Finding the Right Path: The Cultivation Story of a Young Israeli
(Clearwisdom.net) Tamuz, a young man from Israel, has always wanted to become a good person, and now that he is practicing Falun Gong, he knows how. He used to be afraid of doing what he should do so that people would think he is a good person, but now he no longer feels the pressure of public criticism. He does what he feels is right.
Tamuz in a rally in Rome to condemn the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong
Eight years ago when Tamuz and his family were waiting for the light to turn green, a Falun Gong practitioner gave them a truth-clarification flyer. His family member, who was sitting at the front passenger's side, took a look and passed it to Tamuz, "This is for you." Tamuz was practicing martial arts. He thought he had enough with martial arts lessons and did not need any qigong. Nevertheless, he could not help looking up Falun Gong and its books on-line and learned Falun Gong's five exercises. He realized that Falun Gong enables its student to make rapid self-improvement. When he was practicing martial arts, it took Tamuz a long time to learn to be considerate of others, but this is the first thing he learned from Falun Gong.
At the time Tamuz was just 21. He did not start practicing Falun Gong for health or fitness. He wanted some answers he had been looking for. "I had read Buddhist scriptures. I knew it was capable of improving people, but I didn't have much understanding because the language is complicated. I have always been very interested in the universe. I wanted to know how things developed. After I read Falun Gong's books, I understand the universe more and more. I can see the changes in me."
Finding Falun Gong, Becoming a Better Person
Tamuz had always wanted to be a good person. In fact, many people thought he was a good person. But Tamuz knew he wasn't always behaving the way he wanted to. "In the past many people thought I was a great person, but I had done many things to avoid criticism or negative outcomes. Sometimes I felt I should do something, but I dared not." Since he started practicing Falun Gong, he has become more relaxed. "Everything has changed. To this date many people still think I am a good person, but I am no longer afraid. I can do things naturally."
He has learned from Falun Gong how to be a better person. "I have obtained more guidance. I truly think I ought to be a good person, but in the past I had no model to learn from. Now I have someone to guide me and support me to become a better person. If I am treated unfairly, I will remember Falun Gong's principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance."
With the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance as his guide, Tamuz would respond to situations differently and be met with suprisingly good outcomes. In the past he would defend himself when his mother or grandmother scolded him, but it only fueled the fire more.
But Falun Gong changed him. "One day my grandmother saw a TV program reporting young people doing nothing and wasting their lives. She began to worry for me and started to throw fits." He just stood there quietly and listened. "I didn't talk back. After a while, I went into another room. When I returned to the living room, she said to me, 'Tamuz, I am sorry for treating you the way I did.' This has never happened --- never. I learned this is what forbearance is about. This is how people should behave."
In the past Tamuz would be upset over any losses. Sometimes he felt he deserved more, but sometimes he felt he had too much or he was not good enough. Since he started practicing Falun Gong, he feels peaceful. "I have realized that I should be happy with what I have. Things will continue to happen the way they should. The only difference is that I used to overthink and make myself nervous. I no longer think too much. I no longer feel pressure. I no longer want this or that. I am still doing everything I should, but I will try to do things better."
Clarifying the Truth to Stop China's Persecution of Falun Gong
At first Tamuz focused on Falun Gong and did not pay too much attention to the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong. When he read more and more facts about the persecution reported on the Minghui/Clearwisdom website, he felt he could no longer sit there and do nothing. "After a while I realized that I must talk to my family now that I know about the persecution. It was a giant step for me. One day I told them everything at dinner. I told them I had benefitted a lot from the cultivation practice of Falun Gong and I must do something about the persecution of Falun Gong in China."
He has explained to his family and everyone else he knows what Falun Gong is and about the brutal persecution against Falun Gong that has been taking place in China. Many have asked Tamuz why he is concerned only about Falun Gong amongst so many issues in the world. He would say, "In Israel, many Jewish people often complain about anti-Semitic organizations even when they are located in Germany, South Africa or America. It bothers them, although they are far away from Israel because they are against the Jews. Likewise, Falun Gong practitioners in China are like me. We are all Falun Gong practitioners. If I were to live in China, I might not be able to get a good job, I might not be allowed to go to college or I might be thrown into a forced labor camp. It is the same."
Tamuz would talk about Falun Gong from different perspectives, depending on who he talks to. He tries to have more people learn of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) persecution of Falun Gong. "Falun Gong practitioners are not trying to recruit more followers. I will be happy for anyone who wants to practice Falun Gong, but it is not my purpose. If anyone thinks that I am trying to ask him to practice Falun Gong, I will state that that's not what I am trying to do. What I want to talk about is human rights."
Exposing the CCP's Pressure and Spreading the Truth about Falun Gong Further
Tamuz had always wanted to have a Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance international art exhibit at Tel Aviv University where he goes to school so that people will understand through Falun Gong practitioners' artworks what Falun Gong is about and the persecution of Falun Gong in China. In March 2008, Tamuz and a fellow practitioner obtained permission from the student organization and their professor to have the art exhibit for two weeks in the lobby of the central library of Tel Aviv University.
