Why are you doing this?
You are so kind.
They are wonderful.
What a treat!
They are free?
How can I help you?

These were some of the responses from staff inside Parliament House when presented with yellow handmade origami lotus flowers.

A lotus grows out of the mud, with its radiant flower blooming above the water. It transcends its environment and is an object of beauty. The principle of Truth, Compassion Forbearance is not only universal but also transcends all environments.

Monday, June 24 was Falun Dafa Day at the National Capital in Canberra, Australia. Practitioners wanted to do something different this year from what had been done previously with Federal politicians. We wanted to show them the true beauty of Falun Dafa and present the principle of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance in a way they could relate to. One of the Chinese practitioners came up with the idea of making bright yellow origami lotuses and presenting these along with a card, "The Real Story of Falun Gong" VCD and a CD version of "Pudu" and "Jishi" to as many offices in Parliament House as possible. Each office was to be given a large lotus and each secretary or staff member a small lotus. Instead of asking the Federal MPs and Senators for support, we simply wanted to give them something from our hearts reflecting the beauty of Falun Dafa.

As the official program for Falun Dafa Day was to have various events on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, the day of the main ceremony, several of us went to Parliament House on Thursday, Friday and Monday to present these symbols of the beauty of Falun Dafa. This created quite a reaction and it became the topic of discussion in Parliament House for several days - at all levels.

Visiting various MP's and Senators' offices required obtaining special passes from security, allowing us to be in the buildings unaccompanied for the day. Since last September, obtaining these "unaccompanied passes" has become more and more difficult. Due to this difficulty, a practitioner telephoned the security office several days beforehand to discuss the situation, explaining who we were and why we wanted them. The practitioner was assured there would be no problem as long as someone came down, sponsored the group and took full responsibility.

Lotuses being delivered

On Thursday, six of us arrived at the front security desk with baskets of large and small lotuses to brighten up the offices of Parliament House. Unfortunately, security personnel claimed that they were not aware of any arrangement for the special passes. The secretary of a Senator who has been a solid supporter of ours came down and negotiated for over an hour to get us in. Finally, the two practitioners she knew personally obtained "unaccompanied passes" while the other four had to settle for accompanied passes. It was negotiated that the four practitioners with "accompanied passes" could go with the two others without having to have someone official accompany them, which is not usually allowed.

The Senator's office allowed us to use one of the kitchenette lounges in the Senate area with access to a telephone. One of the conditions for handing out the lotuses was to first call ahead to seek permission from each office, since Parliament House rules prohibit randomly handing anything out or door-knocking unannounced.

After visiting a number of offices, we went to lunch with our baskets of lotuses. One of the cafeteria staff remarked how beautiful these were and asked to have a couple. She proceeded to return several times for more. After this, several security people came into the cafeteria to speak with us, as there had been a complaint about what we were doing. Unknown to us, this worker had put lotuses all over the cafeteria without permission. After explaining the situation, security told us about the concerns and procedures in Parliament House and the protocol involved in doing anything like this. Security then escorted us back to the lounge.

The practitioners together enlightened to the fact that their thoughts and actions had to be spotless or else the evil forces would immediately take advantage of the slightest loopholes to interfere. It seemed that the opportunity given us to go inside Parliament House under such stringent conditions magnified all attachments - thoughts and actions were being monitored not only universally but at the most basic level. Security personnel were always on the alert for any misbehavior.

After this incident, we made sure all our actions and thoughts were focussed and pure, concentrated on saving the sentient beings in Parliament House. The remainder of the day went very smoothly and there were no obstacles. Because we had worked through this and had come to understand the sacredness of what we were doing, on Friday, the five of us who went to Parliament House were all given "unaccompanied passes" without question and we were able to go everywhere without any concerns.

On Friday, we worked out of the Senator's office in the morning and after the Senator's aide had to leave, we went back to the lounge used the previous day. Upon arrival, there were several staff on a break who had seen us the previous day. One of them quipped, "You're famous! Have you seen the article in the paper about what you were doing yesterday?" We thought he was kidding until he went and got a copy of "Newspaper Clippings" for Monday through Friday that goes to all the offices which had a very tongue-in-cheek article written by the "Age" newspaper called "Assorted other goings-on":

"An Atmosphere of mild chaos in the building yesterday was exacerbated when a small group of Falun Gong campaigners gained entry to Parliament House and went on a rampage of love and peace, setting up shop in a ground-floor Senate kitchen and decorating the place with flowers. The core group was last seen disappearing along a corridor towards the House of Representatives wing, with baffled security guards in hot pursuit."

A number of office staff actually came up to us in the corridors or the lounge and asked for lotuses, as they had seen them in other offices. Before leaving Friday evening, we visited the Press Gallery where staff were staying late to watch a soccer game on television in their offices. Once again, we were warmly received as each staff member was given a lotus and card and told about our program for the weekend around Canberra and our special ceremony on Monday outside Parliament House.

