Bringing the Beauty Of Falun Dafa To Precious New Yorkers -- Stories From Manhattan

Ying Ying Zhang

PureInsight | October 4, 2004

Encounter with famous actor Richard Gere

[] On August 28, 2004, two buses, fully loaded with practitioners, arrived at the center of sultry Manhattan just before noon. After sending forth righteous thoughts, we scattered in groups. As we crossed at a crosswalk, a practitioner in front of me turned and caught up with a man walking to the other side of the street. I took a close look and realized that it was Richard Gere, who was once deported by the Chinese government for denouncing the persecution against the Tibetan religion. He was hurrying down the street, with a briefcase in one hand and talking on a cell phone in the other hand. The practitioner gave him a flyer. He hesitated while the practitioner explained, "We are Falun Gong practitioners from Toronto. We cultivate Truth, Compassion and Tolerance. Over one thousand practitioners had been persecuted to death in China. We hope you can help urge the Chinese government to stop the persecution. Please read this flyer." He looked like he suddenly understood and took the flyer, saying, "Thank you very much! I will read it for sure. See you!" And he hurried away. I had been frozen on the road side, even forgetting to take a picture.

I thought to myself, "Richard Gere was my idol when I was young. Today I meet him in person!" While I was still regretting that I had not taken a picture, something came to my mind: What had I come here for? I am a Falun Dafa Practitioner, coming to participate in the Fa-rectification. I must keep my thoughts righteous. Master has rearranged my life to let me get utterly rid of my attachments. I came to myself and said to his disappearing figure with a pure heart, "I wish you have a bright future."

Considerate Policemen

We were to build the "Great Wall of Courage" on August 28. Practitioners from New York had brought many banners to be hung on rods. When we had slid the rods through, and were about to raise the banners, the policemen came and proclaimed that the rods could not be used and must be taken away. We were in doubt and asked them for a reason. The policeman explained patiently: "We know you are peaceful people and won't hit others with those rods. But if other people lose control and use your rods to hit people, you will be held responsible." Then they suggested to us that we could hang the banners on the fence. When, in the evening, all the activities were near the end, the police came to us: "We are sorry, would you please take the banners down? Instructions from the authorities don't allow things on the fence." Actually, we were just about to pack our stuff up.

On August 29, when our dancing team was performing in the central park, many people came to watch, and the police, too, with five to six police cars. The practitioners clarified the truth to the policemen when they were watching the performance.

"I didn't know about Falun Gong, but I always think Chinese are very good. I have never arrested a Chinese person," one of the officers said.

Another officer followed with, "I have heard of Falun Gong. I saw you last time when you were on the parade in New York. I liked your practice and wanted to learn. I used the e-mail address on the flyer to find a site where I can learn the exercises. But no one answered my mail." The practitioner gave him the updated contact information right away. He was happy and said: "Thank you! This time I won't miss it."

Graceful Dance, Strong Dancers

On August 28, I followed the Toronto performing team to crowded Central Park. Girls were performing the Fan dance and Dai dance to traditional music, then four practitioners joined in to perform the Drum dance. They took turns to dance, from noon to the evening, with the audience coming and going. They just kept dancing non-stop. When their dancing shoes broke, they put on their sneakers. When their stomachs grumbled, they ate some bread. When their clothes got soaked with sweat, they just mopped it up with paper towels. When their make-up was washed away by the sweat, they said, it's okay, we didn't need any more make-up. Their faces were red and radiant with the heat. They danced until the battery for the speakers was drained, then they started to hand out truth materials to people. They seemed to have endless energy resources. The people walking by the park were pleased to see those beautiful girls, listen to the facts and take truth-clarifying materials. Then the battery for my camera died, too.

It was like the flow of people came and went and the dancing went on, session after a session. Flyers were dispatched, load after load and the facts were rapidly transmitted one after another.
(To be continued)

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