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Falun Gong (a.k.a. Falun Dafa)
"Falun Dafa cultivates a Falun in the lower abdomen area instead of Dan....Falun Dafa cultivates Zhu Yishi instead of Fu Yishi, He Who practices attains Gong. Namely, your Zhu Yishi or Zhu Yuansheng attains the cultivation energy." --Li Hongzhi*
The doctrines of the Great Law of Falun Dafa can give guidance to anyone in their cultivation including those who have religious beliefs. This is the Principle of the universe, the true Law that has never been revealed. In the past humans were not allowed to know the Principle of the universe (Buddha Law); it transcends all the sciences and moral principles of ordinary human society from ancient times to the present. What has been taught in religions and what people have experienced are only superficialities and phenomena, while its extensive and profound inner meaning can only present itself to and be felt and understood by the cultivators who are at different levels of their true cultivation, and they can really see what the Law is. --Li Hongzhi*
Falun Gong (pronounced fah-luhn gung) is Li Hongzhi's version of qi gong, which is an ancient Chinese practice of "energy cultivation". Falun means "wheel of law"; falun dafa is falun Buddha law.* According to Li, Falun Gong "is a cultivation system aiming at cultivating both human life and nature. The practitioner is required to attain enlightenment (open his cultivation energy) and achieve physical immortality in this mortal world when his energy potency and Xinxing [mind-nature] have reached a certain level."*
Li claims to have taken energy cultivation to a new level. He also claims to have some 100 million followers worldwide, though he also claims that he keeps no records and that Falun Gong is not a cult, religion or sect ("Followers defend Falun Gong as innocuous," by Brian Milner, The Globe and Mail (Canada), July 22, 1999.) His popularity is great enough in China to have led to the arrest of more than 30,000 practitioners and a formal ban on Falun Gong, apparently for little more than being popular and thereby posing a threat to the stability of the repressive Communist regime ("China arrests 30,000 members of spiritual group," The Globe and Mail (Canada), July 22, 1999, by Miro Cernetig.)
Li left China in the early 1990s and lives in New York City. He promotes his beliefs in books he has written. His teachings are available on the Internet, which has significantly affected his status and popularity internationally. While much of Falun Gong is a rehash of traditional Chinese notions regarding meditation and exercises, Li has emphasized an anti-scientific approach to disease and medicine. He says disease is "is a black energy mass" that he can dissipate with his powers. Those who use medicine for their illnesses lack faith in Falun Gong. True believers don't need medicine. They understand that disease exists in some other space beyond physical space and that only those with "supernormal capabilities" can truly heal. True healing involves "cultivation energies...in the form of light with very tiny particles in great density."* He claims that he does not tell people not to use medicine, but that he has cured thousands of terminally ill people. He also claims that he advises terminally ill and mentally ill people not to practice Falun Gong. The former are too focused on their illness and the latter are not clear-minded enough to practice properly.
Li claims that Falun Gong is one of 84,000 cultivation ways of the Buddha's school. He claims that it has only been used once before, in prehistory, but that he is making it available again "at this final period of the Last Havoc."*
Falun is the miniature of the universe with all the abilities of the universe. It can automatically move in rotation. It will forever rotate in your lower abdomen area. Once it is installed in your body, it will no longer stop and will forever rotate like this year in and year out. During the time when it rotates clockwise, it can automatically absorb energy from the universe, and it can also transform energy from itself to supply the required energy for every part of your body transformation. At the same time, it can emit energy when it rotates counter-clock and releases the waste material which will disperse around your body. When it emits energy, the energy can be released to quite a distance and it brings in new energy again. The emitted energy can benefit the people around you....When Falun rotates clockwise, it can collect the energy back because it rotates forever....
Because Falun rotates forever, it cannot be stopped. If a phone call comes or someone knocks on the door, you may go ahead and take care of it immediately without having to finish the practice. When you stop to do your work, Falun will rotate at once clockwise and take back the emitted energy around your body.*
How Li knows about these rotations is a mystery, but he has many followers throughout the world who feel enlightened by these "teachings."
In short, Falun Gong is based upon the belief that the universe consists of magical energies that can be tapped into by certain practices and which can eliminate the need for medicine, bringing one to a state of enlightenment and physical immortality. Its popularity seems directly related to its claim to bring health and relieve stress while providing enlightenment. It is anti-science, anti-medical establishment, and anti-materialism; thus, Falun Gong is attractive to many people who are fed up with the world as it is and their position in it.
It is difficult to understand why the Communist party in China fears Falun Gong. Their practices would relieve the demand for medical assistance, thereby saving the government millions of yuan. They encourage truthfulness, forbearance and compassion. Of course, members may not be very useful to society, since they are not materialistic and would prefer to spend their days meditating and exercising in the park, cultivating energies, rather than working in factories. Then again, communists don't like competition.
China Falun Gong by Li Hongzhi
During the last week of July, 1999, more than 1,200 government officials who practice Falun Gong were "detained" by Chinese authorities, according to the Washington Post. China's Ministry of Public Security issued an arrest warrant for Li Hongzhi, blaming him for the deaths of 743 followers. According to Michael Laris of the Washington Post, China "provided no evidence linking Li to any of the alleged deaths."