|"The world needs truthfulness, compassion and forbearance Home of Western White House, Crawford, Texas" T-shirt.||Store owner selling the T-shirt with Dafa practitioner|
(Clearwisdom.net) The Texas newspaper, Iconoclast published the following letter from a group of Falun Gong practitioners to citizens of Crawford, President Bush's hometown.
Dear Citizens of Crawford,
We are a group of practitioners of Falun gong. We come from all walks of life. We are business owners, engineers, university researchers, students, housewives and just about every other occupation. In 1995, a traditional Chinese exercise that was very popular in China was brought to Texas through friends and family members of ours who were visiting the U.S. from China. From then on, groups of Chinese and American people could be seen practicing the exercises or performing the accompanying meditation in many parks in Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio. It is a beautiful set of exercises that refreshes one's body and mind. Some of us had suffered from a number of serious diseases, such as breast cancer, arthritis, diabetes, eye diseases, stomach ailments and prolonged insomnia. While enduring the suffering from our ailments, we were brought to low points in our lives, and our family and professional lives were suffering as well. In the course of practicing these exercises, amazingly, many of us have completely recovered from the diseases that had plagued us. These exercises have a very important prerequisite -- every single practitioner should become a genuinely good person through living by the principle of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" and constantly improving oneself to become a better and purer person. Each of us has experienced a remarkable transformation and received numerous profound physical and mental benefits from the practice. Yet no one has ever charged us a cent for learning the practice. Precisely because of this, we began to voluntarily pass on the practice in parks, schools and libraries as a way to repay society and give something to the community. During the last several years, we have used our free time and held several hundred free workshops in many cities throughout Texas and nearby states to introduce these exercises that have been warmly embraced by Texans. We do this out of our own free will. No matter where we go, we always cover all the expenses for things such as making copies of flyers and putting small ads in local newspapers out of our own pockets. Some of us are students. There were times when, in order to hold a picture exhibit or go to a distant town to teach the exercises, we have had to save up our pocket money. One young couple, both students, was living a frugal life three years ago when their daughter was born. Yet they still managed to put aside some money and used it to teach the practice in far-away places. Some of those places were almost a thousand miles away from their home. The cities of Amarillo, Lubbock, El Paso and McAllen all bear their footprints.
Thousands of people have learned the exercises through these two young people's efforts. They brought their newly born daughter with them in the back seat of their car. Sometimes they only had time to eat just a piece of bread for a whole day and had to change the diapers on the side of the road. They only had one simple goal: to let more people learn the exercises and benefit from them. We are ashamed to say that we have come to Crawford a little later than we should have.
In July of 1999, because so many citizens were practicing this peaceful self-refinement cultivation system, the Chinese government began to persecute tens of millions of Falun Gong practitioners in China. From then on, our peaceful lives have been turned upside down. Our family members in China have been brutalized. Some of them were sent to prison, while others were sent to labor camps or even mental hospitals. Danielle Wang, a student at UT Austin, saw her father sentenced to 16 years in prison. His "crime" was teaching the exercises to his fellow Chinese citizens. Even we, Falun Gong practitioners who live in the U.S., have been subjected to harassment from the officials at the Chinese consulates in the U.S. They have even gone to our schools to harass us. Two months ago, when Chinese Communist Party, military, and government leader, Jiang Zemin, was in Iceland for a visit, two of our practitioners who are U.S. citizens were forbidden to board a plane for Iceland at the Baltimore Airport. It seems that the government of Iceland caved in under pressure from the Jiang regime and forbade Falun Gong practitioners to visit Iceland while Jiang was there. The U.S. Congress is working on Resolution 446 to condemn this action and actions like it that violate international treaties. All this makes us feel that we cannot be silent anymore, especially since there are now over 480 documented cases of Falun Gong practitioners who have been persecuted to death in China. In one case, a mother and her eight-month-old baby died in a Chinese labor camp together. We feel we have no choice but to tell the public what has been happening in China. During the last three years, we have written letters to the media, government officials and elected representatives in the U.S. We have received moral support and help from the U.S. Congress, international human rights organizations and many local governments throughout the U.S. The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed Resolution 188 that condemns persecution and harassment of Falun Gong practitioners in China and elsewhere by the Jiang regime. More importantly, we have received support from tens of thousands of kind-hearted Americans. When President Bush was still the governor of Texas, he wrote a letter to us expressing his concern over the persecution of Falun Gong in China and pledging to support both domestic and international policies that would protect the rights of Falun Gong practitioners if he were to be elected President of United States. More recently, in a letter dated March 13, 2002, addressed to U.S. Congressman Benjamin Gilman, President Bush wrote, "...my Administration and American people remain firmly committed to the defense of human rights around the world, including the freedoms of religion and conscience... We have repeatedly stressed to the Chinese Government that there is no justification for its brutal repression of Falun Gong." We applaud President Bush's record of upholding justice and human rights all over the world, and we sincerely hope that he will continue to do so when Jiang Zemin comes to visit.
