Shen Yun Carries “Hope for the World” Across Five U.S. States

March 19, 2016 | By Minghui correspondent Zhang Yun

(Minghui.org) In the first two weeks of March, two of the four touring companies of Shen Yun presented 23 performances in five U.S. states including New York, Colorado, Indiana, Illinois, and Texas.

Shen Yun Performing Arts returned to the Lincoln Center for a second round of twelve shows March 2-13. Attendees expressed amazement for the skillful presentation of the performance.

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Curtain call at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on March 13, 2016

Fashion Model: “Outstanding” and “Perfect”

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Fashion model Carmen Dell’Orefice and Annette Green, founder of Fragrance Foundation, at the Lincoln Center on March 5

“It is outstanding,” said fashion model Carmen Dell’Orefice. “Each and every dancer could have been the solo dancer.”

“They work together as one. And each one is as perfect as the person you put up front,” she added.

“The visualization is quite beautiful….Really quite a spectacular experience,” said Annette Green, founder of Fragrance Foundation.

Broadway Choreographer: “An Incredible Presentation of Pageantry”

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Josh Prince, Broadway choreographer and artistic director for the Broadway Dance Lab at the Lincoln Center on March 5

“A sensational, beautiful explanation of Chinese culture,” said Josh Prince, Broadway choreographer and artistic director for the Broadway Dance Lab. “This was an incredible presentation of pageantry and the Chinese culture throughout the ages.”

“What they show so well is the ability for large groups of dancers to come together, almost breathe together, work together, make formations together,” said Mr. Prince, who described the experience as really moving and inspiring.

“It’s also nice to see a company who’s trying to upkeep the history of Chinese dance and the culture of China,” he added.

Hope for the World

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Drummer Johnny Diaz, at Indianapolis’s Clowes Memorial Hall on the campus of Butler University on March 9

“I feel rejuvenated, wonderful, hope for the world,” said drummer Johnny Diaz after seeing the performance in Indianapolis on March 9.

“The quality of dance, the quality of the musicians, the quality of precision, the dancers interacting with each other and the music interacting with the performers… It’s beautiful,” Mr. Diaz said.

“It’s just too much to say. They were just outstanding and uplifting and I would like to see it again many times,” he added.

“Genuine Manifestation” of Traditional Chinese Culture

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John Su and Amy Liu, students from China who attended the performance at the Lincoln Center on March 5

“Today, I’ve seen it. I’m very touched,” said John Su, a student at Stony Brook University who attended the Shen Yun performance at the Lincoln Center with his friend Amy Liu. “There is a reason why China was called the Divine Land.”

“[Shen Yun] truly brings out the notion of divine culture transmitted from the heavens,” Amy Liu said. “I think that if one really calms down and watches the show, you can really experience the genuine manifestation of your tradition and your ancestors’ 5,000-year-old culture.”

“I believe that this show will definitely play in China one day. For sure,” Ms. Liu added.

Shen Yun will continue its tour of the United States with performances inSan Antonio, TX, March 18–20; Long Beach, CA, March 19–20; Austin, TX, March 21–22; and Thousand Oaks, CA, March 22–23. For more information on tickets and dates, please visit http://shenyun.com.

Chinese version available

Category: Shen Yun Performing Arts

The Art of Zhen, Shan, Ren International Exhibition Held in New York State Capitol Building

March 20, 2016

(Minghui.org) The U.S. East Falun Dafa Association held the Art of Zhen, Shan, Ren International Exhibition in the New York State Capitol building in Albany, New York, on March 14 and 15, 2016 (Monday and Tuesday).

The exhibition included 20 paintings which manifested the grace of Falun Dafa, and the uncompromising courage of Falun Dafa practitioners in upholding their belief while facing the brutal persecution in China.

Monday through Wednesday are busy days for the state representatives who work in the capitol building, and citizens can visit their representatives on Tuesdays. The eye-catching exhibition was held in the hallway through which state representatives frequently pass.

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New York Assembly Member Jeffrion L. Aubry of District 35 signs a petition to support Falun Gong.

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A practitioner explains the persecution of Falun Gong in China to visitors.

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Visitors view each painting quietly and carefully read the captions.

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A visitor signs a petition to support Falun Gong.

Ms. Zheng, a coordinator with the hosting organization, said, “The objective of the exhibition is to have all members of the New York legislature, both Assembly and Senate, along with their staffers, know about the persecution of Falun Gong in China, and to win their support of Falun Gong.”

