Falun Dafa in
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WHAT IS FALUN DAFA

(FALUN GONG)

OVERVIEW

FALUN DAFA (or Falun Gong) is a form of what the Chinese call qigong (pronounced "chee-gong"), a system of exercises and teachings that deeply transform the mind and body. Like tai-chi, qigong is a vital part of many people's lives in Asia; most every Chinese park is brimming by the break of dawn with people from all walks of life practicing these arts. Owing much to its effectiveness in improving health and its profound principles, Falun Dafa has proved immensely popular throughout the entire world. Since being introduced to the general public in 1992 by its founder, Mr. Li Hongzhi, Falun Dafa has spread to over 40 countries and is practiced by over 100 million people. It is the most widely-practiced qigong. In addition to being a powerful mechanism for healing, stress relief and health improvement, Falun Dafa is different from other qigong techniques in that it has a higher objective of moral improvement and cultivation towards enlightenment.

The practice of Falun Dafa is simple, yet profound and effective. It consists primarily of two components: self-cultivation through study of Mr. Li's teachings and performing Falun Dafa's four gentle exercises and meditation. The foundation of Falun Dafa is the teachings, which are essential for the task of undertaking self-cultivation. Master Li's teachings are presented in a number of books, the most important of which is Zhuan Falun (Revolving the Law Wheel); the other main book, Falun Gong, offers a good summary of the principles and exercises, recommended for beginners.

Falun Dafa's exercises and meditation are specially designed to complement one's cultivation. They are easy to learn, enjoyable, and at once both relaxing and energizing. They are perfect for people of all ages and levels of fitness, and they do not involve strenuous movements. Though they are simple, the exercises are exceptionally powerful and effective. Many students of Falun Dafa enjoy doing them in groups, as they find themselves benefiting from one another's practice and from the strong energy field that is generated, radiating peace and serenity. Most major US cities and universities have such groups; Philadelphia has several.

While just learning the principles or practicing the exercises is beneficial, the combination of the two proves most effective. This is because, according to Falun Dafa, a person will gain from understanding how to conduct him or herself well in everyday life. Namely, one learns to assimilate to the fundamental nature of the universe: Truthfulness, Benevolence, and Forbearance. This is called cultivation of one's xinxing (mind nature; moral character), and it is the key to the growth of cultivation energy and health. As one's heart and mind become increasingly in accord with these principles, one will find that the benefits from the exercises and study of Falun Dafa increase proportionately. For someone sincere in his or her practice, the positive effects are typically rapid and striking. Students of Falun Dafa often report dramatic health improvements where other practices and treatments have failed, and typically in a short time, no less. Others find newfound energy, mental clarity, less need for sleep, stress relief and peace of mind.

Falun Dafa is characterized by the cultivation of a Falun (Law Wheel), located at the dantian (lower abdomen). As an intelligent spinning body of high-energy substance, the Falun automatically absorbs energy from the universe and relieves the body of bad elements. The rotation of Falun synchronizes with the rotation of the universe. It has the same nature as the universe and is like a miniature of the universe. The Tao School's Yin-Yang and the Buddha School's Dharma-wheel both are reflected in the Falun. The Falun constantly rotates, putting the practitioner in a state of cultivation 24 hours a day. Of all the qigong or cultivation systems known to the public, Falun Dafa is the first and only one that solves the conflicting time-requirements for practicing and work or study, as "the Law refines the practitioner," 24 hours a day.

Everyone is welcomed to learn Falun Dafa. No prior qigong training or experience of any kind is necessary. Interested individuals may attend any of the free instruction classes organized by local Falun Dafa Volunteers. Comprehensive instructional materials are also freely available, without charge, on the Internet, including Master Li's books translated into English, French, German, Italian, Russian, Spanish, Japanese, Korean etc.

 

History of This Type of Practice

Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, is a high-level cultivation system from China. It is based on the universe's nature, Zhen-Shan-Ren (Truth-Benevolence-Forbearance) and has ancient historical roots. Self-cultivation, or mind-spirit development, is an important aspect of Asian culture and many different systems have existed over the centuries. "Self-cultivation" is a more accurate word to describe the improvement of mind and spirit, since the process requires effort on the part of the practitioner. One literally "cultivates" positive qualities like a garden, planting seeds of goodness and not letting that goodness be damaged by circumstances or events.

The Chinese word for cultivation is "xiulian" and it was used to describe those ancient practices, which had long, religious sounding names. After the Cultural Revolution however, people realized that to use the word "xiulian" would be uncomfortable for authorities. They formulated a new word, "qigong" from two words that were more acceptable: "qi" (pronounced "chee") meaning universal life energy and "gong" meaning cultivation energy, which is a higher and more refined substance than qi.

