This is the story of a beautiful origami lotus flower, folded with colored paper to spread the powerful message of Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance around the world.
The precious little paper lotus is a part of Petals of Peace, an initiative that was planted in Brisbane, Australia. The ambassador of this initiative is Jane Dai, and there is a heart-wrenching story behind it.
Jane’s daughter, little Fadu, was born in Australia, and once, they went to visit her relatives in China. The whole family was closely knit and practiced the meditation system called Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong). The family benefited greatly from the moral teachings of the practice—and above all, they became more truthful, kind, and good people.
Falun Dafa was introduced in China in 1992, and in a couple of years, it became so popular due to its immense health benefits that more than 70–100 million people were doing its peaceful meditative exercises in China alone.
But on July 20, 1999, the former leader of the Chinese communist regime, Jiang Zemin, announced an illegal nationwide campaign of persecution against the peaceful practice of Falun Dafa.
Things changed immediately for little Fadu’s family. Her father, who practiced Falun Dafa meditation exercises every day in the park, couldn’t understand why he wasn’t allowed to these gentle exercises anymore from July 20 onward. In an attempt to make the communist regime realize its “big mistake,” he wrote a letter explaining how he had benefited from Falun Dafa practice.
But what happened next was totally unexpected—soon a group of communist officials and police broke into Fadu’s home to take his father away. Thereafter, her dad was illegally imprisoned, where he endured unimaginable torture merely due to his faith. After being brutally persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), he was eventually killed.
Her dad was tortured and killed, like countless other innocent Falun Dafa practitioners, just because he refused to stop doing this simple meditation.
Fadu and her mum returned to Australia but missed their family back home; it seemed as if the world had become dark and lonely for them all of a sudden. To break away from this darkness, and in order to spread the message of compassion for all other kids who lost their parents in the persecution of Falun Dafa, they started folding paper lotuses.
With each petal being folded, they hope to spread awareness around the world against the ongoing injustice in China.
The Petals of Peace initiative started in 2003 and quickly spread all across the world. Often, a small bookmark, with the persecution information printed on it, is attached to the lotus with the help of a few beads.
Kindhearted people who make these origami lotuses for free distribution put a lot of effort and heart into cutting, folding, binding, stretching the petals, and writing the card.
Though the process of making the flowers is time-consuming, one volunteer in Massachusetts says, “We never felt that it was hard or a waste of time. Actually, the process was very pleasant. These lotus flowers are so beautiful, and we are sharing the beauty with other people. When people see the flowers, the kindness and beauty in their hearts will be awakened, and it will help them to support ‘Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance.’”
In India, there have been many initiatives taken by Falun Dafa practitioners to help children in schools and other communities to learn how to make these flowers.
Tania Vinogradovo, an art teacher in Pondicherry, India, learned to make origami lotuses from a lady in Germany. For her, it only takes a couple of minutes to get everything together: nine pieces of paper, a string, and a bookmark that highlights the words “Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance”—and it’s done!
Every time she hands out this multicolored shiny lotus, people express their happiness and joy. She said “people can’t seem to understand how extraordinary and beautiful this lotus is.”
As a symbol of purity and perfect beauty, the lotus flower has been appreciated by almost all. Its profoundness and inner meaning are much more than what meets the eye. As little seeds being planted in murky water, these grow into beautiful flowers that emit their own aura above all the dirt.
Similarly, the “lotus of hope” has found its place close to people’s hearts. Some of them hang it in their cars and bags, while others keep it in their houses and cannot seem to stop appreciating the beauty of the flower—surely this multicolored origami lotus seems to be restoring peace back to the world.
Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) is a self-improvement meditation system based on the universal principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. It was introduced to the public by Mr. Li Hongzhi in 1992 in China. It is currently practiced by over 100 million people in 114 countries. But this peaceful meditation system is being brutally persecuted in China since 1999. For more info, please visit: www.FalunDafa.org and www.FalunInfo.org.