(Minghui.org) San Francisco, known in Chinese as the “old gold mountain,” was one of the first destinations of Chinese immigrants to the USA in the early 19th century. The city saw an influx of Chinese and Westerners alike over the past week, all who practice Falun Dafa, an ancient yet popular meditation and self cultivation practice steeped traditional Chinese culture. Some 4,000 practitioners came from all corners of the globe to participate in activities related to the annual west coast Falun Dafa conference.

On Friday, practitioners could be found at several major Bay Area tourist attractions, hoping that visitors from China in particular would have an opportunity to see them. At the Golden Gate Bridge, for example, a large group exercises was held in the Golden Gate Visitor Center, followed by a march across Golden Gate Bridge. 

The message was one of peaceful resistance to the 15 years of brutal persecution the practice has been subjected to by the Chinese communist regime. Although persecuted in China, the practice is cherished, honored and respected around the rest of the world.

Group exercise at Golden Gate Bridge plaza

Martins Rubenis won a bronze medal at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics for his homeland of Latvia. He shared, “I'm so happy to meet so many practitioners from different countries. Falun Dafa has spread so widely around the world. The group exercises are elegant and spectacular.

“Regardless of one's life experience or background, one can benefit from Falun Dafa. I have experienced it myself. I only did the exercises when I first started. I didn't understand the profound Fa principles. However, my injuries disappeared, and I was able to win a medal for Latvia at the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics. As I learned about the brutal persecution in China, I realized how truly precious the Falun Dafa teachings are. “Falun Dafa is such a blessing for the entire world.”

Mr. Martins Rubenis from Latvia (first right)

Jens Almroth came to San Francisco all the way from Sweden to help raise awareness of the persecution. “The whole world needs to know the persecution in China. It is most brutal, and can be targeted against anyone the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) chooses to single out. Some people are not clear on this and think it's just something that Falun Dafa has done leading to it being persecuted. People in Hong Kong have learned firsthand, however, that anyone, regardless of their innocence, can be targeted.”

Hanna Stekelorom from France has practiced Falun Dafa for 13 years. She said, “Falun Dafa is a very good practice. One's mind and body are elevated through cultivation. Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, the essential principles of Falun Dafa, are very important values for the world.”

Ammett Munter came from Germany to attend the week of Falun Dafa events in San Francisco. “Practitioners in China are being killed in the persecution that is hidden from the masses in China by false and misleading communist propaganda.”

Kiemena Kreumova had been looking for the true meaning of life throughout her life. She said she had looked everywhere until her search ended when she saw an introduction to Falun Dafa 13 years ago.

“My heart goes to the Falun Dafa practitioners in China who are persecuted for their beliefs and to the millions of Chinese citizens who have been denied access to the facts by China's communist propaganda machine. I sincerely hope that tourists visiting here from China have the opportunity to learn what's really going on when they are here,” she said.

Passing out Falun Dafa flyers on the Golden Gate Bridge

Cici Liu, 16, started practicing Falun Gong two years ago. She smiled and said, “I like the practice a lot. I immediately became calmer, and easier to get along with; definitely less combative than I was before. My relations with classmates and my family have improved so much!”

Category: Rallies & Protests