywhere else, which has helped me find the meaning of life."
German practitioner: The Fa Conference helps me understand more
A practitioner from Bavaria in southern Germany said that this was the first time he had attended a Fa conference in Berlin: "It feels very good and helpful, especially for what I want to do at present. I have learned so much that words fail me. The Conference has made me feel that I am stronger in my heart and know well what I should do next."
"I have noticed that I have some things to be resolved. When I do something myself, I can handle it well. But when involved in group co-operation, I feel it's difficult to deal with. Previously, if there were superficial contradictions, I would try to resolve them, but if there were deep-seated ones, I would try to avoid those. Now I know how to face and deal with them."
Irish practitioner: I feel that I have a solemn responsibility
Together with his wife and daughter in a baby carriage, Mr. Zhao from Ireland came to Berlin. He felt that this trip gave him much food for thought: "My family has come to Berlin by passing through many places. It seems that we have gone through twists and turns but I feel it's a worthwhile trip. We have learned a lot from it. As a Falun Gong practitioner, it is a good opportunity for me to improve myself on the Fa, share my experiences with practitioners from over 20 countries and listen to them. It has helped me a lot through learning from others. Some other practitioners' experiences have given me such a mental shock that I feel it difficult to express it in words."
He said that the speech made by Mr. Guo who had just come out of China has greatly touched him: "I almost couldn't hold back my tears when listening to him. The CCP has not stopped the persecution in China, nor have practitioners stopped clarifying the truth and opposing the persecution. I think that for us practitioners overseas, it also encourages us to work harder, and I feel that I have a solemn responsibility."
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