[Celebrating World Falun Dafa Day] Witnessing Falun Gong's 1998 Grand Morning Exercise in Shenyang City
(Minghui.org) On a picture-perfect Sunday in May 1998, more than ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners gathered for group morning exercise. The event took place at a square in front of the Shenyang Industrial Exhibition Hall in Shenyang, China.
It was more than ten years ago, yet the grandness of the scene, the magnificent energy, and the orderly practitioners are still vivid in my mind. After the practitioners departed, not a single piece of rubbish remained. The gathering was completely free, nobody spent a cent.
My wife and I got up before dawn. We were to help with setting up the sound system. We took our son's new VCD player and sound system, and left home. I was very excited. As I was carrying two big speakers from our sixth floor apartment, I recounted how I used to have to be carried up and down the stairs. Yet after I began practicing Falun Gong, I had regained my health. It was thus certainly a morning warranting excitement.
We arrived at the square at four o'clock in the morning. A few people were already there, and soon more practitioners with technical knowledge arrived. They also brought batteries and audio equipment.
Since we received permission from the city's Sports Commission late, we did not have much time to prepare, so our “technical team” was hastily organized. None of us knew each other well.
Several younger practitioners took the lead. We connected wires and set up the equipment. Soon, everything was connected. We gave it a try, and everything worked.
“Falun Gong Is Great!”
By that time, the square was half full with practitioners. I took out my mat and sat down next to other practitioners from my exercise site. There was still some time left before the exercise started.
More practitioners arrived. The lineups were constantly changing, and everyone was either moving over to make room for the newcomers or moving around to fill a gap. Yet no one complained—everyone cooperated with understanding and smiles. We all knew that it was a precious opportunity to join such a grand group exercise, and it was also the best way to let more people know about Falun Dafa.
Some exercise sites had organized large group exercises on weekends before to promote Falun Dafa so that more people would benefit from it. However, none of us had ever joined a group exercise with ten thousand others—it was quite a special day for all of us, and we felt it in our hearts.
The exercise music started at six o'clock. Following the beautiful music and Master's words, practitioners did the five exercises in unison. I did not want to open my eyes after the music stopped. The energy was very strong. It felt different from practicing in small groups. While at home, my legs would hurt after thirty minutes of sitting in meditation, but I felt different that day. My body was light and I was in the complete meditative state—a wonderful feeling beyond words.
The practitioner who was sitting next to me had a similar experience. She said, “I felt my body getting bigger and taller, taller than the exhibition hall here. I was a little scared so I opened my eyes, then everything disappeared. I regret it, I should not have opened my eyes.”
Other practitioners shared what they saw during mediation. Some saw beautiful scenes in other dimensions, some saw this square as a huge boat, with some seeing Master standing on the bow and practitioners on the boat. Every practitioner that day had their own unique experience.
Ten thousand practitioners participated in the event, yet there was no advanced planning or rehearsal. Everything was decided and done that same day. However, the orderliness and unison of the group was an amazing sight. People gathered to watch from the sidewalks and overpass. A senior engineer from work later told me, “Falun Gong is great! So many people, so orderly, you are almost like soldiers in an army.”
He also commented on the large number of practitioners. He counted the number of horizontal and vertical rows and estimated that there were about twelve thousand practitioners altogether.
Benefits From Dafa
The practitioners that day came from all walks of life. There were blue collar workers, professionals, farmers, soldiers, police, and government officials, as well as seniors and children.
Everyone had benefited physically and mentally from practicing Falun Dafa, so they joined the event with great joy. Everyone came and dispersed quietly, so there was no excessive crowd noise. The bicycles lined up neatly, and there were no police needed to keep order. Everyday people could not comprehend it—“How did they do that?” they thought.
Falun Dafa guides practitioners back to their true selves. They practice Falun Dafa and follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. How they behaved during the grand exercise was in their nature, embodying characteristics that are unique to Dafa practitioners.
Ms. A was an accountant. She and her grandson Lele had both experienced health issues and started to practice qigong. The qigong they learned did not help them to get better, but instead some negative energy possessed Lele and left him with muscle atrophy in his face.
