Bulgaria: Falun Dafa Presented at “Hello Health” Festivals
(Minghui.org) Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) is a high level qigong system, popular in more than 100 countries worldwide. This traditional cultivation practice from China was presented at the Bulgarian national “Zdravei Zdrave” (Hello Health) Festival for the third consecutive year. The purpose of the event was to promote healthy lifestyles in all aspects: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
In April and May 2019, Falun Dafa practitioners introduced the benefits of Falun Dafa cultivation practice in the four Bulgarian cities of Yambol, Plovdiv, Kazanlak, and Blagoevgrad.
Arriving at the festival in the city of Blagoevgrad on May 12, the practitioners were greeted by kids and parents in anticipation of the origami lotus flower workshop. Parents and children listened attentively to the story of the beautiful lotus flowers. They bloomed in the kids’ hands with a message of peace and an end to the persecution of Falun Dafa in China.
After the workshop was a presentation of the core principles of the practice, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, followed by a demonstration of the five meditative exercises. The audience raised the question of why people who follow such high principles are being persecuted in China.
The practitioners explained the historical background of how Falun Dafa was publicly introduced in China in 1992 and initially supported by the Chinese government due its positive effects on people’s moral character and wellbeing. The persecution started after the leader of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at the time realized that the number of Falun Dafa followers, estimated at around 100 million, outnumbered the CCP’s members by two times. Then CCP leader Jiang Zemin could not come to terms with the fact that in a matter of just a few years the hearts of almost one tenth of the Chinese people were devoted to Falun Gong rather than the CCP. While Falun Gong was promoting Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance, the CCP was promoting aggression, violence, and the eradication of the country's traditional culture and values.
After the practitioners introduced Falun Dafa, they demonstrated the exercises which are practiced freely around the world—except in China. Some guests came to try them for second time around. One older woman said that after learning the exercises at the previous festival, she had been doing them at home. She and several other women expressed a desire to form a local practice group. Contact information was exchanged and the practitioners promised to arrange for a group exercise practice in the city of Blagoevgrad on a regular basis.
On the eve of May 13,World Falun Dafa Day, Falun Dafa was introduced at the “Zdravei Zdrave” Festival in the city of Kazanlak, also known as the “City of Roses.” There was a petition set up in the city center calling for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China, as well as an origami workshop.
Practitioners from Stara Zagora and Varna introduced the benefits of practicing Falun Dafa, and after doing the exercises, many guests mentioned feeling good energy. Five people decided to start practicing and purchased copies of the main book, Zhuan Falun. This was the second time that Kazanlak had hosted the festival, and one of the visitors said he had been doing the exercises regularly with his wife since 2017, when they first heard about Falun Dafa.
In the city of Plovdiv, known as the European Culture Capital, the 10th anniversary of the “Zdravei Zdrave” Festival was celebrated with a parade on April 19. Falun Dafa practitioners dressed in ethnic costumes invited locals and tourists to attend the presentation. The next morning, many people had the opportunity to learn about Falun Dafa cultivation practice and its principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. An exercise demonstration was held afterward at the House of Science. Plovdiv has a practice site at the city’s Rowing Base, where practitioners do the exercises together bi-weekly.
A new practitioner from the city of Plovdiv shared her experience after starting to practice Falun Dafa. She said she had suffered from migraines for 30 years. After she started doing the exercises, even though not on a regular basis, her migraines disappeared completely. She is now free of pain and very happy.
Visitors to the “Zdravei Zdrave” Festival 2019 in the city of Yambol did the five exercises in the city park after learning about the principles of the practice during the presentation. They learned how to improve their moral character, and how that is related to improvement in one’s health. They were also told about the ongoing almost 20-year persecution of the practice in China, and about local and international efforts to put an end to it. The happiest visitors were the kids, thanks to the “Petals of Peace” lotus origami workshop.
The international project “Petals of Peace” originated in Brisbane, Australia, introduced by Chinese-Australian Jane Dai. Ms. Dai lost her husband in 2001 as a result of the persecution of Falun Dafa in China. He was tortured to death by officials in Guangdong Province. Her husband is one of the untold numbers of Dafa practitioners who have been persecuted and killed for their spiritual belief since the onset of the persecution in 1999. After his death, Jane created the origami lotus project as a means to expose the CCP’s crimes of destroying traditional Chinese values and perpetrating human rights violations against Falun Gong and other spiritual believers.
Category: Parades & Other Community Events