Skillbuilder to teach Buddhist mindfulness practice of Falun Dafa

Olivia Apa, Features Writer

Falun Dafa is a traditional Chinese Buddhist practice to improve the mind and body, and its key principles are truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. 

“Falun Dafa practitioners not only do five sets of gentle exercises and meditation to improve their health and energize the body and get stress relief, they also follow these three words to become a good person in their daily life,” said economics professor and advisor to the Falun Dafa Student Association, Hsinling Hsieh. 

Hsieh began practicing Falun Dafa in 1998 while she was attending graduate school in Taiwan. Her advisor recommended the practice to her because she was experiencing some health issues, but Hsieh really adopted the practice to try and answer the greater questions she had about life. 

“What is the meaning of life? Why did I come to this road? Is there a better way to improve myself? And is there a way to understand the entire universe?” were some of the questions Hsieh asked, even as she was a little girl sitting in her family’s garden to look at the night sky.

“When I read … the major book of Falun Dafa, “Zhuan Falun”, which is a very good book, it answered a lot of my questions,” said Hsieh. 

Hsieh said that practicing Falun Dafa has made her a more positive person, and she is able to help others experience the same kind of positivity and good energy from following truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. 

“In the past, I was pretty [introverted]. I did not like to talk a lot about the tribulations and challenges and conflicts I faced in my life,” said Hsieh. “But now I feel that it is okay, and I get more courage and positive attitudes to face different challenges in my life.” 

Hsieh is hosting a Falun Dafa Skill Builder Friday, Nov. 3 from 3 p.m. – 5 .p.m. in 1317 Jamrich to share the benefits of the practice with others. Registration for the event can be found on the Hub

“I hope more people can benefit from [Falun Dafa], especially in this trying time of pandemic,” said Hsieh. “I realized that people really need good things to improve their health, and in traditional Chinese culture people believe that … true health comes from inside out.” 

Hsieh believes that the values of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance provide happiness within the mind. 

“And when we become happier, we can become healthier,” said Hsieh. “[Falun Dafa] is a very easy and good way for people to bring themselves to another level of happiness.” 

Students have projects, term papers, exams and all other aspects of life to manage which can quickly become stressful and Falun Dafa is a way to address some of that stress through mindful exercises and meditation. 

“I think [Falun Dafa] will help students become more focused on their studying, be more relaxed, and they will manage their time better and especially they will have better stress relief,” said Hsieh. 

Hsieh will be giving an introduction to Falun Dafa at the Skill Builder workshop. She will let students know the health benefits of it and introduce some exercises through an instructional video by Master Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa. 

Students are encouraged to bring a sitting mat, towel or blanket to sit down on when practicing meditation.  

Sophomore public relations and multimedia productions major Autumn Post registered for the Skill Builder because Falun Dafa seemed like a great starting point on her quest to destress and improve herself in mental, physical and spiritual ways. 

“I am expecting to gain reduced mental stress during and after the exercises, but I am also hoping to gain tools that I can continue to use throughout my time at school, and beyond, in terms of stress relief,” said Post. 

Post said she is continually trying to become a better person for herself and for her loved ones. 

“Meditation is one tool that can be used in self-improvement as it can give you peace which carries throughout the day,” said Post. “Even if you do not think meditation can benefit you, [the Skillbuilder] is worth a try and is a great way to get more involved on campus regardless.”

Hsieh is also going to address the persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners by the Chinese Communist Party and discuss the true origins of the swastika symbol at the skillbuilder. 

“I sincerely hope that more people can benefit from truthfulness, compassion and tolerance … This is my wish, especially in this trying time,” said Hsieh. “I know how important it is for each of us and our loved ones to stay healthy, and I believe that [Falun Dafa] is a good way for people to start.” 

More information and instructional content on Falun Dafa can be found at and