One day, holding his grandmother's hand, Lele pointed to a group of Falun Dafa practitioners and said, “Grandmother, that energy is good.” Thus, the two started to practice Falun Gong, and Lele quickly recovered from his illness. Lele told me details of how Master cleared the negative energy that was possessing his body, and he shared other interesting things that happened to him after he began cultivating.
Dafa also gave Lele wisdom, and he was admitted to a prestigious university in the United States with a full scholarship. He is now getting his PhD.
Mr. B was a police officer who had stomach ulcers when he was young. Medicine and hospital treatment did not help, but his stomach problems disappeared after he started practicing Falun Dafa. He studied the Dafa books and did the exercises. He also became more diligent at work and was awarded “employee of the year” several years in a row. He also received over 20 other achievement recognitions.
After the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started persecuting Falun Dafa in July 1999, he went to the provincial government to appeal for the right to practice Falun Dafa. After his superiors threatened to transfer him from his post if he did not give up the practice, Mr. B chose to continue in cultivation. His brother, also a police officer, was so angry with Mr. B that he almost stopped talking to him.
At his new post, Mr. B still worked hard. On several occasions, his superior wanted to promote him, but the upper officials would not allow it. “He practices Falun Gong,” they said.
“It's worth it,” he later told his friends. “I got to know Dafa, the law of the universe, so I have not lived in vain.”
Mr. C was a 70-year-old music professor. He had experienced problems with his spine, so he visited specialists in top hospitals and traveled to Taiwan for treatments. The doctors told him that his condition was incurable.
With no hope left, he came across Falun Dafa. After he began practicing he regained his health in just a few months, and returned to teaching. “This is a miracle in the human world!” he exclaimed. He shared his experience at a Dafa conference, and showed his earlier diagnosis paperwork from a major hospital in Taiwan.
I also knew a few practitioners who were high-level government officials. They had various illnesses prior to practicing Falun Dafa, such as heart problems and lung disease, among others. They were constantly in and out of the hospital and needed someone to take care of them.
They experienced tremendous physical and mental changes after they learned Falun Dafa. They stopped focusing on fame and fortune, and some of them were recognized at work and won scientific research prizes.
Even though they were all victims of the persecution to differing extents, they were not afraid and remained unyielding in their faith. They followed Master's Fa, and used whatever way they could to clarify the truth about Falun Dafa, letting people know that Falun Dafa is good.
After all, when someone obtains the Fa, they are not so quick to give it up.
In Master's words:
“Dafa is being spread far and wide. Those who hear about it are looking for it. Those who have obtained it are delighted with it. The number of cultivators is increasing daily and becoming countless.” (“Seeking Discipleship with Teacher” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
Always With Master
Even though Master had never given a lecture in Shenyang, he always cared and watched over the practitioners. A Beijing practitioner once told me that Master spent several hours watching the “Shenyang Second Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference” video recording from beginning to end. I was still a new practitioner at that time, so I was touched upon hearing this.
Prior to the persecution, we had a pamphlet that listed the locations of over 200 practice sites, along with contact information in Shenyang for everyone's convenience. Since there were so many new practitioners, the book Zhuan Falun was in short supply, and we were buying them directly from the printing companies.
I was once at a practice site picking up a copy, and I saw a site coordinator moving boxes of Zhuan Falun off from a truck.
The practitioners who delivered the books only charged what they had paid. It was volunteer work, after all. They did not even add in the time they put in or transportation costs. They were happy simply because they were helping fellow practitioners obtain the book.
One of our suppliers told us that he had sold us over ten thousand copies of Zhuan Falun in just one year. That was the number from just one supplier. One can see that number in just the amount of Shenyang residents who were practicing Falun Dafa at the time—at least over ten thousand people.
After witnessing the grand morning group exercise in Shenyang, one would be more able to comprehend why ten thousand practitioners had gone to Beijing on April 25, 1999 to peacefully protest against the mistreatment of fellow practitioners.
Dafa has awakened millions and helped them step on the path of cultivation. Our lives continue within Dafa, and our realms are elevated within the Fa. I am proud and happy to be a tiny part of it.