Poland: An Unshakable Faith (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) The Polish-language version of Zhuan Falun was officially published on September 21, 2007 in Warsaw, the capital of Poland. As of now, the book has been translated into over thirty languages and published in a number of countries throughout the world.
Below are the stories of three young Polish practitioners who have tirelessly promoted Falun Gong in Poland and exposed the persecution taking place in China.
Martin: "I had been looking for the meaning of life. My parents had died and I was in poor health, suffering from leukemia. I was looking for a kind of philosophy that included sitting in meditation. I have read many books, but this book, Zhuan Falun, was different from other books. I did not read this book in the beginning because it was offered free of charge and I took it for granted that there might not be any value in it. A few months later, I did not know why, but I came back to the website that I had searched previously. I downloaded and read this book, and thought it was very good. After reading the book, I started to practice Falun Gong. I feel that Falun Gong is even better than other practices which I had once learned from books. Since then, I have continued with my practice of Falun Gong."
|Thousands of people were attracted by practitioners' photo exhibition||When Zhuan Falun was published in Poland, activities were held for two days in Warsaw||Practising the Falun Gong exercises in front of the National Parliament Building|
Maria: "It has been ten years since I began to practice Falun Gong. Once while driving in my car, I saw a very attractive billboard showing some people sitting in meditation. They looked very peaceful and quiet. The practice was free of charge. These were the two criteria that I was looking for in a practice. One was that I wanted to be as peaceful as they were, and the other was that I wanted to be sure they would not make money off of you. For this reason, I tried this practice of Falun Gong. I liked it very much as I felt the enormous energy field. So, I started the practice and was very happy with it."
Thomas: "It was the summer of 2003, just a few days before I went to the United States to partake in a practical training for students, when I found Falun Gong from a web search. I had had some unexplained experiences and I was looking for an answer. I found Falun Gong. I downloaded the book Zhuan Falun from the web and read it twice. Then I got in touch with Martin, who was a contact person listed on the web page. I met and talked with him and his wife for a long time - until three o'clock in the morning - and at 4:00 a.m., I went to the airport. The talk with Martin and his wife was very helpful. Before I left, Martin gave me some books. While I traveled, I read Zhuan Falun from cover to cover".
Falun Dafa belongs to the Buddha School cultivation system and is a cultivation practice of both mind and body. The five sets of the Falun Gong exercises, with their gentle, slow and smooth movements, are easy to learn and suitable for people of all ages. Dafa practitioners cultivate themselves according to the principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance." They require themselves to think of others first at all times, to be kind to people and to be always strive to be good people.
Martin began practicing Falun Gong relatively early. His parents died in an air crash when he was a little child, leaving him and his younger brother behind. Although his basic needs were met and he could live without worrying about food and clothes, he had been looking for the meaning of life. After he started practicing Falun Gong, he found that he had changed profoundly.
Martin said, "The truth contained in the teachings of Falun Gong has helped enlighten my mind. When my parents were alive, they sometimes wanted to hug me, but I always felt nervous about it. So, I did not like to have much physical contact. Of course this was only a minor matter on the surface. What I just want to say is that I have now changed. I have become more cheerful and open. I have learned a lot. The relationship between me and my wife has improved. I have greatly benefited from the teachings of searching inside for the cause of any conflicts. This means that you search inside and change what needs to be changed. Often you will find that sometimes other people will change themselves just because you have changed yourself. It is as if it sets off a positive chain reaction, bringing about changes for the better."
Maria found peace in her heart after she started practicing Falun Gong. She and her husband live in the United States. In the morning she practices Falun Gong with the local practitioners and shares experiences and understandings with other Chinese practitioners. She said, "I am married and have a happy family life. My family relationships are very good. I had never thought before that I could have a happy family. Communism had made Poland deviate from the traditional concept of family and undermined the family structure. Now I am very happy that I have a family. I am very happy that I can find inner peace. I hope I will continue to change for the better and do all I can to improve myself."
Before his arrival in the United States, Thomas had read Zhuan Falun once from cover to cover. During his time in the United States, he read Zhuan Falun and other Dafa books over and over again. Thomas was particularly fond of reading during his childhood, but he could not find what he had been looking for from all his readings and travels in Europe. After reading Zhuan Falun, he felt that at long last he had found what he wanted. At the same time, he set demands on himself and improved himself according to what he learned from the books
Two years after Maria started to practice Falun Gong, the Chinese Communist Party started a bloody persecution of Falun Gong. She said, "In 1999 when the persecution started, I heard a lot of negative things from the America media, repeating the propaganda and lies of the Chinese Communist Party. However, I was living evidence [of the goodness of the practice], and could fully tell that the propaganda was lies. How could someone want to prohibit people from cultivating Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance? Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance is exactly what all parents would naturally want to teach their children, isn't it? Although it is not everyone that can tell the truth all the time, all people want others to tell them the truth; although it is not everyone that can be kind and understanding to others, all people want others to treat them with kindness and understanding. I cannot imagine how this world would allow people to suffer persecution just for their belief in Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance!"
