Falun Dafa in Europe: Bringing the Beauty of Falun Dafa to Spain (Photos)
Spain is located on the Iberian Peninsula in the southwestern part of Europe. The Bay of Biscay is to the north, Portugal is its neighbor to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea is to the east. France and Andorra share its northeastern boundary and it faces Africa through the Gibraltar Strait in the south. Its population of nearly 43 million spreads out over more than 500 thousand square kilometers.
Spain is a Catholic country with a long-standing history as well as a unique culture. Many people like oriental culture, especially Chinese culture. If "Tai Chi" is mentioned, almost everyone knows what it is. Some people even feel proud to tell you that they have read Tao Te Ching written by Lao Zi. Some families are dedicated to the statues of Buddha Shakyamuni, Buddha Maitreya or Bodhisattva Guanyin, and quite a few people have tried meditation.
"I found the true treasure of the human race"
In the spring of 1997, Spain hosted a series of cultural exchange activities including the Chinese and Western Culture Art Exhibition, the World and America Fair, and the Chinese Lantern Exhibition. The Chinese traditional arts were unusually popular here. Everyday visitors came, one after the other, and admired the delicate Chinese traditional art works with great interest. Of all the exhibitions, a unique one gradually attracted more and more visitors. The Beijing artist who ran this exhibition had left a pile of flyers in a neat stack with a note beside them: "China Falun Gong. Free classes." This sculptor is also a Falun Gong practitioner. She hoped to introduce Falun Gong, which had benefited her as well as hundreds of thousands of others, to the Spanish people.
Passing visitors would sometimes curiously request a flyer to read while admiring the delicate art works. Dañer is a blond young man with a great interest in ancient oriental cultures. He received a Falun Gong flyer at the World and America Fair. He immediately passed this message to his friends. The next day, Dañer drove with his friends from a mountain city 200 miles away especially to learn the Falun Gong exercises. Dañer said, "When I first heard about Falun Gong, although I'd never encountered it before, it seemed very familiar and gave me a benevolent feeling. The principles of Falun Gong--Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance--are exquisite qualities what we human beings need. Here, I found the true treasure of the human race."
A martial arts teacher took more than 10 students to learn Falun Gong when he heard about the free classes. When the exhibition finished, he invited Falun Gong practitioners to his martial arts school to teach the Falun Gong exercises twice a week.
"I've taught for more than 20 years and I have never before read such a good book"
On the first day of the Chinese Traditional Art Lantern Exhibition held in Southern Park in Madrid, a famous elderly Chinese man living in Spain went to the exhibition and looked at all the displays. When he came to the Falun Gong practitioner's sculpture exhibit, a miniature ivory statue of Bodhisattva Guanyin caught his eye. The old man's stare caught the practitioner's attention. They talked and the man was interested in reading Zhuan Falun, so the practitioner lent it to him.
After several days, the old man returned to the exhibition. The practitioner was introducing Falun Gong to another Chinese person living in Spain. The old man, who was not talkative, stood aside and listened carefully for a while before commenting, "I have taught more than 20 years and I have never before read such a good book." After that, the old man and several other Chinese people started to learn Falun Gong.
Zhuan Falun is published in Spanish
Although Spanish is considered the third most popular language in the world, it's not popular in China. Not many Chinese people understand Spanish, so they encountered many difficulties translating the Falun Gong books. The practitioners who can speak Spanish from China, South America, and North America put in a great deal of effort between 2001 and 2002, and the Spanish versions of Falun Gong and Zhuan Falun were eventually published. With the publication of these books in Spanish, more and more Spaniards started Falun Gong cultivation.
The dazzling pearl in the Spanish National Health Expo
In November 2001, Falun Gong appeared for the first time at Madrid's National Health Expo, the largest expo in Spain with a 21-year history. Falun Gong, just like a dazzling pearl, with its unique and beautiful exercises as well as a simple yet profound theory, attracted widespread attention.
As soon as they came through the entrance gate, people saw the Falun Gong exercise demonstration on the lawn. Visitors from various regions in Spain stopped in droves to watch the exercises. From time to time praise could be heard from the crowd, such as "Falun Gong! How beautiful it is!" Many visitors took pictures of the exercise site. The Expo's sponsor told practitioners, "Falun Gong is becoming the most special demonstration in the Health Expo. Did you know that Falun Gong is the only participant that has the privilege of demonstrating outdoors?"
In the Falun Gong Expo seminar, practitioners introduced Falun Gong to the visitors, demonstrated the five sets of exercises, and displayed a video about the persecution in China. Ms. Month, one of the Expo sponsors, also gave a speech at the seminar. She enthusiastically praised the peaceful, healthy, and spiritual improvement practice brought by Falun Gong. As a Health Expo sponsor, Ms. Month recommended Falun Gong to all the participants and talked about her own experiences of trying the exercises. She said, "I seriously and conscientiously recommend Falun Gong to you, this most ancient and best Chinese exercise."
The Health Exposition's organizing committee permitted Falun Gong practitioners to use any outdoor area in the Expo at any time during the exhibition. The practitioners taught the exercises on the lawn outside the lobby and groups of visitors joined the queue to learn the exercises. The practitioners demonstrated the five exercises again and again without becoming fatigued and patiently introduced Falun Gong to the visitors.