However, the student organization called him on the evening of the opening ceremony and asked if he could provide any evidence that the art exhibit had been held in any prominent venues before. Tamuz and other practitioners at the same unveristy learned that there were a few students and faculty members from China. Apparently they knew about the exhibit and informed the Chinese Embassy, which must have talked to the university and asked them to withdraw the permit. The Chinese Communist authorities sponsor the university's Confucius Institute. Many universities around the world have similiar Confucius Institute. This is a way for the Chinese Communist Party to fund and manipulate the universities.
Tamuz and some other Falun Gong practitioners started talking to the university in an attempt to continue the art exhibit. Tamuz recalled, "We went to the president first, but he would not even see us. We were sent to another official, who claimed that he was not responsible and sent us to another person. Once we found the person in charge, we talked to him and he agreed to give us a week, but asked us to understand his situation. We told him that it was illegal. Then he started shouting at us and kicked us out of his office. We didn't have enough opportunities to discuss with the school officials because no one wanted to talk to us."
A week later the art exhibit was cancelled. But Tamuz and another student decided that they must not stop the art exhibit because it was canceled due to pressure from the CCP.
"There are often anti-semitic parades near the university because they want more democracy. They would tell us proudly that we are very free. It is very unusual that an art exhibit is cancelled."
They decided to file a legal complaint against Tel Aviv University. Tamuz added that they wished nothing but to have the art exhibit take place for another week, just as the contract stated.
They decided to file a complaint because they didn't want to see the same thing happen again. Tamuz explained, "If the CCP knows that this strategy works, then they will repeat it over and over again. If we show them that this won't work, then they might not try again. In addition, it is not right for a college president in a democractic country to be manipulated by a foreign government. If we do not take any action, other organizations in Israel might be afraid to work with us. They might use it as a reference." Besides, Tamuz and many other Falun Gong practitioners believe it would also be a good opportunity to have more people know about Falun Gong.
The legal complaint attracted a lot of attention in the media. Falun Gong practitioners informed many newspapers, TV stations and radio stations about what happened and what has been happening to Falun Gong practitioners in China. "The CCP has created a reverse effect. At first, only a few thousand students and faculty members saw the art exhibit, but now tens of thousands people know about it because of media coverage."
During the trial, the university presented a very strange reason. Tamuz said, "They asked to stop the art exhibit even before they saw it. They said that they had received emails from Israeli students in China that the exhibit had put them under pressure and scared them. However, the university was unable to produce such emails as evidence. In addition, they did not report them to the police or to the ministry of foreign affairs. It was rather strange."
After over a year of lawsuits, the judge issued a verdict and decided that because the Chinese Embassy had funded many activities at Tel Aviv University, the university had given in to the pressure and violated the freedom of expression of students by stopping the art exhibit. The judge also told the university to give the exhibit another week and must pay 45,000 Israeli sheqels for legal expenses.
Tamuz said, "The judge said that Falun Gong practitioners are correct. He said that the university was wrong. He said that they had made a decision because of pressure from the Chinese Embassy. This shows that it was not the intention of the university. They had cancelled the exhibit because of pressure from the Chinese Communist Party."
The verdict sparked more media coverage. In fact, the entire trial raised a lot of attention toward Falun Gong from many Israelis. Tamuz said, "In fact, the closing of the trial caused a lot of attention toward Falun Gong and the art exhibit. Many Israelis have witnessed how wicked the CCP is and how they go about doing their business. They do not resort to open, civil approaches. Instead, they try to create damage. This has created for us a lot of opportunities to have the art exhibit because many people have heard the news from the media."
The trial even changed the attitude of a famous attorney. Before Tamuz and another Falun Gong practitioner filed the complaint, he discussed his idea but it was rejected by the attorney. She said, "Why are you doing this? There is no chance for you to win the trial." When she heard the verdict, she commented, "It was a miracle. It was like a gift." Tamuz said, "We did not shout or take any other action. We simply refused to give up. We just continue to follow the teachings of Falun Gong."
When the trial concluded, Tamuz had already graduated from Tel Aviv University. However, the other Falun Gong practitioner that filed the complaint with him received a lot of support from students and professors. "Students and professors told them (Falun Gong practitioners) that they were right and that the university should not have done that."
Filing the complaint was the right thing to do for Tamuz, so he did not have any fear or worry. "If you know what you are doing is right, you will continue to do it."
Tamuz and many other Falun Gong practitoners have been participating in many local activities to have opportunities to describe to people what Falun Gong is and to reveal the CCP's crimes against Falun Gong. Tamuz hopes that the persecution against Falun Gong will end soon.
Tamuz said, "It will help end the persecution in China if the Chinese Communist regime sees that people outside of China know about the persecution as well. The CCP is afraid that people will hear about the bad things it has done. Hosting events creates opportunities to help more people learn about Falun Gong, know Falun Gong is good and learn about the horrible persecution. If more people would come to these events, then the effects would be greater. I am doing the best I can because I cannot sit here and do nothing. I will feel uneasy if I know what has been happening in China and I sit there doing nothing about it."