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Jack Martins, a member of New York State Senate, sponsors this exhibition and visits in person to show his support.

Jack Martins, a member of New York State Senate, sponsored the exhibition, and showed up in person to show his support. He said, “There is no position for the Chinese Communist Party in the world. Falun Gong is a good traditional practice school. Its principles should be followed by everyone of us. Each of us will be encouraged by Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.”

He also indicated that he was pleased to see his colleagues pausing to learn more and signing the petition expressing their support of Falun Gong.

Lynn Couey, a staff member who works in the capitol, wept when seeing the innocent people being persecuted. She said, “I feel miserable for such things. I am concerned about the issue. Everyone should be concerned, as it should not happen.”

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Mr. Huang, a resident of Albany, said he was moved by the paintings.

Mr. Huang, a resident of Albany, said, “It is touching. A government can do such things to people.” He said while pointing to the painting entitled “Pure Call,” “She does not open her mouth, but expresses the feeling of her inner heart.”

Some visitors inquired more about Falun Gong and the persecution in China. Many signed the petition and wrote their thoughts in the guest book. Following are some of the visitors’ words from the guest book:

“An exhibit of peace and compassion, a tribute to human spirit.”

“People expect beauty to come from the physical appearance, but will be surprised to find a rose grow from the concrete.”

“The quality of mercy is not restrained; it is our duty to protect those sentient beings who are vulnerable. A world of love and peace is possible if we choose so.”

“Such a beautiful and powerful way of telling this tragic story. Thank you!”

Chinese version available

Category: Art & Photo Exhibits

US House Foreign Affairs Committee Marks Up Resolution Condemning Organ Harvesting in China

March 19, 2016

The United States House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) marked up H.Res. 343 on March 13. The resolution calls on the Chinese government to cease the practice of state-sanctioned organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners, and to cooperate with investigations into these crimes. Currently, the resolution has 166 bipartisan cosponsors.

At the hearing on Wednesday, Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) said, “I strongly believe that this resolution is an important step in bringing a measure of accountability and transparency to what may be one of the greatest crimes of the 21st century: the 17-year effort to eradicate Falun Gong from China.”

New evidence that emerged this year, drawn directly from Chinese medical databases and hospital websites, indicates without question that the scale of the organ transplantation industry in the People’s Republic of China is far beyond what had previously been understood. With limited number of death-row prisoners, and extremely low rate of voluntary donation, the number of Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience being killed for their organs could be much more than previously estimated.

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) pointed out at the hearing that researchers David Kilgour, David Matas and Ethan Gutmann conducted detailed investigations and estimated that between 45,000 and 65,000 Falun Gong practitioners were killed for their organs which were then sold for profit. “I’ve read those accounts and they are chilling,” said Rohrabacher. “Those estimates may now be much higher according to the forthcoming report by those three researchers.”

Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY) described the organ trade in China as “something out of a horror story.” He went on to say that, “Non-consensual organ harvesting represents a gross violation of human rights. And if this horrible abuse weren’t enough, we hear about victims being targeted for their religious beliefs, and of Chinese prison camps reaping profits off of harvesting these organs.”

“We cannot allow these crimes to continue,” declared Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), who co-initiated H.Res. 343 with Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA).

Ros-Lehtinin said, “By passing this resolution we can send a message to the Chinese regime, the U.S. medical community, and our State Department that we condemn China’s organ harvesting. We know that it’s still going on and we must do more to end this practice immediately.”

Chinese version available

Category: Organ Harvesting
http://en.minghui.org/html/articles/2016/3/19/155969.html

Falun Gong Benefits Practitioners and Their Families

March 18, 2016 | By a Dafa practitioner in Fujian Province, China

(Minghui.org) Through word of mouth, Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) spread rapidly throughout the city of Ningde in Fujian Province in the latter half of 1996. Falun Gong’s amazing ability to restore health and improve a person’s moral standard attracted many eager learners.

Experiencing the Extraordinariness of Falun Gong

Ms. Jin Liyan, an elderly lady, suffered from severe liver cirrhosis, chronic gastritis and frequent heart palpitations. These conditions left her weak and in constant pain.

When she heard about Falun Gong, she immediately decided, “Wherever this practice is being taught, I will definitely go and attend.” This simple thought brought about an unexpected change. The previously weak and sickly lady suddenly was able to walk long distances without tiring.

