The Chinese meditation discipline Falun Gong is known around the world for its health benefits, and studies have shown that it can heal illnesses. Yet there is another aspect of Falun Gong that is a little harder to quantify, but no less miraculous: its ability to change people’s hearts and minds for the better.
Besides doing meditative tai chi-like exercises, practitioners of Falun Gong also improve their moral character based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. They try to be less attached to material possessions and more forgiving of others.
According to countless stories published on Minghui.org, it really works.
The website has an enormous collection of articles by Falun Gong practitioners around the world. The articles report how learning Falun Gong has helped them improve family relationships, become honest, become better people, find their purpose in life, quit smoking, quit gambling, improve their work and study habits, and improve just about every other aspect of their lives.
Other media have also reported these kinds of stories. In an article in The Atlantic, a scientist described how he learned Falun Gong and not only became healthy, but also mended his relationship with his mother.
“I was able to change behavioral patterns that [I] didn’t think I had the power to change,” the scientist told The Atlantic. “I saw myself becoming more truthful, compassionate, and tolerant day by day.”
Epoch Times reported the story of a woman in China named Yang Qing, who was forced to quit college because the Chinese Communist Party, which doesn’t permit freedom of belief, persecutes Falun Gong practitioners. This didn’t stop Yang from becoming a successful design professional, according to Epoch Times.
The moral values she learned from Falun Gong were the reason for her success, the newspaper reported. During her job interview, her honesty impressed the manager. Later, Yang’s positive attitude helped her accept criticism and resolve a conflict with a partner company’s supervisor.
“For many years, slander and propaganda have targeted Falun Gong practitioners in China, and yet employers and companies are increasingly considering Falun Gong practitioners as top job candidates,” the newspaper added.
Perhaps the most dramatic display of Falun Gong practitioners’ heightened moral conduct happened in China on April 25, 1999.
At that time, the Chinese Communist Party leader had not yet launched his full-scale campaign to imprison, torture, and kill practitioners. However, some practitioners had already been arrested in the city of Tianjin for speaking out about a media article that misrepresented the nature of Falun Gong.
Other practitioners wanted to petition for their release and protest the government’s unjust treatment of Falun Gong. Of the tens of millions of practitioners in China, an estimated 10,000 showed up in Beijing on April 25.
With such a large crowd of protesters, one might expect blocked sidewalks, angry chanting, trash left on the ground, and overall chaos in the streets.
However, these protesters were different.
As an article on Minghui.org put it, the event “is known as the largest and most peaceful and rational appeal in Chinese history. The entire process was peaceful, harmonious, and orderly.”
Accounts of the April 25 appeal from many sources have described how the practitioners lined up quietly without blocking the sidewalks. They left the ground cleaner than they found it, since some of them even picked up other people’s litter. Police showed up to keep the protesters under control, but it turned out they didn’t have to do anything of the sort.
Some of the practitioners spoke with Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji. The issue was peacefully resolved (at least for the time being), and they all went home.
A practitioner recalled in the Minghui.org article that after the group dispersed, one police officer pointed at the trash-free ground and said to the others, “Look at this! What is virtue? This is! This is what is called virtue!”