We deeply understand your pride in Crawford, not only as your own beautiful hometown, but also as the home of the President. Our purpose is to share with you the benefits that we have received from Falun Gong as well to let you know about the ordeal that our family members and friends have to live through in China. Even though Falun Gong has been so brutally persecuted in China during the last three years, there has never been a single case where a practitioner responded with violence. We are widely known all over the world for our peaceful, quiet, meditative appeals to the government of China to stop the persecution. While we were planning our exhibition of Ms. Zhang Cuiying's Chinese painting here in Crawford, federal officials told local townspeople who had inquired about us, "You don't need to worry about them. They are peaceful and friendly people."
Respected Madam/Sir, we sincerely believe that through interacting with us, you will see and understand our practice and us better. We sincerely hope that the people who live in the hometown of the President can benefit from the traditional Chinese culture that Falun Gong represents, as well as teach us about your own culture and experience.
We are very much looking forward to meeting you at one of our free workshops that introduce the five sets of Falun Gong exercises.
Some Texas Falun Gong Practitioners
This letter is published in the Crawford newspaper, Iconoclast at: http://www.iconoclast-texas.com/output/10042002_pdf4.pdf
The next page carried US House of Representative Resolution 188 and a western practitioner's experience sharing article. (http://www.iconoclast-texas.com/output/10042002_pdf5.pdf). The full experience sharing article is published on Clearwisdom at: http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2002/1/18/17858.html and is copied here:
Falun Gong Brings Me Both Mental and Physical Health
(Shared at Florida 2001 Conference)
(Clearwisdom.net) My name is Laura and I am a Falun Dafa practitioner from Florida. When I first encountered some Falun Dafa practitioners practicing the five sets of Falun Gong exercises at a park in Tampa Bay, I was extremely pleased. I now know that they were "holding the wheel above the head" [A position in the second set of Falun Dafa exercises]. The air around them seemed somehow different, and they looked so peaceful. I read a description of the practice on a sign and I saw a notice, which said that anyone was welcome to join in and that you could learn the exercises for free. I set this in my mind as something very important and I resolved to go back again.
It took me awhile, but when I managed to go back to learn the exercises I was given a free copy of a videotape which showed the movements of the five sets of exercises. Thereafter, I practiced every morning before work and at night before going to sleep. It took me a long time to figure out some of the movements in exercise four, "The Great Heavenly Circuit", and I also found it hard to do the Buddha's hand gestures in exercise five, "Strengthening Divine Powers" which turn the Falun [Law Wheel]. By the time I showed up at the practice site again, I was ready to learn more, and I had really missed being there! The other practitioners were very helpful, and I felt very comfortable.
I received many benefits after I started to practice Falun Dafa and some of my early benefits were that I had increased stamina and mental alertness. I also slept better at night. After doing the exercises I would lie down to sleep and my body would feel as it did when I was young and healthy. I may seem young now, but this is the result of practicing Falun Gong.
During my latter years in high school, I had slowly begun to become physically less strong and this kept up until I was officially diagnosed with chronic fatigue. Due to an accident, I had whiplash and very sore muscles, and at that time I was undergoing two days of chiropractic treatment, acupuncture, and other treatments as well, every week! Before I found Falun Dafa, as a result of treatment from three health-care professionals, I thought that my health was returning. I was diligently going to all of these treatments, and I started to feel much better. I am very grateful to everyone who helped me during this time. I mention it to you here because, after two or three months of practicing Falun Dafa I didn't need any of this anymore. Actually, Falun Dafa brought such a great change in my body that I no longer need any medical treatment.
I found that practicing the five sets of Faun Dafa exercises is all that I really need. During "Buddha Showing a Thousand Hands" [The first set of exercises] I can hear joints popping back into place, and I can sometimes feel muscles repositioning themselves. This is of course just the beginning. The internal benefits I experienced result from my practice of Falun Gong. I am also able to benefit from a profound feeling of mental well-being as a result of doing the exercises. Since I have begun to practice Falun Dafa my patience has increased. My ability to be kind in difficult situations at work has also increased, and my behavior within my family has, for the greater part, improved. I am able to measure all of my feelings and thoughts that I come across with the teachings of Falun Dafa. The practice of Falun Dafa has also strengthened my more righteous qualities.
Teacher Li has given us many things! I need to continue arranging time to go to the practice sites and time to go to Fa [Law and Principles] conferences as I find that I benefit a lot from interactions with fellow practitioners. Falun Dafa brings to mind both nobleness and richness, and to be able to learn the practice of Falun Dafa is a blessing. I have seen that the virtue in Falun Dafa can enable the improvement of an individual's health. I will move forward with Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance, and I will strive to clarify the fact that Falun Dafa is good.