She located a Falun Gong practice site in January 1999. She then obtained Zhuan Falun, the book which contains the teachings of Falun Gong. However as an illiterate person, it seemed impossible for her to read that book within her lifetime. She remained undaunted and decided, “I will read this book.” It did not take long for her to recognize the words in the book.

Within a few days of practicing the exercises, she had recovered from her illnesses and stopped taking all medication. Full of energy, she is now able to walk long distances without tiring. She benefited greatly from practicing Falun Gong.

Perfect Healing of Severe Leg Tuberculosis

Ms. Fengyue, a middle aged lady, underwent surgery in March 2010 at a Fuzhou hospital for leg pain. The surgery failed to relieve her pain, and moreover caused her condition to worsen. Her leg muscles began to atrophy, and any physical movement brought pain. Over time, her condition deteriorated and doctors were left with no other option than to administer large doses of painkillers.

Specialists at different hospitals gave her the same diagnosis, “You have severe joint tuberculosis, resulting in decalcification and necrosis of your knee bone.”

The doctors prescribed a tuberculosis treatment, and suggested that she undergo a knee replacement surgery, which could cost up to eight million yuan.

“You are only 40 years old,” said one of the doctors. “Artificial joints only last about 10 years. If you live up to 80 years, can you imagine the number of joint replacement operations you would have to undergo?”

She met a Falun Gong practitioner in 2013 who told her to recite the phrases, “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good, Falun Dafa is good!”

“You will benefit as long as you recite these two phrases constantly and sincerely,” said the practitioner. “Falun Gong brings to the public high level Buddha School teachings. As long as you are truly sincere, Buddha will save you.”

When they met again, the practitioner told her the facts behind the unlawful persecution of Falun Gong, before giving her Zhuan Falun, and teaching her the exercise movements. As she read the book and practiced the exercises, her health improved and one day she realized that she had become a healthy person.

Cured of Hypertension and Diabetes

A 63-year-old lady suffered from various illnesses, including insomnia, hypertension and diabetes. To cure her worsening condition, her family members took her to medical specialists, but to no avail. Moreover, the increasing burden of her medical fees became a source of dispute between her husband and children.

At the height of her desperation, she met a friend who practiced Falun Gong. This friend encouraged her to read Zhuan Falun, and gave her an MP3 player containing the lectures given by Master Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong. Filled with hope, this elderly lady read the book, listened to the lectures and did the exercises daily. Gradually, her quality of sleep and mental outlook began to improve.

Skeptical of her outwardly improved health, her family insisted that she visit the hospital for a thorough examination. To their amazement, the medical report confirmed that she no longer suffered her chronic hypertension and diabetes. Filled with gratitude, this lady has devoted the rest of her life to practicing Falun Gong.

Steadfast Faith in Falun Gong

Ms. Pan Feiliu once suffered from severe insomnia and chronic severe fatigue. She consulted many doctors and took large amounts of medication. However, her efforts were in vain.

She met someone by chance in 1998 who gave her Zhuan Falun. She read the Falun Gong teachings, did the exercises and began to experience a gradual improvement in her physical condition. Not only did her body feel refreshingly lighter, but her mental character also underwent a major change. She became more compassionate and tolerant towards others. This improvement in body and mind cemented her conviction to practice Falun Gong.

Ms. Pan and several Falun Gong practitioners went to Beijing in July 2000 to appeal for fairer treatment of Falun Gong and its practitioners. The authorities ignored her appeal, and instead arrested and imprisoned her for three-and-a-half years.

She was tortured with methods such as being forced to stand for long hours without moving, to sleep deprivation and physical abuse. Psychotropic drugs were mixed into her food, and she suffered from frequent delirium, confusion and loss of mental control. The constant torture caused Ms. Pan’s weight to plummet from a 130 to a mere 70 pounds. Only when she was on the verge of death did the authorities agree to release her into the care of her family.

After her release from prison, Ms. Pan diligently studied the teachings of Falun Gong and did the exercises. With her strong faith, she quickly recovered in body and mind.

Perfect Health and Harmonious Family Life

Ms. Liu Ruozhen started to practice Falun Gong in 1998. Within a few months, her joint rheumatism, stomach problems and other health issues disappeared. Since then, 17 years have passed, and she remains in perfect health and full of vitality.