The visitors expressed great interest in Falun Dafa. The flow of visitors never stopped coming to the exhibit to ask questions and take leaflets. Many people learned the exercises on the spot. A visitor (he became a practitioner later on) said, "I've toured the whole Expo area twice, but every time I passed this area, I felt it was different from any other. I can feel a strong energy field here. In this field, my mind is peaceful, and I feel quiet in my heart."
Many people signed up to attend the Falun Gong Nine-day Lecture Class to see a video of Falun Gong founder Master Li's series of nine-day lectures. Two boxes of Spanish Falun Gong books sold out in only two days.
When the Expo finished, the nine-day lecture series was held in the Madrid Cultural Centre. Approximately 150 people showed up, but the room could only accommodate 50. The practitioners could not find a bigger room at the last minute, so people just sat in the aisles and the passageway outside the room. The Cultural Centre's manager said surprisingly, "To Spaniards who are used to being comfortable, it's really incredible for them to sit on the ground for two hours to listen to these lectures."
Falun Dafa spreads widely all over Spain
Weekends and holidays are the days that Spaniards are most active. At these times they go out with the family or meet with friends to relax. These days are the busiest time for Falun Gong practitioners. They use weekends and holidays to study the Falun Gong teachings, practice the exercises together, and travel to other cities to raise awareness about the human rights atrocities against their fellow practitioners in China.
When starting to set up the practice site in Barcelona, a veteran practitioner from Madrid said, "I didn't have time to go home after work at 10 p.m. on Fridays. I just rushed to the bus station to take the overnight bus. After a seven-hour journey, I'd arrive in Barcelona the next morning. We organized to study and practice the exercises in the park at 10 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays and then distribute leaflets in tourist areas. On Sunday night I'd take the coach back to Madrid for work on Monday morning."
Practitioners spread the Fa and taught the exercises from one city to another and talked to many people about the Chinese Communist Party's ruthless persecution. Through this continuous effort, more and more Spaniards have come to understand Falun Gong and many of them with predestined relationships have started cultivation.
When recalling how he started to cultivate a practitioner said, "When my father was on his way home, someone gave him a VCD. My father didn't watch it but put it on his desk. Out of curiosity, I watched the VCD and was astonished by its contents. That kind of brutal persecution actually is happening in China. A strong desire made me want to deeply understand what Falun Gong was and why it was being cruelly persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party. I looked on the Internet for more information. When I understood everything, suddenly I found that Falun Gong was actually the truth I had searched for for a long time, and then I just started to practice."
The Spanish Falun Gong Association often gets invitations to teach the exercises or hold introduction meetings from cultural centers, qigong groups, and schools in many different places. Some people have taken planes or trains from far-away places just to learn Falun Gong. Falun Gong is loved, welcomed, and supported by more and more people in Spain.
The Spaniards support Falun Gong and are against the persecution
Falun Gong was introduced to the public by its founder, Master Li Hongzhi, in 1992. It soon spread all over China. In just seven years almost a hundred million people were practicing it. In 1999, the Chinese Communist Party started to carry out the persecution of Falun Gong and claimed they would "eliminate" Falun Gong in three months. However, to the communist regime's surprise, its persecution pushed Falun Gong onto the international stage and enabled many people who at first knew nothing about Falun Gong to hear about and understand this spiritual movement.
Anti-torture exhibits held in different places in Spain
People come to find out more and sign the petition
The Falun Gong practitioners in Spain held an anti-torture exhibition with real people simulating the tortures. In many places across Spain they collected petition signatures to call for an end to the persecution, which helped more Spaniards understand this brutal persecution and gave them the opportunity to sign their names on the petition to support practitioners' human rights.
The head secretary of the prime minister's office said to practitioners, "Please believe that the Spanish government regards the persecution of Chinese practitioners with worry and concern. At the European Parliament and the Human Rights Commission we have clearly expressed this worry and concern. We will take appropriate action based on the resolution regarding the human rights situation in China."
Senator Jordi Xucla wrote in a statement, "I have been a supporter of basic human rights as outlined in the 'Declaration of Human Rights.' After hearing and learning about the sufferings of Chinese Falun Gong practitioners, I will stick to my position, and continue supporting their right to freedom of belief, speech, and cultivation."
The Mayor of Toledo, Jose Carcia, wrote in a letter to a practitioner: "I have seriously read the materials you mailed to me regarding the Falun Gong practitioners who are persecuted in China. At the same time I will also use every possible opportunity, no matter in domestic or international occasions, to mention the persecution situation in China to the related people in charge and appeal to stop this persecution behavior."
Peacefully protesting the CCP's atrocities in front of the Chinese Embassy
While spreading Falun Dafa widely in Spain, practitioners have become more and more mature in their cultivation. With Dafa disciples worldwide, no matter where they go, they will bring the beauty of Falun Dafa to the people and let everyone with a predestined relationship understand the principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
Falun Dafa spreads good fortune everywhere in the world. Life can become incomparably beautiful just because of Falun Dafa!