 

History of the Falun Dafa Cultivation Practice

The Falun Dafa Cultivation Practice was passed down from master to disciple, secretly for generations, as was commonly done in ancient China. Mr. Li Hongzhi collaborated with his masters in order to bring these teachings and exercises to the public in 1992. When it was first introduced to the public, Falun Dafa was registered with the Qigong Research Association of China. It soon became clear that Falun Dafa's goal of "genuinely guiding people to higher levels" was different from the other qigong schools, which were focusing on healing illnesses and keeping fit, as well as displaying supernormal powers at exhibitions. And so in 1996, Master Li Hongzhi withdrew Falun Dafa from that Society. Seemingly worried about the popularity of Falun Dafa, the Chinese government then refused to allow it to be registered under any other category. This means that it has no legal protection and no status in Chinese society, a situation that practitioners there are peacefully and patiently trying to rectify, so that they can follow the spiritual system of their own choice safely and without interference.

Shortly after publishing Zhuan Falun at the end of 1994, Master Li announced that he had completed his teaching in China. He then traveled and gave the same classes to people in Europe, other parts of Asia and Australia. Since 1996, he has traveled only to speak at occasional Experience-Sharing Conferences at the invitation of practitioners around the world, including in North America. Outside of those appearances, he prefers to live a private life so as not to interfere with practitioners' cultivation practice. He currently resides in New York City.

Today, there are roughly 100 million practitioners in some 40 countries around the world. And there are dozens of Falun Dafa assistance centers and practice sites in most major cities, all run by volunteers. Through learning and practicing Falun Dafa, practitioners have improved their health, relieved the stress in their lives, improved morally, and are achieving gradual spiritual enlightenment.

 

A Little More About the People and the Spreading of this Practice

Falun Dafa practitioners are guided by the supreme principle of Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance to cultivate their hearts and minds in daily life. They strive to become increasingly better people in all environments and conditions, and try very hard to gradually give up various bad habits and attachments like anger, anxiety, jealousy and the desire for personal renown and gain. Master Li encourages normal family life and advises that releasing attachments does not mean a loss of material wealth or status, only one's attachment to those qualities and things. As a result, the spread of Falun Dafa has helped to improve family harmony, co-operation at work, safety in neighborhoods, care for the environment, stabilization in societies, and goodness in people's hearts.

Friends shared these teachings with friends, and families introduced it to relatives. It was not through any large public relations campaign, or through major media coverage that the practice of Falun Dafa spread with such extraordinary speed. Until May of 1999, practitioners usually promoted Falun Dafa in their own neighborhoods and gave classes when enough people wanted to learn. Falun Dafa classes, workshops and activities are open to the public, free of charge. Events and classes are coordinated by a loose network of volunteers who want to contribute their time and share the teachings with others. The teachings and exercise instructions are also available through published books and audio/video tapes. And they can be borrowed from many public libraries, purchased in bookstores, and viewed or downloaded free of charge from many different web sites (e.g. http://falundafa.ca).

The profound contribution of Falun Dafa to global society, science, and civilization has been widely recognized. The City of Houston, Texas officially named Master Li Hongzhi, Honorary Citizen and Goodwill Ambassador. The date of his first public lecture in the USA, October 12, 1996, was officially proclaimed by the City of Houston as Li Hongzhi Day. The proclamation reads: "Falun Dafa transcends cultural and racial boundaries. It resonates the universal truth to every corner of the earth and bridges the gap between East and West. Li Hongzhi has worked tirelessly to convey Falun Dafa from China to the rest of the world. Along the way, he has touched the lives of countless people in many countries, earning an acclaimed international reputation." Mr. Li and Falun Dafa have received some 300 awards and proclamations in the United States.

 

OUR EXPERIENCES WITH FALUN DAFA

Significant Improvements in Health and Life

Early benefits that most of us have experienced in practicing Falun Dafa are significant improvements in our health and family lives. Most of us feel peaceful, refreshed and energized after practicing. Terri Morse, a practitioner in a suburb of Philadelphia, was finally able to recover from Lyme disease after 10 years of suffering. Emily Myers had suffered from severe lower back problems for years when she took up the practice of Falun Gong, and had undergone a dozen or so treatments to no avail. Only a few weeks into the practice of Falun Dafa she began to notice less pain in her back, and within in a few months she was completely pain free and back to normal.

Many health surveys have been conducted by major medical universities, research institutions and hospitals in China and abroad. Three have been translated into English and are available on the Internet. The largest one titled Falun Gong Health Effect Survey of Ten-thousand Cases in Beijing, reported that Falun Gong's cure rate is 58.5%; improvement rate is 80.3% in physical health and 96.5% in mental health.

In his writings, Master Li Hongzhi states: "I do not talk about healing illnesses here, nor will we heal illnesses. However, as a genuine practitioner, you cannot practice cultivation with an ill body. I will purify your body. The body purification will be done only for those who come to genuinely study the practice and Dafa (Great Law). We emphasize one point, that if you cannot give up the attachment to that illness, we cannot do anything and will be helpless to you. . Why can it be done to a practitioner, then? It is because a practitioner is most precious, and he wants to practice cultivation."

 

We would be happy to organize free panel discussions, seminars, and demonstrations or teaching of the five Falun Gong cultivation exercises. This can be done at your premises or elsewhere, at whatever time is mutually convenient daytime, evenings or weekends. We invite you to contact any one of the Falun Dafa Volunteers nearest to you.


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