(Minghui.org) Falun Dafa practitioners participated in the ArtBeat Festival 2024 in Whangarei on February 24, 2024. This is the largest arts festival in New Zealand’s north island, and the Whangarei District Council co-sponsors the event. Vince Cocurullo, Mayor of Whangarei, praised the principles of Falun Dafa and said they are fundamental and crucial.

Practitioners gave waist drum dance performances during the ArtBeat Festival 2024 in Whangarei on Saturday February 24.

There was a wide array of stalls which sold food and handicrafts, as well as an arts demonstration, workshops and live performances. Art lovers were sure to find something they liked. Many people applauded the practitioners’ waist drum and dragon dance performances. The MC introduced Falun Dafa before their performances.

A constant stream of people came to the Falun Dafa stall to learn about the mind and body practice. People came in groups to learn the exercises and, even as the festival ended, people still continued to come to learn the exercises.

A constant stream of people came to learn the Falun Dafa exercises.
Practitioners introduce Falun Dafa to festival attendees.


Mayor of Whangarei: Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance Are Crucial

Vince Cocurullo, Mayor of Whangarei, came to the Falun Dafa stall. He said, “I love the ideology of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance. This is fundamental and crucial.”

He said that everyone has different characteristics, so when working together as a group, being tolerant is especially important. Nowadays where traditional values are lacking, he felt the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance are particularly important because being honest and upright are important qualities.

“We should have empathy because there are many things beyond our control in this world. We need to help one another and being tolerant helps people support one another. Ultimately, we must work together to make things better,” he said.

Vince said that he meditates, “Meditation helps me relax and relieves stress. We now face a chaotic world and meditation helps me calm down.

“I meditate in nature sometimes, without the interference of electronic devices. I am able to focus more and return to the true me, it feels great.”

Vince Cocurullo, Mayor of Whangarei (third left), took a group photo with practitioners.


Falun Dafa Is a Kind, Focused Group

Seleste and Mikayla could not stop praising the dragon performance. Seleste said, “The dragon dance was amazing! It’s such a hot day yet they were steady, calm, and focused. Every performer’s moves were in synchrony, and there were no mistakes. It was great!”

When they learned that the performers practice Falun Dafa, Seleste said, “I’ve seen them in some events. In my mind, Falun Dafa is a form of cultivation practice, and those who practice it look calm and peaceful. They are a kind, focused group.”

Mikayla is a doctor. When she was told about the organ harvesting, she said, “This is horrible! I think the doctors who do this are very different from doctors here.”

She said that in her experience, organ transplants and donation should be voluntary and consensual, and this is a most basic human right.

Practitioners performed the dragon dance.


New Practitioner: Falun Dafa is the Truth That Goes Beyond Culture

Bruce Bandenbroek heard about Falun Dafa two weeks ago and began to learn the exercises on his own. He just read the fifth lecture of Zhuan Falun, the main book of Falun Dafa. Bruce and his family drove two hours to meet practitioners at the festival.

He said, “I’ve been searching for the Way for a long time. I was interested in different cultivation practices including Taoism and Buddhism, but I felt most of them were human principles and not the real teachings of a cultivation way.

“I felt that Master Li Hongzhi’s teachings and everything in Zhuan Falun are real—he transmitted the truth beyond culture. I am excited to start cultivation. I experienced some of the things Master talks about that people cannot understand.

“I grew up Catholic. I feel that now many truths are mixed together, and the rules and concepts in religion have changed tremendously in the past century. I’ve been searching for the truth my entire adult life. With Falun Dafa, it’s as if I gained complete guidance.”

He said about what he experienced while doing the exercises, “At times, my hands felt light and electric. I saw white light and my mind is able to truly be quiet.”

Bruce Bandenbroek was overjoyed to be able to practice Falun Dafa.


People Praise the Values of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance

Lana Parker took her two granddaughters to see the waist drum and dragon dance. They loved it. The girls loved the dragon because of its beautiful colors, and they said they wanted to ride it.

When Lana learned that Falun Dafa is based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance, she said, “If every one of us follows these values, our lives will be better. Children should follow these principles. Kindness and honesty are important, kindness means showing concern for others, not being selfish and helping others.”

Lana Parker and her two granddaughters loved the waist drum and dragon performance.

Amy Tombleson was a volunteer at the arts festival and came to the booth to learn the exercises, “I feel good. I love these exercises because I can do them standing up. I’m hyperactive, I hope learning Falun Dafa will make me patient. The principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance are wonderful!”

Amy Tombleson learned the exercises.