Montville Patch (New Jersey, United States): Falun Dafa Followers Hold Local Practice

In its August 11th, 2010 edition, the Montville Patch published an article featuring a Falun Gong practice site in New Jersey. The author highlighted the practice, the benefits it has provided to millions of people around the world, and its persecution in China, its country of origin.

The article begins by describing a typical day's activity at a local Falun Gong practice site in front of a local high school. Between three and seven practitioners come to the site once a week to practise their five qigong exercises, including a sitting meditation.

"Falun Dafa, or Falun Gong, is a meditation and gentle exercise practice introduced in China in 1992 meant to cultivate the three principles of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance within each practitioner. News of the Falun Dafa and its self-improvement teachings spread throughout the country, and by 1999 there were over 100 million followers."

The reporter interviews Falun Gong practitioner Fang Fang, a volunteer organiser at the site who explains the great health benefits of the practice, saying she hasn't needed to take a sick day since she began the practice in 1999.

Another practitioner tells how her severe asthma was cured in just three weeks of practise.

"We're helping each other," said Fang, who said that the effects of regular practice 'can alleviate stress and ease tempers.'"

The article then gives a bit of history about Falun Gong, describing how the Chinese Communist regime began persecuting the spiritual practice in 1999, subjecting the practitioners to arrest, beatings, and torture - a situation that still exists today.

The author continues: "Amnesty International has condemned the Chinese government for their role in thousands of deaths of imprisoned Falun Dafa practitioners. The US House of Representatives passed two resolutions, one denouncing China's treatment of Falun Dafa and one demanding that China end the harassment of followers in the United States after reports that Chinese agents were coming abroad to thwart the movement."

Jan Ren is another practitioner at the site in Montville, practicing with the group on alternating weekends with her husband, who had stayed home this weekend to watch the couple's two children.

"Ren's parents, both in their 70s, also practice with the Montville group. Her mother, a doctor at a university hospital, and her father, a university professor, were harassed and arrested for their Falun Dafa practises in China. At one point her mother was kidnapped from their home and sent to brainwashing 're-education' classes."

With Ren's help her parents were able to immigrate to the United States.

"If they returned to campus they could be arrested," Ren said.

"Ren, like many, does not understand how such a peaceful practice could be so demonised by the government."

The article goes into detail interviewing practitioners who have suffered personally in the persecution. It tells the heartbreaking story of Chinese immigrant John Shen, whose youngest son was killed in a Chinese prison because he practiced Falun Gong. Mr. Shen's daughter-in-law was also persecuted, and lost her baby during her imprisonment. She was given a 12 year prison sentence.

"Though the Montville group only meets formally on Saturdays, many practice by themselves throughout the week or get together with a few other practitioners to read and study the teachings of moral character and higher principles of Falun Dafa. There are several other groups in Morris County that offer group practice on weekends, and Burnham Park in Morristown has a daily practice from 6 to 8 a.m."

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