“Falun Gong is amazing,” she said. “It does not differentiate between the rich and poor, and accepts all people as long as one has the heart to cultivate. As a cultivator, I have greatly benefited and feel blessed.”

Before she started to practice Falun Gong, she had a bad temper and would often pick fights with her colleagues and parents-in-law. After practicing Falun Gong, she followed the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance in her daily life. She became kind and considerate toward others. As a result, her relationships with her colleagues, husband and parents-in-law became very harmonious.

Her son also benefited from his mother’s practice of Falun Gong. Her son often fell ill and would come down with a high fever in the middle of the night. As the family lived in a rural area with poor medical facilities, locating a doctor was impossible at the late hours of the night. Ms. Liu resorted to practicing the Falun Gong exercises beside her son during those nights. His fever was gone within no time.

Additionally, she noticed improvement in her son’s grades after she became a practitioner. From an initial high school ranking of 400, he went to the top of his class by the third year of high school and was admitted to a prestigious university.

For Ms. Liu, the amazing power of Falun Gong cured her illness, changed her outlook on life, improved her interpersonal and family relationships, and helped her son. This is truly a practice that has beneficial effects for practitioners and their families!

Chinese version available

Category: Health Benefits

Taiwan: Chiayi City Council Passes Resolution Urging Chinese Regime to Stop Forced Organ Harvesting

March 16, 2016 | By Wang Qinghan, a Minghui correspondent in Taiwan

(Minghui.org) The Chiayi City Council in southern Taiwan recently passed a resolution to uphold human rights for practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice currently persecuted in China.

The resolution passed on March 14, 2016, and demands that the Chinese regime “release all Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience.” The bill specifically asks the regime to “stop harvesting organs from imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners, religious believers, and ethnic minorities.”

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Chiayi City Council passes resolution.

Tsai Wen-Hsu, one of the councilors who initiated the resolution, called for the Chinese regime to immediately stop the persecution of Falun Gong. He believes that human rights is a universal value that is not bound by borders, race, or religion. Tsai also urged the authorities in Taiwan to ban those who are involved in organ harvesting from entering Taiwan, and evict those who were already there.

The resolution was jointly signed by ten other councilors and passed unanimously.

Six other Taiwanese counties and cities (Pingtung, Kaohsiung, Taichung, Yunlin, Hualien, and Yilan) have passed similar multi-partisan resolutions, urging the Chinese government to stop the persecution of Falun Gong, demanding an immediate end to the state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting, and supporting the more than 200,000 Chinese people who have filed lawsuits against former Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin, who ordered the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong in mainland China.

In addition, the Taipei Bar Association made a public announcement on December 25, 2015 to urge the Chinese communist regime to allow international organizations to enter China to investigate forced organ harvesting crimes, and support Chinese citizens’ demands for justice in the persecution of Falun Gong.

Chinese version available

Category: Voices of Support Worldwide

Taiwan: Two Brothers Find Falun Dafa on the Road to Success

March 15, 2016 | By Minghui correspondent Zheng Yuyan

(Minghui.org) With a master’s degree in law and working as a judge, Huang Weiming is known to be strong-minded and eloquent. That often makes it difficult for others, including his younger brother Xiaowei, to influence his point of view.

But seeing the positive impact practicing Falun Dafa had on Xiaowei, who graduated with a master’s degree in civil engineering, Weiming became curious. He started to read Falun Dafa books and also became a practitioner.

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Judge Huang Weiming is known to be strong-minded and eloquent.

“It is Falun Dafa that gives us health and wisdom,” said Weiming.

Nightmare Ended

It was a long road that brought Xiaowei to Falun Dafa.

One night when he was in fourth grade, he felt something pressing on him, making him hardly able to move. This repeated many times after that, both day and night, but he was unable to get rid of it.

Xiaowei’s parents took him to doctors and temples all over Taiwan, searching desperately for a cure. As Xiaowei traveled with his parents to yet another temple, he began to think about the purpose of life. But he did not find any answers or a cure.

His ordeal continued till one day when he was in 10th grade. His father brought home a book, Zhuan Falun.

Hope

Xiaowei began to read Zhuan Falun and got very excited, “I could tell that this book was teaching me the purpose of life—something I did not find anywhere else. To me, that is the hope for future.”

One night, Xiaowei felt something was pressing on him again. Because he had been reading Zhuan Falun earlier that day, Xiaowei recited a few passages that he was able to recall. Instantly, the sensation of something pressing on him disappeared and he felt relieved. He was amazed by the power of Falun Dafa.