The response over the three days was extremely positive. Over 100 offices were visited and only three offices said they weren't interested. The most common responses were how beautiful these lotuses were and that they couldn't believe we were actually giving them something so special. We even personally delivered lotuses to several MPs and Senators who were most receptive and told us how much they support Falun Dafa.

We were especially hoping to give these heartfelt gifts to the Prime Minister and all the Ministerial Offices. However, the only office that said we couldn't deliver flowers directly was the Prime Minister's office. While two of the practitioners were delivering a lotus to a nearby Ministerial office, the secretary was so pleased that she asked if there was any way she could help in the Ministerial section. They casually mentioned Mr Howard's office to which this kind lady said, "Don't worry, follow me." She accompanied the practitioners through the rear office entrance where two secretaries in the office gladly received their personal lotuses and said they would make sure the Prime Minister received his. We inadvertently missed one Minister's office but all the others gratefully accepted our gifts.

A number of staff told us that many people in Parliament House appreciate what we do and that they disagree with Mr Downer's issuing of Certificates preventing practitioners having banners at the Chinese Embassy. We were told not to worry because many people fully support Falun Gong in both Parliament House and in Canberra.

As we were walking down the corridor between Houses, a Ministerial aide came up to us and said how much he supported our efforts, that he opposed Mr Downer's certificates and that after he returns from a trip overseas, he will help us in any way he can. He had wanted to make contact with us for some time. At another Minister's office, the three secretaries were overwhelmed by this simple gesture. As we started walking down the hall, one of the secretaries came out and put her arms around two of us and, with tears in her eyes said, "You don't know how much this means to me!" She had been to Melbourne a few weeks before and spoken with two Chinese practitioners about Falun Gong and the persecution. She was so moved by this that she wanted to practice herself. We gave her more information along with contacts in Canberra and details of the local practice site.

These three days had a strong impact on all of us. We saw first-hand how special and powerful the effect of such a simple, heartfelt act can be. In "Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa-Conference in Boston", Master said:

"In your efforts to save sentient beings you've labored so hard to allow people to have a new understanding of us. So when you don't do well, it's quite possible you are unwittingly undermining the efforts you've made and some of the things you plan to do. You are cultivators, whose conduct is [supposed to be] pure and righteous. There are so many people who think you're great just by having seen how you act. If we don't pay attention to our own behavior in our daily lives, everyday people will see our actions and, since they can't get to know you at a deep level such as by studying the Fa, they will just look at how you act. And it's possible that one sentence or one action of yours will make them unsavable or create a bad impression of Dafa. We need to think about these things."

We have come to see how such simple, pure acts are far more effective than reams of impersonal information. When our hearts and actions are pure and our only focus is for the salvation of others, then such pure actions positively affect others and move their hearts.

When someone asked if we were selling the flowers or wanted donations, we told them there was no ulterior motive. In fact, our aim was simply to give people a handmade lotus flower - a simple yet profound gesture. Moreover, what we had to share was too precious to sell and it was from the heart. Any hesitancy or reluctance was overcome immediately with righteous thoughts.

Each lotus flower was handmade with a pure heart and righteous mind - some practitioners stayed up all night making these to give more people an opportunity to know about Dafa. With a cooperative effort between several practitioners, many people were deeply touched by the beauty and purity of Dafa.



Part of an address from a practitioner to government representatives at the above ceremony :

"As you see, we have a lot of paper Lotus flowers here today. Last week a few practitioners were handing out these beautiful paper Lotus's in Parliament House. They carry the message -- Falun Dafa -- Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance. Many MP's and Senators received them and some flowers may have even found their way to the Prime Minister's office.

The symbolism of the Lotus flower is known in the east, throughout India and China. The roots grow in the mud and it pushes up through the water to the sky and opens into a beautiful flower. The Lotus is a great symbol for cultivation in Falun Dafa. From a seed within us -- and we all have the seed of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance within us -- the practice of Falun Dafa allows that seed to grow into a flower.

The seed is immersed in the mud. It is a metaphorical mud in the society where we live amongst greed, anger, jealousy, revenge, selfishness. These are the things that manifest in society today, yet we cultivate amongst this because we know that within ourselves, within everyone, there is the seed of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance. That is the joy and beauty of Falun Dafa. Those of us who practice Falun Dafa know this and its why we are prepared to come to Canberra and sit here in the cold and that's why the practitioners in China are prepared to suffer so much as they know this seed is so valuable and so precious.

We hope our MP's and Parliament can see this essence of Falun Dafa and start to understand us and start to also see the correct response to the Chinese government. Thank you all very much for coming today."