Practicing Falun Dafa Exercises in Front of a U.S. High School After the 9/11 Attacks
(Minghui.org) I attended a nine-day Falun Dafa video lecture seminar in April 2000. The first day, I sensed that this was incomparably righteous and a once-in-many-lifetimes opportunity. I felt a subtle excitement during those precious nine days.
To contribute to this year's World Falun Dafa Day celebration, I'd like to share an experience from the early days of my cultivation that is still vivid in my memory.
Just about everyone in the U.S. can remember where they were during the terrorist attack on September 11, 2001. At the time, I had been joining a high school student in practicing the Falun Dafa exercises in front of her school each morning while students were entering the school. Though the student practitioner was a senior and I had already graduated from college, we both looked very young. One student even asked if we were freshmen at the high school.
When we first started, there was a little bit of teasing from some of the students, but for the most part, they were respectful, and some were curious and took flyers that we had displayed next to us. Students from the school newspaper came and interviewed us as well.
On the morning of September 11, after we finished exercising, the student practitioner told me she would not be able to exercise with me the following day due to an exam, so it was up to me whether I still wanted to do the exercises there alone. I told her I probably would.
Later that day at work, I learned of the terrorist attacks. I started to worry that it was not a good idea to practice the exercises alone at the high school the next morning. I worried that the students would be on edge and perhaps lash out at anything they considered “foreign.”
At the same time, I knew these thoughts were not righteous. I knew that the peace and compassion of Falun Dafa were universal and what the world's people needed most. Still, I struggled. I asked another practitioner if I should go. Not understanding my fears, she encouraged me to go, so I did.
Perhaps it was due to my own fears, but the environment felt very tense that morning as I did the exercises in front of the school. At one point, a student turned off my music player, and at another point, a small stone was thrown at my face. I opened my eyes and cast a sad look toward the perpetrator, who was a hefty boy that did not look like he was prone to any type of violence.
Later came a moment that encouraged me and told me that I had made the right choice. I heard a bit of heckling, but then I heard a teenage girl's bold voice, “Stop that. You don't know how important what she’s doing is!”
The following day, the student practitioner returned, and we did the exercises together. This time, I felt exceptionally peaceful.
Just as I finished the Holding the Wheel exercise, I sensed a person before me. The person was a thin boy who had put on a fake beard. When I opened my eyes, he tried to scare me by making a somewhat comical, scary sound and throwing his hands toward my face. I still felt completely calm at that moment and did not even blink. I only looked into his eyes with compassion. He seemed defeated and walked on.
I heard another boy exclaim, “Did you see that?! She didn't move at all!”
Just then, the boy who had thrown the rock at me the day before passed by. Looking sincerely apologetic, he said to me, “I'll promise I will never do that again.”
We continued to exercise there until the weather got cold. Near the end of my time there, one morning I didn't see the student practitioner, so I walked toward the entrance. Several students smiled at me as if they knew me, and one asked if I was looking for that practitioner and told me she had gone inside to take an exam.
I thanked them and somehow had a feeling that the environment there had become positive and bright.