Being a Pole, Maria's heart was with Poland although she lived in the United States. She thought that if the Polish people believed the media's reprinting the lies of the Chinese Communist Party, how could the Polish people know the truth and make a correct judgment? She therefore started to get involved with clarifying the truth in Poland, to tell Polish people about this persecution.
"Since the start of the persecution, I have often traveled to Poland for
I feel I have a moral responsibility and I should help the Polish people. To
help others is to help myself. The Polish people set great store in their
history. We have experienced so many hardships and persecutions, including the
Nazis, and Communism. We have also experienced many wars. From this we have
realized that we must come out to safeguard our own values. The Polish people
say that when a person makes a mistake, many generations of the whole family
will suffer disgrace. We have a saying that this person "makes three
generations suffer disgrace." My grandfather fought the Bolsheviks. He saw
with his own eyes the Revolution in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
"So, I feel that I have a moral responsibility to let the Polish people know about what is happening in China and give them the opportunity to do things to help. Because when Poland suffered persecution, other countries did not want to help them, because they thought: Why care about Poland? They are Polish and have nothing to do with us. So the Polish people know this feeling. When other people are suffering, we should take action to help."
At various news conferences in Poland with other Falun Gong practitioners, Maria has talked to the media and important government officials about the persecution suffered by Falun Gong practitioners in China. As a result, many Polish people have learned about it. As far as the Polish people are concerned, they themselves have experienced the rule of the evil Communist Party. So, when they hear about Falun Gong and the persecution, it is easy for them to understand the bloody persecution that the Falun Gong practitioners are suffering. After the first press conference was held, many attendees started to practice Falun Gong.
In order to let more governments and people know about Falun Gong and the persecution in China, Maria took part in the Global SOS Walking Activities in 2001. She and other Falun Gong practitioners walked for six weeks along the routes leading to the Warsaw Pact countries and exposed the persecution of Falun Gong in those former communist countries.
But Maria can only stay for a short time each time she comes to Poland. In order to help more people gain a better knowledge about Falun Gong, she started to translate the Falun Gong books into Polish.
Thomas was eager to learn foreign languages in his childhood, and he has mastered many languages. He feels that everyone can learn any language. So, for a period of time after he started to learn Falun Gong, he decided to learn Chinese on his own. At the beginning, he studied Zhuan Falun with the help of Chinese Pinyin and a dictionary. He memorized it by word for word translation and repetitive reading. He studied Zhuan Falun paragraph by paragraph. After he had studied the whole book, he read it again from the beginning.
At that time, the Polish version of Zhuan Falun had been undergoing proofreading and revisions for several years, yet had not reached the standard for publication. Following his continual study of Chinese, it occurred to Thomas that he could help translate Zhuan Falun directly from Chinese to Polish. He worked with other Falun Gong practitioners and through their joint efforts, they finally succeeded.
A ceremony was held in the Capital City of Warsaw in September 2007 on the first publication of the Polish edition of Zhuan Falun. Since then, people have been able to buy the Polish-language Zhuan Falun. This has made it easier for those who want to learn the practice of Falun Gong.
Being persistent against the persecution
Martin was somewhat at a loss when he learned that Falun Gong was being persecuted. Because of his own experience with Falun Gong he did not believe at all the slander of the Chinese Communist Party.
"I started to practice Falun Gong because I was very interested in the practice and benefited a lot from it. Then I found out that Falun Gong was being persecuted in China," said Martin. "Afterwards, I got much more information and met many practitioners who had suffered persecution. Even my Polish friends who practiced Falun Gong were also beaten up in China. So I decided that Chinese people in Poland should have the opportunity to hear the facts so that they could make their own decision about what is the truth and what is lies and slander. It was very important to me. I felt that I had a kind of relationship with the Chinese. Just as Falun Gong is from China and it helped me unconditionally, so I also hoped that I could help the Chinese people. At the beginning, I only thought about the Chinese people. But when I considered this issue in more and more depth, I found that this had much to do with the Polish people as well. In fact, this also had much to do with the whole world. I believed that information was strength. So I started to distribute newspapers carrying the truth of Falun Gong to Chinese people."
Various press conferences, information days and regularly practicing the Falun Gong exercises in the open air have helped more and more Polish people come to know and understand Falun Gong. Martin told us, "We actually do not know how many people are practicing Falun Gong right now, because the practice is free of charge and has no regulations. You do not need to sign in anywhere. Sometimes someone will tell us that it has been over a year since they started to practice. We do not know how many people are practicing cultivation, but more and more people around us have started to be interested in Falun Gong."
When high-level officials from the Chinese Communist Party visited Poland,
members of the Polish Parliament invited practitioners to protest and expose the
truth about Falun Gong and the persecution. Maria told us that government
officials from all circles in Poland wish to send a message to the Chinese
people. She explained, "I learned, when I had talks with Members of
Parliament, that many of them were imprisoned for five years, ten years and
twenty years during the rule of the Communist Party just because they had
distributed leaflets supporting democracy and telling people about the crimes of
communism against religion and humanity. They send the following message to all
the people of China: 'Do not give up, be firm in your faith and do not give up.
We want to tell everyone that we are doing all we can [to help you] and we hope
you will be able to hold on for a little longer.'"
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