An American student of Falun Gong performs the practice’s meditation, tapping into a many centuries old Chinese tradition.
Like many people in America, Michael felt a connection with Chinese culture.
Meditation. Tea. Erhu music. All of it resonated.
So much so, that the native of upstate New York took up Chinese, and did advanced college coursework in Chinese history and literature. He even traveled to China upon graduation.
“I started to know the culture on a completely different level,” he says.
“Falun Gong allowed me to see that there’s this profound spiritual dimension to the culture, be it in the concept of ‘virtue’ , how a landscape painting is done, or how you fold your hands when you meditate. And it was impacting my life in tangible ways, like when people started noting how calm I now was.”
Many Chinese people were struck at how much he had connected with their culture and its deeper facets.
“It opened up all sorts of doors and conversations,” he shares.
Lance, a project manager from Colorado, found that Falun Gong “ennobled” Chinese culture for him. For most of his life, Chinese culture somewhat kitch.
That changed with Falun Gong.
“I realized that Chinese culture isn’t just pagodas, Buddha statues, and chopsticks,” he recalls.
“It’s much more of a profound weaving together of philosophies, decorum, and ways of treating each other.”
Living Falun Gong benefited Lance in at least one very unexpected way.
His in-laws, who are Taiwanese, originally were opposed to his marrying their daughter. Lance was “too American” they were convinced.
All of that changed, however, when the parents saw a photo of him doing Falun Gong’s meditation. They immediately respected him.
“Their attitude completely changed, just like that,” Lance remembers.
Six months later, they were happily married.
But it was only after studying Falun Gong that the Ivy League grad felt he could “really appreciate” Chinese culture.