Students and local residents now have a chance to learn an ancient Chinese cultivation practice in a course offered by the Academy of Lifelong Learning at the University of South Carolina in Aiken this fall semester.
The course, “Falun Dafa Cultivation and Meditation,” is being taught by Dr. Frank Tian Xie, an associate professor of marketing in the School of Business Administration.
According to the Academy of Lifelong Learning website: “This Chinese spiritual practice combines meditation and qigong exercises with a moral philosophy centered on the tenets of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance.”
Introducing this cultivation practice to the American public has been a long-standing dream of Dr. Xie’s, who has enjoyed great physical and mental benefits from practicing Falun Dafa.
The course has proven to be popular. The enrollment increased from 12 at the beginning to 29, and the school had to move the class to a larger room.
Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) is credited with improving health, relieving stress, and creating inner peace, Dr. Xie said. In the class, he discusses the traditional Chinese cultural background of the practice and introduces its main features. He also teaches students the five exercises, four of which are done standing and one sitting in meditation.
Kelly, one of the students, was excited to be taking the course. She felt relaxed during the exercises in the first class. She said that Dr. Xie was an amazing instructor, and the course was very informative.
Kelly used to practice yoga, but she likes the Falun Gong exercises better. “I want to learn more. It is so exciting. I am glad that I came today,” she said at the end of the first class.
Linda Soyars, one of the Academy of Lifelong Learning staff members and a student in this class, felt heat flowing through her hands when doing the exercises.
The exercises made her feel great. “Dr. Xie gave an excellent introduction at the beginning, and the exercise instruction was great, too,” she said. “This is one of best classes I have had.”
Linda hopes that the students will continue practicing after the course is over. “It will be really good for them,” she said.
Some of the students had never heard of Falun Gong, and some knew a little but wanted to learn more.
One class member told Dr. Xie after the first class that she had some amazing experiences during the meditation. She was pleased to be learning the principles underlying some of the experiences she had. She added that she is looking forward to the next class.