More than 600 Falun Gong practitioners from Australia, New Zealand and Vietnam gathered to create a unique spectacle of peace, hope and faith.
At Jubilee Park, Sydney, on October 8, yellow-clad practitioners are arranged to form four giant Chinese characters that read “Hokage Ningen” (Buddha that rectifies the human world).
Four characters glowed bright yellow in the green of the park.
The event led to an experience sharing conference in Sydney.
First introduced in China in 1992, Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, is a Buddhist practice consisting of five meditation techniques and a set of moral teachings centered around sincerity, compassion and tolerance.
The practice rapidly amassed tens of millions of followers in the 1990s and became one of the largest spiritual communities in the country. In 1999, the CCP banned the practice, viewing it as a threat to its dominance.
Nationwide persecution has thrown many practitioners into prisons, labor camps and brainwashing centers, where they have been tortured and ill-treated, and some have died from forced organ harvesting.
According to event coordinator Li Yuanhua, preparatory work lasted two to three months, including designing patterns, researching venues, and procuring supporting materials.
This spectacle, known as character building, is a decades-old tradition that began in China in the 1990s, where Falun Gong practitioners were still able to practice freely in public parks across the country.
Since the persecution began in 1999, practitioners abroad have taken up the torch to keep the tradition alive. Taiwan and the United States have many followers and the most spectacular sights.
Since 2013, New York City has been hosting character formations, and the number of participants continues to grow each year.
Participants: Spread your message through your event
Jason Utley, a business owner from northern New South Wales, began practicing Dafa three and a half years ago. This is my first time participating in character formation.
Attlee said he hopes to spread the wonders of Falun Dafa through the event. On the other hand, he also wanted to make people aware of the persecution still going on in China and the brutal nature of the Chinese Communist Party.
“We have put a lot of effort into getting this message out and hopefully people will recognize it,” he said.
Uttley once had scoliosis, which was difficult to manage and required monthly visits to a chiropractor, but after practicing Falun Dafa for six months, she no longer needed treatment.
“It has fully recovered,” he said. “Deeply relaxing, energizing and leaving you feeling more energized.”
Spiritual practices also help Attlee build a more harmonious home life.
“It makes you more tolerant and more compassionate,” he said. “You see the positive side of the challenges you face.”
live by the three principles
Michelle Webster from Western Australia also attended the event.
Webster visited Falun Dafa in 2012 after seeing a Falun Gong advertisement. Art exhibition And I was immediately drawn to three words: sincerity, compassion, and patience. She started her practice a week after visiting her exhibition.
Webster said he used to be impatient.
“I have always been a very impatient person. [tolerant] Until I start practicing,” she said. “For sure, I’ve become much more patient and more tolerant of different people and different things.”
Webster’s relationship with his children has also improved dramatically since the practice.
According to Webster, her daughter was prone to anger, anxiety, and depression. She always felt that Webster could not help herself as a mother.
However, after starting parenting, Webster tried to influence the children with stronger moral values, but in the process, the children slowly changed.
“I was trying to teach them moral values, and even more so when I started practicing,” she said.
“Now I’m her life helper,” she continued. “She takes my opinions, thoughts and advice more seriously when it comes to serious things.”
Character formation also attracted the attention and interest of local residents.
Eva, a local resident from Poland, said she was unfamiliar with the communist regime and knew about the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
Eva said her supporters are inspiring and courageous. She is happy that Falun Gong practitioners are free to practice their faith in Australia.