That night, he slept very well, something he had not done for many years. And those frightening episodes never recurred.

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Xiaowei says he became a happier person once he found the purpose of life.

School and Work

The practice of Falun Dafa was also great help when it came to Xiaowei’s coursework. He was admitted to the National Chiayi University and graduated with the highest score in his department. Because of his academic excellence, he was admitted to several renowned institutes without taking an entrance exam. He and other students started a club to introduce Falun Dafa to others on the campus.

After graduating with a master’s degree, Xiaowei took the qualification exam for government employees. Although he only prepared about two or three hours for the exam, he did very well on it and now works as an engineer for the Taipei city government.

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Xiaowei often goes to tourist sites after work to talk to people Falun Dafa and the persecution in China.

Brother Begins to Practice Falun Dafa

Weiming, who is two years older than Xiaowei, had worried about his brother’s unusual condition while they were growing up. He was glad to to see the positive changes in Xiaowei, and they often talked about Falun Dafa.

Although he was strong-minded and tended to be critical, Weiming found Falun Dafa to be beyond reproach. “I had to admit that Falun Dafa was really beneficial,” he said. Nonetheless, he still did not start to practice.

Near the end of his graduate studies in 2010, when Weiming was planning to take the qualification exams for government officials, his father again encouraged him to read Zhuan Falun. This time, Weiming agreed. Within days, he experienced many of the things described in the book, and his physical improvement was dramatic.

As the exam approached, Weiming continued to read the Falun Dafa books as usual. In the past, he would have put everything else aside to focus solely on preparing for the exam. But he knew the Falun Dafa books made him calmer and more efficient, didn’t interfered with his studies, and even helped. Things went well and he passed all the tests required to be a judge.

Cherishing their freedom in Taiwan, the brothers are deeply concerned for their counterparts in mainland China who suffer relentless and brutal persecution. “We know good is rewarded with good, and evil meets evil. We hope judges and other officials in China will listen to their conscience and stop persecuting Falun Dafa,” he said.

Chinese version available

Category: Beginning Cultivation

San Francisco, USA: Falun Gong Shines in St. Patrick’s Day Parade

March 14, 2016

(Minghui.org) The Divine Land Marching Band, composed entirely of Falun Gong practitioners, participated in the 165th St. Patrick’s Day parade in San Francisco on March 12. They joined forces with 140 other groups to enliven the St. Patrick’s Day festivities in this hugely popular event. More than 100,000 people watched the parade, which has become one of the largest events in the Bay Area.

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The Divine Land Marching Band, consisting entirely of Falun Gong practitioners, was warmly welcomed at the 165th annual San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

“Falun Gong is everywhere!” Ms. Lu shouted excitedly. Ms. Lu had just arrived from China, where, sadly, Falun Gong is being brutally persecuted.

“I just got here today. It is very exciting to see Falun Gong here,” Ms. Lu said. “They are excellent. This is my first time to see Falun Gong in a parade. They are great!!”

As the band passed by the reviewing stage, the host introduced them to the spectators as the first-place winner in last year’s Columbus Day parade in San Francisco.

“Falun Gong practitioners follow the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance,” the host announced.

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Leum Fross, one of the organizers of the parade, likes the Falun Gong band very much.

“They are well trained, and their performances touch people’s hearts,” said Leum Fross, one the parade organizers. “The principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance are great, and I completely support them. I am glad that the performers can freely practice [Falun Gong] in San Francisco.”

Another organizer, Valerie Magu, made the comment that the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance are universal and should ideally be followed by everybody. “I admire what Falun Gong practitioners have done,” she said. “Thank you for the excellent performances.”

Parade spectators were also enthusiastic about the band.

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Cisser Damaro (right) and his friend said of the band, “Falun Gong is the best!”

Ryan Hoffman visited China this past January and experienced the government’s censorship firsthand. “The communist party there does not allow Facebook. They control other media, too.” Ryan added that, as an American, he is against the persecution of Falun Gong. “It’s immoral,” he said.

Jane Okamora noted that the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance are beautiful. “When the Falun Gong band passed by me today during the parade, I felt so relaxed,” she said. “I can feel the pain that practitioners in China suffer. The persecution is really horrible.”

Chinese version available

Category: Other Community Events